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23 Mar 1995 : Column WA79

Written Answers

Thursday 23rd March 1995

UN Convention Against Torture: UK Report

The Earl of Caithness asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they submitted to the United Nations their latest periodic report under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The United Kingdom's Second Report under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was today submitted to the United Nations. Copies of the report have also been placed in the Library.

Barristers' Fees from Legal Aid

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the number of barristers earning more than £200,000 annually from criminal legal aid; and what is their estimate of the number of barristers earning more than £200,000 annually from civil legal aid.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): It is estimated that four barristers received more than £200,000 in fees (excluding VAT and travelling expenses) from criminal legal aid in 1993–94, being the latest year for which figures are available. For civil legal aid, information is available only in respect of total payments made to barristers, and these will include VAT and travelling expenses in addition to counsel's fees. It is estimated that 12 barristers received payments of more than £200,000 in 1993–94.

Stipendiary Magistrates

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many stipendiary magistrates there were in England and Wales in (a) 1985 and (b) 1995; and how many new stipendiaries were appointed in each of the years from 1990 to 1994.

The Lord Chancellor: On 1 March 1985 there were 64 stipendiary magistrates in post (49 metropolitan and

23 Mar 1995 : Column WA80

15 provincial). At present there are 88 (52 metropolitan and 36 provincial). The number of new stipendiary posts in each of the years from 1990 to 1994 was as follows:

Year Metropolitan Provincial
1990 1
1991 8
1992 4
1993 2
1994 6

Nuclear Weapons Policy

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the refusal of nuclear weapon states to reduce their reliance on such weapons as Trident encourages non nuclear states to seek nuclear capability, and if so whether they will reconsider their policy on nuclear weapons.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): NATO has reduced its reliance on nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War, and this is reflected in the reduced size of the UK's nuclear deterrent. The real pressures for nuclear proliferation are likely to be generated by regional tensions; the dangers of such proliferation affect everyone, and can be best avoided through the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

EU Budget: Transfers of Appropriations

Lord Bruce of Donington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many proposals were put forward by the European Commission for transfers of appropriations from one chapter to another of the general budget for the financial years 1993 and 1994 (to date); how many of these proposals were agreed to by the budgetary authority without amendment; and what total sum (in £ sterling) was transferred in this way.

Lord Henley: The Commission proposed 26 such transfers in 1993, of which 23 were agreed without amendment by the budgetary authority. The total transferred was £1,671 million* in commitments and £2,048 million in payments. In 1994, there were 42 proposals, of which 34 were agreed unamended. The total transferred was £3,450 million* in commitments and £2,617 million in payments.

*A rate of £1=1.2528 ecu has been used for 1993 and £1=1.3243 for 1994.



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