Written Answers To Questions
Tuesday 25 November 1997
Manslaughter (Custodial Sentences)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the average custodial sentence applied for manslaughter in England in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement. 
Information for 1990 to 1996 is given in the following table:
|Average sentence length1 given at the Crown Court for offences of manslaughter 1990 to 1996|
|Offence/year||People sentenced to immediate custody||Average sentence length1 (months)||Number of life sentences|
|Manslaughter (Common Law and Offences Against the Person Act 1861, sections 5, 9 and 10)|
|Manslaughter due to diminished responsibility (Homicide Act 1957, section 2)|
|1 Excludes life sentences.|
Prison Service (Medical And Health Care Research)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the nature of the (a) medical and (b) health care research currently being undertaken within the Prison Service. 
Current medical or health care research being undertaken within the Prison Service has centred on epidemiological studies of hepatitis B and C, and HIV/AIDS, and the psychiatric morbidity of male sentenced prisoners. In addition, work is also being carried out to evaluate drug detoxification and treatment programmes, and the impact of Mandatory Drugs Testing on the pattern of drug abuse within prisons. Other work involves studies into the management and throughcare of mentally disordered offenders.
Prisons (Disability Officers)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison establishments in England and Wales currently have a disability officer; and if he will make a statement on proposals to increase this number. 
All Prison Service establishments have a nominated equal opportunities officer whose role includes having responsibility for disability. However, in some prisons the Governor has in addition nominated a disability officer.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) the establishments and (b) the current strength of each constabulary in England and Wales. 
The Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994 removed the power for the Home Secretary to set police establishments. It was left to individual chief officers of police to determine the number of officers in their force. The strength of each force at 30 September 1997 is set out in the table.
|Police force numbers for England and Wales (provisional) As at 30 September 1997|
|Force||Number of police officers|
|Avon and Somerset||2,973|
|City of London||836|
|Devon and Cornwall||2,910|
|Police force numbers for England and Wales (provisional) As at 30 September 1997|
|Force||Number of police officers|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 12 November 1997, Official Report, column 558, what guidance will be issued to the Director of Europol on the requirement to waive the immunity of staff members of Europol where the immunity would impede the course of justice; if such guidance will be published; and if he will make a statement. 
The need for, and content of, any such guidance will be for consideration once the Europol Convention has entered into force and Europol has taken up its activities. The Director will be accountable to the Management Board in the performance of his duties and it will be open to the Board to consider any difficulties that may arise in this area.Article 12 provides that the privileges and immunities granted under the provisions of the Protocol are conferred
"in the interests of Europol and not for the benefit of the individuals themselves"
and also that
"Europol shall co-operate at all times with the appropriate authorities of member states to facilitate the proper administration of justice".
Article 13 of the Protocol also provides that any disputes on a refusal to waive an immunity shall be referred to the Council of Ministers; if they are unable to reach a settlement, they shall decide on the modalities according to which they will be settled.
Prisons (Private Finance Initiative)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 14 November 1997, Official Report, column 692, what criteria are used to assess quality and confidence in deliverability in relation to the awarding of contracts to the private sector to (a) manage and (b) design, construct, manage and finance prisons; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prison Service must satisfy itself that bidders are capable of building the prison to the required standards, opening it by the required date and operating it safely and securely with the required level of service in terms of prisoner regime or, in the case of management-only contracts, of operating it safely, securely and with the specified prisoner regime. Bids which satisfy these criteria are assessed on the basis of value for money. The methodology for evaluating bids for the first two design, construct, manage and finance prisons at Bridgend and Fazakerley, is described at paragraphs 2.7 to 2.11 and Appendix 5 of the recent Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on those contract awards (HC 253 Session 1997–98).
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been brought in the past 12 months for assault involving a laser pen. 
People carrying laser pens with intent to cause injury may be liable to prosecution under section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953, as amended by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 section 2(1).Court proceedings data collected centrally, under this legislation, do not record the type of weapon or article used.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with what frequency he publishes changes in the weekly rate at which people are convicted of criminal offences carrying a possible gaol sentence of six months or more. 
Almost all indictable offences carry a possible custodial sentence of six months or more. It is normal practice to prepare data on the numbers of people convicted of an indictable offence quarterly and to publish figures annually.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department 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. 
A copy of the Home Office Departmental Procedures on the application of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information has been placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will encourage chief constables to ensure that police forces involve trading standards officers in the examination of vehicles. 
The extent to which police forces develop links with trading standards officers for law enforcement purposes is an operational matter for individual chief officers. There are no plans to issue any specific Home office guidance on the subject. However, a good level of co-operation exists across the country as a whole. Trading standards officers assist the police and other agencies at multi-agency vehicle checks, for example by checking wheel and axle weights and looking for goods with counterfeit trade marks. They are also frequently involved, in conjunction with the police, in examining cars and other vehicles of uncertain origin and condition, with the aim of detecting offences under the Trades Descriptions Act 1968.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence about involving the Army Cadets, Sea Cadets and Air Cadets in his policies to tackle youth crime. 
The Home Office operates a small grant scheme to cover the additional costs incurred when local Cadet Forces provide activities for children thought to be at risk of becoming involved in youth crime or who have already been involved in offending. This scheme was set up in 1995 to provide a variety of activities including providing positive alternatives to offending. I will shortly meet colleagues from the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Education and Employment to discuss the scheme and the role of the Cadet Forces in tackling youth crime.
Culture, Media And Sport
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress he has made in his review of the sports events listed under Part IV of the Broadcasting Act 1996; and if he will make a statement. 
I have consulted interested parties about the principles which should guide the listing process, and I am today publishing criteria which I hope will make the process more transparent. I have also appointed an advisory group of individuals with knowledge of the sporting, broadcasting and public policy issues involved. The members of the group are:
- Lord Gordon of Strathblane (chairman)
- Mr. Alastair Burt
- Mr. Jack Charlton
- Mr. Steve Cram
- Kate Hoey, MP
- Mr. Michael Parkinson
- Mr. Clive Sherling
- Professor David Wallace
As an initial step in the process of reviewing the list, the rights holders for the events currently listed and a number of other major sports events are being formally consulted, as the 1996 Act requires. The submissions received from them will be made available to the advisory group.
The rights holders for the following events are to be consulted:
Events currently listed:
- The Olympic games
- The FIFA World Cup Finals
- The FA Cup Final
- The Scottish FA Cup Final (listed only in Scotland)
- Cricket Test matches involving England
- Wimbledon Tennis Tournament (finals weekend only currently listed)
- The Grand National
- The Derby
Other major sports events:
- The Cricket World Cup
- The Rugby World Cup
- The European Football Championships
- The Commonwealth Games
- The World Athletics Championships
- The British Grand Prix
- The Five Nations Rugby Tournament
- The Open (golf)
- The Ryder Cup
The group may request that other events be included in the review and the rights holders for these events will be consulted.
The group will begin its work immediately and I expect it to make its recommendations to me before Easter. I shall then decide what changes, if any, to make to the current list.
