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Mr. Dorrell: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I assure him that arrangements are proceeding to ensure that the distributer bodies make the first announcements of lottery distribution decisions within the next few weeks. As my hon. Friend said, I am confident that they will reflect a major step forward in funding not only sport, the arts and heritage but, ultimately, through the millennium fund and the charities board, those activities that will result from the decision of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to introduce the lottery.
Mr. Olner: What has happened to the lottery moneys that are waiting to be distributed to those bodies? How transparent are Camelot's accounting procedures? What is happening to the interest that is accruing on the millions of pounds that are still waiting to be distributed?
Mr. Dorrell: Each week Camelot pays the amount available for good causes into the national loans distribution fund, where it is invested in public sector instruments and collects interest which accrues to the benefit of the distribution fund. So far, that interest amounts to more than £1 million.
Mr. Jessel: Can my right hon. Friend say whether the projection for the sums available for good causes is substantially larger than originally forecast and, if so, should we not all take credit for what is a brilliant national achievement?
Mr. Dorrell: My hon. Friend is quite right to say that the amounts being raised by the lottery week after week are substantially greater than the estimates that were offered when the legislation was introduced. They are also higher than the more ambitious figures that were published around the time when the licence was granted. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that the lottery is a substantial success which has unlocked a new source of funding for various good causes that could not reasonably be anticipated to come from any other source.
18. Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what steps he is taking to ensure the future maintenance of the buildings currently occupied by the Royal Naval college at Greenwich.
Mr. Sproat: My Department is currently responsible for maintaining these important historic buildings. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence will ensure that there is a suitable occupant to secure their future. Proposals, including one from an organisation outside the Ministry of Defence, are being evaluated by my right hon. and learned Friend, in consultation with my Department.
Mr. Raynsford: Will the Minister ensure that his Department does rather better with buildings currently occupied by the Royal Naval college than it has in respect of the adjacent building, the Dreadnought seamen's hospital, which has been empty for almost nine years and the condition of which, despite it being a historic building, is deteriorating badly? It is costing
Column 685the taxpayer an enormous amount to maintain. Will the Minister ensure that a similar fate does not befall the historic buildings occupied by the Naval college?
The Attorney-General (Sir Nicholas Lyell): Since 1989, 181 cases have been referred to the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and 11 in Northern Ireland; 19 were subsequently withdrawn. Of the 166 cases heard to date, 136--or 82 per cent.--resulted in an increased sentence.
Dr. Spink: Will my right hon. and learned Friend join me and the whole House in expressing condolences to the family of Tony Martin, a 17- year-old who died in my constituency? In the words of the judge, a knife was opened and plunged into the boy's body. Does my right hon. and learned Friend understand the sense of great outrage in the community that I represent because a six-year sentence only was passed on the 31-year-old man, Mr. Osborne, who committed that crime? Although I entirely understand- -
Madam Speaker: Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman on a serious issue, but this seems to be a constituency matter on which representations should be made in writing, or should be the subject of an Adjournment debate. In Question Time, questions must be brief and the Minister concerned must be fully aware of all the circumstances.
Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that severe and harsh deterrent sentences should be passed, to prevent people from going armed with knives and other weapons to places of entertainment, where they put our constituents at unacceptable risk?
The Attorney-General: The whole House will have the deepest sympathy for the family of the victim in that tragic case. The sentence imposed by the learned judge depended on the facts as found by the jury. It found proved a case of manslaughter, but found the defendant not guilty of murder. In those circumstances, there can be no doubt that the sentence imposed was well within the range available to the learned judge.
Column 686over 1 million cases dealt with by magistrates courts each year, it would not be possible to apply the detailed care and consideration that the jurisdiction requires.
30. Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the circumstances surrounding the death of Leon Patterson in Stockport police station; and what discussions he has had with the Crown Prosecution Service on this matter.
The Solicitor-General (Sir Derek Spencer): The Attorney-General received a report on the death of Leon Patterson from the Director of Public Prosecutions. Following an investigation by Greater Manchester police, the headquarters of the Crown Prosecution Service carefully considered all the facts and decided that the evidence did not provide a realistic prospect of convicting any person of any criminal offence against the deceased.
Mr. Corbyn: Does the Solicitor-General realise that that is an appalling response to a terrible tragedy? It is nearly two years since the inquest on Leon Patterson returned a verdict of unlawful killing. Eventually, an investigation was mounted by Greater Manchester police, who apparently claimed that they could not find the culprits responsible, even though Mr. Patterson died in a police station and there was a verdict of unlawful death.
Does not the Minister think that it is time to reopen this case and ensure that those who are guilty of the death of Leon Patterson are brought to justice? My constituent's family have suffered grievously since his death, and I believe that justice should be done and be seen to be done in this case.
The Solicitor-General: The hon. Gentleman omitted a very important statement of fact from his recitation. The coroner's verdict of unlawful killing was quashed by the High Court on 25 October 1994. The divisional court ordered a re-hearing, and all these matters, which have given rise to understandable anguish among the family and the community, can be ventilated at that coroner's inquest. The hon. Gentleman may agree that it is greatly in the interests of the family of the deceased, the doctors who attended and the police that there should be no rush to judgment before this full and further inquest has been held.
