Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 20 - 39)



  20. The fact is that the skilled people who leave countries like India or Pakistan or Bangladesh, wherever they come from but particularly those countries, will never have any desire to return to their own country with those skills. This is a fact of life. Therefore it is practically a brain drain. Either you force them to leave this country or you employ them here on condition that they go back. I do not know whether any such conditions will be imposed when they are allowed to come into this country.
  (Clare Short) I recognise the patterns you describe, but you are slightly overstating the case you make. For example, some weeks ago I was in Addis Ababa at a meeting called by the Economic Commission for Africa which has a lot of trained economists under K Y Amoako putting together strategies from much better economic performance in Africa and they have been recruiting a lot of staff. They had had masses of applications from Africans of high skill levels in the diaspora. Callisto Madavo, who is the Vice-President for Africa in the World Bank and is Zimbabwean and KY who is a Ghanaian economist both said we should never underestimate the pull of home. If there are jobs where you can use your skills people will come back and want to contribute to their country. Not all people of course. It depends on the age of your children and the commitments of your life, but there are always people who do want to go back and contribute to their country if they get a chance to use their skills. I share your concern but we should not overstate it to the point when there is no movement of people, no sharing of skills, no enablement for there to be fair trading in services because people from developing countries are not allowed to move temporarily to countries like ours in order to sell services, particularly like Indian IT where that can be a real earner going back to India.


  21. It would be immoral, would it not, if all the nurses and all the doctors were recruited by the National Health Service, leaving none of those skills in countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and so on.
  (Clare Short) Absolutely, and the National Health Service has some special rules to take account of this before it does any recruiting abroad, which were put in place by Frank Dobson when he was the Secretary of State.

  22. I hope all area health authorities hear your voice.
  (Clare Short) No, there are procedures. I have had some correspondence with Alan Milburn about it recently. Procedures are in place. We think it is a good model which could be applied to other sectors. Perhaps we should provide details to the Committee of the way in which it works.[1]

  Chairman: Yes, we should like to see that.

Mr Robathan

  23. At the weekend there was a newspaper article about developing countries complaining about their nurses being nicked for the NHS. Obviously the message has not quite got through yet.
  (Clare Short) As we all know increasingly, you cannot believe everything you read in newspapers. May I provide the Committee with the details of how the National Health Service works this? I agree very much with Andrew Rowe that that does not control private agencies, so there may well be other problems. However, it is an interesting and useful model.

  Chairman: We should like to see that.

Ms Kingham

  24. First of all I think I have to declare—it is unclear—an interest here in that my husband is doing work on globalisation and I believe a consortium of which he is part may be approaching DFID for support to work alongside them.
  (Clare Short) May I declare that I never involve myself in who gets contracts, so it will not make any difference.

