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FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Iran and Saudi Arabia (Unpaid Debts)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia in respect of the problem of non-payment and late payment for medical products exported to these countries by Smith and Nephew. [5241]

Mr. Hanley: Smith and Nephew has not approached us about their payment problems with Iran. But the ECGD are dealing with both pre and post-revolutionary insured debt repayment matters in Iran. Current commercial debt claims by United Kingdom creditors are being administered through Credit Suisse in London.

Our embassy in Riyadh has addressed with the Saudi Government the question of payment arrears, particularly for medical supplies, including payments owed for deliveries from Smith and Nephew. A number of outstanding payments have issued in 1995, but considerable sums remain outstanding and our embassy continues to seek early payment of the remainder.

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Mr. Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from (a) Smith and Nephew and (b) other United Kingdom manufacturers about the difficulty of securing payments for goods exported to Iran and Saudi Arabia. [5242]

Mr. Hanley: We have not received any representations from Smith and Nephew or other manufacturers about securing payment from Iran.

We have not had any approaches from Smith and Nephew about Saudi Arabia, but the company informed my right hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Mr. Needham), the then Minister of Trade, in June of its debt problem with Saudi Arabia. We have also had approaches from a number of other United Kingdom manufacturers. Some have been paid; most, like pharmaceutical companies, which supply on a regular basis, have been paid some of their older outstanding debts but one is still about a year in arrears.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many civil service personnel in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are located in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland. [5106]

Mr. Hanley: At 1 April 1995, the latest date for which data are available, the figures were:

Number
England3,327
Wales0
Scotland475
Northern Ireland0

Diplomatic Missions, Scotland

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) nationality and (b) location of each diplomatic mission located in Scotland; and what representations he has received regarding the closure of these missions. [5107]

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: There are no diplomatic missions located in Scotland; there are, however, 84 consular posts representing 37 countries.

Mohammed Rafiq

Mr. Hinchcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the outcome of his immigration appeal in Leeds on 16 August 1995; and when Mohammed Rafiq will be allowed to enter the United Kingdom to join his wife. [4996]

Mr. Hanley: Mr. Rafiq's appeal was successful and he has now been medically cleared. Entry clearance will be granted on application to the high commission at Islamabad.

Russian Visitors' Visas

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what quota system the British embassy in Moscow applies for the approval

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of visitors' visas for Russian applicants hoping to come to Britain. [5376]

Mr. Hanley: There is no quota system. Each application is considered on its merits by an entry clearance officer and in accordance with the requirements of the immigration rules.

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total number of Russian visitors' visas granted in the current year to date. [5378]

Mr. Hanley: In the first 11 months of 1995, the British embassy in Moscow issued 86,085 United Kingdom and Commonwealth-dependent territory visas, of which 84,315 were UK visa issues for Russians. During that same period, the British consulate general in St. Petersburg issued 15,164 UK and Commonwealth-dependent territory visas, of which 15,147 were UK visa issues for Russians.

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria are used by the British embassy in Moscow to determine which visitors' visa applications from Russian citizens are approved. [5377]

Mr. Hanley: Entry clearance officers at the British embassy in Moscow consider all visa applications in accordance with the requirements of the immigration rules, as is the case at all our entry clearance issuing posts overseas.

Consultants

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total cost to date of consultancy payments made to firms in relation to work carried out to develop his Department's plans for the proposed sell-off of its housing stock. [5379]

Mr. Hanley: No payments have been made to date in relation to such work.

High Commission Buildings

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent on the residence of the former British high commissioner in Kiribati on (a) the sub-lease, (b) ground rent and (c) fixtures, fittings and furnishings since the property was acquired on 31 March 1984. [5484]

Mr. Hanley: The information is as follows:


Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the residence of the former British high commissioner in Kiribati is to be handed over with fixtures, fittings and furnishings still in place; and if he will make a statement. [5485]

Mr. Hanley: All fixtures, fittings and furnishings of any value have been removed for use elsewhere.

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Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what use the former British high commissioner's residence in Kiribati is to be put after handover to the Kiribati Government; and if he will make a statement. [5486]

Mr. Hanley: This will be for the Government of Kiribati to decide.

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the locations of British high commissioners' residences overseas; which buildings are sited on foreign Government-owned land and sub-leased to the British Government on terms similar to the Kiribati property; and if he will make a statement. [5487]

Mr. Hanley: A list of the locations of British high commissioners' residences is given in "A". A list of those sited on foreign Government-owned land and sub-leased on terms similar to those for the high commissioner's residence in Kiribati is in list "B".


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    Location of residences sited on foreign Government-owned land and sub-leased on terms similar to those for the High Commissioner's residence in Kiribati.
    Accra
    Banjul
    Canberra
    Dhaka
    Honiara
    Islamabad
    Kampala
    Lusaka
    Nuku'alofa
    Port Moresby
    Vila.

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the British high commissions that have closed in the last five years; how each property has been disposed of; what was the original purchase price and the sale price obtained for each property where appropriate; and if he will make a statement. [5488]

Mr. Hanley: The only high commission to have closed in the last five years is that in Kiribati. The high commission offices have been transferred to the Overseas Development Administration. It is intended that the former high commissioner's residence should be handed over to the Government of Kiribati. Details of the cost of sub-lease purchase and ground rent are in my earlier answer.


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