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Compensation

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has paid in compensation to its contractors in each of the last five years; which companies received payment and what were the reasons for payment; and if he will make a statement. [127174]

Dr. Moonie: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Written Questions

Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the written parliamentary questions tabled to his Department between 19 October 1999 and 20 April have not received substantive answers, citing as the reason that the information is (a) not held centrally, (b) not held in the form requested and (c) not available. [128014]

Dr. Moonie: The information requested cannot be provided without disproportionate cost as it is not held by the Ministry of Defence in the form requested.

Defence Attaches

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries where there is a UK defence attache stationed. [133221]

Mr. Spellar: I refer my hon. Friend to the HM Diplomatic Overseas Reference List, copies of which are in the Library of the House.

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries in the world that have nuclear weapons. [133220]

Mr. Spellar: I will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Queen Mother's Birthday

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) of 10 July 2000, Official Report, column 376W, on the Queen Mother's birthday, how much public money was spent on the event. [133492]

Dr. Moonie: Cost to the public purse of the commemorations will not be calculated until the final event on 4 August has taken place. I will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Kenneth Noye

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the granting of legal aid to Kenneth Noye. [132583]

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Jane Kennedy: Following the granting of legal aid to Kenneth Noye at the central criminal court, a team of qualified auditors from the Lord Chancellor's Department's Internal Assurance Division have undertaken an investigation. They checked criminal legal aid applications made in respect of defendants, including Kenneth Noye, at the central criminal court over the past year. They have reported to the Permanent Secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department, in his capacity as Accounting Officer. The auditors found that the proper procedures for granting legal aid were not followed in this case. As a result, additional training, checking and controls are being introduced across the court Service to ensure that the correct procedures for the granting of legal aid by the Crown court are followed.

Disciplinary proceedings are under way affecting the officers concerned with handling the application in the Noye case.

Queen's Counsel (Northern Ireland)

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what changes have been made to the procedure for barristers being called to serve as Queen's Counsel in Northern Ireland; and what related correspondence he has had with Seamus Tracey and Barry Macdonald. [133092]

Mr. Lock: The declaration made by barristers being called to serve as Queen's counsel in Northern Ireland has been changed and is now in the following form:


Neither my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor nor I have had any related correspondence with Seamus Tracey and Barry Macdonald.

Microfiche Census Returns

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what factors underlie the recent changes in the policy of the Public Record Office in respect of the retail of microfiche census returns to the general public; and if he will make statement. [133585]

Mr. Lock: There has been no change in the practice of the Public Record Office in respect of the retail of microfiche or microfilm copies of the census returns up to and including that for 1891.

The census of 1901 is due for release in January 2002. It will be released in digital format over the internet.

It is recognised that not all potential users will have or wish to have access to the internet. For this reason, a complete set of 1901 Census documents will also be available for consultation on microfiche at the Public Record Office at Kew. The PRO will also offer to other record offices and local studies libraries copies on microfiche of the 1901 Census returns for their area.

No final decision has been taken on whether microfiche will be made available for sale beyond libraries and

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archives, as was the practice in respect of earlier census releases. The situation will be reviewed in 2002 in the light of experience after the launch of the internet service.

Sentencing

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what guidance the Lord Chancellor gives on sentencing in cases involving harassment of those suffering from mental health problems; and if he will make a statement. [133265]

Jane Kennedy: The Government do not issue guidance on the way judicial discretion should be exercised. Within the statutory limits laid down by Parliament, the nature and severity of penalties are matters for the court subject to any guidelines laid down by the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

The Magistrates Association has recently published the Magistrates Courts Sentencing Guidelines which has been sent to all magistrates. This contains guidance for magistrates on sentencing in harassment cases.

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS

Hydrofluorocarbons

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of the UK consumption of hydrofluorocarbons used as refrigerants that are used (a) to replenish existing systems and (b) as original charges in refrigeration systems; [133577]

Mr. Meacher: The report prepared for DETR and the DTI by EnvirosMarch, "UK Emissions of HFCs, PFCs and SF 6 and Potential Emission Reduction Options", was published in January 1999 and provide estimates of UK emissions of hydrofluorocarbons from refrigeration and air conditioning. These estimates are based in part on assumptions about charges and leakage rates of hydrofluorocarbons from refrigeration systems in nine different refrigeration and air conditioning sectors.

Leakage rates were subsequently updated for the hydrofluorocarbon emissions estimates published in the draft Climate Change Programme, March 2000. The table is based on Table A3, page A.4 of the EnvirosMarch report. It provides emissions and consumption parameters for refrigeration and air conditioning equipment used to estimate total emissions in 1995 and 2010. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library. However the proportion of hydrofluorocarbons used to (a) replenish existing systems and (b) as original charges is not explicitly provided in the report and could not be collated without incurring disproportionate cost.

Estimated leakage rates of hydrocarbon refrigeration are currently being reviewed in the light of latest information and I plan to publish updated hydrofluorocarbon emissions estimates alongside the final Climate Change Programme document this autumn.

Assumed refrigeration and air conditioning emission and consumption parameters used in the hydrofluorocarbon emission estimates published in the draft Climate Change Programme, March 2000

Product manufacturing (%) Product life (%) Product disposal (%) Typical plant life
Market sub-segment199520101995(1)201019952010(years)
Domestic refrigeration1111 to 2502013
Other small hermetic1111 to 250209
Small commercial32208 to 1510513
Supermarket refrigeration32258 to 1510513
Industrial refrigeration32204 to 1210525
Air conditioning, distributed32208 to 1510512
Air conditioning, chillers11103 to 55325
Transport refrigeration11158 to 101558
Mobile air conditioning11156 to 10502512

(1) Range of leakage rates used for updated emissions projections published in the draft Climate Change Programme, March 2000

Notes:

1. Product Manufacturing factor, percentage emission of fluid used to manufacture new equipment

2. Product Life factor, percentage of refrigerant bank emitted annually

3. Product Disposal factor, percentage emission of fluid in old plant being decommissioned


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28 Jul 2000 : Column: 923W

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to reduce the quantities of hydrofluorocarbons released to the environment. [133576]

Mr. Meacher: The Government's policy for reducing emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is set out in the draft climate change programme. We recognise that HFCs are necessary replacements for ozone-depleting substances in some applications. However, we are concerned that emissions from these sources are forecast to grow strongly in the near future as ozone-depleting substances are phased out. This trend is unsustainable in the longer-term and action needs to be taken to limit the projected growth in emissions. We are sending a clear signal to industry and users to look closely at all alternatives and to select those that are more environmentally acceptable where they do exist. Safety, technical feasibility and cost effectiveness should be taken into account before investment decisions are taken.

We are exploring with industry how the voluntary agreements on HFCs might be strengthened to reduce the projected growth in emissions. Emissions from industrial processes have already been substantially reduced and will continue to be regulated under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regime.


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