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HOME DEPARTMENT

Prisoners

Mr. Cawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the guidance which will be given to governors concerning the assessment of the suitability of eligible prisoners for home detention curfew. [41865]

Ms Quin: We have today placed in the Library a draft version of the guidance to governors which would be used in assessing prisoners' suitability for Home Detention Curfew. A final version of the guidance will be included in a Prison Service Order which the Prison Service expects to issue to governors in October. Copies of that Order will be placed in the Library.

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 5 May 1998, Official Report, columns 359-61, on prisoners, to what dates in 1998 the figures in Table A are provided. [41354]

Ms Quin: The 1998 figures in table A of my reply of 5 May 1998, Official Report, columns 359-61 refer to the period 1 January to 31 March.

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy in respect of the disbursement of revenues from prison work. [40234]

12 May 1998 : Column: 71

Ms Quin [holding answer 30 April 1998]: Planned income generated by activities in prison industries and farms is included in the voted provision contained in the annual Supply Estimate for the Prison Service as part of the receipts appropriated in aid of the gross expenditure borne on the Estimate. The relevant level of appropriations in aid is included in the budget allocated to each prison. We are shortly to issue guidance on new arrangements which will give governors greater flexibility to take up commercial opportunities which develop during the year.

Firearms Compensation

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 26 November 1997, Official Report, column 542, on firearms compensation claims, when all compensation claims made under the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 under (a) options A and B and (b) option C, will be complete. [41225]

Mr. Michael: The estimated timetable for completion of compensation payments under the large calibre handgun compensation scheme remains as set out in the reply I gave to the hon. Member on 6 April 1998, Official Report, columns 19-20, that is to say, completion by around the end of May for payments under Options A and B and by the end of the year for most, if not all, payments under Option C.

Immigration

Ms Hewitt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many women who are British Overseas citizens have been admitted for settlement under the quota voucher system in each year since quota vouchers were introduced; [41148]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Immigration Rules, set out in House of Commons Paper 395, provide for a British Overseas citizen to be granted indefinite leave to enter the United Kingdom if he or she is in possession of a special voucher. This provision applies equally to both men and women.

A British Overseas citizen may be issued with a special voucher if he or she fulfils a number of requirements, one of which is that the person concerned is the head of their household. Women will be considered to be the head of their household if they are single, widowed, divorced or married to a man who is incapable of fulfilling the role of head of household for medical reasons, in accordance with a House of Lords ruling that this is not unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

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The available data on the number of women who have been admitted for settlement as special voucher holders in each year are given in the table.

Female British overseas citizens(2) granted settlement as special voucher holders 1968-97

YearNumber
1968(3)--
1969150
1970140
1971260
1972330
1973(3)--
1974590
1975800
1976790
1977490
1978490
1979530
1980430
1981390
1982420
1983530
1984380
1985320
1986270
1987270
1988360
1989290
1990290
1991260
1992240
1993170
1994120
1995120
1996120
199790

(2) United Kingdom Passport Holders prior to 1 January 1983

(3) Not available


Human Rights

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to ratify Protocol 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. [41754]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have no plans to ratify Protocol 4 at present. Ratification will be possible only if potential conflicts with our domestic laws can be resolved. There is a particular concern in relation to Article 3(2) of the Protocol, which protects the right of nationals not to be excluded from their home state. This could be taken as conferring the right of abode in the United Kingdom on various categories of British nationals who do not have it.

Sir Alastair Goodlad: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to which optional provisions under UN and Council of Europe human rights agreements he is reviewing possible UK accession; which reservations to human rights treaties he is assessing the advantages of lifting; to which additional conventions he is assessing the advantages of acceding; and if he will make a statement. [41153]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government announced on 3 July 1997, Official Report, column 221, that they intended to review the United Kingdom's position under various international human rights instruments. This includes the question of whether to accept the right of individuals to submit complaints under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and

12 May 1998 : Column: 73

Political Rights, under Article 22 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and under Article 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The review is in progress and the outcome will be announced when it has been concluded.