Dance And Drama
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the interim schemes for the funding of dance and drama in (a) England and (b) Wales; and what factors account for the differences; (2) what assessment he has made of the impact of the Arts Council for England interim scheme on increasing access to training for students of dance and drama; and if he will make a statement; (3) what assessment he has made of the benefits of using any surplus in the allocation for the interim scheme for funding students of dance and drama to relieve hardship among students on accredited courses in dance and drama colleges; (4) what proportion of English dance and drama students on accredited courses in the current academic year are receiving support from the Arts Council interim scheme. 
The operation of the interim scheme is a matter for the Arts Council of England. I understand that full information is not yet available, but I have asked the Arts Council for a report on the effectiveness of the interim scheme and I will reply in full to the hon. Member as soon as I have it.
New Opportunities Fund
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what are the management and distribution arrangements for the money currently being channelled to the New Opportunities Fund. 
Shadow accounting arrangements have been in place since 14 October 1997 whereby 13⅓ per cent. of the proceeds for good causes from the National Lottery, and any interest earned on that sum, accrue to the New Opportunities Fund. Subject to Parliament's approval of the legislation I shall be introducing shortly, funds being held for the New Opportunities Fund will be formally transferred to it after Royal Assent. Initial funding for the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts will be met from the sum allocated to the New Opportunities Fund. These arrangements will be fully reflected in the accounts of the National Lottery Distribution Fund and the Distributing Bodies.
Blackhill Control Centre
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the impact on monitoring and maintenance of terrestrial television and radio transmission in Scotland of the closure of Blackhill Control Centre. 
[holding answer 20 November 1997]: The Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority set the technical standards for the transmission of commercial terrestrial television and radio services respectively. It is for the Commission and the Authority to monitor the compliance of broadcasters and service providers with those standards.
National Transcommunications Ltd
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what powers he has to supervise the activities and service provided by National Transcommunications Ltd. 
[holding answer 20 November 1997]: National Transcommunications Ltd. (NTL) provides a range of services in the telecommunications and broadcasting fields. It has to comply with the conditions and requirements set out in the licences granted to it by the Radiocommunications Agency under the provisions of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (as amended); by the Department of Trade and Industry under the provisions of the Telecommunications Act 1984 and by the Independent Television Commission (ITC) under the terms of the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It is for the Agency, the Office of Telecommunications and the ITC to ensure that NTL complies with the terms of these licences. NTL is also under contract to a number of broadcasters who are licensed by the ITC under the Broadcasting Acts and who are required to fulfil certain transmission obligations.
Local Television Channels
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what data his Department collates on the availability of local television channels in particular areas. 
The BBC and the Independent Television Commission (ITC) are responsible for planning the use of frequencies for television services and hold data on the coverage of all national and regional terrestrial television services. This information is shared with my Department and with the Department of Trade and Industry's Radiocommunications Agency, which is responsible for ensuring that frequency plans for all terrestrial television services do not interfere with other spectrum users' services.
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 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. 
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport treats all request for information in accordance with the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. The Code was revised earlier this year and copies of the Second Edition of the Code and the accompanying Guidance on Interpretation are available in the Libraries of the House.
Mr Philip Dale
To ask the Attorney-General for what reasons he refused to overturn the sentence for manslaughter given to Mr. Philip Dale at Winchester Crown Court on 3 September 1997 on grounds of undue leniency; and if he will make a statement. 
I declined to apply to the Court of Appeal for leave to refer to the Court for review the sentence imposed upon Mr. Philip Dale at Winchester Crown Court on 3 September 1997 on the grounds that the sentence was not unduly lenient. An unduly lenient sentence is one which falls outside the range of sentences which a judge, applying his mind to all of the relevant factors, could reasonably consider appropriate.
To ask the Attorney-General on how many occasions he has attempted to increase the length of a sentence applied for manslaughter; and on how many occasions and in what proportion of manslaughter cases he has increased the length of sentence since 1990. 
In 1991, application was made for leave to refer three sentences imposed for manslaughter to the Court of Appeal. One application was refused and the remaining two applications were withdrawn.In 1992, one sentence was referred to the Court of Appeal and was increased. In 1993, four sentences were referred to the Court of Appeal. Two sentences were increased and two were unchanged. In 1994, three applications for leave were made. Leave was refused in two cases. In the other case, the sentence was increased. In 1995, five applications for leave were made. One was subsequently withdrawn. Two sentences were increased and two unchanged. In 1996, three applications for leave were made to the Court. Each sentence was unchanged by the Court of Appeal.So far this year, there have been three applications for leave. One sentence has been increased; one remained unchanged; and the third application is outstanding.
To ask the Prime Minister which representatives of business he has met at No. 10 Downing Street since 1 November 1997, excluding those attending social functions, to discuss the impact of the Government's economic and monetary policy on large businesses. 
Since the election, I have met a large number of people from business and discussed a wide range of topics.
Environment, Transport And The Regions
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when a decision will be taken on the proposed Hereford by-pass; and if he will make a statement. 
We are currently in the process of a Strategic Roads Review. The proposed Hereford Bypass is being considered within the context of that Review, the results of which we hope to announce next year. This scheme is in any event still subject to the completion of statutory procedures.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what requirements Article 6(3) of the EU Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (92/43/EEC) places on water undertakers in respect of projects which are likely to have a significant effect on a European site. 
Where the consent of a water undertaker is required to any such plan or project, they should, as competent authorities under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1994, apply the provisions of Article 6(3) of the Directive. This requires an appropriate assessment to be undertaken in view of the site's conservation objectives. They should agree to the plan or project only if the assessment shows that it will not have an effect on the integrity of the European site. Public consultation may be appropriate.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he is required to comply with Article 6 of the EU Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (92/43/EEC) when granting an application for a drought order which is likely to have a significant effect on a European site. 
Yes. The Secretary of State is a competent authority under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1994, which transpose the requirements of the Habitats Directive.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many acres of green-belt land have been built on in the last two years in (a) England, (b) the South East of England and (c) the North West of England. 
The information is not currently available. Estimates under preparation, using the Department's Land Use Change Statistics, will show the number of hectares of previously undeveloped land in adopted green belt which is developed, by calendar year. I shall write to the hon. Member when these estimates are available.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions 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. 
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has made the following appointments to NDPBs and nationalised industries sponsored by the Department since 1 May:
(b) of the question, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given today by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Railways (Rolling Stock)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will ensure that a requirement to improve rolling stock is integral to the new franchise agreement when new franchises are let for rail services. 
Current franchise agreements have between four and fourteen years still to run. We shall consider the terms on which franchises might be relet in the light of all the circumstances pertaining at the time.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions pursuant to his answer of 31 July 1997, Official Report, column 534, how much compensation must be paid in respect of the cancellation of the PFI Scheme for by-passes on the A65 road. 
Claims for compensation from the four tenderers for the Cumbria-Bradford DBFO project are being considered currently. I cannot therefore say what compensation might be paid.
Planning Applications (Supermarkets)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how many planning applications for developments involving supermarkets he determined since 1 May; (2) how many planning applications for developments involving supermarkets he has called in for determination. 
Since 1 May this year, 17 applications involving retail development have been called in and 25 called-in applications involving retail development have been determined.
House Building (Brown-Field Sites)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated in respect of the availability of brown-field sites for the construction of new homes, separately identifying that conducted by local authorities. 
