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Equal Opportunities: NI Health and Education Tendering

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

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Baroness Denton of Wakefield): The Government expect to respond in the near future to the report and recommendations arising from the Equal Opportunities Commission investigation into the effects of competitive tendering in the health and education services.

ADAS: Privatisation

Lord Broughan and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Lucas: ADAS is on course to meet its financial targets for 1996-97, including the target of 100 per cent. cost recovery on its advisory services. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales and my right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have therefore decided to proceed as quickly as possible with the sale of the business. We will invite expressions of interest from potential bidders for the business as a whole or any or all of its constituent

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parts (consultancy, research and development and the laboratory), although our preference is to dispose of the business as a whole.

Our objectives for the privatisable functions of ADAS will be:


    1. To transfer the privatisable functions of ADAS, and the associated risks, to the private sector on the best available terms (that is terms which optimise the risk adjusted net benefit to the taxpayer);


    2. To ensure that the services to be provided to MAFF and the Welsh Office from the private sector can be delivered continuously, economically, efficiently and effectively;


    3. To provide for a "clean break" between government and the privatised organisation(s), or failing that, to minimise any contingent liabilities falling on the Government.

In pursuing these objectives, we will have regard to the need to ensure that the staff concerned in the transfer are treated fairly, in accordance with the relevant legislation.

Zambian Elections

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they plan to send monitors to observe the Zambian election on 18th November.

Lord Chesham: In line with our Commonwealth and EU partners, Her Majesty's Government have no plans to send observers to cover the Zambian elections. To do so we would need to be satisfied that the elections will be free and fair and acceptable to all major political parties. This is not yet apparent.

France Telecom: Partial Privatisation

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Pursuant to their reply of 18th June (col. WA 22) what conclusions they reached about continuing state aids following their close look at the proposed partial privatisation of France Telecom.

Lord Chesham: It is for the European Commission to judge whether the arrangements for partial privatisation of France Telecom are in accordance with EU state aid and competition rules. The DTI will continue to monitor the case closely.

Turkey: Treatment of Prisoners

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have regarding whether persons convicted in Turkey of political offences are treated more harshly than ordinary criminals and, if so, whether they consider that such treatment complies with the Turkish constitution.

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Lord Chesham: We are not aware of any general practice in the treatment of Turkish prisoners which differentiates between those convicted of political offences and other criminals. We welcomed the measures announced by the Turkish Government in July to look into prison conditions.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have concerning conditions in Turkish prisons for both remand and sentenced prisoners, especially regarding visits by relatives and lawyers, nutrition of prisoners, food parcels allowed, prices in prison shops, searches, medical care, transfers to hospitals and hygienic conditions.

Lord Chesham: We understand that the Turkish Government proposes to tighten rules of visits and food parcels. We will continue to discuss concern about prison conditions with the Turkish authorities.

Turkey: Human Rights

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have regarding state sponsored persecution of members of the Human Rights Association of Turkey, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, the Union of Turkish Physicians; of the families of missing persons, particularly in Beyoglu (Istanbul); and of journalists and defence lawyers.

Lord Chesham: We continue to receive reports of alleged cases of harassment of human rights organisations, relatives of missing persons, journalists and lawyers in Turkey. Our Embassy in Ankara maintains close contact with Turkish human rights organisations and regularly raises concerns about them, and others working in the human rights field, with the Turkish Government.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have concerning disappearances, extra-judicial killings and torture in each of the last three years, and whether the trend is rising or falling.

Lord Chesham: Amnesty International reported in September more than 50 disappearances in 1994, and more than 35 in 1995. The difficulty of obtaining precise and reliable information on disappearances, extra-judicial killings and torture makes it impossible to draw clear conclusions about trends. But we will continue to raise our concerns about these issues with the Turkish Government.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are aware of any derogation by Turkey from the European Convention on Human Rights regarding the detention of suspects for eight days at judge's discretion, for 15 days for those accused of offences within the jurisdiction of State Security Court, and for 30 days regarding offences

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    committed in regions under martial law; and whether they will discuss these matters with the Turkish Government.

Lord Chesham: Turkey has a derogation from Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights for the 10 south eastern provinces under emergency rule. We remain concerned at excessive detention lengths. We therefore welcome the intention announced by the Turkish Government on 17th October to reduce maximum detention lengths for suspects. We hope this will be implemented as soon as possible.

UK Diplomats: Working Spouses

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list those countries and dependent territories where spouses of (a) United Kingdom diplomats, and (b) other United Kingdom citizens on overseas commercial contracts are precluded from taking paid employment.

Lord Chesham: (a) Full information can only be obtained at disproportionate cost. However, we have negotiated bilateral arrangements on working spouses with 53 governments which permit spouses of United Kingdom diplomats to take employment.

(b) We have no responsibility for this issue: the information may be obtained from Governments concerned.

Education and Health: Overseas Aid

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of their official bilateral governmental overseas aid in each of the years 1988-89 to 1995-96 inclusive was spent on; (a) education as a whole (b) primary education (c) secondary education (d) tertiary education and (e) health.

Lord Chesham: The percentage of the total ODA bilateral aid programme, allocable by sector, spent on education and health in the years 1988-89 to 1995-96 is presented in the following table:

There will be some under reporting in the categories primary, secondary and tertiary education. Because some projects are classified as general education they are too wide ranging to fall into specific categories. These projects will contain elements that fall into the other categories but which cannot be separated out.

Educationof which Primary(1)of which Secondaryof which Tertiaryof which OtherHealth
PercentagePercentagePercentagePercentagePercentagePercentage
1988-8918022146
1989-9019123138
1990-9118124118
1991-921812698
1992-931722498
1993-9417215910
1994-95181161012

Notes:

1995-96 figures are not available.

(1) Primary/Basic comprises primary education, primary teacher training, nursery schools, adult education and literacy, and non-formal education.

Secondary includes secondary education and secondary teacher training.

Tertiary includes higher education, Universities, University libraries, tertiary technical institution, technical teacher training, technical education, research and scientific, and distance learning.

Other includes general education, materials and curriculum development, inspection and management, education buildings, educational equipment and materials and general engineering.

These figures do not include expenditure on other forms of training or training in other sectors.


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5 Nov 1996 : Column WA51


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