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Written Answers

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 24 September 1997

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 24 November 1997

Treasury

Tax Avoidance Schemes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in his review of avoidance of direct taxes, he will examine the use of Jersey-based capital gains tax avoidance schemes by British companies. [12587]

Economic And Monetary Union

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the legislation which would need to be enacted prior to the United Kingdom joining a single currency. [15338]

The European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993 requires an Act of Parliament before the UK would be able to move to the third stage of economic and monetary union. In addition, as confirmed in the Chancellor's statement on 27 October 1997, Official Report, columns 583–88, whenever a decision to enter is taken by the Government, it should be put to a referendum of the British people, and this would require legislation. Separately, the Bank of England would need to be compatible with the terms of the Treaty which apply if we were to join and there would be changes needed to related UK legislation.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer from what decisions relating to the European Single Currency—other than those determined in treaties or protocols concerning the operation of the European Monetary Institute, the European System of Central Banks or the statutes and duties of the European central banks— member states unable or unwilling to participate in the single currency, or the representatives of their respective central banks, will be excluded. [15436]

All decisions relating the European Central Bank (ECB) will be taken pursuant to the Treaty establishing the European Community, including its various Protocols, in particular Nos. 3, 4, 8 and 11, which collectively lay down the rights and obligations of participating and non-participating member states and their National Central Banks.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representation he has made concerning the formation of a working group of first-round EMU participants distinct from the ECOFIN group. [16987]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy on the proposal of the French Government for a Conseil de 1'Euro. [17002]

[holding answer 19 November 1997]: The UK is in agreement with all other Member States that the ECOFIN Council will remain the decision-making body for economic and financial issues after the start of stage three of EMU, as it is now.

Tax And Benefits Task Force

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the members of the Tax and Benefits Task Force chaired by Mr. Martin Taylor. [16845]

Martin Taylor chairs a Task Force on which the Treasury, Inland Revenue, the Department of Social Security and Department for Education and Employment are represented by senior officials. It is not the usual practice to name individual officials.

Public Appointments

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many public appointments he has made since 1 May; and how many and what percentage of these (a) receive remuneration and (b) are of (i) Afro-Caribbean and (ii) Asian origin. [16782]

The Chancellor's Department and Agencies have made 31 public appointments since 1 May 1997, of which eight (26 per cent.) receive remuneration. The information about ethnic origin cannot be provided since to do so would risk identifying individuals without their consent. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has provided information for all departments in an aggregated form.

Wealth Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will calculate the revenue impact of imposing an additional 1 per cent. annual tax on individuals whose assets exceed £1 million. [17040]

It is not possible to assess precisely the number and wealth of millionaires in the United Kingdom at any one time. The only available estimates are derived from inheritance tax data on a year-of-death basis. On this basis it is provisionally estimated that living individuals with net marketable wealth—that is, excluding pension rights—exceeding £1 million in 1994, the latest available year, owned assets totalling £116 billion, of which 1 per cent. represents just over £1 billion.

Exchange Rates

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 13 November, Official Report, column 625, on exchange rates, if he will publish the available evidence which suggests that the use of foreign currency is fairly stable over time. [16899]

[holding answer 20 November 1997]: The following figures, which are the most recent available, show exports and imports invoiced in foreign currency from 1979–88. It suggests that the proportion of trade invoiced in foreign currency was generally stable over that period, after allowing for a likely once-off adjustment by businesses to the lifting of foreign exchange controls.

Proportion of UK exports invoiced in sterling and foreign currency (by value) 1979–881

Year

Invoiced in currency of destination country2

Invoiced in US dollars

Invoiced in other foreign currencies

Invoiced in sterling

19791212274
19801111276
1981169174
19821815265
19831914265
19842215063
19852318059
19862620354
19872419357
19882415362

1Data 1979 based on annual figures; 83–88 based on November transactions except for 1987, which is based on May data.

2 'Invoiced in currency of destination country' includes US dollar for US/UK trade.

Proportion of UK imports invoiced in sterling and foreign currency (by value) 1979–881

Year

Invoiced in importing country currency2

Invoiced in US dollars

Invoiced in other foreign currencies

Invoiced in sterling

19793821338
19803827332
1981412313
19824122234
19834419235
19844125134
19854324132
19864617237
19874613140
19884116243

Notes:

1 Data 1979–83 annual figures; 83–88 based on September transactions except for 1987 which is based on March data.

2 'Invoiced in currency of importing country' includes US for US/UK trade.

Sources:

'British Business' 31 May 1985, 17 January 1986 and 24 April 1987 (DTI) and 'Business Bulletin' 15 December 1989 (CSO).

Airbus

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the reasons for his Department not having approved the grant of launch aid to British Aerospace in respect of its involvement in the Airbus A340–500 and 600 aircraft. [17255]

[holding answer 21 November 1997]: The Government have yet to announce their decision concerning the application for assistance from British Aerospace.

National Asset Register

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to be able to publish the National Asset Register. [17817]

I am publishing The National Asset Register today. Copies are available in the Vote Office.The National Asset Register fulfils the Government's Manifesto commitment to publish a thorough inventory of the assets they own. Publication demonstrates the Government's commitment to greater openness and accountability by letting the nation see what assets the nation owns.This is the first time that any Government have had such a comprehensive picture of all the assets they hold. The National Asset Register will be an invaluable starting point in helping departments to identify whether they are making the best use of their assets and achieving value for money. It demonstrates the Government's commitment to maintaining prudent and sound financial management.To help departments do this the Treasury has also introduced two new measures to encourage departments to get the best from their assets:First, at present any receipts from the sale of surplus assets must be surrendered to the Consolidated Fund unless the Treasury agrees that the department concerned can retain them to increase its gross spending power. (The receipts then count as negative public expenditure so do not increase net spending or the Control Total.)From 1 April 1998 until 1 April 2001 when the new resource budgeting arrangements are in place, the Treasury will allow departments to retain 100 per cent. of the receipts from assets of which they dispose, subject to certain limits. These limits are that:

  • the value of an individual sale does not exceed £100 million;
  • the value of the total sales for any financial year does not exceed 3 per cent. of a department's cash-limited vote; and
  • the receipts can only be used to finance capital spending. They cannot be used to finance current spending.

These limits are necessary to ensure that these sales do not distort the Government's overall spending allocations.

Second, Departments are also being encouraged to make better use of assets they retain. This more effective management may include increasing commercial activity which has generally been constrained by lack of incentives for departments and by current Treasury guidance.

Under the new arrangements Departments will be helped to maximise the value they retain from their assets by

  • being able to retain receipts from commercial activity;
  • being encouraged to develop relationships with the private sector to bring in any necessary skills and expertise;
  • the Treasury's Private Finance Task Force will provide support to Departments; and
  • this new approach in being developed in partnership with departments which are being consulted on the arrangements.

President Of The Council

Press Releases

To ask the President of the Council what is her policy in respect of the faxing of press releases on the day of release to Opposition party spokesmen; what changes have been introduced since 1 May; and if she will make a statement. [16283]

All press releases issued on my behalf are posted to the relevant Opposition spokesman on the day of release. Press notices are not routinely faxed to Opposition party spokesmen unless requested. There has been no change since 1 May.

Departmental Information

To ask the President of the Council if she will place in the Library a copy of the internal departmental guidance on the dissemination of information; and if she will make a statement. [16284]

In my small Department it has not bee necessary to issue detailed guidance on the dissemination of information.

Maximum loan available to students and estimated length of repayment under new student support arrangements
Earnings (as a percentage of average earnings)
Number of years of studyMaximum loan available (1990–00 prices) (£)50 per cent.75 per cent.85 per cent.100 per cent.125 per cent.150 per cent.200 per cent.300 percent.
Number of years taken to repay loans
310,39511713107543
414,02012116129753
517,645125191510864
621,270128221712974
724,8901322519141185
828,5201342721151285
1 Loans never fully repaid. 'Average earnings' have been taken from the 'New Earnings Survey 1997'. Average graduate earnings would be expected to increase more rapidly than average earnings for full-time workers as a whole, thus reducing the average length of the repayment period for any given amount of loan;
Repayments will not begin until a graduate has a gross annual income of £10,000 and will stop if at any time their income falls below this threshold;
The figures for 'maximum loan available' are based on the assumption that the graduates enter higher education in 1999–2000 and are therefore eligible for a 100 per cent. maintenance loan (as opposed to the 75 per cent. loan available in the 1998–99 transitional year). They also assume that loans will be uprated annually in line with inflation

Child Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to build on the Child care Consultation carried out by the last Government. [17274]

We have already taken action to improve childcare by extending the childcare disregard and offering young people the opportunity to obtain training and work experience in childcare as part of the New Deal programme. We are currently developing a National Childcare Strategy which will help parents, especially women, to balance family and working life and I will make an announcement in the first part of next year.

