38. Mr. Darling: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what allocation of funds he has made to Scottish Homes for 1995 96; and what proposals he has to review the way in which that sum is allocated between regions in Scotland. 
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I have approved a development funding programme for Scottish Homes which maintains investment in 1995 96 at the 1994 95 level of over £320 million. The allocation of that programme to Scottish Homes's districts is a matter for Scottish Homes.
Column 267expressed as a proportion of total tax revenue raised in Scotland; and what is the comparative figure for the rest of Great Britain. 
Mr. Kynoch: European Community expenditure cannot be geographically identified on a comprehensive basis. However, in 1992 93, EC expenditure in Scotland in respect of my right hon. Friend's programmes, together with agricultural intervention expenditure and that financed by receipts from the European social fund, is estimated to have been of the order of £370 million. In that year, revenues raised in Scotland from the four main sources--income tax, national insurance contributions, VAT and local government revenues--amounted to some £12.8 billion. For the UK as a whole, total public sector receipts from EC institutions in 1992 93 were some £2.8 billion and the revenues from the four main sources were some £153.7 billion.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I understand that Argyll and the Islands Enterprise and Moyle district council, the sponsors of the project, are at an advanced stage in consideration of the harbour works that would be required to allow this service to operate and have initiated discussions with interested shipping operators.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The site of the existing resettlement unit at Bishopbriggs is one of a number of sites currently being considered as a possible location for a new privately financed prison. No final decisions about the site or about the specification of a new prison have yet been made. Such decisions would require ministerial approval and would be the subject of an application for outline planning permission.
Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many homes in each district and islands area of Scotland are ineligible for grant aid towards the cost of repairs and improvements because of the application of the rateable value threshold for that area; and what proportion of the private housing stock that represents for each area.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Rateable value limits were introduced in 1974 with the intention of excluding from grant assistance some 20 per cent. of homes in each housing authority district. The actual numbers excluded may have varied over time. The limits are not an absolute bar on entitlement to grant. They are waived where local authorities take action on houses in the worst condition or where lead plumbing is to be replaced or levels of radon gas reduced. Neither are they applied for works to adapt a house for a disabled person.
Column 268the proposals to levy 50 per cent. rates on empty commercial property.
Mr. Lang: No. With effect from 1 April 1995, a national non-domestic rate will apply in Scotland at the same level as the unified business rate in England. The valuation methods used at the 1995 revaluation will also now be harmonised across the border and certain express harmonisation measures, for example the rating of plant and machinery, will also take effect on 1 April 1995. The new provisions on the rating of unoccupied property in Scotland are just one of those measures and bring the position into line with that which has existed in England and Wales since 1990.
The Government believe that the net effect of the harmonisation of the Scottish rating system with that in England and Wales will be of great benefit to Scottish business.
Sir David Steel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the effect of the imposition of 50 per cent. rates on empty commercial property on the competitiveness of the firms affected.
Mr. Lang: We have no evidence that the competitiveness of companies will be affected by this measure. Parallel provisions already exist in England and Wales and this is part of the overall process of harmonisation to put Scottish businesses in a similar situation to their competitors south of the border.
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many prescriptions were issued in the Grampian health board area for each of the last five years; and how many were exempt from payment.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The table shows the total number of prescriptions presented for dispensing and the number for which no charge was made. The number of prescriptions issued to patients but not presented for dispensing is unknown.
The number of prescriptions for which no charge was made at the point of dispensing includes items dispensed on presentation of pre-payment certificates.
|Number of |prescriptions for |Total number of |which no charge |prescriptions |made at point of Financial year |dispensed |dispensing ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1989-90 |3,813,054 |3,020,258 1990-91 |3,898,337 |3,111,925 1991-92 |4,007,418 |3,211,843 1992-93 |4,137,204 |3,328,756 1993-94 |4,288,124 |3,497,826
Column 269labour organisations will be affected by his decision to exclude DLOs from tendering for the management and maintenance contracts for the primary route network due to go to tender in September of this year: and how many of them will lose their jobs as a result of this exclusion.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Local authorities are not excluded from tendering for contracts for the future management and maintenance of any part of the trunk road network and, therefore, there are no implications for staff employed by local authority DLOs arising from any exclusion.
