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Session 1999-2000
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The Order Book

Part 1: Written Questions for Answer on Wednesday 8 December 1999

Here you can browse the Written Questions for answer on Wednesday 8 December of which previous notice has been given in the Notices of Questions paper. They are arranged in alphabetical order of answering Department.

For other Written Questions for answer on  Wednesday 8 December, of which no previous notice has been given, see the Order of Business.

For Written and Oral Questions for answer from Thursday 9 December, see Part 2 of this Paper.

Notes:
* Indicates a Question for Oral Answer.
+ Indicates a Question not included in the random selection process but accepted because the quota for that day had not been filled.
[N] Indicates a Question for Written Answer on a named day, i.e. the Member has indicated under S.O. No. 22(4) the day on which he wishes the Question to be answered.
[R] Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.
 


 
WEDNESDAY 8th DECEMBER
1  
N  
Mrs Gillian Shephard (South West Norfolk):    To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, when the Right honourable Member for South West Norfolk will receive a reply to her letter of 25th November on arable area payments.
(101859)
2  
  
Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York):    To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions she has had with the Minister of Agriculture and the Deputy Prime Minister on rural affairs; and if she will make a statement.
(102133)
3  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102046)
4  
N  
Mr Jon Owen Jones (Cardiff Central):    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many tickets for the Millennium Experience had been sold in (a) East Anglia, (b) the West Midlands, (c) the South West, (d) the South East and (e) London by 1st November.
(101471)
5  
  
Mr Edward O'Hara (Knowsley South):    To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if pensioners aged over 75 years who have already paid for a television licence will get a full refund of the unused part when the policy of free television licences for those aged over 75 years is implemented.
(102123)
6  
  
Mr Tony Benn (Chesterfield):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what advice he has sought on the legality of British nuclear deterrence policy.
(102127)
7  
  
Mr Tony Benn (Chesterfield):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what briefing the United Kingdom government has received from the US government on its subcritical nuclear test programme.
(102128)
8  
  
Mr Tony Benn (Chesterfield):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which section or sections of his Department are responsible for nuclear targeting policy.
(102125)
9  
  
Mr Tony Benn (Chesterfield):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what review of nuclear targeting policy he has conducted since the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons of 8th July 1996; and if he will make a statement.
(102126)
10  
N  
Mr Crispin Blunt (Reigate):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what charging arrangements are in place in respect of the budgets of the Scottish Executive and National Assembly for Wales, to pay for the time of Ministry of Defence officials preparing briefing for members of the (a) Scottish Executive and (b) National Assembly for Wales when replying to debates.
(101150)
11  
N  
Mr Crispin Blunt (Reigate):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, to what security level members of the Scottish Executive are briefed on defence matters when answering debates on defence issues in the Scottish Parliament.
(101149)
12  
N  
Mr Crispin Blunt (Reigate):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the current rate is of service pension that would be paid to an Army major who retired at the age of (a) 55 after 34 years reckonable service on 1st April 1977, (b) 53 after 32 years reckonable service on 1st April 1975 and (c) 55 after 34 years reckonable service on 1st April 1997.
(101151)
13  
  
Mr Harry Cohen (Leyton and Wanstead):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make a statement on his Department's policy in respect of the employment of women in posts in the Royal Marines.
(101936)
14  
  
Mr Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull North):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what correspondence he has received in the past two years concerning paramilitary infiltration of the Royal Irish Regiment (a) at Alma barracks, Catterick and (b) elsewhere; and what standing orders have been issued concerning (i) display of paramilitary insignia and emblems and (ii) possession or distribution of documents and other materials.
(102031)
15  
  
