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Asylum Seekers with Relatives in the UK

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Blatch: The Secretary of State for the Home Department has no present plans to change his policy, which is kept under review, in respect of the exercise of his discretion to consider substantively claims made by asylum seekers who have travelled here from a safe third country and who might otherwise be returned here.

The Secretary of State will normally decide to consider a case substantively if the applicant's spouse or unmarried minor child is in the United Kingdom, or, if the applicant is an unmarried minor child, the applicant's parent is in the United Kingdom. In addition, discretion is exercised according to the merits of individual cases where the applicant is a parent whose married minor is in the United Kingdom (or vice versa); the applicant is an elderly or otherwise dependent parent; or the family link is not one which would normally be considered but there is clear evidence that the applicant is wholly or mainly dependent on the relative in the United Kingdom and that there is an absence of similar support elsewhere.

Mr. Festus Otono

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why Mr. Festus Otono, now in Her Majesty's Prison, Haslar, Gosport, has been detained for one and a half years; and when they expect his application for political asylum to be determined.

Baroness Blatch: The decision to detain Mr. Otono was taken only after careful consideration of all the circumstances and only when the Immigration Service were not satisfied that he would comply with any terms of temporary admission. Mr. Otono made a bail application on 22nd March 1996, and the date for a bail hearing has yet to be set.

Mr. Otono was refused asylum in the United Kingdom on 30th January 1995. His appeal was heard by a special adjudicator on 29th January 1996 and was dismissed on 12th February 1996. At a tribunal hearing on 22nd March 1996, the appeal was remitted for a further hearing before a special adjudicator. A date for the appeal hearing has yet to be set.

Immigration Casework: Computerisation

Lord Reay asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they plan to introduce computers into the handling of immigration casework.

Baroness Blatch: The Immigration and Nationality Department has developed a programme to computerise the handling of immigration casework in order to deliver improvements in service, to strengthen the administration of the control and to produce substantial efficiency savings. A seven year contract is to be awarded to Siemens Business Services under the private

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finance initiative, by means of which the company will design, build, finance and operate a comprehensive new IT system for this purpose and assist IND in the introduction of appropriate working methods.

Motorway Service Areas: Access Applications

Lord Teviot asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their policy on providing access from the motorway network to new motorway service areas.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): The Highways Agency is consulted on all planning applications for new motorway service areas (MSAs). It will not normally object so long as the proposal meets a range of minimum requirements relating to the facilities to be provided and the spacing of the site from other MSAs, and provided the proposed access arrangements are acceptable in safety and traffic management terms. As a matter of policy, however, we do not expect to connect new MSAs to any motorway which, because of exceptional traffic circumstances, has been or is expected to be widened to dual five lane standard. To do so would invite further congestion on what are the most heavily used parts of the motorway network.

Export of Defence Equipment: Review

Viscount Addison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What arrangements they will make to examine the nature and extent of information currently provided on the export of defence equipment as recommended in Sir Richard Scott's report.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): My department is leading the review recommended by Sir Richard Scott. It will examine the nature and extent of information currently provided, and will take account of the industrial, employment and diplomatic implications of any change in the longstanding parliamentary convention governing the disclosure of information. We shall be seeking the views of a wide range of interested parties and will report back to the House before the Summer Recess.

Noble Lords wishing to comment on any issue that the review might cover should write to:


    Mrs. Mollie Field


    Export Information Review


    Room 0206


    Ministry of Defence


    Main Building


    Whitehall


    London SW1A 2HB

Copies of the document already placed in the Library of the House which sets out the current position in relation

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to informing Parliament about the export of defence equipment can be provided on request.

The closing date for contributions to the review process will be 24th May 1996.

Crown Accommodation Classification and Grading Scheme

Lord Gladwin of Clee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish their final proposals following the review by the English Tourist Board of the Crown classification scheme.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood): The English Tourist Board will shortly present my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage with proposals for a revised Crown accommodation classification and grading scheme. My right honourable friend intends to consult the tourism industry on these proposals before final decisions are announced.

Hanish Islands

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether in view of the current dispute between Eritrea and the Yemen over the Hanish islands, they accept that the United Kingdom as the former colonial power in the region, has some responsibility for the dispute; what protection they are offering to any British trading interests that may remain in the region; and what steps they are taking to promote a peaceful settlement of the dispute.

Lord Chesham: Her Majesty's Government do not consider they have responsibility for the dispute. The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne provides for the future of the islands to be settled by the parties concerned. We support efforts by the French Government and others to help resolve the dispute, and have made clear we are willing to provide access for both sides to historical documents in our possession. We continue to ensure that British shipping and aviation are kept informed of developments in the area.

Zambian Constitution: Harare Declaration

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ask the Commonwealth secretariat to conduct an inquiry into the compatibility of changes proposed to the Zambian Constitution with the Harare Declaration.

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Lord Chesham: Her Majesty's Government have no plans at present to ask the Commonwealth secretariat to conduct such an inquiry.

Zambia: Detention of Editors

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are aware that the indefinite detention of Fred M'membe, editor-in-chief of the Post and Bright Mwape, managing editor of the Post, on charges of contempt of Parliament is being justified by the Zambian authorities on the grounds that their Parliament inherited these powers from the United Kingdom; whether they will ask the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to conduct a seminar on the use of contempt powers by Parliaments; and whether, in the meantime, they will ask the Zambian Parliament to suspend the detention of the journalists pending clarification of precedents.

Lord Chesham: We are aware that two editors of the Post newspaper have been detained following a Zambian parliamentary ruling. We have no plans at present to ask the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to conduct a seminar on the use of contempt powers by parliaments. Meanwhile we do not intend to approach the Zambian Parliament about the detentions.

Indonesia: UK Aid

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the value of aid to Indonesia in each of the years 1990-91 to 1995-96; what is the projected value of aid to Indonesia in 1996-97, and what are the figures in each year for the cost of military and police training respectively.

Lord Chesham: The value of aid to Indonesia was as follows:

£ million

YearTotal ODA programmeCDC investments and otherTotal gross expenditure
1990-9117.597.5725.16
1991-9221.2013.2234.42
1992-9321.3911.2932.68
1993-9422.2112.6734.88
1994-9521.4230.0451.46

In 1995-96 we expect the ODA programme to total some £38.4 million. On current planning, the anticipated level of the ODA programme for Indonesia for 1996-97 is broadly in line with the estimated spend for the current year. Figures for CDC investments are not yet available.

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Costs of police training between 1990-91 and 1994-95 were as follows:


    £ million


    1990-91: 0.28


    1991-92: 0.18


    1992-93: 0.28


    1993-94: 0.13


    1994-95: 0.11

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In 1995-96 we expect to spend around £0.09 million; and in 1996-97 we anticipate expenditure of around £0.02 million on UK based police training as a residual component of the police management training project which is coming to an end.

Details of military training given to countries overseas, which is not funded from the aid programme, are confidential between governments.



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