The Department will be going out to tender shortly on research designed to assess the future supply and location of brownfield sites. Also, as part of the Government's overall consideration of the household growth debate, the Government have evaluated several independent studies about housing capacities and location from organisations such as the TCPA, the CPRE, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Most individual local authorities conduct their own studies of land availability for housing and other development as part of their plan preparation process. These are too numerous and varied in scope to list here. Additionally, a number of broader housing capacity and brownfield land studies have either been, or are being, commissioned by the Regional Planning Conferences to assist them in the process of drafting their Regional Planning Advice to the Secretary of State.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will protect trackbeds used previously for freight and passenger rail services from development until the National Railways Authority has reviewed the strategic rail network. 
The establishment of a new Railways Authority would require primary legislation. In the meantime, it is for Railtrack and those other organisations who own trackbed to consider each individual case separately.Owners' powers of disposal are limited under the Railways Act 1993 which makes provisions for the closure of railway lines carrying passenger traffic. Railtrack operates non-statutory closure procedures before disposal for freight-only lines. These involve wide consultation and consideration of strategic needs.
Railtrack and British Rail are considering those lengths of former railway line still in BR's ownership which Railtrack might wish to acquire for future railways development.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will arrange for trading standards officers to obtain information on accidents from DVLA computers on-line. 
DVLA does not hold a comprehensive record of accident-damaged vehicles. This information is available to trading standards officers from the Motor Insurers Anti Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR).
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the beaches designated as bathing beaches for the purposes of European Union legislation on pollution in (a) 1987, (b) 1992 and (c) 1997. 
There were 374,455 and 486 UK bathing waters identified within the scope of the Bathing Water Directive in 1987, 1992 and 1997 respectively. Lists are provided in the detailed summary of monitoring results which is placed in the Library each year. The summary for the 1997 season will be available early in the New Year.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what data he has collated on the level of pollution on beaches not designated as bathing beaches. 
The Environment Agency collect information on a site-specific basis in connection with their wider responsibilities for water pollution control. The information is available on the Agency's Regional Water Pollution Registers.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what new steps are being taken to improve the quality of water at beaches in England and Wales. 
In July this year, the Government endorsed Environment Agency proposals for new standards to protect bathing waters. Under the new policy, sewage treatment plants with outfalls near bathing waters will have to meet higher design standards that will contribute to more beaches meeting Bathing Water Directive "guideline" standards for cleanliness. Improvements will also result from completion of the remaining schemes in the bathing water improvement programme and implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. Priorities for additional investment by water companies on environmental improvements, including improved bathing water quality, will be considered next year as part of the current periodic review of water prices.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what timetable and deadlines he is working to for co-ordinating the drawing up and adoption of Local Agenda 21s. 
At the United Nations General Assembly Special Session in June 1997, the Prime Minister called on all UK authorities to adopt Local Agenda 21 strategies by the year 2000. The Deputy Prime Minister will be launching a Joint Document next January, produced in conjunction with the Local Government Association and the Local Government Management Board, giving clear, practical guidance to councils showing why Local Agenda 21 strategies are needed and how to put an effective local strategy in place, building on the good practice that is being developed across the country. The document will ask all local authorities to send a copy of their strategy to the Chairman of the Local Government Association by 15 December 2000.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will list the documents which will incorporate the five year strategy for Her Majesty's Coastguard announced on 17 November 1997, Official Report, columns 9–10; (2) if he will list the consultative processes that preceded the five year strategy for Her Majesty's Coastguard; and what consultation he now proposes on the strategy. 
[holding answers 24 November 1997]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) on 21 November 1997, Official Report, columns 335–36.The development of the strategy was an internal matter for the Coastguard Agency. The Chief Coastguard consulted with his Regional Controllers in drawing up the details. The first closures of rescue centres are not scheduled to take place for more than 2 years which allows time to discuss fully the implications and implementation with staff and trade unions. Any personnel disruption will be kept to a minimum and it is intended to reduce staff through natural wastage and voluntary retirement.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) whether, and at what cost, design consultants were employed in the preparation of the brochure "HM Coastguard: 5 Year Strategy"; (2) on what date the design and detail of the brochure "H. M. Coastguard: 5 Year Strategy" was agreed; (3) on what date the brochure "HM Coastguard: 5 Year Strategy" was sent to the printers; and on what date that print order was completed; (4) if the two pages headed "Some Questions and Answer" were printed separately from the remainder of the publication, "HM Coastguard: 5 Year Strategy"; on what date the contents of those pages were
(a) approved by Ministers and (b) despatched for printing; and on what date those two pages were printed. 
On October 20 1997, the Coastguard Agency issued an information pack to provide journalists with background on the work of the Agency. Design consultants employed to advise the Agency on all its publications had some input into the provision of this press information pack, which did not contain any reference to the five year strategy. The cost of consultant advice on the press pack was around £140. The press information pack went to the printers on 7 October and the print order was returned on 15 October.On 17 November 1997,
Official Report, columns 9–10, when I announced the 5 year strategy, the information pack was reissued with the addition of two pages headed "Some Questions and Answers". These were photocopied separately from the rest of the pack on 14 November at the Agency's office and added to the press information pack for issue on the day of the announcement. The contents of the added pages were approved by Ministers when we approved the announcement.
Local Government Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will publish figures at the time of his announcement of the local government settlement for 1998–99 which reflect the impact of his grant and capping decisions on the actual financial position of each local authority. 
I shall publish and place in the Library of the House tables of figures showing my proposals, for each English local authority, for Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) in total and for each major service block; and for each authority's entitlement to business rates, revenue support grant and special grant in respect of SSA reductions. I shall also publish figures showing the provisional effect on each local authority of the capping guidelines that will be announced by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. My officials will also send to each local authority an explanation of how their figures are derived. Subsequent decisions on budgets and local rates of council taxes are a matter for each local authority.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps the Government are taking to ensure that the conference at Kyoto reaches effective conclusions. 
The UK has played a leading role in the negotiations to date, including through our position as part of the EU Presidency Troika in which role I and EU colleagues lobbied the US earlier this month. We are continuing to press for a successful outcome at Kyoto, which must include agreement to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by all developed countries for the post-2000 period. To this end, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions has recently chaired a meeting of key developed countries in Tokyo and is visiting India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand to explore their positions further.
Greater London Authority
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the reasons for the Government's intention not to provide a choice between options in the referendum on the government of London. 
The Government are providing Londoners with a clear choice about the future government of their city. The Government were elected on a manifesto commitment that, following a referendum to confirm popular demand, they would establish a new Greater London Authority comprising an assembly and a mayor, each directly elected.In accordance with that commitment, we will present the detail of our proposals to the people of London in a White Paper to be published in March next year. Londoners will then be given the opportunity to vote in a referendum on whether or not they consent to us implementing these proposals. In the event that they vote yes, the Government intend that legislation should be introduced next session to implement the White Paper proposals.The Government are unconvinced by arguments for more than one question. The Mayor and the Assembly are not separable within the context of the Government's proposals. An authority without a directly elected Mayor would be a very different type of organisation. We do not believe that such an organisation would be capable of giving London the leadership it needs. A Mayor without an elected Assembly to hold him or her to account would be too powerful and unaccountable. Neither proposal would be in keeping with the clear manifesto commitment on which the Government were elected. It would not be responsible government to put unworkable options to the people of London.The Government believe that the referendum should present clear and comprehensible proposition to the people of London. The result of the referendum should be capable of delivering an unambiguous mandate. Despite the time available to proponents of more than one question, no single alternative second question has been devised which meets the concerns of all parties. Additional questions so far proposed have been numerous and contradictory. None would provide a clear mandate.The Government believe a single question on a well thought out package is the only fair and honest option. Voters will be able to study detailed proposals in the White Paper, make a considered judgment about the whole package on offer, and cast their vote. They will know exactly what they are voting for and what they will get. If they do not like it they can vote 'no.'
