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John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many work permit applications from foreign employees of farmers in Bassetlaw have been refused in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Byrne: Only one work permit application (made in 2005) has been refused within the last five years. The data are from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for work permits for migrant workers his Department received from race horse trainers on behalf of trainee jockeys in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne: Home Office records show that no work permit applications were submitted by race horse trainers in respect of trainee jockeys in the calendar year of 2005, the last full year for which figures are available.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why 32 (The Royal) Squadron made two return flights to Brussels on 21 January 2003 on behalf of the Minister for Europe; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: This Department has no record of my right hon. Friend the then Minister for Europe my right hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. MacShane) using 32 (The Royal) Squadron on 21 January 2003.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely effect on the security situation in Helmand Province, Afghanistan of the increase in opium production in 2004-05. 
Dr. Howells: According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime figures, 2004-05 saw a 21 per cent. reduction in the level of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. However, production decreased by only 2.4 per cent. as improved weather conditions and less disease resulted in higher yields per hectare. This was particularly the case in Helmand Province, where opium production increased despite a 10 per cent. fall in the area under cultivation.
It would be speculation to draw a link between an increase in opium production in 2004-05 and the security situation in Helmand. However, it is clear that the drugs trade flourishes in a lawless environment.
It also contributes to the perpetuation of that environment and hinders the reconstruction process.
That is why the UK is supporting the Government of Afghanistan to implement its National Drug Control Strategy, including by co-ordinating international assistance designed to target the trafficker and the trade, strengthen and diversify legal rural livelihoods, build effective counter narcotics institutions and reduce domestic demand. More broadly, our wider military and civilian engagement in Helmand Province will help to create a more secure environment and develop Afghanistans institutions and legitimate economy.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress the Government are making in ensuring that the UN General Assembly mandates a start to negotiations for the international arms treaty in 2006; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: We are working to build support for the launch of a UN based process to take forward the initiative for an international treaty on the arms trade. In 2005, support was secured from both the EU and the Commonwealth. In 2006 my hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East made a speech making the case for a treaty while on a visit to the United Nations in Geneva. Speaking to the assembled diplomatic community, my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary also spoke about the UK's commitment to the arms trade treaty in a speech at Mansion House on April 26. In addition, we have conducted a global awareness raising and lobbying exercise through our network of diplomatic posts, and are in contact with a wide range of partners to secure the consensus needed for the start of a formal process to be agreed at the UN General Assembly later this year.
The organisations provide residential property to workers on Ascension Island as required under the Workman's Protection (Ascension) Ordinance. The obligation under this legislation is to provide suitable living accommodation for the worker.
Mr. Hoon: The Crown, in right of Ascension Island, holds the freehold of all domestic dwellings on Ascension Island. Ascension has a system of registered title to land; all land (including domestic dwellings) is registered as freehold land owned by the Crown; there are no registered leasehold interests on domestic dwellings on Ascension Island.
Ascension Island Government have entered into arrangements with four individuals to occupy properties on the basis that they are conducting business which is deemed to be essential to the functioning of the Island.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps her Department plans to take to monitor the extent to which public bodies which report to her comply, from October, with their duty to conserve biodiversity in exercising their functions, under section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. 
Mr. Hoon: Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials will shortly be discussing with public bodies which report to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary their plans for complying with applicable requirements of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Minister in her Department is responsible for monitoring her Department's compliance with its duty under section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to have regard to the purpose of conserving biological diversity in carrying out its functions; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) monitors biological diversity on our UK estate as part of our Environmental Management Systems (EMS). We are currently integrating the EMS covering our two Whitehall buildings, which is certified to International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14001: 2004, with the EMS operating on our rural site at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire. We plan to extend ISO certification to Hanslope Park in the autumn.
To determine biological diversity at Hanslope Park we commissioned a survey of the site in 2004. This found no habitats or species that we have a statutory duty to conserve. An assessment of the FCO's two Whitehall buildings reached the same conclusion. We have therefore not nominated a Minister to be responsible for monitoring compliance under section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. We will keep this under review.
Mr. Hoon: Information on ethnicity is collected on a voluntary and in-confidence basis. Because of the small sample size we are unable to give the information requested on the grounds of confidentiality.
