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The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, as chief legal advisers to Her Majesty's Government, are available to advise the Government on all questions of international and domestic law. In this capacity, the Law Officers have been asked to advise, from time to time, on legal issues relating to the use of force, including international humanitarian law. There is a long-standing convention that neither the substance of the Law Officers' advice, nor the fact that they have been consulted, is disclosed outside Government.
The Diplomatic Service is committed to reflecting the modern face of Britain and to attracting talent from all ethnic groups. To this end, we are continually working to encourage minority ethnic people to apply to join the service.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what stocks of (a) antiques, (b) paintings and (c) fine wines are held by his Department; if he will list such assets sold over the last three years together with the sale proceeds from such transactions; what plans he has to sell further such assets over the period of the current comprehensive spending review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane [holding answer 31 October 2001]: A description of the antiques and paintings in FCO properties appears in the FCO part of the national asset register. The Government wine cellar contains substantial stocks of fine wines for use at home. The FCO manages the cellar on behalf of the Government as a whole, and not exclusively for the FCO. The FCO owns no wine stocks overseas. No antiques, paintings or wines have been sold over the past three years and there are no plans to sell such items over the period of the current comprehensive spending review.
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Mrs. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last discussed with the US Secretary of State the inclusion of Cuba on the US list of nations that sponsor terrorism; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Foreign Secretary has not discussed the US list of nations that sponsor terrorism with the US Secretary of State. The Government do not subscribe to the list; it is a US list and a matter for the US authorities.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the situation in Sulawesi, Indonesia, with particular reference to attacks on the Christian minority by Muslim extremists. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The sentencing to death of three Christian militia leaders on 5 April provoked civil disturbances in Poso, central Sulawesi. Following the deployment of an additional Infantry Battalion in August, the situation in Poso itself has been calm. However, some low-level violence between Muslims and Christians has continued in remoter areas of Sulawesi.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further discussions he plans to have with the Indonesian authorities on the subject of inter-religious violence. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from employers following the passage of the Part-Time Employees (Prevention of Less Favourite Treatment) Regulations 2000. 
Ms Hewitt: My Department has received no representations from employers on the regulations themselves since they came into force. However, we worked closely with employer representatives during and following the passage of the regulations to develop appropriate guidance for business, and we continue to discuss issues relating to part-time work with employers and employer groups from time to time.
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Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of the sanctions proposed for firms that fail to comply with the information and consultation directive. 
Alan Johnson: The proposed directive requires member states to determine the provisions for enforcement of the obligations provided they are effective, proportionate and dissuasive. This part of the text was not the subject of amendment by the European Parliament. The Government will consult fully in due course on the implementation of the directive, including the question of sanctions.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the European Parliament amendments to the draft information and consultation directive which were passed on 23 October and the Government's policy in respect of the draft directive as amended. 
Alan Johnson: The Government believe it is unnecessary and unhelpful to try to change the text of the proposed directive agreed at the Council of Ministers in June. We will be strongly defending the Council's common position. The UK is not alone in this view. Several other member states are also opposed to changing the flexible measures previously agreed. We expect the Council to stick closely to the common position text.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make an assessment of the impact of the changes to the information and consultation directive which were agreed in the European Parliament on 23 October on the regulatory burden on small business in the UK. 
Alan Johnson: The proposed directive will not affect small businesses and the European Parliament's proposed amendments do not alter this fact. In the UK the directive will apply to undertakings with 50 or more employees and will, therefore, only affect about 1 per cent. of UK businesses.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The 88th session of the International Labour Conference adopted a new convention revising the Maternity Protection Convention 1952 and a Recommendation supplementing the convention. The texts of the instruments have been placed in the Library.
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if new benefit claimants living in the postcode areas laid out in Schedule 1 of the Social Security (Jobcentre Plus Interviews) Regulations 2001 will be required to visit a new Jobcentre Plus office rather than an existing Benefits Agency or Employment Service office; 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: Jobcentre Plus will start to roll out nationally next year. At present, only people of working age living within the postcode areas that are served by Jobcentre Plus pathfinders or work-focused interview sites will be required to visit those offices to claim benefits. Other people will continue to make their claims through their local Benefits Agency office or Employment Service Jobcentre. These regulations are not being applied to people who live within the postcode area SW14.
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