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Teaching Posts

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many (a) teachers and

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(b) teacher full-time equivalents were employed by Hampshire county council at each key stage in each year since 1997; [157076]

Mr. Miliband: Information on teacher numbers and vacancies by Key Stage and on the duration of teacher vacancies is not collected centrally. The latest available data on teacher numbers and vacancies in maintained nursery/primary, secondary and special schools by local education authority were published on 20 January in the statistical volume "The School Workforce in England 2003", a copy of which has been placed in the Library. The table is also available on the statistics section of the DfES website at: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/VOL/v000443/index.shtml

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Accession States

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evidence his Department has collated on the number of nationals from (a) Poland and (b) other accession states who have already arranged transportation to the UK following 1 May; and if he will make a statement. [157074]

Mr. MacShane: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no figures for the numbers of any EU nationals who have arranged to visit the UK after 1 May.

Afghanistan

Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are in place to combat the drugs trade in Afghanistan. [157022]

Mr. Rammell: As lead nation for counter-narcotics activity in Afghanistan, the UK supports the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy, which was adopted by President Karzai in May 2003. The strategy proposes activities in four key areas: improved drugs law enforcement; alternative livelihoods for poppy farmers; capacity building for Afghan drugs institutions; and public awareness campaigns/treatment programmes to help reduce demand. The UK has committed £70 million over three years and additional personnel for the British Embassy in Kabul to drive forward implementation of the strategy.

On 8/9 February 2004 the UK co-hosted with the Afghan Government and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime an International Counter Narcotics Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul. Over 300 delegates attended from Afghanistan, partner countries and international organisations. The conference demonstrated the firm resolve of the Afghan Government and the international community to tackle the drugs problem in Afghanistan. It agreed action plans for future work in each of the key areas.

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Antarctica

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has held with the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat concerning (a) increased surface level transport activities in Antarctica and (b) the construction of a seasonal road to the South Pole; and if he will make a statement. [157707]

Mr. Rammell: The UK has not had any discussions with the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat because, although agreement has been reached on the establishment of such a secretariat in Argentina, it has not yet commenced operations. It is, however, hoped that it will be possible for it to do so on a provisional basis during this year.

The United States of America has developed a Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation (CEE) on the "Development and Implementation of Surface Traverse Capabilities in Antarctica", which is available on the Internet at http://www.nsf.gov/od/opp/antarct/treaty/cees.htm. This proposes that an ice-road be developed between McMurdo Station and Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station to supplement the existing air-support for the re-supply of facilities at the South Pole.

The CEE will be examined by the Antarctic Treaty's Committee on Environmental Protection, which will then provide advice to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, at its meeting in Cape Town in May 2004.

Balwant Singh

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the papers of Balwant Singh (ECR/995346/03/S) were sent to London. [151579]

Mr. Mullin: It is not our practice to disclose details of individual entry clearance cases in a public forum. I am withholding the information requested about the outcome of this case under exemption 5 of part 2 the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. However. I will write to my hon. Friend.

Burma

Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on recent political developments in Burma. [156234]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We remain deeply concerned about the political situation in Burma. Although the Burmese regime's plans for a National Convention are a step in the right direction, the process needs to be inclusive and transparent, involving all political parties and ethnic groups. Convention participants must be allowed full freedom of speech, movement and political activity. As a first step Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) colleagues must be fully released and NLD offices re-opened.

Documents

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which documents are held by his Department written by (a) P. H. Pearse, (b) Thomas J. Clarke, (c) Thomas Macdonagh, (d) Edward Daly, (e) William Pearse, (f) Michael

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O'Hanrahan, (g) Joseph Mary Plunkett, (h) John MacBride, (i) Sean Heuston, (j) Michael Mallin, (k) Eamonn Ceannt, (l) Con Colbert, (m) Thomas Kent, (n) Sean MacDiarmada, (o) James Connolly and (p) Sir Roger Casement. [156306]

Mr. Straw: All Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) records are normally transferred to The National Archives after 30 years. All FCO records relating to Sir Roger Casement are available to the public there. In the time available to answer this question we have not been able to trace any records withheld by this Department relating to the others named or to the Easter Rising of April-May 1916. I will write to the hon. Member to confirm the position.

EU First Pillar (Regulations and Directives)

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many regulations were passed and how many directives were implemented under the European Union's first pillar for each year since 1997. [157107]

Mr. MacShane: We assess that the number of regulations made was as follows:








We assess that the number of EU directives issued was as follows:








All the data above cover the period from December (of the preceding year) to November of that year inclusive.

The above regulations and directives were passed under the European Union's first pillar.

The data above are taken from the LexisNexis online database (a subscription service at: http://web.lexis-nexis.com/professional), which draws on the Official Journal and other documents as provided by CELEX—the computerized documentation system on Community law.

Falkland Islands

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on recent negotiations between the United Kingdom and Argentina concerning flights to and from the Falkland Islands, with particular reference to the number of flights per week that will be permitted; which airline will operate the service; and what was discussed concerning the issue of sovereignty of the islands. [156864]

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Mr. Straw: I refer the right hon. and learned Member to a written ministerial statement that the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Mr. Rammell), made today on the issue of air links between the Falkland Islands and the South American mainland. The issue of sovereignty was not discussed during Mr. Rammell's recent visit to Argentina.

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on recent talks in Argentina regarding charter flight links to the Falkland Islands. [156996]

Mr. Rammell: I refer my hon. Friend to the Written Statement I made today on the issue of air links between the Falkland Islands and the South American mainland.


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