Genetically Modified Organisms
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list by name for each year for which figures are available the instances of horizontal transmission of genetic material from genetically modified organism approved for (a) field testing and (b) marketing. 
There are no figures available for instances of horizontal gene transfer for each release of a GMO which has been carried out. To date, 313 consents have been granted for the experimental release of GMOs since the regulations came into force in March 1993. Previous research by both the Department and industry has shown that the frequency of horizontal transfer of any genes to wild species is very low. Monitoring is often a statutory condition of consents for experimental releases. However, no formal arrangement exists to monitor gene transfer because the consequences of horizonal gene transfer occurring are evaluated in advance when considering all applications for consent. Consent is granted only if the consequences of gene transfer would be negligible. The Department is continuing to fund research to monitor releases of GM oilseed rape carried out under a marketing consent. This includes monitoring for evidence of gene transfer to confirm that the risk assessment remains valid.
Driving Licences (Gp Reports)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action he is taking to resolve the dispute between the DVLA and BMA regarding payment of GPs for medical reports required to obtain driving licences. 
The fees being paid to doctors for supplying medical information do not meet with the approval of the British Medical Association. Only a small proportion of doctors are refusing to provide information however the majority are providing the medical information for the fee offered. DVLA is reviewing the position and will be seeking to reach agreement with the BMA.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates he has made of the future costs of compliance under the proposed Financial Services Authority relative to these presently applied. 
The Government intend to publish a draft compliance cost assessment alongside a draft Bill when it is published for consultation in Summer 1998. It is intended that the Financial Services Authority should be efficient and economic and ensure that costs and restrictions on firms are proportionate to the benefits of regulation.
Cap (Fontainebleau Rebate)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 18 November 1997, Official Report, column 115, if he will calculate the effect of only one programme being underspent by £200 million and no other changes to other programmes or matters on the level of the Fontainebleau rebate in the following year. 
On the assumption that the £200 million underspend took place entirely in the UK, and all other things being equal, our abatement would increase by around £110 million in the year following the underspend. This is however a hypothetical calculation. In practice numerous other factors would influence the outcome of the abatement.
Financial Services Authority
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has for the relationship between the Financial Services Authority and the Scottish Parliament. 
Financial regulation is reserved to the Westminster Parliament.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated cost of the proposed Financial Services Authority; what office accommodation has been secured for it; and at what cost to public funds. 
The Financial Services Authority does not receive public funds. It is responsible for acquiring and meeting the costs of its own accommodation.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the impact of the establishment of the Financial Services Authority on the role of professional bodies in Scotland with responsibility for monitoring the work of solicitors and accountants. 
The Government intend to give the Financial Services Authority responsibility for the authorisation of all firms carrying an investment business, including those currently authorised by virtue of their certification by a Recognised Professional Body. The Government are considering enabling the Financial Services Authority to engage professional bodies to carry out specified functions on its behalf. The Financial Services Authority may also be able to refrain from making specified rules or categories of rules where it considers those of the relevant professional bodies to be adequate. The Financial Services Authority is currently consulting the professional bodies, including those in Scotland, on this matter.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money has been raised form the landfill tax since 1996. 
[holding answer 20 November 1997]: The amount of landfill tax collected to the end of October 1997 was £343 million.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money has been raised by the landfill tax from the deposition of waste taken from previously contaminated land. 
[holding answer 20 November 1997]: None. Subject to certain qualifying conditions, waste arising from the clearance of contaminated land and disposed of to landfill is exempt from landfill tax.
Newry Vat Registration Unit
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the (a) total agreed complement of (i) full-time permanent staff, (ii) casual fixed term staff and (iii) part-time staff and (b) total number of (1) casual staff recruited, (2) permanent staff recruited, (3) voluntary early retirements by permanent staff, (4) dismissals of permanent staff, (5) dismissals of casual staff, (6) dismissals of part-time staff, (7) contracts that expired, (8) contracts that were extended, (9) staff on long term sick leave, (10) staff on maternity leave, (11) compulsory early retirements and (12) fundamental early retirements under fundamental economic review for Newry VAT Registration Unit of HM Customs and Excise. 
[holding answer 21 November 1997]: (a) The current agreed resource allocation is:
- (i) 91 full-time permanent staff
- (ii) 10 fixed term and 5 casual staff
- (iii) 11 part-time staff
(b) In the twelve months since November 1996:
Vat (Passenger Transport)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy on value added tax levels on passenger transport fares. 
It is the Government's policy to maintain the current zero rate on public passenger transport.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate how may people would have a marginal rate of income tax of 10p in the pound, assuming bands for this rate were the first (a) £500, (b) £1,000, (c) £1,500, (d) £2,000, (e) £2,500, (f) £3,000, (g) £4,000, (h) £5,000 and (i) £6,000 of taxable income. 
Using the hon. Member's assumptions, the estimates for 1997–98 are given in the table.
|New 10p starting rate on first1£||Number of taxpayers who would face a marginal rate of 10 pence (millions)|
|1 Assuming that the new 10 pence rate band would apply to all taxable income, so that the rates for savings income would be 10 per cent., 20 per cent. and 40 per cent.|
Scientific Research Associations (Taxation)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will amend the terms of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 in respect of the definitions used to determine the tax liabilities of scientific research associations. 
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is responsible for certifying whether a body is a scientific research association (SRA). Her department is reassessing the criteria for qualification as an SRA.
Budget Measures (Environmental Impact)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will include in his consultation document on the Budget, plans to publish an annual Green Book estimating the environmental impact of Budget measures. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on the hon. Member for South Suffolk (Mr. Yeo) on 10 July 1997, Official Report, column 1062.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contribution Her Majesty's Government made to the IMF package for Indonesia. 
There was no bilateral contribution made by the UK Government to the IMF package for Indonesia.
European Central Bank
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what procedures and with which participants the appointment of office holders of the (a) governing council and (b) governing board, of the proposed European Central Bank will be made; what will be the principal functions of (a) and (b); and what factors determine who will be responsible for appointing office holders. 
These arrangements are set out in Protocol No. 3 to the Maastricht Treaty (on the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank).
Vat (Building Conversion)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money was raised in each of the last five financial years from value added tax paid on goods and materials used in the conversion of old buildings to residential use. 
The information requested is not available.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress is being made with plans to open up Somerset House to wider public access. 
