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Papua New Guinea

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the Government of Papua New Guinea regarding Sandline International; and if he will make a statement. [77228]

Mr. Fatchett: In the context of the contractual dispute between Sandline and the Government of Papua New Guinea, the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea in London spoke to FCO officials on 3 March.

22 Mar 1999 : Column: 62

Mercenary Services

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his Department's policy regarding private companies based in the UK offering mercenary services. [77252]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: We and our EU partners have always made it clear that we unequivocally condemn the recruitment, use and financing of mercenaries. We are concerned about the spread of mercenary activity.

Private military companies which carry out their business within the law are generally not a cause for concern. Our concerns relate principally to those companies which are involved in the supply of military equipment or other controller goods and services in breach of the UK's national commitments, or which supply, or offer to supply, mercenaries or related military services.

European Commissioners (Emoluments)

Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much each of the outgoing European Commissioners is to receive in (a) salary, (b) pension and (c) other remuneration following their resignation; what the legal basis is upon which the payments are being made; and if he will place details of the remuneration packages in the Library. [77994]

Ms Quin: Commissioners' terms and conditions of service are set down in the 1967 Council Regulation 422/67, which governs their employment. This Statute provides for generous end-of-service remunerations.

From the first day of the month following resignation, and for three years afterwards, Commissioners are entitled to receive a monthly payment (based upon the number of years served) of:


Commissioners are also entitled to receive a family allowance for three years after resignation of:


From the age of 65, Commissioners are entitled to receive a pension, which as a full pension for 15 years service would be equivalent to 70 per cent. of final salary based on a 4.5 per cent. annual accrual rate.

Reappointed Commissioners are not entitled to receive end-of-service pay.

If a Commissioner takes new employment, their end-of- service pay plus new gross monthly salary cannot exceed the gross monthly salary they would have received as a Commissioner. If it does, the end-of-service pay is reduced accordingly.

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Amsterdam Treaty

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to implement parts of the Amsterdam treaty not included in the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1998. [77692]

Ms Quin: The parts of the Amsterdam treaty not included in the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1998 relate to the common foreign and security policy and police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters. They constitute frameworks for action. As such, they themselves can be implemented without the need for UK legislation. That said, measures adopted under these provisions may in due course give rise to the need for legislation. If this is the case, such legislation will be presented to Parliament.

Armenian Foreign Minister

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the outcome of his discussions with the Armenian Foreign Minister. [78035]

Ms Quin: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met the Armenian Foreign Minister, Mr. Vartan Oskanian, on 17 March. Their discussions helped to cement the already warm relations which exist between the two countries. They agreed on the need further to promote our growing bilateral commercial ties. The meeting also covered the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and other regional issues. My right hon. Friend looked forward to free and fair parliamentary elections in May. He encouraged Armenia to sign the Ottawa convention on anti-personnel landmines and stressed the importance of keeping to the timetable for closing the Medzamor nuclear power station.

Ambassador's Residence

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 14 January 1999, Official Report, column 254, for what reasons it is his policy not to reveal the prices received from the sale of departmental property. [78033]

Mr. Fatchett: The reason for not revealing the prices received for individual departmental properties is that this information is often commercially sensitive at the time of disposal.

UN Finances

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what timetable the fifth committee of the United Nations is following in preparing its proposals to improve the arrangements for the future financing of the organisation; and when its proposals will next be discussed by the General Assembly. [77628]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The fifth committee of the United Nations is currently considering the future financing of the United Nations and should make recommendations to the General Assembly for its consideration before the end of 1999. On 16 March, the European Union Presidency

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delegate to the fifth committee again pressed European Union proposals, originally developed by the United Kingdom and France, to put United Nations finances on a more secure and equitable long-term footing.

Nuclear Missiles

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps he is taking to assist in the implementation of the START 2 Nuclear Missile Reduction Treaty; [77975]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: Under the START I treaty, Russia and the United States are limited to 6,000 accountable strategic warheads each. Under START II, which has not yet been approved by the Russian Duman, each side would be limited to between 3,000 and 3,500 deployed strategic warheads. Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton agreed in Helsinki in March 1997 that a START III treaty would further reduce these levels to between 2,000-2,500 per side.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has repeatedly urged the Russian to ratify START II, and to proceed promptly to negotiate with the United States a START III treaty, most recently during his visit to Russia from 2-5 March.

Dubai

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 17 March 1999, Official Report, columns 682-83, if, when the response to the note verbale is received from the Government of Dubai, he will (a) inform the hon. Member for New Forest, West and (b) place the response in the Library. [78136]

Mr. Fatchett: If and when a response is received, I will inform the hon. Member.

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 17 March 1999, Official Report, columns 682-83, how long he plans to wait for a response from the Government of Dubai before making representations. [78114]

Mr. Fatchett: We have no plans to impose a time frame.

Illicit Traffic by Sea

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons Her Majesty's Government have not ratified the Convention of the Council of Europe on illicit traffic by sea; and if he will make a statement. [77605]

Mr. George Howarth: I have been asked to reply.

We shall introduce the legislation which will allow us to ratify the Convention as soon as the Parliamentary timetable permits.

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SCOTLAND

Football

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what Government funding has been given or is planned to be given to Scottish football over (a) the past 20 years and (b) the next three years. [72272]

Mr. Galbraith [holding answer 22 February 1999]: The information in answer to part 1 is available only at disproportionate cost and I cannot, therefore, answer. In relation to part 2 The Scottish Office is currently providing support totalling £2 million for the re- development of Hampden Park, through the Scottish Sports Council. The final payment will be made in 1999-2000.

From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much has been given to Scottish football teams by the Foundation for Sports and the Arts in the last five years. [72265]

Mr. Galbraith [holding answer 22 February 1999]: Senior levels of association football are expressly excluded from Foundation for Sports and the Arts funding. However, sport at grass roots level has received 857 grants totalling £495,212.60.

From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.


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