Mr. Rooker: To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many employees of each department of the House have an annual salary greater then (a) hon. Members and (b) the lowest paid Minister of the Crown.
Department |(a) |(b) ------------------------------------------------------------ Speaker's Office |1 |1 Clerk's |47 |36 Serjeant's |7 |5 Library |15 |8 Finance and Administration |8 |3 Official Report |15 |4 Refreshment |3 |1
Mr. Rooker: To ask the Lord President of the Council how many right hon. and hon. Members have failed to lodge contracts of employment at the Fees Office for employees paid by the Fees Office from the office costs allowance; and how many employees are affected. 
Mr. Newton: There are 24 right hon. and hon. Members who have failed to lodge contracts of employment with the Fees Office for employees paid from the office costs allowance and 59 current employees are affected.
Column 302have been made to date to applicants from Ashfield; and how much money was awarded in each case. 
Mr. Sproat: There has been one award to date to an applicant from Ashfield. The Millennium Commission has awarded £587,500 to Brierley Forest Park, a project which covers Ashfield and Mansfield. This award is for the reclamation of 125 hectares of derelict land to create woodland, landscape and wetland areas for recreation and education.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) what steps she, or any body accountable to her, is taking to ensure effective co-ordination of transport services within London serving permanent, or temporary, sites of millennium
(2) what criteria in respect of the purpose, content and similarities or otherwise to its predecessors of 1851 and 1951 the Millennium Commission has been set by Her Majesty's Government or has been set for the applicants seeking to operate the site of the proposed millennium exhibition. 
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [holding answer 16 October 1995]: This is a matter for the Millennium Commission. I shall reply to the hon. Member in my capacity as chairman of the commission and place copies of my reply in the Libraries of the House.
The Prime Minister: This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Prime Minister what further representations he has had from the Royal British Legion in relation to its campaign for an ex-service affairs unit in Whitehall; what replies he has sent; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Prime Minister which members of Her Majesty's Government met General Pinochet during his recent visit to London; and what effort was made to condemn the regime he presided over in Chile from 1973 to 1990. 
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Prime Minister how many civil servants, including special advisers, were involved in the recent campaign in official time or in their own time for the election of the leader of the Conservative party and for which candidate; and what are the normal working hours of these civil servants. 
The Prime Minister: Special advisers taking part in political activities, such as the election for the leader of the Conservative party, are required to do so during leave or in their own time in addition to fulfilling their normal duties. In these circumstances, it is not appropriate to give details of those involved. Special advisers normally work a five-day week of 41 hours including meal breaks, which is standard for civil servants in the London area.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent actions have been taken by British representatives at the UN concerning the abuse of human rights in Guatemala. 
Sir Nicholas Bonsor: The UK, together with our EU partners, co- sponsored a resolution at the UN General Assembly on 14 September to extend the UN human rights verification mission, MINUGUA, for a further six months. The vital role being played by MINUGUA was underlined by the mission's swift production of a preliminary report into the disturbing incident on 5 October in which an army patrol opened fire on a group of returned refugees. The independent expert of the UN Commission on Human Rights was also present in the country at the time; the UK has consistently supported extension of Ms Pinto's mandate at successive sessions of the commission. The UK has consistently urged both the Guatemalan Government and the URNG guerrillas to reach a peaceful settlement to the dispute between them, which would help to bring an end to human rights abuses.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations have been made to the Government of Guatemala concerning human rights abuses, the operation of the Truth commission and legal processes against alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses. 
Column 304have demanded an immediate investigation into the massacre and the punishment of those guilty of it.
The British ambassador in Guatemala takes every appropriate opportunity, individually or through the EU, to express to the authorities the concern felt by the British Government and people about abuses of human rights.
At a British suggestion, the EU raised with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister our unhappiness at the circumstances surrounding the death of Reverend Saquic Vasquez. We shall press for a satisfactory outcome to the work of the Truth commission when it is set up on the signing of a final peace agreement.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings have been held with human rights groups in Guatemala by the British embassy in each of the past five years; and which groups were involved. 
