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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the occasions since 26 July when he has exercised his powers under the royal prerogative. 
Mr. MacShane: A number of powers under the royal prerogative are exercised on the advice of the Secretary of State. These include the conduct of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the management of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Records are not kept centrally of the individual occasions on which such powers are exercised.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) ministerial visits and (b) visits by officials to Brazil in the last year. 
Mr. MacShane: In the 12-month period prior to the date this question was tabled, the following outward ministerial visits took place to Brazil:
15 to 19 October 2000: The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
4 to 8 November 2000: The Minister for Housing
6 to 7 December 2000: The Minister for Schools
30 July to 1 August 2001: The Prime Minister (accompanied by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and myself).
26 November to 1 December 2000: Chief of Air Staff, Ministry of Defence
27 November to 1 December 2000: Director Americas, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
7 to 8 June 2001: Director General for Trade Policy, Department of Trade and Industry
16 to 19 July: Director Americas, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the compulsory retirement ages which apply to employees of his Department and of executive agencies and other public sector bodies for which it is responsible, broken down by grade or job title. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The normal retirement age for all employees in the FCO and in the non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies for which it is responsible is 60. However, for each completed year of service in
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certain posts overseas (prior to 1972), the retiring age is reduced by 3 months, though not so as to reduce it below 55.
Retirement on compulsory, flexible or approved early retirement terms applies to staff aged 50 or over.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has collated about the number of civilians killed in Aceh, Indonesia, since the commencement of the current military operation on 2 May; and what representations his Department has made to the Indonesian Government concerning their cessation of that operation. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Precise figures for the number of deaths from violence in Aceh are not available, but an estimated 800 civilians have died during 2001 (up to early October). During a visit to Aceh on 1 October by EU Ambassadors based in Jakarta, the Deputy Chief of Police said that approximately 70 police had been killed, along with 30 military personnel and 100 members of the GAM (Free Aceh Movement).
HMG has made it clear to all the parties concerned on numerous occasions that the only basis for a peaceful, durable settlement is through negotiation.
I raised the issue with the Indonesian Authorities on 28 August and the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Paul Holms) raised it with President Megawati and others on 11 September.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received concerning the use of British-made armoured vehicles by the North Sumatra Military Command, Bukit Barisan. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Indonesian Government have told us that there are no Saladin armoured vehicles, or other British built equipment in Aceh. We are aware that an Indonesian magazine "Gatra", on 14 April 2001 showed a Saladin (not Saracen) patrolling the North Sumatra/Aceh border area, but on the North Sumatra side. Saladin armoured vehicles are 45 years old and are generally used for protected mobility of troops.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to encourage the Indonesian Government to invite UN experts on (a) extrajudicial executions, (b) torture, (c) arbitrary detentions, (d) the independence of judges and lawyers and (e) human rights defenders to visit Indonesia to carry out assessments on issues of concern. 
Mr. Bradshaw: It is British Government policy to encourage all Governments to co-operate with UN mechanisms including the special procedures appointed to investigate specific thematic issues such as extra judicial executions and torture. If one of the UN Special Rapporteurs thought that it would be appropriate to visit Indonesia, we would encourage the Indonesian Government to facilitate such a visit.
We raise human right issues with the Indonesian authorities, both bilaterally and through the European Union, at every appropriate opportunity.
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Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring of the human rights situation in Aceh and West Papua is being undertaken by the British Embassy in Indonesia; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The British Embassy in Jakarta maintains regular contact with a wide range of NGOs, civil society, local government and parliament representatives to share information on human rights issues within Indonesia. In addition the Ambassador and his staff make regular visits to Aceh and West Papua, most recently in October 2001.
The British Government remain concerned about a range of human rights issues in Indonesia and I discussed these with the Vice President and the Attorney-General when I visited Jakarta in August.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the prospects for peace in Angola; what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UN sanctions on the Unita forces in Angola; and what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Development about the human consequences of the civil war in Angola. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The way to a lasting peace in Angola is through dialogue, which must include the broadest possible range of Angolans.
The UN Monitoring Mechanism on Angolan Sanctions has just published its report (on 9 October). We are still studying its findings.
My noble Friend Baroness Amos, the Minister responsible for Africa last met the Secretary of State for International Development on 12 September to discuss Angola. We remain concerned at the human consequences of the civil war, which include widespread suffering, violation of human rights and the exclusion of civil society from the political process. We continue to urge dialogue, involving all parties to the conflict, as an essential first step towards addressing these problems.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions UK representatives have had with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: British officials maintain regular contact with the Northern Alliance through the Charge d'Affaires at the Afghan Embassy in London. Officials have also had a range of contacts with other members of the Northern Alliance including in Afghanistan and during visits by them to Europe.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the United Nations and the Government of Morocco concerning the holding of an
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independent referendum to allow the Saharwi people to decide their own future, including the option of independence. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The UK supported United Nations Security Council resolution 1359 that was passed unanimously on 29 June 2001. This reiterated full support for the ongoing efforts of MINURSO to implement the Settlement Plan and the agreements by the parties to hold a free, fair and impartial referendum for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. We fully support the efforts of the UN Secretary General to invite all parties to meet directly, or through proximity talks under the auspices of his personal Envoy, James Baker, in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution to this issue and we continue to encourage all parties to do so.
We regularly discuss the issue of Western Sahara with the Government of Morocco, most recently during my visit to Morocco on 24 to 26 September.
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