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OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Export Licences

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at what stage of the special procedure which was used in respect of the sale of police and security requirements an export licence application was made; by whom the application was made; and at what stage of the procedure the decision to grant a licence was decided. [11834]

Dr. Liam Fox: Where the export of goods is prohibited without an export licence, such a licence must be obtained from the Department of Trade and Industry before the goods may be exported.

Bahrain

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will review the procedure by which the Bahrain Public Security Directorate was able to buy a proportion of its police and security requirements through the Crown Agents; and on how many occasions similar procedures have been used in respect of other countries. [11804]

Dr. Liam Fox: The functions of the Crown Agents when acting as agents for the procurement of goods and services are set out in the Crown Agents Act 1979. The Government have laid down no special procedures for purchases for Bahrain. Crown Agents have operating procedures which apply to all their work as agents. An indication of the extent of this work and the clients involved is given in the Crown Agents' annual report and accounts, copies of which are in the Libraries of the House.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) the police

22 Jan 1997 : Column: 613

and security requirements provided to Bahrain through the Crown Agents and (b) the British companies which supplied the goods and services. [11833]

Dr. Fox: The Crown Agents provide services to the Government of Bahrain on commercial terms; provision of information about specific goods and services is a matter for the Crown Agents' clients.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assurances were (a) asked for by the UK Government and (b) given by the Government of Bahrain that the equipment supplied through the special purchase procedure will not be used for internal repression. [11806]

Dr. Fox: The Crown Agents' functions when acting as agents for procurement of goods and services are set out in the Crown Agents Act 1979. Where the export of goods is prohibited without an export licence, the Government would not licence equipment assessed as likely to be used for internal repression.

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the procedure which enabled the Bahrain Public Security Directorate to buy police and security equipment through the Crown Agents began; and if the arrangement still exists. [11805]

Dr. Fox: The British Government have specified no special procedure for purchases for Bahrain. The Crown Agents have always acted as procurement agents for overseas principals. Their powers to do so are currently set out in the Crown Agents Act 1979; that Act is still in force.

Police, Security and Paramilitary Bodies

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which police, security and paramilitary bodies have enjoyed similar arrangements in the last 10 years with Crown Agents to that enjoyed by the Government of Bahrain; and which bodies continue to enjoy such arrangements. [11835]

Dr. Liam Fox: A list of Crown Agents' clients is published each year in the Crown Agents' annual report and accounts, copies of which are in the Libraries of the House.

Yemen

Sir Robert Hicks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what requests the United Kingdom Government have received from (a) the Yemen Government, (b) the Aden port authority and (c) other organisations (i) to tender for projects and (ii) to assist (1) financially and (2) technically with the Aden port redevelopment programme; and if he will make a statement. [11684]

Dr. Liam Fox: The United Kingdom Government have received no requests to tender for projects. All requests for technical assistance are channelled through the Government of Yemen.

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In 1995 the Overseas Development Administration provided assistance to the Government of Yemen in evaluating competing proposals for the development of the Aden container terminal. In late 1996, the ODA received a request for assistance in undertaking an impact study including preparation of programme specifications for the future of the port development programme. Consultants began their work on this assignment in early January.

The Aden port and free trade zone development project is a large commercial undertaking where the lead is predominantly taken by the private sector company Yeminvest. The World bank is providing limited assistance to the Yemeni authorities on the public sector aspects of the project. ODA grant-funded consultancies form an important part of the planning phase of this project.

Sir Robert Hicks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the United Kingdom aid programmes to Yemen during the current financial year for (a) bilateral and (b) multilateral aid indicating the amount of funding; and if he will make a statement. [11685]

Dr. Fox: Figures are not yet available for expenditure in this financial year, but the outturn is expected to be similar to 1995-96.

The bilateral programme is funding the Liverpool Port Consultancy Portia to undertake an impact study and preparation of programme specification on Aden port. Other activities this year include British partnership scheme funded projects. These range from support for the electronic engineering faculty at Hadramawt university and for the Central Statistical Office to English tuition at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ODA also commissioned an appraisal of the Al Gamhouria hospital in Aden. This assignment was completed in the first half of 1996. The balance of the budget for this year is meeting the cost of continuing postgraduate education commitments in the UK. Following very heavy flooding in eastern Yemen in May and June, the ODA funded nearly £500,000 of emergency assistance which was delivered through the Red Crescent and other non-governmental organisations.

Figures are not available for multilateral aid expenditure in this financial year. In the past six years, approximately £22 million--UK share £5 million--has been committed by the EC in the form of economic and development assistance to Yemen. It is expected that commitments and disbursements should continue at roughly the same level and pace over the next two years.

Sir Robert Hicks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list for each year since 1991 the total aid support for Yemen, indicating the amount spent on (a) bilateral aid, (b) emergency aid, (c) pensions and (d) the United Kingdom contribution to multilateral aid programmes. [11683]

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Dr. Fox: Aid to Yemen since 1991 has been as follows:

Total aid to Yemen 1990-91--1995-96

pound; thousand
1990-911991-921992-931993-941994-951995-96
Total bilateral aid(6)5,2964,9847,7074,0534,4101,477
of which:
Emergency aid----7489672--
Pensions488461434518371887

(6) Source: British Aid Statistics 1996 edition.


£ million
19901991199219931994
Total multilateral aid(7)233.32.72.4
of which:
EC0.20.21.00.60.4
UN0.50.50.70.30.5

(7) Source: Multilateral share exercise.


FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Child Care Facilities

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Ministers are entitled to use child care facilities supported by his Department. [11593]

Mr. Hanley: Yes, although we are not aware of any Minister ever having made a call upon this service for his or her children.

Gibraltar

Mr. Colvin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those European Union countries that have refused to accept Gibraltar-issued identification cards as valid travel documents between EU countries. [11817]

Mr. David Davis: Spain is the only EU member state to have notified the United Kingdom formally of its refusal to accept Gibraltar identity cards as travel documents within the EU-EEA.

Mr. Colvin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response the Spanish Government have made to his Department about the validity of British dependent territories passports used by Gibraltar citizens for travel between Gibraltar and Spain. [11816]

Mr. Davis: The Spanish Government's response to our request for clarification of their position does not meet our concerns. My right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary will therefore be raising this issue when he meets the Spanish Foreign Minister in Madrid on 22 January, and he will be looking for a cast-iron assurance that the Spanish Government will continue to accept British passports issued in Gibraltar.

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Mr. Colvin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what will be on the agenda for the meeting between himself and the Foreign Minister of Spain on 22 January, under the provisions of the 1984 Brussels agreement. [11818]

Mr. Davis: The issue of passports will be high on the agenda. My right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary will be looking for a cast-iron assurance that the Spanish Government will continue to accept British passports issued in Gibraltar. We also expect the scope for greater cross-border co-operation to be discussed.


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