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15 Feb 1996 : Column WA53

Written Answers

Thursday 15th February 1996.

Overseas Military Training Assistance

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the cost of overseas British military and police training programmes respectively in the year 1995-96; and why are the police programmes regularly monitored when there has been no systematic assessment of the military programmes in spite of the fact 76 countries benefit from this form of assistance.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The estimated cost of the FCO's military training assistance scheme (UKMTAS) in the 1995/96 financial year is around

£13.5 million. This includes a budget of £0.5 million for police training. The total cost of overseas police training is not available.

The UKMTAS programme is constantly monitored to ensure that value for money and the FCO's overall objectives, which include the promotion of human rights, are being achieved. Although there is no systematic assessment of human rights aspects, professionalism and respect for human rights form an integral part of the monitoring of UK military training programmes.

Prison Standing Order 7A

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Prison Standing Order 7A still applies to the same three groups specified in Circular Instruction 51/1989 Standing Order Amendment 444.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord McNair from the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Richard Tilt, dated 15th February 1996:

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about Standing Order 7A and Circular Instruction 51/1989.

Paragraph 3 of Prison Standing Order 7A does still apply to the three groups specified in paragraph 4 of Circular Instruction 51/1989.

Environmental Pollution: Royal Commission Reports

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list the reports published by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution during the last 10 years and, for each report, the date of publication and the date of any government response.

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The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Earl Ferrers): The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's 11th Report, Managing Waste: The Duty of Care, was published in December 1985. The Government's response was published as Pollution Paper No. 24 in September 1986.

The Commission's 12th Report, Best Practicable Environmental Option, was published in February 1988. The Government responded in December 1992.

The Commission's 13th Report, The Release of Genetically Engineered Organisms to the Environment, was published in July 1989. The Government responded in June 1993.

The Commission's 14th Report, GENHAZ--a system for the critical appraisal of proposals to release genetically modified organisms into the environment, was published in June 1991. The Government's preliminary response was in August 1993: the final response in January 1995.

The Commission's 15th Report, Emissions from Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles, was published in September 1991. The Government responded in October 1992.

The Commission's 16th Report, Freshwater Quality, was published in June 1992. The Government responded in February 1995.

The Commission's 17th Report, Incineration of Waste, was published in May 1993. The Government responded in July 1994.

The Commission's 18th Report, Transport and the Environment, was published in October 1994. Decisions on the Government's response will be taken in the light of the national debate on transport policy.

Chemicals: Risk Ranking

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the 20 chemicals or chemical compounds used in agricultural or domestic situations which convey the highest risk for degenerative effects, including irreversible neurotoxicity.

Earl Ferrers: The information requested is not available.

A ranking of chemical risks in the form requested would require extensive and very sensitive epidemiology. It is very unlikely that studies of sufficient power and specificity could be designed.

Impaired Function: Prevalence

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether a measure of the prevalence of impaired function as well as the prevalence of disease is included in assessments of morbidity by the Department of Health.

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): Information on the prevalence of impaired function as well as the prevalence of disease is collected through surveys sponsored in part or in full by the Department of Health. This information is taken into account in estimating overall morbidity in the population.

Electroconvulsive Therapy: Related Deaths

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the recorded statistics for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) related deaths in this country as a proportion of total annual administrations of ECT.

Baroness Cumberlege: There has been one death registered with a mention of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on the death certificate since the beginning of 1993, certified by a coroner. Reliable information on the number of administrations of ECT treatment is not available centrally.

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there are procedures to ensure that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is cited as a cause or contributing factor in the death of a patient, if that patient dies of a heart attack following the administration of ECT, or dies of other causes which could be linked to ECT, and if not, whether they have plans to implement such procedures; and

    Whether there are procedures to record the administration of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in death records if a patient dies within two years of receiving this treatment, if so how many reports have been made since such recording began, and if not, whether they have plans to implement such procedures.

Baroness Cumberlege: There is no procedure specific to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for ensuring that it is cited as a cause or contributing factor in the death of a patient within two years of receiving this treatment. We have no plans to implement such a procedure.

Simulated Nuclear Testing

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is their understanding that the United States will continue a programme of simulated nuclear testing in the event of a comprehensive nuclear test ban being agreed and if so, whether they will ensure that such a test ban includes a prohibition on testing simulations being shared with other parties, particularly including parties which are not signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): Questions as to

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what activities the United States might carry out to ensure the safety and reliability of its nuclear weapons under the proposed Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty are a matter for the United States Government. As the nuclear-weapon states are parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, they are already prohibited by Article I from assisting any non-nuclear weapon state in any way to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons.

Flying Training

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are satisfied that the flying training arrangements being made for the Royal Air Force in the future are adequate to provide sufficient aircrew to keep all aircraft fully manned in all eventualities.

Earl Howe: Yes. The future RAF flying training scheme has been designed to continue to provide sufficient aircrew to meet all planned contingency requirements.

Varroa: Statutory Infected Area

Lord Lyell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they propose to change the Statutory Infected Area for Varroa.

Lord Lucas: The autumn varroa searches last year revealed a significant number of cases outside the Statutory Infected Area. Having now considered the views of the national beekeeping organisations, and those of the many local associations and individual beekeepers who have written to my honourable friends the Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Boswell) and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Welsh Office (Mr. Jones), my honourable friends have agreed from 14th February 1996 to extend the boundary of the Statutory Infected Area to include the four English counties of Cheshire, Cleveland, Durham and Merseyside and the whole of Wales.

Organophosphorus Sheep Dip: Adverse Reactions

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many suspected adverse reactions to compulsory organophosphorus sheep dip have been reported; when such dipping commenced; and whether the practice continues.

Lord Lucas: National compulsory dipping against sheep scab was started in 1976 and ended in 1992. Compulsory treatment for infested sheep, however, dates back to at least 1928. Information on suspected adverse reactions to organophosphorus sheep dips is only available from 1st January 1985. In the period since then to 9th February 1996, a total of 63 reports

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involving animals, and 591 involving humans, have been received by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. Details of those cases involving humans that have already been considered by the appraisal panel for human suspected adverse reactions to veterinary medicines are set out in the published annual reports of the panel. A copy of this report is available in the Library of the House.


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