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Baroness Elles: My Lords, does my noble friend agree that, contrary to the deduction of the noble Lord, Lord Bruce of Donington, it is largely a tribute to the British Government and civil servants negotiating on behalf of British interests that we have so few times been in a minority in a qualified majority vote? Will she confirm that both Germany and the Netherlands, among others, have lost far more often in majority voting than has the United Kingdom?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, I believe that my noble friend is absolutely right is saying that Germany and the Netherlands have lost far more often than the United Kingdom in majority voting. She is also right in pointing out that often, while agreement may

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not be reached on an issue at the first or second reading, so to speak, when it is thoroughly argued out it is frequently agreed by unanimity, the sense of the case having been fully explored. The need to explore cases fully accounts for much of the work not only in the Council of Ministers but also in COREPER.

Lord McNally: My Lords, does the Minister agree that any rational analysis of the figures before her show that most of the countries behave similarly and that statistics about Germany, the Netherlands, France or Britain being isolated are roughly the same? Does she agree that it is only the chip-on-the-shoulder approach to Europe that brings the conspiracy theory forward? Can she provide figures showing the number of times the noble Lord, Lord Bruce of Donington, has asked Questions on Europe in respect of which he has been profoundly isolated from his Front Bench?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, I have lost count of the number of times that the noble Lord, Lord Bruce of Donington, has been out of agreement with his Front Bench but I do not want to penalise him unduly. He is a good friend in personal terms and I appreciate that very much.

The noble Lord, Lord McNally, is right in that it is arguing out the issues, in particular what lies behind the apparent issue, that is sometimes trumpeted by certain members of the press. That is essential and while I do not have to hand all the figures the noble Lord would like I can assure him it is a matter we watch with extreme care.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: My Lords, can my noble friend tell the House--

Noble Lords: Next Question!

The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne): My Lords, I hesitate to interrupt what I know has been an extremely interesting series of exchanges. As always, I am in the hands of the House. I am conscious of the clock and we have a fourth Question which will be at least as interesting. Perhaps the House feels that it is time to move on.

Noble Lords: Hear, hear!

Bosnia: Deployment of NATO Troops

3.32 p.m.

Lord Monson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is the case that NATO troops in Bosnia will not be deployed either to protect UN teams investigating suspected massacre sites or to prevent the destruction of incriminating evidence by Bosnian Serb forces.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, IFOR will provide security for UN teams visiting alleged grave sites. It will conduct foot patrols and aerial reconnaissance of sites and report any suspicious

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activities that might suggest tampering. These activities should ensure that sites are not disturbed until the tribunal has been able to investigate them.

Lord Monson: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that Answer. It clarifies considerably the position of IFOR and Admiral Leighton Smith, about which there have been conflicting reports. Does she agree that every effort must be made to uncover what appear to be the worst atrocities on European soil for 50 years, in which it would seem that more civilians and POWs have been murdered in cold blood than Polish officers were massacred at Katyn?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, the noble Lord is right, and every effort will be made in this regard. At a meeting on Monday this week in Sarajevo the commander of the NATO peace implementation force, Admiral Leighton Smith, and the chief prosecutor of the International Tribunal on War Crimes in the former Yugoslavia, Richard Goldstone, agreed the procedures to co-ordinate their respective missions. That is a good step forward. I assure the noble Lord that IFOR is very sensitive to this issue and is prepared to help the tribunal in whatever reasonable ways it can.

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, does the Minister agree that it is of the utmost importance to secure the release of the many hundreds of prisoners who are still being held by all sides in this conflict. Since the deadline for their release has passed, will she tell the House what steps are being taken to secure their release? Is NATO supporting the UN in that task?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, the answer to both questions is yes.

Lord Mayhew: My Lords, does the Minister agree that her answers are further evidence of the admirable work that IFOR is carrying out?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, IFOR is doing excellent work and is also co-ordinating with the Higher Representative, Carl Bildt, very well. We know that the early weeks were difficult, in particular prior to 19th January, but the progress made is significant and it is palpable when one is in the zone.

The Earl of Onslow: My Lords, if those in IFOR know that there is a warrant out for someone's arrest, will they arrest that person, and, if not, who will?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, IFOR can provide the security. It does not have the power of arrest. It must report any suspicious activities, and it will do that. It is then up to the war crimes tribunal and its chief prosector to make sure that persons who should be arrested are so arrested.

Lord Avebury: My Lords, did Judge Goldstone accept the offers made by IFOR with unqualified satisfaction? Will the Minister give an assurance that, if he goes back to IFOR and asks for additional

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measures of protection or control, they will be carefully considered and a report will be made by the Minister to the House about those demands?

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, I understand that Justice Goldstone has said that he is satisfied with the level of support offered by Admiral Leighton Smith. He has agreed that the IFOR support should be provided within the limits of its mandate and its resources. If there is any need for further assistance, the parties will be consulted. If there were any specific news to tell your Lordships of course I should seek to do that.

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, I am sorry to come back but "Yes" is not an answer to what steps are being taken, as I am sure the Minister will agree.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, I apologise to the noble Baroness. I thought that she had asked two poignant questions and that we were both on the same wavelength. I believed that she asked me about the steps being taken to assist the investigation. Am I right?

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, no; I asked about securing the release of the many hundreds of prisoners who are still being held in Bosnia.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, I apologise to the noble Baroness. The steps being taken are the responsibility of the High Representative and of IFOR. The way in which they are pursuing these matters is not known to all of us, but they are watching for every sign and following up signs in order to find out where people might have been taken. As regards those whom we hope are still alive--the prisoners behind the lines--it is a matter of negotiation, which is being pursued daily, if not hourly. We know that a large number of Serbs and Croats could be exchanged for Moslem prisoners, but working that out must be done on the ground, and it is being pursued in the most practical way.

Broadcasting Bill [H.L.]

3.38 p.m.

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in the name of my noble friend Lord Inglewood on the Order Paper.

Moved, That it be an instruction to the Committee of the Whole House to whom the Broadcasting Bill [H.L.] has been committed that they consider the Bill in the following order--

Clauses 1 to 28,

Schedule 1,

Clauses 29 to 62,

Schedule 2,

Clauses 63 to 67,

Schedule 3,

Clauses 68 to 87,

Schedule 4,

Clauses 88 to 90,

Schedule 5,

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Clauses 91 to 93,

Schedule 6,

Clauses 94 to 95,

Schedules 7 and 8,

Clauses 96 and 97.--(Lord Strathclyde.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Family Law Bill [H.L.]

3.39 p.m.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now again resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved, That the House do now again resolve itself into Committee.--(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.


Clause 14 [Financial arrangements]:

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