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5 Jun 1995 : Column WA83

Written Answers

Monday, 5th June 1995.

Organophosphorus Sheep Dips

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether all the organophosphate compounds in licensed sheep dips sold in the United Kingdom have passed the neurotoxicity screening tests currently required by EC Regulations.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): There are two organophosphate compounds used in products authorised in the UK as sheep dips. Reviews of the products are being undertaken by the Veterinary Products Committee in accordance with Directive 81/852/EEC (as amended) and guidelines published by the European Commission. These include a requirement for data to assess any risk which might result from exposure to the products.

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in view of the known neurotoxic and neuropsychological effects of organophosphate compounds, they will forthwith suspend the sale of any organophosphate based sheep dips which have either not passed the neurotoxicity screening tests or have not yet been tested; and whether they will give the widest publicity to the information available to them and the action which they propose to take in this respect.

Earl Howe: Following a review of OP dips by the Veterinary Products Committee in 1993, the VPC concluded there was no scientific evidence for a ban. The VPC is continuing its review of OP-containing products and considers any new relevant information. Ministers' decisions following VPC advice on such reviews are made public.

Gas Act 1986: Authorised Persons

Lord Cochrane of Cults asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many authorisations for Visiting Forces becoming or ceasing to be authorised persons for the purposes of the Gas Act 1986 are currently in force; when this figure last increased; and when it last decreased.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Earl Ferrers): There are currently six such authorisations in force. The last of these was issued on 10 August 1994. The last decrease in numbers from six to five occurred on 17 August 1993 with the natural expiry of an authorisation.

Lord Cochrane of Cults asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much the Consolidated Fund has received or repaid from the accounts of Visiting Forces

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    becoming or ceasing to be authorised persons for the purposes of the Gas Act 1986, in each calendar year since 1992.

Earl Ferrers: The amounts received are as follows:


    1990: £300.74


    1991: £390.00


    1992: £640.00


    1993: nil


    1994: nil 1

1 The authorisation of 10 August 1994 was issued free of charge.

British Military Facilities: Use by US in Emergency

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have discussed with the United States Government co-operation with it in its intended capability to fight two near simultaneous wars, and whether the facilities in the United Kingdom and elsewhere within British sovereign areas currently used by the United States are designated for use on such occasions, and if so under what conditions.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): Although Her Majesty's Government discusses a whole range of operational matters with the United States Government, these remain confidential. Under long-standing arrangements, the use of our military facilities by the United States in an emergency would be a matter for joint decision by the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States in the light of the circumstances prevailing at the time.

Nurses and Midwives: Pay

Lord Molloy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of the increasing dissatisfaction and discontent being expressed by nurses and midwives regarding their plans to introduce performance related pay, as revealed by UNISON's Gallup survey, whether they will seek discussions with UNISON in an endeavour to resolve the worries of staff.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The Government have no plans to introduce individual performance related pay for nurses and midwives. We remain, as always, ready to talk with UNISONs about matters of concern.

Abortion Procedure

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the brain suction abortion procedure, practised in certain other countries, is in use in the United Kingdom or whether there are any plans for its introduction.

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Baroness Cumberlege: We are not aware of this procedure being used in the United Kingdom. The method of termination is a matter for clinicians to decide in consultation with the patient.

NHS Consultants: Distinction Awards

Baroness Jeger asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much has been paid in merit awards to NHS consultants in the last financial year for which figures are available compared to the previous year; who decides these awards; and how long do they last.

Baroness Cumberlege: Data on the precise costs of distinction awards paid to consultants in Great Britain in recent years are not available from financial returns. The estimated total cost of awards for 1994/95 is £109 million and in 1993/94 was £104 million. Awards are decided by the Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards. All awards granted since 1989 are subject to a five-yearly review.

Cyprus: Settlement Prospects

Baroness Jeger asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made towards a settlement of the situation in Cyprus.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): Exploratory discussions between representatives of the two communities in Cyprus took place in London on 21–23 May. We are encouraging the two leaders to approach future negotiations positively and flexibly.

We continue to give our active support to the UN Secretary-General's Mission of Good Offices, which we believe offers the best hope for a just and lasting solution.

Angola: Mercenaries

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will make representations to the Angolan Government about their continued employment of 3,000 mercenaries provided by Executive Outcomes, contrary to the Lusaka Protocol, at a cost reported in South African papers to be 40 million dollars.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We have called in the Security Council for the prompt departure of mercenaries from Angola in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol. We take every opportunity to urge the signatories to respect all the provisions of the protocol.

Turkey: Human Rights

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the European Union will take any steps to secure the release of 101 writers and journalists now serving prison sentences in Turkey, according

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    to international PEN, and to discuss with the Turkish Government possible amendments to their Anti-Terror Law which would help to bring them into conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights as regards freedom of expression.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The European Union has registered its concerns with the Turkish Government about curbs on freedom of expression on many occasions. It did so recently during the European Union's Association Council with Turkey on 6 March; during the visit of troika Foreign Ministers to Turkey on 23 March; and in a public statement on 9 May. We expect the European Union to continue to maintain pressure on Turkey over democratisation and human rights.

Gaza: Port Reconstruction

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their information about progress in reconstructing the port of Gaza; and whether this has been delayed by closures of the borders with Egypt and Israel.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Tripartite Action Plan agreed at April's Ad Hoc Liaison Committee commits the Israelis and the Palestinians to agree on measures to promote the establishment of a harbour for the Gaza Strip. Negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians on the details of a deep water port for the Gaza Strip are continuing, and feasibility studies are still ongoing. This project has not been affected by closures since construction has not started.