Mr. Hendry: I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend for that answer. Does he agree that it is of paramount importance that the Crown Prosecution Service keep in close contact with the families of victims at each stage of a prosecution? Does he further
Column 687agree that that is particularly important when a case is not brought to court, so that the families may understand the precise reasons why?
The Attorney-General: Yes, my hon. Friend makes two good points. It is very important that both the CPS and the police, who are often the main point of contact, keep in touch with the victim on all sorts of matters in relation to a crime and potential prosecution--bail, compensation, dates of hearing and progress of the case. In particular, as my hon. Friend says, this is most important where it has been decided not to prosecute, so that that decision can be properly explained to the victim or the family.
Mr. Donald Anderson: We welcome the fact that the Director of Public Prosecutions will now record the views of victims for bail purposes, but will the Attorney-General go further and allow the trial judge--who, after all, is aware of relations between the victim and the accused--to direct, in cases of sexual offences and of violence, that the victim and family be informed before the accused or convicted person is released on parole or on licence? Indeed, in cases of violence and of sexual offences, perhaps the trial judge should even direct where the convicted person should go on home leave.
The Attorney-General: The hon. Gentleman raises important questions, but they are, as he realises, matters for my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary. I quite agree with him about the importance of keeping victims in touch, especially when a dangerous convicted person is likely to return to a neighbourhood.
Mr. Beith: Is the Attorney-General aware that the anguish of a victim's family is particularly acute during the court proceedings, when they may be treated by court officials merely as witnesses? They need to be kept informed of progress, and perhaps to be taken aside and informed of important developments in the case or its outcome. Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman feed the experience of his Department into that of the Home Office when considering this aspect?
The Attorney-General: The right hon. Gentleman makes an important point. It can be very muddling for family members who go to court, and it is important that prosecutors and police try to find time to explain to the family of the victim, or to the victim himself, what stage a case has reached. The same applies to court staff.
Column 688to the Court of Appeal has begun to impact on sentences in the first instance? As that matches the public mood, it is greatly to be welcomed.
The Solicitor-General: I can indeed confirm that. In the past 12 months or so we have referred about 12 cases arising out of deaths on the road. The Lord Chief Justice has taken the opportunity in those cases not only to increase the sentence but to update the guidelines in Boswell to take account of the decision taken in the House to increase the maximum sentence from five years to 10 years. As a result of these decisions, general sentencing for causing death on the road has increased nationwide.
Ms Abbott: Is the Attorney-General aware of the concern in the black and Asian communities about the failure to bring people to book for a number of notorious racist killings and attacks in recent months?
The Attorney-General: Yes, I am aware of the concerns raised by the hon. Lady. I am aware too of the specific concerns that she and two of her hon. Friends have raised with the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Crown Prosecution Service takes any case with a racial element especially seriously. I urge the hon. Lady to accept the invitation given to her by the director and the chief Crown prosecutor for London to visit the chief prosecutor to discuss these cases with him so that she may understand fully the lengths and efforts that have been gone to and the background to the cases.
39. Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding has been allocated for this year to help the Government of Kenya with the problems caused by street children in that country; and if he will make a statement.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Tony Baldry): We have allocated £150,000 for a shelter, education and feeding programme run by the International Child Care Trust in Kitale, £30,000 of which has been allocated for this year.
Mr. Cox: I welcome the Minister's reply, but is he aware that the problems are on-going in Kenya? Does he accept that there is no more depressing sight than to see young street children roaming without any stability in their lives? Is he further aware that many people--not necessarily within organisations, but members of the general public--seek to help these
Column 689children? They need advice, however, and resources. Will the Minister seek to pursue the matter via the Kenyan Government and to offer them resources?
Mr. Baldry: The whole House shares the hon. Gentleman's concern about street children in Kenya and elsewhere. We have a substantial aid programme in Kenya; we donate £31 million of bilateral aid to Kenya. The purpose of our aid programme in Kenya is to reduce poverty and to promote economic growth. We think that that is the most effective way to tackle the underlying causes that make the life of street children so desperate. When we are discussing the forward aid programme with the Kenyan Government, we shall certainly discuss what further initiatives might be taken to tackle the problems of street children.
Mr. Jacques Arnold: I congratulate my hon. Friend on the funds that have been made available for dealing with the problems of street children in Kenya. I recommend that he bears in mind the successful work that has been done in Brazil with street children following the recent visit of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the home concerned in Rio de Janeiro. Should we not be learning the lessons of that work--that providing a stable and secure home for youngsters, along with education and training, will enable them to go on and make successful lives for themselves?
Mr. Baldry: My hon. Friend is right to remind the House that, sadly, the problem of street children extends worldwide. He is correct to say that 18 months ago our right hon. Friend the Prime Minister launched an initiative for street children in support of a consortium of non- governmental organisations working on behalf of street children in developing countries. I am glad to say that we are providing financial support over a five-year period to carry forward this important work. We are working to tackle the problem of street children worldwide.