Mr Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull North):    To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date rules governing the security of classified documents and sensitive personal information were changed to restrict access by units of the Royal Irish Regiment; and if he will make a statement.
(102032)
16  
N  
Mr Richard Allan (Sheffield, Hallam):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, if he expects (a) the Government's target of free nursery places for 66 per cent. of three year olds to be met in every local education authority by 2002 and (b) levels of free provision to be higher than 66 per cent. in some areas by that date; and if he will make a statement.
(101521)
17  
N  
Charlotte Atkins (Staffordshire Moorlands):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his Answer of 29th November, Official Report, column 48W, what is the breakdown of funding by (a) LEA and (b) pupil, that comes through the (i) Standard Spending Assessment and (ii) Standards Fund for (1) 1997-98 and (2) 1998-99; and what are the projected figures for (x) 1999-2000 and (y) 2000-01.
(101860)
18  
N  
Charlotte Atkins (Staffordshire Moorlands):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, what advice he has issued to (a) primary schools and (b) local education authorities on (i) the employment of classroom assistants, (ii) extending their role within the classroom and (iii) providing incentives for classroom assistants to develop their knowledge and expertise in the fields of numeracy, literacy and record-keeping.
(101705)
19  
N  
Mr Tim Boswell (Daventry):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, if he will make a statement on the (a) responsibilities of and (b) operational relationships between regional development agencies and (i) the Learning and Skills Council and (ii) local learning and skills councils.
(101654)
20  
N  
Mr Tim Boswell (Daventry):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, further to his Answer of 23rd November, Official Report, columns 79-80W, on higher education funding, whether the higher education funding bodies for the United Kingdom apply the same degrees of selectivity in funding based on their common research assessment.
(101706)
21  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102047)
22  
  
Mr David Kidney (Stafford):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, what was the (a) education standard spending assessment and (b) outturn education spending for Staffordshire Local Education Authority for (i) 1997-98 and(ii) 1998-99, per (1) primary pupil and (2) secondary pupil.
(101959)
23  
  
Angela Smith (Basildon):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, how many pupils in infant classes in Essex schools were in classes of 30 or over in September 1999; what percentage of infant pupils this represents; and what the change in the percentage was from September 1998.
(101958)
24  
  
Mr Ian Stewart (Eccles):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, what was the average time taken for the Teachers' Pension Agency to process a teacher's request for early retirement on health grounds in each of the last three years; how many such requests have been refused in each of the last three years; and how many of these refusals have been overturned on appeal.
(101923)
25  
N  
Mr Phil Willis (Harrogate and Knaresborough):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, if he will list by local education authority the number and percentage of 18 year olds with five GCSE passes or equivalent in (a) 1997, (b) 1998 and (c) 1999.
(101519)
26  
N  
Mr Phil Willis (Harrogate and Knaresborough):    To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, if he will list by local education authority the number and percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998 and (d) 1999.
(101520)
27  
  
Ms Candy Atherton (Falmouth and Camborne):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, if he will allow parish councils to apply for grants under the Land Reclamation Programme.
(101956)
28  
  
Ms Candy Atherton (Falmouth and Camborne):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what factors underlay the decision to restrict the granting of and application for grants under the Land Reclamation Programme to district and county councils.
(101955)
29  
  
Mr Bob Blizzard (Waveney):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what assessment he has made of the compliance rate of utilities in using permanent reinstatement materials as set out in the statutory code of practice under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.
(102119)
30  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102049)
31  
  
Mr Keith Darvill (Upminster):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what qualifications or experience each of the senior managers of London River Services have relating to the provision of leisure and tourism services on the River Thames.
(102117)
32  
  
Mr Keith Darvill (Upminster):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what independent economic studies have been undertaken to assess the impact on the leisure and tourism industry of the reintroduction of river bus services on the River Thames.
(102120)
33  
  
Mr Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, when he intends to publish draft regulations on each of the matters for which powers to make regulations will be conferred on him under the Local Government Bill [Lords].
(102089)
34  
  
Mr Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, when he will publish the Housing Green Paper.
(102030)
35  
  
Mr Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what assessment he has made of the conformity of the Local Government Bill [Lords] with the European Charter of Local Self-Government; and if he will make a statement.
(101953)
36  
  
Mr Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, when he intends to publish a regulatory impact assessment in respect of the Local Government Bill [Lords].
(101951)
37  
  
Mr Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, if he will make a statement on the Government's policy in respect of the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
(101952)
38  
  
Mr Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, if he will list by (a) name, (b) local authority and (c) political party those local council leaders who have been (i) charged with and (ii) convicted of criminal offences since 1997.
(101966)
39  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102051)
40  
  
