To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the effect that economic sanctions against Iraq are having on that country's economy; what measures need to be taken to make them more effective; and if he will make a statement.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs told the House on 8 November, the international embargo continues to be broadly effective. Iraq's access to foreign exchange has been drastically reduced. Iraq's manufacturing and industrial capabilities have been particularly affected. Food rationing has been introduced. However, on the evidence available, sanctions alone are unlikely to be decisive in reversing Iraqi policy in the near future.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the hon. Member for Bassetlaw may expect a reply to his letter of 15 October concerning the situation of Mr. Mel Hewson of The Orchard, Station road, Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire, and Mr. Roland Hornsby of High street, North Leverton, Nottinghamshire, who are detained in Al Qaim in Iraq.
I have replied today to the hon. Member's letter of 18 October. We have great sympathy for the plight of Mr. Hewson and Mr. Hornsby.