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Temporary Contracts

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what positions in (i) his Department and (ii) all executive agencies for which his Department is responsible are filled by employees who are employed on temporary contracts of (a) 51 weeks or (b) fewer than 51 weeks duration.


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Mr. Hague [holding answer 15 March 1995]: As at

1 January 1995, there were no staff employed on temporary contracts of 51 weeks. The available information for those employed on contracts of fewer than 51 weeks is in the table. More precise details of the positions held could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


                     |Clerical,                                                  

                     |secretarial and    |Executive and                          

                     |support grades     |professional grades                    

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department of Social                                                             

  Security           |5,068              |137                                    

Executive Agencies   |5,008              |108                                    

Notes:                                                                           

1. Part-time staff are counted as half-units and totals are rounded to whole     

units.                                                                           

2. Numbers of staff employed in the executive agencies are included in the       

departmental figures.                                                            

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) for this year and each of the past five years, how many employees in (i) his Department and (ii) all executive agencies for which his Department is responsible who have been employed on temporary contracts of (a) 51 weeks or (b) fewer than 51 weeks duration are re-employed in the same or similar position at a later date; (2) how many employees in (i) his Department and(ii) all executive agencies supervised by his Department have been employed on temporary contracts of (a) 51 weeks or (b) fewer than 51 weeks duration for this year and each of the past five years, in each case specifying what percentage of the respective total work force these employees constitute.

Mr. Hague [holding answer 15 March 1995]: The information requested for the period prior to April 1993 and concerning staff who have been re-employed is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

There were no staff employed on temporary contracts of 51 weeks as at 1 April 1993, 1 April 1994 or 1 January 1995. The available information is in the table.


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Staff employed on temporary contracts of fewer than 51 weeks                                                                                  

                               1 April 1993                    1 April 1994                    1 January 1995                                 

                                              |Percentage of                  |Percentage of                  |Percentage of                  

                              |Number         |total workforce|Number         |total workforce|Number         |total workforce                

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department of Social Security |2,729          |3.0            |3,176          |3.4            |5,205          |5.5                            

Executive Agencies            |2,637          |3.0            |3,123          |3.5            |5,116          |5.6                            

Notes:                                                                                                                                        

1. Part-time staff are counted as half units and totals are rounded to whole units.                                                           

2. Numbers of staff employed in the executive agencies are included in the departmental figures.                                              

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Lenient Sentences

32. Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Attorney-General what opportunities he foresees for further expansion of the system for prosecution appeals against over-lenient sentences.      [12980]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General's power to review a sentence was recently extended to cover cases


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of serious fraud. All the most serious offences tried in the Crown court, which are those that give rise to greatest public concern, are now covered.

Combat 18

36. Mr. Madden: To ask the Attorney-General what discussions he has had with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the head of the Crown Prosecution Service relating to prosecution policy concerning Combat 18.      [12984]


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The Attorney-General: I frequently meet the Director of Public Prosecutions. Cases with a racial element are discussed as and when they arise.

38. Mr. Janner: To ask the Attorney-General if he has now received a report from the Metropolitan police concerning Combat 18.      [12986]

The Attorney-General: No. A report will be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service by the Metropolitan police once they have concluded their inquiries.

Barings Bank

37. Mr. Skinner: To ask the Attorney-General what recent meetings he has held with the Serious Fraud Office to discuss Barings bank.      [12985]

The Attorney-General: I frequently meet the director of the Serious Fraud Office to discuss matters of departmental interest, including particular cases.

Asil Nadir

29. Mrs. Roche: To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement about the case of Asil Nadir.      [12987]

The Solicitor-General: A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Asil Nadir. The Crown is ready to proceed as soon as he returns or is returned to the jurisdiction.

Public Interest Immunity

Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Attorney-General what changes he has made in his policy for advising on public interest immunity certificates since the prosecution of directors of Matrix Churchill.      [12982]

The Attorney-General: Any advice in relation to public interest immunity is based on the law as it stands at the time that advice is given.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Security Forces

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to reduce the present numbers of security forces in Northern Ireland while IRA weapons are still outstanding; and if the release of prisoners will be negotiable.

