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Government Powers during Election Period

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne): During the period of a general election a government retains its responsibility to govern until such time as it loses its majority and resigns. However, by long-standing convention, governments restrict themselves to essential business during this period.

It is never acceptable, during an election period or at any other time, for public funds to be used for party political purposes, as distinct from the legitimate presentation of government policies and decisions.

Southend Pier

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Viscount Astor): The Government have no detailed information on the extent of the damage, but I understand that it was confined to the landward end of the pier. I understand that Southend Borough Council, which owns the pier, has insurance cover against fire damage.

Rotherhithe Tunnel: Listed Building Consent Application by London Underground

Lord Howie of Troon asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Earl of Lindsay: Very careful consideration is currently being given to whether the application should be called in for determination by Her Majesty's Government. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to comment on whether a public inquiry should be held.

European Commission: Special Areas of Conservation

The Earl of Swinton asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Earl of Lindsay: Following extensive local and national public consultation launched on 31 March, a first list of 136 candidate Special Areas of Conservation was sent on 20 June 1995 to the European Commission.

This list covers only sites on land and those which are already SSSIs. Consultation on possible marine sites will continue until 22 June.

The Secretary of State for the Environment will announce the submission of a further tranche of sites to the Commission as soon as points raised in the consultation exercise have been fully considered and resolved.

A number of organisations have suggested additions to the list. These suggestions will be fully considered in accordance with the approach to site selection applied to the current list of possible sites and outlined in Section 3 of A list of possible Special Areas of Consultation in the UK, which was published on 31 March and placed in the Libraries. If the nature conservation agencies, through the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, advise that any of these additions qualify as possible SACs, they will be published for consultation in due course. As indicated in my written reply to my honourable friend the Member for Eastbourne on 31 March, there will also be consultation on those sites proposed for certain habitats types and species where it is necessary first to complete further SSSI notifications or on which additional scientific information is being sought.

The list of sites which has been sent to the Commission is as follows:

Amat Woods Scotland
Ardmeanach Scotland
Ballynahone Bog N Ireland
Barry Links Scotland
Beer Quarry and Caves England
Benacre to Easter Bavents Lagoons England
Berwyn Wales
Birklands and Bilhaugh England
Black Bog N Ireland
Black Wood of Rannoch Scotland
Blawhorn Moss Scotland
Blean Complex England
Borrowdale Woodland Complex England
Braehead Moss Scotland
Bredon Hill England
Burry Inlet: Dunes/Cilfach Burry: Twyni Wales
Cannock Extension Canal England
Carrine Common England
Castle Eden Dene England
Castle Hill England
Chilmark Quarries England
Chilterns Beechwoods England
Cockinhead Moss Scotland
Coed y Cerrig Wales
Coedydd a Cheunant Rheidol/Rheidol Woods Wales
Coedydd Derw Meirion/Merionnydd Oakwoods Wales
Coleg Glynllifon Wales
Cors Caron Wales
Cors Fochno Wales
Corsydd Mon/Anglesea Fens Wales
Cothill Fen England
Craigengar Scotland
Cranley Moss Scotland
Creag nan Gamhainn Scotland
Crymlyn Bog/Cors Crymlyn Wales
Cuilcagh Mountain N Ireland
Culbin Bar Scotland
Culm Grasslands England
Cym Cadlan Wales
Derryleckagh N Ireland
Drostre Bank Wales
East Hampshire Hangers England
Eastern Mournes N Ireland
Ebernoe Common England
Eilean na Muice Duibhe Scotland
Elenydd Wales
Eryri/Snowdonia Wales
Fairy Water Bogs N Ireland
Fenland England
Feur Lochain Scotland
Flow of Dergoals Scotland
Gang Mine England
Garron Plateau N Ireland
Garry Bog N Ireland
Glac na Criche Scotland
Glannau Mon: Cors heli/Anglesey Coast: Saltmarsh Wales
Glannau Mon: Twyni/Anglesey Coast: Dunes Wales
Glanau Ynys Gybi/Holy Island Coast Wales
Glen Coe Scotland
Godrevey Head to St. Agnes England
Great Orme's Head/Pen y Gogarth Wales
Great Yews England
Hascosay Scotland
Helvellyn and Fairfield England
Hill of Towanreef Scotland
Holme Moor and Clean Moor England
Hoy Scotland
Inchnadamph Scotland
Invernaver Scotland
Isle of Wight Downs England
Keen of Hamar Scotland
Kenfig/Cynffig Wales
Kilhern Moss Scotland
Kingley Vale England
Kirkcowan Flow Scotland
Lewes Downs England
Limestone seacliffs of S W Wales/Clogwyni Calchfaen De-Orllewin Cymru Wales
Lismore Lochs Scotland
Llangorse Lake/Llyn Syfaddan Wales
Loch Watten Scotland
Lydden and Temple Ewell Downs England
Magheraveely Marl Loughs N Ireland
Merrick Kells Scotland
Minsmere to Walberswick Heaths and Marshes England
Mochrum Lochs Scotland
Monadh Mor Scotland
Monawilkin N Ireland
Moniack Gorge Scotland
Morrone Birkwood Scotland
Mound Alderwoods Scotland
Newham Fen England
Norfolk Valley Fens England
North Northumberland Dunes England
North Pennine Dales Meadows England
Oak Mere England
Oldshoremore and Sandwood Scotland
Oxford Meadows England
Pasturefields Salt Marsh England
Pembrokeshire bat sites/Safleoedd Ystlumod Penfro Wales
Pettigoe Plateau N Ireland
Pewsey Downs England
Pitmaduthy Moss Scotland
Prescombe Down England
Preseli Wales
Queendown Warren England
Reidside Moss Scotland
Rex Graham-Reserve England
Rhinog Wales
Rhos Goch Wales
Rhos Llawr-cwrt Wales
Rooksmoor England
Rum Scotland
Slieve Beagh N Ireland
St. David's/Ty Ddewi Wales
Staverton Park and the Thicks, Wantisden England
Strath Scotland
Stromness Heaths and Coast Scotland
Tanat and Vyrnwy Bat Sites/Safleoedd Ystlumod Tanat ac Efyrnwy Wales
Taynish Woods Scotland
Teal Lough N Ireland
The Mens England
The New Forest England
The Stipperstones and the Hollies England
Thorne Moor England
Thrislington England
Tingon Scotland
Tregonning Hill England
Trotternish Ridge Scotland
Tulach Hill and Glen Fender Meadows Scotland
Tyne and Allen River Gravels England
Upper Lough Erne N Ireland
Wasdale Screes England
West Midlands Mosses England
Whitlaw and Branxholme Scotland
Windsor Forest and Great Park England
Wye and Crundale Downs England

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Defence R&D, Patenting and Technology Transfer

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether research and development investment is included in the Defence Estimates and, if so, where; whether patents etc. have been or are being taken out; and what control have Her Majesty's Government over the transfer of these technologies, over the uses to be made of them, and over subsequent commercial exploitation.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): Details of expenditure on both defence research and development are set out on page 59 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1995, Stable Forces in a Strong Britain (Cm 2800), copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. Further information on defence research in particular can be found in paragraphs 439 to 442, together with an article on the defence contribution to the Government's wealth creation initiative. My department takes out patents on new technologies developed in its research establishments, where appropriate. Licences, of which there are at present more than 350, may be granted to companies in the civil sector which wish to exploit such technologies for commercial gain. Inter alia, licences can contain conditions covering period, sub licences and competition. It is our policy that licences should not normally stipulate how technologies thus transferred to the civil sector should be exploited.

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