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Baroness Robson of Kiddington asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM), an independent advisory body, has provisionally concluded that it is unable to advise Health Ministers that the drug

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should be licensed at this stage. Under the United Kingdom licensing procedures, applicants for drug licences have extensive rights of appeal against the provisional conclusions of the CSM. The company promoting Tacrine are exercising these rights and the CSM will consider its appeal at a hearing.

The drug still remains available for use in the United Kingdom, because doctors who identify a need to treat patients with an unlicensed drug can do so on a "named patient" basis. A doctor prescribing an unlicensed medicine does so entirely on his or her own responsibility.

Palace of Westminster: Health and Safety at Work etc. Act

Baroness Turner of Camden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Pursuant to the Answer given in this House on 25th October 1993 (col. 709) by the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Employment, when they will apply the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to the Palace of Westminster and the Parliamentary Estate.

Lord Inglewood: It remains the Government's intention to extend the scope of the Health and Safety at Work etc. 1974 Act to the Houses of Parliament at a suitable opportunity. In the meantime, it is the policy of the authorities in both Houses to comply fully with the provisions of the 1974 Act as if they were binding on them in the same way as on the Crown.

Council of Consumer Affairs Ministers, 30 March

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the outcome of the Council of Ministers (Consumer Affairs) held on 30 March.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Earl Ferrers): I represented the United Kingdom at the Council.

Political agreement with unanimity was reached on a common position text of the draft directive on distance selling. When the directive is implemented, and subject to certain exemptions, suppliers of goods or services which are sold at a distance will be required to provide certain information and consumers will enjoy a seven-day cooling off period.

Political agreement by a qualified majority was also reached on a proposal to amend the Food Labelling

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Directive 79/112. This proposal includes the introduction of quantitative ingredient labelling: that is, labelling of the quantity as well as the presence of the ingredients in a food. It also specifies that food labelling should generally be in the official local language. Alcoholic drinks are excluded from the requirement for ingredient listing.

The Commission announced that it hoped to bring forward proposals to the Council in June following up the Green Papers on access to justice and on consumer guarantees.

The Commission is consulting internally on a proposal to postpone the introduction for period of four years of an obligation to unit price products which are not sold in prescribed quantities. The Commission also gave a progress report on the draft directive on cross-border payments.

A proposal to introduce Community rules on the quality standards for articles of precious metals was referred to the Committee of Permanent Representatives for further consideration.

Sports Ground Safety Work: Funding

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to help fund sports ground safety work outside the Football League.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Viscount Astor): I am pleased to inform you that the Trustees of the Foundation for Sport and the Arts has agreed to dedicate up to £8 million a year for sports ground safety work in rugby league, rugby union, cricket and, where appropriate, non-league football, from 6 May 1995. This follows the Government's decision to reduce Pool Betting Duty by 5 per cent. which the pools companies have agreed should enable them to maintain their contributions to the foundation.

Grant aid will be distributed using the well established and effective machinery of the Football Trust. Further details will be announced shortly following consultation between the trust and the relevant sports governing bodies.

For smaller sports clubs with limited finances this is a significant development. For the first time clubs outside football will be able to apply to the Football Trust for a contribution to carry out important safety work. We have had many representations from other sports, and from football clubs in the Vauxhall Conference, who feel that they should be able to seek greater financial support from the trust for stadium redevelopment work.

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