Sir Nicholas Bonsor: So far this year, the embassy has held meetings with eight groups concerned with human rights. In several cases, more than one meeting has taken place. The groups include UNHCR--United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees--MINUGUA--United Nations observer force--Ninos Refugiados--refugee children--Christian Aid, Peace Brigades International, Casa Alianza and the Toybox charity--street children--Centre for Human Rights Legal Action and the Central American Human Rights Committee.
In addition, the embassy has taken part in EU discussions with a number of other human rights groups. The embassy maintains regular contact with the Guatemalan procurator for human rights as a matter of course. Meetings with these human rights groups and others have taken place at various times over the last five years.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor: No special facilities were accorded General Pinochet during his recent visit other than the customary VIP courtesy facilities at the airport on arrival and departure extended to all Heads of Foreign Defence Service. Under the Chilean constitution, General Pinochet is commander in chief of the Chilean army.
(2) what restrictions have been put on the use of the Treasury building if it is sold; 
(3) if he will list the expressions of interest in purchasing the Treasury building which have been received so far. 
Outright sale of the freehold is not currently envisaged. It would be inappropriate to list all the expressions of interest at this time, as the selection of a short list of candidates is currently taking place.
Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment his Department has made of the cost implications for small businesses of the recommendations of the Wood committee report on the rating of plant and machinery. 
Sir Paul Beresford: The Wood committee estimated that its recommendations would reduce aggregate rateable value by up to 0.5 per cent. in England and Wales. Their implementation, in the 1995 non-domestic revaluation, will have tended to increase rates bills for some properties and reduce them for others, but the effects are not distinguishable from those of the revaluation as a whole.
Mr. Corbett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what applications he has had for financial assistance towards the development of national exhibition facilities in London's east end from private developers. 
Mr. Corbett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy in respect of the provision of financial assistance towards the development of national exhibition facilities in London's east end by private developers. 
Sir Paul Beresford: I am aware of only one such proposed development for a site in the London docklands which is being pursued as a private finance initiative. There will be no public subsidy for this project. It will go forward only if the market considers it a viable proposition.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment if he will make a statement on the accident that occurred at Thoresby colliery, Nottinghamshire on 12 October; what steps have been taken to identify the cause of the accident and lessons to be learned from it; and when the interim report of the mines inspectorate might be published. 
The investigation into the case(s) of the incident has already began. It is being undertaken by the HSE's inspectorate of mines. Until this is complete and the findings known it would be inappropriate to speculate. Any recommendations that are made as the result of the investigation will be acted upon.
Column 306Reports of investigations are not normally published and it is not planned to do so in this case. However, I will write to the hon. Member for Sherwood when the investigation has been completed. The coroner will, of course, be conducting an inquest into the accident and this will be open to the public.
Sir Paul Beresford: Information for individual mines is not produced. Statistics for the industry are produced as an aggregate figure and published in the Health and Safety Commission annual report, copies of which are placed in the House Library. Figures for the first quarter January to March 1995 have not been validated and will not be confirmed until HSC's annual report is published in November 1995 at which stage they will appear in an aggregate table for the year. Figures for the second quarter April to June 1995 will not be available until November 1996.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the (a) public, (b) business and (c) community bodies which have been consulted regarding the strategic review of Customs and Excise offices in the north-west of Scotland; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: Customs has not consulted the public, business or community bodies regarding its strategic review of offices in the north- west of Scotland. Customs staff in these offices are largely involved in intelligence gathering and the prevention of drug smuggling and it would not be in the public interest for customs to discuss its plans in detail.
