Mr. Frank Field : To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, representing the Church Commissioners, how the proceeds of selling the commissioners' holding in the Birkenhead precinct have been reinvested.
Mr. Alison : Proceeds from sales of commissioners' property are, generally speaking, applied towards the consolidation of the investment portfolio. Recent sale proceeds, including those from Grange precinct, have been used mainly to fund the remainder of the commissioners' development programme and to reduce borrowings.
Mr. Newton : Until recently the only Members authorised by the Broadcasting Committee to receive a clean television feed from the Chamber in their offices within the House were the Speaker and the Chairman of Ways and Means. However, at its meeting on 19 July, the Committee agreed that for the purposes of facilitating the management of the business of the House, the following additional Members' offices should be supplied with a clean television feed : the Prime Minister ; the Leader of the Opposition ; the Leader of the House ; the Shadow Leader of the House ; the Leader of the Liberal Democrats ; and the Whips Offices of the Government, the Official Opposition and the Liberal Democrats. The installation of the necessary cabling and television sets was carried out during the summer recess. So far as individual hon. and right hon. Members are concerned, the hon. Gentleman will be aware from previous answers on this subject that the Committee has approved in principle the supply of a feed to all Members' offices, provided that the service is available to all parts of the Parliamentary estate simultaneously. The Committee has also accepted, however, that because of the complexity and cost of the cabling work involved in such an undertaking, further progress must await decisions on the broader question of the provision of a parliamentary data and video network to Members' offices. Proposals on this
Column 406subject, which are currently under consideration by the Information Committee, are not expected to come before the House until the beginning of 1994 at the earliest.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many employees of hon. Members are paid out of the office costs allowance ; and how many hon. Members have given their employees a contract of employment.
Mr. Newton : At 30 September 1993, 1,656 employees of hon. Members were directly paid salaries which were charged to the employing Members' office costs allowance. A total of 617 hon. Members have given one or more of their employees a contract of employment.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many individuals currently in receipt of employee payments from the office costs allowance are married or otherwise related to current hon. Members.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many hon. Members have not yet given any of their staff a contract of employment ; how many individual staff do not have contracts ; what action he is taking to ensure contracts are provided ; what sanction he has against hon. Members who refuse to issue contracts ; and if he will make a statement.
Copies of contracts have not been sent to the Fees Office in respect of 264 employees of Members. The Fees Office continually monitors the position and periodically reminds hon. Members of their obligation to provide contracts.
I am not aware of any Members who have refused to issue contracts and I have no plans to make a statement.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many states have made representations to his Department with regard to the holding of a conference to review the inhumane weaspons convention.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We are in touch with EC and NATO partners about the proposal to convene a review conference on the United Nations weaponry convention, but no states have so far made representations to us on this issue.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those states that have (a) signed and (b) ratified the 1977 additional protocols to the Geneva conventions.
Antigua and Barbuda
Central African Republc
People's Democratic Republic of Korea
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadine
United Arab Emirates
Yemen Arab Republic
The following states have signed but not ratified additional protocol I :
The following states have ratified, accepted or acceded to additional protocol II :
Antigua and Barbuda