Mr. James Douglas-Hamilton: A press release announcing Mr. Stephen P. Newall from Rhu, Dunbartonshire as chairman of the Lomond Healthcare NHS trust was issued on 7 March 1995. He was appointed to the post because of his distinguished track record of leadership in the public and private sectors.
Ms Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if the current 21-hour rule enabling unemployed people to study while receiving benefit will be reduced to 16 guided learning hours when the jobseeker's allowance is introduced in Scotland; what difference there will be in the treatment of unemployed people who take up places in either further or higher education courses, and if he will make a statement. 
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: People claiming jobseeker's Allowance will be able to take part-time courses provided they remain available for and are actively seeking employment. In the case of further education courses, it has been decided that for those funded by the Further Education Funding Council for England, part-time courses will be defined as courses of up to 16 guided learning hours a week. Because the concept of guided learning hours does not apply to Scottish, further education consideration is being given to what similar arrangements will apply in Scotland. They will be designed to ensure that broadly the same number of people benefit from this concession as at present.
For higher education courses, it is expected that the definition of a part- time course will remain essentially unchanged.
Sir Hector Monro: The General Register Office, Scotland, compiles figures for suicide where the occupation of the deceased was classified as farmer, farmer's wife or farm worker. This information for the most recent five years available is as follows:
|1989|1990|1991|1992|1993 ------------------------------------- Number |19 |16 |18 |19 |17
The Scottish Office is working with other agencies to raise the general awareness of conditions associated with suicidal behaviour.
|Area planted Year ended 31 March |(hectares) ------------------------------------------------------------ 1985 |11,021 1986 |11,630 1987 |13,380 1988 |13,129 1989 |12,580 1990 |11,946 1991 |11,137 1992 |11,259 1993 |10,830 1994 |9,289
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Information on the number of new out- patient appointments where the patient failed to attend is shown in the table. Corresponding information is not available centrally for return out- patients.
New out-patient referrals-patients who did not attend Date |Number ------------------------ 1992 |120,054 1993 |132,498 1994 |134,207
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) when the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South can expect a reply from the chief executive of the West Glasgow Hospitals University NHS trust to his letter of 9 February concerning the expenditure of the trust's start-up grant; 
(2) when the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South can expect a substantive reply from the chief executive of the East and Midlothian NHS trust to his letter of 9 February concerning the expenditure of the trust's start-up grant; 
(3) when the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South can expect a reply from the chief executive of the Fife Healthcare NHS trust to his letter of 9 February concerning the expenditure of the trust's start-up grant; 
(4) when the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South can expect a reply from the chief executive of the Edinburgh
Column 271Sick Children's NHS trust to his letter of 9 February concerning the expenditure of the trust's start-up grant; 
(5) when the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South can expect a reply from the chief executive of the Renfrewshire Healthcare NHS trust to his letter of 9 February concerning the expenditure of the trust's start-up grant; 
(6) when the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South can expect a reply from the chief executive of the Stobhill General Hospitals NHS trust to his letter of 9 February concerning the expenditure of the trust's start-up grant. 
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: I understand that the chief executives of the West Glasgow Hospitals University NHS trust, the Edinburgh Sick Children's NHS trust and the Renfrewshire Healthcare NHS trust have not responded to the hon. Member. The chief executive of the East and Midlothian NHS trust, the Fife Healthcare NHS trust and Stobhill NHS trust have indicated that they will reply before the end of March.
(2) if he will list the executive and non-executive directors of each of Scotland's NHS trusts. 
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidelines have been issued to NHS trusts about replying to correspondence from hon. Members with particular reference to the time scale for response. 
