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Mr. George Howarth [holding answer 10 April 2000]: The post of Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland is a Crown Appointment. It was considered appropriate to reserve the post for UK nationals because it discharges sensitive functions of fundamental importance to public life in Northern Ireland, including overseeing the conduct of elections.
The Prime Minister: The Government are acutely aware of the difficulties many Londoners face in securing good quality housing at a price they can afford. That is why we are giving local authorities and registered social landlords in London an additional £1.3 billion of resources for investment in housing between 1997-98 and 2001-02. London boroughs have received £400 million of these extra resources already.
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Mr. Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the compatibility between paragraphs 126 and 128 of the Ministerial Code and the use by himself, his family, persons within his employ and Ministers within his Government since 1 May 1997 of properties overseas owned by the hon. Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Robinson). 
The Prime Minister [holding answer 27 March 2000]: It is for individual Ministers to determine their actions in accordance with the Ministerial Code. I am not aware of any breach of the Code in relation to these properties.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister what recent reports he has received relating to the type and extent of bomb damage in Serbia in connection with the use of uranium armament; and if he will make a statement. 
Following that report, the United Nations asked NATO for information about use of depleted uranium (DU) during the Kosovo conflict. The NATO Secretary-General has responded, confirming that DU was used in operations against armoured equipment, mainly in Western Kosovo.
The Prime Minister: Improving cancer services is one of our top priorities for the National Health Service. For the first time we have a single Minister with responsibility both for cancer prevention and treatment. We have also appointed Professor Mike Richards as the new National Cancer Director to spearhead the drive for fairer, faster cancer services and to ensure the implementation of tough
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new standards of care. A broad programme of work has been put in place to ensure prompt access to cancer diagnosis and treatment and to improve the quality of our cancer services.
We are committed to modernising cancer services and have invested an extra £70 million since 1997 for breast, colo-rectal, lung and outpatient cancer services. £80 million has been made available to cut waiting times, and we are investing £100 million in cancer equipment, with the New Opportunities Fund allocating a further £93 million to this area.
We have introduced a new two-week outpatient standard waiting time for all urgent cancer referrals. This has been in place for breast cancer patients since April 1999 and over 56,000 women have benefited from this standard. This high standard of care will be extended to all those with suspected cancer requiring urgent investigation by the end of this year.
To help improve the quality of cancer services we have published evidence-based guidance on improving outcomes for breast, colo-rectal, lung and gynaecological cancers. Guidance on stomach cancers will be available in the spring, and over the next two years the National Institute for Clinical Excellence will commission further guidance on a range of other cancers.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will list the people he has asked to convey messages to foreign Governments, whom he has not described as his personal envoys; on what dates those messages were taken; and to which Governments those messages were sent; 
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under section 8 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 following the expiration of Lord Justice Stuart-Smith's appointment on 15 December 1999; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: Lord Justice Stuart-Smith has accepted an extension of his appointment as Intelligence Services Commissioner until 31 March 2000 to enable him to complete his Annual Report for 1999. He recently completed that term. I thank Lord Justice Stuart-Smith for the contribution he made during his five years as Intelligence Services Commissioner.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements have been made to appoint a Commissioner under section 4 of the Security Service Act 1989 following the expiration of Lord Justice Stuart-Smith's appointment on 13 December 1999; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: Lord Justice Stuart-Smith accepted an extension of his appointment as Security Service Commissioner until 31 March 2000 to enable him to complete his Annual Report for 1999. He recently completed that term. I thank Lord Justice Stuart-Smith for the contribution he made during the ten years he spent as Security Service Commissioner.
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