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Consumer Protection

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the representations received in connection with consumer protection legislation. [138514]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 16 November 2000]: We have had 31 representations from members of the public, including nine coupons from the National Consumer Council's campaign in the Daily Express. We have had nine joint representations from the National Consumer Council and the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, as well as a further representation from the

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National Consumer Council and representations from individual Citizens Advice Bureau. In addition we have had representations from the Consumer's Association with the Federation of Small Business, the Welsh Consumer Council and Direct Line Insurance plc.

Many of the representations were forwarded to us by Members of Parliament. In addition we have received representations from my hon. Friends the Members for Clwyd, South (Mr. Jones), for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn), for Stourbridge (Ms Shipley), and for Vale of Clwyd (Mr. Ruane), and two from my hon. Friend the Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell).

SmithKline Beecham/Glaxo

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the reasons for the delay in the merger of SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo. [138553]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 16 November 2000]: The European Commission approved the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham on 8 May. The US Federal Trade Commission are considering the competition implications of the market in smoking cessation products relating to Glaxo Wellcome's prescription drug Zyban and SmithKline Beecham's over-the-counter products Nicorette and Nicoderm. This is a matter for the US authorities.

Fuel Prices

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will refer the retail pricing of petrol products to the Competition Commission. [139100]

Dr. Howells: Under UK competition legislation, it is for the Director General of Fair Trading to investigate allegations of anti-competitive behaviour and if appropriate make a reference to the Competition Commission under the Fair Trading Act 1973 or take action under the Competition Act 1998.

Steel Industry

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what recent discussions he has had with the senior management of Corus regarding the future of the steel industry in Teesside and research and development in Corus; [138854]

Mr. Alan Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has had discussions with senior executives from Corus on several occasions in recent months to discuss a range of matters affecting UK operations. From time to time we also visit Corus plants for discussions with local management and my officials maintain a regular dialogue with the company.

MOX Fuel

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent communications he has had from the European Commission in respect of the

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adequacy of data provided to the Commission in regard to the applicability of Euratom Treaty Article 37 to the MOX demonstration facility at Sellafield. [137871]

Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.

Acting on a complaint, the European Commission has asked what general data have been provided under Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty, covering the operation of the MOX Demonstration Facility, and requested other information relevant to the issue of whether such data should have been submitted. The Government's response confirmed their view that, on the basis of current guidance and of discussions with the Commission in 1996, no submission of data is necessary in respect of the MOX Demonstration Facility. Notwithstanding this view, the Government have offered to provide the Commission with comprehensive background information in order to assist it in replying to the complainant.

Deregulation Orders

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many deregulation orders have been passed in each of the last three years. [136407]

Mr. Stringer: I have been asked to reply.

The deregulation orders passed in each of the last three years are as follows:

The Deregulation (Casinos) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/950)
The Deregulation (Employment in Bars) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/957)
The Deregulation (Gaming on Sunday in Scotland) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/941 (S. 83))
The Deregulation (Betting Licensing) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/947)
The Deregulation (Validity of Civil Preliminaries to Marriage) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/986)
The Deregulation (Occasional Permissions) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1133)
The Deregulation (Provision of School Action Plans) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1142)
The Deregulation (Football Pools) Order 1997 (SI no 1997/1073)
The Deregulation (Betting and Bingo Advertising etc.) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1074)
The Deregulation (Casinos and Bingo Clubs: Debit Cards) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1075)
The Deregulation (Non-Fossil Fuel) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1185)
The Deregulation (Public Health Acts Amendments Act 1907) Order 1997 (SI no. 1997/1187)
The Deregulation (Licence Transfers) Orders 1998 (SI no. 1998/114)
The Deregulation (Deduction from pay of Union Subscriptions) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/1529)
The Deregulation (Methylated Spirits Sale By Retail) (Scotland) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/1602 (S.87))
The Deregulation (Exchangeable Driving Licences) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/1917)
The Deregulation (Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles) Order 1998 (SI no. 1998/1946)
The Deregulation (Weights and Measures) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/503)
The Deregulation (Pipe-lines) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/742)
The Deregulation (Casinos) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/2136)
The Deregulation (Millennium Licensing) Order 1999 (SI no. 1999/2137).

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European Refugee Fund

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he has put in place to deal with applications for financing under the European Refugee Fund. [139444]

Mrs. Roche: The European Refugee Fund (ERF) is intended to support three categories of project: (i) conditions for reception; (ii) integration of persons whose stay in the member state is of a lasting and/or stable nature; and (iii) voluntary return and reintegration. The ERF is administered in European Union member states by Responsible Authorities. The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) is the Responsible Authority for the United Kingdom.

IND is issuing a public call today for proposals for financing under the ERF in 2000 and 2001. The public call notice summarises the criteria for financing, how to obtain detailed guidelines and an application form, and arrangements for submitting applications. Applications must be submitted by 29 December. The public call notice can be found on the IND website ( and a copy has been placed in the Library.

DNA Testing

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the reliability of DNA testing (a) in convicting the guilty and (b) in exonerating the innocent. [137936]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The reliability of DNA evidence is assured through the internal quality assurance measures adopted by the Forensic Science Service (FSS) and through external accreditation by the British Standards Institute (BSI) and United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to the BS EN ISO 9000 and M10 National Standards. This independent accreditation of the DNA process involves regular audit to ensure the standards are maintained.

The more advanced SGMplus technique was introduced by the FSS in September 1999. A statistical assessment, to be published in the International Journal of Legal Medicine, showed that when using this process the probability of a chance match between a full DNA profile obtained from a suspect's sample and another one from a crime scene stain left by another person was less than one in a billion.


Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ratio of staff to inmates is in (a) each prison holding 18 to 21-year-olds and (b) each institution holding juveniles. [137724]

Mr. Boateng: This information is given in the table. Information about Doncaster prison was not readily available and I shall write to the hon. Member about this.

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Establishment18-21Under 18
Askham Grange1:4--
Bullwood Hall1:2.2--
Drake Hall1:2.7--
Eastwood Park1:2.4--
Forest Bank1:6--
Glen Parva1:1.4--
Guys Marsh1:2--
Hollesley Bay1:7.61:8
Lancaster Farms1:2.31:6
Low Newton1:1.9--
New Hall1:1.24--
Stoke Heath1:5.81:3.5
Swinfen Hall1:1.4--
Thorn Cross1:21:2

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