Mr. Lang: The relevant procedures are set out in the Cabinet Office publication "Guide on Public Appointment Procedures", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. The recent "Review of Guidance on Public Appointments," published on 6 February and also available in the Library, has recommended a number of changes to make these procedures more effective. The Government have accepted these recommendations and have instructed Departments to implement them, subject to any other changes which may be necessary in the light
Column 272of the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
Mr. Lang: A full list of non-departmental public bodies, nationalised industries and NHS bodies sponsored by my Department at 1 April 1994 is published in the Cabinet Office publication, "Public Bodies 1994", which is available in the Library of the House. A full list of non- departmental public bodies in existence for each year since 1979 is available in the following publications: "Report on Non-Departmental Public Bodies"--Pliatzky report, Cm 7797, January 1980; "Non-Departmental Public Bodies: Facts and Figures 1980"; "Non-Departmental Public Bodies: Facts and Figures 1981"; and "Public Bodies", published annually since 1982. This publication shows the gross expenditure of each body and the amount of that expenditure funded by central government. Copies of these publications are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Lang: A list of the non-departmental public bodies, nationalised industries and NHS bodies sponsored by my Department at 1 April 1994 is shown in the Cabinet Office publication, "Public Bodies 1994", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Lang: Lists have been prepared centrally for each year from 1986 to 1993 of non-departmental public bodies which have been created and abolished. Copies are available in the Library of the House. Such summary data for the years 1979 to 1985 were not prepared and could be reconstructed only at disproportionate cost. Between 1 April 1993 and 1 April 1994, the following bodies were added to the list of Scottish Office- sponsored non-departmental public bodies: Scottish Arts Council, Scottish Further Education Unit, Post Qualification Board for Health Service Pharmacists in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 21 March 1995]: There are certain safeguards within the right to buy provisions to permit local authorities to retain a stock of houses which are required for specific purposes.
Under section 61(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 the right to buy does not apply to groups of houses provided with
facilities--including a call system and a warden service--specially designed or adapted for the needs of elderly or disabled people. These are generally known as sheltered housing.
Section 69 of the Act gives public sector landlords discretion to apply to the Secretary of State for permission to refuse to sell houses with features suitable for
Column 273occupation by persons of pensionable age. Such houses must have facilities which make them substantially different from those of an ordinary house.
An application to purchase may also be refused under schedule 2 to the 1987 Act where the tenant is required to live in the house as a consequence of his employment for the better performance of his duties; or where the house forms part of a building, or comes within the boundaries of another building, which is held by the authority mainly for purposes other than housing.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment the Scottish Office has made of the average profit which is made by an owner-occupier when the owner sells a former council property purchased under the right to buy legislation. 
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 21 March 1995]: The Scottish Office does not collect information on the resale price of former council property. When a former council house is sold, the difference between the right to buy discounted price and the price obtained in a sale on the open market will depend on various factors; including the original level of discount, the marketability of the property, and the state of the housing market at the time.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will indicate for each local authority in Scotland (a) the number of dwellings they currently own, (b) the number of properties sold under the right to buy legislation and (c) the number of properties sold as a percentage of their total housing stock listed in descending order. 
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer21 March 1995]: Information on the number of dwellings owned by local authorities is published in the statistical bulletin HSG/1994/9 "Housing Trends in Scotland--Quarter ended 30 June 1994". Information on the number of local authority dwellings sold to sitting tenants by each local authority, including those sold under the right to buy legislation, is published each quarter in the same statistical bulletin series. The series is available in the House Library.
|Number of Year |new dwellings built ------------------------------------------------------------ 1979-80 |4,818 1980-81 |5,199 1981-82 |3,141 1982-83 |2,222 1983-84 |2,470 1984-85 |2,024 1985-86 |1,880 1986-87 |1,678 1987-88 |2,021 1988-89 |1,818 1989-90 |1,243 1990-91 |987 1991-92 |1,030 1992-93 |580 1993-94 |494
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much revenue the Scottish Office has made available for new house building in each financial year since 1979 80 for each local authority in Scotland. 
