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Written Answers

Monday, 11th November 1996.

FCO Overseas Posts

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many overseas posts and how many staff were maintained in each of the years 1994, 1995 and 1996 by:

    (a) The United Kingdom

    (b) France

    (c) Germany.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): I refer the noble Lord to the departmental reports of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including the Overseas Development Administration, for the years in question (Cm 2502, 2802 and 3203), in particular the sections on Manpower/Personnel and FCO Resources Overseas.

EC Human Rights Commission Report: Greece v. UK

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

    Further to the Written Answers given by Baroness Chalker of Wallasey on 16th May 1996 (WA 63) and

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    11th June 1996 (WA 163), whether they have made further searches in the Public Record Office so as to enable them to discover whether the findings made by the European Commission of Human Rights in their report of 26th September 1958 in Application No. 176/56 Greece v. United Kingdom may now be published.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The report in question is not an FCO document and the file copy should be held in the archives of the Council of Europe. Searches into FCO records at the Public Record Office confirm that the copy of the report sent to the Foreign Office at the time has not been preserved. In accordance with standard procedure papers belonging to international organisations are not kept on British records. Colonial Office files now transferred to the Public Record Office and possibly relating to the case brought by Greece against the UK are being checked to ensure the report was not misfiled or inadvertently preserved elsewhere on Colonial Office files. I shall inform the noble Lord of the outcome of this further search as soon as possible.

Indonesia: Aid

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

    How much overseas aid they have provided to Indonesia during each of the past five years.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Amounts of British aid to Indonesia in each of the last five years have been as follows:

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Technical Co-operation (TC)Aid and Trade Provision (ATP)Financial Aid (excluding ATP)Emergency AidTotal

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The 1995-96 figure reflects the start of expenditure on four current projects under the Aid and Trade Provision and a change to the financing arrangements for new soft loans whereby the aid element of such loans is disbursed over the lifetime of the project (usually two to three years) rather than the lifetime of the loan (25 years).

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

    Whether, in the light of the situation in East Timor, they will make aid to Indonesia conditional upon compliance with respect for human rights.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Respect for human rights is one of a number of criteria on which decisions are taken about the allocation of British development assistance and one of the objectives which we seek to promote through the assistance we provide. In the case

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of Indonesia, we have frequently raised with the Government both the situation in East Timor and our human rights concerns. We shall continue to take appropriate opportunities, both bilaterally and in concert with our European partners, to press for improvements.

Entry Clearance Refusals Monitor

Lord Skelmersdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made in appointing a person, under Section 10 (3AA) of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993, to monitor the refusals of entry clearance where there is no right of appeal by virtue of Section 10 (3A) of the Act.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has invited Dame

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Elizabeth Anson to serve a second three-year term as the independent monitor of entry clearance refusals when her current term expires on 30th November. I am pleased to report that Dame Elizabeth has agreed to do so.

World Food Summit

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they have taken to ascertain the level of ministerial representation at the forthcoming United Nations World Food Summit in Rome and whether they will publish details of the representation, country by country in the Official Report.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The summit organising agency, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, has declined on security grounds to publish any advance information on representation at the summit. Informal exchanges with other countries have produced no confirmed details either. If the FAO produces an official list of summit participants, we will arrange for copies of it to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What specific action they will be advocating at the forthcoming United Nations World Food Summit to deal with the imbalance whereby developing countries are expected to liberalise their economies, opening them up to food imports, while direct subsidies are paid to food producers in OECD and EU countries to support them in gaining market share.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: At the World Food Summit the United Kingdom will press for the full implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements. Under these Agreements, developed countries are required to lower their import protection, contain domestic support for agriculture and cut the use of export subsidies, while less stringent rules apply to developing countries. We will also advocate continued measures to help agriculture in developing countries. In the longer term, the Government will press for further significant agricultural trade reform, including bigger cuts in export subsidies.

European Court of Human Rights: Cases against Turkey

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cases against Turks have been declared admissible by the European Court of Human Rights in each of the years 1994, 1995 and 1996, and how many cases have been decided against Turkey in the European Court of Human Rights in each of these years.

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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The number of cases against Turkey is as follows:

Cases referred to the CourtAt least one violation foundCases pending
1996 (as at 30th October)10212

Genetic Testing: Advisory Committee

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action the Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing has taken since July 1996.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing met in July and in September. The Committee has established two sub-groups, one on genetic testing offered direct to the public and another on the issue of late onset genetic disorders.

The Chairman of the Advisory Committee, the Reverend Dr. John Polkinghorne, has today written to professional, consumer, voluntary and industrial bodies requesting comments on a draft voluntary Code of Practice on Genetic Testing Offered Direct to the Public. Copies of the document have been placed in the Library.

Paedophiles and Stalkers: Proposed Legislation

Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the proposed Bills on paedophiles and stalkers were in draft form on 29th October 1996, and whether either or both will be introduced into the House of Lords before the Christmas Recess.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): No, but preparation of the Bills is well advanced, and we will introduce them as soon as possible. The date of introduction of these Bills into this House depends on decisions about which House should consider the Bills first and, if they are first considered in another place, on the speed of their passage through that House.

Police Role and Responsibilities: Report

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Home Office proposes to respond before the end of this year to the report, published in March 1996, of the independent committee of inquiry into the role and responsibilities of the

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    police established by the Police Foundation and the Policy Studies Institute.

Baroness Blatch: The Government will not be responding in detail to this report for the reasons given in the letter of 4th June 1996 from my right honourable friend the Minister of State to Sir John Cassels. As indicated in that letter, the report has made a useful contribution to the continuing debate on policing in England and Wales.

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