Mr. Baldry: We have agreed new education projects and bursaries for tertiary education in South Africa at a total cost of more than £3.3 million since April 1994. Total expenditure on education and training projects in South Africa is expected to exceed £6 million in this financial year.
Mr. Pike: Will the Minister give the undertaking that at the United Nations social summit next week the British Government will commit themselves to allocating 20 per cent. of their aid to basic needs, including education? If they did that, would not they be able massively to increase basic education in South Africa?
Mr. Baldry: We have a very substantial bilateral aid programme for South Africa. We are giving £60 million of bilateral aid to South Africa, of which education and training activities account for about 40 per cent. Our
Column 690commitment to assisting the improvement of education and educational development in South Africa is there for the whole world to see.
Mr. John Marshall: Does my hon. Friend agree that, while South Africa may be suffering from a crisis of rising expectations, its political and economic changes will succeed only if it creates the circumstances in which overseas private investors are encouraged to invest?
Mr. Baldry: My hon. Friend makes an extremely good point. Of course, trade and investment is crucial to South Africa. We are the largest foreign investor in South Africa. Indeed, during a visit to South Africa last year, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade announced a new ODA-backed scheme to encourage further UK investment in smaller businesses. Circumstances that attract investment to South Africa are fundamental to the country's future.
42. Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he is able to announce in respect of funds from the Overseas Development Administration budget reallocated from the Pergau dam project.
Mr. Baldry: We are using the reallocated amounts this year for additional emergency aid, primarily in Bosnia, Rwanda and Chechnya, for additional contributions to multilateral organisations in health and population, and for additional country programme spending, including mine clearance in Cambodia.
Mr. Watson: That will clearly be welcomed by all the various organisations that will benefit from the projects to which the Minister referred. In debates in the House following the courts' finding that the Government had acted illegally in their funding of the Pergau dam project, the Government undertook to provide funding in the next two financial years, but not beyond that. Will the Minister commit the Government to going that bit further and confirm that mistakes made with respect to the Pergau dam refer to more than just the next two years and, for the first time on behalf of anyone in the Government, will he apologise for what happened?
Mr. Baldry: We have debated this matter at considerable length in the House. Indeed, the hon. Gentleman was present for a debate the other day on Pergau. The settlement, under which an extra £65 million has been made available to the aid budget over a two-year period, is seen by most reasonable people in this country as fair and to be commended. The fact that so much money this year is now being spent on additional programmes in Malawi, on mine clearance in Cambodia and on relief in Chechnya, Rwanda and elsewhere, is also widely welcomed. The whole House generally sees that settlement as fair.
Column 691to ensure that we have a robust, bilateral British aid programme, under which, wherever possible, we use UK know-how and goods.
Miss Lestor: To add to the confusion over the Pergau dam, which I think the Minister will find will not go away, may I say that earlier this month the Minister for Overseas Development shocked Europe and dismayed the developing world when she announced the Government's intention to slash their contribution to Lome by 30 per cent.? If the Government really intend to cut that contribution--I hope that they will change their mind--to concentrate on the British bilateral aid programme, what additional aid programmes does the ODA plan to fund with the unexpected windfall, which will result unless he is prepared to change his mind?
Mr. Baldry: The facts are straightforward. The United Kingdom bilateral aid programme worldwide is widely recognised as being of high quality. However, multilateral aid is now growing to unacceptable levels; it will be 60 per cent. of total aid in three years' time. Our EC aid alone will be more than 40 per cent. That will be made at the expense of the British bilateral programme unless we can achieve a better balance--hence our offer to EDF VIII. However, our contribution to EDF will still be substantial. Our aim is to set the right size for the UK contribution, one that reflects the means at our disposal, our aid priorities and the need to ensure a robust and sizeable British bilateral aid programme.
Mr. Ainger: Does the Minister accept the threefold priorities identified by Oxfam and Human Rights Watch: first, that the Rwandan judiciary needs to be strengthened and rebuilt immediately to deal with the thousands of prisoners awaiting trial; secondly, that the international tribunal should be set up immediately to prosecute the ringleaders of the genocide in Rwanda; and, thirdly, that the civil administration should be rebuilt to deal with the problems of refugees returning to their homes? What particular and practical help can the Government give to achieve those priorities?
Mr. Baldry: As the hon. Gentleman knows, we were co-sponsors of the resolution that set up the international criminal tribunal. We are donating £200,000 worth of personnel and equipment to that tribunal. Our support for Rwanda is on-going. When the Prime Minister of Rwanda was here last week, we committed a further £500,000 for security in the refugee camps. Only today, we have announced a further commitment of £3.2 million of food aid for use both inside and outside Rwanda. United Nations Zairean monitors are now protecting convoys. We are now beginning to see people moving back into Rwanda. Real progress is being made in resettlement and in ensuring that the international war crimes tribunal starts its work effectively.
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