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23 May 1996 : Column WA103

Written Answers

Thursday, 23rd May 1996.

Actellic D Liquid and Actellic Dust: Use in Farm Stores

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What quantities of Actellic D liquid and Actellic dust were applied to harvested grain and oilseeds in the United Kingdom in 1971, 1988 and for each year since 1992, and what were the tonnages of grain and oilseeds to which these chemicals were applied.

Lord Lucas: No use of Actellic Dust and Actellic D was recorded in 1971 in England and Wales. No survey was carried out for 1971 in Scotland. Surveys were not carried out in England and Wales or Scotland following the 1988, 1992, 1993 and 1995 harvests. Figures for a survey of farm stores carried out in England and Wales following the 1990 harvest are as follows:

Weight of treated grainWeight of product used
Estimated amount of grain treated with
Actellic Dust--0.76 million tonnes103.0 tonnes
Actellic D--0.27 million tonnes3,808.0 litres
Estimated amount of oilseeds treated with
Actellic Dust--10,700 tonnes3,650.0 kg
Actellic D--3,400 tonnes172.0 litres

Provisional figures following the 1994 harvest in Scotland record a minimal use of Actellic D and no use of Actellic Dust in farm grain stores. Provisional figures for England and Wales are as follows:

Weight of treated grainWeight of product used
Estimated amount of grain treated with
Actellic Dust--0.92 million tonnes74.7 tonnes
Actellic D--0.09 million tonnes1,100.0 litres
Estimated amount of oilseeds treated with
Actellic Dust--42,600 tonnes2.9 tonnes
Actellic D--(1)Nil--
Grain surveyed in commercial stores:
Estimated amount treated with
Actellic Dust--0.18 million tonnes65.0 kg
Actellic D--0.10 million tonnes1,188.0 litres
Oilseeds surveyed in commercial stores:
Estimated amount treated with
Actellic Dust--7,000 tonnes20.0 kg
Actellic D--12,000 tonnes364.0 litres

Surveys of stored grain or oilseeds are not undertaken in Northern Ireland.

(1) Actellic D may have been used on oilseeds in farms stores during the year but no use was recorded from the sample of farms surveyed.


23 May 1996 : Column WA104

Central Railways plc: Proposed Rail Route

Baroness O'Cathain asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent submissions they have received from Central Railways plc.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): On Monday 20th May an application was received from Central Railways plc for an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992. My honourable friend the Minister of State has decided that Parliament should have an opportunity to debate the principle of the proposals before a public local inquiry is held. A notice to this effect will appear in the London Gazette on Friday 24th May and in local newspapers along the route of the proposed railway as soon as practicable.

A.2 Road Improvement

Lord Campbell of Alloway asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to improve the A.2 trunk road to accommodate the proposed Ebbsfleet station contained in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill.

Viscount Goschen: We have today announced that a scheme to widen the A.2 between Cobham and Bean has been added to the national roads programme. The scheme will proceed in two phases. The first will complement work already in hand in association with the Blue Water Park development and will result in additional capacity on the A.2 in both directions between Bean and the A.227 at Tollgate Junction. The second will add a fourth lane in both directions between Tollgate and Cobham. The first phase will be contained within the existing highway boundary. The other requires additional land.

Heroin and Cocaine Seizures

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total quantity of heroin and cocaine seized by H.M. Customs in the first quarter of 1996, what was their street value, and what were the comparable figures for 1980, 1985 and 1990.

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): In the first quarter of 1996, Customs officers seized 262 kilogrammes of heroin with an estimated street level value of £27 million and 217 kilogrammes of cocaine with an estimated street level value of £25 million. Comparable data are not available for periods before the first quarter of 1992.

23 May 1996 : Column WA105

Prison Health Services

Baroness Hayman asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proposals for changes in the organisation of health services in prison are currently under consideration and whether they plan to issue a discussion document.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The most recent proposals formally considered by Her Majesty's Government for changes in the organisation of health services in prisons were provided by the 1990 efficiency scrutiny of the Prison Medical Service. A copy of the scrutiny report was placed in the Library.

The Prison Service accepted in principle the scrutiny's recommendation that it should move from being the provider of healthcare services towards becoming a purchaser. As a result a number of prisons have contracted-in certain health care services and further contracts are currently under consideration.

Turkey: Conflict Resolution Procedures

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are continuing to represent to the Government of Turkey the urgent need for political solutions, including professionally facilitated conflict resolution, for the armed insurgency now in its twelfth year in the east and south-east of Turkey.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): We continue to urge the Turkish Government to look beyond the security dimension of the conflict to a political solution in which all the people of the region have a stake. The Turkish Prime Minister has said that administrative, social and cultural measures should form part of its approach.

Turkey: Kurdish Conflict

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their response to the resolution of the European Parliament calling for a negotiated settlement to the armed conflict in the traditional Kurdish regions of Turkey.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We condemn terrorism wherever it occurs and support the Turkish Government in its refusal to negotiate with terrorists.

23 May 1996 : Column WA106

But we fully support the need for a multifaceted approach to the Kurdish question in the south east which does not rely purely on military means.

Turkey: Human Rights

Lord Hylton asked her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there have been any improvements as regards freedom of expression and whether human rights violations have decreased in Turkey since conclusion of the Customs Union with the European Union.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: There have been no legal or constitutional amendments relevant to freedom of expression in Turkey since October last year. Reports of human rights violations persist. We have noted the statements by the Turkish Prime Minister indicating his intention to pass wide-ranging human rights reforms.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What efforts are being made, through the Council of Europe or by other means, to verify compliance by Turkey with the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Individuals who allege that their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights have been violated by Turkey can petition the Commission directly. There is an increasing number of such complaints. On a bilateral basis, we regularly urge the Turkish authorities to comply with their human rights obligations. Internationally, the UK and our EU partners express concern over Turkey's performance, most recently at the UN Human Rights Commission.

Burma: Human Rights

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

    Whether they will take steps to seek to persuade the Government of Burma to secure compliance with international human rights standards in the light of the evidence contained in the television programme, "Inside Burma--Land of Fear" by John Pilger, broadcast on ITV Carlton on Tuesday 14th May 1996.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We play an active role, both bilaterally and in multilateral fora, most recently at last month's UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva, in pressing the Burmese authorities to implement democratic reforms and respect human rights. We will continue to do so.



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