Previous Section Index Home Page


Departmental Running Costs

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were in each year from 1979 to 1994, in real terms, (a) the running costs of his Ministers' private offices, separately identifying expenditure on staff and (b) the running costs of the Department. [15356]

Mrs. Angela Knight [holding answer 15 February 1996]: The costs of the ministerial offices and the running costs of the Department are included in the running costs published in the departmental report.

19 Feb 1996 : Column: 17

PRIME MINISTER

Advertising

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Prime Minister what is the annual cost of the Government's advertising budget for each of the last five years. [15468]

The Prime Minister: There is no central advertising budget. This is a matter for individual Departments.

Out-of-school Activities

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy that every Government Department should produce proposals to ensure that the public and private sectors are able to encourage and, where necessary, provide a wide range of out-of-school activities for 10 to 16-year-olds; and if he will make a statement.[15482]

The Prime Minister: The public and private sectors are already free to encourage or provide out-of-school activities and schools are free to use them, or not, as they wish.

Public Records

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to review the Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967 in regard to the selection of material for retention and release. [15981]

The Prime Minister: The Government have no such plans as their policy on the release or withholding of records under the provision of the Public Records Acts was reviewed in 1992-93. The results of that review were published as chapter 9 of the White Paper on open government, July 1993 (Cm 2290).

Scott Inquiry

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what is his policy towards the correction of answers given to Parliament where civil servants responsible for drafting or Ministers or former Ministers told the Scott inquiry that they were inaccurate. [14904]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 16 February 1996]: If the answers to any parliamentary questions require correction, they are corrected.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Departmental Officials (Vested Interests)

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will arrange to keep a central register of his Department's officials' vested interests. [15179]

Mr. Hanley: Yes. I have arranged for interests declared by members of the diplomatic service to be recorded centrally with immediate effect.

British Council

Mr. Soley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the reduction in services offered by the British Council; and if he will list the countries affected. [14588]

19 Feb 1996 : Column: 18

Mr. Hanley: The British Council is still considering how best to make the necessary adjustments to its programmes and activities following the latest public expenditure round. No decisions have been taken.

Sudan

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what international initiatives are being made to resolve (a) the war and (b) other problems in Sudan. [15412]

Mr. Hanley: The main international initiative to settle the war in Sudan was launched in 1994 by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Drought and Development--comprising Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda--which we have fully supported. At the UN, the UK has been active in securing the passage of resolutions critical of Sudan's human rights record and appointing a special rapporteur. The UN Security Council passed a resolution on 31 January calling on Sudan to hand over to Ethiopia three men suspected of involvement in the assassination attempt of President Mubarak of Egypt last year.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Government of Sudan about the sponsorship of terrorism outside Sudan. [15414]

Mr. Hanley: We have repeatedly raised with Sudan the matter of it harbouring extremist organisation. My right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary expressed our concern to the Sudanese ambassador in September last year. The UN Security Council, under UK chairmanship, unanimously passed a resolution on 31 January calling on the Sudanese Government to desist from engaging in activities of assisting, supporting and facilitating terrorist activities. It also called on them to give up to the Ethiopian authorities three suspects implicated in the assassination attempt on President Mubarak of Egypt.

Rwanda

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on (a) the presence of Rwandan war criminals in Kenya and (b) progress in persuading the Government of Kenya to co-operate with the international war crimes tribunal. [15417]

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has issued four indictments against eight people. It has requested the transfer of three people detained in Belgium and it is due to make a similar request for an unspecified number detained in Zambia. None of these people is believed to be in Kenya.

All countries are required to comply with the tribunal, which was established by Security Council resolution 955 under chapter VII. Judge Goldstone has confirmed that Kenya is co-operating with the tribunal.

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about progress in the return of refugees to Rwanda. [15416]

Mr. Hanley: The United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that about 230,000 Rwandan refugees returned to Rwanda during 1995, leaving

19 Feb 1996 : Column: 19

1.7 million Rwandan refugees in neighbouring countries at 1 January 1996. The UNCHR hopes that up to 820,000 of these will return voluntarily to Rwanda during 1996.

East Timor

Sir Russell Johnston: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions on the issue of human rights in East Timor took place during recent meetings between Ministers of his Department and the Indonesian Foreign Minister. [15730]

Mr. Hanley: Ministers raised our concerns about human rights and East Timor with the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, during his visit to the UK in January.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Nigeria

Mr. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the return of the British ambassador to Nigeria. [15564]

Mr. Hanley: After close consultations, European Union heads of mission returned to Lagos during January, including our high commissioner. He was sent back to reinforce our concerns about human rights and the transition timetable at the highest level.

Mr. Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of potential instability within Nigeria on neighbouring countries. [15565]

Mr. Hanley: We continue to monitor developments closely in Nigeria, including their possible impact on neighbouring countries.

Mr. Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance is currently provided by Her Majesty's Government to west African countries bordering Nigeria. [15566]

Mr. Hanley: Cameroon benefits from a bilateral aid programme, focused on conservation of forestry and biodiversity and totalling some £2.3 million in 1995-96.

Niger, Chad, and Benin also receive UK aid, most notably through the joint funding scheme--£0.41 million in 1994-95.

The UK provides substantial assistance to all four countries through its contributions to multilateral aid, particularly EU aid, of which our share in 1994 was about £22 million.

19 Feb 1996 : Column: 20

Burundi

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what involvement (a) he and (b) British-based non-governmental organisations have in Burundi; and if he will make a statement about the political situation and any international initiatives to improve matters there. [15415]

Mr. Hanley: Britain supports efforts led by the UN, the Organisation of African Unity and regional leaders to promote political dialogue and reduce violence in Burundi. We supported UN Security Council resolution 1040 of 29 January, which requested the UN Secretary-General to consider options for further action. He is due to report by 20 February. We also supported the appointment by the Foreign Affairs Council on 29 January of an EU special envoy for the Great Lakes region, who will work closely with the UN Security-General's special representatives and the facilitators appointed by the Cairo Conference. An EU troika visited Burundi on 12 February, delivering a firm message to leaders there on the need for dialogue and action to prevent further violence.

British NGOs play an important role in ensuring humanitarian aid reaches those in need. Although the level of violence has calmed in recent weeks, we remain concerned about extremist pressures on the power-sharing Government.


Next Section Index Home Page