Dr. Howells: We estimate that approximately 16,000 British nationals live permanently in Nigeria and hold a British passport and approximately 35,000 British nationals live permanently in Pakistan and hold a British passport. These figures are based on passport issues at our deputy high commission in Lagos and our high commission in Islamabad respectively.
Many Pakistanis are dual nationals who obtain a passport in the UK but live for a large part of the year in Pakistan. Consular officials estimate that there may be times when the actual figure of British passport holders residing in Pakistan could be as high as 80,000.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the extent of nuclear technology transfer from North Korea to Burma; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Government of Burma about actions by the Burmese army against the Karen, Karenni and Shan peoples. 
Mr. McCartney: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 16 May 2006, Official Report, column 893W, and the answer my right hon. Friend the Minister for Europe gave on 23 May 2006, Official Report, columns 1626-27W.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her assessment is of the prospects for the release of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The Government condemn the Burmese regimes decision to extend the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi. The Burmese Government have given no indication that she is likely to be released in the near future.
I issued a statement on 31 May expressing the Governments concern about the continued detention
of Aung San Suu Kyi, calling for her immediate release and the release of all other prisoners of conscience in Burma.
The statement can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth office website at: http://www.fco.gov. uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029391629&a=KArticle&aid=1148473573847.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the Government have to engage with Burmese authorities following the recent visit to Burma of the UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs. 
Mr. McCartney: The Government have no plans to engage with the Burmese authorities regarding the visit of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. The Government will continue to work with the UN and international partners to encourage the Burmese Government to bring about national reconciliation and the restoration of democracy.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Government of Chile about the destruction of glaciers in the Andean Cordillera region as part of the Pascua Lama Project. 
Mr. Hoon: We have not made any specific representations to the Chilean Government over the Pascua Lama Project, but we co-operate with the Chilean Government on a number of global and environmental issues including climate change. Any activity as part of the Pascua Lama Project that will have an impact on glaciers in the Andean Cordillera region will have to comply with Chile's environmental regulations. The Chilean Government takes this matter seriously.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made to the Chinese authorities in the case of Mr. Ching Cheong, a British national arrested under spying charges in China on 22 April 2005. 
Mr. McCartney: We have pressed the Chinese authorities for information on the circumstances of Mr. Ching Cheong's detention, in demarches in October 2005 and March 2006 but received no reply. We will continue to seek information on his case. Although Mr. Ching holds a British National (overseas) passport he did not use this passport to enter China and Mr. Ching is deemed by the Chinese authorities to be a Chinese national.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made to the
Government of China on the limitation of information available on Google or Skype services in China; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: It is for the companies involved to answer questions about their decision to co-operate with the Chinese Government on restrictions on the internet and on messages sent using their software. The government believes that freedom of information is essential to the development of a modern, stable and sustainable society. We are very concerned about the apparent hardening of Chinese policy on freedom of expression, including in relation to the Internet. We made this a theme of our bilateral human rights dialogue with the Chinese in June 2005 and the UK-led EU-China Human Rights Dialogue in October 2005. Freedom of expression will also be on the agenda for the next round of the dialogue in June. We continue to raise our concerns with the Chinese Government.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the recent report from the US Department of Defence entitled Annual Report to Congress: Military Power of the People's Republic of China. 
Mr. McCartney: I have yet to assess the report in detail. However, the central themes of the report including China's need to increase transparency in its military planning and budgeting, to guard against the risks of miscalculation in the Taiwan Straits, and for China to build up its bilateral co-operation and engagement as a responsible stakeholder in the international community are ones which the Government broadly share.
Mr. Hoon: We keep the human rights situation in Colombia under constant review and frequently raise specific human rights cases with the relevant Colombian authorities. We remain concerned about the situation faced by civil society in Colombia. While the human rights situation clearly remains unacceptable, we feel that some progress has been made and it is important to recognise this. Figures for 2005 demonstrate that the number of murders, kidnappings, displacements and massacres generally decreased by comparison with those for 2004. Much more needs to be done, however. The UK's objective is to support both the Government of Colombia and civil society through projects that promote human rights, democracy and good governance.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations her Department has made to the Government of Colombia about the human rights situation in Colombia. 
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