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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel deployed to Sierra Leone have been diagnosed with malaria or admitted to hospital for investigation since May 2000; what percentage of deployed forces this represents; what his Department's estimate was, previous to deployment, of the percentage effectiveness of protection against malaria the preferred anti-malaria treatment afforded; what percentage of forces deployed to Sierra Leone were administered with anti-malarial treatment before deployment; and if he will make a statement. [147595]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 29 January 2001]: As of 25 January, there have been 112 confirmed cases of malaria and three suspected cases among Service personnel who have served in Sierra Leone. These figures include personnel who have been referred to hospital for investigation. They represent 1.5 per cent. of deployed forces; 97 per cent. of personnel deployed to Sierra Leone were issued with anti-malarial tablets prior to deployment. It is not normal practice in the field of travel medicine to quote the percentage efficacy of different anti-malarial prophylactic drugs, since the degree of protection can be subject to a wide range of factors; for example, the geographical location, the season, the activities undertaken by the individuals concerned and other types of protection or environmental controls used. Mefloquine is the preferred drug for Sierra Leone as it is more effective than chloroquine and proguanil, and Sierra Leone is a chloroquine-resistant area.

Hinduja Brothers

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Ministers and officials in his Department have (a) been contacted by and (b) contacted (i) Mr. G. P. Hinduja and (ii) Mr. S. P. Hinduja since 2 May 1997; if he will list the occasions on which there was such contact; and if he will make a statement. [148080]

Dr. Moonie: It is not the normal practice of the Government to release details of meetings or discussions with private individuals or companies.

All relevant papers will be made available to the Inquiry being conducted by Sir Anthony Hammond QC.

31 Jan 2001 : Column: 187W


First Group and Arriva

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the Office of Fair Trading's investigation into the First Group and Arriva. [147472]

Dr. Howells: On 10 October 2000, officers of the Director General of Fair Trading visited offices of First Group and Arriva under the powers in section 28 of the Competition Act 1998. The exercise of the Director General's powers of investigation under the Act are a matter for him.

European Trades Union Confederation

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he last met representatives from the European Trades Union Confederation; and if he will make a statement on the issues discussed. [147519]

Mr. Alan Johnson: Mr. right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has not met representatives from the European Trades Union Confederation. I had an introductory meeting with the Secretary General of the Confederation, Emilio Gabaglio, on 11 November 1999 at which we exchanged views on current employment relations issues.

Departmental Projects

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the projects undertaken for his Department by (a) outside consultants, (b) academic researchers and (c) university departments since 1 May 1997, giving the total expenditure incurred in each category. [144078]

Dr. Howells: The information requested is not held centrally by the Departments' Directorates and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, the majority of the Office of Science and Technology's (OST SEB) programme expenditure is channelled through the Research Councils as annual grant-in-aid. The Councils then pay a large number of grants to universities. Providing full details would involve disproportionate cost. In summary, main grants-in-aid are as follows.

Grant-in-aid paid to Research Councils in 1997-98 to 2000-01

£000 (net)
Research Council1997-981998-991999-20002000-01(3)

(3) Estimate for year

OST SEB does commission a small number of consultancies directly. Details are as shown.

31 Jan 2001 : Column: 188W

Consultancy paid by OST SEB

1 May 1997 to 31 March 1998
Preparation of SET statistics and Web production4,829
Academic researchers--
University departments--
1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999
Poster project--Women's Unit11,000
Public Consultation on Development in the Biosciences130,000
Preparation of SET statistics and Web production15,176
Consultancy assistance with personnel framework12,843
Consultancy assistance with senior Council appointments35,218
Academic researchers--
University departments--
1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000
Poster project--Women's Unit7,000
Public Consultation on Developments in the Biosciences208,000
Review of Science Communication and Public Attitudes to Science in Britain75,000
Preparation of SET statistics and Web production35,000
Consultancy assistance with senior Council appointments20,423
Academic researchers--
University departments--
31 March 2000 to 31 December 2000
Research into Women returners to science30,000
Consultancy assistance with senior Council appointments101,906
Academic researchers--
University departments--


Year defined by when payment made

Electricity Trading

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the timetable for the implementation of the New Electricity Trading Arrangements. [148481]

Mr. Hain: The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) today announced that 27 March remains the target implementation date for the New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA). This follows a review of progress by the NETA programme and reflects the fact that the programme is on schedule to meet the timetable announced last October.

Public Interest Immunity Certificates

Sir Nicholas Lyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many public interest immunity certificates (a) he, (b) Ministers of State, (c) junior Ministers and (d) civil servants in his Department have signed in each calendar year from 30 May 1997. [147729]

31 Jan 2001 : Column: 189W

Mr. Byers [holding answer 30 January 2001]: My Department's records show that, since 30 May 1997, two public interest immunity certificates have been signed by Ministers of this Department, both in 1998. One was signed by a Minister of State and one by a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. No certificates were signed by civil servants.

Treaty of Nice

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list his responsibilities in international bodies represented by the European Commission which, under the Treaty of Nice, will be determined by (a) unanimity and (b) qualified majority voting. [146001]

Mr. Caborn: My hon. Friend appears to be referring to the amendments to Article 133 concerning the common commercial policy. This article extends qualified majority voting in principle to the negotiation and conclusion of agreements relating to trade in services and the commercial aspects of intellectual property. However, unanimity will be retained for certain specified matters (i.e. where unanimity is required for the adoption of equivalent internal EU rules, or where the Community has not exercised related internal rule-making powers).

On certain other matters where competence will continue to be shared between the Community and member states (i.e. trade in cultural, audio-visual, educational, social and human health services) decisions will continue to be reached by consensus. There will be no change to the current arrangements for transport.

The article also makes clear that member states will still be able to negotiate agreements in international organisations, in so far as such agreements respect Community law and other relevant international agreements.

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