A new trust, the Somerset House Trust, has been established, under the chairmanship of the right hon. Sir Timothy Sainsbury. The trust has its objective the care and stewardship of Somerset House, with a view to restoring it fully and turning part of the building into an improved centre for art and culture with increased public access and use.The Government propose shortly to assign Somerset House to the trust on a 128 year lease. Under the terms of the lease, the trust will pay no rent to the Government for 5 years; after 5 years, it will pay 25 per cent. of the income receivable from its tenants; and after 10 years, 50 per cent. The Government will also make available to the trust an initial grant of up to £1 million a year for the first four years of its operation. Once the lease is signed, ownership of Somerset House will be transferred from the Inland Revenue to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.As regards occupancy, the Lord Chancellor's Department plan to vacate the South Wing of Somerset House next year; after necessary renovation and adaptation, part of the South Wing will house the Gilbert Collection of precious gold and silver objects and the trust will seek appropriate heritage uses for the remainder of the Wing. The Courtauld Institute will continue to occupy the North Wing, as tenants of the trust, and the Inland Revenue will continue to occupy the East, West and New Wings.This is an important step towards the long term preservation of one of the London's finest heritage assets and its development for public enjoyment. The Gilbert Collection, generously donated by Mr. Arthur Gilbert, is the largest ever gift to the nation of works of art of this kind. I wish the new trust every success.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many legal abortions were performed in 1996 (a) with antiprogesterone and (b) without overnight stay in each (i) health region and (ii) district health authority; and how many in each case involved (1) National Health Service hospitals, (2) National Health Service agency arrangements and (3) other purchasers; (2) how many legal abortions were performed in
(a) 1995 and (b) 1996 on women in each quinary age group, in each (i) health region and (ii) district health authority as constituted on 1st April 1996. 
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Tim Holt to Dr. Jenny Tonge, dated 25 November 1997:
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked me to reply, as Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), to your recent questions on legal abortions.
The number of abortions performed in 1995 by quinary age-group in each health region and health authority as constituted on 1st April 1995 is published in the ONS publication 'Abortion Statistics 1995' series AB No. 22.
The number of abortions performed in 1995 could only be provided to the health authority boundaries as constituted in 1996 at disproportionate cost.
The number of abortions performed in 1996 by quinary age-groups in each health region and health authority as constituted on 1st April 1996 are being compiled at present and will be published in 'Abortion Statistics 1996' in December 1997.
Statistics for the number of legal abortions performed in 1996 with antiprogesterone and without overnight stay will also be published in the Abortion Statistics annual reference volume for 1996 (series AB No. 23).
Duchy Of Lancaster
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list each citizens charter currently operating and its running cost in the last available year. 
There are 40 main national Charters, which are as follows: List of Charters
- United Kingdom
- Taxpayer's Charter (HM Customs & Excise)
- Taypayer's Charter (Inland Revenue)
- Traveller's Charter (HM CustoMs and Excise)
- Great Britain
- Benefits Agency Customer Charter
- Child Support Agency Charter
- Contributor's Charter
- Employer's Charter
- Jobseeker's Charter
- Redundancy Payments Service Charter
- England and Wales
- Charter for Court Users
- Victim's Charter
- England only
- Charter for Further Education
- Charter for Higher Education
- Council Tenant's Charter
- London Bus Passenger's Charter
- London Underground's Customer Charter
- Parent's Charter
- Patient's Charter
- Road User's Charter
- Scotland only
- Further and Higher Education Charter in Scotland
- Justice Charter for Scotland
- Parent's Charter in Scotland
- Patient's Charter
- Tenant's Charter for Scotland
- Wales only
- Charter for Further Education
- Charter for Higher Education
- Charter for Council Tenants in Wales
- Charter for Parents in Wales
- Charter for Patients in Wales
- Northern Ireland only
- A Charter for Patients and Clients
- Bus Passenger's Charter
- Charter for Further Education in Northern Ireland
- Child Support Agency (NI) Charter
- Courts' Charter for Northern Ireland
- Northern Ireland Housing Executive Tenant's Charter
- Northern Ireland Railways Passenger's Charter
- Parent's Charter
- Royal Ulster Constabulary Charter
- Social Security Agency Customer Charter
- Training and Employment Agency Customer's Charter
The Citizens Charter Unit in my Department had a budget of £4.8 million in the last financial year (1996–97), of which £2.9 million was spent on the Charter Mark Awards Scheme.
Other departments are responsible for arrangements to oversee the running of their charters. These costs are not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate costs.
In June, we announced that we would relaunch the Charter programme. We began a consultation exercise on 16 September and will publish the results next year.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the total paybill for all Special Advisers for 1996–97; what is the projected figure for (a) 1997–98 and (b) 1998–99; and if he will make a statement. 
The total paybill for 1996–97 was £1.8 million. The estimated paybill for 1997–98 is £2.6 million. The estimated total paybill for 1997–98 covers various posts, including the Standards and Effectiveness Adviser to the Department for Education and Employment, the UK anti-drugs co-ordinator and his deputy, which are not covered by the earlier paybill figure.No projected figures are available for future years.
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many political advisers were employed in each Government department on 1 August, and what was the annual total salary cost of such advisers, for (i) 1992–93, (ii) 1993–94, (iii) 1994–95, (iv) 1995–96, (v) 1996–97 and (vi) 1997–98; what are the current salary scales on which they are paid; and if he will make a statement. 
At 1 August, Government departments employed the following numbers of paid Special Advisers:
|Number 10 Downing Street||118|
|Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||2|
|Cabinet Office (Office of Public Service)||1|
|Chief Whip's Office||2|
|Department for Culture, Media and Sport||22|
|Ministry of Defence||2|
|Department for Education and Employment||15|
|Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions||23|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office||2|
|Department of Health||2|
|Department for International Development||2|
|Lord Privy Seal's Office||2|
|Northern Ireland Office||2|
|Privy Council Office||1|
|Department of Social Security||2|
|Department of Trade and Industry||2|
|Her Majesty's Treasury||4|
|1 Of which two part-time.|
|2 Of which one part-time.|
- 1 August 1993–31 July 1994: £1,133,590
- 1 August 1994–31 July 1995: £1,460,733
- 1 August 1995–31 July 1996: £1,512,622
The total paybill from 1 April 1996 to 31 March 1997 was £1.8 million. The estimated paybill for 1997–98 is £2.6 million. The estimated total paybill for 1997–98 covers various posts, including the Standards and Effectiveness Adviser to the Department for Education and Employment, the UK anti-drugs co-ordinator and his deputy, which are not covered by the earlier paybill figure.
No projected figures are available for future years.
The current salaries in bands of £10,000 are set out in the following table.
Salary band (£)
Number of Advisers
The table includes the nine Special Advisers appointed since 1 August.
To ask the Minister without Portfolio, pursuant to his answer of 11 November 1997, Official Report, column 534, in relation to the procedures applied to the appointment of M. & C. Saatchi as contractors of the Millennium Dome Project, in accordance with which of the three criteria listed in the answer the contract was awarded to M.& C. Saatchi. 
[holding answer 24 November 1997]: The contract awarded to M. & C. Saatchi met all three of the criteria listed in my answer of 11 November. Further details about this contract are contained in my letter to my hon. Friend of 24 November which I have, with his consent, placed in the Libraries of the House.
House Of Commons
To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee if he will ensure that lined glasses are used in all the bars on the Parliamentary Estate. 
