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Brazilian Mahogany

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what amount of Brazilian mahogany has been (a) acquired and (b) specified by her Department in (i) 1996 and (ii) 1997; and for what purpose. [28387]

Clare Short: No Brazilian mahogany has been acquired or specified by the Department for International Development in 1996 or 1997.

Development Education

Mr. Bill Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans her Department has to recognise and support development education at a local level. [28234]

Clare Short: We attach great importance to strengthening our work in promoting development education and public awareness of development issues in the UK. Our strategy in this area will consider carefully the many different potential channels and partners for delivering our objectives, including at a local level. Local level groups will also be well represented on the new Development Awareness Working Group, which will advise us on our work in this area.

EU Aid

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with her EU partners, concerning aid to (a) India, (b) Nepal, (c) Sri Lanka, (d) Pakistan, (e) Afghanistan, (f) Bangladesh and (g) other South Asian countries. [27946]

Clare Short: I have had discussions with EU partners about Afghanistan on which a common position was agreed at an early stage of the Presidency on 26 January. In particular, I discussed women's rights with Emma Bonino, EC Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs when the Commissioner visited London last month.

In respect of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, my officials maintain regular contact with EU partners in Brussels, in other development forums and particularly in-country, both in the context of general donor co-ordination and in relation to specific projects and sectors.

Congo

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what initiatives she has taken to encourage the regulation and auditing of mining investment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [28966]

Mr. Foulkes: We continue to work closely with the World Bank as they seek to agree policy and economic frameworks with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which will ensure the environment needed to encourage private investment. In my own discussions with DRC Government Ministers, I have emphasised the importance of efficient and effective Government regulation wherever appropriate.

SCOTLAND

Further Education Colleges

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to improve the openness and accountability of the funding of further education colleges. [22270]

Mr. Wilson: We have completed over the last 8 months a thorough review of the way further education colleges are funded, followed by a widespread consultation with the further education sector on proposed changes to that methodology. The process itself has been conducted in an open and accountable way, with representatives of the colleges being involved at all stages, and our intention is that the end product will be a system which is as open and accountable as possible.

Housing

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list for each year since 1978-79 the total amount of (a) public and (b) private money invested in public housing in Scotland in 1996 prices. [22399]

Mr. Macdonald [holding answer 12 January 1998]: The table contains information about the public resources invested in public housing in Scotland since 1978-79 1 . No private finance has been invested in the housing stock while in public ownership.

Year£ million
1978-79941.162
1979-80862.723
1980-81724.993
1981-82645.207
1982-83652.726
1983-84691.379
1984-85540.998
1985-86563.097
1986-87612.002
1987-88789.684
1988-89698.059
1989-90773.050
1990-91717.613
1991-92635.933
1992-93576.777
1993-94570.991
1994-95575.924
1995-96612.738
1996-97432.000

(2) The term 'public housing' is taken to mean housing owned by local authorities, Scottish Homes (formerly the Scottish Special Housing Association), and the New Town Development Corporations. This does not therefore include investment by the Housing Corporation (pre-1989) and by Scottish Homes (since 1989) in housing association stock, in the private rented sector and in housing for sale. All amounts are in £ million at 1996-97 prices.


Queen's Counsel

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many advocates are QCs; and what percentage of the Scottish Bar this represents. [27833]

Mr. McLeish: 141 advocates are QCs, which represents 23 per cent. of the Scottish Bar.

9 Feb 1998 : Column: 23

Farm Incomes

Mr. Alan W. Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the average net annual income for farmers in Scotland from 1989-90 to 1996-97. [28282]

Mr. Macdonald [holding answer 6 February 1998]: Results from the Annual Survey of Farm Accounts in Scotland, averaged across all farm types are set out in the table.

£ per farm
YearNet farm income
1989-9014,915
1990-9114,143
1991-9210,706
1992-9314,974
1993-9416,559
1994-9521,151
1995-9623,707
1996-9719,482

HOME DEPARTMENT

Prisoner Transfers

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long each transfer of prisoners to the Republic of Ireland has so far taken to complete; if he will list the stages in the transfer operation for which he is responsible; and what targets he has set for each stage and for the total average transfer time. [27409]

Ms Quin: Since 1 November 1995, 26 prisoners have been repatriated from England and Wales to the Republic of Ireland. Each case took the following number of days respectively to complete: 379, 764, 203, 779, 379, 379, 412, 764, 807, 757, 794, 196, 185, 178, 179, 178, 178, 555, 612, 644, 425, 618, 331, 463, 79, 316.

Because each case is considered on its individual merits, and circumstances vary from case to case, it is not considered appropriate to set targets for the completion of individual stages in the repatriation process. As a second jurisdiction is also involved in the consideration of repatriation applications, it is similarly inappropriate to set a target for final completion.

The United Kingdom authorities are initially responsible under the terms of the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons for obtaining and collating relevant documentation required in support of each repatriation application, and where a particular request appears to meet the requirements of the Convention, for referring it to the receiving jurisdiction.

If the other jurisdiction agrees to receive the prisoner, the United Kingdom is responsible for ensuring that the prisoner's sentence will continue to be enforced in the receiving jurisdiction, and for deciding whether to agree to the transfer. The United Kingdom is then responsible for providing the prisoner in writing with the details of the basis on which repatriation will take place, for obtaining the prisoner's written consent to repatriation, and for forwarding this to the receiving jurisdiction.

9 Feb 1998 : Column: 24

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for prisoner transfer to the Republic of Ireland have been withdrawn or resolved without a transfer. [27412]

Ms Quin: Fifty-three applications for repatriation to the Republic of Ireland submitted by prisoners in England and Wales have been withdrawn or resolved without a transfer.

Young Offenders Institutions

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Castle Point (Mrs. Butler) of 22 January 1998, Official Report, columns 639-40, (1) if he will publish the available evaluation in respect of the relative effectiveness of the experimental regime at Colchester Young Offenders Institution against other initiatives; and with which initiatives the experimental regime at Colchester Young Offenders Institution has been compared; [26289]

Ms Quin: At 20 January 1998, 36 young offenders had completed their sentence at Colchester Young Offender Institution, and information to date indicates that, of those, one is known to have been reconvicted. The reconviction rates for Colchester and Thorn Cross will not be available for some time. Home Office statistics indicate that 73 per cent. of male young offenders (ages 17-20) who were discharged in 1993 were reconvicted within two years. The cost per place is based on dividing the running costs by the certified normal accommodation (CNA) for the establishment. The CNA for Colchester, Thorn Cross High Intensity Training and a typical Young Offender Institution are 32, 72 and 363 respectively.

It is our intention to publish the study of the experimental regime at Colchester Young Offender Institution carried out by the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge when it is complete.


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