The Prime Minister : The security and intelligence services are all subject to close ministerial oversight, and Ministers are responsible to Parliament. There are now also commissioners for the Security Service and interception of communications who produce an annual report to Parliament. Those who have grievances have access to tribunals and sources of redress. There will be an opportunity for Parliament to debate such matters when legislation is brought forward.
The Prime Minister : A number of bodies have powers under legislation other than the Police Act 1964 to appoint persons having some of the powers of a constable. A full list of such organisations is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The larger forces include the British Transport police, the Ministry of Defence police, the Royal Parks constabulary and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority constabulary. The performance of the duties and functions associated with police authorities normally rests with the Government department, local authority, or private company responsible for the constables concerned.
Mr. Temple-Morris : To ask the Prime Minister what priority, during the United Kingdom's approaching presidency of the European Community, he gives to making progress on creating a stable future for United Kingdom agriculture as opposed to other issues such as enlargement or EC institutional change.
The Prime Minister : The Government set out the right approach for the future of agriculture in the United Kingdom in the statement published last autumn, "Our Farming Future". This stressed the importance of the need for effective and substantial CAP reform. We shall pursue that objective during our presidency alongside our other objectives for the future of the Commmunity.
The Prime Minister : No. The United Nations intergovernmental negotiating committee on a framework convention on climate change unanimously adopted a draft convention on 9 May which would commit developed countries to adopt policies and measures aimed at returning emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. The convention will be open for signature during the United Nations conference on environment and development next month.
The Prime Minister : In addition to his duties in relation to the Duchy, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is responsible to me for the Office of the Minister for the Civil Service (OMCS), and the new Office of Science and Technology (OST).
He will be responsible for development of the citizens charter initiative ensuring sustained improvement in public services ; this includes the charterline and the charter mark scheme, the toughening up of inspectorates, and the extension of contracting out and market testing. Above all, the Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that those who provide public services are practising the charter principles.
The Chancellor of the Duchy is also responsible for the "next steps" programme, improving efficiency and effectiveness in the civil service, and the market testing initiative ; for advice on duties and standards in the civil service, the recruitment and development of civil servants, senior and public appointments, equal opportunities, occupational health and certain other non-financial aspects of personnel management. He will take responsibility for three executive agencies : the Civil Service College, the Recruitment and Assessment Services and the Occupational Health Service.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will be responsible for policy on open government, with a view to identifying areas of excessive secrecy and carrying forward moves towards greater openness. He will lead a review of specific statutory restrictions on the disclosure of information and the scope for greater access to personal records, while safeguarding personal privacy. The Chancellor of the Duchy will also be responsible for science and technology issues and for the Office of Science and Technology (OST). The OST will be responsible for the Advisory Council on Science and Technology (ACOST) and for the Advisory Board for the Research Councils (ABRC) ; for the Office of Science and Technology budget which includes the science budget ; and also for the five research councils.
The Treasury will remain responsible for financial management, civil service pay, industrial relations, other pay related aspects of personnel management, relocation policies and civil service manpower statistics.
Column 105Departmental Ministers remain responsible for the progress of individual charters, management issues within their departments and the operation of their executive agencies.
The Prime Minister : The Secretary of State for National Heritage will be responsible for many of the central areas of our national life which enhance its quality or contribute significantly to our sense of national identity. These include the present functions of the Office of Arts and Libraries--the arts, museums, galleries and libraries--together with film and the export licensing of antiques, functions which are to be transferred from the Department of Trade and Industry. He will be responsible for broadcasting, notably the review of the BBC's charter, the press--including work on the recommendations of the Calcutt committee--and the safety of sports grounds, all duties to be transferred from the Home Office ; sport, from the Department of Education and Science ; tourism, from the Department of Employment ; and heritage from the Department of the Environment. He will be responsible for the Historic Royal Palaces Agency.
The Secretary of State will be responsible for the proposed national lottery and, in consultation with the Home Secretary, the legislation required to create it. The Secretary of State will also be responsible for the Millennium Fund.
Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to announce the membership of the United Kingdom delegation for the forthcoming meeting in Budapest of the new Assembly of Europe of the conference on security and co-operation in Europe ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister if Her Majesty's Government will now take steps to ask the German authorities to extradite Kurt Klebeck to the United Kingdom over Nazi crimes in the Channel islands.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 11 May 1992] : Mr. Klebeck is a German national. We understand that Germany does not extradite its own nationals because of a prohibition in its constitution. We would co-operate
Column 106fully with the German authorities if we were asked by them for assistance in connection with any possible proceedings in Germany.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister if he will now release in the public domain documents relating to the wartime Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands which remain classified ; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 11 May 1992] : Any records relating to the wartime Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands which remain closed to the public domain will be released at the appropriate time, under the criteria of the Public Records Acts of 1958 and 1967. I will however look into the matter raised by the hon. Member.
