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Lord Gilbert: My Lords, I must invite my noble friend to await the outcome of the review, but I can assure him that questions of our strategic lift capabilities figure highly in our thoughts at this moment.

Lord Burnham: My Lords, may I express my sympathy with the Minister for his inability for months to answer any Question that has been asked because of the imminence of the strategic defence review? Will he draw to the attention of his honourable friends in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and particularly in the Treasury, the lowering of morale among our Armed Forces because of the delay in the review and their fears for the future, which seem to be justified?

Lord Gilbert: My Lords, of course I do not accept for one moment the quite preposterous postulate put forward by the noble Lord that the morale of our Armed

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Forces is very low. I am quite sure that I shall very shortly be able to bring back detailed refutation from the Gulf on that point.

Lord Craig of Radley: My Lords, in view of some alarming reports that the Government are considering forming a tri-service logistics monolith, will the Minister assure the House that the logistic command of our forces will continue to be exercised separately by each of the services? Does he agree that the doctrine and practice of support for the Royal Air Force, which is very mobile, differs from that for the Army and that both are different from that for the Royal Navy?

Lord Gilbert: My Lords, the noble Lord is quite right that the requirements of the three services differ considerably in areas of logistics, supply and maintainability. However, he will recognise, from his vast experience in these matters, that there are still many savings which can be made in those areas.

Gibraltar: NATO Activities

3 p.m.

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the present position of Gibraltar is causing any difficulty in regard to activities associated with NATO membership.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, there continue to be some restrictions on NATO military activities in and around Gibraltar, affecting aircraft movements, naval movements and the participation of Gibraltar-based military assets in NATO exercises. We are discussing those bilaterally with Spain in the context of Spanish integration into the NATO command structure.

Lord Hardy of Wath: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that reply. Are she and her colleagues fully aware that over recent years Spain has been particularly enthusiastic to support self-determination and international recognition throughout every part of Europe except Gibraltar; notably in the cases of Liechtenstein, Andorra and San Marino? Could not our policy be one of seeking to ensure that Spain is consistent and extends the same approach to the Rock? Let it be based upon democracy.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I hope that Her Majesty's Government have in no way been anything other than straightforward in their views on that question. We have no hesitation whatever in making that clear not only to Spain but to our friends elsewhere. Our commitment remains steadfast. As my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary said in his speech on 4th February to the Dependent Territories Association Conference, we stand by the assurance given to the people of Gibraltar in the preamble to the 1969 constitution. We shall never allow the people of

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Gibraltar to pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes.

Lord Merrivale: My Lords, will the Minister confirm in the light of the changes in the structure of the Allied Command Europe Southern Region that COMGIBMED will be retained; in other words, the retention of the Commander Gibraltar Mediterranean?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I can give the noble Lord an undertaking that we shall not allow Spanish military command over Gibraltar nor the presence of Spanish military personnel on the Rock. We have made that clear.

Lord Thomas of Swynnerton: My Lords, given that Spain has certain responsibilities of her own in relation to defence in the straits; that Spain has been a member of NATO for some years; and that Spain is a full member of the European Union, would not the Government give some thought to making it a higher priority in their foreign policy aims to reach a solution of that problem? That would be of great assistance to the future development of our relations with Spain and the rest of Europe.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, the Government give a very high priority to that issue, as I said in my original Answer. We are currently discussing those issues bilaterally with Spain. Moreover, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary raised those issues with his Spanish counterpart on 10th December last year and we have discussed those matters in the margins of the conference to which I referred a few moments ago with Peter Caruana.

Lord Janner of Braunstone: My Lords, will my noble friend accept that on both sides of the House we are grateful for her robust repetition of this country's position; namely, that there is no circumstance in which Gibraltar will change its status without the consent of its people? In those circumstances, will she please consider following the American example as regards its dependent territories and allow Gibraltar to send a delegate to this Parliament without voting powers but with the right to sit and speak, as a signal to our friends in Spain of our Government's determination?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean; My Lords, I thank my noble friend for his support for the Government's forthright commitment on Gibraltar. He raises the question too of representation in the Houses of Parliament of those from Gibraltar. Mr. Caruana has put forward various suggestions to my right honourable friend which are being considered at present. I ask the House to await the outcome of my right honourable friend's considerations of various constitutional points and other matters of practical application which Mr. Caruana has put forward.

