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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The last paragraph of Chapter XIII of Annex I to the Joint Declaration (JD 156), reflected in Article 39 of the Basic Law, obliges China to ensure that the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as applied to Hong Kong, remain in force. The British Government firmly believes that the continued operation of the provisions of the Covenants, as prescribed by JD 156 and BL 39, necessarily entails continuing reporting to the UN Human Rights Committee as required by the covenants.
We have described to the Chinese Government reporting procedures under the covenants and how the United Kingdom fulfils its obligations in respect of Hong Kong under the covenants. We have also made our views known to China as to how it may fulfil its obligations under JD 156. We will continue to work for a satisfactory resolution of this question.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture's report on its most recent visit to Turkey in 1994 has yet to be made available. We have not been informed of the extent to which the committee found its earlier recommendations had been implemented. We are not aware of any new measures in Turkey designed to implement the recommendations of the UN Committee against Torture
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The booklet Mental Health and Stress in the Work Place is not, and was never intended to be, a Department of Health publication. The booklet has not been withdrawn, and will be published in due course.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): The Secondary Care Agency is to be launched on 1 April 1996. Mr. R. G. Smith, formerly Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Health Authority, has been appointed chief executive designate.
Earl Howe: The WEU is currently assessing the need for western Europe to have its own satellite systems. Recommendations on the approach to be taken on future WEU satellite imagery requirements will be put to Ministers at the WEU ministerial meeting in mid November.
The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): My reply on 4 October to the noble Lord's letter agreed that repairs are obviously conducive to the conservation of listed buildings but emphasised that the Government have no plans to change the current position whereby repairs to listed buildings are liable to VAT at the standard rate.
Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: All member states comply with Article 73(b). However, in conformity with the treaty, Austria, Denmark, Finland and Sweden retain restrictions on the acquisition of real estate. Article 73(c) also allows member states to maintain restrictions on capital movements which existed on 31 December 1993 against third countries. Only Luxembourg has no such restrictions.
The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): While all activities carried out under the convention of the European Space Agency are consistent with the 1967 treaty on principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, the treaty itself does not define those activities which are permitted.
Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: The ESA Ministerial Council decided unanimously at Toulouse on 19 October to set a flat five year level of resources for the science programme. This will run at 347 million accounting units (ecu equivalent) a year from 1996 to 2000 and will be indexed only for inflation exceeding three per cent. The level is some 15 per cent. below earlier proposals. The Government maintain a regular dialogue with companies in the space sector and welcome the decision as providing a stable basis for the continued pursuit of excellence in ESA's space science programme and encouraging cost-conscious mission hardware and equipment procurement along the lines the UK has consistently advocated. Changes to ESA procurement, which were also agreed at the Ministerial
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