Sir John Wheeler: Adjustments in the level of military support to the Royal Ulster Constabulary are based solely on the operational judgment of the Chief Constable and the General Officer Commanding. On the basis of their advice my right hon. and learned Friend was able to announce on 14 March the relocation to Great Britain of one of the two additional units deployed to Northern Ireland in 1992. The unit and its intended successor will be ready to deploy fully trained at short notice should the need arise.

The decommissioning of arms is required in its own right and cannot be linked to prisons or other unrelated issues. We have made it absolutely clear that there is no question of an amnesty. There are no political prisoners in the United Kingdom and those who have committed crimes must serve their sentences according to law.


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Telecommunications

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans exist to cut off British Telecom (Northern Ireland) from the rest of the United Kingdom network and allow it to stand alone as a separate business entity.

Mr. Ancram: I am not aware of any such plans, which would be a matter for the board of British Telecom.

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has for British Telecom (Northern Ireland) to be one of the first private sector companies to be established as a cross-border utility with joint Government-Executive influence.

Mr. Ancram: None.

Brucella Melitensis

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cases of brucella melitensis were reported in each year since 1985.

Mr. Ancram: Brucella melitensis has never been recorded in Northern Ireland.

National Continence Day

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has had regarding the forthcoming National Continence Day; and if he will make a statement;      [14230]

(2) what financial support he has given and will be giving to National Continence Day; and if he will make a statement.      [14232]

Mr. Moss: No representations have been received about National Continence Day. The Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland is funding a freephone helpline and arranging publicity for National Continence Day. Health and social services boards in Northern Ireland will be distributing information leaflets, and continence advisers will be manning stands at shopping and health centres throughout Northern Ireland to support the campaign, raise awareness of this condition and encourage sufferers to seek advice and treatment.

DEFENCE

War Widows

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the number of living post-1973 war widows who have at any time been in receipt of an attributable forces family pension.

Mr. Soames: This information is not available. An attributable forces family pension ceases on death or remarriage and we have no record of whether those whose pensions ceased on remarriage are still living.

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many post- 1973 war widows in receipt of an attributable forces family pension have subsequently remarried, in each year for which figures are available.

Mr. Soames: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the number of living post-1973 war widows currently in receipt of an attributable forces family pension.

Mr. Soames: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 16 March, Official Report , column 719.

Royal Flight

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions in 1993 94 the royal flight was used by (a) members of the royal family, (b) Ministers, and (c) others.

Mr. Soames: During financial year 1993 94, the Queen's flight was used by the royal family on 968 occasions; by Her Majesty's Government Ministers on 89 occasions; and on 21 occasions by other VIPs, such as visiting foreign dignitaries.

Water and Sewerage

Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the cost of his Department's expenditure on water and sewerage in (a) the current year and (b) each of the three previous years.

Mr. Freeman: The statistics sought are not held centrally and could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

RAF Recruitment

Sir John Cope: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of potential pilots recruited into the RAF in each of the last five years had university air squadron experience;

(2) how many potential pilots were recruited into the RAF in each of the last five years.

Mr Soames: The information requested is contained in the table below:


                     |Total Number of     |Total               |Percentage                               

                     |recruits who entered|former              |former                                   

Financial Year       |pilot training      |UAS                 |UAS                                      

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1994-95              |70                  |57                  |81                                       

1993-94              |74                  |52                  |70                                       

1992-93              |116                 |65                  |56                                       

1991-92              |170                 |68                  |40                                       

1990-91              |254                 |95                  |37                                       

University Air Squadrons

Sir John Cope: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total cost of the university air squadrons in each of the last five years showing (a) the cost of staff, (b) the cost of aircraft, (c) the cost of airfields and (d) other costs.

Mr. Soames: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

Sir John Cope: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flying students joined university air squadrons in each of the last five years; and how many completed initial flying training with such squadrons.