  25. I thought I had better say that as it is one of those grey areas. The question I want to ask is about labour standards about which there has been a lot of debate. In its submission to us the Commonwealth Trade Union Council state ". . . unless there is much greater recognition of the need for all governments to enforce basic labour standards the White Paper might well be entitled `Making the Poor Work for Globalisation'". The key word there is "enforce" labour standards. How do the Government intend to ensure that the international community can in some way enforce labour standards? Do the Government still support the establishment of a joint ILO/WTO standing working forum on trade globalisation and labour issues? That was the forum which was suggested after the Seattle talks. If so, are we promoting that in any way?
  (Clare Short) I had a meeting with the Commonwealth TUC in Geneva once. Obviously they have deep concern about core labour standards but we do very urgently need to mature the trade union debate on these questions in that the poorest of the world are not in organised sectors and are not in trade unions. Trade unions can be their allies very importantly in advocating policies which bring benefits to the poorest people, but unionisation of the very poorest in the world is very unlikely to be the remedy which will improve the labour standards of the poorest. Secondly, certainly the trade union input to the Seattle meeting, which was led by the American trade unions but supported by the AFL/CIO was calling for the World Trade Organisation to be used to enforce labour standards. The logic of that is that any country which has problems of child labour, of bonded labour and of labour which is badly paid or badly treated, would have trade sanctions against it. Every poor country has child labour. If you go down that road you punish countries for being poor, you have trade sanctions against them because they are not in a position to have all their children properly in school and not in work and so on. These are very, very important questions, but do they promote development and enhancement of the life of people who are labouring for very little return or do they actually make things worse for them? In every developing country there is child labour: the poorest countries have more. It tends to be concentrated in non-traded sectors, lots of it in agriculture of course. Of course some degree of children working for their parents in small subsistence farming is a perfectly acceptable practice. The reason we have long summer holidays here is that children used to help their parents, a long time ago when we were a rural economy. We need to mature the debate about how to get better enforcement of core labour standards. That said, the ILO, which up until recently has tended to focus on enforcement of labour standards in organised sectors and therefore have little relevance to development, is now broadening out its work considerably. We have the Convention on the most exploitative forms of child labour and an agreement worldwide to do a big push not to stop all aspects of child labour but the forms where children are being very grossly exploited: the sex industry, children working very long hours which prevents them from going to school. The push to get all children into school and make school and some work for their families compatible is a very important change and we are working with the ILO in Andhra Pradesh and Tanzania and in the Golden Triangle on resisting the sex trade, to try to improve children's chance of having a childhood and get to work. Similarly bonded labour. There is a declaration of the ILO that we should all work together on the enforcement of the four key labour standards, child and bonded labour, no discrimination and the right of labour to organise. We need to interpret the right of labour to organise, to include communities organising themselves, not only trade union organisations, all forms of self-organisation of people which enable them to protect themselves and put forward their rights and standards. We are working in support of that, particularly on bonded labour in Nepal where there are high levels of bonded labour. Our own work with the ILO is going very strongly now. Richard Manning has been negotiating with the ILO because it has rather broadened its viewpoint and taken account of the fact that most of the poorest of the world are not in organised sectors. Then the standing working forum proposal, which we worked very hard to get to be the EU position and it is the EU position, to get it out of being a working party in the WTO, which all developing countries absolutely oppose and so do we. We are opposed to the suggestion of using trade sanctions as the mechanism of improving core labour standards. Yes, we support this outside the WTO but you can look at the contribution trade can make, the ILO can make, indeed the World Bank and development strategies can make and we need strategies to improve labour standards but not sanctions against countries for their poverty.

  26. My second question is about international capital flows. War on Want state in their submission to us "One specific aspect of globalisation which has caused poverty is the growth and instability of capital flows. $2 trillion is now exchanged every day on world currency markets . . . As a direct result", of the East Asian financial crisis, "the ILO estimates that 10 million people were thrown out of work and poverty levels rose dramatically". These are stark facts. The White Paper states that the Government are prepared to countenance "specific measures to help discourage excessive short term capital inflows". I should like to ask first of all what is meant by that. Secondly, what is the Government's position on proposals for a capital transactions tax to impede financial speculation and provide increased tax revenue. I am thinking here about the Tobin tax in particular.
  (Clare Short) The first point I would make in response to that is that the abundant availability of capital, its willingness to move across the world, is one of the aspects of globalisation which creates the potential for great benefits to developing countries because beneficial investment, bringing access to modern technology in infrastructure and other sectors, can really lift up economic performance. So we must not be against investment from outside. We all know that there is this disgraceful and worrying fact about Africa in the White Paper: 40 per cent of its domestic savings leave the continent. The same conditions of unstable banks, not well regulated banks, mean that the savings of Africa are in Europe and they should be the first call for re-investment in the continent. The sort of reforms which keep savings at home are the same reforms which attract inward investment: proper enforcement of law, properly regulated banks and so on. We should welcome the availability of capital to invest and seek to channel that in a way which is beneficial. Of course if you take the east Asian economies, they achieved in the past 30 years the fastest economic growth and reduction of poverty for the largest number of people that has ever been achieved in human history. They did it by attracting inward investment and exporting and growing their economies and investing massively in education. Without capital coming in and investing in their economies, they would not have achieved that enormous performance in reducing poverty. Similarly China. China's improved performance recently has been as China has opened up and attracted investment into itself and been able to grow its economy more rapidly. Of course the east Asian crisis was short-term hot money realising that it had been taken into banks short term and then lent on long term to domestic enterprises in rather crony suspect relationships between local banks and local companies and that that was not viable. Then once the scare started all the hot short-term money came out and threw the economies into deep recession and big devaluations of their currency and did do damage, but did not reverse the previous economic growth which had been achieved in east Asia. Actually the evidence is that it was more the middle classes who suffered than the very poor because people were thrown out of employment in urban areas. We do not want anyone to suffer, but as a matter of fact, that was the result and the cause of it was partly bad regulation of banks, untransparent relationships between banks and local investment, things which need to be cleaned up in greater transparency and better management of inward investment. Indeed a lot of lessons have been learned from the Asian crisis in countries which are opening up their capital markets. We say very clearly in the White Paper that it should be phased sensibly, proper regulatory arrangements have to be in place so that you cannot get this kind of abuse and destabilisation of an economy. There are special measures to restrict short-term flows which we refer to in the White Paper. Famous examples have been used, like in Chile, which required the depositing for no interest of sums of money to try to restrict the inflow of hot money. It worked for a time but Chile has got rid of it; it was a mechanism which was used and which is reasonable. In the face of the crisis Malaysia used government controls and then phased them out which was its way of getting through the crisis. What the Treasury favour and what the reference in the White Paper is about is that we think it is a good idea for countries to look for taxing mechanisms and so on to make short-term flows in and out, have some taxation and cost on them so that there is a restriction on hot money that can cause a destabilising effect. On the Tobin tax, the idea that there should be a very tiny charge on hot money moving around the world which would go into a big global development pool is a very attractive idea. The problem is that we have to get all countries in the world to agree for it to be able to work; obviously, otherwise it would distort flows. It is a good thing to campaign on and it might come one day, but I fear it might take quite a lot of time and we have to have methods in the meantime of making progress.

