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18 Apr 1995 : Column WA43

Written Answers

Tuesday 18th April 1995

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Negotiations

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress is being made in the Geneva negotiations for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and whether a timetable has been agreed.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The negotiations on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty resumed on 30 January. We hope that sufficient progress will have been made to enable a new draft text to be produced before the Conference on Disarmament adjourns in mid-April. Many states share our commitment to the early conclusion of a treaty, but no timetable has been agreed.

Council of Europe and WEU: UK Delegation Activities

Lord Finsberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will place in the Library a copy of the Information Bulletin on the activities of the United Kingdom delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly of Western European Union for the period July 1994 to February 1995.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Yes.

European Court of Human Rights: Cases Pending

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cases are pending before the European Court of Human Rights (a) against the United Kingdom, and (b) against each of the other Contracting States.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: As of 3 April 1995, 16 cases were pending before the European Court of Human Rights against the United Kingdom. Other cases pending are as follows:


    Austria 12, Belgium 3, Finland 1, France 15, Germany 1, Greece 5, Italy 22, Luxembourg 1, Netherlands 5, Norway 2, Portugal 2, Spain 1, Sweden 1, and Turkey 4.

European Court of Human Rights: Findings of Convention Breaches

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the total number of findings of breaches of the European Convention of Human Rights made by the European Court of Human Rights against the United Kingdom, France and Germany respectively.

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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights are published by the court and are available to the public. The statistics concerning other member states (which are obtainable from the Council of Europe) do not identify how many breaches of the convention are found in each case. It would take a disproportionate amount of time for the government to extract this information from the various publications.

I refer the noble Lord to my answer to his Question about the number of cases against each State Party where one or more breaches of the convention have been found.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the total number of cases in which the European Court of Human Rights has found at least one breach of the European Convention on Human Rights by the United Kingdom and each of the other Contracting States.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The total number of cases as of 3 April 1995 in which the European Court of Human Rights has found at least one breach of the European Convention on Human Rights for Contracting States is as follows:


    Austria 27, Belgium 20, Cyprus 1, Denmark 2, Finland 1, France 29, Germany 11, Greece 6,

Iceland 2, Ireland 6, Italy 82, Malta 1, Netherlands 23, Norway 1, Portugal 6, Spain 7, Sweden 21, Switzerland 14, and United Kingdom 35.

The court has not found breaches in respect of the other Contracting Parties.

Turkey: Anglo/German Consultation

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will consult the Government of Germany before receiving the Deputy Premier or any other Minister from Turkey, and whether in all official exchanges with Turkey, they will emphasise the need for political solutions to the longstanding Kurdish question.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We are in regular contact with the German Government, at both ministerial and official level, on matters relating to Turkey. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary discussed Turkey with the German Foreign Minister, Herr Kinkel, when they met in Bonn on 31 March.

We frequently make clear to the Turkish Government at all levels our view that the conflict in the south east of Turkey must be settled within the rule of law and with due respect for human rights; we have repeatedly advised the Turks to seek a political rather than a military solution.

Public Sector: Trades Union Status

Lord Molloy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in their Answer on 30 March (WA 50) that "The status which public sector managements

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    afford to trade unions is a matter for them", the word "them" refers to management or to the unions; and, in either case, whether the Answer means that Her Majesty's Government have no role to play in negotiations between public sector management and unions.

Lord Inglewood: It is for individual public sector managements to determine the status they afford to trade unions. The Government have no direct role in the negotiations between public sector managements and unions, except where they are themselves the employer or where the machinery for determining pay makes provision for the involvement of the government.

Lloyd's: Solvency Assessment

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On what date they most recently concluded that Lloyd's of London was solvent and by what date they expect to complete their next assessment of the solvency of Lloyd's.

Lord Inglewood: Lloyd's solvency returns, as required by the Insurance Companies Act 1982, for the year ended 31 December 1993, were delivered to the Department on 2 September 1994—in line with the normal timetable. Initial scrutiny of the key documents, particularly the main forms of the statement of business required by Section 86 of the Act, was completed satisfactorily very shortly afterwards. Complete scrutiny of the whole return, including the large volume of documents required by Section 83, was completed satisfactorily later in the autumn. It is expected that a similar timetable will be followed in relation to the year ended 31 December 1994.

Irish Box: Controlling Jurisdictions

Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of the Irish Box lies in British waters and what percentage lies in Irish waters.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): It is estimated that 38 per cent. of the waters within the Irish Box are under the jurisdiction of the UK and 62 per cent. are under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland.

Israel: Projected Naval Exercises

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any information about the naval exercises off the coast of North Africa announced by the Israeli authorities; whether it is the case that forces under the command of the NATO Southern Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Leighton Smith, are to take part in these exercises; whether the Royal Navy or any other NATO forces (other than those from the

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    United States of America) are to take part; and if so, with what intentions.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): We are aware of these exercises, which do not involve UK forces or forces under NATO command.

US Sixth Fleet: Port Arrangements

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is the case that a "secondary permanent port" for US Sixth Fleet ships has been established in Haifa; and if so, what are the implications for NATO in the Mediterranean area.

Lord Henley: This is matter for the governments concerned.

Dead Bodies: Responsibility for Disposal

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On whom the responsibility for disposing of dead bodies rests when no relative is able or willing to undertake the costs of a funeral.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 places a duty on a local authority to cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who has died or been found dead in their area, in any case where it appears to the authority that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been made.

Turkish Nationals: Asylum Applications

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish a table showing the number of applications for asylum received, the number granted, the number given exceptional leave to remain and the number rejected in respect of citizens of Turkey in each of the five years 1990 to 1994 respectively, and the number of applications outstanding at the end of each of those years.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The information requested is provided in the table.

Decisions on applications for asylum(1) in the United Kingdom from Turkish nationals, excluding dependants, 1990 to 1994
Number of principal applicants

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
Asylum applications(1) 1,590 2,110 1,865 1,480 2,045
Total decisions(1),(1) 980 370 2,640 1,905 1,145
Recognised as a refugee and granted asylum 245 90 460 340 90
Not recognised as a refugee but granted exceptional leave to remain(1) 675 200 1,535 855 55
Total refusals(1) 60 80 645 710 1,000
—Refused asylum and ELR after full consideration 150 485 775
—Refused on safe third country grounds 90 110 80
—Refused under para. 340 of the Immigration Rules(1) 405 115 150
Applications outstanding at the end of the year(1) 2,360 4,050 3,270 2,725 3,545

(1) Provisional figures rounded to the nearest 5.

(1) Figures exclude information on applications made overseas.

(1) Decisions do not necessarily relate to applications made in the same year.

(1) Usually granted for a year in the first instance, subject then to further review.

(1) A breakdown of refusals is not available for 1991 and earlier years.

(1) Para. 180F prior to 1 October 1994, for failure to provide evidence to support the asylum claim within a reasonable period.

(1) Figures are maxima which overstate the true situation prior to 1992 due to the under-recording of decisions on the system.


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Dangerous Dogs Act 1991: Police Powers

Lord Houghton of Sowerby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the precise powers of the police under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and to whom they are accountable for holding dogs for months after their detention without any charge being made.

Baroness Blatch: Section 5(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 empowers a constable to seize and detain any dog in respect of which it appears to him that an offence under Sections 1 or 3 of the Act may have been committed.

Additionally, Section 5(2) gives powers to justices of the peace (and sheriffs in Scotland) to issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter premises and to search for and seize any dog or other thing which is evidence of the commission of an offence under the Act.

The exercise of powers under the Dangerous Dogs Act, as with all police powers, is the responsibility of the chief officer of the force concerned.



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