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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): Turkey, with the UK and other Council of Europe Member States, played an active and constructive part in the drawing up of the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities. We hope the Turkish Government will sign and ratify the Convention.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The status of the Caspian Sea and its seabed in international law is a matter to be resolved by the littoral states of the Caspian Sea themselves. There is no generally agreed view of its status.
We warmly welcomed the signature on 20 September 1994, and subsequent ratification, of a Production Sharing Agreement between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan and an international consortium including BP. My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Industry and Energy (Mr. Eggar) attended the signing ceremony in Baku. Officials were in regular contact with BP during the negotiation of the contract.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: There was speculation in November 1994 that the Greek Government would take advantage of the entry into force of the Law of the Sea Convention to extend its territorial sea to 12 miles. This led some Turkish Ministers to declare that such an extension would be seen by them as a casus belli. Greece took no such steps and the situation has calmed.
The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty allows states to "cascade" surplus equipment to other states within their group, providing they remain within overall treaty limits. Under this programme, we understand that Greece has received about 850 tanks, 350 artillery pieces and 1,110 armoured combat vehicles from other Allies. Turkey has received about 850 tanks, 830 artillery pieces and 200 armoured combat vehicles. Use of these cascading provisions allows NATO to maximise its defence capabilities.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Baroness Denton of Wakefield): The number of people in the UK currently diagnosed as having Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a condition being increasingly referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is not known.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): Neither the Official Secrets Acts nor the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments require the department to monitor whether officials abide by their duties under the Acts, or by restrictions imposed on their applications for outside employment.
Lord Henley: The existence of any secret US aircraft known as "Aurora" would be for the United States Government to confirm. No authority has been given for any such aircraft to fly over the United Kingdom or to land in this country and we have no evidence to suggest that such an aircraft has.
Lord Henley: I can confirm that the "identification Friend or Foe" system currently in use in British and NATO forces was developed in the 1950s. Plans for an internationally agreed replacement system were
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): Information is not readily available in the form requested. Information in respect of civil proceedings could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. For criminal proceedings, a total of £142.8 million was paid from the legal aid fund in respect of barristers' fees in England and Wales during 199394. During the same period the principal prosecuting agencies paid in total £82.4 million to barristers, broken down as follows; the Crown Prosecution Service £72.3 million, the Serious Fraud Office £4.2 million, HM Customs and Excise £5.0 million, and Inland Revenue £0.9 million.
The Lord Chancellor: It is estimated that 50 barristers received more than £100,000 in fees (excluding VAT and travelling expenses) from criminal legal aid in 199394, being the latest year for which figures are readily available.
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