  27. I would add the debt crisis. When people were first campaigning on that in the early 1980s people said it could never happen, it was a long time, so maybe it is worth looking out for in the future.
  (Clare Short) I know and I find it an attractive proposal, but we do just have to face the fact that it will not come in until everyone has agreed, will it, because you would be disadvantaging your own country as a destination for investment if you agreed to a tax and other countries did not? It is quite a job to think of getting the world to a point where everyone would agree.

Mr Rowe

  28. It has been suggested that one of the subsidiary causes of the Asian crisis was the fact that quite a lot of the highly prestigious accountancy firms worldwide were pretty careless about the way in which they carried out the audits. I wondered whether your Department was actually really satisfied that some of these famous worldwide names are as good as they ought to be, because clearly they give a lot of comfort to moneylenders and others, but if in fact they themselves are not behaving as scrupulously or as presciently as they might it must actually compound the problem rather than the other way round.
  (Clare Short) That is very interesting. I do not have enough information to comment. I do not know whether either of my colleagues does. Let me say that we have really learned about the need for transparency. You have big pension funds based here, investing money because there is an historic high rate of growth and therefore you are getting a good return, but into bad investments which were taking in a lot of short-term money and lending long. It was unviable in the end and there was incompetence in doing those kinds of investments and the need for much more transparency in where the investments were going, but much more scrutiny rather than following the herd by really quite prestigious pension funds and so on. That is part of the lesson of the crisis. Does either of you have enough information to comment on whether accountancy firms have let their standards slip in countries in east Asia?
  (Mr Batt) I do not have that information.
  (Clare Short) I shall enquire but no-one has ever put that point to me before.[2]


  29. I am sure if you put that question to PricewaterhouseCoopers they would say no.
  (Clare Short) True and it may well not be, to be fair.

Mr Colman

  30. May I take us back to the Tobin tax? At the Social Summit in Geneva last June, there was agreement with all the countries in the world that there should be an investigation into the Tobin tax and other taxes of that nature. Just before Christmas the UN Secretary-General made known the Chairman of the Commission which would look into this and who would sit on that panel. Perhaps it would be possible for the Secretary of State to give us a note on how far the discussions have gone in terms of the work on the Tobin tax and the report I believe this Commission is going to be making to a UN conference later this year on financing for development.
  (Clare Short) This is a Treasury lead, not us. Obviously it is a proposal for a tax on international financial flows. We can ask the Treasury for a note[3] but I do say to everyone, let us look at it with interest but do not hold your breath. It might be out grandchildren who inherit that.

  31. I hear what you say. I understand there is a world clearing system which is in fact coming in on this in February and that will be a mechanism to be able to control these flows. Clearly flows could be outside that mechanism but the major centres in the world are working through the single mechanism. There is movement on this and the French Government and Canadian Government, as you will know, have particularly led on this worldwide. I was pleased that the UK Government, certainly with the Treasury lead, supported a full investigation into this last June.
  (Clare Short) I repeat that this is a Treasury lead and I know that they see enormous difficulties in the likelihood of it coming forward. I have never before heard that the French and the Canadians are supposed to be fully in support; I shall have to investigate that. I am not sure it is fully the case. It is easy for people to be in generalised support of something which is not going to happen.

