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Nuclear Industry

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many withdrawals of nuclear materials from safeguards applied under the tripartite UK-Euratom-IAEA Voluntary Safeguards Agreement there have been since 1 February 2000; and if he will indicate the number which were permanent. [151600]

Ms Hewitt: Information on advance notifications of withdrawals from safeguards made since the start of 2000 is contained in the following table. Data are shown in the same format as in the paper provided on 28 July 2000, Official Report, column 1094W. The withdrawals involved only very small quantities of material to be used for analytical purposes and are all regarded as permanent. Annual updates of information on withdrawals in future years will be made available on the non-proliferation section of the DTI website www.dti.gov.uk/non- proliferation.

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Summary of notifications of withdrawals from safeguards (January 2000 to February 2001)

Number of withdrawal notifications (by type of nuclear material involved(10))Reason for withdrawal
Two notifications involving plutonium (Pu), mg quantities Material to be used for analytical purposes (eg samples,
One notification involving depleted natural and low enriched uranium (DNLEU), mg quantities standards/tracers and/or in instrument calibration)(11) (from NPL Teddington)
Three notifications involving thorium (Th), mg quantities

(10) The tabulated information covers advance notifications of withdrawal approved by DTI and which resulted in the eventual withdrawal of nuclear material from safeguards.

(11) There are no facilities outside safeguards which manufacture material in such quantities and forms, and defence establishment requirements for these specialist materials have therefore been met by supply from civil organisations.


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British Association for Shooting and

Conservation

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to determine the accuracy of the annual returns made in

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each of the last six years by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation Ltd., Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 Registration No. 28488 R. [151267]

Ms Hewitt: This is a matter for the Chief Executive of Companies House. I have asked him to reply direct to the hon. Gentleman.

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Letter from J. S. Holden to Mr. Roy Beggs, dated 1 March 2001:




Credit Company Blacklists

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the Lord Chancellor about re-examining the role of the courts in relation to the black-listing of individuals by credit companies. [150853]

Ms Hewitt: I have not had any discussion with my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor.

Serco Contracts

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the contracts that exist between Serco and the Department, its executive agencies and associated public bodies; and if he will list those which have existed in the last three years. [151346]

Ms Hewitt: The Department has a contract with NPL Management Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco, to operate the National Physical Laboratory. Serco is also a partner in Laser (Teddington II) Ltd., the consortium who will be providing serviced accommodation for the National Physical Laboratory, under a PFI arrangement.

Information on contracts with suppliers is not held centrally, and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

I have asked the Chief Executives of our Executive Agencies and associated public bodies to reply separately to this question.

Ceramic Products Imports

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will undertake an inquiry into the practice of companies importing manufactured ceramic products from outside the EU, decorating such products and adding to them a made in England back stamp; and if he will make a statement. [151544]

Ms Hewitt: It is already a criminal offence under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 for a person in the course of a trade or business to apply false or misleading statements to goods, including statements about the origin of those goods. For the purposes of the Act goods are deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change. The Act is enforced by the local authorities' trading standards service and any instances of false or misleading back-stamping should be brought to their attention.

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Combined Heat and Power Stations

Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will announce his decisions on the proposals by Dalkia Services plc to build combined heat and power stations at the Zeneca Agrochemicals works at Huddersfield and the AstraZeneca works at Macclesfield. [152259]

Mr. Hain: I have today given clearance under section 14(1) of the Energy Act 1976 to Dalkia Utilities Services plc to build a 20 megawatt gas-fired combined heat and power station at the Zeneca Agrochemicals works at Huddersfield and a 13 megawatt gas-fired combined heat and power station at the AstraZeneca works at Macclesfield.

Combined heat and power plants are designed to produce both electricity and usable heat. They have environmental benefits due to their high levels of energy efficiency.

The decision demonstrates the Government's continuing commitment to promote CHP, wherever practicable, and our commitment to reduced emissions of carbon to fulfil the promises we gave at Kyoto.

Copies of the Press Notice and decision letter are being placed in the Library of the House.

Trans-Balkan Oil Pipeline

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if his Department has provided export credits for the Trans-Balkan oil pipeline. [151583]

Mr. Caborn: ECGD has not been approached for support and no export credits have been provided for this project.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Southern Africa (Peacekeeping)

Mr. Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on United Kingdom support for regional peacekeeping training in Southern Africa. [152324]

Mr. Robin Cook: In view of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe, the British Military Advisory and Training Team (BMATT) for Southern Africa will relocate from Harare to the UK at the end of March 2001. The team has played an important role in enhancing the capacity of the countries of the Southern Africa Development Community to contribute to international peace support operations. We will continue to look for alternative locations from which the team can carry on this work with the countries of the region.

Trans-Balkan Oil Pipeline

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his EU counterparts concerning the Trans-Balkan oil pipeline; and if he will make a statement. [151584]

Mr. Vaz: The Foreign Secretary has had no discussions on this matter with EU or other colleagues.

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Arms Exports (Western Sahara)

Ms Kingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions took place between his Department and the United Nations in New York concerning the granting of UK arms export licences for the refurbishment of guns situated in Western Sahara; on what date; and who took part in the discussions; [148691]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 5 February 2001]: Foreign and Commonwealth Office and United Nations officials routinely discuss a wide range of issues relating to Western Sahara in New York and the region.

As set out in the Secretary of State's evidence to the Quadripartite Committee on 30 January, in 1998 a British company applied for an export licence in order, inter alia, to refurbish Moroccan guns in Western Sahara.

In late 1998, as a result of contacts between Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials and MINURSO in the region, Ministers came to the preliminary view that, if Moroccan guns were refurbished, this would not violate the terms of the UN-sponsored cease-fire between Morocco and the Polisario Front which has been in place since 1991. The UN told FCO officials in April 1999 that refurbishment could be considered as neutral. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials also understand that, under the terms of the Military Agreement signed between

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MINURSO and Morocco and MINURSO and Polisario, MINURSO would play a role in monitoring the process of refurbishing the guns.

In discussions between Foreign and Commonwealth Office and United Nations officials in New York this subject was referred to on 1 February 1999, 16 February 1999, 23 February 1999, 3 March 1999, 21 and 28 May 1999 and 21 June 1999.

On 21 June 1999, the United Nations Department for Peace Keeping Operations in New York confirmed that refurbishment of the guns would not be in breach of the existing military arrangements between MINURSO and the two parties; and that, in accordance with these arrangements, MINURSO would be in a position to monitor the procedure of the refurbishment of the Moroccan guns on the ground. This is set out in Military Agreement between the two parties and MINURSO of 1997.

It is not for the United Nations to object or not to any refusal by HMG of an arms export licence. The United Nations role is to monitor the cease-fire between the two parties.

We are not aware of any direct approaches from the UK arms manufacturers to the United Nations concerning refurbishment of Moroccan guns in Western Sahara. However, in their letter of appeal of 1 October 1998, the applicant asserted that refurbishment did not contravene the cease-fire and that MINURSO could monitor any refurbishment.


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