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Goodwin v. United Kingdom: Implementation of Judgment

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): The Government's present view is that amending legislation is unnecessary to give effect to this judgment.

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War Crimes Act 1991: Conclusion of Investigations

Lord Campbell of Alloway asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Lord Chancellor's Answer of 28th March (col. WA 149), whether police investigations into the eight cases identified in 1988 by Hetherington Chalmers must continue until additional evidence is available on which the consent of the Attorney will be sought to the institution of proceedings under the War Crimes Act 1991; or whether there is discretion to conclude such investigations on the available evidence and to prefer no charges (as was the case in Scotland), and if so on whose authority such discretion may be exercised.

The Lord Chancellor: It is for the Metropolitan Police to decide, as an operational matter, the point at which to conclude investigations. They act in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.

GCSE Subjects Studied in a Foreign Language: Performance Assessment

Baroness Hayman asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will discuss with the Chairman of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority ways of formally assessing students studying GCSE subjects in the medium of a foreign language.

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Lord Henley): The arrangements established for the approval of GCSE syllabuses already allow for the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA) to recommend to Ministers the exceptional approval of syllabuses where assessment is made through the medium of a foreign language. At least one such syllabus has been approved. It is a matter for the GCSE examining groups in the first instance to decide whether they wish to put forward for approval such syllabuses to SCAA.

Bilingual Teaching Projects

Baroness Hayman asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How they intend to assess whether bilingual projects promote high standards in the curriculum subjects involved; and in particular, whether they intend to use normal GCSEs in the assessment process.

Lord Henley: Ofsted registered inspectors evaluate and report on the ways in which modern foreign languages and other subjects are taught in schools. In so doing they may refer specifically to bilingual projects, where they encounter them in the normal course of school inspections, but we have no plans to assess them otherwise.

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Baroness Hayman asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to Lord Henley's Written Answers on 2nd April (H.L. Deb., col. WA 23 and 24), how many of the 16 schools specialising in language teaching plan to start teaching other curriculum subjects in the medium of a foreign language.

Lord Henley: Of the 16 schools so far approved as Language Colleges, two have bilingual sections. Goff's School, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire offers Geography through French to Year 8 pupils. From September 1997 the school intends to extend its bilingual teaching to offer Geographical and Cultural studies through German to Year 9 pupils. Arrangements have yet to be finalised.

Presdale's School, Ware, Hertfordshire intends to offer IT through French to Year 7 pupils from September 1996.

Education of 16 to 19 Year-olds: Review

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in commissioning Sir Ron Dearing's report on education for 16 to 19 year-olds, they asked him to consider the Continental practice of there being separate institutions and examinations for academic and vocational courses for students over the age of 16.

Lord Henley: Sir Ron Dearing was invited by the Secretaries of State for Education and Employment and for Wales to consider and advise on ways to strengthen, consolidate and improve the framework of 16-19 qualifications. The full terms of reference for Sir Ron's review were to:

    Maintain the rigour of General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced (A) levels;

    Continue to build on the current development of General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) and National Vocational Qualifications;

    Increase participation and achievement in education and training and minimise wastage;

    Prepare young people for work and higher education; and

    Secure maximum value for money.

Sir Ron's final report was published on 27th March and copies are available in the House of Lords Library.

Polar, Antarctic and Arctic Research

Lord Kennett asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What they are funding for (a) polar research,

    (b) Antarctic research and (c) Arctic polar research and how these allocations have changed over the last 10 years.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: Most research specific to the polar regions is undertaken by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The table

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below shows the council's expenditure for Arctic, Antarctic and polar research over the past 10 years.

A number of other departments and agencies (including the Ministry of Defence, the Department of the Environment, and the Economic and Social Research Council) undertake or support polar research. However, much of this overlaps with research carried out in other scientific and geographical areas and the expenditure details could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

NERC expenditure on polar research: 1986-87 to 1995-96

Arctic total expenditureAntarctic total expenditureTotal polar expenditure
1987-88 1,112.618,566.119,678.7

Comfrey Products: Sales Ban

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will now rescind the ban on the sale of capsules and tablets consisting of ground dried comfrey leaf or root used as a food supplement, on the grounds that comfrey is a whole food whose ingredient should not have been assessed in isolation.

Lord Lucas: No. The voluntary withdrawal from sale of comfrey products applies only to the most concentrated forms, which are tablets and capsules. The whole food approach was not therefore considered appropriate.

EC Directive 92/106: Combined Transport of Goods

Lord Berkely asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What types of freight transport--e.g. lorry, trailer, semi-trailer (with or without tractor unit), swap body or container of 20 feet length or more--are covered by EC Directive 92/106; and

    What freight journeys are covered by EC Directive 92/106.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): As described in Article 1, the directive applies to the types of unit listed in the noble Lord's Question where they travel by road for the initial or final leg of a journey and, on the other leg, by rail, inland waterway or maritime services where the latter exceeds 100 kms. Road journeys must be to or from the nearest suitable rail terminal and road journeys to or from a seaport must not exceed 150 kms.

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Lord Berkely asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have for implementing EC Directive 92/106--Establishment of common rules for combined transport of goods between member states--for traffic operating in the UK for part of its journey; and

    Whether they consider it obligatory to implement EC Directive 92/106.

Viscount Goshen: Implementation of EC Directive 92/106 is obligatory and all the articles have been implemented except Article 6. Article 6.1 can only be implemented when it is possible to carry taxed goods vehicles by rail in the UK. We do not consider it practical to implement the permissive provisions of Article 6.2 in a cost effective way.

European Aviation Authority: Response to Working Paper

Lord Clinton-Davis asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their view of the European Commission's working paper on the creation of a specific European Aviation Authority, which was published in December 1995; and whether they have submitted a written response to the paper.

Viscount Goschen: The Government responded in writing to the European Commission's working paper on 27th February 1996. I have arranged for a copy of the response to be placed in the Library.

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