Mr Tony Benn (Chesterfield):    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of whether investing in the National Ignition Facility is consistent with Britain's obligations under (a) the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and (b) the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; and if he will make a statement.
(102130)
41  
  
Mr Tony Benn (Chesterfield):    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he had with colleagues prior to the Government's decision to invest in the National Ignition Facility; and if he will make a statement.
(102129)
42  
  
Mr Bob Blizzard (Waveney):    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his Answer of 6th December, what assessment he has made of the factors underlying the inability of the British High Commission in Nigeria to obtain the complete police report on the death of Mr Mark Davey.
(102135)
43  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102050)
44  
  
Mr Gerald Howarth (Aldershot):    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps K-For is taking to secure the return of Kosovar coal and mineral mines to their former owners; and what reports he has received on the extent of shareholdings in the Trepca Company by President Milosovic and his family.
(101962)
45  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102042)
46  
  
Mr John Grogan (Selby):    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what is the Government's policy towards treatment for Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy.
(102093)
47  
  
Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York):    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of (a) Professor Henshaw's report and (b) that of the Electricity Association about the health aspects of overhead line transmissions; and if he will make a statement.
(102134)
48  
  
Mr Paul Marsden (Shrewsbury and Atcham):    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will compensate those haemophiliacs infected with hepatitis C through contaminated blood products; and if he will make a statement.
(102118)
49  
N  
Mr Hilary Benn (Leeds Central):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to ban gamma hydroxy butyrate; and if he will make a statement.
(101518)
50  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102048)
51  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children below the ages of (a) 15 and (b) 18 years have been held in custody in each of the last five years.
(102036)
52  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children below the ages of (a) 15 and (b) 18 years are currently serving custodial sentences.
(102037)
53  
N  
Mr Hilton Dawson (Lancaster and Wyre):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many successful prosecutions there were for the possession of child pornography in the last three years for which figures are available.
(101653)
54  
  
Mr Jim Dobbin (Heywood and Middleton):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what was the outcome of the Justice and Home Affairs Council held in Brussels on 2nd and 3rd December; and if he will make a statement.
(102095)
55  
  
Paul Flynn (Newport West):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will estimate (a) the prison population and (b) spending on prisons in the next five years.
(101964)
56  
  
Mr Gerald Howarth (Aldershot):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Kosovar refugees are curently in the UK; and, of those, how many (a) are seeking and (b) have been granted asylum.
(101961)
57  
  
Mr Ian Stewart (Eccles):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the honourable Member for Eccles will receive a reply from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate Board to his letter of 6th July, reference number 915495/99.
(101935)
58  
  
Mr John M. Taylor (Solihull):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to review the law regarding retail availability of swords and similar weapons, with particular reference to the age limits for intending purchasers.
(101937)
59  
  
Mr Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North):    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will list all projects supported by her Department in Ghana for each of the past five years, and the current year to date, and the financial value of that support.
(101963)
60  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what percentage of the total workforce in her Department is registered as disabled; and what steps she is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in her Department.
(102045)
61  
N  
Mr Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North):    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what progress has been made in the inquiry by the Independent Commission for Police Complaints into the circumstances of the death of Robert Hamill; when he expects the Commission to complete its investigation; and if he will make a statement.
(101855)
62  
N  
Mr Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North):    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at what time on 27th April 1997 the location of the fatal attack on Robert Hamill in Portadown was cordoned off by the Royal Ulster Constabulary officers.
(101856)
63  
N  
Mr Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North):    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at what times on 27th April 1997 the Royal Ulster Constabulary officers who were present at the scene of the fatal attack on Robert Hamill in Portadown signed written statements regarding the incident.
(101857)
64  
N  
Mr Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North):    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will make a statement on his discussions with the Royal Ulster Constabulary Chief Constable in respect of recommendations 20, 21 and 22 of the MacPherson Inquiry report regarding procedures, record keeping and policy directive adherence at scenes of crime.
(101858)
65  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102039)
66  
  
Paul Flynn (Newport West):    To ask the Prime Minister, if he will seek to introduce alternative versions of the oath taken by honourable Members to reflect republican views.
(101957)
67  
  
