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Arms Exports

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will publish the first annual report on arms exports. [68791]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The report will be published as soon as possible.

Gibraltar

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Wrexham (Dr. Marek) of 19 January 1999, Official Report, columns 436-37, for what reasons his Department describes the Bay of Gibraltar as the Bay of Algeciras; and when it first adopted this description. [68523]

Ms Quin: The bay to the west of Gibraltar is known both as the Bay of Gibraltar and the Bay of Algeciras. The extent of British Territorial Waters in the bay is as described in my answer of 19 January 1999, Official Report, columns 436-37, to the hon. Member for Wrexham (Dr. Marek).

Senator Pinochet

Mr. Trend: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 25 January 1999, Official Report, columns 148-49, concerning Senator Pinochet, what discussions his

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Department held with the Chilean Embassy on 15-16 October about the possible arrest of Senator Pinochet. [68491]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The discussions with the Chilean Ambassador on 15 and 16 October referred to in my earlier answer took place before the receipt of the request from the Spanish authorities for the provisional arrest of Senator Pinochet and did not relate to that subject.

Mr. Trend: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 25 January 1999, Official Report, columns 148-49, concerning Senator Pinochet, if his Department informed the Chilean Ambassador on 16 October that the Metropolitan Police were interested in Senator Pinochet's possible diplomatic immunity. [68490]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: No. The inquiry from the Metropolitan Police about Senator Pinochet's possible diplomatic immunity was received after the telephone conversation between this Department and the Chilean Ambassador.

Mr. Trend: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 25 January 1999, Official Report, columns 148-49, concerning General Pinochet, if the discussions between his Department and the Metropolitan Police on 16 October 1998 took place before his Department was telephoned by the Chilean Ambassador on 16 October. [68489]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The contacts with the Metropolitan Police concerning immunity took place after the conversation with the Chilean Ambassador on 16 October. Contacts with the Metropolitan Police before the conversation on 16 October concerned only the request from the 5th Central Magistrate's Court in Madrid to interview Senator Pinochet, received on 14 October and of which the Chilean Ambassador was aware.

Export Licences

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what export licences have been granted since 1 May 1997 for the export of land mines; if he will list the countries and the dates when the licences were granted; and how many land mines were included under each export licence. [64523]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

The export of land mines is controlled under entry ML4 in the Export of Goods (Control) Order, which also covers bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles and related equipment and accessories. The entry in the legislation under which the export of goods is controlled is known as their rating.

The Export Control Organisation's computer databases have been interrogated and the following results were obtained. Between 2 May 1997 and 4 December 1998, 890 individual licences were issued covering the export of goods with the relevant rating: 844 Standard Individual Export Licences and 46 Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs).

It would entail disproportionate cost to determine if any of these licences covered land mines. However, I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to my hon. Friend the

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Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Helen Jackson) on 21 May 1997, Official Report, columns 72-73, which set out the Government's policy on the import, export, transfer, manufacture and use of anti-personnel land mines.

The information on licences should be considered in light of the answer given by the then Minister for Small Firms, Trade and Industry, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche), to my hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) on 30 October 1997, Official Report, columns 870-71.

The Government are also committed to reporting annually on the state of strategic export controls and their application. As the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central (Mr. Lloyd), stated in his answer of 14 July 1998, Official Report, column 149, to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Dr. Jones), the annual report will list by country of destination the numbers of export licences issued in each equipment category and give details of the military equipment for which licences have been granted. This information will also be given in future reports.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Hollis Industries Plc

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when his Department received the letter of 15 July from the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory), passed on by the Registrar of Companies, regarding alleged accounting offences by Hollis Industries plc. [65593]

Mr. Byers: On 17 July 1998.

Rt. Hon. Member for Hartlepool

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date the Permanent Secretary to the Department of Trade and Industry was informed of the loan from the hon. Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Robinson) to the right hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson). [65598]

Mr. Byers: On 17 December 1998.

Post Office

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what limits the Government have set on Post Office expenditure on acquisitions this year and next; and what is his current forecast of the Post Office contribution to the public sector's revenues; [66228]

Mr. Byers: Under the new financial framework for the Post Office, announced in the House on 7 December 1998, Official Report, columns 21-24, by my right hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson), the proportion of profits removed from the business will be halved, enabling it to finance greater levels of investment.

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In addition, the Government recognise that larger growth investments may require prudent borrowing. Post Office proposals for the largest strategic investments, including acquisitions, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Post Office contribution to the public sector (apart from normal corporate taxes) was expected to be £310 million for 1998-99, and £207 million for 1999-2000, the latter based on an estimate of 50 per cent. of post-tax profits. Adjustments to these external financing limits to take account of UK borrowing to finance the purchase of German Parcels will be made shortly.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the cost to the Post Office of the acquisition of German Parcels. [66154]

Mr. Byers: The Post Office has asked that the precise details of this specific transaction not be released for reasons of commercial confidentiality. The financial implications of Post Office investments will properly be reflected in both published Government and Post Office accounts.

Regional Aid

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals he intends to submit to the European Commission on the designation of new assisted areas for regional selective assistance. [66132]

Mr. Byers: No decisions have yet been made on the areas that will be proposed to the European Commission.

Siemens

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will require Siemens to repay their start-up grant. [66134]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 18 January 1999]: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply given to him on 9 November 1998, Official Report, columns 57-58.

Armscor

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what investigations Her Majesty's Government have carried out into the affairs of Armscor; [65125]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 18 January 1999]: Since the April 1994 democratic elections in South Africa, the Government, primarily through the Ministry of Defence, have had some contact with Armscor.

The DTI has not carried out any investigations into the affairs of Armscor. However, a Customs and Excise investigation into alleged breaches of UK export controls led to proceedings being initiated in 1984 against four South Africans connected with Armscor. The four were bailed, but failed to return for trial. The charges were withdrawn in December 1994.


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