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Fisheries

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to ensure that the English fishing fleet receives financial assistance equivalent to that provided by the Scottish Executive for the Scottish fishing industry. [157241]

Mr. Morley: The decision to provide additional assistance worth £11.5 million for the restructuring of the fishing industry and rejuvenation of ports in England was made after careful consideration of the difficulties the industry has been facing.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the recent OECD report on transitional financial assistance to the fishing industry. [157237]

Mr. Morley: The report by OECD on the economic and policy implications of transition to responsible fisheries is a welcome examination of the challenges involved in adopting more sustainable fishing methods across the developed world. One finding is that direct financial assistance to fishing industries can be detrimental to long-term sustainability unless it is carefully targeted at restructuring and complementary to management controls. This is consistent with the UK Government's view and the £22.5 million package of aid for the English industry which I announced on 2 April is designed with long-term environmental and economic sustainability in mind.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make available transitional aid to allow the fishing industry the means to introduce conservation measures and meet short-term losses arising from their introduction. [157240]

Mr. Morley: Grant is available under the EU fisheries scheme FIFG for the adoption of conservation measures, for example, selective fishing gear and diversification away from pressure stocks. This is a priority area of the funding I announced on 2 April. It is, however, not appropriate to compensate fishermen for conserving stocks from which they will attain long-term benefit.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much of the package of aid to the English fishing industry contained in the press release on this Department's website (Ref: 1219/01) is funding which has already been announced. [157881]

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Mr. Morley: As explained in the press release, £11 million had already been committed to the FIFG grants scheme and I was launching the scheme in England. The £6 million funding for restructuring the industry and the £5.5 million DETR funding for rejuvenation of fishing ports were new announcements.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the criteria used for awarding the package of aid to the English fishing industry for decommissioning. [157880]

Mr. Morley: I will shortly be discussing with representatives of the industry how these restructuring funds should be used.

Aquaculture

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the compatibility of UK policies with the Code of Conduct drawn up by the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers for the development of sustainable aquaculture. [157269]

Mr. Morley: No formal assessment has been carried out, but the Government welcome the code as an initiative which promotes best practice which is consistent with statutory requirements.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the research studies used by the Government to evaluate the potential impact of the introduction of new, non-indigenous species to aquatic aquaculture. [157268]

Mr. Morley: There has been no need to date to conduct research studies in order to operate the controls which the Government apply, under the Prohibition of Keeping or Release of Live Fish (Specified Species) Order 1998, to the introduction into the wild of non-native species of fish.

PRIME MINISTER

Ministerial Code of Conduct

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 17 January 2001, Official Report, column 340, what advice he has received from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards regarding his ministerial code of conduct. [146655]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 January 2001]: I have nothing to add to my answer of 17 January.

Hollis Industries

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Prime Minister when No. 10 was advised that the inquiry into Hollis Industries contained evidence of £200,000 payable to the hon. Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Robinson). [157166]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 April 2001]: I refer the right hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry's reply to the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker) on 2 April 2001, Official Report, columns 5-6W, which sets out the facts relating to the conduct of the 1999 investigation into

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companies associated with my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Robinson) (principally Hollis Industries plc).

At no point were the contents of any papers or other documents obtained by the Department of Trade and Industry during the course of the investigation disclosed to No. 10.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister if he has approved the transport to and entombment of animals from foot and mouth infected counties in landfill sites in foot and mouth free counties. [157753]

The Prime Minister: The disease eradication effort is organised on the basis of infected and non-infected areas, not county boundaries. Except in a few cases at the beginning of the outbreak, the policy has been to dispose of slaughtered animals within their infected areas, not to transport animals and carcases from infected to non-infected areas.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 28 March 2001, Official Report, column 954, if he will provide a breakdown of the figure for sheep movements in February. [157512]

The Prime Minister: Sheep movements are not centrally recorded. We have refined the estimate which I provided on 28 March. We now estimate that around 2 million sheep movements took place in Great Britain in February, before movement restrictions were imposed. This is broken down as follows:





Other movements, including a limited number of movements between holdings or back from winter grazings, brings the total to around 2 million.

Mr. Beith: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the changes in the handling of the foot and mouth outbreak which have resulted from his actions since he took personal charge of the matter. [157793]

The Prime Minister: The overriding priority since the outbreak was first discovered on 19 February has been to mobilise the resources and logistics required to control and eradicate the disease. This has been achieved by keeping the situation under constant review within Government, and by involving all Departments that have a positive role to play in the eradication strategy.

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Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make an announcement regarding the Chair of the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body from 1 March. [158178]

The Prime Minister: I have appointed Mr. Michael Blair QC to be Chair of the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body from 1 March for a period of three years.

NORTHERN IRELAND

RUC

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applications for early retirement and severance from the RUC have been turned down by the Chief Constable in the past three years, broken down by (a) perceived community origin, (b) gender, (c) police division, (d) membership of specialist units and (e) rank; and what the reasons were for turning down applications. [153819]

Mr. Ingram: No eligible officer has been turned down for voluntary severance/early retirement in the past three years.


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