As my hon. Friend will appreciate, my Committee has no responsibility for bars in the House of Lords or for the Sports and Social Club. However, all the glasses used in this House's Refreshment Department outlets conform with current trading standards. Should any future legislation be enacted which would require all glasses to be so lined, then I understand that the Refreshment Department would phase in such glasses accordingly.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the Government of Indonesia in respect of the Foreign Office mission statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Nigeria in respect of the restoration of democracy. 
We have contact with the Nigerian Government through our High Commissioner in Abuja. He regularly raises our concerns about the lack of progress towards the restoration of democracy and respect for human rights.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement concerning his role in relation to Kashmir. 
I refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave to my hon. Friends the Members for Peterborough (Mrs. Brinton) and for Luton, North (Mr. Hopkins) on 28 October 1997, Official Report, columns 795–96. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear to the House on the same day that Britain continues to be willing to help find a solution, but that any offer of help must be acceptable to Pakistan and India.
Israeli Prime Minister
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent visit to the United Kingdom of the Prime Minister of Israel. 
To ask the Secretary of State For Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he made to the Israeli Prime Minister during his recent visit to London. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his recent talks with the Prime Minister of Israel. 
I refer my hon. Friends to the answer given to the House today by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore).
Mr George Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the case of Mr. George Atkinson, imprisoned in Dubai. 
We have been told by the Government of Dubai that initial charges have been made against Mr. Atkinson. When investigations have been completed, final charges will be made and the case referred to the court or he will be released.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the United Nations with regard to the situation in Iraq. 
Following the UN Security Council's display of unanimity, I am pleased that Saddam Hussein has backed down unconditionally and allowed UNSCOM Inspection to return to Iraq. The Inspectors should now be permitted to get on with their job of uncovering and destroying Iraq's large stocks of weapons of mass destruction.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what will be the role of the European Union under the terms of the Amsterdam treaty in the protection of fundamental human rights. 
Under Article F of the Treaty on European Union, the Union is already obliged to respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Amsterdam Treaty, by an amendment to Article L, confirms the European Court of Justice (ECJ) jurisdiction to ensure that acts of EU institutions are consistent with these rights. New Article F.1 allows for sanctions against a Member State found in "serious and persistent" breach of fundamental rights. The EU's role, therefore, complements—and does not replace—that of the European Court of Human Rights.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those countries to which the European Union has made representations concerning the human rights and record of that country. 
The European Union has made representations to a range of countries concerning their human rights records. A summary of European human rights activities is set out in the European Union's Annual Memorandum to the European Parliament. The most recent edition of the Memorandum was issued on 16 October 1997, and is available in the Libraries of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those posts which in their project work in the legal training of state officials provide human rights documentation for schools and support non-governmental organisations involved in human rights issues. 
Many posts support local human rights projects. Those recently involved in legal training of state officials or provision of human rights educational material include Sofia, Peking, Prague, Islamabad, Colombo, Lusaka, Vilnius and Port Louis. Posts regularly work closely with the British Council and both UK-based and local NGOs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those countries to which representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government on the grounds of the human rights record of that country. 
We make representations to many countries on their human rights records. We do so bilaterally or with EU partners, either directly or through multilateral fora. Where we consider it to be more effective, some representations are made privately.
Common Foreign And Security Policy
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the United Kingdom contributions to the European Union budget activities on the Common foreign and security policy. 
The 1997 EU budget for the common foreign and security policy makes provision for commitments of up to 30 Mecu (ie about £22.1 million). Britain's gross contribution is approximately 15 per cent. of expenditure, ie up to £3.32 million depending on the prevailing exchange rate.
Australia (Native Title)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on Australia's proposals on native title of their indigenous peoples. 
We have received a small number of letters.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the provisions of the Maastricht treaty relating to political integration. 
We have received a wide variety of representations on the Maastricht Treaty.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage export promotion to central and eastern Europe. 
We provide a range of services to encourage trade with Central and Eastern Europe, including export promoters. A major campaign was launched in January 1997 to promote awareness among British businesses of the growing commercial opportunities in Central Europe.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with representatives of countries seeking entry into the European Union. 
We are committed to enlargement of the EU and to ensuring that this is an all-inclusive process. Regular contacts—at all levels— with all countries that have applied for membership in the European Union are essential to this. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is visiting Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland this week. I have travelled to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey this autumn. All this is in addition to the continuous dialogue conducted by officials and HM Ambassadors.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of United Kingdom relations with China in respect of the handover of Hong Kong. 
We have entered a new, more constructive phase in our relations with China. Provided China continues to fulfill its pledge to respect the Joint Declaration, we believe Hong Kong will remain a bridge between Britain and China. When my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met his Chinese opposite number in New York in September, they agreed to work together on a whole range of bilateral and global issues.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the case of Mr. Vaja of Leicester, Ref. R/97/3541, who has been refused a visa in Bombay. 
We have asked our High commissioner in Bombay for a detailed account of the application and my noble Friend the Under-Secretary will write to my hon. Friend within one week of receiving that account.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the case of Mrs. Chauhan of 5 Rushey Close, Leicester, whose husband has been refused a visa in Bombay (Foreign Office ref. GV100/36904). 
I understand that the Migration and Visa Correspondence Unit wrote to my hon. Friend on 18 November about this case. I hope the reply has addressed my hon. Friend's concerns.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the average waiting time for an interview in respect of an application to join (a) a husband and (b) a wife in (i) Pakistan, (ii) Sri Lanka, (iii) India and (iv) Bangladesh in the last year for which figures are available. 
The average waiting times for interviews in respect of applications to join husband/wives in the last year for which figures are available (1996) are as follows (unless otherwise specified figures are the same for husbands and wives and refer to first time application):
|Islamabad||3.5 months, to join husband|
|4.5 months to join wife|
|Colombo||10–12 weeks, depending on the conditions attached to the spouse's stay in the UK|
|New Delhi||2.75 months|
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) men and (b) women were waiting for an interview at British High Commission offices in (i) Pakistan, (ii) Sir Lanka, (iii) India and (iv) Bangladesh to join husbands or wives resident in the United Kingdom on 1 November. 
On 1 November, the numbers of men and women waiting for an interview to join husbands or wives in the UK were as follows:
Entry Certificate Officers
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many entry certificate officers were employed in British High Commission offices in (a) Pakistan, (b) Sri Lanka, (c) India and (d) Bangladesh on 1 November. 
The number of Entry Clearance Officers employed on 1 November is as follows:
|Madras||2 + 50 per cent. of the time of a third officer|
|Calcutta||75 per cent. of the time of one officer|
Migration And Visa Correspondence Unit
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what resources he will make available to deal with the backlog of cases at the Migration and Visa Correspondence Unit. 
We have taken a variety of measures to deal with the backlog of cases, including the deployment of additional temporary staff and seven day working. We are currently making arrangements to appoint five extra permanent members of staff to the Unit. Three have already been selected and are in post. We aim to fill the remaining posts within two months.
Treaty Of Rome
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish as a command paper a consolidated version of the Treaty of Rome, as amended by all subsequent treaties including the Treaty of Amsterdam, with all the protocols from all of the treaties. 
