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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what plans the Department has to introduce an 80-year closure period for census records; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Leslie: It is Government policy that all decennial returns, which contain personally sensitive information supplied in confidence, should remain closed for 100 years. It is very important that public confidence is maintained in the confidentiality assurances given by the Government to citizens when they are required to complete their census forms.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Advisory Council on Public Records on the closure period for census details. 
Mr. Leslie: I have had no discussions with the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Council on National Records and Archives concerning the closure period for census records. The council considered the matter in 1998 and 2003 and on both occasions concluded that a reduction in the closure period from 100 years would amount to a breach of confidence.
Mr. Leslie: Since January 2004, there have been seven written parliamentary questions on the closure period for census records. In addition, DCA Ministers have responded to 147 letters from MPs conveying the views of constituents on this subject.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate he has made of the expected revenue that would be generated from a release of the (a) 1911 and (b) 1921 census online before their scheduled release dates. 
Mr. Key: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs when he will publish the draft statutory instrument on the charging regime for museums and other organisations in respect of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr. Leslie: The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 were laid before Parliament on 9 December. These Regulations are subject to the negative resolution procedure, and will come into force on 1 January 2005.
Vera Baird: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many defendants to allegations of domestic violence in the criminal courts have been allowed personally to cross-examine the complainant in (a) England and Wales, (b) Cleveland Magistrates' Court and (c) Teesside Crown Court in 2004. 
: The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 provides protection to complainants in cases involving sexual offences, to child complainants and other child witnesses from cross examination by the defendant themselves under sections 34 and 35. Section 36 allows the court to make a direction prohibiting the defendant from cross-examination of a particular witness in person if the quality of the evidence would be diminished in that circumstance or improved by making such a direction. Information relating to how many cases where a defendant has conducted cross- examination in person in England and Wales is not held centrally and to identify each case would incur
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disproportionate cost. Both Cleveland and Magistrates' Court and Teeside Crown Court have confirmed that they are not.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many full days are available for hearings in the Principal Registry of the Family Division before 1 July 2005. 
Mr. Leslie: Between 6 December 2004 and 1 July 2005, 3,466 full sitting days are available for hearings in the Principal Registry of the Family Division (Circuit and District Judge appointments). Of these days 131 full day appointment slots for one-day cases were available. In the Family Division of the High Court (High Court Judges) there are 1,346 full sitting days available over the same period. Of these 71 full day appointment slots for one day cases were available.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs when the first day known to be available for a full day hearing in the Principal Registry of the Family Division was on Monday 6 December. 
Mr. Leslie: The first day available for a full day hearing in the Principal Registry of the Family Division, on Monday 6 December 2004 was 18 April 2005. In the Family Division of the High Court the first available date for a full day hearing was 28 February 2005. Although these are the first available dates, Lists are structured to leave capacity to accommodate cases, which the judiciary identify as requiring urgent appointments. Also, Lists change as circumstances in individual cases change.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether departmental special advisers have attended meetings with external (a) bodies and (b) individuals, in their official capacity and without Ministers, since May 1997. 
Mr. Leslie: Special advisers hold meetings with a wide range of external representatives in their official capacity. All such meetings are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of official Departmental Christmas cards included a contribution to charity in their cost; and which charities benefited from such a contribution. 
Seventy nine per cent. of Northern Ireland Office Departmental and Ministerial Christmas cards included a contribution to Charity. The charities that benefited were The Northern Ireland Hospice, Unicef and The Samaritans.
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Mr. Pearson: Northern Ireland Office Christmas cards are distributed using either the normal postal system or using an internal government courier service that transports documents between the various government and public service buildings in Northern Ireland. A record is not maintained of which cards are posted in the normal way and which cards are distributed though the courier. It is therefore not possible to supply the postage costs for either of the years requested.
Mr. Pearson: The Northern Ireland Office bought 6,130 Christmas cards for Christmas 2003 and 5,701 for Christmas 2004. A record of the number actually sent is not kept but it is thought that it would not vary greatly from the number bought.
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