9 Mar 2001 : Column: 347W
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Prime Minister when he intends to publish Sir Anthony Hammond's review into the circumstances surrounding the application for naturalisation by Mr. S. P. Hinduja. 
Sir Anthony Hammond is satisfied that nothing improper has occurred in relation to the application for naturalisation by Mr. S. P. Hinduja. Sir Anthony Hammond has found that the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. O'Brien), the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz), and my right hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson) behaved entirely properly throughout.
Ms Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many complaints there have been of sexual harassment and abuse in Royal Mail sorting offices in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: I am advised by the Post Office that it does not hold this information for the last five years. However, the Post Office has provided figures for the number of Employment Tribunal cases involving sexual discrimination and harassment for the last three years as set out in the table.
|Financial year||Number of Employment Tribunal cases|
(1) To December
9 Mar 2001 : Column: 348W
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what outcome of the legal action being pursued by GlaxoSmithKline over the South African Government's amended Medicines Act would accord with Government policy. 
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 13 December 2000, Official Report, column 141W, on HIV/AIDS, if he has supported the use of compulsory licensing and parallel importing of medicines by poor countries. 
Mr. Caborn: The Government support the existing flexibilities within the WTO TRIPS Agreement. This allows WTO members to implement domestic IPR regimes which take adequate account of their national circumstances. There is nothing in the TRIPS Agreement to prevent Governments from allowing the importation of goods from the cheapest legitimate international sources (parallel importing). This is a matter for the judgment of individual Governments. The TRIPS Agreement (Article 31) also allows Governments to authorise production without the consent of patent holders, subject to adequate compensation (compulsory licensing) in a range of circumstances.
Mr. Caborn: The Department of Trade and Industry has had contacts with the South African Government concerning part of one article of its revised Medicines Act. We have made clear our support for South Africa's access to affordable medicines, consistent with national obligations under the TRIPs Agreement.
|Date of application under Section 48||Patent number||Patentee||Applicant for licence||Outcome|
|10 March 1995||GB 2133069||Therma-Tru Corp||Cohmor Holdings Plc||Application refused by decision dated 5 June 1996 (2)|
|9 June 1995||EP 0083360||Baxter International Ltd.||M. L. Laboratories||Application withdrawn 26 June 1996|
|9 November 1995||GB 2065080||Arnold Kastner||Rizla Ltd.||Application withdrawn 26 April 1996|
|12 January 1996||EP 0182442||Biogen Inc||Medeva Plc; Evans Medical Ltd.||Application withdrawn 8 July 1997|
|23 May 1996||GB 2150431||Janet Parker||Merville Modular Ltd.||Application withdrawn 10 April 1997|
|25 July 1996||EP 0163933||R. L. Reynolds||Emward Fastenings Ltd.||Application refused by decision dated 29 December 1997|
|27 January 1997||GB 2133069||Therma-Tru Corp||Evergreen Door Ltd.||Application withdrawn 4 March 1998|
(2) Confirmed on appeal
Patent Office Annual Reports, 1990-91 to 1999-2000
9 Mar 2001 : Column: 349W
9 Mar 2001 : Column: 349W
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has been in contact with GlaxoSmithKline concerning its legal action against the South African Government; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: I have been in contact with GlaxoSmithKline on a range of matters, including the conditions for business in South Africa. The pursuit of legal action is a matter for GSK and the other companies concerned.
Mr. Caborn: Compulsory licences are subject to national laws. The UK has not issued any compulsory licences in the last 10 years. The Government do not have information on compulsory licences issued by other countries.
Mr. Caborn: Parallel importing can and does occur between EU member states, but information as to its occurrence elsewhere is not available. We have no information on other countries introducing legislation on the international exhaustion of patents with the explicit aim of reducing the cost of medicines.
Mr. Alan Johnson: I am today publishing a consultation paper setting out options for implementing this directive. Copies are being placed in the Library of the House. The consultation period will last for 12 weeks, until 31 May, and I look forward to receiving views from as many interested parties as possible by this date.
9 Mar 2001 : Column: 350W
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much certified timber has been purchased by her Department over the past six months; and what proportion of total timber purchases this represents. 
Clare Short: DFID will report data on all timber purchases to DETR for incorporation in the Green Ministers' annual report. Guidance on data collection is being prepared by DETR. In advance of agreed systems DFID could not currently collate this information without disproportionate cost. We encourage all our suppliers to procure goods from sustainable sources and to comply with international trade agreements.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact on the world's poorest countries of the possible extension of GATS; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: It is up to developing countries to decide to what extent they want to open their markets further under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The Government believe that services are potentially a significant source of economic growth for developing countries. The development of services domestically, particularly in the finance and telecommunications sectors, is necessary to facilitate the growth in other parts of the economy to reduce poverty. Services liberalisation can act as a spur to domestic reform. It can provide access to new markets overseas and can encourage foreign investment.
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