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Depleted Uranium

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the Chief Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal on the use of ammunition with depleted uranium in war operations in the Balkans being put on the agenda of the Hague Tribunal. [146440]

Mr. Hain: The Secretary of State has received no such representations.

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what invitation has been received from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to send experts to investigate the soil and the export of food and wine in relation to the problem of depleted uranium. [146434]

Mr. Hain: HMG have not received any invitation from the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Intelligence Services Act

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the compatibility of section 7(1) of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 with the UK's obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights in so far as it relates to the conduct of the United Kingdom's security service within the territories of countries that are signatories to the convention; and if he will make a statement; [146147]

Mr. Robin Cook: The provisions of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 are fully compatible with the United Kingdom's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

US Research Programmes (Diego Garcia)

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates his Department gave approval to the United States Government to carry out research programmes in Diego Garcia in the last five years; what the titles were of each of the research programmes; to which United States Department or agency approval was given in each case; and on what dates the results of each of the research programmes were given to the Foreign Office. [146645]

Mr. Battle: In May 1998 approval was given to the United States' State Department for "Cable Survivability Tests" in Diego Garcia, and again in April 2000 for further tests on cable survivability. Final results will be available to us on request once this research is complete.

22 Jan 2001 : Column: 408W

In autumn 1998 the US Navy based in Diego Garcia were asked to conduct an environmental impact assessment on their ship cleaning methods. The research results, entitled "Ecological Assessment of the Potential Environmental Consequences of the Military Sealift Command's Ship Husbandry Activities at Diego Garcia", were provided to the Foreign Office in December 1999.


Job Losses

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received on the number of job losses over the period (a) October 1998 to September 1999 and (b) October 1999 to September 2000 in (i) the cereals sector, (ii) the pig farming sector, (iii) the dairy sector and (iv) the hill-farming sector; and what forecasts he has made for employment in those sectors for the year October 2000 to September 2001. [143840]

Ms Quin: In addition to correspondence with individuals and interested organisations, Ministers and officials hold regular meetings to discuss many economic aspects of agriculture, including employment.

Figures on the agricultural labour force are collected in the Agricultural and Horticultural Census. The Census is conducted annually each June, and the figures show the total labour force in June for each sector.

The available figures are presented in the table. A breakdown by farm type is not yet available for June 2000.

Total labour force by farm type

All sectors390,968373,715349,782


1. Does not include farmers on minor holdings. Does not include workers employed by contractors.

2. EC farm types are indicated in the table.


Agricultural and Horticultural Census

The Ministry does not publish forecasts of employment.

Food Labelling

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will monitor the use of the Red Tractor scheme to ensure that it is not used on imported food products. [144759]

Ms Quin: The "red tractor" logo was developed by the National Farmers Union and is administered by an independent body, Assured Food Standards. It is not an indication of origin, but signifies food that has been produced in accordance with certain industry-run assurance schemes and therefore meets designated standards.

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While the Ministry supported the establishment of the logo, it does not have responsibility for monitoring it and currently has no plans to do so. The Food Standards Agency does have general responsibility for food labelling.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the cost of the proposed egg labelling scheme is. [144760]

Ms Quin: The costs to industry associated with this measure, which will come into force on 1 January 2004, are:

There will be no significant changes in enforcement costs.

I refer to the Regulatory Impact Assessment of 18 December 2000 which relates to Explanatory Memorandum 11244/00 of 12 October 2000.

Fishing Fleet

Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many UK fishing vessels there were in (a) May 1992, (b) in May 1997 and (c) at the latest date for which figures are available. [145579]

Mr. Morley: Information is not available for the dates requested. However the table sets out the numbers of vessels in the UK fleet as at 1 January 1992, 1997 and 2000, the latest year for which figures are available.

UK fishing fleet (including Channel Islands and Isle of Man)

Number of UK fishing vessels at10 metres or less overall lengthOver 10 metres overall length Total
1 January 19927,5383,87311,411
1 January 19976,0912,5768,667
1 January 20005,9202,1208,040


UK Sea Fisheries Statistics

Classical Swine Fever

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many pigs have been slaughtered under measures to contain the recent outbreak of classical swine fever. [145602]

Ms Quin: 74,793 pigs have been slaughtered on infected premises and as dangerous contacts to contain the recent outbreak of classical swine fever.

Suckler Cow Premium

Mr. Breed: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the reasons were behind the delay in early payments to farmers of the suckler cow premium. [145919]

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Ms Quin: Producers who submit Suckler Cow Premium Scheme (SCPS) claims early in the application period normally receive advance payments from November onwards. Advances in respect of 2000 Scheme year claims began in December.

The reason why payments began later than in previous years stems from the introduction of a rule allowing producers to claim premium on heifers, up to a limit of 20 per cent. of the total number of animals on the claim. The rule was introduced as part of the Agenda 2000 package of CAP reforms. Although it is relatively straightforward in itself, it necessitated a number of detailed changes to be made, including to the computer system used for making SCPS payments. These changes have taken longer to make than the usual year on year changes which are normally made to the system. As a result, the facilities were not available to RSCs to enable the advances to be paid in November.

Agri-environment Schemes

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the 10 highest grants paid are to farmers in England for each environmental aid scheme. [145780]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 January 2001]: The main agri-environment schemes in England are Environmentally Sensitive Areas, the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and the Organic Farming Scheme. The 10 highest payments made under each scheme in the year 2000 were:


Environmentally sensitive areas schemeCountryside stewardship schemeOrganic farming scheme


Although each payment was for a single agreement, some agreements involved multiple beneficiaries, such as commoners' association.

Farmers may receive payments for additional environmentally friendly activities from English Nature, the Countryside Agency, English Heritage, local authorities or National Park Authorities.

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