Education And Employment

Student Loans

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what will be the total loan available to students whose parents are not required to provide a parental contribution for those undertaking higher education for (a) three years, (b) four years, (c) five years, (d) six years, (e) seven years and (f) eight years; and what is his estimate of how long the loan will take to repay in each case if a graduate earns (i) 50 per cent. average earnings, (ii) 75 per cent. average earnings, (iii) 85 per cent. average earnings, (iv) average earnings, (v) 125 per cent. average earnings, (vi) 150 per cent. average earnings, (vii) twice average earnings and (viii) three times average earnings. [16429]

[holding answer 17 November 1997]: The table following sets out the estimated maximum amount of loan available to students studying outside London and living away from home during their studies, and the estimated number of years it would take to repay these loans. It should be noted, however, that the vast majority of students will be on courses lasting not more than four years. Of those few on courses lasting longer than four years, medical and dental students might also be eligible for income-related bursaries from the Department of Health to help with living costs.

Student Fees

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list those non-degree education courses which will be subject to the Government's new student fees policy. [16541]

Undergraduate full-time courses of higher education leading to an HND or DipHE or to a certificate, diploma or other academic award comparable to a first degree will be subject to the new arrangements for student support starting in autumn 1998. Postgraduate and part-time courses of initial teacher training will also be covered. However, we have already announced that students on PGCE courses will continue to receive free tuition.

Teachers (Advanced Skilled Status)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the percentage of teachers who achieve advanced skilled teacher status. [16909]

The Government intends to introduce a new career grade of Advanced Skills Teacher to reward the best teachers who are prepared to take on additional roles contributing to the quality of teaching in their schools. In the first instance, it is proposed that the new grade could be introduced on a pilot basis in September 1998. Further decisions will be taken following the pilots.

University Admissions (Oxford And Cambridge)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proportion of undergraduate students admitted to Oxford and Cambridge universities came from outside the European Union in the last year for which figures are available. [16760]

The most recent data available are for academic year 1996–97 and are given in the table:

Entrants1to undergraduate courses 1996–97
UniversityPercentage of non-EU undergraduate entrants
Oxford7.2
Cambridge8.0
1 Students on their first year of study.
Mandatory awards in England and Wales1
Academic years 1991–92 to 1995–96Percentage of award holders receiving full, partial and nil rates of grant
1991–9221992–931993–941994–951995–96
Full maintenance grant3942444545
Partial maintenance grant3634333230
Nil maintenance grant2524222324

Source:

F503G

Notes:

1 Made by LEAs in England and Wales to students normally domiciled in their area who are studying in the United Kingdom. Includes awards made to postgraduate students on courses of initial teacher training.

2 Excluding awards made by the London Residuary Body for which full details are not available.

University Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the amount of university funding per student in England in (a) 1994–95, (b) 1995–96, (c) 1996–97 and (d) 1997–98; and if he will make a statement. [16935]

Public funding in cash terms per higher education student in England paid through grants to the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Teacher Training Agency and through publicly funded tuition fees was £4,973 in 1994–95; £4,976 in 1995–96; £4,803 in 1996–97; and is £4,858 in 1997–98.

Age Discrimination

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the protection afforded under (a) European Union and (b) United Kingdom law to employees against age discrimination. [17044]

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proportion of undergraduate students admitted to Oxford and Cambridge universities came from grant-maintained schools in the most recent year for which figures are available. [16857]

The information requested is not held centrally. I understand that the Admissions Offices of both universities do produce annual statistics along these lines and my hon. Friend might care to speak to them directly.

Student Maintenance Grant

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) how many (a) first-year, (b) second-year, (c) third-year and (d) fourth-year undergraduate students at Oxford and Cambridge universities qualified for a maintenance grant in each of the last five years; [16758](2) if he will list the proportion for each year of the last five years of

(a) first-year, (b) second-year, (c) third-year and (d) fourth-year undergraduate students attending all United Kingdom universities who qualified for a maintenance grant. [16759]

Information is not collected centrally on maintenance awards by year of course nor on awards made to students at individual universities. The table below shows the percentage of mandatory award holders from England and Wales who received full, partial and nil maintenance grants in each of the last five years.

Employees in the UK are afforded protection under employment legislation. However, there is no specific age discrimination legislation in either the United Kingdom or the European Union.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidance his agencies issue to (a) employers and (b) employees about age discrimination in the work place. [17041]

My colleagues and I take every opportunity to explain to employers the benefits of a diverse workforce. The Employment Service encourages employers to recruit on merit, irrespective of age. It also encourages jobseekers to treat age as a positive asset in jobsearch and provides advice on handling objection to employment which may be due to age.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what is the Government's policy on age discrimination in the work place; [17042]

(2) what proposals his Department has to tackle age discrimination in the work place. [17043]

The Government believes that age discrimination in employment is unfair and makes no economic sense, either for business or society. I told my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall North on 22 May 1997,Official Report, column 825, that I intended to consult widely on the best approach to this issue. The consultation is taking place.

Lea Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what criteria are laid down by his Department for LEAs obtaining support for bids under the New Deal scheme for replacing old school buildings; and if he will make a statement. [17024]

We issued guidance to Local Education Authorities (LEAs) on how to bid for the next tranche of New Deal for Schools funding on 5 November. In deciding allocations, we shall consider LEAs plans to meet their most urgent building needs as a whole. We are asking LEAs to assess the condition of their school buildings objectively in four priority bands. This will allow us to compare the needs of LEAs consistently across the country.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the procedure followed by his Department in approving funding for design work on the replacement of old school buildings and in allocating funding for the replacement of such schools. [17025]

For county schools, we do not allow separately for design fees when we allocate Annual Capital Guidelines (ACGs) or Supplementary Credit Approvals (SCAs); design fees are part of the project costs which LEAs meet from borrowing and other sources of funding at their disposal. For voluntary aided and special agreement schools, LEAs may bid for grant aid for design fees in the annual capital bidding round in October each year or, in the case of statutory proposals, before publication. The annual bidding letter sets out the priorities for distributing resources to schools. Authorities may bid to replace a school in the Exceptional Basic Need (EBN) category. EBN funding is only given if the building will have to be taken out of use within the next twelve months; repair is impracticable; and no alternative provision exists.For New Deal for Schools allocations in 1997–98, we gave priority to bids to cover the development costs of innovative Public Private Partnerships and building work which could be completed between 30 September 1997 and 31 March 1998. No whole-school replacements were supported.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list those schemes included in the 1997–98 financial year bids for school replacements which are due for completion by 31 March 1998. [17026]

No Annual Capital Guideline or Supplementary Credit Approval cover, grant aid for governors costs, or grant through the New Deal for Schools is being provided in 1997–98 for whole school replacements scheduled for completion before 31 March 1998.

Lancaster Adult College

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the allocation of additional resources to Lancaster Adult College. [17546]

On 12 November, my right hon. Friend set out the Government's vision and priorities for further education. He announced additional funding for the sector next year, totalling £83 million. The Further Education Funding Council will take decisions, in the light of guidance from my right hon. Friend, on the general principles to be applied to funding for the academic year 1998–99. Allocations of funding to sector colleges, and external institutions like Lancaster Adult College, are the responsibility of the Council which will make them early next year.

Environment, Transport And The Regions

Local Government (South-East England)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps the Government have taken to meet local government associations and council leaders for authorities covering South-East England since 1 May. [16504]

My Ministerial colleagues and I have met on a number of occasions with representatives of the Local Government Association, the Association of London Government and individual council leaders since 1 May, to discuss a wide range of topics, including the London and South East Regional Planning Conference (SERPLAN).

Rural England White Paper

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if the Government intend to continue the updating of statistics which the 1995 White Paper on Rural England and its 1996 update emphasised the importance of updating; and if he will make a statement. [16506]

We have no plans to publish an update of the commitments set out in the previous Administration's White Papers on Rural England, but statistics on issues affecting the countryside continue to be collected and updated. Much of this information is published.For example, we will be undertaking a major national survey of the habitats, plants, landscape features and land types of the British Countryside to mark the end of the Millennium. Countryside Survey 2000 will update and extend previous surveys undertaken at intervals over the last 20 years.

Biocidal Products Directive

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what are the total projected costs to British business of the amended European Union directive on the placing of biocidal products on the market; and what discussions he has had with British business interests on this matter. [16984]

I have had no direct discussions with British business about the Biocidal Products Directive. The Health and Safety Executive have consulted business on all aspects of this directive through regular meetings of a working group on biocides.When the directive is implemented, British business will benefit from the opening up of the EU-wide market in biocidal products and from the introduction of a single risk assessment procedure for approval of products, involving mutual recognition of product authorisations in all member states. HSE's estimate of the costs to industry of implementing the directive are set out in the cost benefit assessment (CBA) appended to the Department's Explanatory Memorandum 9600/97 submitted in August 1997. A copy has been placed in the Library.Costs are estimated on the basis of the additional costs over and above those which would be incurred by a compliance with existing chemical control regimes. The CBA shows estimated one-off costs in the range of £5–£20 million, with annual costs of around £6.7 million, depending on the number of new products placed on the market. This estimate of annual costs takes account of the significant reduction in costs achieved by the simplified administrative procedures negotiated by the United Kingdom. HSE are currently updating the cost estimates in the CBA in discussion with the Chemical Industries Association.