Mr George Galloway (Glasgow, Kelvin):    To ask the Prime Minister, if he has received from the United States an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade on 7th April; and if he will make a statement.
(102058)
68  
  
Mr Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis and Littlehampton):    To ask the Prime Minister, if the dinner held at Number 10 Downing Street on 21st October was paid for out of public funds.
(102121)
69  
N  
Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle):    To ask the Prime Minister, if he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 8th December.
(101416)
70  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102041)
71  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102044)
72  
  
Dr Brian Iddon (Bolton South East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, what powers his Department has to override the decision of a benefit appeals tribunal.
(102034)
73  
  
Dr Brian Iddon (Bolton South East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, if it is his policy that, when a person wins a benefit tribunal appeal against loss or suspension of disability living allowance, that benefit should be reinstated forthwith providing that an appeal has not been lodged by his Department against the decision within the permitted timescale.
(102035)
74  
  
Mr Edward O'Hara (Knowsley South):    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, how many pensioners are currently in receipt of a United Kingdom state pension in (a) the USA and (b) the EU, excluding the UK; and if he will estimate how many (i) United States citizens and (ii) citizens of the EU, excluding the United Kingdom, who are domiciled in the United Kingdom are in receipt of a retirement pension from their country of origin.
(102124)
75  
  
Mr David Stewart (Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber):    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of claimants and (b) cost of cold weather payments in the (i) Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber and (ii) Ross, Skye and Inverness West constituencies in (1) 1997, (2) 1998, (3) 1999 and (4) 2000.
(101960)
76  
  
Mr Tony Benn (Chesterfield):    To ask the Solicitor General, what advice he has sought on the legality of British nuclear deterrence policy.
(102132)
77  
  
Mr Tony Benn (Chesterfield):    To ask the Solicitor General, what representations he has received about permission for a private prosecution of those responsible within government for infringements of international humanitarian law based on the Government's nuclear deterrence policy.
(102131)
78  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102043)
79  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, if he will make it his policy to ensure that the providers of cash dispensing machines indicated if any charge will be made for the use of their machines.
(102038)
80  
  
Mr Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, how many people and organisations have been prosecuted in each of the last three years for (a) advertising on and (b) sponsoring pirate radio stations.
(102033)
81  
  
Mr John Grogan (Selby):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what would be the estimated cost to the mineworkers' pension scheme of introducing pensions at 50 years for miners who are made redundant.
(102092)
82  
  
Mr John Grogan (Selby):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what would be the estimated cost to the mineworkers' pension scheme of introducing an entitlement to a full pension at age (a) 58 years, (b) 55 years and (c) 53 years.
(102091)
83  
  
Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what restrictions apply to the siting of digital television transmitting and receiving stations on rooftops; who can apply for permission for such siting; and to which Government department.
(102053)
84  
  
Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, how many digital television transmitting and receiving stations there are in London.
(102055)
85  
  
Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what is the lowest permissible height for digital television transmitting and receiving stations.
(102054)
86  
  
Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, which frequencies have been granted to News International Digital Television by the Radio Authority.
(102052)
87  
  
Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow):    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, when he granted a licence for News International to place a digital television transmitting and receiving station on the roof of its building in Wapping.
(102056)
88  
  
Mr David Crausby (Bolton North East):    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what percentage of the total workforce in his Department is registered as disabled; and what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of disabled people in his Department.
(102040)
89  
  
Paul Flynn (Newport West):    To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what plans Her Majesty's Government has for further devolution of power to Wales.
(101965)
90  
  
Sir Peter Emery (East Devon):    To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what action he is taking to ensure that in plans for the European Security and Defence Identity the views of the neutral and non-NATO nations are not able to prevent the rapid exercise of military judgement.
[Transferred] (102087)
91  
  
Mr Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne):    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, if he will make a statement on his proposals to reform housing benefit.
[Transferred] (102094)
92  
  
Mr Edward O'Hara (Knowsley South):    To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to regulate the pre-payment of funerals.
[Transferred] (102122)
93  
  
Mr Roger Casale (Wimbledon):    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what advice he has given local authorities which wish to introduce new local government structures before the Local Government Bill is enacted.
[Notice originally given for Thursday 9th December] (101978)


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