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Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The European Commission have expressed some concern about our implementation of the fire safety aspects of the

29 Jul 1998 : Column WA209

European Framework Directive (89/391/EEC). We expect to be in a position to publish a consultative document on our proposals for amendments, to allay the Commission's concerns, in early August. Copies of the document will be available in the Library. However, as the House will be in recess at the time of publication, the noble Lord and others may like to know that copies may also be had, free of charge, from Christians Ltd., whose details are as follows:

    Orderline/telephone number:0181 867 3434

    Fax Number:0181 867 3234


    Freepost address: Fire Safety Consultation Document, FREEPOST HA 4441, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 1BR.

29 Jul 1998 : Column WA210

Scholarships Provided by Public Bodies

Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many scholarships are currently provided by public bodies such as the Research Councils to British students working towards higher degrees.[HL2864]

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury): There are some problems of definition, but a good snap-shot is provided by data showing source of fees for students starting their course. Figures extracted from table 5.7 of the Science, Engineering and Technology Statistics 1998 are given below. These are new entrants, not the total stock holding awards in any year. More detailed information is given in table 5.11 of the same publication, and in the Department for Education and Employment's Statistics of Education: Student Support 1995-96.

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Full-time home new entrant higher degree students (all subjects) by source of fees, GB 1994-95 to 1996-97

Taught Masters Research Masters Doctorates
1994-951995-961996-971994-951995-961996-971994-95 1995-961996-97
Source of Fees
Local Government7561,0561,0292428331936147
Government Dept. (inc. HM Forces)2,2271,7542,025181143160392427318
Research Councils2,7112,6502,4431,1701,2011,1142,5232,4362,263
Other UK Public Funds846318260109131138215282231

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Plant Breeding International Cambridge Ltd.

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to refer the recent acquisition by Monsanto of Plant Breeding International Cambridge Ltd. to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.[HL3018]

Lord Simon of Highbury: If my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is advised by the Director General of Fair Trading that there is or may be a merger which qualifies for investigation under the provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973 he will then decide in the light of advice from the Director General whether or not it should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission for investigation.

Household Division: Ethnic Minority Soldiers

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Gilbert on 26 June 1997 (WA 186), how many soldiers from ethnic minorities are serving in each regiment of the Household Division.[HL2764]

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The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The number of regular Army soldiers from ethnic minorities serving in each regiment of the Household Division, as at 14 July 1998, is as follows:

Household DivisionEthnic Minority soldiers
Household Cavalry1
Grenadier Guards1
Coldstream Guards0
Scots Guards1
Irish Guards5
Welsh Guards0


In addition there are at present in the Household Division two officers whose ethnic origin is recorded as non-white.

Rough Sleeping: Single Room Rent Restriction

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How the Department of Social Security is tackling the task of evaluating the effect on rough sleeping of the housing benefit single room rent restriction; and when their conclusions are likely to be reported.[HL2893]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): We are still gathering evidence from a variety of sources to gauge the impact of the Single Room Rent restriction on tenants, landlords and the private rental market as a whole. In particular, we have commissioned a joint study with the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions on Housing Benefit and the private rented sector. The study will look at the overall effects of the restriction, rather than its effects on any specific group. We expect the results in autumn.

Rough Sleeping: Housing Benefit for Prisoners

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to paragraph 4.7 of the Social Exclusion Unit's Report on Rough Sleeping, whether they will review the rules on housing benefit for prisoners.[HL2896]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The Welfare Reform Green Paper outlined the Government's intention to address the weaknesses of the current regime for housing policy and Housing Benefit. The Rough Sleepers report from the Social Exclusion Unit has confirmed that the prison and probation services will have a new focus on preventing homelessness. The Home Office will make this a key element of their performance indicators from 1999-2000.

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Northern Ireland Assembly: Briefing Programme

Baroness Denton of Wakefield asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What arrangements are being made to explain the working of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and the Northern Ireland Office to the newly elected members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.[HL3067]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has initiated the construction of a briefing programme--the transition programme--intended to assist newly elected Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly to prepare for their new responsibilities.

The transition programme is being designed, with the participation of internationally renowned advisers and in consultation with representatives of the political parties, to assist Members of the Assembly and Civil Servants in their preparations for the effective functioning of the Assembly when it takes on its full powers after the transitional period.

The programme's objective is to provide as comprehensively as is practicable a background briefing about the workings of the Northern Ireland Public Services, and the Assembly's relationship with other institutions and authorities. The programme will run from July to December 1998.

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