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Maritime Safety

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent assessments his Department have made of safety provisions in the merchant shipping industry relating to fire hazards. [51958]

Mr. Jamieson: The identification and assessment of fire hazards is an integral part of the formal safety assessment procedure, which is currently under way for a variety of ship types. The formal safety assessment approach plays increasing importance in the making of rules and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has formulated "Guidelines for Formal safety assessment for use in the IMO Rule Making Process". A risk assessment study related to domestic passenger ships is currently nearing completion.

More generally, revised regulations for fire protection and extinction (SOLAS chapter II-2) will enter into force internationally on 1 July 2002.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the shipping accidents in UK waters in the last 10 years that have resulted in the exposure to the environment of dangerous or hazardous goods. [51247]

Mr. Byers: Complete data are currently available up to the end of 2000. The following table shows reported incidents of pollution of more than two tonnes of material as a result of accidents to commercially operating vessels within the UK's 12 mile territorial limit.

DateAccident typeVessel name(s)Vessel categoryGoods
14 April 1992Contact Sea ServiceOffshore supplyFuel oil
30 August 1992GroundingThalmeyster MogutovFishing vesselDiesel oil
5 January 1993MachineryBraerTankerCrude and fuel and gas oil
2 March 1993FloodingCharlynne IIFishing vesselFuel oil
28 April 1993GroundingFreja SveaTankerFuel and residual crude oil
30 August 1993GroundingKandalakshaMerchant vesselDiesel and gas oil
2 November 1993CapsizeGilseaFishing vesselFuel and hydraulic oil
9 November 1993GroundingLunohods 1Fishing vesselDiesel and gas oil
17 November 1993GroundingBorodinskoye PolyeFishing vesselOil
1 February 1994FloodingParagonFishing vesselFuel oil
16 February 1994GroundingCam VedetteFast rescue craftOil
29 July 1994FloodingGladnesFishing vesselFuel oil
8 September 1994GroundingBlackheathTankerOil
30 September 1994GroundingWatchfulFishing vesselFuel oil
31 October 1994GroundingPionerskFishing vesselGas and lubricating and fuel oil
24 November 1994Flooding ChrisandeFishing vesselFuel oil
24 January 1995GroundingMystiqueFishing vesselFuel oil
24 january 1995FloodingEmulous IIFishing vesselOil
28 January 1995GroundingRegent BirdFishing vesselFuel oil
8 March 1995ContactUnited TraderMerchant vesselOil
6 April 1995GroundingFlying ChildersMerchant vesselFuel oil
28 June 1995GroundingAdenia 11Fishing vesselGas oil
31 July 1995FloodingElesisFishing vesselOil
19 October 1995GroundingSolanFishing vesselFuel oil
20 October 1995GroundingGolf StarBulk carrierFuel oil
3 November 1995FloodingDefiantFishing vesselFuel oil
21 December 1995Hull failureAlandria WaveTankerLubricating and crude oil
1 January 1996Fire and groundingInconnuFishing vesselFuel oil
15 February 1996GroundingSea EmpressTankerCrude and fuel oil
7 March 1996CollisionGeopotes 14/Naomi EDredger/tugLubricating oil
29 October 1996ContactAsian ReeferCargoFuel oil
11 November 1996CapsizeBeverTugFuel oil
3 January 1997Fires and explosionsTove KnutsenTankerOil
26 January 1997FloodingMargaret AnnFishing vesselOil
28 February 1997FloodingCordaleBargeGas oil
26 March 1997GroundingCitaCargoFuel oil
30 August 1997GroundingAquariusFishing vesselFuel oil
2 October 1997GroundingDamariFishing vesselFuel oil
24 October 1997GroundingMadaliaFishing vesselFuel oil
26 October 1997GroundingAlison KayFishing vesselOil
19 November 197GroundingGreen LilyMerchant vesselFuel and gas oil
29 November 1997GroundingKelly MarinaFishing vesselFuel oil
16 February 1998FloodingTernaciaFishing vesselFuel, lubricating and engine oil
13 October 1998GroundingArco ArunMerchant vesselFuel oil
13 October 1998CapsizeCatrinaFishing vesselFuel oil
23 March 1999CollisionSamson/NohicBarge/fishing vesselGas oil
28 May 1999ContactRix MerlinTankerGas oil
7 November 1999ContactDole AmericaCargoLubrication and gas oil
1 March 2000MachineryBoy LeslieFishing vesselDiesel oil
29 November 2000GroundingDolphinOther commercialDiesel oil
13 December 2000GroundingLagikCargoDiesel oil
20 December 2000MachineryRandgridTankerCrude oil

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Deep-sea Port Traffic

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what percentage of deep-sea port traffic, expressed in containers per annum, had the UK as a final destination in the last 12 months. [51185]

Mr. Byers: The information is not available in the form requested.