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Mr. Soames: Information on the number of undergraduates who joined the university air squadrons as flying members is only available for the last three years, and is as follows:

Financial year 1992 93: 348

Financial year 1993 94: 346

Financial year 1994 95: 404

Information for earlier years could only be provided at disproportionate cost. The total UAS student pilot establishment is 725.

Records are not maintained centrally on the number of UAS students who successfully complete the entire UAS flying syllabus. However, of those ex- UAS pilots who enter initial officer training each year, it is assessed that historically around two thirds will have successfully completed the UAS flying syllabus.

In the future, the UASs are committed to train all potential pilots up to a common standard for entry into basic flying training in the Royal Air Force.

Railway Wagons

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what military purpose his Department requires to purchase 27 45-tonnes pallet vans and 40 modified container flat wagons, as set out in contract number PDS1A/29; what consideration has been given to leasing or hiring such equipment; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman: The railway wagons will be used at Army base ammunition and ordnance depots for movement of stores both within the depots and to deliver to other customers via the main line railway system. They are needed as part of the modernisation of the Army's wagon fleet and to meet the increasingly exacting health and safety at work regulations.

In producing these wagons, full consideration was given to the options of leasing or hiring but the best value for money for the taxpayer will be achieved in this case by permanent ownership.

Lobbying Companies

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when representatives of his Department last had a meeting with representatives from (a) PPAI International, (b) Lowe Bell Communications, (c) GJW Government Relations, (d) the Conservative Research Department, (e) Shandwick Consultants, (f) Ian Greer Associates Ltd., (g) the Market Access Group, (h) Westminster Strategy and (i) Barrington Jay and Company; and if he will give the subject of each meeting.      [14339]

Mr. Freeman: There is no central record of any meetings between my officials and representatives of the companies listed.

Newspaper Announcements

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list, by type and number, the announcements placed by his Department in (a) The Times, (b) the Daily Telegraph, (c) The Independent and (d) other publications in the last 12 months for which information is available.      [14341]


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Mr. Soames: Announcements concerning events, functions and the like may be sent to newspapers, both from my Department's headquarters and from establishments and commands. It is then a matter for individual newspapers whether they publish the information provided.

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent listing official engagements in newspapers in each of the last five years for which figures are available.      [14340]

Mr. Soames: It is not my Department's practice to pay for listing official engagements in newspapers. Press releases and announcements are sent to newspapers, which will decide for themselves what they choose to publish.

Overseas Posts

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 20 February, Official Report, columns 87 88 , how much his Department spent on (a) pay, (b) allowances and (c) equipment and support costs for (i) services attache s, (ii) defence advisers and (iii) support staff in each overseas post for the last year in which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.      [14345]

Mr. Soames: The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 20 February, Official Report, columns 87 88, if he will give the official annual entertainment allowance currently at the disposal of service attache s and defence advisers in each overseas post; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames: The current official entertainment allowance at the disposal of defence staff in each overseas post is given below.


Annual Accountable Entertainment Allowance (AEA)                    

                                  |AEA                              

                                  |for year 1994-95                 

Capital          |Country         |(Sterling)                       

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Abu Dhabi        |UAE             |10,998                           