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer21 March 1995]: Capital allocations of over £5.9 billion have been issued to local authorities since 1979 80 for investment to meet local housing needs as shown in the table. It is for local authorities themselves to determine how to allocate the resources made available to them between the improvement of their stock and new house building. The annual publication, "Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics", which is held in the Library of the House, provides information on capital expenditure by local authorities on new house building.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money was spent on central administration and policy formulation by his Department in 1993 94; what are the projections for (a) 1994 95 and (b) 1995 96; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lang: Details of my Department's running costs and administrative spending for the years 1989 90 to 1997 98 are contained in table 7.1 of the Scottish Office departmental report, Cm 2814, a copy of which is available in the Members' Library.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money has been spent of preparatory costs for GP fundholders for each health board area in Scotland for each year since the introduction of GP fundholding. 
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer20 March 1995]: The information requested is not available centrally. Health board returns on the money disbursed to support the operational costs of GP fundholders in their area do not differentiate between GP practices who are operational fundholders and those in their preparatory period.
A preparatory fundholding practice is entitled to claim an allowance up to a maximum level--£17,500 in 1994 95. A practice may also claim reimbursement for the installation and other associated costs of computer equipment, which is agreed by the health board as being essential to their participation in fundholding. Finance for this reimbursement expenditure comes from the health board's cash-limited GMS allocation for computer expenditure. It is the responsibility of health boards to monitor the cost- effectiveness of each preparatory fundholding practice's use of such preparatory costs, as
Column 275part of the health board's statutory role in monitoring the overall performance of GP fundholders.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the employment of polling or public survey organisations by his Department during the current and previous financial
Column 276years, on the organisations employed by his Departments, on the values of individual contracts for these services, on the total amounts of money spent and on the purposes of the research undertaken by these organisations. 
Mr. Lang [holding answer 20 March 1995]: The information requested is shown in the table. The fee paid to individual contractors is commercially confidential and therefore cannot be detailed. The total cost of the 40 surveys listed was £1.153 million.
Subject |Period conducted |Contractor |Objectives |commissioned ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Environment Department Survey of Homeless Applicants |June-July 1993 |Public Attitude Surveys Ltd |To examine the operation of the code |of guidance on homelessness. Edinburgh Castle Visitors |May-December 1993 |System Three Scotland |To provide information on visitors to Survey (Historic Scotland) |The Castle, their attitudes to services |and facilities and to identify priorities |for improving these facilities. Baseline study of good practice |1994 |Public Attitude Surveys Ltd |To provide a description of housing in housing management |management practice in Scotland as a |baseline against which to measure |implementation of the tenants |charter. Awareness of Right to Buy and |March-April 1994 |System Three Scotland |To identify tenants' awareness of right Rents to Mortgages |to buy schemes. Public Knowledge and Perception |September 1994 |The MVA Consultancy |To ascertain current public knowledge of Local Government |and awareness of local government, |public perceptions of remoteness |accessibility and their identification |with local government units as a |baseline for monitoring change. Rural Community Development |February 1994 |System Three Scotland |To provide a baseline picture of life in Study |four representative rural areas in order |to monitor change and the impact of |rural policy initiatives. Water and Sewerage |March/August 1994 |Market Research Scotland |To test the comprehensibility of the |design and contents of the information |leaflet; to evaluate recall of the |contents and purpose of leaflet. Sustainable Development |September 1994 |The MVA Consultancy |To investigate public awareness and |understanding of the concept of |sustainable development. Evaluation of GRO-Grants |November 1994- |Centre for Housing |To assess the extent to which |March 1995 |Research and Urban |GRO-grants have met their |Studies, Glasgow |objectives. |University