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Mr. Soames: A copy of the most recently complied list of schools which are admissible for parents of service children to claim boarding school allowance was placed in the Library of the House on 16 January 1995. This list includes information on the number of service children attending each school in June 1994. This information is not collected annually, and is therefore not held in this format for each year since 1990. The only additional data available pertains to 1992 and the accuracy of this information can no longer be validated. The total number of pupils for whom boarding school allowance was claimed in each year since 1990 is as follows: 1990 1991: 17,910
1991 1992: 16,208
1992 1993: 15,120
1993 1994; 12,567
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what grounds for termination of pregnancy were assumed to exist when a service woman was told by the Army that this was one of three options open to her under which her pregnancy need not have required her to be discharged.
Mr. Soames: The provisions of the Abortion Act 1967 apply to service women as well as to their civilian counterparts; and grounds for termination of pregnancy must be within those specified under the Act, as certified by two medical practitioners in accordance with the procedures laid down under the Act. Before the services introduced maternity leave, a pregnant service woman would have had three options other than seeking termination of pregnancy. These were (a) choosing to leave the service on pregnancy, without returning in the near future; (b) seeking re-enlistment after giving birth, having made arrangements as a working mother for the care of her child; (c) seeking re-enlistment after giving birth, having had the child adopted.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many (a) men and (b) women applied for career breaks in his Department or its agencies; and how many have had their employment terminated in the last five years.
Mr. Dorrell: The Department of National Heritage was created only in April 1992 and the Royal Parks agency in April 1993. The Historic Royal Palaces agency was created in October 1989. Within these time frames, the latest available figures show that seven staff employed by my Department and its two agencies have applied for career breaks. All of those who applied were women and none have had their employment terminated.
Mr. Simon Coombs: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how he proposes to encourage the extension of tourism to areas of England which have not significantly benefited from it in the past.
Tourism projects are also eligible for support from the European regional development fund in selected areas and from the single regeneration budget.
Mr. Simon Coombs: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what was the average annual rate of growth in expenditure on tourism in each of the member states of the European Union between 1980 and the latest year for which figures are available.
|Percentage --------------------------------------------- Austria |7.2 Denmark |9.1 Finland |5.3 France |9.7 Germany |4.4 Greece |5.4 Ireland |10.8 Italy |8.4 Netherlands |9.6 Portugal |10.3 Spain |10.1 Sweden |10.2 United Kingdom |5.9 Belgium and Luxembourg |7.0
Separate figures for Belgium and Luxembourg are not available.
Mr. Dorrell: My Department provides funding to the British Tourist Authority which is responsible for promoting international awareness of the United Kingdom as a tourist destination. The BTA undertakes detailed assessments of marketing opportunities abroad. That work has not as yet included an assessment of the potential of Internet.
Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what assessment his Department has made of the loss to the tourism industry within Great Britain of the withdrawal of all Motorail trains and the loss of sleeping car services between London, Carlisle and Fort William, and between Plymouth and Glasgow.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 3 March 1995]: My Department has not made such an assessment. However, the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising will take into account representations on the economic benefits of all ScotRail services in his consultations on the passenger service requirement for ScotRail later this year.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when he intends to set out the framework for the operation of digital television services; and if he will list those representations that he has received on this matter since 14 July 1994.
Mr. Dorrell: We hope to set out later this year the framework that we propose for the operation of digital television services. I have received no representations, but my officials are in touch with the major broadcasters and others who have expressed an interest.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how he plans to ensure quality in independent national radio from 2000 onwards, when the three existing licences will be re-awarded; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: Under the Broadcasting Act 1990, the licensing of independent national radio services is a matter for the Radio Authority, which is required, with respect to the licensing of independent radio services, to facilitate the provision of licensed services, which taken as a whole are of high quality.
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what salary Mr. Roy Tutty will receive for his secondment to the tourism division of the Department; and what will be the cost to the Exchequer of this appointment.
Mr. Dorrell: Mr Tutty's salary is a matter for Forte plc and Mr. Tutty to determine. My Department will make a contribution to his salary equivalent to the amount paid to a civil servant in the grade 5 pay range.
Mr. Dorrell: My Department currently has no budget for children's play. I understand that the NVCCP has submitted an application to the Sports Council trust company for an extension of its present grant in to 1995 96. In relation to funding for children's play from October 1995, I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley) on 2 March 1995, Official Report , column 640 .
Mr. Dorrell: My Department is drawing up plans for a benchmarking initiative, the objective of which is to help accommodation providers to raise both profitability and standards of service. We are working in close co-operation with the Confederation of British Industry on this project. The first step will be to discuss the outline plans with a number of industry representatives, following which I hope to be able to make an early announcement of the full details, including the timetable and methodology.
Mr. Baldry: We expect the World bank to maintain effective control systems--including internal review, internal audit, evaluation and the inspection panel--to ensure adherence to operational policies; and will continue to keep under review the scope for improvements in these systems.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the review of the World bank's revised disclosure of information policy took place as planned; what further improvements the review indicated were necessary; and what measures he is taking to implement improvements.
