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Museum of London

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has for the future funding of the Museum of London. [86081]

Mr. Chris Smith: In common with all DCMS sponsored museums and galleries, the Museum has a funding agreement with my Department for the financial years up to and including 2001-02. Funding decisions beyond then have yet to be taken.

Millennium Dome

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what plans he has to make books of poetry, drama, the visual arts, architecture, history, biography and fiction available for purchase in the Dome; [86082]

Janet Anderson: As part of the New Millennium Experience Company's (NMEC) own retailing arrangements at the Millennium Dome, a range of books and other printed material relevant to the millennium and the Millennium Experience will be on sale. The company's general policy is not to replicate, or compete with, the retailing opportunities which people enjoy in their high streets and local town centres. The company's policy on recorded music reflects the same principles.

Birth Certificates

Mr. Cann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list those purposes for which his Department and its executive agencies require a birth certificate to be provided by (a) employees, (b) contractors, (c) those applying for employment and contracts and (d) other persons. [85686]

Mr. Chris Smith: In line with general practice elsewhere in Government, members of staff recruited by DCMS are routinely asked to provide proof of identity prior to taking up appointment with the Department. Birth certificates, passports, and a range of other documents are acceptable for this purpose. It is not mandatory for staff to provide a copy of their birth certificate. Contractors

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 233

are expected to undertake satisfactory checks on proof of identity of their staff before they take up work with the Department.

Television News

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will instruct the ITC to obtain from ITV the latest figures showing (i) the change in the numbers watching news on Channel 3 since the abolition of News at 10 and (ii) the change in the viewing numbers for the 10.00 to 10.30 pm weekday slot on Channel 3 since the abolition of News at 10. [85775]

Janet Anderson: ITV began their new evening schedule on 8 March, replacing the bulletin at 5.40 pm to 6.00 pm and News at Ten with a half hour news bulletin from 6.30 pm to 7.00 pm and an update from 11 pm to 11.15 pm. For the four weeks beginning 27 April, the latest figures available to the ITC, the average audiences who were watching news on Channel 3 and the figures for the equivalent weeks in 1999 are as follows:


Million
1998
5.40 pm to 6.00 pm4.1
10.00 pm to 10.30 pm5.5
Total9.6
1999
6.30 pm to 7.00 pm 5.4
11.00 pm to 11.15 pm3.6
Total9.0


TRADE AND INDUSTRY

World Science Congress

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has made for a British delegation to the World Science Congress in Budapest. [85305]

Mr. Battle: The exact composition of the UK delegation will be determined soon. It is likely to comprise representatives from the Office of Science and Technology, the Department for International Development, the United Kingdom's Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. It is hoped that other non-governmental organisations will also be represented.

The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Robert May, is giving one of the main presentations during the first, scientific, section of the Conference, and my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development will make a statement on behalf of the Government during the plenary debate in the final section of the Conference.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 234

Millennium Compliance (Energy)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the proceedings of the Energy Council of 11 May relating to the millennium bug in the energy sector; what documents were discussed; and what contribution he made to the debate. [85522]

Mr. Battle: For a general report on the Energy Council, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, South (Mr. Marshall) on 17 May 1999, Official Report, columns 253-54. For the item on the millennium bug, the Council took note of an oral presentation by the Commission. The Commission reported on the recent outcome of the Telecommunications Council in respect of the millennium bug and on progress being made in the energy sector, addressing, in particular, the supply of electricity, natural gas, oil and coal, as well as questions relating to nuclear safety. The Council asked to be kept informed of progress.

Sellafield

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he was first informed of negotiations between British Nuclear Fuels plc and Maine Yankee Atomic Power on the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield; and if he will make a statement. [85461]

Mr. Battle [holding answer 26 May 1999]: I understand that BNFL was one of the nuclear fuel services companies approached by the owners of the Maine Yankee reactor in New England, USA, about options for removing spent nuclear fuel from the now closed reactor. In the course of these informal discussions which took place during 1998, it became clear that it would not be possible for BNFL and Maine Yankee to conclude a contract which would be consistent with both UK Government policy on the importation of radioactive waste and US Government policy on reprocessing. The discussions were, therefore, brought to an end and this Department was so informed.

Strategic Export Controls

Ms Jenny Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to announce the outcome of the consultation exercise on strategic export controls. [85538]

Dr. Howells: As announced in reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Thomas) on 30 November 1999, Official Report, column 55, the responses to the consultation exercise on strategic export controls were, with the exception of two for which complete confidentiality was requested, placed in the Libraries of both Houses and in the Library of the Department. Copies of the responses are also available on request from the Department's Export Control Organisation. The Government are currently reviewing the proposals contained in the White Paper in the light of responses received and are committed to introducing legislation as soon as time is available in the legislative programme.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 235

Post Office

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the criteria are for approval of capital purchases overseas by the Post Office. [86047]

Mr. Ian McCartney: As was announced by my right hon. Friend, the former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, to this House in the statement on the future of the Post Office on 7 December 1998, Official Report, columns 21-24, the Government will approve normal Post Office requests for borrowing for investment cases that are commercially robust. Separate fast-track arrangements will be put in place for considering the largest strategic investments. Further details will be set out in our forthcoming White Paper on the future of the Post Office.

Electricity Trading Arrangements

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he now expects to conclude the Review of Electricity Trading Arrangements. [86045]

Mr. Battle: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mrs. Brinton) on 18 May 1999, Official Report, column 300.

Imports (Forced Labour)

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what advice is available from his Department to individuals and companies who wish to avoid importing goods made with the use of forced labour or child labour. [85829]

Mr. Wilson: The Government strongly support a proposed new ILO Convention to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, and funding programmes such as the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child-Labour (IPEC). Individuals or companies are advised to seek assurances on the matter from their retailers or suppliers. The Government strongly support recent initiatives by the private and voluntary sector to develop or promote codes of conduct in this area; and an increasing number of UK companies are entering into such arrangements with their overseas suppliers.


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