Awareness of Right to Buy and |February 1995 |System Three Scotland |To determine the level of awareness Rents to Mortgages Schemes |among tenants of the RTB and RTM |schemes. Rural Transport Study |March-April 1995 |The TAS Partnership |To establish the type and range of |rural transport options and consider |how they could be pursued more |effectively in rural Scotland. Home and Health Department Survey of users' experiences of |November-December 1992 |MORI Ltd |To measure how well the the NHS in Scotland |commitments in the patients charter |were being delivered and whether the |standards of service met expectations Car Crime |November 1992 |Research Resources |To determine amongst car users the |steps taken to prevent car crime; their |perception of car crime compared |with other crimes; awareness and |effectiveness of the "Hyena" |campaign. Scottish Crime Survey |December 1992- |The MVA Consultancy |Provide alternative indicator of the |December 1993 |level and extent of household and |personal victimisation in Scotland; |provide information about public |perceptions and experiences of crime |and the criminal justice system more |generally. Fire Prevention |February/March 1993- |Research Resources |To measure awareness and |February 1994 |understanding of the television |commercial and assess the impact of |the commercial in motivating |householders to maintain their smoke |alarms. Information Needs of Victims |January-August 1994 |The MVA Consultancy |Collect information on current |provision of information to victims; |provide overview of experience and |needs of victims with reference to |information provided by criminal |justice agencies and identify gaps |between needs and actual provision; |identify what information could |specifically be provided by the fiscal |service and in what form. Domestic Violence Media Campaign |July-December 1994 |System Three Scotland |Assess the extent of public awareness |and comprehension of Scottish Office |domestic violence media campaign. Survey of users' experiences of the |May-June 1994 |MORI Ltd |To measure progress being made in NHS in Scotland |delivering the commitments made in |the Patient's Charter about the |standards of service people should |expect from the NHS in Scotland. European Drug Prevention Week |October 1994 |System Three Scotland |Awareness of EDPW among eight to 1994 |21-year-olds. Fire Safety Week 1994 |Ongoing |Progressive Research |Processing of research on smoke |alarms undertaken by fire brigades |during Fire Safety Week. Maternity Services |October 1992- |Mrs. Yvonne Bostock |To explore women's views on topics |October 1993 |(Independent Consultant) |concerned with the provision of |maternity care in Scotland; to |confirm that CRAG-SCOTMEG |Consumer Group's Interpretation of |the existing research corresponded |with women's views and expectations |of the services; to provide a sound |basis for the group to form |recommendations on women's |expectations of services. Civil Court Users |June-July 1992 |The MVA Consultancy |To establish public perception |of non-judicial aspects of civil business |in the sheriff court. Industry Department Evaluation of "Cars Kill" TV |June-November 1993 |System Three Scotland |To evaluate the "Cars Kill" TV Campaign |campaign through testing children's |awareness and attitudes to this |campaign, and to other related |national road safety campaigns and Hotel Signposting Evaluation |July-November 1993 |The MVA Consultancy |To investigate inter alia whether the |provision of new accommodation |signs improve ease of access for |visitors and guests and to monitor |whether these signs are associated |with an increase in occupancy |rates. Scottish Drivers' Attitudes to |December 1993-June 1994 |Market Research Scotland |To detect any changes in the attitudes Speeding Survey |Ltd |of Scottish drivers towards speeding |since November 1991 and to explore |reasons for these changes. Evaluation of Year of the Elderly |January 1994 (Part 1) |System Three Scotland |To evaluate the effectiveness of the Road Safety Campaign |February-April 1994 |The MVA Consultancy |Scottish Road Safety Campaign's |(Part 2) |initiatives in support of European |Year of the Elderly. Setting Forth: Stated Preference |June 1993 |Oscar Faber TPA |To provide the data necessary to Survey |model the impact of toll increases on |driver behaviour across the Firth of |Forth. An Evaluation of Scotland's National |June-November 1994 |Colin Buchanan and |To evaluate the effectiveness of the Tourist Routes |Partners |national tourist routes in encouraging |a wider spread of tourist traffic, and |to measure the availability of STB |and ATB promotional material |relating to the NTRs. Urban Partnership Household |March 1993-May 1994 |Social and Community |Repeat of household surveys carried Surveys (Wester Hailes, Whitfield, |Planning Research |out in 1989-90 in order to evaluate Ferguslie Park) |the impact of the urban partnerships |now that initiatives are five years |old. Urban