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Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: No.

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As my right honourable friend the Minister for Europe answered in another place on 12 March (Official Report, Col 291W), the Government of Gibraltar have established a 2004 Tercentenary Committee. We shall consider carefully the question of UK government participation in commemorative events. There have been informal exchanges between Foreign Office officials and the Gibraltar Government on this matter, but we have received no request for general assistance. Rebo

UK and US: Treaties and Agreements

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

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: All internationally legally binding treaties and agreements concluded by the UK with the US (and those concluded by the UK with any other States) are published and registered with the UN Secretary-General. This practice will equally apply to treaties which have been recently concluded and for which publication and registration is therefore pending. There are other forms of agreement where there is no obligation for the UK to either publish or register with

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the UN Secretary-General. Many of these will be in the public domain. The information needed to compile a list of these is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Iraq: Possibility of Terrorist Repercussions

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they agree with President Hosni Mubarak that the war in Iraq will create "100 Bin Ladens".[HL2383]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Prime Minister stated in another place on 2 April 2003 that he takes anything that President Mubarak says extremely seriously. Her Majesty's Government believe that the question of how the conflict in Iraq turns out in the Arab and Muslim world will be dependent on what happens once this conflict is won. If people can see that the Iraqi people are given freedom, the ability to have a proper representative government and protection on human rights and are able to enjoy their prosperity, we believe that across the Arab and Muslim world the message will be positive.

Boris Berezovsky

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the Home Office took so long to consider the application for asylum of Boris Berezovsky.[HL2428]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): It is the general policy of the Home Office not to disclose any information it may hold on an individual or their immigration status to third parties. Joan

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why Mr Boris Berezovsky has been refused political asylum in this country.[HL2429]

Lord Filkin: It is the general policy of the Home Office not to disclose any information it may hold on an individual or their immigration status to third parties.

Passports

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Filkin on 4 April (WA 155–56), in what circumstances a United Kingdom passport is reported as "unavailable"; whether they have now instructed the appropriate Government authorities to distinguish in their records between passports reported lost, stolen and unavailable; and when they

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    expect to be able to provide a numerical breakdown between these three categories.[HL2477]

Lord Filkin: A United Kingdom passport is recorded as unavailable when it is not in the possession of the rightful bearer but has been neither lost nor stolen. One example of this would be when the passport has been submitted to a third party to assist in confirming identity and the bearer has an urgent travel requirement.

Through developments in the passport issuing system it will shortly be possible to provide figures which distinguish between passports recorded as having been stolen and those recorded as lost or unavailable. These figures will go back to November 2001 when the implementation of the current passport issuing system was completed.

As part of its fraud action plan the UK Passport Service is developing a comprehensive system for reporting, recording and disseminating information relating to passports which have been lost, stolen or recovered. This system will be operational by the end of this year and will be extended to UK passport issuing posts abroad and to the United Kingdom Immigration Service. This system will enable a number of reports to be produced including those that distinguish between passports recorded as having been lost and stolen. The new system will not include the category "unavailable". lynne

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What charges are levied on those who report their passports lost, stolen or unavailable; and what proportion of the cost to public funds of such missing passports is recovered from such charges.[HL2478]

Lord Filkin: There is no charge levied by the United Kingdom Passport Service on people who report their passports lost, stolen or unavailable other than the fee required to replace the passport. The Passport Service operates on a net running cost regime and all its costs are recovered through passport fees.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the records they keep of United Kingdom passports reported lost, stolen or unavailable enable them to identify passport holders who make such reports more than once.[HL2479]

Lord Filkin: Yes, the records held by the United Kingdom Passport Service make it possible to establish when an individual has reported their passport as being lost, stolen or unavailable on more than one occasion.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of the United Kingdom passports reported lost, stolen or unavailable in each of the past five years have subsequently been recovered.[HL2480]

Lord Filkin: The United Kingdom Passport Service does not routinely collate figures for passports which

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are reported lost, stolen or unavailable on more than one occasion and such figures for each of the last five years are not therefore available.

Asylum Applicants

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many asylum applicants are accommodated in a centre at Dungavel, Lanarkshire, and how many children are of school-age; whether this is a former prison; whether the residents are allowed out by day; what provision is made for the children's education, and whether this will be improved[HL2491]

Lord Filkin: Dungavel House in Lanarkshire is an immigration removal centre for the detention of individuals held under the Immigration Acts. The facility, formerly HMP Dungavel, was acquired from the Scottish Prison Service in February 2001 and as an immigration detention centre in November of that year. By definition, individuals detained there are held in custody and may not leave the centre.

As at 28 December 2002, the date of the most recent published statistics available, there were 80 individuals recorded as detained at Dungavel, of whom 55 were recorded as having sought asylum at some stage. Those figures are not broken down by age. However, a one-off exercise on 2 April 2003 recorded that there were 21 children detained at Dungavel, of whom 15 were of school age, ie aged 5-16 years.

A programme of individually tailored education, developed with advice from the local education authority, is available to all school age children of family groups detained at Dungavel. The Scottish national curriculum provides the framework on which the education programme is based and it includes classes in subjects such as English, maths, science, food technology and history. Classes in music and art are also provided. We are satisfied that the education programme is sufficient to meet the needs of a constantly changing number of children of variable ages and abilities, most of whom will remain at Dungavel only for a very short period. Rebo

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the latest figures for the number of asylum applicants held in detention in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; and, in each case, how many were held without charge in Her Majesty's prisons. [HL2527]

Lord Filkin: The latest available data on the number of persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers relate to 28 December 2002. As at that date 1,145 people were in detention, 795 of whom were recorded as having sought asylum at some stage. The number of those held in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and in Prison Service establishments therein are given in the table. At this date there were no asylum seekers recorded as being in detention in Wales.

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Persons recorded as being in detention solely under Immigration Act Powers as at 28 December 2002, by country of detention 1 .

All asylum seekers(2)Of whom, in Prison Service Establishments
England735105
Scotland55*
Northern Ireland55
Total795110

(1) Figures rounded to nearest five. With * denoting 1 or 2, and excludes persons in dual detention.

(2) Persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers who are recorded as having sought asylum at some stage.

The routine use of Prison Service accommodation for immigration detaineees ended at the beginning of 2002, but it remains necessary to hold small numbers of detainees in prison for reasons of control and security. The figure of 110 may also include individuals who are held pending deportation after completion of custodial sentences.

Information on Immigration Act detainees as at

29 March 2003 will be published on 30 May 2003 on

the Home Office Research, Development

and Statistics Directorate web-site at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds./immigration1.html.



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