Coastguards

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will list the locations of the permanently manned coast stations planned for 2001 which will have responsibility for marine and coastal safety in the Irish Sea; [16977](2). if he will make a statement on the provision of coastguard services for the North West of England following the proposed closure of the Liverpool Centre in 2000. [16973]

The Coastguard Agency plans that in the year 2001, the following permanently manned coastguard stations will have responsibility for marine and coastal safety in the Irish Sea:

  • Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Belfast
  • MRSC Holyhead
  • MRSC Milford Haven
Following the closure of Liverpool in 2000, the level of provision of coastguard services in the North West will be unaffected. Radio sites will remain at Calbeck, Walney Island, Blackpool, Liverpool and Heswall and will be controlled by MRSC Holyhead. An additional Sector Manager will be located at Liverpool.

Local Authority Spending

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions by how much local authority spending increases for each 1 per cent. rise in the GDP deflator. [16870]

There is no automatic link between inflation in the economy generally, as measured by any rise in the GDP deflator, and local authority spending. The impact would depend on the rate of increase in prices for the particular services and goods purchased by authorities, and on authorities' budgetary reactions to these pressures.

Bus Lanes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much has been spent on bus lane cameras since 1 May. [16840]

The Traffic Director for London is currently developing a trial in north London as part of a project to test the use of cameras to enforce bus lanes, but nothing has been spent on cameras since 1 May. We understand that the London local authorities are also working towards using cameras to enforce bus lanes but we have no information on how much money they might have spent on cameras.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many people have been successfully prosecuted for driving in bus lanes since 1 May. [16841]

The information requested is not separately identified in the statistics collected centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the average number of police man hours spent each week studying the film from bus lane cameras. [16843]

From 5 December prosecutions will begin in the Traffic Director for London's project in north London to test cameras to enforce bus lanes. He estimates that it will then require about two police man hours per week to study the film from the cameras.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimate he has made of the revenue expected from fines for driving in bus lanes during the next financial year. [16842]

No estimates are made of future fine revenue for specific offences.

Social Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what annual targets have been set for social housing construction. [16974]

My Department has not set annual targets for social housing construction. Official estimates of the newly arising need for social housing in England over the period 1991–2001, published in 1995, indicate a requirement for 60,000 to 100,000 lettings per year.My Department has commissioned the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge University to carry out a feasibility study of an economic model of housing need for the period 1996–2006. Ministers have not yet reached conclusions on this research, or on the proportion of housing need which will be met by means other than new construction. A report on the research will be published shortly.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will seek to negotiate an enforcement mechanism for reviewing carbon dioxide emission targets at Kyoto. [16868]

Both the UK and the EU believe that the targets to be agreed in Kyoto should be legally binding. We consider that targets, as well as other commitments in the Protocol, must be backed by a strong compliance regime. However, the details of the regime provided for in the Protocol will be elaborated after Kyoto.

Lord Sainsbury

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he last met Lord Sainsbury in an official capacity; and what subjects were discussed. [16836]

I met Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 20 October 1997 for the first and only time since the General Election. We had a wide-ranging discussion on a number of issues relating to the policy areas of my Department. In particular, the meeting covered rail freight, lorry weights, mixed-use housing and retail developments and the speed and consistency of the planning process generally.

Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions by how much the interest rate bill of local authorities rises for each 1 per cent. rise in interest rates. [16861]

I estimate that English local authorities currently hold about £5 billion in variable rate debt, on which additional interest payments of £50 million would arise if interest rates rose by 1 per cent. generally.Further, if authorities borrow an additional £2 billion in 1997–98, broadly in line with the issue of new credit approvals, then a 1 per cent. rise in interest rates would increase interest payments on this new borrowing by about £20 million.Local authorities currently hold around £10 billion in bank deposits and other short-term investments and might therefore earn additional interest of up to £100 million, if rates rose by 1 percent.However, the additional costs or income arising from the increase in interest rates would tend to be offset over time by compensating changes in HRA subsidy and Revenue Support Grant paid to local authorities by central government.

Tourist Coaches (London)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the adequacy of parking facilities for tourist coaches in London; and what plans he has to make improvements. [16791]

In London, the provision of coach parking and its enforcement is generally the responsibility of the local authorities. We aim to encourage the local authorities, the coach and tourist industries and other interested parties to discuss and implement measures to assist the operation and parking of coaches.

Acid Rain

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the effect of acid rain on Britain's trees. [17170]

Maps of acid deposition in the UK based on work carried out for my Department have recently been published in reports by the Review Group on Acid Rain and the Critical Loads Advisory Group. Copies have been deposited in the House of Commons Library.Research into the sensitivity of trees to acid deposition is being carried out both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. From the research, maps of the sensitivity of forest ecosystems to acid deposition have been developed on a UK and European scale. The areas of the UK forest at risk of damage can be identified by combining the maps of sensitivity and acid deposition.In addition, surveys of woodland tree condition in the UK are carried out annually. While these do not assess directly the impact of acid rain, the have provided evidence that, during the past few years, the previous decline in tree health has been reversed.Acid rain and damage to sensitive ecosystems including trees is an on-going transboundary problem. The UK was one of the first countries to ratify the Second Sulphur Protocol under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution. This commits the UK to an 80 per cent. reduction in its 1980 sulphur emissions by 2010. My Department is currently taking an active part in negotiations in the EU and UNECE aiming to provide further protection to the environment from acid deposition.

English Partnerships (Allocation Of Funds)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list, by region, the amount of money in each of the last five financial years which English Partnerships allocated to (a) housing development, (b) employment, and (c) retail development. [16894]

[holding answer: 20 November 1997]: English Partnerships became fully operational in April 1994, with statutory objectives focusing on the sustainable regeneration of areas of need promoting job creation, inward investment and environmental improvements through the reclamation and development of vacant, derelict and underused land and buildings. It operates through broadly based strategic partnerships throughout the English regions with local authorities, the private sector, voluntary bodies and others.Although English Partnerships does not keep information in the form requested, the table sets out, by region, English Partnerships' approved investment by development type under its Partnership Investment Programme, over its first three years of operation.

Approved Partnership Investment Programme

£ million

1994–95

1995–96

1996–97

North East Region

Housing0.5843.4085.022
Retail1.4532.670
Other
Commercial/Industrial16.3748.57447.594
Total18.41111.98255.286

North West Region

Housing11.6284.2236.440
Retail0.3002.8746.416
Other
Commercial/Industrial14.87837.13739.086
Total26.80644.23451.942

Yorkshire and Humberside

Housing1.0184.9131.926
Retail2.744
Other
Commercial/Industrial8.86118.76034.276
Total9.87923.67338.946

Midlands

Housing0.8051.7770.845
Retail3.3700.9820.546
Other
Commercial/Industrial34.44437.38544.107
Total38.61940.14445.498

London and South East

Housing8.2870.7052.084
Retail6.000
Other
Commercial/Industrial6.80020.69426.700
Total21.08721.39928.784

South West

Housing0.1130.200
Retail1.400
Other
Commercial/Industrial9.32126.113
Total0.1139.32127.713
Total all regions114.915150.753248.169

Fishing Vessels (Safety)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 18 November, Official Report, column 127, (1) if he will list the organisations and other interested parties which were consulted over the proposed Code of Safe Working Practices for Fishing Vessels' and if he will make a statement; [17553](2) when the new code of safe working practices for fishing vessel will be published. [17552]

I have asked the Chief Executive of the Marine Safety Agency to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from R. M. Bradley to Mr. Norman Godman, dated 24 November 1997:

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions has asked me to reply to your Questions relating to the new Code of Safe Working Practice for Fishermen.
The first draft of the Code has recently been prepared for the Marine Safety Agency (MSA) by the Sea Fish Industry Authority. The MSA is convening an early meeting of the Fishing Industry Safety Group's Technical Sub Group to discuss the draft Code and to consider its further development.
Publication of the Code, which will provide guidance on the regulations which implement the Framework Directive on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work and associated daughter directives, is dependent on progress on its development and on consultation with the fishing industry. We aim to introduce the regulations to implement the Directive early in 1998 and, subject to completion of the Code, to bring them into force by 31 March 1998.

Cites

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions for what reasons the Government (a) abstained from the vote to down list three populations of African elephants at the CITES conference and (b) agreed to an exemption to the ban on ivory sales by Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. [17578]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment to my hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley, East and Mexborough (Mr. Ennis) on 8 July, Official Report, column 449, which reports the main decisions taken by the Conference.

Schools (Safe Routes)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures his Department is taking to encourage more children to walk to school. [17432]

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Wyre (Mr. Dawson) on 18 November, Official Report, columns 137–38.

Eu Structural Funds

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what was the level of Objective 5b funding in the less-favoured areas of the North of England in (i) 1993, (ii) 1994, (iii) 1995 and (iv) 1996. [17310]

European Funds under Objective 5b became available for the Northern Uplands from 1 January 1994. However they must be supplemented by other funds from the public and private sectors. The full amount of the funding available is as follows:

£ million
European structural fundsPublic/private sectorsTotal
1993
19948.812.421.2
199511.516.427.9
199613.118.831.9

South Downs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement about a timetable for public consultation on the long-term structure for the management of the South Downs; and if he will indicate the form that consultation will take. [16723]

At our request, the Countryside Commission is carrying out the consultation on the long-term arrangements for the South Downs. A conference will take place in Brighton on 26 November to launch the consultation document and mark the beginning of the further debate on the future of the Downs. Copies of the consultation document will be available from the Commission's London office from that date. Copies will also be freely available at libraries within the South Downs and surrounding towns from the following week. Written views are requested by 12 January 1998 when the Commission will start its analysis, but any significant points made later in January can still be taken into account. The Commission will analyse the responses and bring the results and advice to Ministers next spring.