Partnership Household |March-May 1994 |Public Attitude Surveys |- Surveys (Castlemilk) Evaluation of Theatre Tours |July 1994-March 1995 |The Scottish Council for |To evaluate the effectiveness of |Research in Education |theatre tours as a medium for road |safety education. Evaluation of "Cars Kill" Cinema |October-December 1994 |Market Research Scotland |To evaluate the Scottish Road Safety Campaign |Campaign's "Cars Kill" advertising |in the cinema. Drivers' Attitude to the new Variable |February/March 1995 |Oscar Faber TPA |To establish the relevancy and Message System on trial around the |effectiveness of the message content Forth Estuary |shown on the VMS which is |currently being trialled around the |Forth estuary. Year of the Young Driver 1995 |January-February 1995 |System Three Scotland |Testing creative development of |advertising scripts. Education Department Further and Higher Education Charter |October-November 1992 |British Market Research |To identify issues of importance to for Scotland |Bureau |current and potential students, their |parents, and the general public to |help shape the priorities of the |charter. School Education |April-October 1993 |Social Community and |To provide information on the |Planning Research |public's attitudes towards, and |expectations of, school education at |senior stages for an international |study under the auspices of the |Organisation for Economic |Co-operation and Development. Agriculture and Fisheries Department Crofting |January-April 1993 |Independent Northern |To obtain information on the |Consultants |aspirations of crofters for the future, |and ways in which the Crofters |Commission may help to meet these |aspirations. Marketing and processing of |June 1994 |Euro Access |To identify whether the successor to agricultural products and related |the rural enterprise programme services in the Highlands and Islands |should include support for marketing |of agricultural products. The study |involved surveys of farmers and |applicants under previous schemes. An evaluation of the Crofting |March-July 1995 |St. Andrew's Economic |To examine the extent to which Counties Agricultural Grants Scheme |Consultants |CCAGS is achieving the objectives |of the Scheme and to provide |information which would help assess |possible policy options for the future. Central Services The Scottish Office Central Enquiry |July-December 1993 |Research Resources |To assess the impact of the press Unit |advertisement on awareness and on |motivating the public to use the |enquiry unit; determining the public's |understanding of the role of the |Scottish Office.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is his policy to support the proposal put forward by the United Nations Development Programme to the world summit for social development, requiring donor states to devote a minimum of 20 per cent. of their development assistance to meeting basic human needs. 
Mr. Baldry: The world summit for social development declaration called for greater efforts to be made, by donors and developing countries, to help meet basic social needs. We welcome this: the whole of the United Kingdom aid programme is about helping people in poorer countries to improve their lives.
Common definitions and measures of "basic social needs" have yet to be established in the international development context--we stand ready to support further work in this area.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the estimates about the number of people in Sierra Leone who have been displaced and the number who have become refugees. 
Mr. Baldry: According to the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs, there are currently 500,000 to 700,000 internally displaced persons in Sierra Leone; in addition it is estimated that, as at the beginning of March
Column 2821995, there were over 200,000 Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea and a further 120,000 refugees in Liberia.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which British aid organisations are still active in Sierra Leone; and which have withdrawn because of the security situation. 
Mr. Baldry: British NGOs still active in Sierra Leone are Action Aid, CARE (UK), Concern Universal, the British Red Cross and the Methodist Church Overseas Division. Christian Aid, CAFOD and Village Aid are providing help through local organisations.
Voluntary Service Overseas and Water Aid have recently withdrawn for security reasons.
Mr. Gary Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance he is giving to the general programmes budget of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in 1995.
Mr. Baldry: My noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development has approved a grant of £6 million for UNHCR's general programmes budget for 1995. The UK is one of the foremost national donors of UNHCR; last year our contributions, both in direct payments and assistance in kind, exceeded £60 million in value, the highest level of contribution ever.