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Monday 27 February 2012


Leader of the House

HMS Concord

The Petition of William Leitch,

Declares that the Petitioner believes that it is a grievous injustice that the 1949 ship’s complement of HMS Concord were not recognised as a unit involved in the 1949 Yangtze campaign, due to what the Petitioner believes was a wrongful omission of important relevant documents relating to the role of HMS Concord between 28 and 31 July 1949, and declares that the Petitioner believes that those who served on HMS Concord between 28 and 31 July 1949 deserve justice, remedy and reparation.

The Petitioner therefore requests that the House of Commons sets up a Select Committee to conduct a comprehensive enquiry into the role of HMS Concord in the Yangtze campaign between 28 and 31 July 1949.

And the Petitioner remains, etc.—[Presented by Graeme Morrice , Official Report, 8 December 2011; Vol. 537, c. 5P.]


Observations from the Leader of the House of Commons:

It is for the House of Commons, and not the Government, to consider the creation of new Select Committees.

In considering the creation of any new Committee, the House will want to be mindful of approach set out in the First Report 2008-09 of the House of Commons Reform Committee, that

“The House must also seek to reduce the numbers of committees, ending overlapping or duplicate remits and rationing the scarce resource of Members time and commitment.” (Paragraph 55)

This is a view that the Government fully support.

It would be for existing committees of the House of Commons, such as the Defence Select Committee, to consider whether the issues raised by the petitioner are in need of inquiry.

International Development

Send our Sister to School Campaign

The Petition of pupils of Overfields Primary School, Middlesbrough,

Declares that the Petitioners support the Send our Sister to School Campaign which aims to give girls the same chance as boys to benefit from an education and

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that the Petitioners support the international agreement to get all children into education by 2015.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to raise the commitment to get all children into education by 2015 at the G20 summit in November.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Ian Swales , Official Report, 26 October 2011; Vol. 534, c. 434.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for International Development:

It is a tragedy that 67 million children around the world are still out of school. Investing in education is very important, as education provides children with the best route out of poverty, giving them the power to improve their own lives and the lives of others in their community. This is particularly true for girls: educating girls in the poor world is one of the most transformative actions we can take.

The UK Government support work to achieve all the Millennium Development Goals and we will make sure that aid is spent wisely to ensure that new progress is made to give poor people better access to clean water, sanitation, healthcare and education. We are also committed to making sure that every pound we spend is used in the best way to benefit as many children as possible. All children should have equal access to a good quality basic education.

Following a root and branch review of all the UK’s aid spending we published our priorities for the next four years in the document “UK Aid: Changing Lives, Delivering Results”, which can be found on the DFID website at: www.dfid.gov.uk/aidreviews. In this document we promise to support at least 9 million children in primary school, over half of whom will be girls, and 2 million children in secondary school by 2014.

In addition, we announced a new Girls’ Education Challenge last September. This will focus on the poorest girls who currently do not get any support. Through this programme, we will work with charities and businesses to find new and effective ways to educate up to an additional million of the world’s poorest girls by 2015.

The UK Government are working hard to deliver a better future for every child but more needs to be done and this is a shared responsibility. In order to ensure that girls have equal access to education in the future it is vital that by 2015, the international community keeps its promise to achieve the internationally agreed target to support all children, boys and girls alike, to complete primary education.