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HMS Cavalier

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what export licences (a) currently apply to HMS Cavalier and (b) have been applied for; [24416]

Mr. Fisher: If HMS Cavalier were to be exported from the UK it would first require an export licence from the Department of Trade and Industry. Depending on its value, it might also need one from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. It is not yet clear whether the vessel requires an export licence from my Department since there is no firm value for the ship. Whether or not licences have been applied for is commercially

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confidential information. If it is decided that a licence from my Department is required, HMS Cavalier will be subject to the normal considerations as to whether one should be granted or the decision deferred.

Film Festivals

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the film festivals (a) he and (b) the Minister for Film and Tourism have attended since 1 May 1997. [25550]

Mr. Chris Smith: I have attended the Cannes and London film festivals since 1 May 1997. My right, hon. Friend the Minister for Film and Tourism has attended the Cannes, Venice, Edinburgh, Dinard, London, Bristol and Sundance film festivals.

Ministerial Engagements

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many official engagements the Minister for Sport has undertaken since his appointment (a) in London and (b) outside London. [22669]

Mr. Banks: Since my appointment as Sports Minister, I have attended 81 official engagements in London, and 23 official engagements outside London.

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Of the engagements attended: 45 are speaking engagements at conferences, photocalls and launches of sports centres, 15 are official lunches and dinners, nine are engagements which involve the disabled, 17 are awards ceremonies and 18 are attendance at various sporting occasions.


Racial Incidents

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, by police area, the number of reported racial incidents in 1989 and each year since 1994 for which figures are available. [24664]

Mr. Michael: Racial incidents figures are submitted by each police force to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary at the end of each financial year. The incidents are recorded under the Association of Chief Police Officers' definition of a racial incident:

The information requested is given in the table:

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The number of racial incidents reported to each force in 1989 and each year since 1994

Avon and Somerset71159286318310
City of London016210
Devon and Cornwall314447382
Greater Manchester40658637776595
Metropolitan Police2,6975,1245,4805,0115,621
North Wales12354
North Yorkshire622303743
South Wales94400517443357
South Yorkshire52115156194169
Thames Valley128166233266233
West Mercia6100354664
West Midlands169487375489725
West Yorkshire306244254355623
England and Wales total5,04411,00611,87812,22213,151
Provincial total2,3475,8826,3987,2117,530

(5) Until 1993-94 figures were submitted to HMIC every calendar year.

(6) The figure for Hampshire in 1989 is not known.

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It is difficult to be precise about the extent to which rising figures may be partly due to the increasing willingness among ethnic minority communities to report these incidents and an increasing confidence that the police take these matters seriously. Police forces are also taking steps to increase the reporting rate of racial incidents taking place and to discover when and where they are taking place and on whom. Such developments are also likely to be influencing both public confidence and the number of offenders reported.

Internet (Racially Inflammatory Material)

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the use of the Internet for the promotion of anti-semitic propaganda. [24661]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government deplore the distribution--via the Internet or any other medium--of anti-semitic or racially inflammatory material.

Material passing over the Internet is subject to the same laws, providing that it falls within our jurisdiction, as material being distributed by other means. The Public Order Act 1986 makes provision to deal with material which is threatening, abusive or insulting and intended or likely to stir up racial hatred.

Animal Experiments

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what experimentation procedures are undergone by animals classified as experiencing the most severe category of suffering and pain. [24418]

Mr. George Howarth: Information on the assessment of severity is provided in the Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, sections 4.4 to 4.20. Section 4.11 states that:

The assessment of severity is a complex matter, as it involves not only the type of procedure involved but the effect of any measures that can be taken to reduce suffering--the use of analgesics or anaesthesia, for example.

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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many animals were classified as experiencing the most severe category of pain and suffering during animal experiments in each of the last three years. [24417]

Mr. George Howarth: Figures for the number of animals which suffer adverse effects in each of the severity bandings are not collected.

The number of projects classified as being of substantial severity is published annually in the report of the Animal Procedures Committee. Of the 3,869 project licences in force on 31 December 1996, 66 (1.7 per cent.) were classified as being substantial. The figures for 31 December 1997 are currently being collated.

Not all animals used in substantial projects will, however, suffer substantial adverse effects, and some animals used in projects classed as being of mild or moderate severity may suffer substantial adverse effects. Section 4.14 of the Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 explains that:

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) announced and (b) unannounced visits have been made by inspectors to Porton Down under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 for each year from 1990 to date. [24833]

Mr. George Howarth: The number of visits (a) to the Chemical and Biological Defence (CBD) establishment at Porton Down, (b) to Departments within CDB that were by appointment and (c) to Departments on an unannounced basis were as follows:


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