There is no intention to erode the current level of trade facilitation given to business and ports in north-west Scotland. There will be consultation on this once the review has been completed.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The offices listed were closed in the period between 1 April 1990 and 1 October 1995. Because records are kept on the basis of the financial year, data are not available for the three months from January to March 1990. The operational and administrative functions in the offices closed were relocated either to new accommodation acquired for these functions or to existing departmental accommodation.
|Offices ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern Ireland Belfast |Corporation Square Aughnacloy |102-104 Moore Street Omagh |12 Holmview Terrace Kilkeel |Coast Preventative Office Coleraine |Adelaide Avenue Belleek |681 Loughshore Road Newtownbutler |Station Road Belfast |Waterguard Office Armagh |9 Monaghan Road Ballymena |38-54 High Street Omagh |Campsie Road Strabane |Railway Road Warrenpoint |Harbour Estate Belfast |9-15 Bedford Street Belfast |Head Post Office Belfast |185-189 Lisburn Road Portavogie |Harbour Masters Office Londonderry |Meadow Bank Belcoo |Main Street Breandrum |Belfast Road England Wolverhampton |Chapel Ash Stafford |Eastgate Street Dudley |Wolverhampton Street Birmingham |Rednal Dover |Terrapin Export Freight Shed Folkestone |EPU Folkstone |Custom House Rye |Custom House Ramsgate |Custom House Canterbury |50 New Dover Road Dover |Port Services Block Whitstable |1st Floor Over Public Toilets Canterbury |Park House Maidstone |Lower Stone Street Ashford |Tufton Street Hastings |Selecombe Road Rye |Harbour Office Dover |Marine Car Hall Dover |EPU Dover |Transit Shed A Dover |Preventive Freight Lane Dover |Townwall Street Dover |Southern House Dover |Hoverport Offices Dover |Room 44 Control Building Burnham |Quayside Colchester |Portal House Harwich |Eastern Station Harwich |Western Station Harwich |CRV Harwich |Navy Yard Wharf Harwich |Train Ferry Terminal Chelmsford |11-23 Springfield Road Colchester |Wellington House Colchester |Harbourmasters Office West Mersea |Lookout Hut Burnham on Crouch |Quayside Ipswich |Dock Head Brightlingsea |Waterside Ipswich |Wherstead Road Great Yarmouth |North Quay Burton on Trent |Crown House Chesterfield |St. Marys House Castle Donington |Boarding Office Castle Donington |Freight Office Sheffield |Church Street Sutton in Ashfield |Freight Terminal Felixstowe |Tomline House Grimsby |Excise Garage Grimsby |Custom House Royal Dock Grimsby |Bacon Terminal Derby |LOE Midland Road Grimsby |Provincial House Worksop |Copthall House Sheffield |3-7 Charter Row Mansfield |Queen Street Scunthorpe |Oswald Road Nottingham |CIU Garage Stanmore |Canons Park Woolwich |Woolwich Arsenal Southend on Sea |Baxter Avenue Liverpool |Wilberforce House Bootle |Daniel House Bootle |St. Johns House Liverpool |Richmond House Salford |New Bailey Street London |Harmsworth House Goole |Stanhope Street Leeds |Boar Lane Leeds |Park Place Leeds |7 Eastgate Liverpool |157 Regent Road Crewe |Wistaston Liverpool |North Dock Island Liverpool |Pier Head Blackpool |Terminal Building Lytham St. Annes |St. Georges Road Bootle |North Quay Runcorn |Docks Lancaster |Mitre Yard Chester |Northgate Street Hayes |236 Nestles Avenue Heathrow |Hounslow Gatwick |Room 30 Concorde House Gatwick |Rooms 3341-3344 Heathrow |Jubilee Way Heathrow |Building 139 Heathrow |Building 581 Heathrow |Building 520 Heathrow |Building 501 Heathrow |Hangar No. 3 Heathrow |Queens Building Heathrow |Building 558 Heathrow |Building 552 Heathrow |South Perimeter Road Stansted |Old Terminal Romford |250 Main Road Romford |Normanhurst Dartford |Ferry Terminal Romford |Crown Building West Thurrock |Translink House Woodgrange |Park House Stanford-le-hope |Shell Haven Stratford |Central House Dartford |Dartford International Grays |Station Masters House Tilbury |East of Tidal Basin Stratford |LIFT Gillingham |Gillingham Gate Cheadle |Carrs Road Bolton |Bradshawgate Accrington |Oak Street Blackburn |Ainsworth Street Manchester |17-21 Chorlton Street Wilmslow |Church Street Urmston |Barton Dock Road Bedford |Goldington Road Kettering |North Park Leicester |31-33 Millstone Lane Peterborough |Fletton Avenue Northampton |Cliftonville Road Hartlepool |Avenue Road Seaham |Seaham House Blyth |Ridley Street Newcastle |Cale Cross House Darlington |Thornlea Hartlepool |Bovis House Kendal |Highgate Carlisle |London Road Plymouth |Millbay Road Plymouth |North Street Dartmouth |Bayards Cove Plymouth |Royal Parade Launceston |Western Road Brixham |Sub Centre Yeovil |19 Hendford Salcombe |Whitestrand Quay Watchet |Harbour Road Southampton |Cougar Marine Southampton |206 Berry Christchurch |Mudeford Quay Southampton |Green Lane Southampton |204 Berry Southampton |Depot Newport |High Street Reading |95-107 Southampton Street Abingdon |Milton Trading Estate Abingdon |Peachcroft Shopping Balham |Steel House Kennington |Kennington Park Road Westminster |Tufton Street London |Shaftesbury Avenue Kingsway |Africa House Southwark |Keyworth House Euston |Woburn Place Sunderland |West Sunniside Birkenhead |Price Street Birkenhead |Vittoria Dock Eastham |QE II Dock Fleetwood |Fish Market Kirkby |Newtown Gardens Liverpool |Derby Square Oldham |Oliver Street Preston |London Road Worthing |Teville Gate Cosham |High Street Brighton |Old Cottage Brighton |Preston Road Eastbourne |Trinity Trees Poole |Custom House Poole |CFT Yarmouth |The Quay Eastleigh |Airport Redhill |Queensway House Redhill |Tower House Maidenhead |Marlow House Maidenhead |Thames House Hull |Alexandra Dock Hull |King George East Dock London |Clements House London |Tavis House London |Northgate House Scotland Edinburgh |9 St. Andrew Square Kirkcaldy |High Street Edinburgh |Waterguard Office Stirling |Corn Exchange Road Dundee |Dock Street Perth |Jeanfield House Broxburn |East Mains Industrial Estate Elgin |Gordan Street Methill |Dockhead Dundee |49 North Lindsay Street Elgin |15 High Street Dundee |Victoria Road Grangemouth |Grange Dock Keith |Mid Street Hamilton |Barrack Street Inverness |Academy Street Campbeltown |Lochead Street Greenock |Princes Pier Coatbridge |Whifflet Dumbarton |High Street Dumfries |147 High Street Glasgow |Parcel Office Rothes |Breich Street Fraserburgh |Office Grangedock |Portakabin Alloa |Drysdale Street Buckie |Queen Street Aberlour |Elchies Road Aberdeen |Sinclair Road Blair Atholl |Distillery Cameron Bridge |Distillery Glenlossie |Distillery Miltonduff |Distillery Glenlivet |Distillery Wales Holyhead |Vehicle Compound Holyhead |Custom House Caernarfon |North Penrallt Swansea |Waterguard Office Pembroke Dock |Ferry Terminal Barry |Barry Dock Cardiff |Roath Basin Bridgend |Angel Street Wrexham |Rhosddu Road Mostyn |Dock Office
Mr. Jack: Immunity from direct taxation is accorded to income and gains beneficially owned by foreign Heads of State and their Governments. This treatment has its origins in a principle of international law, which has been recognised by successive Governments in this country.
There is no immunity from Customs and Excise duties and taxes.
Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the informal Council meeting of the Economic and Finance Ministers and central bank governors of the European Union held in Valencia on 30 September. 
