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The Department is committed to improving the health and well being of the general population, including the promotion of healthy
9 Jan 2006 : Column 180W
lifestyles. The Department is currently taking forward a number of initiatives, including gender specific screening programmes.
Some initiatives address particular aspects of women's health. Examples include work related to the maternity standard of national service framework for children, young people and maternity services. The standard contains a number of recommendations including ones to address improving maternal health and the needs of pregnant women experiencing domestic violence.
The guideline on the assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems, published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2004, provides advice to people concerned about delays in conception, including advice on alcohol and drug use, smoking and body weight. It also recommends screening for chlamydia before treatment begins.
Mr. Byrne: The working time directive (WTD) was implemented for the vast majority of national health service staff groups in 1998 in accordance with regulations. The Government negotiated an extension to the WTD for doctors in training to enable local implementation from August 2004.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 12 December 2005, Official Report, column 1653W, to the right hon. and learned Member for North East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell), on terrorist suspects (renditions), what (a) records and (b) agencies were consulted by officials researching whether the United States had requested permission for a rendition through UK territory or airspace; whether he has asked the US Administration (i) how many US flights carrying detainees have passed through UK territory or airspace to other countries for questioning and (ii) whether the US Administration maintains records of requests for permission for renditions since 1997; and what plans he has to reform the system of record keeping in this area in the future. 
Dr. Howells: Officials have consulted relevant records, and individual recollections, in the Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and intelligence agencies. They continue to check further. Any future United States (US) request for permission to rendite an individual through UK territory or airspace will be carefully recorded by British officials. Maintenance of records by US officials is a matter for the US Administration.
The United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured. Where appropriate, the United States seeks assurances that transferred persons will not be tortured.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government has asked the United States Administration whether the Gulfstream V aircraft that transited at Prestwick on 15 January 2002 was a rendition flight. 
Dr. Howells: As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear in his response to the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Mr. Kennedy) at Prime Minister's Question Time on 14 December 2005, it would be absurd for the Government to investigate every flight transiting the UK which may have a connection to the United States Government.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the annual agreement between the US and the UK about flights into the UK originating in the US was last agreed; what changes if any were made; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: There is no annual agreement of the kind mentioned by the right hon. and learned Member. Administrative arrangements have been in place since 1949 under which on a reciprocal basis US and UK military and State aircraft have clearance to land at military airfields in each other's territory.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2005, Official Report, column 1043W, on airspace (extraordinary rendition), what the (a) terms and (b) procedures are of the bilateral Air Services Agreement between the US and UK relating to (i) flights originating in the US into the UK and (ii) flights originating in third countries into the UK on their way to the US; when this agreement was last renewed; what changes have been agreed to it, on what dates, in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the Governments of the United States (US) and United Kingdom was signed on 23 July 1977 and has been subject to a number of amendments, some of which have been the subject of formal exchanges of notes and some of which are applied administratively between the two Governments. Copies of the agreement and of the formal exchanges of notes amending it are available in the Library of the House (Command Papers 7016, 7332, 8222, 9720, 792 and 793). The most recent amendment to this agreement was made in April 2000.
The ASA sets out the framework for commercial air services between the two countries. It deals with matters such as designation and authorisation of airlines, security, competition, tariffs and other matters. It sets out the routes (city pairs) that can be operated and imposes certain restrictions on services operated from Heathrow and Gatwick. Negotiations between the EU and US about the possible replacement of the national bilateral agreements with a single agreement between the European Community, the member states and the US are at an advanced stage.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for North East Fife of 9 December 2005, Official Report, columns 165253W, on terrorist suspects (rendition), whether the US Administration has ever (a) sought permission for and (b) conducted extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects via the UK's (i) dependent territories and (ii)sovereign bases. 
Dr. Howells: As far as we are aware, the US Administration has neither sought permission to conduct, nor actually conducted, extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects via the UK's Overseas Territories, including the Sovereign Base Areas.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with his counterparts in (a) the US and (b) the EU regarding the arms trade, with particular reference to (i) arms reduction and (ii) a total global arms ban. 
Dr. Howells: We have regular bilateral and multilateral contacts both with our EU partners and with the United States to discuss the global trade in conventional arms, including our shared concerns over the irresponsible proliferation of these weapons.
While we have had no discussions about a total global arms ban, which we do not support, the Government are championing the elaboration of an international treaty on the arms trade and is working to secure the broad international consensus required to make this a reality. The G8 Summit at Gleaneagles in July agreed that
On 3 October, EU Foreign Ministers added the European Union's voice to the growing support for international treaty, and called for a formal process of negotiation to begin at the United Nations at the earliest opportunity. Commonwealth Heads of Government echoed the call for the start of a UN process toward a treaty when they met for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in November.
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