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Investment Companies

Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further progress has been made with proposals for open-ended investment companies which are not subject to the undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities directive. [21821]

Mrs. Angela Knight: Proposals to permit the formation of non-UCITS open ended investment companies were published in a Treasury consultation document, "Open-Ended Investment Companies: The Next Generation", in December 1996. The proposals secured a wide measure of support and the Treasury has received a number of helpful responses from the investment fund industry and other interested parties.

I regret that it has not proved possible to complete the proposed legislation in this Session. The Government remain committed to providing powers for the formation of non-UCITS open ended investment companies.

Stamp Duty

Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the intends to bring into force the new stamp duty and stamp duty reserve tax reliefs for intermediaries and for stock borrowing and repo arrangements. [21822]

Mrs. Angela Knight: Sections 97, 98, 102 and 103 of the Finance Act 1997 provide for the new regime to be brought into force from a date to be appointed by the Treasury. Our current planning assumption is that the new regime will be brought into force in September. The precise start date will depend on how soon all the necessary practical arrangements can be put in place. In particular CREST will have to adapt its present system for administering the present reliefs in order to cater for the new reliefs instead. It will take a little time to design and test the new system, and we are grateful to CREST for fitting this change into its programme over the next few months. Market participants will also need to adapt their systems accordingly.

Mersey Docks and Harbour Company

Mr. Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage stake the Government currently holds in the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company; what is the current cash value of this stake; and what practical steps the Government have taken to resolve the current industrial dispute. [21635]

Mr. Waldegrave: The Government hold some 13.9 per cent. of the issued share capital in the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company. The current market value of this stake is approximately £53.4 million. The industrial dispute between the company and its former employees is a matter for the parties concerned. The Government do not intervene in such matters.

Abortions

Sir David Steel: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many legal abortions were performed in 1995 (a) with anti-progesterone and (b) without overnight stay on women resident (i) in each health region and (ii) in each district health authority in

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England and Wales; and how many of these abortions involved (1) NHS hospitals; (2) NHS agency arrangements and (3) other purchasers. [21827]

Mrs. Angela Knight: I have been asked to reply, but cannot do so before Parliament is prorogued. I will, however, write to the right hon. Member.

Rent Payment

Mr. Brooke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement concerning the payment of rent in the context of section 37 of the Finance Act.[21824]

Mr. Oppenheim: Section 37 is an anti-avoidance measure dealing primarily with the situation where a person funds the purchase or construction of a building with a view to occupying it for VAT-exempt purposes. The measure has been drafted so as not to disturb ordinary arms-length commercial leasing arrangements and genuine speculative property development. In these circumstances a tenant simply paying rent is not providing finance for the landlord's initial purchase or construction of the building.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Denmark (Jane Horney)

Mr. Allason: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from Denmark in connection with the disappearance of Jane Horney. [20350]

Dr. Liam Fox: None.

St. Helena

Sir David Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) which factors relating to the publicly expressed views of a visitor to St. Helena may be considered in determining the continuance of his leave to remain. [21360]

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: None. The immigration officer implements the St. Helena Government's immigration policy under the provision of the Immigration Ordinance 1972. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Wrexham (Dr. Marek) on 20 March 1997, Official Report, column 770.

Indonesia

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the internal review of the use, by Indonesia, of United Kingdom-supplied armoured water cannon will be completed. [21407]

Mr. Hanley: We shall continue to study any allegations which we may receive of misuse of British-supplied defence equipment.

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Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Government representations have been made to the Indonesian authorities regarding the use of United Kingdom-supplied Scorpion for internal security purposes in the forthcoming Indonesian elections. [21406]

Mr. Hanley: The Indonesian authorities have given us assurances that British-supplied military equipment will not be used against civilians. They are fully aware of the importance which the British Government attach to these assurances.

Riot Control Equipment

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy that no further licences for the export of (a) armoured water cannon and (b) other riot control equipment, will be issued until the current inquiry is completed. [21408]

Mr. Hanley: We shall continue to consider any such applications on their individual merits.

EU Ambassadors

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the countries and the international organisations to which EU representatives are accredited with ambassadorial status.[21501]

Mr. David Davis: The countries and international organisations to which the European Commission have accredited representatives are listed below. Some of these countries choose to treat the commission delegate or representative as an ambassador and grant him or her privileges and immunities, but this is largely a matter of local custom. Albania Algeria Angola Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Australia Bangladesh Barbados Belize Benin Bolivia Botswana Brazil Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Costa Rica Cyprus Czech Republic Djibouti Dominican Republic Egypt Equatorial Guinea

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Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Fiji Former Yugoslavia Gabon Gambia Georgia Ghana Grenada Guatemala Guinea (Conakry) Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Hong Kong Hungary India Indonesia Israel Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhastan Kenya Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Lithuania Madagascar Malawi Mali Malta Mauritania Mauritius Mexico Morocco Mozambique Namibia Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia Nicaragua Niger Nigeria (Lagos) Nigeria (Abuja) Norway Pakistan Papua New Guinea Peru Philippines Poland Romania Russia Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa (Pretoria) South Africa (Cape Town) South Korea Sri Lanka Sudan Surinam Swaziland Syria Tanzania Thailand Togo Tonga Trinidad and Tobago

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Tunisia Turkey Uganda Ukraine United States of America Uruguay Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam West Bank and Gaza Western Samoa Zaire Zambia Zimbabwe UN Geneva UN New York UNESCO Paris FAO Rome OSCE Vienna

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under what section of the EU treaties representatives of the European Union are accorded ambassadorial status; and if he will make a statement on the basis of their ambassadorial status. [21500]

Mr. Davis: No provisions of the EU treaty, or the treaties establishing the European Communities, provides for according ambassadorial status to any representatives of the European Union. Delegations of the European Commission in third countries are in practice often accorded privileges and immunities by their host states. The head of delegation is the Commissions's representative and known as the delegate. Some countries choose to treat delegates as ambassadors; but this is largely a matter of local custom.

Public Bodies

Dr. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which of the executive non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department have a statutory base; if he will list those bodies which (a) admit members of the public to all board and committee meetings and (b) hold open meetings for the public; and if in each case this is under a statutory requirement. [21447]

Mr. Hanley: I have nothing to add to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member on 21 February 1996, Official Report, column 173.

Dr. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) which of the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department (a) have a statutory base, (b) publish their advice to Government, (c) publish an annual report and (d) lay an annual report before Parliament; and if he will indicate in each instance whether this is under a statutory requirement; [21717]

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Mr. Hanley: I shall write to the hon. Member shortly.


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