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Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are made to ensure that asylum seekers who cannot read English are sent correspondence about vouchers in their own language. 
Mrs. Roche: Sodexho Pass UK, the company contracted by the Home Office to print and distribute vouchers to asylum seekers, produces advice leaflets in 11 languages, which include English, Somali, French, Arabic, Albanian, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Persian, Slovakian and Czech. A leaflet in the relevant language is included in the support packs the National Asylum Support Service sends out to asylum seekers along with their emergency vouchers. In addition, Sodexho Pass UK provides telephone helplines, at local call rates, in the same 11 languages. The relevant telephone helpline number is printed on an individual asylum seeker's vouchers according to the language he or she speaks. Asylum seekers who are unable to communicate in one of the specified languages are issued with the English version of the leaflet and helpline number and can use their local One-Stop Service for advice about the voucher scheme.
The Home Office has grant funding agreements with several refugee organisations. As part of this agreement, refugee organisations provide a One-Stop Service to brief asylum seekers on a range of issues. One of their responsibilities is to brief asylum seekers about the support arrangements, including the voucher scheme, which may include providing briefing in the asylum seeker's own language. They have also issued joint guidance about claiming asylum in the United Kingdom that includes the support arrangements. This is printed in English, Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Kurdish (Sorani), Somali and Tamil.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers have been accommodated in Wales under the Government's dispersal arrangements, indicating the local authority areas concerned. 
Mrs. Roche: The available information at the end of December 2000 is that 30 1 asylum seekers (including dependants) were allocated accommodation in the County of Wrexham in Wales by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS).
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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seeker applications were awaiting a final decision on 1 January. 
Mrs. Roche: The number of asylum applications awaiting an initial decision has decreased every month since January 2000. On 30 November the number stood at 69,870, the latest date for which information is available.
Information on the number of cases awaiting an initial decision on 31 December 2000 is due to be published on 25 January 2001 on the Home Office website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/index.htm as part of the regular publication of asylum statistics.
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers have been dispersed to Liverpool; and how many of them have returned to the South East of England. 
Mrs. Roche: The information available at the end of December 2000 is that 1,780 1 asylum seekers (including dependants) were allocated accommodation in Liverpool under the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) dispersal scheme. The number of asylum seekers who may have returned to the South East of England following dispersal to Liverpool is not available.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent analysis he has made of the extent to which police custody suites are being used for (a) those who are mentally ill or held for their own protection and (b) the drunk and disorderly. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: I am not aware that there has been any recent analysis of the extent to which police custody suites are being used for such purposes.
Where mentally ill persons are held at police stations for their own protection they should be interviewed and examined by a social worker and a registered medical practitioner as soon as possible so that suitable arrangements can be made for their treatment or care.
There are special requirements for custody staff to make more frequent visits to those who are drunk and they must be roused and spoken to on each visit. Some alternatives to police custody for holding drunken persons exist in a few areas and those who are severely inebriated will often be taken straight to hospital.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many detoxification centres have been established over the last four years for those detained by the police in a drunk and disorderly condition; and how many centres it is proposed to establish in the period until 2005. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Comprehensive information about the number of detoxification centres and plans for their establishment are not held centrally. However, work is under way to develop best practice in dealing with drunken detainees and to encourage the development of relevant facilities where appropriate.
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Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proportion of non-human primates used in research in the UK in each of the last five years were (a) wild-caught, (b) captive-bred outside the UK and (c) captive-bred in the UK; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) if he will list those establishments that have been approved as sources of non-human primates under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what progress has been made in discussions with other member states in establishing a target date after which the use of wild-caught primates in European research laboratories will be prohibited; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) what percentage of non-human primates used in research in the United Kingdom are singly-housed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 requires that non-human primates can be used only if no other species is suitable. In addition to regulatory testing to help ensure the safety of medicines, non-human primates are also used for other important areas of fundamental research. For example, they contribute to programmes of work relating to Parkinson's disease, visual impairment, stroke, diabetes, disorders of reproduction and vaccine development.