Genetically Modified Organisms

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many examples of the horizontal transmission of genetic material from genetically modified organisMs approved for (a) field testing and (b) marketing his Department has evaluated. [17339]

The risks of all types of gene transfer, including horizontal gene transfer, are evaluated when considering all applications for consent to release or market genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the UK. To date 134 applications for the experimental release of GMOs in Great Britain and 24 notifications for marketing GMOs in the European Community have been considered since the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations 1992 came into force on 1 February 1993.

Driving And Diabetes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the members of the Honorary Advisory Panel on Driving and Diabetes, with their relevant expertise and date of appointment. [16901]

The members of the Honorary Advisory Panel on Driving and Diabetes, and their date of appointment to the Panel, are as follows:

Appointed
Dr. Peter J. Watkins (Chairman since 1977)
Kings College Hospital, London1985
Professor John D. Ward
The Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield1985
Dr. John L. Day
Ipswich Hospital, Suffolk1985
Dr. Nina Essex
Mayday Hospital, Thornton Heath, Surrey1989
Appointed
Dr. Brian Frier
The Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh1996
Dr. Stephen G. Gilbey
St. James's University Hospital, Leeds1997
Dr. Anthony B. Stevens
Royal Hospitals Trust, Belfast1997
All are consultant physicians who specialise in diabetes.

Eu Committee Of The Regions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what plans he has to make British members of the EU Committee of the Regions directly elected by the regions they represent; [17197](2) what plans he has to review the method of appointment of British members of the EU Committee of the Regions; and if he will make a statement. [17340]

My right hon. Friend has no such plans. Members of the Committee of the Regions are appointed by the Council of Ministers of the European Union following nominations by member states. Under the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993 United Kingdom members of the Committee must be elected members of a local authority at the time of their nomination. Any change to the method of appointment, including the direct election of members, would require a Treaty amendment agreed by all European Union member states acting unanimously.

London Government

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many responses to the Green Paper "New Leadership for London" (a) expressed satisfaction with the proposals, (b) expressed concerns over (i) the length of time between the publication of the White Paper and the Referendum, (ii) the number of questions in the Referendum and (iii) the proposal for a directly elected mayor and (c) expressed opinions on the election of mayor; what percentage (a) to (c) constituted of the total number of responses; and if he will make a statement. [17586]

An analysis of the responses to the Green Paper "New Leadership for London" will be included in the White Paper.On 21 November copies of the responses were placed in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions main library, 2 Marsham Street, SW1P. Lists of individuals and organisations who responded, were placed in the House of Commons Library on the same day.

Office Space

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what statistics his Department collates on the amount of empty office space in each region of England; and what estimate he has made of the amount of office space that has been empty (a) for more than six months and (b) for more than a year. [17716]

None. Information on vacant office space in the major centres is available from leading commercial agents, but is not collated centrally.

Thames 2000

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made on his Thames 2000 river transport initiative. [17708]

I am pleased to announce that excellent progress has been made as a result of my Thames 2000 initiative on proposals to establish new passenger transport services on the River Thames by the Millennium, and to leave a permanent legacy thereafter.Today I can announce three new developments which, taken together, should provide the blueprint for securing a new future for passenger transport on the Thames, which I believe is an important ingredient in developing a modern, integrated transport system for the capital. As well as providing an important access route to the Millennium Experience, the aim is to secure a lasting legacy of new investment and high-quality services, which will provide a convenient and attractive new means of travel for Londoners and for visitors.The initiative has been taken forward at my request by the Cross River Partnership, which includes the London Boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, the Cities of Westminster and London, the Port of London Authority, London Transport and others, in collaboration with the New Millennium Experience Company and the Government Office for London.First, the Cross River Partnership and the New Millennium Experience Company have formally invited a shortlist of potential operators to tender to run new River services. Some of these would serve the Millennium Experience, with direct services from dedicated central London piers and downstream "park-and-sail" sites, as well as a shuttle service to Greenwich. Operators are also being invited to tender for longer-term services, including a "hopper" service linking key central London destinations, and "express" services to central London from both up-stream and down-stream. Potential operators may bid for any or all of these services.Second, the Partnership has drawn up a programme of new infrastructure works along the River. This will provide high-quality new piers at key locations, including close to Waterloo and Blackfriars Stations. It will also secure the much-needed improvement of some existing piers, and improved linkages with other public transport

Board Members of the Housing Corporation
NameAppointed to the BoardCurrent appointment endsRemuneration (per annum)£Main areas of expertise
Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde (Chairman)6 November 199731 March 200137,958Regulation, management and organisational expertise
George Cracknell (Deputy Chairman)1 December 199430 November 199721,706Finance and banking
Eric Armitage1 October 199730 September 20009,899Registered Social Landlords
Sheila Button1 October 199730 September 20009,899Social housing sector
Sylvia Denman1 March 199628 February 19999,899Legal
John Foster1 June 199631 May 19999,899Local government
Ken Griffin1 October 199531 May 19999,899Business
David Kleeman3 September 199030 September 19989,899Business

modes. The Partnership has sought funding from the Millennium Commission for this project. Matching funding will come from a variety of sources, including local authorities, the PLA, the Single Regeneration Budget and the private sector. The New Millennium Experience Company is also developing new piers on the Greenwich peninsula and downstream.

Finally, we have been working with members of the Partnership to develop new arrangements for managing piers and passenger services on the Thames. Our intention is that a new agency should be set up with responsibility for managing piers and for promoting and co-ordinating river passenger services in London. This agency would in due course come under the aegis of the new London Transport Authority proposed in the "New Leadership for London" Green Paper as part of the plans for a new Greater London Authority. In the interim a shadow agency will be set up under London Transport to commission the new river services and manage piers.

Green Belt (Carrington Moss)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has received from employees of Manchester United regarding the club's planning application to build on green belt land at Carrington Moss. [17329]

The Secretary of State received no representations from employees of the club on this matter.

Housing Corporation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, if he will list the directors of the Housing Corporation, indicating the tenure of their directorships, their remuneration and the qualifications which led to their appointments. [14730]

[pursuant to his answer, 11 November 1997, c. 483–84]: Details of the directors of the Housing Corporation are in the table.In making appointments to the Board of the Housing Corporation, candidates are sought who, in addition to their individual areas of expertise and knowledge, are able to take a broad view of housing policy and related issues. Candidates should be able to contribute usefully in directing a major Non Departmental Public Body and to make constructive contributions to the development of social housing policy at the national level. The Board needs members with a range of skills and expertise extending from knowledge of finance and regulation to an understanding of how housing policy impacts on other areas of social welfare.

Board Members of the Housing Corporation

Name

Appointed to the Board

Current appointment ends

Remuneration (per annum) £

Main areas of expertise

Robin Thompson17 March 198916 March 19989,899Rural housing
Julia Unwin26 February 199225 February 19989,899Homelessness and tenant participation
Derek Waddington28 January 199427 January 20009,899Local government
Dr. Peter Williams1 October 199530 September 19989,899Lending institutions
Anthony Mayer (Chief Executive)30 April 1991n/an/aChief Executive of the Housing Corporation

Lord Chancellor's Department

Small Claims

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will publish the results of the monitoring conducted by his Department into the effects on waiting times of the last increase in the small-claims limit. [17456]

The last increase in the small claims limit was made on 6 January 1996 and, as the monitoring of waiting times was introduced that year, the information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to increase the resources of the small claims court to ensure that the proposal to raise the small claims limit from April 1999 does not result in increased delays. [17408]

The proposed increase in the small claims limit must be considered along with the other civil justice reform proposals. Resources will be allocated to reflect changes in workload consequent upon implementation of the reforms as a whole.

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will give a breakdown of the length of time taken by small claims cases in county courts by type of case; and what assessment he has made of the factors underlying delays. [17455]

The table below shows the average length of time taken for small claims cases in 1996 from the issue of the summons to the hearing. It was previously published in "Judicial Statistics 1996" (CM 3716) in July 1997. These cases take a substantially shorter time than those which proceed to trial.

Average waiting times1 for arbitrations, by nature of claim, 1996
Nature of claimAverage waiting time in weeks (issue of summons to arbitration)
Debt21
Negligence—personal injury23
Other negligence22
Non-possession housing dispute26
Other22
Total21
1 Figures are based on three months sample data from selected county courts.

Northern Ireland

Arson Attacks

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will list all recorded instances of arson attacks on (a) Protestant churches, (b) Catholic churches, (c) orange and other loyal institutions' premises and (d) Gaelic Athletic Association premises in the period and since July, indicating the estimated cost of damages. [14183]

[holding answer 5 November 1997]: Recorded instances of fire caused by arson in these categories are listed below. Estimated costs of damage are not held centrally and are therefore unavailable.

