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Prisoners in Scotland: Early Release

Lord McCluskey asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (The Earl of Lindsay): The Government will be consulting soon on our proposals for changes to the early release arrangements for prisoners in Scotland. In the light of consultation, the Government will publish a White Paper in the course of

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next year. An assessment of the effects of the proposals upon prisons is one of the matters I expect to be included in that paper.

Prisoners in Scotland: Cost per Place

Lord McCluskey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the average cost per prisoner place in Her Majesty's prisons in Scotland in 1994-95.

The Earl of Lindsay: The subject of the Question relates to the matters undertaken by the Scottish Prison Service. I have asked its Chief Executive to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord McCluskey from the Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, Mr. E. W. Frizzell, dated 27/11/95:

The Earl of Lindsay has asked me to reply to your question about the average cost per prisoner place in Her Majesty's prisons in Scotland in 1994-95.

The annual cost per prisoner place at HM Prisons in Scotland in 1994-95, calculated as total net expenditure (excluding capital) divided by the average number of places available, was £26,479.

Prisons in Scotland: Capacity and Population

Lord McCluskey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    (i) What is the overall design capacity of Her Majesty's prisons in Scotland; (ii) what was the average daily population in Her Majesty's prisons in Scotland during the prison inspectorate's year 1994-95; and (iii) how many usable cells there were on 31 March 1995.

The Earl of Lindsay: The subject of the question relates to matters undertaken by the Scottish Prison Service. I have asked its Chief Executive, Mr. E. W. Frizzell, to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord McCluskey from the Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, Mr. E. W. Frizzell, dated 27/11/95:

The Earl of Lindsay has asked me to reply to your Question about prisoner accommodation and population.

The information is as follows:


    (i) The current design capacity is 5,655.


    (ii) The average daily prisoner population in 1994-95 was 5,630.


    (iii) At 31 March 1995, the design capacity was 5,635. Places out of use totalled 479, leaving a usable capacity of 5,156.

EU Nationals on Remand in Scotland

Lord Hooson asked Her Majesty's Government:

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    How many nationals of other European Union member states are currently on remand in Scotland awaiting trial on charges brought against them there.

The Earl of Lindsay: The subject of the Question relates to matters undertaken by the Scottish Prison Service. I have asked its Chief Executive, Mr. E. W. Frizzell, to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Hooson from the Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, Mr. E. W. Frizzell, dated 27/11/95:

The Earl of Lindsay has asked me to reply to your Question about the number of nationals of other European Union member states who are currently on remand in Scotland awaiting trial on charges brought against them here.

Information on the nationality of persons held on remand in Scottish penal establishments has not been collected centrally in the past. However, the Scottish Prison Service Prisoner Records Database, recently introduced across all establishments and currently being developed further will, in future, enable us to provide such information.

Recycled Paper: House of Lords Use

Baroness Hooper asked the Chairman of the Committees:

    What percentage of paper used in Parliament is recycled; and

    Of the recycled paper used in Parliament, what is the level of post-consumer waste contained in it; and

    Given that good quality paper containing 100 per cent. recycled post-consumer waste is now available at competitive prices, whether it is intended to use such paper in Parliament.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): At present, the House of Lords does not use recycled paper for either writing paper or photocopying paper. It was agreed in 1990 to replace the existing non-recycled writing paper with recycled paper, but the use of recycled paper was discontinued in 1993. The principal reasons were that, by using non-recycled writing paper, the House would save money: and that Lords had complained that the recycled paper used by the House was not suitable for use with fountain pens.

No proposals are currently being considered in the House of Lords to change this policy.

Game Licences

Lord Geddes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In light of their Written Answer of 21 July 1994 (H.L. Deb., col. WA 45), how many post offices in the United Kingdom are still selling game licences to those who intend to take or kill game.

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The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): Information is not available in the manner requested. However, in the six months to September 1995, 7,537 licences were issued through 3,326 post offices.

Treaties: "Ponsonby Rule"

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer given by Baroness Chalker of Wallasey on 1 November 1995 (WA 159), whether it remains part of the practice known as the "Ponsonby Rule" (referred to in Appendix 4 to H.L. Paper 80 of Session 1990-91) that, in the case of the important treaties, the Government submit them to each House of Parliament for discussion during the period of 21 days after the treaty is laid on the table of each House.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The practice relating to the discussion of important treaties has not changed. It is for the Government of the day to determine which treaties not requiring legislation are of sufficient importance that a debate on a Motion should be held.

British Citizens' Property Claims in Former GDR

Lord Wyatt of Weeford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether their attention has been drawn to the article by Professor Norman Stone in The Spectator of 28 October 1995, and if so, whether they will co-operate with the United States in protecting the property rights of British citizens in the former East Germany.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We are aware of Professor Stone's article in The Spectator.

Although the Americans signed an agreement with the Federal German Government in 1992 for a lump sum payment, this is not an option open to the British Government. The German Government are not prepared to conclude any further bilateral agreements of this sort.

British claimants who had property in the former German Democratic Republic are able to pursue their claims directly with the appropriate local German authorities through domestic procedures. We monitor progress on these claims and regularly remind the German authorities of the need to bring them all to a prompt and satisfactory conclusion. We have taken up cases of significant delays or apparent lack of co-operation from local authorities.

We frequently consult other interested parties (such as the United States, Netherlands, Belgium and Canada) about progress on claims issues.

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The Homeless: Poor Diet

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are aware of Crisis's finding that "only two of five homeless people have daily intakes of fresh food, and many suffer health problems as a result", and whether, in costing their future housing policies, they will take the costs of such health problems into account.

Lord Lucas: Her Majesty's Government recognise that sleeping on the streets is not a healthy lifestyle. Our stated objective is to ensure that there is no necessity for people to sleep rough. The Government are spending £182 million over the six years 1990-91 to 1995-96 through the Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI) to help people sleeping rough in central London, where the problem is greatest. In recognition of the links between housing, health and other issues, five Government departments, including the Department of Health, are involved in the future development of the RSI. We have said that we will continue the RSI in central London beyond March 1996, when it was due to end, and will consider assisting the development of the RSI model in areas outside central London where rough sleeping can be demonstrated to be a major problem.


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