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30 Nov 2005 : Column 621W—continued

Smoking

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research his Department has evaluated on the health and safety effects of environmental tobacco smoke on workers; what assessment he has made of the applicability of the guilty knowledge test under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974; and if he will make a statement. [29753]

Mrs. McGuire: The Health and Safety Commission reached its view on the health and safety effects of second-hand smoke in the workplace by taking into account the report of the Department of Health's Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH). In November 2004, SCOTH's updated report confirmed that second-hand smoke represents a substantial public health hazard.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 does not provide specifically for a guilty knowledge test. While it does not ban smoking at work, it requires employers to have in place policies that manage and reduce the risks to their employees1 health to as low a level as reasonably practicable. Responsibility for deciding what this level should be rests with the employer.

PRIME MINISTER

Crown Jewels

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister which of the (a) crowns and (b) tiaras worn by George V and Queen Mary at the Delhi Durbar in 1911 are in public ownership; and if he will make a statement. [29819]

The Prime Minister: The Imperial Crown of India worn by His Majesty King George V at the Delhi Durbar has since that occasion been on permanent public display as part of the Crown Jewels in the Jewel House of the Tower of London.

Festivals

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Prime Minister what measures his Office took to celebrate and promote the events of (a) Ramadan, (b) Diwali and (c) Chinese New Year in 2005. [31164]

The Prime Minister: My Office values and respects the diversity of its employees. Should they wish to do so, staff are supported in their desire to celebrate their traditions, including with colleagues within the Department. I also send out messages of goodwill to various communities on the occasion of their celebrations, copies of which are available on the Number 10 website.

First World War Veteran (State Funeral)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Prime Minister if he will consider recommending the granting of a state funeral to the last person to die who served in the First World War; and if he will make a statement. [32294]

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Veterans) (Mr. Touhig), is currently considering an
 
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appropriate way to mark the service and sacrifices of those who served in the First World War, and an announcement will be made in due course.

Freedom of Information

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Prime Minister how many Freedom of Information applications his Office has received; how many have taken more than 20 days to process; and how many of these gave rise to complaints about the time taken. [31214]

The Prime Minister: For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 28 November 2005, Official Report, columns 50–51W by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Jim Murphy).

Iraq

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Prime Minister when he plans to publish the paper he referred to in evidence to the Liaison Committee on 8 February setting out the way forward for the Iraqiisation of security (HC 318-i); and if he will make a statement. [28399]

The Prime Minister: The paper referred to during the evidence session was a United States report, produced by a team led by General Luck, a retired US General. It was an audit of the coalition's campaign plan in Iraq, in particular the training and development of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). During the evidence session with the Liaison Committee, I said that I hoped the paper would be published, but noted that it was still being considered by the US Government. Following this, the US Government decided not to publish this report. As this was a US report, this was a matter for the US Government to decide.

Labour Party Funds

Mike Penning: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list those consultants which have been in receipt of government funds that have donated funds to the Labour Party; and what the sums involved were in each case. [32368]

The Prime Minister: Information on party political donations is not held by the Government.

Race Equality Impact Assessments

Keith Vaz: To ask the Prime Minister how many RaceEquality Impact Assessments his Office completed between (a) April 2004 and March 2005 and (b) April 2005 and November 2005; and how many assessments in each period resulted in a change of policy. [32833]

The Prime Minister: For these purposes my office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr.Murphy) today.

Sick Leave

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Prime Minister how many of his Offices' employees who are within one yearof the official retirement age are on extended sick leave. [32595]


 
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The Prime Minister: For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I have therefore asked my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Murphy) to reply. A copy of the reply will be placed in the Library of the House.

Special Advisers

Lynne Jones: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it Government policy for special advisers to give evidence to parliamentary committees if asked. [31505]

The Prime Minister: As I made clear in my evidence to the Liaison Committee on 22 November, decisions on officials, including special advisers, giving evidence to Select Committees are taken on a case by case basis in line with the guidance in Departmental Evidence and Response to Select Committees". The guidance makes clear the presumption that Committees requests on attendance of named officials will be agreed to, but that the final decision on who is best able to represent the Minister rests with the Minister concerned. It remains the right of a Minister to suggest an alternative civil servant to that named by the Committee if he or she feels that this person is better placed to represent the Minister.

Terrorism Legislation

Grant Shapps: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2005, Official Report, column 1662W, on terrorism legislation, what font size was assumed in making the calculation. [32584]

The Prime Minister: As I made clear in my previousanswer, this is a publicly available document (ISBN: 0760064903).

NORTHERN IRELAND

Arson Attacks

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many arson attacks there were on schools in each education board in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [31975]

Angela E. Smith: The Education and Library Boards have advised that the number of arson attacks on controlled and maintained schools in the last five years are as follows:
Number

2001–022002–032003–042004–052005–06(50)
Belfast57422
Western21143
North Eastern
2
2213
South Eastern
(51)
5860
Southern55113
Totals1420161411


(50)To date.
(51)Not readily available.


The Boards do not hold information on arson attacks on voluntary grammar and grant maintained integrated schools.
 
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Carers

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of people in Northern Ireland providing unpaid care to people aged 65 years and over. [28851]

Angela E. Smith: The 2001 census showed that 185,066 people in Northern Ireland (11 per cent. of the population) were providing unpaid care. The census did not collect the age of people for whom the care was being provided.


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