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Shoeburyness Range

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints were received from the public about noise from the Shoeburyness range and locally related facilities in each of the last five years and 1996 to date. [37916]

Mr. Arbuthnot [holding answer 18 July 1996]: This is a matter for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency under its framework document. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Nick Ainger, dated 22 July 1996:



42. Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement on the link between the Church Commissioners and (a) archbishops, (b) bishops, (c) deans and provosts and (d) sub-deans and vice-provosts. [36759]

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Mr. Alison: The 95 Church Commissioners include the two archbishops, the 41 diocesan bishops and five deans and provosts.

The commissioners are required by statute to provide the stipends of the archbishops, diocesan bishops and the dean or provost and two residentiary canons at each cathedral. No distinction is drawn in this respect between a dean or a provost or whether a residentiary canon whose stipend is provided by the commissioners is, or is not, a sub-dean or vice-provost. Under current arrangements, the commissioners also meet the full cost of the pensions of all clergy including those referred to.

The commissioners are by statute responsible for the housing and expenses of all diocesan bishops, including the archbishops. They also accept responsibility for the expenses of suffragan bishops.

Church Halls

43. Mr. Corbyn: To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, representing the Church Commissioners, how many church halls and community facilities have been disposed of in the past five years; and if he will make a statement. [36760]

Mr. Alison: The Church Commissioners do not have responsibility for the disposal of church halls or community facilities. There are no central records of such disposals.


Aid Agencies

36. Mr. Goodson-Wickes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent consultations he has had over the regulation of aid agencies. [36788]

Mr. Hanley: We are in regular touch with aid agencies, but we have had no recent consultations over the regulation of aid agencies.

Central Europe

37. Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what responsibilities he has for aiding and assisting the economies of the countries of central Europe. [36789]

Mr. Hanley: The Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Upminster (Sir N. Bonsor), and my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development have responsibility for assistance to central European countries in transition, through the know-how fund, our emergency aid to Bosnia and our contributions to multilateral programmes of assistance.


Mr. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current level of (a) total aid provided by Britain to Zambia and (b) programme aid provided by Britain to Zambia. [38403]

Mr. Hanley: In 1995-96, estimated expenditure on the British bilateral aid programme to Zambia was £29 million. Of this, £10 million was programme aid.

22 Jul 1996 : Column: 92

Britain also provided substantial aid via the multilateral agencies, including the European Community, the World bank, and the UN agencies. Valuable assistance is also provided through the investments of the Commonwealth Development Corporation.

Mr. Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the provision of aid to Zambia; what conditions are attached to the granting of such aid; and if he will make a statement. [38402]

Mr. Hanley: Our aid programme to Zambia addresses four key objectives: economic reform, direct assistance to poor people, human development--health and education--and good government. A country aid policy statement is available in the Library of the House. Each project will support specific action towards these ends. We have not provided programme aid this financial year, pending resolution of concerns over economic and governance issues in Zambia.

Conference of Cambodian Donors

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the recent conference of Cambodian donors and the role of the British delegation. [38222]

Mr. Hanley: The outcome of the Cambodia consultative group meeting was successful. Along with the leading donors--Japan, the World bank and the Asian development bank--the UK and other bilateral donors secured commitments from the Royal Government of Cambodia in the fields of human rights and economic policy, including steps to combat illegal logging, while donors pledged their continuing support for Cambodia's development.

The RGC committed itself to implementing the recommendations on forestry policy made by the World bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation and requested international experts and advisers to assist it in this process. In addition, the RGC stated its willingness to appoint a reputable international company to verify the export of logs and ensure transparency and accountability of revenues.

The RGC also committed itself to the democratic process, a free mass media, the rule of law and combatting corruption. Most donors, including the UK, in pledging further aid, made it clear that they expected to see further progress in these areas. The widespread presence of donors and non-governmental organisations in Cambodia and the UN centre for human rights in Phnom Penh--to which Britain has provided financial support--we will help to ensure the monitoring of progress.


Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what level of assistance is currently being made available to the people of Liberia; and by what means it is being distributed. [38104]

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Mr. Hanley: Latest reports from the United Nations indicate an easing of the security situation throughout Liberia, enabling agencies such as the World Food Programme, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Caritas to allocate and distribute sufficient food and medical supplies to currently accessible areas of Monrovia and its environs, plus Montserrado, Margibi and Bong counties. Basic needs are being addressed.

Since May 1995, the UK has provided over £3.3 million in emergency relief to Liberia through non-governmental organisations, UN agencies and the International Federation of the Red Cross.

West Bank and Gaza Strip

Lady Olga Maitland: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance he has given to date to help Palestinians on the west bank and the Gaza strip. [36781]

Mr. Hanley: Since the signing of the declaration of principles on 13 September 1993, total British bilateral assistance for the west bank and Gaza is estimated at £12 million. Additionally, we are providing one sixth of the EC's 500 mecu--£417 million--programme over five years and contributing to the support of Palestinian refugees through the EC and by directly contributing £6 million annually to the UN Relief and Works Agency.

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