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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, that is an invitation to a much wider debate than I am prepared to undertake today. A large part of the 5.4 per cent.-- £3 billion--to which my noble friend referred relates to failings in administration of the common agricultural policy. It is that in particular with which we are keen to deal. That is what the Agenda 2000 programme, which we shall be vigorously supporting, aims to attack.

Lord Stoddart of Swindon: My Lords, is my noble friend aware that a federal organisation would not make things better? It would make them worse because they would be far more difficult to control. Is he also aware that I am extremely encouraged by what he said in regard to the Government's attitude towards fraud. After all, we are the second largest contributor. Can he say what the Government will do to make sure that the Mafia does not move further into the financial affairs of the EC, particularly in relation to the common agricultural policy?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I was right, I think, to refuse to go into the issue of a federal Europe in response to the noble Lord, Lord Thomson of Monifieth. As far as concerns the Mafia, I assume that my noble friend is referring to criminal elements more widely. A great change is taking place in the common agricultural policy. There is less reliance now on support for goods in transit and on export refunds, and more reliance, quite properly, on payments directly to farms. That means that some of the areas where criminal elements had an opportunity to pillage the common agricultural funds no longer exist.


3 p.m.

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): My Lords, it would not be prudent to make specific allegations against individuals or organisations before there is

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sufficient evidence to set in hand a criminal prosecution, deportation or exclusion. Countering the activities of those who may be seeking to assist terrorism outside the United Kingdom is a high priority for the police and the Security Service. Any credible information or intelligence is investigated. If this yields evidence that organisations or individuals are supporting terrorism, action is taken under the criminal law or under Immigration Act powers.

Viscount Waverley: My Lords, I recognise the sensitivity. However, this matter reflects badly on the United Kingdom. How extensive is the problem? Can the Minister say how many allegations have been received by his department or specialist agencies so far this year? Will the Government draw up a list of deemed terrorist organisations; and if so, how would inclusion be determined?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I absolutely reject the contention that anything to do with the fight against international terrorism reflects badly on this Government. The Home Secretary made an announcement in October that a consultation paper is being put out to deal with international terrorism. We are carefully considering the recommendations made in the most helpful report of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd; and we propose to introduce anti-terrorism legislation. There is some virtue in having a list. The United States has a list. There are some deficiencies in that approach because as soon as one lists or denominates certain organisations, they re-form--sometimes under different names. That is something we are considering. It cannot be in doubt that the Government are determined, as were their predecessor, to fight international terrorism.

Lord Marsh: My Lords, does the Minister accept that certain governments--particularly the Egyptian Government--have made specific allegations about named individuals in this country who they claim are actively promoting terrorism of the type which concluded with the massacre of tourists in Luxor? Has he received any such representations, some of them in public?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, representations are made at different levels to Her Majesty's Government. If those representations are made, the law must take its course, as with all other allegations of criminal conduct. If the allegations are found to be substantiated, either the criminal law is engaged or the Home Secretary uses his powers of deportation or exclusion. That is the proper way to deal with these matters.

Lord Callaghan of Cardiff: My Lords, my noble friend will be aware that there is anxiety about this matter. We certainly look forward to seeing the White Paper when it is published. As the nature of terrorism has certainly changed during the past 20 or 30 years, will he also look at our international obligations and

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whether the laws in a number of countries can be harmonised a little, as indeed was the case a few years ago when hijacking was at its height and we harmonised practice between the G7 countries? Can the White Paper consider that aspect of the matter?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, that is something we are presently considering and comes from a particularly informed source. What we are doing--as the Home Secretary said in the Statement which I repeated to your Lordships' House--is looking at our present anti-terrorism legislation. It is piecemeal. One of its deficiencies is that it is focused too closely on the threat from Irish terrorism. The noble Lord, Lord Callaghan of Cardiff, rightly says that terrorism changes. International crime changes. We are determined to co-operate with our international partners in this fight, which is of interest to all civilised regimes.

