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Mr Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what regional differences exist in the home use of the internet. [58241]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 13 June 2002:

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Mr. Rammell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the extent to which British businesses accept the euro as a means of payment. [58243]

Ruth Kelly: There is no information available on the numbers or types of UK businesses that will accept euro. Within the UK, the euro, like other foreign currencies is not legal tender but is a legal currency. Businesses can therefore choose to trade in it if they want.

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken to encourage small businesses to accept the euro. [58223]

Ruth Kelly: Details of the information provided to UK businesses to assist those that want to deal in euro now were set out in the Treasury's Fifth Report on Euro Preparations, published on 4 November 2001, copies of which were deposited in the Library of the House.


Export Licences (Israel)

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has (a)to freeze and (b)to revoke export licences to Israel under the Consolidated Criteria; and if he will make a statement. [57546]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Since the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000 and taking into account Israeli military tactics, the Government have revoked a

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number of export licences to Israel. We currently have no plans to freeze extant export licences to Israel. This policy is kept under constant review.

We consider all export licence applications on a case by case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.

Certified Timber

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the refurbishment projects that (a) are in progress and (b) will start within the next six months; and what action is being taken to ensure that these will procure certified timber. [59757]

Mr. MacShane: The FCO has the following refurbishment projects in progress: Buenos Aires Residence, Moscow Residence and staff accommodation, Tunis Residence, New Delhi staff accommodation, Pyongyang staff accommodation. Within the next six months the contract will be let for the Pera House office/Residence in Istanbul. All contractors are instructed to comply with UK Government environmental policy on timber procurement.

Leila Khalid

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) on what grounds Leila Khalid was granted a visa to visit the UK; and if he will make a statement; [59004]

    (2) if he will review the grant of a visa to Leila Khalid to visit the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement; [59005]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: It has been a long standing government policy not to disclose information on individual applications on the grounds of privacy of an individual. Under Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information I am unable to provide my hon. Friend with the information that he requires.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mr. Joyce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received in respect of a mass killing and mutilation of soldiers and policemen in Kisingani, Democratic Republic of the Congo. [60726]

Mr. MacShane: MONUC, NGOs and Congolese residents of Kisangani have reported killings on 14 May. However, the origins of the incident, the number and nature of the deaths, and responsibility for the deaths remain unclear. We have encouraged MONUC and UNHCR to conduct a speedy enquiry and to publish their findings as soon as possible.

Mr. Joyce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the nature and extent of the recent uprising in the city of Kisingani and on the Haut Plateau in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and what representations he has made to the Government of

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Rwanda and the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie about the responsibility for maintaining order. [60725]

Mr. MacShane: Dissent amongst RCD-Goma ranks has been reported at several locations, in particular in Kisangani on 14 May and in the Hauts Plateaux since February. Information remains incomplete. It is clear however, that the rebellions have resulted in an unacceptable loss of life and that the local civilian populations have suffered. We have supported EU and UN statements condemning the violent response of the RCD-Goma leadership in Kisangani and calling on Rwanda to use its influence to calm the situation. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development has raised the events in Kisangani with President Kagame.

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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times a United Kingdom delegation has been led by Ministers from devolved administrations (a) 1999, (b) 2000, (c) 2001 and (d) 2002; who attended in each case; who led in each case; and in what percentage of overall council meetings the United Kingdom delegation has been led by a devolved administration. [60787]

Peter Hain: Decisions on Ministerial attendance at Council meetings are taken on a case-by-case basis by the lead UK Minister.

The table below shows where Ministers from devolved administrations have led a UK delegation. Our calculations estimate this at approximately 3 per cent. of Council meetings.

YearAttendeeCouncil AttendedDevolved Administration
2000Jane DavidsonEducation and Youth Council, 9 NovemberWelsh Assembly Government
Nicol StephenEducation Council, 8 JuneScottish Executive
2001Nicol StephenEducation and Youth Council, 12 FebruaryScottish Executive
Susan DeaconHealth Council, 4 JuneScottish Executive
2002Jane DavidsonYouth Council, 30 MayWelsh Assembly Government

Guantanamo Bay

Ms Christine Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. [62519]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: British officials paid a third visit to Guantanamo Bay between 27 and 31 May. The purpose of the visit was to ask questions relevant to national security, to confirm the identity and nationality of two British detainees transferred there in May and to check on the welfare of all seven British detainees. The officials were from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Security Service.

The officials met the detainees individually. US officials were able to observe the interviews. One detainee has sustained injuries in Afghanistan. He and the US authorities confirmed that he was receiving medical treatment for them. The other detainees appeared to be in satisfactory physical health, though some of them complained of ailments, which are being addressed. Some detainees raised concerns about their status and other aspects of their detention and conditions at Guantanamo, which British officials discussed with the camp authorities. The officials saw no visible sign of mistreatment.

British officials delivered to the camp authorities letters from some of the detainees' families to be passed to the detainees. Some of the detainees asked the officials to relay oral messages to their families. We have passed them and the details of the detainees' circumstances to their families. Personal details are not disclosed in the answer for reasons of privacy. The detainees confirmed that they were able to send and receive letters to and from their families through the camp authorities and through the International Committee of the Red Cross.

All detainees were now housed in recently-built indoor accommodation including individual sleeping, toilet and washing facilities and air-conditioning. The detainees confirmed that they were able to practice their religion and take exercise. The detainees also have access to reading and writing material.

The visiting team found the US camp authorities open and co-operative.

The ICRC continues to maintain a presence at Guantanamo Bay and has access on demand to the detainees.

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