  • Arson attacks on protestant churches
  • 6. July 1997: 1st Kilrea Presbyterian Church, Church Street, Kilrea;
  • 6. July 1997: Presbyterian Church Hall, Dunloy
  • 9. July 1997: Presbyterian Church Hall, Castle Street, Ballycastle
  • 9. July 1997 Apostolic Church, Melmount Road, Strabane
  • 9. July 1997: Carnmoney Parish Church, Church Road, Carnmoney
  • 9. July 1997: Strathfoyle, Londonderry
  • 10.July 1997: Presbyterian Church Hall, New Street, Dungiven
  • 17. August 1997: Presbyterian Church, Ballyhoe, Newtownbutler
  • 30. August 1997: Church of Ireland Manse, Main Street, Dundrum
  • 31. August 1997: Whitehouse Presbyterian Church, Shore Road, Glengormley
  • 14. September 1997: St. Columbanus Church Hall, Groomsport Road, Bangor
  • 21 September 1997: May Street Presbyterian Church, May Street, Belfast
  • 26 October 1997: St. Stephens Church, Millfield, Belfast
  • Arson attacks on catholic churches
  • 12. July 1997: Killowen Chapel, Kylesbrae, Coleraine
  • 29 September 1997: Tanaghmore RC Church, Fernisky Road, Kells
  • Arson attacks on orange halls
  • 4 July 1997 College Square, Bessbrook
  • 6 July 1997 Old English Road, Dungannon
  • 6 July 1997 Newry
  • 6 July 1997 Antrim Road, Glengormley
  • 7 July 1997 Orritor Road, Cookstown
  • 7 July 1997 Tirooney Road, Sixmilecross
  • 7 July 1997 Brackey Road, Beragh
  • 7 July 1997 Armagh Road, Newtownhamilton
  • 7 July 1997 Coleraine Road, Ballycastle
  • 8 July 1997 Station Road, Dunloy
  • 9 July 1997 Athernee Road, Carrickmore
  • 11 July 1997 Bond Street, Londonderry
  • 12 July 1997 Great Georges Street, Warrenpoint
  • 12 July 1997 Rasharkin, Ballymoney
  • 15 July 1997 Gortvale Road, Rock, Ballymoney
  • 6 August 1997 Dyan, Caledon
  • 6 August 1997 Newry
  • 12 August 1997 Ballycoran Road, Carryduff
  • 26 August 1997 Armagh Road, Newtownhamilton
  • 8 September 1997 Aughintober Road, Dungannon
  • 1 October 1997 Darkley Road, Keady
  • 14 October 1997 Main Street, Rasharkin
  • Arson attacks on GAA premises
  • 13 July 1997 GAA Club, Mary's Lane, Killyleagh
  • 28 August 1997 GAA Clubhouse, Crosskeys Road, Ahoghill

Overseas Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will list each of the overseas trips made by herself and other members of her ministerial team since 2 May, specifying in each case (a) the participating Minister or Ministers, (b) the destination of the trip, (c) the purpose of the trip and (d) the cost of the trip; and if she will make a statement. [15252]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: The information is as follows:

(a)(b)(c)(d)
Secretary of stateWashington (USA)Briefing influential audiences on Government Policy on Northern Ireland £15,209.25
Paul MurphyWashington (USA)Briefing Americans on political situation in Northern Ireland£6,173.80
BrusselsIntroduction as Northern Ireland Minister for European Affairs£2,586,88
Adam Ingram1ParisTo attend Paris Air Show£1,187.80
Boston (USA) WashingtonInward Investment Visit£5,961.60
Chicago Minneapolis (USA) St. Louis New York WashingtonIDB Trade Mission£6,818.70
Lord DubsNew York (USA)Delegate to 43rd Annual Conference of the International Downtown Association£4,941.70
1 The costs refer to expenditure on flights only. However they do not include internal US flights, accommodation, or any miscellaneous expenditure, as this information is not readily available and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Joint Framework Document

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if the Joint Framework Document is the preferred option of Her Majesty's Government for a settlement in Ireland. [15678]

[holding answer 13 November 1997]: Our primary aim is to secure agreement amongst unionists and nationalists. So far as the Government is concerned, no outcome is either predetermined or excluded in advance, or limited by anything other than the need for agreement. The Joint Framework Document describes a shared understanding reached between the British and Irish Governments on the parameters of a possible outcome to the talks process. We believe it is, as the Prime Minister said in May, a reasonable basis for negotiation. The development under this Government of a wider constitutional reform programme, including our commitment to devolution elsewhere in the United Kingdom and to better protection of human rights through incorporation of the ECHR, may also have helpful implications for an agreed outcome to the current negotiations.

Policing

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will publish her key policing objectives and key performance indicators for the year 1998–99. [17816]

I am arranging for copies of the key objectives and key performance indicators for the year 1998–99 to be placed in the Library on Tuesday 25 November at 11.00.

Wales

Nhs

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he has proposed for the NHS to ensure that the interests of pensioners are not overlooked, with particular reference to (a) hip and other joint operations and (b) bed blocking. [16105]

While the National Health Service in Wales does not discriminate against pensioners, who receive access to services on the same basis as other patients, I am keen that the interests of elderly people are not overlooked. I stressed the point when announcing recently the provision of an extra £9.5 million this year for the NHS in Wales. Whilst I urged the Service to use the money to improve their emergency services, reduce the need for people to be admitted to hospital and reduce delays in discharging patients, I stressed that Trusts must not forget their elective surgery obligations.The Patient's Charter guarantees that

"a patient will receive a hip or knee or a cataract operation within 18 months of being referred to their doctor".

However, this guarantee embraces the total patient population and does not target any one group. Latest figures provided by Health Authorities show that there were 35 breaches to this guarantee during the last quarter—this is an improvement from the June quarter when there were 85 breaches. As yet we do not know where the breaches lie, but this will be thoroughly investigated.

A340–600 Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement concerning applications for regional development assistance for the A340–600 aircraft project by British Aerospace. [16099]

I expect to make a decision on the company's application for Regional Selective Assistance shortly.

Student Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the level of university funding per student in Wales in 1998–99; and if he will make a statement. [16936]

The level of funding per student in Wales in 1998–99 will depend upon the allocation for higher education within the Department's expenditure plans for next year which will be announced shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the amount of extra funding which will be available for Welsh (a) further and (b) higher education in 1997–98; and if he will make a statement. [16855]

The final claim from the Further Education Funding Council for Wales for extra funding under the Demand-Led Element scheme is currently being considered. There are no plans to increase the 1997–98 budget of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

Culture, Media And Sport

Lake Windermere Speed Limit

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what consultations the Sports Council had with anglers and walkers before deciding to support the opponents of the proposed speed limit on Lake Windermere at the public inquiry; [14604]

MinisterDateLocationPurposeCost to nearest £100
Mr. Clarke12 May-14 MayCannesSupport for the British film industry1,700
Mr. Smith14 May-16 MayCannesSupport for the British film industry1,500
Mr. Banks10 June-11 JuneParisSupport for the FA bid for the World Cup 2006 and attend the Turnoi de France1,600
Mr. Fisher28 June-1 JulyRome/LuxembourgAttending State opening and Culture Council1,900
Mr. Fisher28 July-same dayBrusselsMeet representatives of the EP Culture and Media Committee1,600
Mr. Clarke31 August-3 SeptemberVenice/RomeSupport for the British film industry/Meeting with Italian DPM2,600
Mr. Clarke2 October-5 OctoberBrittanySupport for the British film industry500
Mr. Clarke8 October-15 OctoberFar EastPromotion of British tourism10,200
Mr. Banks10 October-same dayRomeSupport for the FA bid for the World Cup 2006 and attend the England v Italy qualifier1,600
Mr. Fisher15 October-16 OctoberFrankfurtPromotion of the British publishing industry and attend the European Book Fair1,200
Mr. Banks23 October-30 OctoberUSA/Trinidad/Costa RicaSupport for the FA bid for the World Cup 20069,800
Mr. Smith21 October-26 OctoberUSAPromotion of British creative industries112,100
Mr. Smith11 November-same dayBrusselsVisit to the European Commission1500
Total46,800
1 Denotes full figures not yet available.

(2). what was the total cost incurred by the Sports Council in making representations to the public inquiry into the proposed speed limit on Lake Windermere. [14605]

The then GB Sports Council (GBSC) consulted a wide range of sports interests groups before deciding to support the opponents of the proposed speed limit upon Lake Windermere. Anglers and walkers organisations included:

  • Salmon and Trout Association;
  • Furness and South Cumbria Fisheries Consultative Association;
  • Northern Federation of Sea Angling Societies;
  • Fly Dresser' Guild;
  • Ramblers Association; and
  • Northumberland Long Distance Walkers' Association.
In 1996–97, the GBSC and its successor, the English Sports Council (ESC) spent £7,200 on the Lake Windermere speed limit issue. In 1997–98 to date, the ESC has spent £4,600. Information on GBSC spending in previous years could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.The Lake District National Park Authority successfully appealed to the High Court to have the original decision not to introduce a speed limit quashed. A hearing took place on 18 November at which the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions did not oppose the Authority's legal challenge. He is now required to re-consider the whole issue afresh and a further round of representations is necessary.

Overseas Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list each of the overseas trips made by himself and other members of his ministerial team since 2 May, specifying in each case (a) the participating Minister or Ministers, (b) the destination of the trip, (c) the purpose of the trip and (d) the cost of the trip; and if he will make a statement. [15208]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: The information requested is set out in the table.