A consolidated version of the Treaty of Rome (the Treaty Establishing the European Community), as amended by subsequent treaties including the Treaty of Amsterdam (not yet in force), was published in a Command Paper on 29 October 1997 (Cm 3780). All the protocols to the Treaty of Rome which will be in force when the Amsterdam Treaty enters into force are listed in the same Command Paper. The text of the protocols annexed to the Treaty of Rome or added by the Treaty on European Union are printed in Cm 455 (1988) and Cm 2485 (1994); and those to be added by the Treaty of Amsterdam are printed in Cm 3780 (1997).
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will ensure that human rights are on the agenda at the forthcoming second Asia-Europe meeting. 
The agenda for the second Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is still under discussion. The Chairman's Statement after the first ASEM in Bangkok expressed commitment to strengthening political dialogue between Asia and Europe on the basis, among other things, of equality and the promotion of fundamental rights.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement regarding the succession of the Dalai Lama. 
The succession of the Dalai Lama is a matter for the Tibetan people.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise Turkey's activities in Iraq in the Security Council. 
We have no current plans to do so. We have urged the Turks to withdraw their forces from northern Iraq as soon as possible.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the value of torture equipment sold by United Kingdom companies since 1992; and if he will list those countries to which such equipment has been sold. 
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Small Firms, Trade and Industry to my hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) on 29 October 1997, Official Report, column 825.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the arrangements to ensure that the proposed European Troika visit to East Timor is able to hold private meetings with persons (a) in Dili and (b) in rural areas. 
We aim for the Troika Ambassadors to talk to a wide range of people to get as complete a picture as possible of the situation. Detailed arrangements will be worked out in conjunction with our EU partners.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Indonesian Government on the recommendation by the United Nations Human Rights Commission that the United Nations Rapporteur on Torture be invited to visit East Timor, in time for him to report to the meeting of the Commission in April 1998. 
We continue to encourage the Indonesian Government to implement the resolution of the UN Commission on Human Rights 1997.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the United Kingdom will support efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to deploy an on-site human rights presence in East Timor. 
There are no efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to deploy an on-site human rights presence in East Timor.
Eu Defence Co-Operation
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his European Union Counterparts about future European defence co-operation. 
The European Union itself is not responsible for defence co-operation. At the Amsterdam European Council, the UK and European Union partners agreed that the European Union would avail itself of the Western European Union to elaborate and implement decisions and actions of the Union which have defence implications. Arrangements for enhanced co-operation between the European Union and Western European Union have been discussed by the General Affairs Council of the European Union have been discussed by the General Affairs Council of the European Union and by the Council of the Western European Union.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on conditions in the relocation camps within Karenni state, Burma. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has made no specific representations on this subject to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. But, with strong UK support, the President of the European Council wrote to Mrs. Robinson on 6 October about the deplorable human rights situation in Burma, urging further UN actions to improve the situation and drawing attention to the EU Common Position.The UK played a full role in ensuring that the plight of ethnic minorities in Burma was included in the UN Committee on Human Rights resolution in April. We are playing an equally active role in negotiations on the UN General Assembly Third Committee resolution on Burma, to be adopted in plenary in December.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he plans to take in respect of human rights in Algeria; and if he will make a statement. 
In our regular contacts with the Algerian authorities, we express our serious concerns about reports of human rights abuses in Algeria. We plan to continue expressing these concerns and to encourage the Algerian Government to agree an early date for the visit they have already indicated they accept from the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he will take to ensure that Gibraltar is permitted to enjoy the rights concerning the free movement of goods, capital, services and people prescribed by membership of the European Union. 
We take seriously our responsibilities for Gibraltar within the EU. We stand up firmly for Gibraltar's EU rights to exercise free movement of capital, services and people and shall continue to do so. Gibraltarians' right to free movement will not, for example, be affected by the Treaty of Amsterdam. Provisions on the free movement of goods do not apply in Gibraltar. Since Gibraltar is outside the Community Customs Territory and the Common Commercial policy, it is treated as a third country for imports into the Community.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what restrictions are placed on civilian aircraft using Gibraltar airport in respect of their use of airspace, at take-off and on final approach to landing. 
Spain prohibits civilian aircraft movements to the North and West of Gibraltar in a way which affects approaches to, and departures from, Gibraltar.
Military Training Assistance
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects his Department's review of military training assistance to be completed. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is examining this Department's Military Training Assistance Scheme as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review. The Review is likely to be completed in the Spring of 1998.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to Tunisia on human rights violations; and if he will make a statement. 
We are in regular contact with the Tunisian authorities on human rights issues.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take to monitor human rights and electoral procedures in Hong Kong. 
We are committed to monitoring all aspects of the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong, including those parts relating to human rights and the legislature.
Contingency And Operational Procurement Exhibition
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the military, security and police officials invited to the 1997 contingency and operational procurement exhibition. 
I have been asked to reply as this matter falls within my area of responsibility.COPEX 97 was a privately run exhibition which the Ministry of Defence played no part in organising. I am therefore unable to list any of the invitees.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many paramilitary beatings and shootings have occurred in 1997, indicating where possible the paramilitary organisation believed to be responsible. 
Between 1 January 1997 and 11 November 1997 the number of casualties as a result of paramilitary-style assaults and shootings was:
|Casualties as a result of Paramilitary-style attacks I January to 11 November 1997|
|Attributed to Loyalist||Attributed to Republican||Total|
|Casualties as a result of shootings||43||18||61|
|Casualties as a result of assaults||69||72||141|
Police Station, Coleraine
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the estimated cost of the new police station for Coleraine, County Londonderry. 
It is not possible to give an estimated cost of a new police station for Coleraine, County Londonderry as no decision has yet been taken on this project.Requirements for police buildings are currently being assessed against policing needs and availability of funding.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what is the peak traffic capacity of the Castledawson bypass; how many vehicles used it when it was first opened; what has been the number each year since opening on a daily basis; and what are the peak hourly flows this year; 
|PQ 1214—Traffic Volumes on bridges across the Lower Bann River|
|(1) Most recent surveys||(2) 1992 surveys|
|Name of bridge||Year||Average daily traffic volumes||Average peak hourly flows||Average daily traffic volumes||Average peak hourly flows|
|Bann Bridge, Portglenone||1997||8,500||663||696||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|n/a = Not available.|
(2) how many vehicles pass over each of the bridges over the Lower Bann each day; in each case what is the hourly peak flow; and what were the figures five years ago; 
(3) if she will list the daily number of vehicles and the peak hourly traffic flow (a) currently and (b) five years ago over (i) Swanns Bridge, (ii) Roe Bridge Limavady and (iii) Dungiven Bridge over the River Roe; 
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the daily and hourly peak traffic flows along (a) Linen Hall Street and (b) Connell Street Limavady (i) were in each of the last five years and (ii) are at present. 
Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the Roads Service under its chief executive, Mr. W.S. McCoubrey. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from W. J. McCoubrey to Mr. William Ross, dated 24 November 1997:
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked me to respond to your recently tabled PQs about traffic volumes at various locations.
PQ 1213—TRAFFIC VOLUMES ON CASTLEDAWSON BY-PASS
The design capacity of the Castledawson By-pass, which opened in 1992, is 13,000 vehicles per day. Since then the average daily traffic volumes on the By-pass are as follows:
- 1992: 8,800
- 1993: 9,792
- 1994: 10,580
- 1995: 11,740
- 1996: 11,860
- 1997: 13,302
In 1997 the average peak hourly flows are: 1,040 (a.m), 1,169 (p.m).