Mr. Peter Robinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will ask the Local Government Boundary Commissioner to consider the grouping of wards into district electoral areas in advance of the next local government election in 1993.
Mr. Hanley : When the present review of local government boundaries in Northern Ireland is complete, and the necessary consequential legislation has been made, a district electoral areas commissioner will be appointed under the District Electoral Areas Commissioner (Northern Ireland) Order 1984. It is intended that the commissioner should report in good time for his recommendations to be implemented before the 1993 local government elections.
Mr. Atkins : I am pleased to announce that, following a thorough feasibility study, the Government have decided that an executive agency should be set up within the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) to carry out the work of driver and vehicle licensing in Northern Ireland.
The detailed planning for agency status is already under way and the target launch date is 1 April 1993.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discretion local authorities have over the provisions of circular 3/90 and traffic advisory leaflet 2/90 to suit particular local conditions.
Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : Circular 3/90 provides guidance to local highway authorities on the application of the Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1990. The circular gives guidelines only to local authorities because they are required to meet the regulations. On 1 July 1992 we propose to commence a provision of the Road Traffic Act
Column 1071991 which will give the Department powers to authorise, on local roads, humps which do not comply with the regulations. We will shortly be advising local highway authorities, by means of a further circular, on how these powers will be exercised.
Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what improvements to the A13 between the North Circular road and Butcher row are currently being undertaken ; at what cost ; and when they will begin and be completed.
Scheme |Estimated |Planned |Planned |works cost |start |finish |(£ million) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Butcher row junction |1 |1993 |1994 West India Dock road junction Interim 4 (Completed April 1992) Final |1 |1993 |1993 Cotton street-Blackwall tunnel junction (A102) |7 |1993 |1994 Ironbridge to Canning Town improvements |53 |1994 |1997 Prince Regent lane (A112) junction |36 |1994 |1996 East Ham Manor way (A117) junction |33 |1994 |1996
All schemes are subject to the availability of funds and the satisfactory completion of statutory procedures.
Dr. Spink : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will agree a fixed timetable for the trains and infrastructure investments in the London, Tilbury and Southend line, or make this line the first target for privatisation.
Mr. Freeman : BR has just let a contract for the survey and design part of the £50 million resignalling project which they believe to be the key to improving reliability on the London, Tilbury and Southend line. BR is considering what the best option for replacing the rolling stock might be. I look forward to receiving its proposals. The London, Tilbury and Southend line will be one of the candidates for franchising when the necessary legislation is in place.
Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement in the legislative proposals necessary to enable Her Majesty's Government to comply with European regulations on the operation of railway services in Britain.
Mr. Freeman : No new legislation is needed to enable SNCF to run rail services jointly with BR on BR tracks. The Government propose to make regulations under the European Communities Act 1972 in order to implement EC directive 91/440 "On the Development of the Community's Railways".
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on raising finance from the private sector for the channel tunnel rail link ; if public moneys will be made available ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : We have appointed Samuel Montagu to advise on private sector involvement, and it has had preliminary discussions with a number of organisations with a potential interest in funding and developing the link. But substantive consideration of funding issues is unlikely before the route has been refined.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans are being made for an international station at Stratford to serve the channel tunnel rail link ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : British Rail is undertaking detailed studies on the options for an international station at Stratford, and there will be consultation with the local authorities concerned before any plans are finalised.
Mr. Freeman : The local authorities directly affected by the proposed route of the channel tunnel rail link are represented on the forum individually, rather than through bodies such as the London Channel Tunnel Group.
Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the possibility of collusion or monopoly power amongst the privatised bus companies due to concentration of market share.
The Director General of Fair Trading has a general duty to keep the provision of bus services under review, and powers to act in relation to possible abuse of monopoly power or anti-competitive practices. Any evidence of abuse of market position should be referred to the director general.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary Lord Chancellor's Department if the Lord Chancellor will release records held in the public record offices relating to the conduct of Herr Kurt Klebeck in Alderney during the 1939-45 war ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Any records in the Public Records Office relating to the occupation of the Channel Islands during the second world war which have been closed for longer than 30 years, under the arrangements set out in paragraph 25 to 27 of the 1982 White Paper "Modern Public Records" (Cm 8531), will be released at the appropriate time. It has been the practice of successive Administrations not to reveal details of the contents of specific withheld records. Questions of access to withheld records are a matter for the department of origin.
