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Lord Inglewood: The continued division of families in Korea is a matter for profound regret. We urge the North Korean authorities to resume their dialogue with the government of the Republic of Korea. Such a dialogue offers the best prospects for enabling families to be reunited and for bringing long term peace to the Korean peninsula.
Lord Inglewood: On 12 May we supported UN Security Council Resolution 993, which expressed concern at recent attacks on civilians in the Gali region and called on the parties to the conflict in Abkhazia to improve their co-operation with UNOMIG and the CIS peackeeping force in order to provide a secure environment for the return of refugees and displaced persons.
We have noted the noble Lord's proposals for training and equipment for local militia forces, but consider that the first essential is for all parties to demonstrate the political will to reach a lasting settlement, and for the Abkhaz side to remove obstacles to the return of refugees and displaced persons.
Lord Inglewood: The figures quoted in the Question included underwriting and investment results together with the contribution made by brokers. If this last item were to be excluded, Lloyd's contribution to the UK balance of payments in the past 10 years (comprising the net underwriting result (premiums less claims less overseas expenses) and earnings on underwriters' investments overseas) would vary between a deficit of £112 million and a surplus of £1,674 million. However, as my right honourable friend the President of the Board of Trade indicated in the letter from which the noble Lord has taken the figures, these data do not represent annual performance exactly because, in the nature of insurance business, claims may be paid some months or years after the corresponding premium income was received.
Lord Inglewood: The issue of operator safety for sheep farmers is much wider than simply wearing the recommended protective clothing. The Government's guidance in their free leaflet for farmers sets out what measures are appropriate to prevent or adequately to control exposure to dips. Those include dipping only when necessary; and, where dips have to be used, planning carefully the design and siting of the facilities, using appropriate engineering controls; and, where protective clothing becomes heavily contaminated, washing and putting on clean clothes.
The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Earl Ferrers): Decommissioning of nuclear power stations is a matter for the operator, taking account of the requirements of the regulatory authorities. This includes details of timing, costs and operational matters.
How many (a) wholesalers and (b) companies took part in the survey to ascertain the average discounts given to dispensing doctors for pharmaceutical services and appliances purchased; whether participation took place in every case with the permission of the doctors concerned; what was the average discount given by (a) wholesalers and (b) companies; what proportion of purchases by doctors were from (a) wholesalers and (b) companies and whether these proportions were taken into account; and how many (a) wholesalers and (b) companies stated that they gave more than 14.2 per cent. discount on purchases.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The enquiry into levels of discount which dispensing doctors obtain from suppliers of drugs and appliances was carried out in 199394 on behalf of the British Medical Association and the Health Departments. Three hundred practices in England, Scotland and Wales were included in the sample, of which 139 consented to the disclosure of information on a confidential basis. As a result enquiries were made of 108 suppliers. The survey established a range of discounts for individual dispensing practices in England and Wales from zero to 14.2 per cent., with an average of 8.4 per cent. Some 95 per cent. of all purchases were made from wholesalers, but no further details of the respective rates of discount offered by different types of supplier are available. The methodology used for the survey itself and to establish the new scale rate was agreed with the General Medical Services Committee of the
Baroness Cumberlege: The recent revision in the discount scale rates was the first since 1984 and was based on data collected independently on behalf of the British Medical Association and the Health Departments. It is government policy to reimburse the acquisition costs of medicines purchased by dispensing doctors; the new discount scale is designed to do this. The Government have no evidence that implementation of the revised discount rates will threaten in any way the provision of general medical services in rural areas.
The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne): The Government organised eight main events over the weekend of 68 May: the Opening Ceremony in Hyde Park on 6 May, a Reception before the Guildhall Banquet on 6 May, a Service of Thanksgiving in St. Paul's Cathedral and the Heads of State Ceremony in Hyde Park on 7 May, the VE Night Concert in Hyde Park on the evening of Monday 8 May, a Service of Thanksgiving in St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast on 7 May, a Service of Thanksgiving in Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff on 8 May and a Service of Thanksgiving in St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh on 8 May. Members of Her Majesty's Government and spokesmen of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition were invited as follows:
|Event||Government members||Opposition spokesmen|
|St. Paul's Service||21||1|
|Heads of State Ceremony||20||1|
|VE Night Party||17||5|
|Service of Thanksgiving Belfast||1||1|
|Service of Thanksgiving Cardiff||4||16|
|Service of Thanksgiving Edinburgh||9||8|
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