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FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Departmental Publications

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many publications were issued by his Department in each of the last four years. [11836]

Mr. MacShane: The total number of publications issued was:

YearNumber
1997–98194
1998–99224
1999–2000179
2000–01161

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office produces a range of booklets aimed at overseas audiences. It also issues recruitment literature, and leaflets to raise consular awareness among UK nationals travelling abroad. The figures include parliamentary publications such as annual FCO departmental reports on the Government's expenditure plans and human rights.

Gibraltar

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the constitutional arrangements agreed between the UK and the Irish Republic involving joint decision-making in the affairs of Northern Ireland are being used as a model for the future constitutional status of Gibraltar. [19963]

Peter Hain: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, South (Mr. O'Hara) on 20 November 2001, Official Report, column 187W. A copy of the joint press communiqué issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs when they met under the Brussels Process in Barcelona on 20 November has been placed in the Libraries of the House. The Ministers discussed the full range of issues set out in the November 1984 Brussels Communiqué. Their discussions did not include the relevance of the Northern Ireland constitutional model to Gibraltar.

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if an agreement to offer Spain any joint decision-making over the affairs of Gibraltar will be put to a referendum of the people of Gibraltar. [19964]

Peter Hain: I refer to my statement in Westminster Hall on 7 November 2001, Official Report, columns 88–92WH. The Government will stand by the constitutional commitment to Gibraltar set out in the preamble to the Order in Council that established the 1969 constitution. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs reiterated this in response to a

11 Dec 2001 : Column: 826W

question from the hon. Member for South Staffordshire (Sir Patrick Cormack) on 27 November 2001, Official Report, columns 822–23.

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which aspects of agreement on the future status of Gibraltar with Spain (a) will and (b) will not be subject to a referendum in Gibraltar. [21432]

Peter Hain: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to a question from the hon. Member for South Staffordshire (Sir Patrick Cormack) on 27 November 2001, Official Report, column 822.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to enter into discussions with Spain over the future status of Gibraltar. [21683]

Peter Hain: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for West Suffolk (Mr. Spring) on 5 December 2001, Official Report, column 312W.

Mr. Dennis Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to raise the issue of border delays with the Government of Spain. [21601]

Peter Hain: I last raised the issue of border delays with the Spanish Minister for Europe on 10 December, and will continue to do so on all future appropriate occasions.

Departmental Expenditure Limits

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of the increase in the departmental expenditure limit from 2001–02 to 2002–03 will be accounted for by wage costs. [20669]

Mr. MacShane: This information is not available at present as the figures for 2001–02 cannot be finalised until the end of the financial year. We are in any case unable to provide the figures for 2002–03 as the FCO's paybill is negotiated annually with HM Treasury.

The FCO's forthcoming Departmental Report (to be published spring 2002) will give full retrospective costs.

New Deal (Young People)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people are employed by the Department under the new deal for young people; and at what cost to public funds. [21314]

Mr. Bradshaw: Information follows on the number of people currently employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office under the new deal for young people. New deal recruits take up existing vacancies so extra costs are limited to the subsidy where appropriate, and any additional training which may be needed. The cost of the latter cannot readily be identified.

In 2001 the FCO has recruited three young people under the scheme. Since 1999, 10 have been employed. They are paid an A1 salary, (the grade at which we recruit New Dealers) currently £12,600 per annum. The Employment Service subsidy is £60 per week for the first six months of their employment.

11 Dec 2001 : Column: 827W

Departmental Staff (Home Working)

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage staff to work from home; and how many staff do so on a regular basis. [21824]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is committed to the Work Life Balance of its staff. A range of flexible working patterns—including part-time working, job sharing and home working—is available to staff by agreement with their management.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publicises its commitment to flexible working and encourages managers to respond positively to requests as part of their commitment to the diversity agenda.

On the basis of the latest information available, there are currently around 20 people in the FCO who work permanently or regularly from home; many more work from home on an informal or occasional basis. Other working patterns in place include term time, school hours, compressed hours, shift working, flexitime, staggered hours, reduced hours, part-time and job sharing.

Indonesia

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with the Indonesian authorities regarding the actions of Laskar Jihad in the Christian villages surrounding Tentena; [21765]

Mr. Bradshaw: On 23 November our chargé d'affaires in Jakarata lobbied Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian Co-ordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs, on the security situation in Sulawesi. Mr. Yudhoyono said that the Government were anticipating an upswing in violence and that additional military and police had been deployed to the region. Our concern was further reinforced by the chargé d'affaires at a meeting with Manuel Kaisieppo, the Minister of Development in Eastern Indonesia on 29 November. We will continue to monitor developments closely.

Al-Qaeda

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2001, Official Report, column 404W, on al-Qaeda, if he will rule out support for military action against states where there is no evidence of state support of the terrorist activities of al-Qaeda. [22151]

Mr. Bradshaw: Our aim is to eliminate the threat posed by the international terrorist networks of al-Qaeda, and other international terrorist organisations. We will take the action we deem necessary in support of this aim. It would not be sensible to rule out any option in advance.

Many countries around the world suffer from the presence and activity of international terrorists. Most are prepared to address the problem, but some lack sufficient capability to do so. In co-operation with the international community we are stepping up assistance to states which oppose terrorist activity but lack the means to prevent it.

11 Dec 2001 : Column: 828W

Suicide Terrorists

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 5 December 2001, Official Report, column 315W, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the level of preparedness up to 11 September for the willingness of suicide terrorists to use aircraft and other vehicles to inflict substantial loss of life. [22129]

Mr. Bradshaw: Alongside national and international measures aimed at deterring and preventing terrorist activity, our contingency planning takes account of all types of terrorist threats. Although we are constantly alert to the threat of international terrorism, we had no specific warning of the 11 September attacks.


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