E-Mail

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the Answer from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, on 10 November 1997, Official Report, column 441, if he will list the e-mail addresses of (a) Ministers, (b) senior officials and (c) chief executives of agencies for which he is responsible. [15869]

[holding answer 13 November 1997]: E-mail addresses exist for all Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Ministers can be reached at: chris.smith@culture.gov.uk, tom.clarke@culture.gov.uk, mark.fisher@culture.gov.uk and tony,banks@culture.gov.uk. The Permanent Secretary can be reached at hayden.phillips@culture.gov.uk. The Chief Executives of the Department's two agencies do not currently have e-mail addresses. More information on contact details can be obtained from the Department's website at www.culture.gov.uk.

Press Releases

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what is his policy in respect of the faxing of press releases on the day of release to Opposition party spokesmen; what changes have been introduced since 1 May; and if he will make a statement. [16307]

My Department has made arrangements to fax press notices on the day of release to the main Opposition Spokesman, as was the practice before 1 May. On request we would do the same for other Opposition Parties.

National Lottery

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sports what has been the sum given in

Table 2: Awards announced in the Wansbeck constituency
Distributing bodyRecipientProject title descriptionAward dateAward amount (£)
Heritage Lottery FundNorthumberland County CouncilWest Wylam Bridge, Tyneside Riverside Country Park, West Wylam3 April 1996157,000
National Lottery Charities BoardNorthumberland Womens AidTo improve inadequate staffing levels and provide transport23 October 1995124,742
National Lottery Charities BoardChevington Community InitiativeEncourage social cohesion by integrating disaffected youth into the community23 October 1995119,150
National Lottery Charities BoardTrinity Youth AssociationProvides leisure, recreational and educational opportunities to targeted vulnerable groups of young people11 June 1996115,809
National Lottery Charities BoardNorthumberland Federation of YMCAsPromote and develop a range of youth and community initiatives for groups of young people living in rural areas11 June 1996106,090
Arts Council of EnglandEllington Colliery BandPurchase of new instruments and equipment.16 July 199754,478
National Lottery Charities BoardSpital Estate Community Association Ltd.A community training centre for the use of all community members on the estate11 June 199647,915
National Lottery Charities BoardGeneral Access Northumberland Group (G A N G)To improve access for disabled people to the built environment17 December 199639,564

grant aid since the commencement of the National Lottery (a) in total, (b) by region and (c) in the Wansbeck constituency. [16168]

To date the National Lottery distributing bodies have announced awards worth £4.49 billion to over 30,000 projects throughout the UK. Table 1 below provides a breakdown by country and English region. Wansbeck has received awards worth over £1 million covering 31 projects; these are detailed in Table 2.Information on all Lottery awards is now available on the Department's website www.lottery.culture.eov.uk.

Table 1: Breakdown of awards announced by value
Total £As percentage of total awards
England
London (Local)1368,519,4878.2
London (National)1622,407,54613.9
North West376,894,3688.4
North East232,927,7505.2
Yorkshire and Humberside283,570,9476.3
Eastern224,875,8045.0
East Midlands183,698,1564.1
West Midlands314,142,3407.0
South West304,968,4726.8
South East330,806,1767.4
Merseyside91,801,6412.0
England wide9,938,1610.2
Total3,344,550,84874.5
Scotland446,629,7369.9
Wales214,094,9824.8
Northern Ireland132,105,9342.9
Total4,137,381,500
UK wide329,499,7047.3
Overseas24,600,0000.5
Grand total4,491,481,204100.0
1 Awards to bodies based in London include many to institutions that are of national importance and are of benefit to the country as a whole. These are therefore separated from local awards in London.

Table 2: Awards announced in the Wansbeck constituency

Distributing body

Recipient

Project title description

Award date

Award amount (£)

Arts Council of EnglandWansbeck's Ashington Colliery BandTo purchase instruments11 December 199638,026
Arts Council of EnglandPegswood Brass BandTo purchase instruments.21 January 199734,195
National Lottery Charities BoardWomens Health Advice CentreTo increase hours worked by womens health advice centre co-ordinator23 October 199525,013
National Lottery Charities BoardNorthumberland Federation of YMCAsTo enable vital work to continue within a deprived community23 October 199525,000
National Lottery Charities BoardContact Morpeth Mental Health GroupTo purchase a caravan to use a permanent respite holiday facility for people with mental health problems and their carers17 December 199622,620
English sports CouncilNorthumberland CCTo upgrade the sports hall at Hirst High School, Ashington and to provide a district centre of excellence for cricket6 June 199513,400
English Sports CouncilCambois Amateur Rowing ClubPurchase of rowing equipment11 September 199713,194
National Lottery Charities BoardAbuse Counselling and TrainingProvides office and travel costs for the expansion of a counselling service for abused young people 11 June 199610,000
Heritage Lottery FundCastle Morpeth Borough CouncilMorpeth, Carlisle Park, feasibility study12 December 19969,000
National Lottery Charities BoardAccess to the Working CountrysideProviding access to the working countryside of North East England23 October 19957,250
National Lottery Charities BoardWelfare Crescent Residents AssociationTo improve living conditions/community facilities for local tenants23 October 19956,000
Arts Council of EnglandNum Northumberland AreaMiners picnic-Northumberland Coalfield visual art project19 March 19975,000
Arts Council of EnglandBothal Church Development GroupBothal church arts project11 June 19975,000
Arts Council of EnglandWansbeck Youth Concert BandIn tune with youth11 June 19975,000
National Lottery Charities BoardB. Ware (Blyth Women are …)To support women who are lone parents, on low income and victims of abuse1 July 19974,992
National Lottery Charities BoardCambois Camera ClubTo establish a club in a premises also used as a day centre for older people from Blyth as part of Age Concern13 May 19974,879
National Lottery Charities BoardCastle Morpeth MediationTo provide a dispute resolution service led by victim support1 July 19974,800
Arts Council of EnglandQuadro ArianoQuadro Adriano: ome and away11 June 19974,790
Arts Council of EnglandTrinity Youth AssociationSchools out (summer programme)11 June 19974,680
National Lottery Charities BoardBedlingtonshire Community High School P.T.A.To provide equipment for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme1 July 19973,629
National Lottery Charities BoardNorthumberland Hospital RadioTo provide a training resource for volunteers13 May 19972,763
Arts Council of EnglandThe Mid-Northumberland ChorusChorus development project11 June 19972,000
Arts Council of EnglandBlyth Town bandBlyth Town band residential training weekend11 June 1997 31 awards1,264
Total31 awards1,017,243

Tourism

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to introduce a Tourism Development White Paper; and if he will make a statement. [16570]

We are working closely with the tourism industry and we shall be discussing with the newly revitalised Tourism Forum on 26 November our ideas for developing tourism.

Heritage Lottery Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what is the level of grant allocated to date by the Heritage Lottery Fund to (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland expressed as a percentage of population; what is the value of grants applied for, but not yet determined, as a percentage of the population in each country; and how many applications remain undetermined in each country more than 12 months after submission. [16580]

[holding answer 18 November 1997]: As at 17 November 1997 the value of awards made by the Heritage Lottery Fund for projects in England, Wales and Scotland was as follows:

£
England630,937,408
Wales19,575,315
Scotland95,233,358
Taking into account the value of awards for projects in Northern Ireland, the above figures represent, respectively, 83 per cent., 3 per cent. and 13 per cent. of the total value of awards made by the HLF.The populations of England, Wales and Scotland and their percentage—proportion of the total United Kingdom population, were estimated

1 in 1996 as:

Population

Per cent.

England49,089,08583
Wales2,921,0755
Scotland5,128,0009

1Source: Office for National Statistics.

The value of grants applied for, but not yet determined, in respect of each of the three countries is not readily available. However, the figure for the United Kingdom, as at 17 November 1997, was £839,882,885.

The number of applications which remain undetermined more than 12 months after submission in respect of the three countries is likewise not readily available. However, the figure for the United Kingdom was 154 as at 17 November 1997.

Visitor Numbers

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the impact on visitor numbers to the United Kingdom from (a) within and (b) outside the EU, of the introduction of a single currency not including the United Kingdom. [16792]

Many factors influence the numbers of visitors to the UK, and it is difficult to quantify the effect of each factor. Anything which eases the movement of people is generally seen by the industry to be positive. The travel and tourism industry is represented on the Business Advisory Group established by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider the practical implications of the single currency for businesses, whether or not the United Kingdom joins. A report summarising the Advisory Group's work will be published early in 1998.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many visitors to the United Kingdom were from (a) the Far East, (b) the EU and (c) the USA in each of the last two years; and if he will make a statement on trends in visitor numbers. [16790]

In 1995 and 1996, the number of visits made to the UK by residents of the Far East, the EU and the USA was as follows (in millions of visits):

Million
19951996
Far East1.71.6
EU13.915.5
USA3.13.1

Cabinet Office

Millennium Experience

To ask the Minister without Portfolio if he will ban smoking (a) within the Millennium Dome and (b) on the Millennium Experience site. [16449]

In developing their policy within the Dome and its environs the New Millennium Experience Company (the operating company for the Experience at Greenwich) will take fully into account relevant central and local government policies and all statutory requirements and best practice concerning health and fire safety.