Lord Avebury: My Lords, does the Minister acknowledge that complaints have been made by embassies and high commissions regarding the diversion of moneys collected ostensibly for charitable purposes to the acquisition of weapons by terrorists abroad? Notwithstanding the fact that the Charity Commissioners have powers to investigate the diversion of funds for unlawful purposes overseas, does he not agree that those have been very sparingly used and that his department might encourage the Charity Commissioners to expand their efforts in this direction?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, that indication will be transmitted. It may be of interest to your Lordships to know that the question of fundraising, under whatever umbrella, for acts of terrorism anywhere in the world is a matter specifically addressed by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, in paragraph 13.30 of his excellent report. It is something the Home Secretary is presently considering.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, is the Minister aware that one of the problems here comes from people who abuse our asylum-seeking system? They get asylum here and then promptly use the hospitality of this country to direct terrorism via e-mail and so on back to their home countries. If the Minister is saying that the Government are looking to tighten up the procedures and rules surrounding the granting of asylum to people like that, I assure him that he will have the support of this side of the House in contrast to the lack of support we had when we were in government from the then Opposition.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, what a shame! I was just about to commend the noble Lord for his statesmanlike approach. And then he went and spoilt it! The Home Secretary has made it plain that we intend to bring forward legislation to make it unlawful to conspire

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in the United Kingdom to commit terrorist acts abroad. That remains the proper policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Welfare of Pigs (No. 2) Bill [H.L.]

3.6 p.m.

Lord Beaumont of Whitley: My Lords, I beg leave to introduce a Bill to make provision with respect to the health and welfare of pigs. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a first time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a first time.--(Lord Beaumont of Whitley.)

On Question, Bill read a first time, and to be printed.

Ceremony of Introduction: Select Committee

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords be named of the committee:

L. Berkeley, L. Denham, L. Elis-Thomas, B. Hamwee, B. Lockwood, L. Marsh (Chairman), B. Wilcox;

That the committee have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the minutes of evidence taken before the committee from time to time shall, if the committee thinks fit, be printed and delivered out; and

That the committee do meet on Tuesday 13th January at a quarter-past four o'clock.--(The Chairman of Committees.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House of Lords' Offices: Select Committee Report

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, I beg to move that the third report from the Select Committee on House of Lords Offices be agreed to.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this Motion, I draw attention to paragraph 3 of the report: the use of House of Lords' crested stationery. Noble Lords are entitled to use this stationery free of charge. However, as it comes at not inconsiderable cost to your Lordships' House, and so to the taxpayer, guidelines were drawn up in 1993 to encourage Peers to use

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stationery sparingly. Those are set out in paragraph 3. Recently, the amount of this stationery supplied to Peers has been increasing at a notable rate, and the practice of using crested paper and envelopes for rough notes and speeches has become widespread. So I urge Members to bear in mind the expense of providing this paper and encourage noble Lords to restrict their use of it to the more formal purposes mentioned.

Moved, That the third report from the Select Committee be agreed to (HL Paper 49).--(The Chairman of Committees.)

Following is the report referred to:

    1. Sub-Committee membership

    Lord Burnham was appointed to the Refreshment Sub-Committee in the place of Lord Chesham.

    2. Seating in the Chamber

    The Committee agreed, for a trial period, that the Hansard reporters should be moved to the Peers' Married Daughters' Box to allow extra space to be created for disabled Peers. This arrangement will be reviewed before the 1998 summer recess.

    3. Use of Stationery

    The Committee draws the attention of the House to the following guidelines for the use of House of Lords' stationery which were agreed in 1993:

    "House of Lords' stationery may be used for all correspondence relating to the work of the House, including the work of all-party committees;

    House of Lords' stationery may be used for personal correspondence in modest quantities, but should not be used for circulars, correspondence of organisations (except those of an essentially parliamentary nature) or business letters."

    The Committee also reminds Lords that red crested House of Lords' stationery should be used only for correspondence and not for speeches or rough notes, for which a range of other paper of lesser quality is available.

    4. Palace of Westminster fire compartmentation

    The Committee approved as part of the fire compartmentation programme a proposal to install near the top of the Peers' Staircase a door similar to those at the beginning of the West Front corridor and next to the Clerk of the Parliaments' Office.

    5. Mail Service

    The Committee agreed that from 1st January all unstamped mail left with the Attendants for posting, other than to destinations within the Parliamentary Estate or served by the Interdepartmental Despatch Service (IDS), should not be franked. In cases where the sender can be identified the letter will be returned to them; if the sender cannot be identified the letter will be placed in an open box in a prominent position in the Attendants' Mail Room in the Peers' Lobby.

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