Barbara Follett

  32. The White Paper commits the Government to the establishment of a Commission on Intellectual Property Rights. What will be the Commission's terms of reference, its members, whom will it consult, when will it report and will it just look forward or will it have the ability to review existing agreements, for example the TRIPs World Trade Organisation agreement?
  (Clare Short) I cannot answer those questions fully; I am working on it and shall make an announcement fairly shortly. We say in the White Paper, and it is clearly our view, that intellectual property protection is in the interests of the poor. This is another area of campaigning. For example, new drugs and vaccines which we need for HIV/AIDS, for malaria and so on, the killer disease, and the greatest intellectual capacity in the world in this research is in the private sector. We need partnerships with the public sector to get the research done because there will not be a market response, but you need some intellectual property protection if you are ever going to achieve this. I just want to make clear that there are those who say there should be no intellectual property protection and we think that would prevent the development of treatments or prevent investment in developing countries which need investment. So the view of the Department is that some agreement on basic commitment to some intellectual property regime is beneficial to developing countries. Of course developing countries in the Uruguay Round signed up to putting in place basic intellectual property protection. I think there was no template; it was just some basic framework of law.
  (Mr Batt) Minimum standards.
  (Clare Short) Countries have mainly found that it is difficult in practice to do that. It is a whole other area of expertise and the implementation review which is taking place in the World Trade Organisation is looking at the difficulties countries are having. The purpose of the Commission is to get people with expertise who are knowledgeable about, and sympathetic to, the interests of developing countries and the whole issue of protecting natural property, indigenous plants and herbal remedies and all that which is protected under the biodiversity convention but which you need to protect in practice, not just in some theoretical international convention. The purpose of the Commission is to roll forward the detail of that debate, look at all the detail, why countries are having problems, what kind of advice they can be given about the sort of regime which might be most beneficial to them, how natural and indigenous knowledge and plants and remedies can be properly protected. As we look into some of that detail, it may well be that with the implementation review which is taking place in the World Trade Organisation there will be recommendations for some modification of the intellectual property agreement in the next trade round. It will depend where the work takes us on that. The purpose is to help countries implement the agreements which are there in ways which will be beneficial to the developing countries and beneficial to poor people.

  33. I want to touch on pro-poor research and development. The Intermediate Technology Development Group and ActionAid have expressed similar concerns because they say there is "little evidence to suggest that global markets will deliver improved technologies that the poor will find affordable, appropriate and accessible". We should like to know whether you think there is a role for development assistance to support the development of poverty-focused research in areas such as information and communications technology, medical research and agricultural research? I should like to tie into that: what is DFID going to do to make sure that in one particular area, which is medicine and pharmaceuticals, there is early identification of emerging diseases and that the research for drugs and vaccines necessary for them is undertaken?
  (Clare Short) I do not personally think that we need some sort of inferior technology for developing countries. There is appropriateness of technology and clearly developing countries have cheaper labour and more intensive use of labour is often one of their comparative advantages but I do not think some sort of backward forms of technology are going to be beneficial to developing countries. I do think that a major research effort needs to be focused on the needs of developing countries and indeed we do that as a Department: knowledge, agriculture, medical research I have already referred to. If you just take HIV/AIDS, the strain which is in developing countries is different from the strain in Europe and North America so if all the research for a vaccine is confined to Europe and North America you would not get a vaccine for Africa. There has to be some parallel research and there is an international initiative to drive that research forward. The market will not drive it because there are not enough people to buy consequent drugs. We and others have contributed to some of that research. For agricultural research there is an international research institute, because there are different kinds of crops, different needs, there needs to be appropriate agricultural research, certainly medical research and so on and then ideas, knowledge of what works in development, methods of consulting poor people, providing them with credit, all sorts of knowledge which needs to be spread around the international system and we and others invest in that research and that is very important. On your final question on vaccines, a lot of international effort now is going on to find the vaccine for HIV/AIDS, where the science is optimistic. In a five to six-year timescale we could have effective vaccines, but also malaria remains a bigger cause of death and ill health in Africa even now than HIV and that is suffering—a million children lose their lives to malaria—but also a lot of loss of work time which impoverishes families. Both better application of existing treatments and getting new treatments are important and we need to find new ways of building partnerships between the public sector which can drive funding and guaranteed market but will cause the private sector to put in research effort to produce some of the new drugs and vaccines. The Cabinet Office have these cross-cutting reviews taking place right now and in our Health and Population Department we are doing a lot of work on putting in place worldwide arrangements which will incentivise much better medical research to produce better treatments for the diseases of poverty than we have currently.

