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Secondary Schools (Grammar Stream)

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will permit secondary schools which have adequate accommodation and appropriate staffing to provide a grammar school stream in their intake for pupils deemed suitable for a grammar school place in the transfer procedure; and if she will make a statement. [44972]

Mr. Worthington: Any Development Proposals for the creation of grammar streams at secondary schools will be considered on their merits, taking account of the evidence of parental views on the choices available to them at local level, and the implications for educational standards, for efficiency in the use of public expenditure, and for equality of opportunity of access to grammar schools places.

The Government have just launched a major research project on the effects of the selective system on secondary education in Northern Ireland, so that debate on all aspects

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of the system, and consideration of possible changes to it, can be based on better information and understanding of the present system.

Extradition Warrants

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if she will list for each of the last 25 years the number of extradition warrants issued by the RUC for persons sought for terrorist type offences whom the RUC believed to be resident in the Irish Republic, the number of such warrants executed by the authorities in the Republic and how many resulted in persons being returned for trial in Northern Ireland; [44915]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is given in the following table:

Extradition requests to Republic of Ireland 1973-1997

Terrorist offences Non-terrorist offences
YearPersons soughtPersons arrestedPersons extraditedPersons sought Persons arrestedPersons extradited


Special Advisers

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Prime Minister how many special advisers, political advisers and other political appointees are working in his Office; at what annual cost to the public purse including recruitment costs, salaries, pensions and National Insurance contributions; and what was the position in the last full year of the last Government. [43318]

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The Prime Minister: At 1 June, there were 19 special advisers employed in No. 10 Downing Street. The estimated paybill for 1998-99 is £1.1 million. This figure does not include the cost of National Insurance contributions which are paid under the same rules and at the same rates as for other civil servants. Information on the numbers and costs of employing Special Advisers in the then Prime Minister's office in 1996-97 was given in the answer to a Question from the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins) on 21 January 1998, Official Report, columns 567-68.

Bilderberg Group

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Prime Minister which Ministers attended the meetings of the Bilderberg Group between 13 and 16 May in Strathclyde; and if he will make a statement. [43684]

The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence attended part of the Bilderberg Conference in Ayrshire from 14 to 15 May this year.

Older People

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 5 June 1998, Official Report, column 369, on Government policy towards older people, if he will adopt the aims of the Better Government Programme establishing mechanisms for Whitehall departments and Next Steps agencies to consult and involve older people in the development of policy and practice. [45215]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 11 June 1998]: The inter-Ministerial Group which I have established will aim to ensure that the development of Government policy and practice takes account of the needs and wishes of older people. This will include working with non-governmental groups representing older people's interests, and with older people themselves, to gain a better understanding of their lives and needs.

Millennium Compliance

Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the role of the Civil Contingencies Unit in respect of the impact of the Millennium computer problem. [45756]

The Prime Minister: The Civil Contingencies Unit has been renamed the Civil Contingencies Committee following transfer of day to day executive, policy and representational work to the Home Office.

Through MISC 4, Ministers are reporting progress in their areas of responsibility towards a technical solution to the Millennium Date Change problem as well as in developing contingency arrangements for consequence management. The Civil Contingencies Committee is in regular contact with MISC 4 and if necessary will fulfil its normal role of co-ordinating the central government response to a major emergency.

Buenos Aires Climate Change Conference

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will ensure that officials from the Department of Trade and Industry form part of the British delegation to the Buenos Aires conference on the environment in November. [45792]

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The Prime Minister: Yes. DTI officials will form part of the British delegation to the UN Climate Change Convention meeting in Buenos Aires, in November.


Multilateral Agreement on Investment

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make it her policy to ensure that the Multilateral Agreement on Investment is discussed at the WTO. [46012]

Mr. Foulkes: The Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) is being negotiated at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In addition to our work on the MAI, the Government are committed to working towards the establishment of multilateral rules on investment in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). We are playing a full part in WTO discussions, aimed at exploring the links between trade and investment and the implications for development and economic growth. We have also recently agreed a contribution of over half a million pounds to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to help build developing countries' capacity to participate effectively in discussions on a possible multilateral framework for investment.

Amazonian Environmental Programmes

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what has been the total UK contribution under (a) bilateral and (b) multilateral agreements in respect of Amazonian environmental programmes in (i) 1997-98 and (ii) the current year; and if she will make a statement. [45391]

Mr. Foulkes: Total UK contributions in respect of Amazonian environmental programmes in 1997/98 were:

In the current year total projected contributions are:

    (b) multilateral--£1.19 million.

Indian Sub-continent and China

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the total aid provided by Her Majesty's Government to (a) India, (b) Pakistan, and (c) China, indicating how much of this was delivered (i) Government to Government, (ii) through non-Governmental organisations, and (iii) by other means; and if she will list in each case the projects carried out during the last two years. [45974]

Mr. Foulkes: I will write to my hon. Friend.

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