In preparing the Human Rights Bill, we also reviewed the United Kingdom's position on Protocols 4, 6 and 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Our conclusions were set out in the White paper "Rights Brought Home" (CM 3782).

In addition, the Government have a commitment to review unratified International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions. The Government fully support the principles embodied in the core ILO Conventions and are currently reviewing the United Kingdom's position with regard to ratification of the Conventions on minimum age and discrimination in employment.

12 May 1998 : Column: 74

Proxy Voting

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to eliminate fraud in respect of proxy voting. [41584]

Mr. George Howarth: The Working Party on Electoral Procedures, which I chair, will be examining both proxy and postal voting. We will pay particular attention to the need to achieve a balance between accessibility and the prevention of abuse.

Animal Procedures Committee

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the members of the Animal Procedures Committee, and their records of attendance for each of the meetings in (a) 1996, (b) 1997 and (c) 1998. [41343]

Mr. George Howarth: The membership of the Animal Procedures Committee and records of attendance have been as follows (attendance is signified by + and their absence by -):

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Name of APC memberJanuaryMarchMayJuneJulySeptemberNovemberDecember
(a) 1996
Prof. Brazier++++++-+
Prof. Anderson++--+++-
Prof. Boden++-+--++
Prof. Bridges++-+++++
Prof. Broughton Pipkin+-++-+++
Dr. Christopher++++++-+
Dr. Cripps+--+---+
Dr. Flack(4)++
Prof. Flecknell+-++-+++
Prof. Iversen+---+-++
Mrs. Macarthur Clark+-+--+--
Miss Milburn+-+-++++
Dr. Purchase+--+--++
Dr. Southee+-++++++
Prof. Spyer---+-++-
Dr. Suckling++++++++
Mr. Ward++++++++

(4) Dr. Flack resigned from the Committee in March 1996


12 May 1998 : Column: 73

Name of APC memberJanuaryFebruaryAprilMayJuneJulySeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
(b) 1997
Prof. Brazier+++++++-++
Prof. Anderson+++-++++++
Prof. Boden++++--+++-
Prof. Bridges(5)++++-+++-+
Prof. Broughton Pipkin(5)+-++++-+-+
Dr. Christopher(6)++----
Dr. Cripps-+------+-
Prof. Dunbar(7)++++++--+-
Prof. Flecknell--++-++-++
Mr. Gregory(7)++++-++++-
Prof. Iversen(5)-+++--+++-
Mrs. Macarthur Clark--++++-+--
Miss Milburn+--++--+++
Dr. Purchase---+---+++
Dr. Southee+++--+++-+
Prof. Spyer(5)++++---+++
Dr. Suckling-++++-++++
Prof. Turner(7)-++---++++
Mr. Ward++++++++++

(5) Professors Bridges, Broughton Pipkin, Iversen and Spyer retired from the Committee in December 1997.

(6) Dr. Christopher resigned from the Committee in August.

(7) Professors Dunbar and Turner and Mr. Gregory were appointed to the Committee with effect from 1 January 1997.


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12 May 1998 : Column: 75

Name of APC MemberJanuaryMarchAprilMay
(c) 1998
Prof. Brazier(8)+
Prof. Banner(9)+++
Prof. Anderson++++
Prof. Boden++++
Dr. Clark++
Dr. Cripps-+++
Prof. Dunbar++++
Prof. Flecknell+-++
Mr. Gregory+-++
Dr. Jennings(10)++
Dr. Langley(10)++
Mrs. Macarthur Clark(10)+-+-
Prof. Martin(10)-+
Miss Milburn++--
Dr. Purchase+-++
Dr. Southee,,++
Dr. Suckling+++,
Prof. Turner++++
Mr. Ward++++

(8) Professor Brazier resigned from the Committee in January 1998.

(9) Professor Banner joined the Committee on 1 February 1998.

(10) Professor Martin and Drs. Clark, Jennings and Langley joined the Committee on 1 April 1998.


Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to publish members' attendances at future meetings of the Animal Procedures Committee. [41342]

Mr. George Howarth: I will ask the Animal Procedures Committee to consider publishing this information in its annual report.


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