Mr. Kenneth Clarke: The Governor of the Bank of England and I represented the UK at an informal meeting of the Economic and Finance Ministers and central bank governors of the European Union held in Valencia 30 September.
The meeting was devoted almost exclusively to discussion of economic and monetary union and, in particular, to various issues that the Council was asked to consider by the Cannes European Council, including the reference scenario for the transition to a single currency. It was agreed that further work would be needed in the run-up to the Madrid European Council.
The Council also considered the terms of European investment bank lending to Palestine.
Column 311The Council discussed the US proposal to establish a middle east development bank and decided that it required more work.
Mr. Clarke: I represented the United Kingdom at the Economic and Finance Council of the European Union in Brussels on 18 September. The Council considered Sweden's convergence programme under article 103/3. It discussed the format of the report on employment to be submitted to the Madrid European Council.
The Council had a preparatory discussion about its meeting with Finance Ministers of the central and east European countries on 23 October, which will consider the financial services in those countries and the need for further report.
The Council considered the constraints imposed on Community lending to third countries by the loan guarantee fund. The guarantee fund covers the European investment bank, Euratom and macro-economic lending. I argued that there should be no relaxation of the budgetary discipline imposed by the mechanism. No decisions were made and the Council will return to this issue at a later date.
The Council adopted, by qualified majority voting, the cross-border payments directive, which seeks to improve the transparency and efficiency of payments made between member states. I made it clear that, although we support the principle of the directive, the UK opposed the proposed limits to the scope of the directive and the proposed separate limits on the level of payments which would extract the money-back guarantee in the event of loss. I noted that this weakened the protection which the directive would give to small businesses and private individuals when making cross-border payments. The UK accordingly abstained in the vote.
Over lunch with the Finance Ministers of the EFTA nations we discussed unemployment and in particular approaches to tackling youth unemployment.
It is clear from the report that the ROPA scheme is fully living up to expectations. It encourages academic researchers to collaborate with industry on strategic research, and it provides responsive-mode funding for them to carry out undirected, curiosity-driven research of their own choosing.
Over the two years, there has been an excellent demand for ROPA awards with a total of 1,521 applications, resulting in 719 awards having been made, worth a total of some £71.1 million over the lifetime of the projects.
ROPA scheme applicants have stated that they are involved in basic or strategic research projects funded by industry or commerce to the value of about £260 million. This in itself is a tribute to the excellence and relevance of much of the science and engineering based and industry's appreciation of it.
The Government are committed to the need to ensure excellence in research. ROPA awards have gone to some first-rate scientists and departments to fund some innovative research projects. An analysis in the report shows that across all research councils, of those ROPAs which went to university departments within the scope of the 1992 research assessment exercise, 67 per cent. went to departments rated 4 or 5--the top two ratings--compared to 65 per cent. for councils' other grants. It also shows that the success rates of applicants to ROPA was about 47 per cent. overall, which is consistent with the range of success rates for councils other schemes--some 20 to 60 per cent.
The scheme has been widely welcomed both by industry and by academics. The evaluation contained in the report shows that the scheme has been successful and has justified its introduction.
Mr. Corbett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what applications he has had for financial assistance towards the development of national exhibition facilities in London's east end from private developers. 
Mr. Corbett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his policy in respect of the provision of financial assistance towards the development of national exhibition facilities in London's east end by private developers. 
Mr. Horam: The information available centrally covers 96 per cent. of the home civil service. Of these, on 1 April 1995 some 1,800 staff or 0.4 per cent. were in receipt of a full-time equivalent gross salary in excess of £50,000 per annum. Information for other public sector employees is not available centrally.
|Community Year ended 31 March |psychiatric nurses ------------------------------------------------------------ 1991 |18 1992 |21 1993 |21 1994 |20 1995 |20
Dr. Hendron: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many community psychiatric nurses have been employed on temporary contracts in north and west Belfast in each of the past five years; 
(2) how many community psychiatric nurses are currently employed on temporary contracts within north and west Belfast.