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Iranian Civil Nuclear Facilities: Threats

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We have had no such discussions with the United States.

Mr. Afif Safieh

Lord Mayhew asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Our Embassy in Tel Aviv have raised the rejection of Mr. Safieh's application for family reunification with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We await their response.

NATO: Advanced Research Workshops

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What limitations if any are placed on the character of NATO Advance Research Workshops paid for by the NATO science programme budget, given that a recent such workshop was held in Tashkent on Critical Scientific Issues of the Aral Sea Basin: State of Knowledge and Future Research Needs, and what relevance this topic has for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Advanced research workshops are utilised by the NATO Science Committee's Outreach programme of scientific aid to central and eastern European countries. They bring together internationally renowned scientists and experts to discuss specific scientific problems which have arisen in former Warsaw Pact countries but have wider implications. The degradation of the Aral Sea basin is one such issue.

NATO Science Budget: UK Contribution

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the British taxpayer's contribution to the NATO science programme and whether the expenditure of money on all the programmes listed by NATO's Scientific Affairs Division in a recent advertisement in New Scientist have been specifically approved.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The UK pays 18.82 per cent. of the NATO science budget. For the financial year 1994–5 this amounted to £3,715,739. The recent New Scientist advertisement listed individual scientific meetings, rather than programmes. Each was approved specifically by the NATO Science Committee.

NATO: Science Programme

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why NATO is funding studies of the following topics: environmental and non-environmental determinants of the east-west life expectancy gap; regional approaches to water pollution in the environment; science cities; a comparative exploration of the structure and function of scientific technical growth centres; analytical use of fluorescent probes in oncology; bio-organic catalysis; the chemical physics of fullerenes 10 (and 5) years later; integrated assessment of global environmental change: science and policy; past and future rapid environmental changes: the spatial and evolutionary responses of terrestrial biota; biological magnet resonance: dynamics and the problem of recognition in biological macro-molecules; general relativity;

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    thermonuclear supernovi; evolutionary processes in binary stars; and psychopathy: theory, research and implications for society; among the 111 projects listed in the New Scientist advertisement.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: These activities take place as part of the NATO science programme. It was established in 1958 and remains the only co-operative international effort embodying multilateral government support for advancing the frontiers of science through high level basic research. Its remit encompasses all disciplines in the pure and applied sciences, including environmental and social science.

NATO: Intellectual Property

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the status of the intellectual property generated by these NATO activities.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: NATO publishes the proceedings of the courses and workshops it sponsors and retains the copyright for the material. Intellectual property arising from research facilitated by science programme awards remains the property of individuals and/or their institutions as dictated by individual contracts of employment and locally prevailing law.

NATO Research Projects: Scientists

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many individual scientists are engaged in these NATO research projects, and whether the United Kingdom's contribution to the relevant NATO budget is paid for out of the defence Vote.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Each year many thousands of scientists benefit. The UK contribution to the programme is paid for by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Education Low-Priced Books Scheme: Funding

Lord Stewartby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When it is proposed to announce the funding arrangements for the Educational Low-Priced Books Scheme for developing countries for the period commencing April 1995.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The 1995–96 budget for the Education Low Priced Books Scheme (ELBS) will be announced to the scheme administrators shortly.

Northern Ireland: Revenue from the EU

Lord Mulley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much of the revenues of Northern Ireland are received, directly or indirectly, from the European Union; and whether, on the present basis of assessment, this would be greater if (a) Northern Ireland was an independent state within the European Union; or (b) joined the Republic of Ireland.

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Baroness Denton of Wakefield): Under the single programming document, which was agreed on 29 July 1994, Northern Ireland will earn 1233 mecu (approximately £956 million) for the period 1994–1999. A further 125 mecu (approximately £97 million) will be earned from the Community initiatives during the same period. Northern Ireland will also benefit from the recently announced special package of EU assistance. The peace initiative programme has been allocated 300 mecu (approximately £233 million) over the next three years. Under the Commission's guidelines, up to 80 per cent. of the funding will be available for activities in Northern Ireland.

In addition to these direct sources of funding, it is estimated that £117 million will be earned in 1994–95 and about £139 million in 1995–96, mainly through the guarantee section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund. However, the bulk of guarantee section receipts are disbursed centrally and details of these payments are not maintained at regional level. Certain other small payments are made by the European Commission direct to recipients and are not passed through the United Kingdom Government.

The question of how much revenue Northern Ireland would receive from the European Union in the event of it becoming an independent State or joining the Republic of Ireland is purely hypothetical. If these circumstances arose it would be a matter for the EU to decide at that time what financial assistance could be made available.

*Exchange rate 1.29 ecu/£.

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Community Charge: Defaulters

Baroness Williams of Crosby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many warrants are currently outstanding for community charge defaulters.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): Information about the number of warrants currently outstanding for community charge defaulters is not collected centrally. This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost and effort.

MoD: Pictorial Records

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent progress has been made in preserving and cataloguing the pictorial records held by the Ministry of Defence, particularly nitrate based motion film.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): Clear instructions are now in place for the early selection, preservation and transfer of my Department's pictorial records to the appropriate places of deposit, principally the Imperial War Museum (IWM), who are responsible for cataloguing the material; all nitrate based motion film has been transferred to the IWM. Closer working arrangements have been developed with the IWM, and their officials now make regular visits to my department in connection with this work.

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