European Convention on Human Rights: Breaches

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

    Whether findings by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights were included in the calculation which led to the "league table" positions referred to by Baroness Blatch on 25 January (HL Deb., col. 1166) and 29 March (HL Deb., col. 1697); and if not, whether they will state "league table" positions on the basis of those findings as well as the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The "league table" positions referred to by my noble friend Lady Blatch on 25 January and 29 March were calculated on the basis of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights although, under Article 54 of the Convention, the execution of these judgments would have passed through the Committee of Ministers.

Figures published by the Council of Europe for findings of violations by the Committee of Ministers under Article 32 of the Convention exclude those for cases where a violation has been found by the Committee but has not yet been remedied by the

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country concerned, and were not therefore considered sufficiently representative for use as a basis for calculation.

Statistics based on further information supplied by the Council of Europe, including both published findings of violations by the Committee of Ministers and findings of violations by the committee where

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measures have yet to be taken by the relevant country, have been placed in the Library.

I regret that there was an error in the original information in respect of Switzerland supplied by the Council of Europe, and hence in the material placed in the Library on 9 May. This does not however, alter the position of Switzerland in the table. A corrected table has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

ECHR Cases: Comparative table of states' records (based on judgments by European Court of Human Rights and Decisions of the Committee of Ministers)

State Party Population Number of violations (at 10.5.95) Committee of Ministers 2 Date of acceptance of Art. 25 Number of years of acceptance of Art. 25 Violations per 100,000 at population per annum Position
Austria 8,000,000 28 25 3.9.58 37 0.0179504 6
Belgium 10,054,559 20 9 5.7.55 40 0.007211 12
Bulgaria 8,982,000 0 0 7.9.92 3 0
Cyprus 725,000 1 0 1.1.89 6 0.0229885 3
Czech Rep 10,302,000 0 0 0
Denmark 5,180,614 2 1 13.4.53 42 0.0013787 17
Finland 5,029,000 1 1 10.5.90 5 0.0079538 10
France 56,893,000 30 51 2.10.81 14 0.0101694 8
Germany 81,075,000 11 10 5.7.55 40 0.0006475 19
Greece 10,256,464 6 2 20.11.85 10 0.0078 11
Hungary 10,278,000 0 0 5.11.92 3 0
Iceland 264,922 2 0 29.3.55 40 0.0188734 5
Ireland 3,525,719 6 0 25.2.53 42 0.0040518 15
Italy 57,052,000 83 347 1.8.73 22 0.34259 1
Liechtenstein 29,868 0 0 8.9.82 13 0
Luxembourg 395,200 0 0 28.4.58 37 0
Malta 366,541 1 0 1.5.87 8 0.341064 2
Netherlands 15,240,000 23 10 28.6.60 35 0.0061867 13
Norway 4,299,167 1 1 10.12.55 40 0.001163 18
Poland 38,300,000 0 0 1.5.93 2 0
Portugal 9,862,700 6 26 9.11.78 17 0.0190855 4
Romania 22,760,449 0 0 20.6.94 1 0
San Marino 24,000 0 0 22.3.89 6 0
Slovakia 5,274,335 0 0 0
Slovenia 2,020,000 0 0 20.6.94 1 0
Spain 38,872,268 7 2 1.7.81 14 0.0016537 16
Sweden 8,635,000 21 16 4.2.52 43 0.0099648 9
Switzerland 6,833,750 14 5 28.11.74 21 0.0132396 7
Turkey 60,777,000 0 2 28.1.87 8 0.004113 20
United Kingdom 56,467,000 35 35 14.1.66 29 0.0042746 14

(1795.2")Figures include findings of violations by the Committee of Ministers where measures have yet to be taken by the relevant State Party.


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ECHR Violations: Comparative table of states' records (based on Judgments of European Court of Human Rights)

State Party Population Number of violations found by court (at 29.3.95) Date of acceptance of Art. 25 Number of years of acceptance of Art. 25 Violations per 100,000 at population per annum Position
Austria 8,000,000 27 3.9.58 37 0.009121 5
Belgium 10,054,559 20 5.7.55 40 0.00475 9
Bulgaria 8,982,000 0 7.9.92 3 0
Cyprus 725,000 1 1.1.89 6 0.0216 2
Czech Rep 10,302,000 0 0
Denmark 5,180,614 2 13.4.53 42 0.00071 17
Finland 5,029,000 1 10.5.90 5 0.0020 15
France 56,893,000 29 2.10.81 14 0.0036409 12
Germany 81,075,000 11 5.7.55 40 0.00025 19
Greece 10,256,464 6 20.11.85 10 0.00585 7
Hungary 10,278,000 0 5.11.92 3 0
Iceland 264,922 2 29.3.55 40 0.01875 3
Ireland 3,525,719 6 25.2.53 42 0.0040518 11
Italy 57,052,000 82 1.8.73 22 0.0063636 6
Liechtenstein 29,868 0 8.9.82 13 0
Luxembourg 395,200 0 28.4.58 37 0
Malta 366,541 1 1.5.87 8 0.03375 1
Netherlands 15,240,000 23 28.6.60 35 0.004311 10
Norway 4,299,167 1 10.12.55 40 0.0005 18
Poland 38,300,000 0 1.5.93 2 0
Portugal 9,862,700 6 9.11.78 17 0.0035294 13
Romania 22,760,449 0 20.6.94 1 0
San Marino 24,000 0 22.3.89 6 0
Slovakia 5,274,335 0 0
Slovenia 2,020,000 0 20.6.94 1 0
Spain 38,872,268 7 1.7.81 14 0.0012862 16
Sweden 8,635,000 21 4.2.52 43 0.0055813 8
Switzerland 6,833,750 14 28.11.74 21 0.0095238 4
Turkey 60,777,000 0 28.1.87 8 0
United Kingdom 56,467,000 35 14.1.66 29 0.0021373 14

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