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Sierra Leone

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at what time and on what date he first saw a copy of the letter addressed to the Foreign Secretary from S. J. Berwin & Co. on behalf of Sandline International dated 24 April. [42129]

Sir George Young: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he was first informed of the existence of the Customs and Excise investigation into the involvement of Sandline International in operations in Sierra Leone; [42317]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 18 May 1998]: The first my Private Office knew of the existence of the Customs and Excise investigation into the involvement of Sandline International in operations in Sierra Leone was the afternoon of Friday 24 April 1998, when they received a faxed copy of the letter from S. J. Berwin & Company to my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary. This letter was passed for action that day to the Private Office of the relevant Minister, my hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces. His Private Office placed the letter in his weekend box, and he saw it the following day (Saturday 25 April). The letter was placed in my overnight box on Wednesday 29 April and, to my recollection, I first saw it in the early hours of the morning of Thursday 30 April.

20 May 1998 : Column: 396

Sir George Young: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when his Private Office was first informed of the involvement of Sandline International in operations in Sierra Leone; [42322]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 18 May 1998]: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Mid-Sussex (Mr. Soames), on 18 May 1998, Official Report, column 258.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence between what dates HMS 'Monmouth' was deployed off the coast of Sierra Leone. [42557]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 18 May 1998]: HMS Monmouth was stationed in the vicinity of Sierra Leone from 0600Z on 14 February to 1200Z on 23 February 1998. The ship berthed alongside Conakry, Guinea from 1900Z on 17 February to 1600Z on 20 February.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what standing orders were issued by his Department concerning assistance by British forces in Sierra Leone. [42154]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 18 May 1998]: The instructions to HMS Monmouth (and later HMS Cornwall) were to deploy to the vicinity of Sierra Leone to be prepared to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Sierra Leone, to support our diplomatic efforts there, and to assist in the return of the British High Commissioner, should the democratically elected Government be restored.

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the dates in 1998 when HMS 'Cornwall' was within 50 miles of the coast of Sierra Leone. [42279]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 18 May 1998]: HMS Cornwall was within 50 nautical miles of Sierra Leone on the following dates:





Sir George Young: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he was first informed of the plan for military intervention to restore the Government of President Kabbah of Sierra Leone; [42318]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 18 May 1998]: We were not informed by ECOMOG of its plans for military intervention to restore the government of President Kabbah of Sierra Leone. Nevertheless, potential operations and activities of forces in Sierra Leone, including ECOMOG, were referred to in a number of reports circulated within the Department, including to Ministers' Offices, dating back to May 1997.

20 May 1998 : Column: 397

SOCIAL SECURITY

Welfare Reform

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will list those organisations which submitted responses to the Government's New Ambitions for our Country: A New Contract for Welfare Green Paper; and if she will place copies of their submissions in the Library. [42272]

Mr. Field: Responses to the consultation exercise should reach this Department by 31 July. When analysis has been completed, a list of those respondents who are willing to have their names made public will be placed in the Library and we will also give details of how we intend to publish responses.

Disability Benefits

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will list (a) the number of applications each month for each of the components of disability allowance and (b) the number or percentage (i) accepted under each heading, (ii) of those individuals requesting a review, (iii) of those individuals whose application was accepted at review, (iv) of those individuals requesting an appeal to the ITS and (v) of those individuals whose request for either a review or appeal was turned down in the last year for which figures are available. [42128]

Mr. Denham: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is set out in the tables.

Numbers of decisions and awards on initial claims for
disability living allowance

MonthTotal decisionsCare component only awardedMobility component only awardedBoth components awarded
May 199731,2364,2003,6548,929
June 199744,2524,7153,9739,869
July 199742,6725,4144,49110,598
August 199738,7694,4183,6148,979
September 199741,7934,7854,3419,838
October 199744,9525,2414,01710,494
November 199741,6144,7613,5599,455
December 199731,4144,1142,8588,128
January 199833,5474,7432,9179,573
February 199840,2424,1772,3778,488
March 199839,3564,5562,3378,624
April 199830,4274,0662,1967,851

Numbers of review decisions on disability living allowance, with breakdown by outcome

MonthTotal decisionsSuccessful(9)Unsuccessful
May 199727,89510,53317,362
June 199721,4588,02213,436
July 199733,51312,85420,659
August 199732,15211,97620,176
September 199733,35412,45420,900
October 199737,09512,97224,123
November 199731,47011,27220,198
December 199725,3508,86416,486
January 199835,37412,28723,087
February 199830,21810,31019,908
March 199829,41810,10719,311
April 199824,5878,22916,358


20 May 1998 : Column: 398

Numbers of appeal decisions on disability living allowance, with breakdown by outcome

MonthTotal decisionsSuccessful(9)Unsuccessful
May 19972,6201,4651,155
June 19973,0541,7051,349
July 19973,3001,8981,402
August 19972,7241,5031,221
September 19973,2011,6051,596
October 19973,1831,6661,517
November 19973,0621,5481,514
December 19972,6801,3261,354
January 19983,2711,5861,685
February 19983,6241,6861,938
March 19984,2751,9342,341
April 19983,3811,6631,718

(9) Initial benefit award or increase of existing award

Note:

Figures based on 100 per cent. data.


Public Bodies

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is the average attendance fee of (a) male and (b) female members of boards of non-departmental public bodies responsible to her Department; [42812]

Mr. Field: The majority of board members of non-departmental public bodies give their time and services voluntarily and receive no payment other than normal travel and subsistence expenses. Where members do receive remuneration, this can vary between an annual salary, an honorarium or an attendance fee (which itself can be a daily rate or a half-daily rate, or calculated on a per meeting or per case basis). Individuals' remuneration therefore is not directly comparable. Full details of all payments to board members of non-departmental bodies, by gender, are given in the Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies". Copies of "Public Bodies 1997" are available in the Libraries of the House.


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