Mr. Baldry: A report reviewing the World bank's experience in implementing its revised information disclosure policy was completed in January 1995. The report concludes that the bank has made substantial progress, and notes that it is continuing to intensify its efforts in two areas in particular: (i) staff training; and (ii) ensuring that available information is accessible to people in borrowing countries, especially those in project areas. We shall monitor the bank's efforts and make suggestions for improvements as necessary. We welcome the fact that the bank is also drawing on the views of non-governmental organisations to help identify problem areas and possible solutions. The report "Disclosure policy retrospective" is available through the bank's public information centre.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions the Government have withheld funds from any part of the World bank because agreed conditions for disbursal had not been met; if he will give details; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further steps the World bank is taking to evaluate the effectiveness of its poverty alleviation activities; whether the recommendations of previous evaluations have been implemented; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry: The World bank prepares an annual report on progress in implementing its poverty reduction strategy. The most recent report-- "Poverty reduction and the World Bank: progress in Fiscal 1994", which is available through the bank's public information centre--summarises a wide range of activities designed to help the poor, based on the poverty reduction strategy outlined in the World Development Report 1990. The report notes that lack of effective poverty monitoring remains an issue, and outlines efforts under way to address this. It also acknowledges that slippage in the preparation of country poverty assessments needs to be reduced, without sacrificing quality or ownership by borrowers. We shall be reviewing proposals to strengthen the International Development Association's performance in these areas during the 11th replenishment negotiations.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to attach binding conditions for effectiveness in poverty alleviation to any future funding of the International Development Association.
Mr. Baldry: We shall be working closely with other donors during discussions on the 11th replenishment of the International Development Association to agree measures which will enhance IDA's effectiveness and strengthen its focus on poverty reduction, sound economic
Column 131management and environmentally sustainable development.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evaluation has been made by his Department of the effectiveness of the conditions attached to (a) the ninth and (b) the 10th replenishment of the International Development Association.
Mr. Baldry: The World bank prepared annual reports on progress in implementing IDA-9 objectives. It is doing the same for IDA-10, and the first year's review, "The first year of IDA-10: review of the FY94 programme" is available through the bank's public information centre. We consider these reports present a fair assessment of results achieved. They also note where performance has been mixed, for example, preparation of national environmental action plans and poverty assessments and effective poverty monitoring. We continue to work with other donors for more effective implementation by IDA of its policies.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further assessment he has made of the World bank's appraisal of the Arun III hydro power project, including the economic analysis and justification; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry: Before completing our assessment, including reviewing the outcome of the inspection panel's investigation, we need to await a decision by the new Nepalese Government on whether they wish to request International Development Association financing of the project.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will instruct the United Kingdom executive director of the World bank to press for the inspection panel consideration of Arun III to be extended to include proper consideration of alternative schemes.
Mr. Baldry: The World bank board has authorised investigation of the three areas recommended by the inspection panel, namely whether the International Development Association policies and procedures have been observed with respect to environmental assessment, indigenous peoples and involuntary resettlement. The panel did not recommend investigation of IDA's compliance with policies for the analysis of alternatives to Arun III. In the circumstances, we see no case for re-opening the board's decision.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the task force on multilateral development banks was scheduled to start its work; when work started; what has been the ODA's contribution to the work of the task force; what has been achieved; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry: At its meeting on 26 April 1994, the development committee decided to set up a task force to review the development role being played by the multilateral development banks. These are the World bank, the Asian development bank, the African development bank, the Inter- American development bank and the European bank for reconstruction and
Column 132development. Achieving international agreement on the composition and other aspects of the task force took longer than anticipated. The first meeting was held on 6 to 7 December 1994 when a work programme was agreed. The task force will meet a number of times during 1995 and expects to produce its final report about 12 months from now. An interim report will be available to the development committee at its autumn 1995 meeting. The UK representative is a senior ODA official.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he is giving to the statement by the second international affairs conference against the embargo on Iraq on 18 and 19 February, a copy of which has been sent to him.
Our position on sanctions is well known; we believe that there should be no question of lifting sanctions against Iraq until Iraq complies fully with its international obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions.
We will continue to press Iraq to put an end to its cynical exploitation of the suffering of its people by accepting UN offers of oil sales to finance the purchase of humanitarian supplies.
Mr. Baldry: All parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka are well aware of our continued support for a negotiated settlement. We welcome the on- going peace process and stand ready to contribute to the reconstruction of the areas affected by the fighting.
March 6 7: Foreign Affairs Council
March 9: Justice/Interior Council, Environment Council
March 10: Justice/Interior Council, Research
March 13 14: Transport Council
Column 133March 20: ECOFIN
March 27: Social Affairs Council
March 27 28: Agriculture Council
March 30: Consumer Council
March 31: Education Council, Youth Council
The following subjects are likely to be discussed:
6 7 March: Foreign Affairs Council
Racism and Xenophobia
Council Report on the Study Group
Relation with Asia
Relations with Republic of Korea
Relations with Russia
Relations with Slovenia
Mediterranean policy. State of negotiations with Israel, Morocco, and Tunisia. Preparation for Euro-mediterranean Conference
Relations with Turkey
Relations with Malta and Cyprus
Relations with Lebanon
Middle East Peace Process
9-10 March: Justice/Interior Council
Adoption of provisional agenda
Adoption of "A" points
Fight against terrorism: conclusion of seminar on 17 February 1995, and follow up to the Ministerial debate at Informal council on 26 January 1995.
Presidency oral report on the state of work on the Convention Article 2 and annex, remit and objectives
Article 5, rights of access
Racism and Xenophobia
Convention on simplified extradition procedures (Presidency hopes it will be adopted)
Brussels II Convention on enforcement and recognition of judicial decisions in matrimonial matters
Protection of the financial interests of the communities (fraud) Customs Information Systems Convention
EDU (Europol Drugs Unit)
Minimum guarantees for Asylum seekers
Uniform format for visas
Title VI financing
9 March: Environment Council
IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control)
Directive on ambient air quality
Revision to Birds Directive (orientation debate)
Directive on ecological quality of water (orientation debate) Revision to Seveso Directive (orientation debate)
Climate change (draft conclusions)
Preparation for next meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development (draft conclusions)
Protection of the Mediterranean (draft conclusions)
10 March: Research Council
Role of Crest
IMS. Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Agreement