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Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: According to the United Nations Secretariat, a 800-man mess hall, inclusive of water, septic system, generators, electrical installations, air-conditioners and basic furniture was constructed to provide messing facilities for all civilian and military staff (some 800-1200 people per day) assigned to the UNOSOM II Headquarters in Mogadishu at an estimated cost of 12,000,000 dollars.

The camp will be dismantled by 31 January 1995 and shipped to other United Nations missions as required.


Lord Lyell asked Her Majesty's Government:

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What decision has been made on the reorganisation scheme submitted by the Milk Marketing Board for Northern Ireland.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Baroness Denton of Wakefield: The Agriculture (Northern Ireland) Order 1993 provided for the ending of the statutory milk marketing scheme in Northern Ireland. It enabled the Milk Marketing Board for Northern Ireland to submit proposals for its replacement by voluntary arrangements, for the transfer of its assets to specified successor bodies and for the distribution of the value of those assets to milk producers.

The Milk Marketing Board for Northern Ireland submitted reorganisation proposals to the Department of Agriculture on 31 December 1993. Following this, a wide-ranging consultation exercise was conducted when the views of the various parties with an interest were sought. Subsequently, and in the light of the responses to that consultation, the Milk Marketing Board on 26 August 1994 submitted an amended reorganisation scheme and a further round of consultation was conducted.

In his statement of 21 December 1994, my right honourable and learned friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland commented on the Milk Marketing Board's proposals. He said that those reorganisation proposals met the requirements of the Agriculture (Northern Ireland) Order 1993 and that, subject to, and contingent upon, approval being given by the EC under Articles 92 and 93 of the EC Treaty in respect of the state aids inherent in the scheme, certain amendments being made to the scheme, and satisfactory arrangements being put in place to cover any liability upon the residuary board in respect of milk quota superlevy, the scheme submitted by the board was one that merits approval.

The Milk Marketing Board has now submitted the formal amendments to its scheme as required in my right honourable and learned friend's statement, together with the necessary assurances in relation to payment of any milk quota superlevy. Formal state aid approval by the European Commission has now been confirmed. The scheme was therefore approved on 20 January in accordance with the requirements of the Agriculture (Northern Ireland) Order 1993.

The order requires that the principles of the approved reorganisation scheme be made public. The principles of the scheme as submitted, and subsequently amended, by the Milk Marketing Board for Northern Ireland were set out in the two consultation documents issued by the Department of Agriculture in January and September 1994. Although some further detailed amendments have been made by the Milk Marketing Board to its scheme, the principles as set out in those documents are unchanged. Copies of the consultation documents, together with a note updating them in the light of the further detailed amendments, are available from the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland.

Under the approved reorganisation scheme, the existing statutory milk marketing scheme will be

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revoked on 1 March 1995 (the "vesting date"). As a result, producers will be free to sell their milk to whom they wish, whether to the successor co-operative being established under the board's reorganisation scheme, to agricultural co-operatives or other groups marketing milk on behalf of producers, or direct to processors. The current joint committee system of centrally negotiated pricing according to the milk's ultimate end-use will end on the vesting date. The price of milk will be determined by contract between purchaser and supplier.

The Milk Marketing Board for Northern Ireland will be succeeded by a producer co-operative, United Dairy Farmers Limited, and the board's commercial division, Dromona Quality Foods, will be incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of United. The assets being transferred to United have been set at £18.003 million. Eligible producers who join United will receive shares in United proportionate to their milk production in 1992–93. Eligible producers who elect not to join United will receive redeemable loanstock bearing an interest rate at bank base rate plus a 0.5 per cent premium. Loanstock will be allocated on the same basis as shares to joiners of United and will be redeemed not later than five years after the vesting date.

In view of the delay in the vesting date from 1 April 1994, as first proposed, to 1 March 1995, the Milk Marketing Board has written to all milk producers who have already signed a contract with United to provide them with an opportunity to withdraw without penalty from that contract.


The Earl of Dundonald asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the article published in the West Highland Free Press dated 30 December 1994, covering the deployment of a Croatian-crewed, St Vincent-flagged tug, employed by the Coastguard Agency to operate in the Minches is true; and if so whether they are satisfied that its deployment will satisfy the recommendations of the Donaldson report.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): The Coastguard Agency has awarded a contract to United Towing Limited of Hull for two tugs to be stationed at Stornoway and Dover for a trial period of this winter. This meets Lord Donaldson's recommendation that there should be interim emergency towing arrangements this winter: the inquiry recommended that priority should be given to the Dover Strait and North-West Scotland. Tenders were invited from a wide range of salvage and towing companies against a tight specification. In accordance with government policy, no restriction was placed on flag or crew nationality as such, though the vessels proposed were expected to meet international safety requirements such as the Safety Of Life at Sea Convention. The contract was awarded on the basis of performance against specification and value for money. The selected tugs, which are Croatian-owned and crewed and are

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registered in St. Vincent, are managed in the UK by a UK company. They have been employed in the North Sea by major oil companies for the last three years.


Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will commission research to estimate the under-enumeration of 16 and 17 year-olds in the 1991 census.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): Research into undercoverage was carried out as the results of the 1991 census became available. Details are given in various Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and General Register Office (Scotland) publications, copies of which are available in the Library. The estimated undercoverage of 15–19 year olds in Great Britain was 2 per cent., but this cannot be subdivided by single year of age as not all the necessary information could be obtained in this degree of detail.


Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the mosque at Her Majesty's Prison, Wormwood Scrubs has been closed, and when it will reopen.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Avebury from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis, dated 23 January 1995:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the mosque at Wormwood Scrubs.

    The mosque has been closed temporarily for the last four months to allow for the refurbishment of this area of the prison. The expectations are that it will re-open in March of this year. Until then an alternative site for worship has been provided for use by prisoners of the Islamic faith and other religious denominations.


Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they propose to take following the comments made on drug trafficking at Her Majesty's Young Offender Institution and Remand Centre, Brinsford, in the report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons and whether they propose to discuss with the Crown Prosecution Service and the police the policy on prosecutions relating to drug smuggling in closed penal institutions.

Baroness Blatch: Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

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Letter to Lord Harris of Greenwich from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis, dated 23 January 1995:

    Baroness Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the prosecution of those involved in drug trafficking in Brinsford young offender institution.

    Since Brinsford opened in November 1991 there has been one case of a visitor found in possession of drugs. The case was reported to the police, who cautioned the visitor. The governor met the police and Crown Prosecution Service to explain the implications for the prison. The local police have since indicated that, with sufficient evidence, they would charge such suspects with intent to supply a controlled drug. A vigorous approach is taken at Brinsford (as at all other establishments) to preventing drugs being smuggled into the establishment.

    Governors are encouraged to liaise locally with the police and Crown Prosecution Service. The Prison Service have previously made more general representations to the Crown Prosecution Service on the greater impact of offences when they are committed in a prison or young offender institution, because of the wider effect on internal discipline. The Crown Prosecution Service accept this point and have reflected it in the new prosecution code they issued for Crown Prosecutors last summer.

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