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Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what tenders his Department has put out to convert its information technology systems to be euro compliant; what are the cost and person hours required to convert the systems to handle the euro; and when he expects his Department's systems to be fully economic and monetary union compliant. 
Mr. Hanley: None. This Department's information systems already handle transactions in many currencies. Whether or not the United Kingdom participates in the third stage of EMU, we will modify them accordingly, within the appropriate time frame. The costs cannot yet be determined.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will offer a financial contribution to the United Nations working group on arbitrary detentions to enable it to visit Bahrain to undertake investigations. 
Sir Nicholas Bonsor: The working group on arbitrary detention has not requested a visit to Bahrain, but if such a request were made, we would expect it to be financed from within the working group's existing resources.
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Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Government of Bahrain concerning human rights; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jeremy Hanley: The Government deplore all abuses of human rights, wherever they take place. We have discussed human rights issues with the Government of Bahrain at ministerial and official levels on numerous occasions. During my visit to Bahrain in June 1996, I discussed human rights with the Amir, the Prime Minister and the Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government will make representations to the Government of Bahrain on the need to bring the Bahrain legal code into line with international judicial norms, with special reference to adding the right to appeal against death sentences. 
Mr. Hanley: The Government of Bahrain are aware of our concern that, in accordance with international standards, those facing the death penalty should be guaranteed protection of certain rights, including the right of appeal to a court of higher jurisdiction. This is separate from any plea for clemency to the Amir which defendants may make.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Government of Bahrain concerning the detention of women and children and the need to observe the UN convention on the rights of children. 
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Bahrain regarding the death sentences passed by the Bahrain state security court on Ali Ahmad Abed Al-Usfur, Yusif Hussein Abd Al-Baqi and Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Al-Katiab. 
Mr. Hanley: Ali Ahmad Abed Al-Usfur, Yusif Hussein Abd Al-Baqi and Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Al-Katiab have been convicted of burning to death seven Bangladeshi nationals. Provided international standards are complied with, the decision whether to maintain and implement the death penalty is a matter for each state. I refer the hon. Member to my previous reply.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has for the future constitutional relationship between Her Majesty's Government and the five remaining Caribbean dependent territories; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Nicholas Bonsor: In the light of recent experience, the Government have examined actual or potential problems in the five Caribbean dependent territories. Considerable improvements are being made in the administration of the territories and their good government. However, it has become clear that some extension of those powers which may be exercised by Her Majesty's Government may be needed. We will take this into account in our continuing discussions with each of
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the five Governments concerned and make any changes if and when necessary. We attach importance to our continuing friendship and close co-operation with the territories in the interests of their well-being and future prosperity.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the recent adoption by the European Union of a common position on the supply of arms to Afghanistan. 
Dr. Liam Fox: On 17 December, following a British initiative in support of the UN's efforts to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan, the EU adopted a common position concerning the imposition of an embargo on arms, munitions and military equipment on Afghanistan. The embargo covers contracts entered into prior to the adoption of the embargo. The EU will also make efforts to encourage other countries to adopt a similar policy of restraint. In accordance with the EU embargo, Her Majesty's Government will not normally issue a licence for the export of any item listed in part III of schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended--military, security and para-military goods and arms, ammunition and related material--often described as the military list. We will continue to consider on a case-by-case basis all export licence applications. From time to time, the contents of the military list may change, for example, to reflect technological advances or continuing international efforts to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
20. Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many children gained entrance to higher education courses in (a) the current year, (b) 1987 and (c) 1979; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson: The number of young Scots entering higher education has more than doubled since 1979. The age participation index, a measure of the number of under-21-year-old entrants as a proportion of
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21. Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make an official visit to Hawick to discuss the economic and social regeneration of the town; and if he will make a statement. 
24. Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what additional resources he plans to make available to Greater Glasgow health board to meet the demands faced by acute hospitals during the winter period. 
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My right hon. Friend announced on 9 December that an extra £15 million is being distributed to health boards this year in part to help reduce pressures likely to arise over the winter. Of this total, Greater Glasgow health board will receive £2,863,000.
26. Sir David Steel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government with respect to triggering of the Bellwin scheme for exceptional weather conditions in the borders region during the winter of 1995-96; and if payments will be forthcoming from the scheme relating to the claims submitted by Scottish Borders council. 
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The Bellwin scheme was triggered for severe weather during December 1995 and January 1996 on 4 August. Claims from councils throughout Scotland, including those submitted by the Scottish Borders council on behalf of the former councils, are currently being assessed for eligibility under the scheme and, where appropriate, payments under the scheme will be made as soon as possible.
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