To ask the Minister without Portfolio what arrangements have been made for the involvement of church, charitable and other non-commercial organisations in the Millennium Exhibition in Greenwich. [16408]

The New Millennium Experience Company is planning to focus on spiritual renewal as one of the themes of the Millennium Experience. This will, among other things, look at the major role Christianity has played in shaping this country and the rest of the world over the past 2000 years. It will also reflect the multi-faith nature of modern British society. To this end, the Company is liaising closely with the Churches and Other Faiths Sub-group of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Millennium Co-ordination Group.The Company is also in discussion with not-for-profit organisations, charities, interest groups and local authorities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and with the Lottery Distributor bodies. The aim of this ongoing consultation process is to enable as many people as possible to contribute to the development of the NMEC's national programme and to maximise participation in it. The national programme, will be an integral part of the Millennium Experience, and will reflect the central Experience theme that

"It's time to make a difference".

To ask the Minister without Portfolio if he will make a statement on his meeting with the French Minister for European Affairs on 16 September. [16976]

We discussed a number of matters of mutual interest including the Luxembourg Jobs summit.

Duchy Of Lancaster

E-Mail

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to his Answer of 10 November 1997, Official Report, column 441, if he will list the e-mail addresses of (a) Ministers, (b) senior officials and (c) chief executives of agencies for which he is responsible. [15864]

[holding answer 13 November 1997]: The list of e-mail addresses requested is as follows:

  • Dr. Clark: (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster)
  • dclark@ccta.gov.uk
  • Mr. Kilfoyle: (Parliamentary Secretary):
  • pkilfoyle@ccta.gov.uk
  • The Committee on Standards in Public Life:
  • http://www.open.gov.uk\cspl\csplhome.htm
  • Better Government:
  • bettergov@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Better Regulation:
  • better.regulation@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Central Information and Technology Unit:
  • acarty@citu.gov.uk
  • lwatson@citu.gov.uk
  • cmuid@citu.gov.uk
  • clefevre@citu.gov.uk
  • mgladwyn@citu.gov.uk
  • cholmes@citu.gov.uk
  • Citizen's Charter Unit:
  • charter@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Civil Service Employer Group:
  • opssecretariat@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Fast stream and European Staffing Division:
  • fsed.recruit.co@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Development and Equal Opportunities Division:
  • deod.ops@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Office of the Civil Service Commissioners:
  • ocsc@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments:
  • wwwhttp://ww.open.gov.uk/ocpa
  • Management and Conditions of Service Division:
  • jstrach.co.hgr@gtnet.gov.uk
  • International Public Service Unit:
  • ipsu.co@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness Group:
  • efficiency.unit@gtnet.gov.uk
  • Machinery of Government and Standards Group:
  • open.co.wh@gtnet.gov.uk
  • AGENCIES
  • Civil Service College:
  • hickey@cscollege.attmail.com
  • Property Advisers to the Civil Estate:
  • jcisc@property.gov.uk
  • Security Facilities Executive:
  • safe@ndirect.com
  • The Buying Agency:
  • Stephen.sage@ tba.gov.uk
  • Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency:
  • rassirati@ccta.gov.uk
  • Government Car and Despatch Agency:
  • gcda@compuserve.com

Central Office of Information

COI are currently in the final stages of implementing e-mail. They hope to be on-line by the end of this month. The Chief Executive's e-mail address will then be: tdouglas@coi.gov.uk.

The Minister without Portfolio, Mr. Mandelson and the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mountfield do not have an e-mail address at the present time but the Department is giving consideration to their introduction.

Web Sites

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if it is Government policy that all Government departments should have web sites on the World Wide Web and that they should make their site addresses well known. [17442]

Whilst this is a matter for individual Departments to decide whether to establish and publish web sites on the World Wide Web, I am pleased to inform the hon. Member that all the major Departments of State do indeed already have public web sites.They form part of the nearly 600 public sector organisations that are accessible on World Wide Web via the Government Information Service run by CCTA (an Agency of my Department) through its web address http://www.open.gov.uk/. The service is accessed by users between 1.5 and 3 million times a week.

Defence

Departmental Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the internal departmental guidance on the dissemination of information; and if he will make a statement. [16314]

I am placing my Department's guidance notes on answering Parliamentary Questions, Parliamentary Inquiries and letters from members of the public, together with the Departmental instructions on the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information in the Library of the House. The guidance on the Code of Practice can also be found on my Department's Internet site at http://www/mod.uk/pol_docs/dci1997.htm.

Defence Evaluation And Research Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if consideration has been given to the development of science parks close to DERA sites in the Strategic Defence Review. [16670]

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the criteria by which DERA is to be assessed as part of the Strategic Defence Review. [16668]

The Strategic Defence Review includes a rigorous scrutiny of Departmental assets to ensure best value for money. This includes an examination of Agencies, and options for the future of DERA are being considered as part of this process. Options will be assessed on the basis of value for money and on how best to meet the Department's requirements for access to a wide range of technology.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if the location of DERA sites will be considered as part of the Strategic Defence Review; [16669](2) if the impact of DERA sites on locally-based high technology industries will be taken into account in the Strategic Defence Review. [16667]

Work on options for the future of DERA is concerned primarily with the overall role and organisation of the Agency rather than the location of particular sites. The relationship between DERA and high-technology industries will be an important consideration in this work, although not confined to particular geographical locations.

Public Appointments

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many public appointments he has made since 1 May; and how many and what percentage of these (a) receive remuneration and (b) are of (i) Afro-Caribbean and (ii) Asian origin. [16776]

MOD has made 32 public appointments to its Non Departmental Public Bodies since 1 May 1997 of which 22, or 69 per cent. receive remuneration. In all but one case, the remuneration involved is a payment of £200–£250 a day for those days on which the Committee, the Defence Scientific Advisory Council meets. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is responding to part (b) of your question of behalf of all Departments.

Cadet Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what financial contribution his Department has made to the (a) Army, (b) Sea and (c) Air cadets for each of the last five financial years; what is the figure for the current year; what is the projected figure for the next financial year; and if he will make a statement. [16928]

The Ministry of Defence's financial contribution in support of Army, Sea and Air cadets during each of the last five financial years is shown below. Also shown, although not specifically requested, is similar detail in respect of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). Figures given are in £ million.

1992–931993–941994–951995–961996–97
Army Cadets(ACF)n/a20.922.223.428.0
Sea Cadets(SCC)5.65.35.65.76.2
Air Cadets(ATC)16.117.618.319.817.5
CCFn/a6.16.66.25.8

Expenditure in current year: Forecast expenditure in Financial Year 1997–98 (£) is:

£ million

(a) ACF

25.7

(b) SCC

6.3

(c) ATC

17.0

(d) CCF

6.4

Projected funding for next financial year: The allocation of funds for the next financial year will be determined as part of the MOD's long term costing, which is the process by which the Department recosts and adjusts its internal plans. The Department's internal plans represent projections and assumptions, which inform advice to Ministers on the affordability of particular elements of the defence programme and it has been the policy of successive Governments not to publish detailed information arising from this. Accordingly, I am withholding the information requested in the third part of the question which constitutes internal discussion and advice, under exemption 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government information.

Minister's Statement: In February 1997, when in opposition, I addressed the Royal United Services Institute. When considering the question of re-fostering links between military and civilian society I made the following comments in respect of cadet forces:

"… cadet forces are, in my view, perhaps the most under-utilised of all in reaching their true potential of civil utility, particularly in offering opportunities for self-development, initiative, character building and leadership qualities among our young people, many of whom are forced by circumstances into blind alleys".

Whilst it would be inappropriate to comment upon future funding levels whilst the Strategic Defence Review work progresses, I can confirm that the Government's commitment to cadet forces, as a major national youth organisation, remains undiminished. Their value both to the civilian community and to our Regular and Reserve Forces is acknowledged, and they will receive our continued support.

Officers (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officers in each of the Armed Forces were educated in (a) state and (b) private schools. [17138]

The breakdown of the educational background of all presently serving officers in the Armed Forces is not readily available. However, figures are available regarding the educational background of those more recently joining the Armed Forces for direct entry officer training. The latest figures from the three officer training establishments show that 80 per cent. of those joining Britannia Royal Navy College in Dartmouth, 45 per cent. of those entering the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and 82 per cent. of those entering RAF Cranwell come from State schools.

Raf Menwith Hill

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what period was specified under the 21-year agreement reached in 1976 between the Government and US Forces in respect of RAF Menwith Hill to take account of circumstances where the Government wished to terminate the US use of the base; and what period of notice now applies. [16990]

[holding answer 20 November 1997]: No period of notice was specified. The arrangements were to facilitate the commitment of US funding and did not constitute any form of lease. As with all sites that are made available to the United States Visiting Forces, termination of occupation would be a matter for the Governments of the United Kingdom and United States under arrangements that exist for our mutual defence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 17 July 1997, Official Report, column 324, what is the present status of the US Forces occupying RAF Menwith Hill following the expiry of the 21-year agreement. [16989]

[holding answer 20 November 1997]: RAF Menwith Hill continues to be made available to the United States Visiting Forces on the same basis as other RAF sites in the United Kingdom.

Service Women

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consultations he had with the Minister for Women before deciding to allow women on to the front lines. [17166]

Appropriate discussions took place at Ministerial level before my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced, on 27 October 1997, the Government's decision to expand opportunities for women serving in the Army.

