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25 Feb 2003 : Column 426W—continued

EC Accession (Poetry on the Underground)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding he has made available to London Underground Limited to display multi-lingual poetry to mark the 30th anniversary of United Kingdom accession to the European Community. [98475]

Mr. MacShane: A total of £15,000 was made available to cover: design and production of nine different bilingual posters; 2,000 advertising spaces in carriages for a period of eight weeks, and the design and production of 5,000 booklets containing 25 poems representing all 15 member states.

E-mail Addresses

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by what e-mail address members of the public may contact (a) his and (b) each of the Ministers in his Department; and for each e-mail address if he will state (i) the date it became active, and (ii) the number of e-mails received in each month since activation. [97464]

Mr. Rammell: All FCO Ministers may be contacted via a feedback form on the FCO website, www.fco.gov.uk/feedback. This has been the case since 1997. We do not hold statistics for messages received via this means.

In addition, the Minister for Europe can be contacted on [email protected] This address was activated in December 2000. Figures for E-mails received are:

December 2000: 8 to February 2002: 124

January 2001: 9 to March 2002: 100

February 2001: 11 to April 2002: 116

Mar 2001:40 to May 2002: 92

April 2001: 34 to June 2002: 63

May 2001: 6 to July 2002:91

June 2001: 3 to August 2002: 55

July 2001:5 to September 2002: 133

August 2001: to October 2002: 142

September 2001: 79 to November 2002:90

October 2001: 121 to December 2002: 56

November 2001: 193 to January 2003: 104

December 2001: 82 to February 2003: 72 1

January 2002:82 to February 2003:72

1 So far to 7 February 2003.

European Constitution

Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to ensure that a draft European constitution reflects Europe's religious heritage. [98042]

Mr. MacShane: The EU is a multicultural group of States with a large non-Christian population.Britain is itself a multi-cultural and multi-faith society. Any reference in the EU's constitutional Treaty would need to reflect this diversity, which is one of the greatest strengths of both Britain and the EU. That said, it is difficult to see what such a Treaty reference would add.

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Article 10 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights already states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Intergovernmental Conference

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the Intergovernmental Conference on a Future Treaty of the EU to begin work; and if he will make a statement. [98068]

Mr. MacShane: The timing of the next Intergovernmental Conference has not yet been confirmed. The Convention on the Future of Europe is due to present its results at the June 2003 European Council.

Malcolm Rennie/Brian Peters

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether his Department has made recent representations to the Indonesian Government about the need to co-operate fully with UN officials in connection with the investigation into the deaths of the two British newsmen. [98872]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We cannot provide details of what representations were made by HMG before June 1996 about the deaths of Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie because of the disproportionate costs involved in researching the answer.

Our Embassy in Jakarta reported on 24 October 1975 that five journalists from Australia had been killed during an attack on Fretilin forces in Balibo on 16 October 2003, and that the Australian Embassy had confirmed that two of the journalists, Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie, were British citizens.

On 30 August 2002, at the UK's instigation, the EU urged the Indonesian Attorney General to co-operate with the UN investigation into the death of Brian Peters and his colleagues. We will continue to raise this issue with the Indonesian authorities.

Online Sales/Purchases

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) products, (b) goods and (c) services were (i) bought and (ii) sold online by his Department in each of the last five years. [97465]

Mr. Rammell: This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost. The amount of fully online purchasing is limited, but for example we do currently buy some books, publications and technical supplies by this route. More generally we have increased

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the amount of business that is carried out in part by "e-procurement" methods and this will be further expanded when the FCO's new financial management system comes into operation later this year.

Overseas Students

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many overseas students were awarded FCO scholarships in each of the last five years; what their country of origin was; what the total cost was of the scheme for each year; and if he will make a statement. [98437]

Mr. MacShane: In 1998–99 2,196 overseas students were awarded FCO scholarships, at a cost of £39 million. In 1999–2000 2,300 scholarships were awarded at a cost of £40 million. In 2000–01 2,470 scholarships were awarded at a cost of £45 million. In 2001–02 2,510 scholarships were awarded at a cost of £46 million. In 2002–03 we expect to award 2,574 scholarships at a cost of £47 million.

These figures include scholars studying in the UK under the Chevening programme, the Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan, the Marshall scholarships and Atlantic Fellowships. The cost includes contributions from the FCO, other Whitehall Departments and devolved Administrations, the private sector, and the higher education institutions.

The scholars came from more than 150 countries, territories and regions. I will write to the hon. Member, with further information.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his Department's policy toward awarding scholarships to overseas students. [98438]

Mr. MacShane: The FCO scholarships programme consists of Chevening scholarships, a contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan, and Marshall scholarships and Atlantic Fellowships for US citizens. The FCO believes it is in the UK's interest to attract top graduates and young professionals from overseas to study in this country. These individuals will go on to be tomorrow's leaders, opinion formers and decision makers in their own countries.

The FCO is working with other Whitehall Departments and the Devolved Administrations, the private sector, and UK Higher Education Institutions to increase the number of Chevening scholarships as part of the Prime Minister's Initiative to increase the number of overseas students studying in the UK.

Palestine (EU Aid)

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the European Commission regarding allegations of EU aid to Palestinian territories being directed into funding terrorist activities; and if he will make a statement. [98035]

Mr. MacShane: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the to the hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr. Clappison) on 11 February 2003, Official Report, column 726W. The European Commission took part in the London meeting on Palestinian reform on 14

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January 2003 where issues of financial management were discussed. The European Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten, has welcomed the decision of the European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF on 5 February 2003 to investigate allegations of misuse of funds donated by the EU in the context of EU budgetary support to the Palestinian Authority.

UK Companies (Competitiveness)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his estimate is of the expenditure of his Department, in enhancing the competitiveness of UK companies abroad in the latest year for which information is available; what contribution to this spending was made by the companies which benefited; and if he will make a statement. [98434]

Mr. Rammell: Enhanced competitiveness of companies in the UK through overseas sales and investment is the objective of Trade Partners UK (TPUK), which is part of British Trade International. The latest available figures for TPUK funding are set out in the table.

£ million
Budget2001–02 TPUK Outturn
Programme
Expenditure61
Income-2
Administration costs
DTI28
FCO(22)136
Capital
DTI5
FCO1

(22) FCO administration costs are shown for the whole of BTI. The figure cannot be broken down between TPUK and Invest UK funding.

Note:

FCO admin spend for 2001–02 represents the net operating costs as set out in the FCO Expenditure Allocation Report 2001–02.


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