Mr Robathan

  34. You acknowledge in the White Paper the importance of environmental science, particularly by having a whole chapter devoted to it. You also acknowledge the conflict between environmental concerns and conservation and economic development. We have heard from the World-Wide Fund for Nature that PRSPs have not adequately taken environmental concerns into account in their opinion. I heard today from Trevor Manuel at the World Bank conference, the Finance Minister for South Africa, who said that when trade was freed up the grain which was grown in Brazil should be able to come here because they grow good grain in Brazil and they grow it very cheaply. Of course in environmental terms one of the problems with agriculture in Brazil is that it tends to go into the rain forest and they cut down rain forest for ranching in particular but also for growing grain and diminish the environmental bank there. My real question to you is: what, if anything, can we or the Government really do to ensure that environmental concerns are better integrated into development initiatives?
  (Clare Short) It is very important to get our thinking right on this crucial subject. A lot of the international campaigning is driven by a conservationist anti-development mindset. The planet is under strain, we cannot afford to promote more development and then it goes to romanticising conditions of poverty in which people in Africa and South Asia live, which causes fury in developing countries, that we developed, got all the benefits and are pulling up the ladder behind us. If the argument goes that way we shall not get international agreement on the new environmental agreements we need. On the other hand in developing countries there is also growing concern because forests are going, there are more and more problems with floods and so on, there is a growing awareness across Africa, across China, that the environment has to be attended to, that it cannot just be taken for granted. We did a big review in the Department of our work on the environment and realised that we, like most others, the World Bank and everyone else, had had an approach saying that we must promote development, but development might damage the environment, therefore you have to monitor all proposals to see that they are not environmentally damaging; a sort of negative check. Whereas if you are promoting sustainable development, what sustainable development really is, is that you look at environmental resources, economic development and social needs side by side and plan for growth which will be sustainable in an economy and will not be eroding environmental resources which cannot be replaced. It is a whole change of mindset, bringing sustainability and environmental resources into the mainstream of economic thinking in the future development of an economy and its people. You know that one of the international development targets is that there should be national strategies for sustainable development in place in every country by 2005; this comes out of the Rio conference and then reversing the loss of environmental resources by 2015. We agree very much with what it appears the World-Wide Fund for Nature said in their evidence that having a separate national strategy for sustainable development in developing countries, when they are meant to bring together all their macro-economic and social planning in their poverty reduction strategy, is not the right approach. We need to bring the environmental considerations into the mainstream of the poverty reduction strategy, make it longer term and take the focus into the centre. That is our view in the White Paper and we have started working with the World Bank and so on to try to achieve that objective. Obviously PRSPs are very new but they are going round and they are popular in developing countries and if they are to work we have to get environmental sustainability into the perspective. Our view on your point on trade and Brazil and so on, that we should not look for regulatory arrangements to restrict trade in order to prevent environmental abuse, and this is another issue which was very, very contentious at Seattle, developing countries believe that those who call for environmental provisions in the World Trade Organisation are again trying to set such high standards that their exports will be excluded from international markets. Our view, and it is the EU position, is that the World Trade Organisation agreements and international environmental agreements should mutually recognise. The Department is putting more effort into, rather like trade, enhancing the capacity of developing countries to be participants in international environment agreements, thinking about their own interests, their own environment, their own country, having more capacity to think about their own needs and represent their interests in those agreements. Like trade, that analytical capacity and negotiating capacity just need building up in developing countries.

  35. We have seen that natural disasters tend to have greater impact on less developed countries than on more developed countries. We were in Mozambique last year in the floods and people who had next to nothing ended up with absolutely nothing apart from a plastic bag. I think most people would agree that natural disasters are being exacerbated by global warming. I notice the laudable comments about renewable energy in the White Paper but is there anything further that we, your Government, the developed world, can do to create greater capacity for developing countries to adapt to environmental change and climate change?
  (Clare Short) There are two forces at work. One is probably the growing instability in climate resulting probably from global warming. The other thing is the growth in population leading to more and more people living on more and more marginal lands where they are more at risk. That is the other big thing which has been going on which means more and more people are affected by natural disasters. There is growing concern across the developing world about these issues and more and more sensitivity to the need to manage the environment in a way which minimises this. Obviously in the case of global warming, the Climate Change Convention, it is the United States of America who have been the obstacle to agreement, not developing countries. Bangladesh stands to lose one third of its territory, Pacific islands and so on stand to disappear completely. There is a real will in developing countries to get some progress. We are making progress.

