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case studies of UK companies doing business in China to inform potential exporters/investors of the key issues involved.
Mr. Hoon: Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been in touch with the Bermuda Regiment, which has advised that no conscript has been sent on service outside Bermuda. Since 2000, over 1,700 conscripts and volunteers have been sent on military training exercises or military training courses in overseas locations. These range from performing in the 2003 Edinburgh Tattoo to volunteering to participate in the post-hurricane clean-up in the Cayman Islands after Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions since 2000 a leg brace has been used in respect of a Bermuda Regiment conscript; and for what purpose. 
Mr. Hoon: Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been in touch with the Bermuda Regiment who have advised that, since 2000, the leg brace was used three times in 2001 as a restraint. Leg braces were banned from use later that year.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of (a) the decision of the Governor of Bermuda to continue conscription to the Royal Bermuda Regiment for males and (b) its impact on the UK Government's policies on (i) ethical foreign policy, (ii) equality policies and gender discrimination and (iii) UK equality legislation on the action of her Department's stewardship of Overseas Territories. 
Mr. Hoon: There is widespread support in Bermuda for compulsory military service in the event of voluntary enlistment proving inadequate. In an independent public survey in Bermuda taken in 2004, 79 per cent. of those surveyed supported the continuation of conscription as currently practised. Both political parties, the governing Progressive Labour Party and the opposition United Bermuda Party, have expressed their support of conscription. Bermuda has used conscription since 1957.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures have been taken to raise the quality of command and leadership in the Royal Bermuda Regiment since November 2005; and if she will make a statement. 
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when she intends to reply to the letter dated 27 November 2006 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms S. K. Singh. 
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when she intends to reply to the letter dated 20 November 2006 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr Mohamed Sharif. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many persons have submitted requests for the disclosure of personal data held by her Department in the past two years under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998; and how many of these requests were from serving or former staff of her Department. 
Margaret Beckett: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office received 281 requests for personal data under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 in 2005 and 2006. Of these 154 were from serving or former members of staff.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many persons have submitted requests for the disclosure of personal data held by her Department in the past two years under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998; how many were complied with within the 40 day statutory period; how many requests remain outstanding; and for what duration in each case. 
Margaret Beckett: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office received 281 requests for personal data under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 in 2005 and 2006. Of these, 243 were complied with within the 40-day statutory time limit and 17 took longer than the statutory time limit. There are currently 21 live cases, of which 20 are still within the statutory 40-day time limit. One live case has exceeded the time limit by nine days.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the German Presidency's programme for the EU; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: We have sustained close consultation with our German counterparts on their programme for the Presidency of the EU. We welcome in particular their focus on climate change, energy and better regulation. We also welcome efforts to take forward EU co-operation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, in line with the Hampton Court delivery agenda.
Germany's Presidency of the EU in 2007 is a real opportunity to show UK citizens that the EU can deliver real benefits through common action. We are working closely with our German partners to achieve this.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government have (a) asked for and (b) received from foreign Governments data from intercept activities on (i) elected UK representatives and (ii) members of the Royal household since 1 May 1997. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions her Department has had with the Iraqi Government on the observation of the human rights of women in Iraq; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Officials from our embassy in Baghdad, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and my right hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley (Ann Clwyd), as Special Envoy to the Prime Minister for Human Rights in Iraq, regularly raise women's rights with the Iraqi Government at all levels. The Iraqi Constitution provides that all people should be treated equally irrespective of their gender, race or ethnicity and includes additional provisions specifically to protect the rights of women. We are actively supporting the Government of Iraq in developing policies and legislation in line with these provisions including through work with the Ministries for Human Rights and Women's Affairs.
Iraqi parliamentarians, women's rights activists and womens groups have told us about problems with women's access to employment and education, threats and assassinations of women professionals, the enforced wearing of the veil and other socially conservative forms of dress, and gender-based violence including honour killings and female genital mutilation.
We are concerned about these issues and the impact of continued violence on all Iraqis. We will continue to support the Iraqi Government, security forces, judiciary and civil society organisations to develop a more secure country with a representative Government able to work for all Iraqis.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her EU counterparts on immigration from North Africa into (a) Malta and (b) the Canary Islands. 
Mr. Hoon: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers, including myself, have had discussions on a number of occasions with European counterparts about immigration from North Africa into Malta and the Canary Islands, including in the context of broader discussions on migration at General Affairs and External Relations Councils. Ongoing contacts continue at official and ministerial level.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many parliamentary questions were tabled to her Department in 2006, broken down by (a) ordinary written and (b) named day; what percentage of ordinary written questions were answered within 10 working days; and what percentage of named day questions were answered by the specified date. 
|Parliamentary Question||Total||Total number of questions answered within 10 days||Percentage of questions answered within 10 days|
|Parliamentary Question||Total||Total number of questions answered on the specified date||Percentage of questions answered on the specified date|
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she has received recent reports of activity of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organisation in the Philippines. 
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what the (a) date and (b) purpose was of each meeting held with representatives of the Portland Trust by her Department in the last three years; 
Dr. Howells: We have made no payment to the Portland Trust since 2003. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Officials have met a wide range of stakeholders, including the Portland Trust, on a number of occasions over the past three years to discuss the economic aspects of peace in the Middle East. On 28 September 2005, I met Eival Giladi, formerly Head of Co-ordination and Strategy in the Israeli Prime Ministers Office and a Director of the Portland Trust, during my visit to the region to discuss disengagement from Gaza. It is not the Government's policy to provide details of such meetings.
In 2005 the amount spent was £233,788 and in 2004 the FCO spent £167, 878 (this was for the period April to December 2004 only). We are unable to provide details prior to April 2004, as this information is not available.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Government of Sri Lanka on the human rights of the Tamil minority in that country; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The UK is deeply concerned about the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation and the increasing violence in Sri Lanka, and particularly about the impact of continuing violence and military actions by the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the civilian population. This has already claimed the lives of at least 40 civilians this year.
We strongly endorse the UNs recent call for all civilians in Sri Lanka to be protected. We understand that there are at least 15,000 civilians in the Vakarai area who are in a desperate situation. As a minimum, there should be a cessation of hostilities around Vakarai to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to send in humanitarian supplies to the people there.
Both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE must cease military action and implement the agreements they had reached to reduce the violence. Recent incidents demonstrate that neither side is protecting the civilian population. We urge them to return to the negotiating table in order to prevent further deterioration of the security situation and the needless loss of more lives.
On 10 January, my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Ian McCartney, who has responsibility for human rights in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, reiterated our concerns at a meeting with his Sri Lankan ministerial counterpart. My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Thomas), the Under-Secretary of State for International Development, also raised these issues with the visiting Minister.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what payments were made by (a) her Department and (b) its agencies to CFOA (Services) Ltd in each of the financial years for which figures are available; what the purpose was of each payment; what payments the Department has agreed to make in future; and for what purpose in each case. 
The main purposes for payments included support to infrastructure and communications, co-ordinating working groups to carry out strategic project work, attendances at conferences, and payment of part of the annual grant in respect of the Practitioners Forum. Records for the attribution of individual payments are not retrievable within the time available.
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