|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): The level of pension paid to a former European Commissioner or Vice-President would depend upon individual personal circumstances. Details are not available to us. Actual payments are a matter for the Commission.
Lord Henley: We are aware of concern in the United States over access by a potential enemy to the enhanced navigation accuracy provided by systems such as the US Global Positioning System and of the intention of the US to retain their military advantage in this field by denying that level of availability to the enemy.
The concerns expressed by the US are shared by my department and other NATO nations who have been granted access under a Memorandum of Understanding to the more accurate Global Positioning System Precise Positioning Service, which is not available to unauthorised users. We do not expect this service to be degraded as a result of any US intention to inhibit further the accuracy of the system.
Lord Henley: A sub-strategic capability is an essential element of effective deterrence. The Trident system will provide us with a credible minimum deterrent, in both strategic and sub-strategic roles, against all foreseeable developments well into the next century. The details of discussions between the United States and the Russian Federation on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty are a matter for the two governments concerned.
Lord Henley: The joint working groups referred to provide a means for the exchange of information between the United Kingdom and the United States under the aegis of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement. They are unconnected with NATO.
I understand that no discussions have taken place with the United States about ballistic missile defence equipment which may have been obtained from Belarus. It remains open for the subject to be raised bilaterally in the future should this be appropriate.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): My right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will strongly support the Commission's proposal to limit the cost of compensation to producers affected by revaluation of their green currencies. Adoption of this proposal would enable green rate revaluations to take place when they become due without giving rise to excessive expenditure on compensation.
Earl Howe: The decisions to extend the delay in revaluing the agricultural conversion rates (known as green rates) of member states with strengthening currencies have so far had no effect on the level of CAP support prices, including sugar prices, in the UK. The devaluations of the UK green rate which have occurred since mid-February 1995, raising UK support prices by 6.5 per cent., are partly due to the weakness of sterling over that period, and partly due to the provisions for delaying revaluations in strong currency member states that already exist in Regulation (EEC) 3813/92, as amended by Regulation (EEC) 150/95.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): We have received the draft report of the consultants and this is under consideration. The final report is likely to be available in the summer and copies will be made available to the Libraries of both Houses.
A revised sailing schedule which incorporated additional calls of the RMS at Ascension Island would make practical access to and through the island easier because pressure on flight allocations and accommodation would be spread more evenly throughout the year.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Most nuclear materials and technology originate in the advanced industrialised countries. Article III.2 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty prohibits the supply of fissile material and related equipment to non-nuclear weapon states unless it is subject to safeguards. We therefore believe that an effective system of safeguards is necessary to help prevent the illegal transfer of nuclear materials and technology, and support the IAEA's "Programme 93+2", which aims to strengthen the effectiveness of safeguards.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Any illicit transfer of nuclear materials or technology is a cause for serious concern. The United Kingdom is an active member of the nuclear suppliers group under which suppliers have agreed that nuclear materials should be placed under effective physical protection to prevent unauthorised use and handling. In the case of fissile material, we have been active in a number of fora to ensure a co-ordinated international response to the smuggling of such material. There is no evidence of a state seeking to obtain fissile material by illicit trafficking.
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page