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4 Apr 1995 : Column WA11

Written Answers

Tuesday, 4th April 1995.

China: Arms Sales Embargo

Viscount Mersey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What equipment they consider is covered by their ban on arms sales to China.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): Since 7 June 1989 the United Kingdom has enforced an embargo on the sale to China of "weapons, and equipment which could be used for internal repression". The EU introduced a ban on arms sales to China on 26 June 1989 but the scope of that ban has, in the absence of agreement on a common interpretation, been left for national interpretation. In the interests of clarity we have decided that henceforward the embargo will include:

    lethal weapons such as machine guns, large calibre weapons, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles;

    specially designed components of the above, and ammunition;

    military aircraft and helicopters, vessels of war, armoured fighting vehicles and other such weapons platforms;

    any equipment which is likely to be used for internal repression.

All applications will be considered on a case by case basis in the light of these criteria as well as our usual criteria governing all defence exports.

EU: Forthcoming Council Business

Viscount Montgomery of Alamein asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The following meetings are planned:

    3–4 April: Culture/Media

    6 April: Fisheries

    7 April: Industry

    10–11 April: Foreign Affairs

The following subjects are likely to be discussed:

4 April: Culture Council

    European heritage and multimedia: draft resolution;

    Co-operation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe: draft resolution;

    Proposal for a decision establishing a support programme for artistic and cultural activities (KALEIDOSCOPE 2000): orientation debate;

    Proposal for a decision establishing a community support programme for the dissemination of literary, theatrical and reference works through translation and specialist training of literary translators (ARIANE): orientation debate;

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    Community support programme in the field of cultural heritage (RAPHAEL): information from the Commission.

6 April: Fisheries Council

    Total allowable catches for the Greenland Halibut;

    Objectives and Strategies for the period 1994 to 1997;

    Additional conditions for year to year management of total allowable catches and quotas;

    Technical conservation measures;

    (possible) Guide prices;

    (possible) Common marketing standards for shrimps, edible crabs and Norway lobsters;

    (possible) Tariff quotas for certain fishery products;

    (possible) Structural assistance—scale of premiums;

    (possible) Structural assistance—early retirement;

    Fisheries relations with Morocco.

7 April: Industry Council

    Industry and Competition—an oral presentation by the Commission on its interim report on competition policy in 1994;

    Industry and Research—a joint presentation by Commissioners Bangemann and Cresson;

    Industrial Co-operation with Central and Eastern Europe—discussion of Commission communication and adoption of Council Conclusions;

    Industrial Competitiveness—adoption of Council Conclusions on Commission communication on follow-up to previous Council Conclusions on Competitiveness;

    Hi-Technology Industries—adoption of Council Conclusions;

    Information Society—Commission report on G7 conference and follow-up to Bangemann report;

    Steel—Report on monitoring of state aid;

    Possible presentation of modification to aid code.

10–11 April: Foreign Affairs Council

    Adoption of the Agenda;

    Approval of the list of 'A' items;

    Resolutions adopted by the European Parliament at its Part-Sessions (Brussels, 28 February to 2 March, and Strasbourg, 13 to 17 March 1995);

    Preparation for the joint meeting with the Associated CEEs;

    Determination of the common position to be adopted for the first meeting of the Association Council with the Czech Republic;

    Determination of the common position to be adopted for the first meeting of the Association Council with Romania;

    (possible) Negotiating directives for the adaptation of the Europe agreements and free trade agreements with the Baltic countries, further to enlargement;

    Relations with Russia;

    Former Yugoslavia

    Relations with Croatia;

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    (possible) Stability Pact: Follow-up to the concluding conference;

    Nuclear non-proliferation: Preparation for the conference on the NPT;


    (possible) EU supervision of elections in the Palestinian territories;

    (possible) Union action concerning anti-personnel mines—Mediterranean policy;
a) Bilateral negotiations with Israel, Morocco and Tunisia; b) Preparation for the Euro-Mediterranean Conference: Adoption of the summary report;

    Relations with Malta
a) Action to be taken on the Commission report; b) Decision on signing the Fourth Financial Protocol;

    Relations with Cyprus

    —decision on signing the Fourth Financial Protocol;

    Relations with Latin America
a) (possible) Chile: Presentation by the Commission of its Assessment Report; b) Mexico: Strengthening of relations between the European Union and Mexico;

    (possible) Japan

    —Commission communication;

    Trade questions

    —establishment of the WTO and multilateral trade negotiations;

    Mid-term review of the Fourth ACP—EC Convention

    —8th EDF;

    (possible) South Africa;

    negotiating directives

    Council report on the functioning of the treaty on European Union;

    Transparency of Council proceedings.

Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    (1) Whether the Secretary of State for Defence, as sole Trustee of the Greenwich Hospital Estate, has decided to vacate all or parts of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, or is still thinking about it;

    (2) What professional advice the Secretary of State for Defence has taken on the matter e.g. from English Heritage or from the group chaired by Dame Jennifer Jenkins which recently reviewed Greenwich Park for the Department of National Heritage;

    (3) Whether they accept the Jenkins' Review statement that "the choice of users and terms of occupation for the Royal Naval College, the hospital and nurses home . . . are crucial in terms of the buildings themselves and their integral setting with the park", and if some of these buildings are being

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    "marketed on an international basis" and if so, on what terms and by whom;

    (4) Whether any comprehensive cost benefit analysis (not excluding the problem of the nuclear reactor) has been conducted, and if so whether it showed that the taxpayer, and not only the defence budget, would benefit from the transfer of the present uses to Camberley, given the national and international importance of this group of Grade 1 buildings, the maintenance of which in full and sympathetic use is a public requirement; and

    (5) Whether they will now, as proposed in the Jenkins review as its first recommendation, "put forward Greenwich—the riverside complex, observatory and park—as a suitable candidate for world heritage status".

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 30 March (H.L. Debates, col. WA 54) about our decision that the Joint Service Command and Staff College would be at Camberley, in which, inter alia, I addressed the future of the Royal Naval College Greenwich. This decision was taken on the basis of an investment appraisal which demonstrated the benefits to defence and to the taxpayer of establishing the Joint Service Staff College at Camberley.

In our work to determine a suitable occupant for the Royal Naval College, we sought professional advice from Building Design Partnership, a firm with experience in the field of listed buildings. We will continue to work closely with English Heritage, and we will keep the imaginative proposals made by Dame Jennifer Jenkins' Royal Parks Review Group very much in mind in coming to a conclusion.

Greenwich Hospital, the Crown Charity which owns the site, has sought expressions of interest for the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital, which has lain empty for some nine years, and the Devonport Nurses Home, which has been only partly occupied in recent years. The expressions of interest received are being considered in the context of the future of the whole site.

With regard to World Heritage status for the site, as my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage made clear in his speech on 21 March, Greenwich has previously been considered as a possible candidate for World Heritage status, but its candidacy will be reassessed in the light of recent events.

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