The number of procedures using non-human primate species over the last five years for which figures are available, by source of animals was as follows:
|Animals obtained from:|
|Year||Within the United Kingdom||Outside the United Kingdom||Total|
All the animals obtained from within the United Kingdom will have been bred in captivity. For the imported animals, the annual statistics do not distinguish captive-bred animals from those which were obtained from the wild. However, it is unlikely that any wild-caught animals apart from baboons have been acquired from overseas in the last five years. Eighty wild-caught baboons were used in 1995, 28 in 1996, 17 in 1997, four in 1998 and none subsequently.
Home Office officials advocate the current United Kingdom policy on the use of wild-caught primates with other member states of the European Union at Commission-hosted meetings of the National Competent Authorities.
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Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 prohibits me from naming the establishments licensed under the Act to supply or breed non-human primates within Great Britain. Animals obtained from overseas are currently imported from Mauritius, Israel, Philippines and China. It is not Home Office policy to name the source companies from within these countries.
Information on the percentage of primates housed singly is not available. However, housing is generally in pairs or groups unless there are scientific, veterinary or welfare reasons for single housing.
Information regarding the number of project licences in each severity banding for each of the last five years is not kept in such a way as to make it readily or easily available. I will write to the hon. Member when officials have been able to collate at least some of this information.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the programme for Holocaust memorial day. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: A national ceremony will be held in London on the evening of Saturday 27 January and will be attended by a wide audience including survivors, senior public figures, community representatives and students.
There is a wide range of activities being planned by local authorities and community groups around the country. They have been encouraged to put details of their activities on the dedicated website www.holocaustmemorialday.gov.uk.
We also anticipate that schools will use the new Holocaust education resource pack in the week leading up to Holocaust memorial day to mark the day in appropriate ways. We are receiving very positive feedback on its suitability and usefulness for this purpose.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons the Armenian genocide up to 1923 will not be included in the Holocaust memorial day programme. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Holocaust memorial day is focused on learning the lessons of the holocaust and other more recent atrocities that raise similar issues. We took a conscious decision to focus on events around the holocaust and thereafter, although we did examine requests to consider the atrocities and other events that preceded the holocaust. Examples include the crusades, slavery, colonialism, the victims of Stalin and the Boer war. It is always difficult to draw a line and wherever it is drawn it runs the risk of being misinterpreted.
A particular focus on events around the period 1939-45 and thereafter should not be seen as failing to acknowledge, sympathise and respect the concerns about prior events.
The massacres of Armenians in 1915-16 were an appalling tragedy condemned by the Government of the day and now. We understand the strength of feeling about this terrible period and extend our sympathies to the descendants of the victims.
We fully understand that the Armenian community may feel that Holocaust memorial day is an appropriate one for them to recall the dreadful massacres of Armenia.
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Others will also seek to highlight atrocities. The Government's decision to give a particular focus to the day does not prevent recollection of other appalling events which may raise similar issues. I understand Armenians remember the events of 1915-16 on another date.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the response to Holocaust memorial day by local authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: There is a wide range of activities being planned by local authorities and community groups around the country. They have been encouraged to put details of their activities on the dedicated website wow.holocaustmemorialday.gov.uk. The Local Government Association (LGA) issued a reminder circular about this on 9 January. The LGA also plan to conduct a survey of local authorities' response to the day next month. This will help to inform planning for future years.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to encourage local authorities to support Holocaust memorial day. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 15 January 2001]: On 23 October the Local Government Association sent guidance to local authorities on ways they can mark the day, encouraging them to involve local communities and groups. This guidance was produced by a working group chaired by the Acting Chief Executive of the London borough of Barnet and involved a number of representatives of non-governmental organisations with experience and expertise in holocaust education and remembrance. The guidance has been distributed to a wide range of voluntary and community groups through the Commission for Race Equality, the National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service, Stonewall, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Holocaust Educational Trust, and the Inter Faith Network. This effort was reinforced by seminars for local authority chief officers run jointly by the Local Government Association (LGA) and Beth Shalom Memorial Centre.
A wide range of activities are being planned by local authorities and community groups around the country. They have been encouraged to put details of their activities on the dedicated website www.holocaustmemorialday.gov.uk. The LGA issued a reminder circular about this on 9 January. The LGA also plan to conduct a survey of local authorities' response to the day next month. This will help to inform planning for future years.
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