Data Protection

Mr. Brady: To ask the President of the Council, pursuant to his oral reply on 21 March 2002, Official Report, column 441, what has been the outcome of his inquiries relating to the effect of the Data Protection Act 1998 on hospital chaplaincies. [51229]

Mr. Robin Cook: Under the Data Protection Act 1998 details of a person's religious beliefs are classed as sensitive personal data. Where a patient is incapable of providing consent, perhaps through serious or terminal illness, it is possible for hospital staff to disclose religious affiliation, as this may in the circumstances be in the best interests of the patient. Where the patient is capable of giving consent, it is open to the hospital authorities to seek their agreement to disclose their religious beliefs to the hospital chaplain. The Department of Health is currently considering the need to issue guidance on this matter.

Pension Sharing

Mr. Bercow: To ask the President of the Council what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of the Pension Sharing (Excepted Schemes) Order 2001; and if he will make a statement. [51394]

Mr. Robin Cook: The Pension Sharing (Excepted Schemes) Order 2001 exempts from the pension sharing legislation the holders of the three Great Offices of State. This is in accordance with the provisions of section 27(3)

24 Apr 2002 : Column 294W

of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999. The order does not impose costs on third parties so no assessment of the cost-effectiveness seems appropriate.


Mr. Bustani

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is in relation to the demand of the USA for the removal of Mr. Bustani from his position as Head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. [52156]

Mr. Bradshaw: The United Kingdom's policy has been determined by the overriding need to ensure the long-term viability and effectiveness of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It was clear that the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had lost the confidence of a significant number of the organisation's executive council. For this reason we concluded that the interests of the OPCW and the CWC would be best served if the Director-General were to be replaced by someone who could enjoy the full confidence of all states parties to the convention. The United Kingdom delegation to the Special Conference of States Parties, which convened on 21 April, was guided by this position. The matter came to a vote at the Special Conference on 22 April. The outcome was 48 votes in support of the termination of the Director-General's appointment, with seven votes against and 43 abstentions. The Director-General's appointment was therefore terminated with immediate effect.

Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial meeting in Valencia on 22 and 23 April. [52881]

Peter Hain: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I represented the UK at the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership process in Valencia. The meeting took place against a backdrop of high tension in the region. In these

24 Apr 2002 : Column 295W

circumstances the presence of representatives of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and most neighbouring states was in itself a significant achievement. Ministers discussed the middle east peace process, noting their deep concern at the current situation, the serious threat it posed to regional security and the risk of a grave humanitarian crisis. My right hon. Friend held bilateral discussions with the Foreign Ministers of Israel and Egypt and with Nabil Sha'ath of the Palestinian Authority.

The conference adopted, by consensus, an action plan including a number of initiatives to give renewed impetus to the Euro-Med process. The Government particularly welcome the action plan to promote an effective dialogue on culture and civilisation.

My right hon. Friend and I took the opportunity of the Valencia Ministerial to have bilateral meetings. My right hon. Friend discussed the situation in the Great Lakes region with his French and Belgian counterparts. I discussed the state of play in the Cyprus negotiations with Foreign Minister Cassoulides.

We also had bilateral meetings with our Spanish counterparts in which we took forward our discussions on Gibraltar. I also discussed Gibraltar with my Spanish counterpart in Madrid on 18 April.

Our objectives remain to preserve Gibraltar's way of life, establish greater self-government, deliver lasting practical benefits and a stronger economy, and secure a lasting agreement on sovereignty so that Gibraltarians can enjoy security for their way of life. Negotiations continue. Our aim remains, if possible, to reach agreement by the summer.

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