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Gulf War: Scud Missiles

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Gilbert: In the time available so far it has not been possible to complete appropriate enquiries in order to provide an answer to these questions. As soon as I have sufficient information I will write to the noble Countess. A copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

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Gulf War: Immunisation Programme

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any vaccines other than yellow fever, tetanus, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A, B, rabies, anthrax, pertussis (as an adjuvant) and bubonic plague were used as part of the medical countermeasures programme before and during Operation Granby.

Lord Gilbert: During the Gulf War three vaccines--anthrax, pertussis, as an adjuvant, and plague--were used in the UK anti-biological warfare agent immunisation programme. Details of these vaccines were published on 28 October in the paper Background to the use of medical countermeasures to protect British Forces during the Gulf War (Op. GRANBY), a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.

British troops could also have received a number of routine immunisations. These were those which service personnel are normally required to have, for yellow fever, tetanus, typhoid and poliomyelitis; those appropriate for travellers to the region, for cholera; and those appropriate to particular categories of Service personnel, for hepatitis B. Recent work on Gulf War records suggests some troops also received meningitis vaccine.

There have also been suggestions that other standard vaccines were used. For example, hepatitis A and rabies are two vaccines that are sometimes given to travellers to the region. Hepatitis A immunoglobulin is also known to have been available in-theatre. As yet the MoD has no specific evidence of these three products being used. However, the Fact Finding Team which is conducting a study into the implementation in-theatre of the anti-biological warfare agent immunisation programme is also seeking more information on the range of standard vaccines which may have been received by certain groups of Service personnel.

Willesden Centre for Psychological Treatment

Lord Alderdice asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are satisfied that Brent and Harrow Health Authority's proposal to close the Willesden Centre for Psychological Treatment will not deprive the population of Brent of vital mental health services.

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The proposal for the Willesden Centre for Psychological Treatment is part of a comprehensive review of mental health services which is currently being undertaken by Brent and Harrow Health Authority. A series of proposals are subject to a public consultation exercise. The outcome of consultation will be discussed at the health authority

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meeting on 9 December 1997. Until such time as the outcome is known, it would be inappropriate for Ministers to comment. If the proposals are contested by the local community health council, the final decision will rest with Ministers at the Department of Health.

AIDS: Antiviral Medication

Earl Baldwin of Bewdley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there is any record of people surviving an AIDS diagnosis while on continuous antiviral medication for 5,6,7,8,9 or 10 or more years; and if so how many they are aware of in each category.

Baroness Jay of Paddington: I refer the noble Earl to the reply I gave on 7 July at column WA63. This shows the number of reported cases surviving three years or more after an AIDS diagnosis. We do not know how many are constant users of antiviral drugs because the choice of treatment for HIV and AIDS patients is a matter for discussion between the patient and clinician; records of an individual's treatments are confidential.

Earl Baldwin of Bewdley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the medical advice since 1987 to people with HIV/AIDS who have been prescribed antiviral medication about the length of time for which they should take such medication.

Baroness Jay of Paddington: In April this year the first consensus of medical opinion was published about the anteretroviral treatment of HIV seropositive individuals in the form of guidelines from the British HIV Association. These guidelines do not contain recommendations about the length of time an individual should remain on medication. The choice and duration of treatment is a matter for discussion and agreement between individual patients and their clinicians, and medical advice will be tailored to the individual.

Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which companies, industries and issues the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs cannot handle due to possible conflicts of interest.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury): Ministers in this Government will continue to make public statements about their involvement in specific cases where it is valuable for the conduct of a particular case to do so.

As already announced, the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs has stood aside from consideration of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's reports on P&O/Stena and on the travel trade, and papers relating to the European Commission's investigation under the European Community Merger Regulation of the proposed

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acquisition by Dupont of certain ICI businesses. Shares relating to these companies were owned by his late father, who died in a mountaineering accident.

University Funding

Lord Rix asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the universities of Oxford and Cambridge are paid £2,000 per student more than other United Kingdom universities; and

    Whether the additional payments made to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge are made in recognition of high standards of education achieved at those universities; and if so, whether they will make similar payments to other United Kingdom universities where equally high standards are achieved.

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The college fee for students at Oxford and Cambridge universities represents the provision of a wide variety of services--for example, additional library facilities--provided in the colleges. It also reflects more generous provision for teaching allowing a greater use of the individual tutorial approach in the Oxbridge colleges than elsewhere.

We have asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England for advice on the mechanisms for settling future funding for universities and colleges at Oxford and Cambridge and on any implications for the three independent colleges at Durham, which also receive funding through reimbursement of college fees. We are currently awaiting their advice.

Young Offender Institutions: Regimes

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For each Young Offender Institution, how many hours per day were spent by inmates (a) locked up and (b) engaged in constructive activities, during the last 12-month period for which figures are available; and whether separate figures are available for remand and convicted prisoners.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Prison Service monitors the time that is available for prisoners to spend out of their cell, based on normal prison routines, rather than actual time that prisoners spend in their cell.

In the 12-month period from September 1996-September 1997, the average time available for prisoners to spend out of their cell per day for each Young Offenders Institution is shown in Table A.

The Prison Service monitors average time engaged in constructive activity on a weekly rather than a daily basis. The average weekly number of hours spent in constructive activity for each Young Offenders Institution is shown in Table B.

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Separate figures for sentenced and remand prisoners are not available.

Table A: Young Offenders--Time Out of Cell

Male closed young offenderAylesbury9.12
Glen Parva9.22
Guys Marsh13.25
Stoke Heath11.75
Swinfen Hall9.56
Warren Hill8.47
Male juvenileWerrington13.50
Male open young offenderColchester21.80
Thorn Cross12.50

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Table B: Young Offenders--Constructive Activity

Male closed young offenderAylesbury23.21
Glen Parva16.64
Guys Marsh28.64
Stoke Heath26.30
Swinfen Hall24.40
Warren Hill19.85
Male juvenileWerrington39.95
Male open young offenderColchestern/a
Thorn Cross50.80


The data for September are provisional, so these 12-month figures may be subject to minor changes.

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