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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Since the review was announced in 1992, some 5,500 previously withheld papers have been released into the public domain. These represent some 80 per cent. of the total reviewed, and have included material on Rudolf Hess, the Russia Committee, the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Suez, the Cuban missile crisis and the Malayan emergency. A first tranche of papers relating to the Information Research Department (IRD) of the Foreign Office is about to be released.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The daily quota of one-way permits for mainland Chinese to come and settle in Hong Kong rose from 105 to 150 on 1 July 1995. This increase was proposed by the Hong Kong Government and agreed to by the Chinese authorities. Thirty extra places will be for mainland children of Hong Kong residents who will gain the right of abode in Hong Kong on 1 July 1997 ("eligible children"). The other 15 will be for persons separated from their spouses for over 10 years. The proportion of eligible children entering Hong Kong under the existing quota will be maintained.
In the first year, the extra quota for eligible children will go only to those aged 0-5 and 16-20. This will ensure that extra school-aged children will not come until Hong Kong's schools are ready for them.
Further to the Answer of Viscount Goschen on 28th March (HL Deb., WA 86), whether a date has now been set for publication of the findings of the London congestion charging research programme.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): The organisations that were awarded contracts are shown below. A number of other organisations participated in the programme as sub-contractors. Where appropriate a contractor's report was submitted to the Department of Transport as work assignments were completed. These individual reports have been used by the MVA Consultancy, who are managing the programme for the department, in the preparation of a full report covering all aspects of the study. No specific date has been set for publication, but it will be as soon as practicable.
The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): The information requested is in the Secretary of State's Report on the Social Fund 1994/95 (Cm 2885) published on 11 July this year. A copy has been placed in the Library.
Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The information requested is in the Secretary of State's Report on the Social Fund 1994/95 (Cm 2885) published on 11 July this year. A copy has been placed in the Library.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The Government shares the abhorrence felt by the vast majority of people about the sexual exploitation abroad of young children. The introduction, by Lord Hylton, of his Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill has done much to highlight the issue and we have listened very carefully to all that has been said both inside Parliament and more generally. We are anxious that effective action should be taken to deal with this problem. That must involve action by the foreign governments concerned, but that alone is not enough. We must also do all that we can.
Despite its admirable aim, Lord Hylton's Bill is, in the Government's view, seriously flawed and does not provide a workable or effective solution to the problems posed by sex tourism. The Government cannot support it therefore.
We are, however, urgently examining the scope of the law in each of the UK jurisdictions to see what steps could be taken to deal with those who, in this country, conspire or incite others to commit offences abroad. This would enable us to deal with those who organise sex tours or encourage others to travel abroad for the purpose of sexually exploiting children.
Any legislation which might be brought forward to achieve this aim would need careful thought to ensure that it would be effective. We would hope to have proposals for legislation ready as soon as the details can be satisfactorily resolved.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): On 19 June the Prime Minister and the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam signed an agreement which will extend the stationing of a Gurkha battalion in the Sultanate for a further five years from 29 September 1998. The substance of the agreement is confidential between governments.
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