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House of Lords

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has to set up a committee of both Houses of Parliament charged with undertaking a wide-ranging review of the House of Lords and to bring forward proposals for reform. [63257]

The Prime Minister: The Government have decided to build on their Manifesto proposal for a committee of both Houses of Parliament to consider further reform of the House of Lords, by first appointing a Royal Commission to undertake a wide-ranging review and to bring forward recommendations. A joint committee would be set up after the Royal Commission had reported.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Departmental Staff

Mr. Robert Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list (a) the (i) task forces, (ii) review panels and (iii) advisory groups her

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Department has, (b) the remit of each and (c) the members of each together with their principal employment and their level of remuneration. [62814]

Mr. Foulkes: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Chidgey) on 30 July 1998, Official Report, column 462.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

BSE (Offspring Cull)

Mr. Rhodri Morgan: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will report on the progress of the BSE offspring cull. [63771]

Mr. Nick Brown: Before exports of British beef can resume under the Date Based Export Scheme (DBES) the UK must slaughter all offspring born after 1 August 1996 to BSE cases confirmed before 25 November 1998 (the date of the Commission Decision on the DBES). When new cases of BSE occur any offspring born after 1 August 1996 must be slaughtered without delay.

We have known for some time that this cull would be necessary and started it on a voluntary basis in August. We have been waiting for formal adoption of the Commission Decision in order to make it compulsory and ensure that the cull is properly carried out. Regulations are being laid before the House today for this purpose.

Since the cull started on a voluntary basis in August we have, with the co-operation of the farming community, culled over 1,000 animals. The compulsory cull, which will come into force in January, will ensure that all remaining offspring animals are slaughtered and clear the way for the resumption of beef exports.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Lety Concentration Camp

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of the Czech Republic concerning the building of a pig farm on the site of the Lety Concentration Camp in contravention of the Helsinki Accord. [62692]

Ms Quin: We are aware of the ongoing discussions concerning an appropriate future for the site at Lety and hope that the Czech Government will soon reach a decision that is acceptable to all parties.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Robert Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list (a) the (i) task forces, (ii) review panels and (iii) advisory groups his Department has, (b) the remit of each and (c) the members of each together with their principal employment and their level of remuneration. [62803]

Mr. Fatchett: The information is as follows:

Task Forces: Nil

Review Panels: Nil

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Advisory Groups:



    Panel 1000 was established on 1 April 1998 to:


    produce a strategy to improve the way Britain is seen overseas;


    look at the methods and tools available to do this;


    make sure that the public and private sectors are working together to do this; and


    modernise the way the Foreign and Commonwealth Office communicates with the public.


    Panel members:


    Chairman: Derek Fatchett MP


    Members (Private Sector):


    Lord Alli--Plant 24


    Zeinab Badawi--Journalist


    Martin Bell MP


    Baroness Chalker


    Lord Clinton-Davies


    Dr. Francis D'Souza--Article 19


    Mark Fisher MP


    David John--British Oxygen Company


    Mark Leonard--Foreign Policy Centre


    Lord Levy


    Ruth Mackenzie--Scottish Opera


    Lord Marshall--British Airways


    Lord Paul--Caparo


    Shahwar Sadeque--Consultant IT/education


    Judy Simpson--Athlete


    Martin Sorrell--WPP


    John Sorrell--Newell & Sorrell/Design Council


    Harriet Ware-Austin--Amnesty International


    Members (Public Sector):


    Baroness Blackstone--Department for Education and


    Employment


    Dr. David Drewry--British Council


    Andrew Fraser--Invest in Britain Bureau


    Tom Harris--Department of Trade and Industry


    Roger Liddle--No. 10 Policy Unit


    Peter Mandelson MP--Secretary of State for Trade and


    Industry


    David Quarmby--British Tourist Authority


    FCO


    Baroness Symons--Parliamentary Under-Secretary


    Sir John Kerr--Permanent Under-Secretary


    Sir Michael Jay--HM Ambassador Paris


    Claire Fulton


    Priya Guha


    Vivien Life


    Panel members do not receive remuneration, although expenses are payable.


    2. Diplomatic Service Appeal Board


    The Board aims to advise the Secretary of State whether premature retirement, or termination of an appointment on grounds of failed probation, or on dismissal grounds is fair.


    Panel members


    Sir Keith Morris (Chairman)--Retired


    Peter Fowler (Vice Chairman)--Retired


    Juliet Campbell--Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge

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    Rodney Bedford--Retired


    Sally Bull--Retired


    Lady Jacqueline Dyson--Lecturer in Law


    Kamlesh Bahl--Legal Adviser and Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission


    No appointments are full time. Remuneration is only paid per diem when the Board meets. It did not meet in 1997-98.


    3. Wilton Park Academic Council


    The Council aims to ensure that Wilton Park retains full academic independence; it oversees Wilton Park's programme with this objective.


    Panel members


    Liliana Archibald--(Chairman)


    Anthony Bruce--Chairman, Marconi Overseas Ltd.


    Juliet Campbell--Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge


    Robin Corbett MP


    Lord Holme


    Tony Young--Joint General Secretary Commonwealth


    Workers Union


    Gael Ramsay--Chief Executive, British Executive Services Overseas


    Andrew Rowe MP


    Helen Wallace--Director, Sussex European Institute,


    University of Sussex


    Michael Walsh--Secretary, International Department, TUC


    Lady Suzanne Warner--Deputy Chair, Broadcasting


    Standards Commission


    Nik Gowing


    Panel members do not receive any remuneration, but expenses are payable.


    4. Government Hospitality Fund Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine


    The aim of the Committee is to advise on the purchasing of wine for government hospitality.


    Committee members


    Sir Ewen Fergusson (Chairman)--Company Chairman


    Anthony Hanson--wine consultant


    Sebastian Payne--wine buyer


    Mark Savage--wine merchant


    John Avery--wine merchant


    Committee members receive no remuneration, although expenses are payable.

Edgar Fernandez Case

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to encourage the Maltese and Turkish authorities to pursue and bring to a conclusion extradition proceedings relating to Mohammed Abdel Abbas Ali. [62599]

Mr. Fatchett: I refer my hon. Friend to my answers of 29 October 1998, Official Report, column 271. Our staff in Valletta and Ankara continue to remind the Turkish and Maltese Governments of the importance we attach to this extradition being processed as quickly as possible. My noble Friend the Under-Secretary raised the matter with the Turkish Ambassador on 2 December and the Vice-Consul in Valletta spoke to the Maltese Attorney General's office on 3 December.

China

Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what

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representations he has made to China regarding the deaths of prisoners at Drapchi Prison in May who had chanted slogans during a visit by EU ambassadors. [63137]

Mr. Fatchett: When EU Ambassadors visited Drapchi prison on 4 May there was no evidence of any disturbances having occurred. Prisoners did not chant slogans. News of disturbances reached the Ambassadors only after their return to Beijing. We are very concerned about the reported deaths of prisoners and we have raised the incident with the Chinese authorities, both bilaterally and in conjunction with EU partners.


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