PQs 1214, 1215, 1219
Whilst the precise information requested is not available, I have provided details in the attached tables.
I hope this information is helpful.
There are five road bridges over the Lower Bann river. The following table provides details, where available, on the average daily traffic volumes and average peak hourly flows (a.m and p.m) on each of the bridges as determined by:
The following table provides details, where available, on the average daily traffic volumes and average peak hourly flows (am and pm) on each of the bridges as determined by:
PQ 1215—Traffic flows—Swanns Bridge, Roe Bridge, and Dungiven Bridge
(1) Most recent surveys
(2) 1992 surveys
Name of bridge
Average daily traffic volumes
Average peak hourly flows
Average daily traffic volumes
Average peak hourly flows
|Roe Bridge||1996||16,180||1200||1380||15,030||No figures available|
|Dungiven Bridge||1996||10,240||780||950||8,450||No figures available|
|Swanns Bridge||No figures available||No figures available|
The most recent traffic data available in respect of Linenhall Street and Connell Street, Limavady are those of an 1991 traffic survey. Details, where available, are provided in the following table:
PQ 1219—Traffic flows—Linenhall Street, and Connell Street, Limavady
Most recent survey
Average daily traffic volumes
Average hourly peak flows
|Connel Street||1991||No figures available||748||1,065|
1 Based on a 10 hour count 1989.
Farmers And Farm-Workers
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what studies she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the age structure of (i) full-time farmers and farm-workers and (ii) part-time farmers in Northern Ireland; how many (A) males and (B) females there are in each such category; and what were the figures (1) five, (2) 10 and (3) 15 years ago. 
Information on the age structure of full and part-time farmers and farm-workers is collected in periodic EU Structure Surveys, the latest of which was carried out in 1997.The numbers requested in part(II) of the question are:
|Full-time farmers and farm-workers||Part-time farmers|
Education And Employment
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on Remploy's performance against the targets set in its 1996–97 annual performance agreement. 
Now that Remploy has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 1997 and audited figures are available, I am, on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, delighted to confirm that Remploy has exceeded its 1996–97 targets. The targets and achievements are listed in the following table. Copies of Remploy's 1997 Annual Report and Accounts are available in the Library.
|The average number of disabled people employed by Remploy:||At least 9,400||9,662|
|Average number of disabled people employed under the Interwork scheme:||At least 2,400||2,704|
|The number of disabled employees to move from Remploy factories to Interwork having been employed there for at least 1 year, or from Interwork or factories to open employment:||At least 175||182|
|Remploy will keep within a unit cost target (operating deficit per disabled worker) of:||£10,170||£9,967|
|The unit cost of Interwork to be no more than:)||£4,540||£4,230|
|Remploy to keep within an operating deficit (including reorganisation costs) of:||£99 million||£98, million|
Eu Education Council
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what were the outcomes of the Council of EC Education Ministers held on 20 November. 
The Council of Education Ministers, at which my noble Friend the Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment and my hon. Friend the Minister for Education and Industry, Scottish Office represented the UK, made a declaration on respect for diversity and the fight against racism and xenophobia. The Council agreed in principle the texts of a resolution on the early learning of the languages of the European Union; of conclusions on the evaluation of the quality of school education; and, subject to a UK Parliamentary scrutiny reservation, of a common position on a draft recommendation on European co-operation in higher education quality assurance. The Council gave a second reading to a European Commission proposal to increase the budget of the SOCRATES education programme. In this it restated its view that the programme budget should be increased from 850 million ecu1 to 875 million ecu2 over five years.The Council heard European Commission presentations on the communication "Towards a Europe of Knowledge" and the EURYDICE publication "Key Data on Education in the European Union 1997".After the Council, European Union Education Ministers held a meeting with Education Ministers of the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe to discuss matters of mutual interest.The Council minutes will be placed in the Library as soon as they became available.
- 1£580 million at £1 = 0.6.825 ecu.
- 2£597 million at £1 = 0.6.825 ecu.
Higher And Further Education (Top-Up Fees)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will take steps to prohibit the charging of top-up fees by institutions of higher and further education. 
My right hon. Friend has made it clear that top-up fees play no part in the Government's plans for higher education and that no university or college should proceed on the basis of introducing such additional fees. We are considering whether or not it is necessary to seek legislation on this issue.
Education Authority Spending
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list for each local education authority in England for the three most recent years (a) actual expenditure on service strategy and regulation, (b) actual expenditure within the general schools budget on education, management and administration, (c) the outturn expenditure within the general schools budget, (d) the outturn expenditure within the potential schools budget, (e) the outturn expenditure within the aggregate schools budget and (f) the number of pupils in primary and secondary schools. 
[holding answer 17 November 1997]: Tables containing the information requested have been placed in the Library. These are derived from (a) the revenue outturn form RO1 return collected by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, for the financial years 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96; (b) to (e) the outturn statements produced by local education authorities under section 42 of the Education Reform Act 1988, for the financial years 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96; (f) returns made by schools to the Department in January 1995, 1996 and 1997 (Annual Schools Census—Form 7).
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what exception there are to his policy of compelling employees of the Employment Service to retire at 60 years of age; and if he will make a statement. 
Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. David Kidney, dated 25 November 1997:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what exceptions there are to the policy of retiring employees of the Employment Service at 60 years of age. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive.
Age retirement policy is common across the whole of the Department for Education and Employment, including the Employment Service. The background to the policy is that, following the merger of the former Departments for Employment and Education in 1995, there was a need to ensure a common retirement policy across the new Department.
There had, for a number of years, been a policy that staff working in the former Employment Department Group, including the Employment Service, were retained beyond their 60th birthday only where there was an operational need and the person concerned was fully fit and efficient. This same policy was adopted across the Department for Education and Employment and is a common policy across most Civil Service departments.
If, when an individual reaches age 60, there is no ongoing need for their service they will be retired. Where, however, there is an operational need for the individual to remain in employment they are invited to do so. The criteria for retaining individuals beyond their 60th birthday are that:
- a clear operational need exists;
- the individual is carrying out their duties effectively;
- they have no known health problems;
- their retention will not lead to serious promotion blockages;
- there are no suitable surplus staff in the individual's grade/pay band or location who could be redeployed into that post.
- In addition, where there are temporary employees filling posts which could instead be filled by retaining permanent staff beyond age 60, the contracts of temporary employees will be terminated in favour of retaining permanent members of staff.
These criteria are published in the "ES and You", the Employment Service's staff terms and conditions handbook. Since December 1996, the Employment Service has in fact retained more staff beyond age 60 than were retired at that age.
I hope this information clarifies the circumstances in which people are invited to remain in employment beyond their 60th birthday within the Employment Service.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what criteria were used for choosing West Lancashire as an area where the lead role in delivery of the New Deal would be offered to the private sector. 
We have invited the private sector to lead the organisation and delivery of New Deal in a total of ten locations. The competition to identify private sector lead organisations in the two pathfinder areas of Hackney and City and South Humber is complete. The additional eight areas were selected on the basis of a judgment as to where a private sector led partnership would have most to contribute.