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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): No source of information on the costs exists. Any estimate would therefore be purely speculative, and thus unreliable.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: In common with all other issues, reports commissioned by the EC on this subject remain their property, and some are commercially confidential. The Commission decide on a case by case basis whether reports, or summaries of reports, financed under the TACIS programme of technical assistance to the former Soviet Union should be made publicly available. We see no reason to seek any change in that practice in respect of reports on the safety of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We shall continue to press the Government of Israel to lift fully the closure of the border between Israel and the Occupied Territories and allow the free movement of goods and labour.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We are concerned by the decision of the Israeli authorities to authorise the expropriation of 131 acres of land in East Jerusalem. EU representatives in Tel Aviv have expressed concerns to the Israeli Government that the decision to expropriate land in East Jerusalem is contrary to UN Security Council Resolutions and to the spirit of the Declaration of Principles signed by the Israelis and Palestinians in September 1993 and might endanger the peace process; and have urged them to reconsider.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The member states agreed at Maastricht that national parliaments should receive Commission proposals for legislation in good time for information or possible examination. This commitment will be reviewed, at the 1996 Inter-Governmental Conference, as one aspect of a broader examination of the role of national parliaments in the EU.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: NATO enlargement will threaten no one. NATO's purpose is to provide security for its members and to preserve peace in the Euro-Atlantic area. This should be understood by all Russians.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Paragraph 11 of Article IV of the OSCE's Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security agreed at the CSCE Budapest Summit last December states that "The participating States have the sovereign right to belong or
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: NATO made it clear in its summit communiqué in January 1994 that it is committed to enhancing security and stability in the whole of Europe, and that it therefore wishes to strengthen ties with the democratic states to its east. This includes Russia.
The North Atlantic Council Ministerial communiqué of 1 December 1994 stressed that NATO enlargement, when it comes, would be part of a broad European security architecture based on true co-operation throughout the whole of Europe. It would, moreover, threaten no one.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: No. The enlargement of NATO is a matter for the member states of the Alliance alone. The aim of NATO enlargement is not to create new divisions or erect new military frontiers in Europe, but to extend security and stability throughout the continent.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The Access Committee's core funding has been tapered in accordance with the Government's current policy on Section 64 grants. This seeks to support the general development of the voluntary sector by targeting resources on innovative project work and to support new applicants.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): The proposal to contractorise support services at RAF Valley without an in-house bid is at present the subject of consultation with the trades unions and other interested parties. All representations made during the consultation process will be carefully considered before a final decision is taken.
The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne): The First Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, under the chairmanship of Lord Nolan, is being published today as Command Paper 2850. The Government would like to express their thanks to Lord Nolan and his colleagues for the way in which they have discharged the initial part of the remit which my right honourable friend the Prime Minister announced in October. It is welcome that they have reached unanimous recommendations based on open proceedings, and having taken oral and written evidence from a wide cross-section of opinion. The oral evidence they have taken is included in Volume II of the report, and written submissions are to be made available at the Public Record Office.
The Government accept the broad thrust of the committee's recommendations in so far as they are addressed to the Government. They will give the report the close study it deserves and then make a detailed response.
Those recommendations which are addressed to the House of Commons are of course a matter for that House itself to consider, and my right honourable friend the Leader of the House of Commons will arrange an early opportunity for a debate in another place.
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