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21 Feb 1995 : Column WA61

Written Answers

Tuesday 21st February 1995

HIV/AIDS: Prevention Strategy

Lord Kilmarnock asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which United Kingdom based non-governmental organisations receiving funding from the Overseas Development Administration include the distribution of condoms as part of their prevention strategy to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): ODA funded United Kingdom based non-governmental organisations which include the distribution of condoms as part of their prevention strategy to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS are:


    Action Aid


    Africa Now


    Appropriate Health Resources and Technology Action Group (AHRTAG)


    Associated Country Women of the World


    CARE


    Christian Aid


    International Childcare Trust


    Marie Stopes International


    OXFAM


    Plan


    Population Concern


    Save the Children Fund


    Tear Fund


    United Kingdom Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific


    International HIV/AIDS Alliance


    International Planned Parenthood Federation

Royal Marines

The Earl of Mar and Kellie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any plans to reduce the complement of the Royal Marines.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): There is no target or ceiling for the future strength of the Royal Marines and manpower will continue to be provided to meet requirements. It is anticipated, however, that rationalisation of the Royal Marines estate could result in some reductions. My department is at present reviewing the future requirement for the Royal Marines Reserve, but no decisions on its future size and shape have yet been taken. Any proposals which are accepted in principle by Ministers would then be subject to a period of consultation, during which all interested parties would be offered the opportunity to comment.

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Former UK (Armed Forces) Officers: Employment in Defence Field

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Lord Henley's Answer of Thursday 15 December (H.L. Deb.; col. WA 141) to the effect that the Ministry of Defence keeps no record of Armed Forces officers who have taken up appointments with companies in the defence industry means that they do not monitor in any way whether officers or whether retired officials abide by the Official Secrets Act and any restrictions "which the Department may have placed on their application for employment with the prospective employer" (H.L. Deb., 15 December, col. WA 140).

Lord Henley: I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 30 January (H.L. Debates, col. WA 99).

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, further to Lord Henley's written Answer of 30 January (H.L. Deb., col. WA 139) that "Neither the Official Secrets Acts nor the rules of acceptance of outside appointments require the department to monitor whether officials abide by their duties under the Acts, or by restrictions imposed on their applications for outside employment", such records are kept anywhere.

Lord Henley: No monitoring is undertaken and no records are kept anywhere.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Lord Henley's statement (H.L. Deb., 8 February col. WA 12) that former Ministry of Defence personnel have applied to join the United States manufacturers of Tomahawk missiles, which Her Majesty's Government are considering buying, yet Her Majesty's Government "maintain no record of whether any individual has joined either company" displays appropriate concern for the Official Secrets Acts by which those individuals presumably continue to be bound.

Lord Henley: Yes.

Rail Network: 1995/96 Investment

Lord Clinton-Davis asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the light of Railtrack's decision to spend £100 million more than was originally estimated to adapt the rail network north and west of London to allow the passage of Channel Tunnel trains, they have any plans to reduce government investment in other parts of the railway infrastructure.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): It is not the case that the cost of adapting the rail network north and west of London is more than estimated when financial provision for the railway was announced in the Unified Budget last November. The external finance limit will allow Railtrack to invest £625 million in 1995/96, which is sufficient to meet the needs of both

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international and domestic services. Investment in domestic services is expected to increase next year in real terms.

Channel Tunnel: Freight Train Services

Lord Sefton of Garston asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list the depots in the United Kingdom from which freight trains are going direct to the Continent via the Channel Tunnel; and how many trains have gone from each depot in the last two months.

Viscount Goschen: British Rail's European intermodal services via the Channel Tunnel operate from five UK terminals; Landor Street (Birmingham), Mossend (Glasgow), Seaforth (Liverpool), Willesden (London), and Trafford Park (Manchester). The scheduled number of trains currently operating from each of these terminals is as follows:


    Landor Street: 10 per week.


    Mossend: 15 per week.


    Seaforth: 5 per week.


    Willesden: 24 per week.


    Trafford Park: 10 per week.

Trains from each terminal are marshalled at Wembley Train Operating Centre to form longer trains. The number of intermodal trains operating via the tunnel is approximately 45 per week in each direction.

In addition, there are about 10 car transporter trains per week operating via the tunnel between car manufacturing plants in the UK and the Continent.

Abnormal Loads on Motorways: Escorts

Lord Mason of Barnsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proposals have been submitted to them by the Association of Chief Police Officers for reducing the scale of police manpower in escorting abnormal loads on motorways, and whether they and the association have agreed to develop proposals to reduce police manpower on these operations; and

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    What representations have been received from local authority associations and the public to limit the movement of abnormal loads on the motorways to night time only; and what responses have been made to these representations.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The Association of Chief Police Officers has proposed that the scale of police manpower used in escorting abnormal loads on motorways could be reduced if escorting on these roads and linked dual carriageways, subject to loads not exceeding certain weight and/or dimensional criteria, were carried out by suitably qualified private escorts. The Government and the association are examining this proposal in consultation with the road haulage industry authority associations. A Police Community Liaison Committee has suggested that the movement of abnormal loads on motorways should be limited to night time only, and a few similar letters have been received from members of the public. The response given was that chief officers of police have been encouraged by their association to provide escorts at night, but this will not always be practicable due to logistical and safety factors.

Waste Incinerator Releases: Dioxins

Lord Molloy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will arrange for inspections to be undertaken into alleged high levels of cancer-causing dioxins from waste incinerators in towns across Britain and if high levels are discovered what action they will take.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater): Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution for England and Wales and Her Majesty's Industrial Pollution Inspectorate for Scotland authorise waste incineration processes under Part 1 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Integrated Pollution Control). The conditions contained within an authorisation are enforced via a combination of regular monitoring and inspections. Should high levels of dioxins be detected in releases from waste incinerators—ie., in excess of those specified in the authorisations—then appropriate action would be taken to ensure that releases are within authorised limits.



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