  36. I particularly wanted to know whether we can assist developing countries to adapt to the environmental change which is taking place.
  (Clare Short) Yes; indeed. Getting the environmental perspective to be part of the poverty reduction strategies, thinking about environmental resources and sustainability and indeed strengthening the capacity of countries to deal with natural disasters so that they save their people more quickly and have more knowledge of where the dangers lie and where not to develop the housing and so on. We are working on those things too.
  (Mr Manning) Two things to keep an eye on. A renewable energy task force has been established by the Okinawa summit which will be reporting its findings to the Genoa summit. We shall see whether that produces any useful ideas in that area. Secondly, we are planning to fund a study to analyse the extent to which climate change will affect the achievement of international development targets and how developing countries can mitigate or adapt to such predicted changes.

Mr Rowe

  37. I have asked you this question before but it was some time ago and you might want to think about the answer again. How much does your Department do to make sure that the lessons you learn overseas are applied here? Community development in England and Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland is pathetic. Yet we go round the world preaching how communities should develop themselves. That is just one example. They are learning a great deal overseas. What mechanisms do you have in place for your Department to spread the information you have gathered through the domestic departments?
  (Clare Short) There are few very good mechanisms. There has been a sort of snobbery that is out there in the world that developing countries have nothing to teach us, whereas actually on community involvement in development we do have a lot to learn. As we publish all our documents, like Human Rights Based Approach to Development, we need to consult people and to listen to them, to get people effectively buying in and also doing more effective development. One bit of feedback I notice is that some of the work of Professor Ruth Lister who used to be the head of the Child Poverty Action Group is doing here was inspired by that document. Starting to publish all our material is beginning to get more consideration, but in general there are not good mechanisms. I hope, as there is more recognition for quality effective development, there might be more openness to learning from it.
  (Mr Manning) I have been struck by the extent to which DFID staff are increasingly being headhunted by Cabinet Office to work on a whole variety of things, so there are obviously some feedback mechanisms.


  38. We do have other questions, but perhaps we may put them to you in writing. However, may I ask you about the process of producing the White Paper which has fascinated some of our academic interlocutors, so we need to put the questions to you? How much did the Department spend on producing the White Paper, both in terms of research commissioned, the consultation process, internal costs and in the production and dissemination of the White Paper? From what part of DFID's budget was it drawn? Why was there no Statement in the House of Commons and why was it launched before copies were available in the Vote Office?
  (Clare Short) The total cost of the paper was under £700,000. Just over £300,000 came from our Information Department budget to cover design, print, translation, internet site, The Independent supplement. The rest of the money was drawn from a special budget set up for the White Paper: £161,000 was spent on commissioning research specifically for the White Paper but we do commission a lot of research in general anyway; the final £225,000 was spent on the staff costs of the small team which was formed specifically for the exercise and on the organisation of consultations, including a Round Table with representatives of developing countries in Sussex. We would have paid the staff working on the Paper anyway so there might be a bit of double accounting there. Those are the figures. Why there has been no Statement in the House of Commons is a matter for the "usual channels" and the "usual channels" from both ends decided they had other priorities. I noticed at the last Question Time that some MP asked whether we could not have a debate on these matters and I think that would be highly desirable myself and I hope we might be able to persuade the House.

  39. Is not the point that after your last White Paper we were constantly asking for a debate and we never got one? We do not even have a Statement on this one and perhaps the Leader of the House should take note of the fact that she has neglected these Statements and the work of your Department by not responding to these requests.
  (Clare Short) I share that view but I believe that both ends of the "usual channels" have that difficulty. On why the White Paper was launched before copies had been made available in the House, that was some problem with the Vote Office. It was delivered here but not distributed until later. I have written to the Speaker. Did I send a copy of that letter to you? If not I probably should have done.

1   See Evidence p. 14. Back

2   See Evidence p. 14. Back

3   See Evidence p. 13. Back

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