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Airwave Radio System

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the further advice of Sir William Stewart on the potential health risks of specific frequency ranges for the emergency radio Airwave system; and if he will make a statement. [5385]

Mr. Denham: Sir William Stewart was the chairman of the Independent Expect Group on Mobile Phones. The group was commissioned by the Minister of Public Health to assess the current state of research into possible health risks from mobile phones. The Group's report, on Mobile Phones and Health, was published on 11 May 2000.

As a result of the precautionary approach recommended in the report, and recognising that concerns had been raised about Airwave, the Home Office commissioned two studies. One study is being conducted by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and the other by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). The NRPB have engaged their Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) to review the available evidence. Both of these studies are in progress.

We are anticipating that the AGNIR report will be available in the next few weeks. The DERA study is longer term and DERA will be reporting to us on a regular basis, up to the conclusion of their main programme in May 2002.

Chief Inspector of Prisons

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times he has met the Chief Inspector of Prisons since his appointment as Secretary of State. [6382]

Mr. Blunkett: I have met Sir David Ramsbotham once since my appointment as Home Secretary.

Prison Service

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times he has met Ms Ann Owers to discuss the Prison Service; and if he will make a statement. [6381]

Mr. Blunkett: Ms Ann Owers takes up her appointment as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons on 1 August 2001. I look forward to meeting her. The Under-Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Stretford and Urmston (Beverley Hughes), will meet her shortly after she takes up her appointment.

Animal Experiments

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) of the primates which, according to Table 2 of the Home Office statistics on the use of animals in scientific procedures for 1999, how many were wild-caught; from which countries were wild-caught primates imported; how many were ill or injured on arrival, indicating the illness or injury in each case; and how many became ill or injured during quarantine for reasons unrelated to the scientific procedures indicating the illness or injury in each case; [5711]

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Angela Eagle: We announced in 1997 our intention that licences under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 will never be issued for programmes of work involving the use of great apes (chimpanzees, pygmy chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans) and that exceptional justification is required for the use of wild-caught primates.

In addition, the 1986 Act requires that non-human primates cannot be used unless no other species is suitable. Along with regulatory testing to help ensure the safety of medicines, non-human primates (mainly marmosets and macaques) 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.

Table 2 of the Statistics of Scientific procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 1999 records 418 non- human primates used in scientific procedures as coming from outside the European Union. The detailed information requested in relation to these animals is for the most part not held centrally by the Home Office and it is, therefore, not possible to provide all of the information required about them. However, Home Office records confirm that none of these 418 animals were wild-caught.

The overseas sources of primates used in 1999 were Mauritius, the Philippines, China, Israel and South Africa.

I am advised that problems encountered with imported primates are generally few and instances of death following acquisition are very rare.

It is not possible to provide general information with regard to primates destined for laboratories in the United Kingdom but subsequently not used. Such animals are not included in the annual statistics. I can confirm, however, that no deaths or injuries have been reported in baboons during transportation, including the group of 28 wild- caught baboons imported from Kenya in May 1999 but not used.

Commonwealth Visitors

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answers of 11 July 2001, Official Report columns 534–37W, on Commonwealth visitors, how many (a) Jamaican, (b) Barbadian,

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(c) Guyanese, (d) Canadian and (e) Australian visitors in (i) 2000 and (ii) 2001 to the latest available date were (1) refused entry to the UK and (2) admitted with less than the maximum period of six months' leave; and how many people, from each country, admitted for less than six months, applied for extensions to stay as visitors. [5897]

Angela Eagle: Information on the total number of visitors refused leave to enter the United Kingdom is not available because refusals are recorded according to the reason for refusal and not according to the entry category (ie visitor, student, work permit holder). In addition, it is only possible to determine the number of visitors admitted. Information on the period of leave granted is not available. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 11 July 2001, Official Report, column 535W.

However, information is available on the number of refusals where the main reason for refusal was because the immigration officer was not satisfied the applicant was a genuine visitor. It does not include persons intending to enter as visitors, but refused entry on other grounds. This, along with information on the total number of persons refused leave to enter and removed is shown in Table 1.

Table 2 shows the number of decisions on extensions of leave to remain as a visitor, to persons that entered the United Kingdom as a visitor or admitted in another

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category for less than six months. The data relate to January to September 2000, the latest period available.

Table 1: Passengers refused leave to enter and removed, by selected nationality, 2000 to February 2001

Number of journeys
Total refused leave to enter and removedOf which: main reason for refusal—not satisfied a genuine visitor
January 2001
February 2001

Table 2: Grants and refusals of extensions of leave to remain as a visitor(50) in the United Kingdom to persons having entered the country as a visitor(51) or admitted in another category for less than six months, by selected nationality, January to September 2000(52)—United Kingdom

Number of decisions(53)
Grants of extension
Admitted as a visitor(51)94010202060
Admitted in another category for less than six months 20(54)1010
Refusals of extension
Admitted as a visitor(51)160(54)101010
Admitted in another category for less than six months10
Total decisions
Admitted as a visitor(51)1,09010203060
Admitted in another category for less than six months30(54)1010

(50) Excludes dependents of principal applicants, the outcome of appeals, and withdrawn applications

(51) Includes students admitted for less than six months

(52) Provisional

(53) Totals may not add up due to rounding. This is because all calculations are based on unrounded numbers to ensure accuracy

(54) Five or fewer


Data rounded to the nearest 10

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