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Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on his responsibilities in relation to vacancies among the membership of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the method proposed for filling the vacancy in Strangford. 
Mr. Mandelson: Under Article 6 of the New Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) Order 1998, vacancies can be filled without a by-election if a substitute has been nominated. In the absence of such a person the Chief Electoral Officer is required to inform the Presiding Officer of the need for a by-election.
|Mr. Mandelson||Mr. Ingram||Mr. Howarth|
18 Jan 2001 : Column: 342W
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what bar there is to people of any faith being appointed to be head of particular United Kingdom missions overseas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: The only case in which a genuine occupational requirement restricts appointment to the position of head of mission is in the case of the annual temporary consular delegation to pilgrims performing the Hajj, where it is essential that all members of the mission should be Muslims. Otherwise, there is no bar to any appointment on religious grounds.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list each new publication issued by his Department since 1997 and what the total cost was to the Department of each publication. 
Mr. Hain [holding answer 11 December 2000]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Maclean) on 3 November 1999, Official Report, column 184W. The information requested has been placed in the Library. In addition, the 1999 and 2000 FCO departmental reports cost £18,628 and £17,520 respectively.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's spending on official publications was for (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99, (d) 1999-2000 and (e) 2000-01; and what the planned expenditure is for 2001-02. 
18 Jan 2001 : Column: 343W
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the EU aid package to Colombia will ensure that humanitarian assistance is brought to internally displaced communities. 
Mr. Battle [holding answer 15 January 2001]: EU assistance for the peace process in Colombia of 105 million euro over the period 2000-06 will support human rights, long-term economic and social development and an end to violence.
The EU has stated that particular attention should be paid to, among others, victims of violence. We are very concerned at the levels of displacement within Colombian society and we will continue to do all we can to ensure that displaced people are included in the EU package of support. The UK has supported a number of projects among the displaced over recent years, both bilaterally and through the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and the UNHCR office in Bogota.
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures his Department has taken to support Hindu pilgrims from the United Kingdom attending the Kumbh Mela. 
Mr. Hain: Consular staff in London and India are on standby to provide such assistance as may be required by British visitors to the Kumbh Mela festival, which has traditionally been a trouble-free event.
Mr. Battle: I attended the EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting in Vientiane on 11-12 December when we had a full and frank discussion on Burma. EU and ASEAN Ministers lent their full support to the efforts of Mr. Razali, UN Special Envoy on Burma, and there have since been encouraging reports that Aung San Suu Kyi and the regime have established initial contracts. The Burmese authorities also publicly committed themselves at the Vientiane meeting to allowing the forthcoming
18 Jan 2001 : Column: 344W
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the impact on beef prices in the United Kingdom of decisions by other EU countries to restrict the import of French beef. 
Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: I do not anticipate that restrictions on the import of French beef introduced by some EU member states will have a significant effect on UK market prices. UK beef prices firmed during December and are currently about 2.5 per cent. down on this time last year. During November 2000 prices were around 10 per cent. down on the same time the previous year.
Mr. Barron: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the loss of income to British farmers consequent on the French Government's ban on the import of beef cattle from Britain. 
Ms Quin: No additional loss of income arises as a result of the French ban on live beef cattle from the UK because the export of live cattle is also banned under EU rules. However, British farmers will have suffered a loss of income as a result of the French ban on British beef produced in accordance with the EU approved Date Based Export Scheme (DBES). Exact amounts cannot be quantified. It is necessary to take into account the difficulties in operating DBES and changes in exchange rates, but France was previously the largest export market for british beef and the French ban is likely to have affected the confidence of potential customers in other countries.
Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many (a) pig units, (b) dairy units and (c) poultry units there were in (i) Somerset and (ii) Yeovil constituency in (A) 1980-81, (B) 1990-91, (C) 1995-96, (D) 1998-99 and (E) 1999-2000; and if he will make a statement. 
|Number of holdings|
|Holdings with cattle||2,295||1,685||1,422||1,289||1,214|
|Holdings with pigs||697||463||350||372||334|
|Holdings with poultry||n/a||1,114||1,005||1,020||948|
|Yeovil parliamentary constituency|
|Holdings with cattle||--||--||--||182||--|
|Holdings with pigs||--||--||--||51||--|
|Holdings with poultry||--||--||--||n/a||--|
Parliamentary constituency data are only available from 1999. The 2000 data will be available by the end of April 2001.
June agricultural and horticultural census.
The data relate to main holdings only, i.e. minor holdings excluded.
18 Jan 2001 : Column: 345W
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