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Mr. Miliband [holding answer 8 December 2004]: Departmental files are retained and destroyed in line with policies set out by the National Archives. In accordance with its selection policies and disposal schedules, the Department has destroyed the following number of files in each of the last five years1,731 (1999), 1,387 (2000), 2,982 (2001), 2,960 (2002), 3,728 (2003). In addition, it is estimated, that approximately 1,300 files each year were not selected for transfer to the National Archives and were therefore also destroyed.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when he will reply to the question tabled on 3 December 2004, by the hon. Member for New Forest East, ref 203389, asking how many departmental files have been destroyed in each of the past five years. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many video conferencing units are installed in (a) her Department and (b) each agency of her Department; what percentage of offices have these facilities in each case; and what plans there are to increase the number. 
Mr. Miliband: 12 video conferencing units are available within Cabinet Office buildings (including three mobile units). In central London, 25 per cent. of the buildings occupied by the Department have video conferencing facilities, including the main buildings at 70 Whitehall and Admiralty Arch. There is another video conferencing unit at the Centre for Management and Policy Studies' Sunningdale Park site and another at the Emergency Planning College's site in Easingwold. The Government News Network offices make occasional use of the video conferencing facilities of the Government Offices in the Regions.
There are existing plans to purchase one further mobile video conferencing unit. In addition, the Cabinet Office intends to review the existing provision of video conferencing facilities to identify whether further efficiencies can be gained from increasing usage.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the reasons were for the early release of those 19th-century decennial censuses for (a) England and Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland, which were released for public inspection before they were 100 years old. 
Mr. Leslie: In England and Wales, 19th century census returns contain fewer details about individuals than those conducted in the 20th century. Censuses up to 1851 were made available in the early 20th century because they often constituted the only proof of age and therefore of entitlement to state pensions from 1908 onwards. All decennial census returns from 1861 onwards have been made generally available to the public after a period of 100 years.
The taking of the decennial census in Scotland, provision of public access to the census in Scotland and freedom of information in Scotland are all devolved matters, but the Registrar-General for Scotland will be writing to the hon. Member shortly.
The national archives of Ireland in Dublin has custody of surviving 19th century all-Ireland census records that have been released in accordance with decisions taken by the Government of the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will publish the texts of the undertakings of confidentiality which were printed on the census documents for (a) 1911 and (b) 1921, for (i) England and Wales, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Northern Ireland. 
"The contents of the schedule will be treated as confidential. Strict care will be taken that no information is disclosed with regard to individual persons. The returns are not to be used for proof of age, as in connection with old age pensions, or for any other purpose than the preparation of statistical tables".
(ii) The taking of the decennial census in Scotland and provision of public access to the records of the census in Scotland are devolved matters, but the Registrar-General for Scotland will be writing to the hon. Member shortly.
The facts will be published in general abstracts only, and strict care will be taken that the returns are not used for the gratification of curiosity, or for any other object than that of rendering the Census as complete as possible.
John Cryer: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs who will be entitled to vote in the proposed referendum on the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union. 
Mr. Leslie: The final decision on the franchise will be a matter for Parliament to decide. The starting point, however, will be that those people eligible to vote in elections to the Westminster Parliament, as well as members of the House of Lords and the people of Gibraltar, will be eligible to vote. The Westminster franchise consists of British citizens resident in the UK either currently or at any point in the past fifteen years, Commonwealth citizens with leave to enter or remain in the UK, and citizens of the Republic of Ireland (with whom the UK has a reciprocal arrangement). All those in the categories must also be of voting age and not subject to any other legal incapacity to be eligible to vote.
John Cryer: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what powers the Electoral Commission will have regarding Government expenditure on the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union. 
John Cryer: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what regulations govern spending in the UK by (a) the European Commission, (b) the European Parliament and (c) European Union agencies regarding the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union prior to and during the proposed referendum on the Treaty; 
Mr. Leslie: The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 would regulate spending during the referendum period by the European Commission, European Parliament and agencies of the European Union. They will be subject to a spending limit of £10,000 during that period.
John Cryer: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will make a statement on the rules governing activities by (a) political parties, (b) trade unions, (c) businesses, (d) campaigning organisations, (e) the European Union and (f) the Government prior to and during the proposed referendum on the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union. 
The rules governing these organisations' activities are set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA). According to
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PPERA, political parties, trade unions, businesses, and campaigning organisations can register as permitted participants, and may apply for designated organisation status. Different rules apply whether an organisation is a permitted participant or a designated organisation.
John Cryer: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what consultations the Department has undertaken with the (a) Electoral Commission and (b) other organisations regarding the Electoral Commission's powers to regulate spending during the proposed referendum on the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union. 
John Cryer: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will make a statement on his Department's plans for the referendum on the constitutional treaty for the European Union. 
Mr. Leslie: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will be responsible for the Bill necessary to enable a referendum to be held. DCA have been assisting them in relation to matters concerning the holding of the referendum, and will continue to assist during the passage of the Bill and its implementation.
Mr. Leslie: No comparative figures are available as the only UK-wide referendum was held in 1975. We would expect the cost of running the referendum to be similar to the cost of a general election. The last general election cost approximately £80 million.
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