Accra            |Ghana           |7,239                            

Algiers          |Algeria         |4,198                            

Amman            |Jordan          |12,976                           

Ankara           |Turkey          |6,152                            

Athens           |Greece          |18,016                           

Bangkok          |Thailand        |4,902                            

Beirut           |Lebanon         |3,560                            

Belgrade         |Yugoslavia      |10,343                           

Berne            |Switzerland     |8,190                            

Bogata           |Colombia        |9,675                            

Bonn             |Germany         |27,319                           

Brasilia         |Brazil          |9,885                            

Bratislava       |Slovakia        |5,000                            

Bridgetown       |Barbados        |6,099                            

Brussels         |Belgium         |13,348                           

Bucharest        |Romania         |3,500                            

Budapest         |Hungaria        |5,899                            

Buenos Aires     |Argentina       |22,755                           

Cairo            |Egypt           |16,188                           

Canberra         |Australia       |15,115                           

Caracas          |Venezuela       |8,604                            

Copenhagen       |Denmark         |8,307                            

Damascus         |Syria           |5,004                            

Dhaka            |Bangladesh      |5,011                            

Dublin           |Irish Republic  |6,296                            

Guatemala City   |Guatemala       |4,660                            

The Hague        |Netherlands     |24,677                           

Harare           |Zimbabwe        |6,888                            

Helsinki         |Finland         |11,790                           

Islamabad        |Pakistan        |8,254                            

Jakarta          |Indonesia       |5,824                            

Kampala          |Uganda          |5,746                            

Kathmandu        |Nepal           |3,160                            

Kiev             |Ukraine         |4,811                            

Kingston         |Jamaica         |4,474                            

Kuala Lumpur     |Malaysia        |8,328                            

Kuwait City      |Kuwait          |4,476                            

Lagos            |Nigeria         |10,836                           

Lisbon           |Portugal        |7,082                            

Madrid           |Spain           |16,641                           

Mexico City      |Mexico          |6,883                            

Moscow           |Russia          |21,958                           

Muscat           |Oman            |13,762                           

Nairobi          |Kenya           |5,160                            

New Dehli        |India           |9,725                            

Nicosia          |Cyprus          |7,698                            

Oslo             |Norway          |11,608                           

Ottowa           |Canada          |15,594                           

Paris            |France          |56,985                           

Peking           |China           |7,778                            

Prague           |Czech           |8,198                            

Pretoria         |South Africa    |6,150                            

Rabat            |Morocco         |7,914                            

Riga             |Latvia          |2,000                            

Riyadh           |Saudi Arabia    |21,281                           

Rome             |Italy           |27,816                           

Santiago         |Chile           |8,455                            

Seoul            |South Korea     |14,338                           

Singapore        |Singapore       |12,928                           

Sofia            |Bulgaria        |4,566                            

Stockholm        |Sweden          |26,408                           

Tel Aviv         |Israel          |14,746                           

Tokyo            |Japan           |33,064                           

Vienna           |Austria         |8,377                            

Warsaw           |Poland          |6,126                            

Washington       |USA             |224,400                          

Wellington       |New Zealand     |8,076                            

Zagreb           |Croatia         |4,000                            

Public Relations

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 14 December 1994, Official Report , columns 666 67 , if he will list the publications produced by his Department's public relations section in (a) 1991 92, (b) 1992 93 and (c) 1993 94; and what was the cost of each, the number of copies produced, the number distributed, whether any charge was made and the level of each charge.      [14338]

Mr. Soames: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 14 December 1994, Official Report, columns 666 67, if he will list by title the films made by his Department's public relations section in (a) 1991 92, (b) 1992 93 and (c) 1993 94; and if he will give the cost of each.      [14344]


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Mr. Soames: Films and videos produced by the Department's headquarters public relations staff are as follows:

1991 92

Britain in NATO

Insurance for Peace

RN in the Gulf

Keeping the Coasts Clear

Freedom of the Seas

RN Presentation Team Film

RAF Presentation Team Film

1992 93

Green Forces

Low Flying

Changing Horizons and Ship Class Videos

Sound of Silence

1993 94

Protecting through Science

Field Gunners

The individual cost of each film or video is a commercially sensitive matter but overall the cost was just over £700,000.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many meetings have taken place in the last two years between representatives of his Department and Conservative hon. Members to discuss procurement decisions; and if he will give (a) the date, (b) the subject and (c) the names of the Ministers and hon. Members attending.      [14343]

Mr. Freeman: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Manadon

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to complete the sale of the Royal Navy's engineering school at Manadon, Plymouth.      [14342]

Mr. Soames: The marketing campaign for Manadon is proceeding satisfactorily and prospective purchasers have been asked to submit details of their proposals and a financial offer by 26 April. It is too soon to say when assessment of the bids will be completed, but we aim to achieve a sale which will allow a smooth transition from naval to civilian use.


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