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Lord Donoughue: A MAFF-funded project to develop a varroa mite model has just been completed by the Central Science Laboratory (CSL). As a result a varroa mite calculator and accompanying leaflet have been produced which will help beekeepers assess mite populations in colonies and consequently optimise treatments. This should reduce the risk of resistance to treatments developing through inappropriate use. The model is also currently being applied to a joint CSL/IACR Rothamsted project, also funded by MAFF, which is looking at the role of bee viruses in varroa infestation. MAFF have also just approved funding of a new project to examine potential biological control agents for varroa as alternatives to chemical control. This work is being conducted jointly by Horticulture Research International and IACR Rothamsted.
Lord Donoughue: The question as to whether the fishing industry might contribute to the costs of decommissioning was raised by my right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at our first High Level meeting with industry leaders last July. We have also indicated that it would be included in the possibilities considered in the current comprehensive spending review. As a contribution to continuing discussion of this issue, we have placed in the Library of the House copies of a recently completed academic report by the University of Portsmouth which the department commissioned towards the end of last year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Train and Equip programme continues to be run and administered by the private American contractors, Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI). Detailed questions about their activities should be addressed to MPRI themselves, but we understand that the training takes place in a number of military installations throughout the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The entry for Mr. Rupert Bowen in the Diplomatic Service List in 1993 is as follows: "Bowen, Rupert Grenside, First Secretary Windhoek since May 1990; born 25.10.44; Army 1963-70; MoD 1970-74; First Secretary FCO 1974; First Secretary (Econ) Bonn 1976; First Secretary FCO 1977; Lusaka 1980; FCO 1982; Vienna 1984; First Secretary FCO 1988; m 1972 Sylvia Anne Buzzard (2d 1975, 1977)."
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Her Majesty's Government have approved a licence for the temporary export of aero-engine parts to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for machining and assembling into more complete units. These units will be returned to the UK for inclusion in engine kits for export to Italy. As the export of the goods concerned is controlled under Part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, this licence was an exception to our interpretation of the EU arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This decision does not affect the Government's continued support of the EU common
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Her Majesty's Government have recently granted two exceptions to the embargo, one in respect of the sale of two hunting rifle barrels to a private individual in Argentina, another in respect of the sale of 20 deactivated weapons to an Argentine importer. These represent exceptions but not changes to the embargo.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Her Majesty's Government submitted their return to the UN Register covering conventional arms transfers in calendar year 1997 on 7 May. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Our return includes information on types of weapons transferred, details of procurement from national production and details of military holdings which, for the first time, include the types of weapons held in six of the seven categories of weapons included on the register.
We attach great importance to the register as a confidence building and transparency measure. We will continue to work with our EU partners to encourage as many countries as possible to make a return to the register.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): We are fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Ottawa Convention. The Government will not allow the operational deployment of anti-personnel landmines in the United Kingdom or in our Overseas Territories by the forces of another state. We are considering the legal implications of the Ottawa Convention for storage of APLs by non-states parties--that is, states that are not party to the Convention.
Lord Gilbert: The number of active "Bin Numbers", which relate to the registered address of Army units and other authorised recipients of technical publications, such as relevant defence contractors, maintained by the Army Technical Support Agency on 8 May 1998 was 2,060.
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