Amsterdam Treaty

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in respect of which sections of the Treaty of Amsterdam his Department contributed to the drafting. [17015]

[holding answer 20 November 1997]: The United Kingdom's position on the draft Treaty of Amsterdam was reached after consultation between relevant Government Departments.

Fox Hunting

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 18 November 1997, Official Report, column 154, what changes in his policy on fox hunting have been made since June; and what guidance his Department has issued on this subject since that date. [17344]

There has been no change in my Department's policy on foxhunting since June. On a matter of detail, following the announcement on 8 August 1997 by the Masters of Foxhounds Association that the practice of digging out foxes once they have gone to ground will in future only take place at the request of the landowner or occupier, my Department has made it known to all hunts which have a licence to operate on the Defence Estate that the Ministry of Defence, as landowner, will not request or allow digging out on the Defence Estate.

Officer Training Corps

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the membership of the Officer Training Corps in each institution in which it operates; [13757](2) what percentage of members of the Officer Training Corps subsequently join the regular forces. [13756]

[pursuant to his answers, 5 November 1997, Official Report, col. 254]: The figures for OTC establishments given include not only the authorised numbers of Officer Cadets, but also a number of instructor and support staff. The number of Officer Cadets for which each Officer Training Corps is established is shown in the following table, together with the total establishment which was given in my earlier reply:

Total establishmentOfficer cadets
Aberdeen168140
Belfast168140
Birmingham168140
Bristol168140
Cambridge224198
East Midlands168140
Edinburgh168140
Exeter168140
Glasgow168140
Leeds168140
Liverpool168140
London364322
Manchester168140
Northumbria168140
Oxford224198
Sheffield168140
Southampton168140
Tayforth168140
Wales168140
This means that the 260 members of the OTC commissioned into the Regular Forces in academic year 1995–96 represent nearly 9 per cent. of the Officer Cadet establishment, not 7.5 per cent. as I said in my separate answer of 5 November 1997.

Land (Military Training)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from land owners whose land was formerly used for military training; and if he will estimate the amount of private land on which military training has been discontinued in the last year. [17345]

My Department has received a number of representations from landowners who have on occasions allowed access to their land for training purposes. With the exception of a few landowners in Wales, I am not aware of any action by landowners to withdraw permission for military training.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his estimate of the expenditure by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies on official hospitality for (i) 1980–81, (ii) 1987–88, (iii) 1990–91, (iv) 1991–92, (v) 1992–93, (vi) 1993–94, (vii) 1994–95, (viii) 1995–96, (ix) 1996–97 and (x) 1 May to 30 September 1997. [15214]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: Expenditure on official hospitality by this Department is shown in the following table:

YearFCO £000Agencies £NDPB'S £000
1980–81111
1987–88111
1990–9111862
1991–925,6881969
1992–9311967
1993–947,4761958
1994–957,6604551,038
1995–969,2827861,091
1996–979,5386871,073
1997–98 May-September4,083335423
1 Figures unavailable.

Overseas Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his estimate of the expenditure by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies on overseas travel for (i) 1980–81, (ii) 1987–88, (iii) 1990–91, (iv) 1991–92, (v) 1992–93, (vi) 1993–94, (vii) 1994–95, (viii) 1995–96, (ix) 1996–97 and (x) 1 May to 30 September 1997; and if he will provide a breakdown to show (1) air fares and (2) other expenditure relating to overseas travel. [15215]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: Details of expenditure by this Department (Diplomatic Wing) on official duty travel overseas by officers serving in the United Kingdom is shown below. Expenditure for air fares is not separately identifiable.

Year£ million
1980–81No details retained
1987–884.7
1990–915.6
1991–925.6
1992–938.3
1993–946.7
1994–956.8
1995–967.9
1996–978.4
1997 1 May-30 September2.9

Publicity And Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his estimate of the total expenditure on all forms of publicity and advertising by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies for (i) 1993–94, (ii) 1994–95, (iii) 1995–96, (iv) 1996–97, (v) the 1997–98, year to date, (vi) the 1997–98, full year estimate and (vii) the 1998–99 planned expenditure. [15217]

[holding answer 11 November 1997]: Total expenditure on advertising and publicity in this Department for the last five financial years is as follows:

£
1993–94458,000
1994–95243,000
1995–96573,000
1996–97365,349
1997 (to date)148,758
The full year estimate for 1997–98 is: £436,774.The planned expenditure for 1998–99 is: £525,703.Total expenditure on advertising and publicity for Wilton Park Executive Agency for the last five financial years is as follows:

£1993–9422,000
1994–9520,000
1995–9615,000
1996–9721,000
1997 (to date)8,000
The full year estimate for 1997–98 is: £28,000.The planned expenditure for 1998–99 is: £30,000.

Quota-Hopping

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the draft protocol on quota-hopping, put forward at the Amsterdam summit. [16925]

The draft protocol put forward by the previous administration was not supported by any other Member State.

Schengen Agreement

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answers of 17 July 1997, Official Report, column 252 and 6 June 1997, Official Report, column 283, when he will reach a conclusion as to which documents of The Schengen Acquis will be placed in the Library; and when the Schengen Secretariat will complete its review of the classification of these documents. [16968]

The main Schengen Treaties are already in the Libraries of the House. Work under way within Schengen on the definition of the rest of the acquis is expected to be completed very soon.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Spanish amendment on voting arrangements on asylum and border controls put forward at the Amsterdam summit. [16913]

The Spanish amendment on voting arrangements submitted at the Amsterdam summit is contained in Article 4 of the Schengen Protocols and states that the unanimous agreement of the Schengen States would be necessary for the UK or Ireland to participate in aspects of the Schengen Acquis.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the proposed Schengen-related agreement between the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland and Norway. [17080]

In accordance with Declaration 47, adopted by the Inter-governmental Conference at Amsterdam, the Council is currently considering how to give effect to the requirement in Article 6 of the Schengen Protocol that an agreement should be concluded with Norway and Iceland for the establishment of rights and obligations between Ireland and the UK on the one hand and Iceland and Norway on the other in the domains of the Schengen acquis which apply to these States. No decisions have yet been taken on whether any part of the Schengen acquis should apply to the UK in accordance with the Protocol.

Gibraltar

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he proposes to make with regard to (a) military and (b) civilian aircraft landing rights in Gibraltar. [16969]

None. British military and civilian aircraft have no problems with landing rights at Gibraltar airport, which is owned by the Ministry of Defence and managed by the Royal Air Force.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what will be the impact of the proposals contained in the Amsterdam Treaty on the use of Gibralter's operational facilities during WEU operations by (a) Spain and (b) other WEU members. [17076]

Qualified Majority Voting

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the policy areas in which he is opposed to an extension of qualified majority voting in principle. [16914]

We are committed to retaining the national veto over key matters of national interest, such as taxation, defence and security, immigration, decisions over the budget and Treaty changes. These issues were settled for the foreseeable future at the Amsterdam European Council.

Organisation Of African Unity

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support the European Union proposes to give to the Conflict Prevention Unit of the Organisation of African Unity. [16983]

The European Union (EU) is giving 860,000 ecu (about £635,000) to the Conflict Prevention Unit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to improve communication links between its national and regional offices and its teams in the field. The EU is also actively considering further possible practical assistance.

El Salvador

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations with El Salvador. [16869]

Relations with El Salvador are friendly. We welcome the near completion of the implementation of the 1992 Peace Accords which have restored peace and democracy to that country. We are involved in a political dialogue with El Salvador through the San Jose process which began in November 1985. The next Ministerial meeting of the EU/San Jose dialogue will take place during our Presidency in Costa Rica next February. Our trade relationship is also developing with our exports up by 7.7 per cent. We are currently negotiating an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with El Salvador and Air Services talks took place on 20 and 21 November to discuss ways of improving air services between our two countries.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy on the United Nations Resolution Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. [16924]

We voted against the Resolution tabled in the United Nations First Committee by Malaysia about the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, because of its selective quotation of the Advisory Opinion and its unrealistic call for time-bound multilateral negotiations.We remain committed to the goal of nuclear disarmament and continue to hold the International Court of Justice in high regard. We have said that we will press for multilateral negotiations towards mutual, balanced and verifiable reductions in nuclear weapons and, when satisfied with progress, will ensure that British nuclear weapons are included in multilateral negotiations.

Congo

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations on the military intervention by Angola in Congo Brazzaville in the UN Security Council. [17154]

On 17 October, the United Nations Security Council issued a statement condemning all external interference in the Republic of Congo and, in particular, the intervention of foreign forces in violation of the Charter of the United Nations, and calling for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces including mercenaries. The UK fully supports this statement.

Ottawa Treaty

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects Her Majesty's Government will ratify the Ottawa Treaty. [17050]

We look forward to signing the Ottawa Convention on 3 December and will ratify it as soon as the necessary legislation is in place.

Amsterdam Treaty

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will define the term rights and obligations of natural and legal persons in Article 309 of the Treaty establishing the European Community as amended by the Amsterdam Treaty; which European institution will be responsible for interpreting this provision; and if he will make a statement. [17221]

The reference to

"rights and obligations of natural and legal persons"
in this Article refers to their rights and obligations under Community law. The Council will, in the first instance, be responsible for interpreting this provision. It is also subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

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