|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what permission the Animals Procedures Committee has granted for animals to be used in experiments into the effects of active and passive smoking; what species and numbers of animals are to be used in these experiments; and who is funding this research. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Animal Procedures Committee has no power to grant or refuse applications for authority to use animals in scientific procedures. Such powers are exercised by the Secretary of State.
The Government have a firm policy of not granting applications to research tobacco products and the effects of these products. No applications for work on the effects of active and passive smoking have been approved nor have any such applications been referred to the Animals Procedures Committee for advice.
11 Apr 2000 : Column: 104W
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 3 April 2000, Official Report, column 379W, for what reason information about the cost of Operation Nightshade is not available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis informs me that Operation Nightshade was an operation undertaken by the now disbanded South East Regional Crime Squad (SERCS). Records of the cost of individual SERCS operations are no longer available.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the fund-raising activities of the KLA in the UK; and what measures he has taken to stop such activities. 
Mr. Straw: The police and Security Service place a high priority on countering all forms of terrorist activity in the United Kingdom, including fundraising. The investigation of any criminal activity is, of course, an operational police matter and responsibility rests with the Chief Officer of the force in the area concerned. I am not, however, aware of any evidence that members of the Kosovo Liberation Army are committing criminal offences in this country.
11 Apr 2000 : Column: 105W
Mr. Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the new asylum seeker support arrangements in part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 will be extended to cover in-country applicants. 
Mr. Straw: The Minister of State, Home Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche), announced in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for South Thanet (Dr. Ladyman) on 6 March 2000, Official Report, columns 556-58W, that the new National Asylum Support Service (NASS) would be phased in. The first stage commenced on 3 April, when NASS took over responsibility for support for all new applicants at port, and eligibility for social security and related benefits was ended for all new applicants. The second stage was for NASS to be extended to new in-country applicants. As I told the House on 10 April 2000, Official Report, column 6, we are now ready to begin this plan.
Also on Monday 10 April, my hon. Friend the Minister accordingly made a Direction which sets out that the support scheme in Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 will apply to all asylum seekers who claim asylum other than on arrival in the United Kingdom on, or after, Monday 17 April and who made the claim while in Kent. I shall announce plans to extend the new support scheme to other parts of the country at a later date.
The direction also applies to asylum seekers who are resident in Kent; who are in receipt of benefits; who get a negative decision on their asylum claim and who go on to appeal. Their benefits will end and they will be eligible for support from the NASS.
20. Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the future role of the United Nations in international peacekeeping. 
Mr. Vaz: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary regularly has discussions with the Austrian Foreign Minister within the framework of the EU, and these have included consideration of asylum and immigration issues, e.g. at the Tampere Special European Council 15-16 October 1999.
11 Apr 2000 : Column: 106W
assessment of the security situation along the line of control; and if he will make a statement on the future of Kashmir. 
Mr. Hain: We are deeply troubled by continued violence in Kashmir, including along the Line of Control. We encourage India and Pakistan to find, through dialogue, a just and lasting solution acceptable to the people of Kashmir.
Mr. Michael J. Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to discuss the situation in Kashmir with representatives of the Governments of India and Pakistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: We regularly raise the situation in Kashmir with the Indian and Pakistani Governments. We will continue to urge them to find, through dialogue, a just and lasting solution acceptable to the people of Kashmir.
23. Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions Ministers have held with the incoming Chilean Government; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle), held with the incoming Chilean Government during his visit to Chile between 10 and 12 March; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Battle: I had wide-ranging discussions with members of the incoming Chilean Government, in particular the President and the Minister for the Economy, Mining and Energy. I also met the Foreign Minister, the Finance Minister, the Minister for the Interior and the Minister for Agriculture. These meetings were all friendly and constructive.
Mr. Vaz: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is organising several activities in the coming months to build on the momentum generated by last year's "Your Britain, Your Europe" roadshow to promote the benefits of our membership of the EU. On 19 April, I will chair a seminar at Canary Wharf to assess the prospects for European economic reform following the Lisbon European Council. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will host an Open
11 Apr 2000 : Column: 107W
Day on 9 May to mark Europe Day and launch its involvement in the London String of Pearls Millennium Festival. Between May and July, I plan to visit several cities in England, Scotland and Wales that will be holding Europe Days.
Mr. Vaz: Hungary has made good progress in its negotiations for membership of the EU since they started in March 1998. Last week we opened another two chapters of the EU acquis communautaire (on Regional Policy and Financial Control), bringing the total number of chapters currently under negotiation to 25 (out of 31). Hungary has provisionally closed seven of those chapters, is near to closing several more, and is working successfully at implementing necessary reforms. We want Hungary to join the European Union as soon as it is able to meet the obligations of membership.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|