Mr. Couchman : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he plans to reform the principle of the law of privity as it affects commercial leasehold property ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor is actively considering the report of the Law Commission "Landlord and Tenant Law : Privity of Contract and Estate" (Law Com. 174) which recommended modifications to the present law under which original parties to a lease normally remain liable to perform the covenants thereunder for the whole of the lease term, notwithstanding that they may have parted with all interest in the property. He hopes to be able to make an announcement about this report in the near future.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission how many copies of (a) the London Evening Standard and (b) The Sun are purchased for the House each day.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission how much was spent on providing national and local newspapers for hon. Members and Officers in each of the last two years.
Mr. Beith : The total annual cost of newspapers supplied through the Serjeant at Arms Department and by the Library during the financial years 1990-91 and 1991-92 was £46,847 and £56,831, respectively.
Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if any application for the establishment of diplomatic relations and request to benefit from the know-how fund has been received from the Republic of Moldova ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have had diplomatic relations with Moldova since 17 January. The Moldovan Government have asked about the possibility of support from the know-how fund. We have indicated that we would respond to specific requests for support for projects in Moldova, and have invited proposals. No applications have been received to date for projects in Moldova.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those countries represented at the United Nations with which the United Kingdom does not have diplomatic relations.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last three years on the provision of ceremonial dress for ambassadors, high commissioners, governors and other diplomatic representatives overseas.
|£ ---------------------- 1989-90 |12,791 1990-91 |13,151 1991-92 |16,077
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent by his Department on (a) bird feathers, (b) swords and (c) gold braid in each of the last three years.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what will be the total cost of equipping the new Governor of Hong Kong with ceremonial dress ; and what items are involved.
Column 111Mr. Goodlad : Mr. Patten, having consulted widely, does not propose to wear ceremonial dress.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the total cost of administering the office of the Hong Kong Governor in each of the last three financial years ; and what is the proposed budget for 1992-93.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the declaration on protocol 17 to the treaty on European union which was agreed by European Community Foreign Ministers at Guimaraes on 1 and 2 May.
The High Contracting Parties to the Treaty on European Union signed at Maastricht on the 7th day of February 1992.
Having considered the terms of Protocol No. 17 to the said Treaty on European Union which is annexed to that Treaty and to the Treaties establishing the European Communities.
Hereby give the following legal interpretation :
that it was and is their intention that the Protocol shall not limit freedom to travel between member States or in accordance with conditions which may be laid down, in conformity with Community law, by Irish legislation to obtain or make available in Ireland information relating to services lawfully available in Member States.
At the same time the High Contracting Parties solemnly declare that, in the event of a future constitutional amendment in Ireland which concerns the subject matter of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland and which does not conflict with the intention of the High Contracting Parties hereinbefore expressed, they will, following the entry into force of the Treaty on European Union be favourably disposed to amending the said Protocol so as to extend its application to such constitutional amendment if Ireland so requests.
Column 112covering the repatriation from Hong Kong of Vietnamese illegal immigrants--that is, those who under the screening procedures agreed and monitored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have been found not to be refugees.
This second phase agreed in principle last October with Vietnam, covers those Vietnamese migrants who were already in Hong Kong on 29 October 1991 when the orderly repatriation programme was announced. Earlier arrangements covered those who arrived in Hong Kong after that date and those who, having already been repatriated voluntarily, returned to Hong Kong in the hope of collecting a further UNHCR reintegration allowance.
There are still 56,000 Vietnamese migrants in Hong Kong, the vast majority of whom will probably not qualify as refugees. Those who are screened out will be encouraged to return under the UNHCR scheme. We hope most will do so. But inevitably some will not. These will be returned under the orderly repatriation programme.
The orderly repatriation programme is based on the firm principles that nobody whom UNHCR believes to be a refugee will be returned and that no returning migrant will face persecution. The Vietnamese Government have reaffirmed their commitment not to persecute returnees and to facilitate access to them by UNHCR and others to ensure that this guarantee is respected.
Since 1988, more than 20,000 Vietnamese migrants have returned home from the region without a single substantiated case of persecution.