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2 May 1995 : Column WA107

Written Answers

Tuesday, 2nd May 1995.

Chinese Population Policy

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to their reply of 6 April (HL, WA34), whether they will publish in the Official Report or place in the Library of the House the information that Her Majesty's Government have been able to obtain from international organisations and the British Embassy in China regarding Chinese population policy.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): We have sought answers to the specific questions raised by my noble Friend (HL, WA34). If the figures requested become available we will place the information in the Libraries of the House.

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to their reply of 6 April (HL, WA34), whether they will publish in the Official Report or place in the Library of the House statements made by the British Government—other than observations on Petitions made by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs—condemning the implementation of the Chinese family planning programmes.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We continue, through statements in this House and elsewhere, to make clear our strong opposition to the coercion of individuals to practise family planning or any particular type of fertility regulation procedure, wherever this may occur. We will place in the Libraries of the House a copy of the Overseas Development Administration's document Beyond ICPD—The New Agenda, which sets out our views clearly.

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list the occasions during the last year when they attempted to influence Chinese population policies, and what was the outcome in each case.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We have continued to support international efforts to help all countries pursue humane family planning and reproductive health policies, including at the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo last September, and through regular dialogue with the United Nations Population Fund. We believe that these efforts have heightened awareness in China and elsewhere of the importance of high quality and non-coercive family planning programmes.

2 May 1995 : Column WA108

The Palestinians: UK Aid

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much of the £82 million of British aid pledged over three years for the Palestinians has so far been expended; and whether work has started on health and sewerage projects, through UNWRA's Peace Implementation Programme; and if not, when a start is expected.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: To date some £24.5 million of the £82 million we intend to provide has been disbursed. Most of our pledge will be channelled through the programmes of the European Community (EC) and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has responsibility for assisting Palestinian refugees. The EC is committed to providing 500 million ecu (about £400 million) in assistance to the Palestinians over five years. As at February 1995 it had disbursed 73 million ecu. In addition, the EC contributed 25 million ecu to UNRWA last year. Our share of EC aid is about one-sixth. Bilaterally, in 1994/95 we gave £6 million to UNRWA and spent a further £6 million on projects. We are currently appraising a health and sewerage project under UNRWA's Peace Implementation Plan.

Israeli Blockade of Southern Lebanon Ports

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Israel has ceased to blockade the ports of southern Lebanon, in accordance with the request made by the Foreign Secretary.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Israeli naval blockade of southern Lebanese ports continues.

Diplomatic Missions: Unpaid Parking Fines

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish figures recording the number of unpaid parking fines incurred by diplomatic missions in London during 1994.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: During 1994 the London diplomatic missions incurred a total of 3,613 unpaid parking fines, which is almost double the 1993 figure of 1,941. This increase, the first since 1986, occurred mainly in the second half of the year when parking in London was decriminalised, and responsibility (with the exception of main thoroughfares) was transferred from the Metropolitan Police to the 33 London Boroughs. This change also coincided with a campaign to reduce the amount of illegal parking in London which resulted in an increase in the number of parking tickets issued to the public, including the diplomatic corps. The attached table shows only Missions which have 11 or more fines outstanding.

2 May 1995 : Column WA109

Unpaid Parking Fines

Diplomatic Mission 1994 1993
United Arab Emirates 470 51
Angola 404 30
Qatar 353 28
Saudi Arabia 125 60
Nigeria 118 91
India 79 71
Ghana 76 35
Bulgaria 66 34
Oman 63 45
Pakistan 61 54
France 58 25
Sudan 56 39
Gabon 55 23
Jordan 52 50
Egypt 50 35
Bangladesh 49 59
Hungary 47 50
Bahrain 46 29
Kuwait 45 21
Côte D'Ivoire 40 21
Indonesia 37 9
Malaysia 37 15
Brunei 35 22
Poland 35 27
Morocco 34 31
Israel 33 27
Greece 32 46
Thailand 32 32
Spain 31 48
Cuba 31 20
Russia 31 20
Romania 30 25
Cyprus 29 21
Tanzania 28 40
Turkey 27 13
South Africa 24 2
Algeria 24 17
Uganda 24 25
Malawi 24 18
Italy 23 21
United States 22 3
Germany 22 51
Zimbabwe 21 15
Zambia 20 45
Tunisia 20 28
Cameroon 20 35
Philippines 19 17
Portugal 19 12
Afghanistan 19 11
Zaire 18 8
Sierra Leone 17 8
Lesotho 14 11
Japan 14 5
China 13 14
Syria 13 9
Croatia 13 0
Barbados 13 19
Kenya 13 7
Fiji 12 5
Iran 12 7
Iceland 12 3
Botswana 12 6
Uruguay 12 23
Ethiopia 11 2
Peru 11 11
Czech Rep 11 6
International Organisations
EBRD 19 11
IMO 18 0
COCOA 15 12
Commonwealth SEC 11 17

2 May 1995 : Column WA110

Diplomats: Withdrawal from Post

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many serious offences were allegedly committed in 1994 by persons entitled to diplomatic immunity; and how many foreign diplomats or members of their families were withdrawn from their posts in Britain in the past year as a result of alleged offences.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Twenty-five alleged serious offences by persons entitled to diplomatic immunity were drawn to the attention of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1994. "Serious offences" are defined in accordance with the report to the Foreign Affairs Committee The Abuse of Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges (1985) as offences which fall into the category which in certain circumstances attract a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment or more: the majority involved drinking and driving and shoplifting.

Six diplomats or members of their families were withdrawn from post in Britain as a result of alleged offences, compared with one the previous year.

European Council: Forthcoming Meetings

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will detail the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The following meetings are planned:


    May 17: Health


    May 22: ECOFIN


    May 29: Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) Agriculture


    May 30: FAC Agriculture

The following subjects are likely to be discussed:


    May 17: HEALTH

No formal agenda is available.

The following subjects may be discussed:


    — Europe Against Cancer Programme


    — Health Promotion Programme



    — Europe Against Aids Programme


    — Drugs Programme


    May 22: ECOFIN

Provisional agenda:


    — Regulations in the statistical field (consumer price index, revision of systems of national and regional accounts, Community action in the statistical field).


    — Cross-border payments directive.


    — Trans-European Networks financing.

The meeting will be followed by a Joint Council with Central and Eastern European Finance Ministers.

2 May 1995 : Column WA111


    May 29,30: FAC

Agenda not yet available


    May 29,30: AGRICULTURE


    — Agrimonetary (possible)


    — Extraordinary set-aside penalties


    — Price fixing


    — Set-aside bio-mass (possible)


    — Banana quotas for new Member States


    — Reform of the fruit and vegetable regime (possible)


    — Animal welfare (possible)


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