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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with his European counterparts regarding the persecution of Christians, with particular reference to the Montagnard refugees, in the Mondolkiri province of Cambodia; 
(3) what action Her Majesty's Government are taking to press the Cambodian and Vietnamese Governments to (a) improve the treatment of the Montagnard refugees in their refugee camp in Mondolkiri province, Cambodia and (b) ensure that these refugees are allowed to freely choose whether to return to Vietnam. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have been monitoring the plight of the Vietnamese refugees in Cambodia for several months. Our embassies in Hanoi and Phnom Penh have been in regular contact with the Vietnamese and Cambodian
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Governments, the local UNHCR representatives, and resident EU partners about this issue. The issue has also been discussed at official level in Brussels. When the Deputy Prime Minister visited Vietnam in December he urged the Secretary General of the Vietnamese Communist Party to co-operate with the UNHCR to ensure that the Vietnamese refugees could return without fear of retribution.
We are deeply concerned at recent reports that the Vietnamese and Cambodian Governments have failed to abide by the agreement they reached on 21 January with the UNHCR for the voluntary return of the refugees under UNHCR supervision. We are currently consulting with the UNHCR, EU partners and other sympathetic Governments on what action we should take to best safeguard the welfare of these refugees. 15 refugees were repatriated to Vietnam on 19 February, and we believe that there are around 1,070 refugees still remaining in two camps in Cambodia.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is his policy to ensure that British prisoners being held at Camp X-Ray be brought to face trial in the United Kingdom; and what representations to the US Administration he has made on the repatriation of British prisoners being held there. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 4 March 2002]: We are in close touch with US Government about the British detainees in Guantanamo Bay and the legal processes to which they might be subject.
Any prosecution of the detainees in the UK would be a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service.
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Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment has been made of the (a) living and (b) physical conditions of the British detainees in Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I refer my hon. Friend to my statement in the House on 21 January and to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Anniesland (John Robertson) on 4 March 2002, Official Report, columns 6970W.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps are being taken to ensure compliance by Zimbabwe with the terms of the Lancaster House agreement in relation to payment of pensions accrued during public service prior to independence and owed to British citizens; 
Mr. MacShane: The British High Commission in Harare regularly reminds the Zimbabwean authorities of their obligations to pensioners under the terms of the Lancaster House agreement.
The 1979 Lancaster House agreement stipulated that the Zimbabwe Constitution should contain provisions entitling public servants to state pensions, and that pension benefits should continue to be paid to former public employees no longer resident in Zimbabwe. The agreement did not contain any undertaking by the British Government to assume responsibility for the payment of pensions to those eligible, should the Zimbabwean authorities fail to maintain payments.
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Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what incentives for excellence in design she is proposing for Government building procurement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: I have been asked to reply.
The Office of Government Commerce is supporting the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Construction Industry Council to develop a set of key performance indicators for design which can be applied across government building procurement.
The annual Prime Minister's Award for Better Public Building rewards excellence in Government building and construction procurement, including design excellence. The first award was made last year.
Procurement decisions must be based on value for money. Value for money is the optimum combination of whole-life cost and quality to meet the user's requirement. Attention to design excellence is a critical element of this.
Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what incentives for sustainability she is proposing for Government building procurement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: I have been asked to reply.
In June 2000, Government launched the Achieving Sustainability in Construction Procurement Action Plan setting targets for the implementation of a wide range of practices in government construction procurement.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what expenditure has been incurred by her (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years on (i) opinion polling, (ii) focus groups and (iii) other forms of market research; and if she will list the surveys commissioned and the purpose of each. 
Mr. Morley: The Department has only been in existence since June 2001, so does not have such historical information. Producing figures for the current year to the level of detail required would involve disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in her Department have been seconded to jobs in the (a) private and (b) public sector in each of the last four years. 
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Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 7 February 2002, Official Report, columns 112930W.
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what further information has been obtained from the European Commission following the suspension of the public hearings on Aventis T25 genetically modified maize; what evidence and clarification has been obtained from the French competent authorities; if she will (a) make this information publicly available and (b) place it in the Library; and when the hearings will be reconvened. 
Mr. Meacher: The European Commission has not responded substantively to letters from DEFRA Ministers and officials on the French maize variety testing system. However, the Commission has proposed amendments to Directive 72/180/EEC determining the minimum characteristics and conditions for examining the distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS) of maize and some other species. These amendments, which bring the Directive into line with current best scientific practice, came into force on 14 February 2002 for implementation in member states no later than 31 March 2002.
The French testing authorities carried out a further year of official tests on the genetically modified maize variety Chardon LL in 2001 and provided a test report to the UK authorities in November 2001 based on the required two years of official DUS tests. The French authorities have confirmed that the tests were conducted according to the new Directive requirements. A copy of the French DUS report on Chardon LL will be placed in the Library.
Ministers have agreed in principle that if all of the legal and technical requirements have been met, the Chardon hearing may resume in spring 2002. The parties to the hearing will be informed when a decision has been taken.
Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many applications there have been for recycling plants for refrigerators and freezers in the west midlands region; and when she expects them to be operational. 
Mr. Meacher: There have been no applications submitted for waste management licences for the treatment of refrigerators in the west midlands region. However Aqua Force Special Waste are considering a plant at Wolverhampton.
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