Lord Stoddart of Swindon: My Lords, is my noble friend aware that I am delighted with her splendid and

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unequivocal statement that British interests will be upheld as they have been over a long period of time in relation to the Rock of Gibraltar? But is she aware that there are many complaints that the Spanish authorities are harassing tourists and lorry drivers who wish to cross from Spain to Gibraltar? Will she put pressure on the Spanish authorities to cease that harassment since it is non-communautaire--if I may put it in that way?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I was not aware of my noble friend's approbation but I am very pleased to hear it. In addition, he raised the important question of the harassment around the Gibraltar-Spanish border. We are aware of those incidents as and when they arise; and when they arise, we make very clear to the Spanish authorities what we think of them.

Lord Moynihan: My Lords, specifically, is it still the firm position of the Foreign Secretary to continue to defer agreement on Spain's integration into NATO's military command structure unless all the current Spanish restrictions on the movement of military aircraft in and out of Gibraltar are dropped since, as the Minister knows, NATO decisions must be reached by consensus?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, as I said in answer to the original Question, we are discussing those matters at present. It is not wise to prejudice the outcome of those decisions. But I have made it very clear that many of the Spanish ambitions in relation to Gibraltar are unacceptable to Her Majesty's Government.


Lord Carter: My Lords, at a convenient moment after 3 p.m. today, my noble friend Lady Symons of Vernham Dean will, with the leave of the House, repeat a Statement that is to be made in another place on Iraq.

I take this opportunity to remind the House that the Companion indicates that discussion on a Statement should be confined to,

    "brief comments and questions for clarification".

There is a mandatory limit of 20 minutes from the end of the Minister's official reply to the Opposition spokesman.

Crime and Disorder Bill [H.L.]

3.8 p.m.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): 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.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

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Clause 18 [Anti-social behaviour orders]:

The Earl of Mar and Kellie moved Amendment No. 43:

Page 14, line 30, leave out ("16,") and insert ("12,").

The noble Earl said: This amendment is a probing amendment. It is always a privilege and a joy to address the Committee while feeling as though one is being trampled underfoot by noble Lords leaving the Chamber after Question Time. I have to say that I hope that that will not be a procedure in the future Scottish parliament.

The amendment is designed to find out why it is considered unwise to include secondary school pupils in the scope of antisocial behaviour orders in Scotland. This is a particularly relevant issue in Scotland, where the peak age of offending is one year before the school leaving age; namely, 15 years. If the merit of an antisocial behaviour order is that it is forward looking and, hence, likely to control future behaviour, why is it not appropriate to use such a civil remedy in the worst cases of juvenile offences?

I can anticipate, with respect, that the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate will say that introducing antisocial behaviour orders into the children's panel system would be too complicated, and that children can be referred to the reporter if they are behaving antisocially. Should he do so, I would reply that the public do not know that the reporter can receive complaints about antisocial behaviour as opposed to specific offences.

I strongly suspect that local authorities will receive complaints about under 16 year-olds. As the bulk of the antisocial behaviour will be generated by that age group, the antisocial behaviour officer--or whatever the person concerned is called--will have to send the complainants away dissatisfied. Alternatively, the antisocial behaviour officer will have to send them to the reporter. That would be in breach of the policy of having a one-stop shop.

Perhaps--and this is, I hope, an important "perhaps"--as an afterthought, the noble and learned Lord will say that it is the Government's intention that parents of children who behave antisocially will be made the subjects of an antisocial behaviour order. I can give a serious example to the Committee of where that might be appropriate. Despite the kind words last week of the noble and learned Lord about Clackmannanshire, it is from there that I want to draw such an example.

Youthful off-road motorcyclists are becoming a real pain to many citizens in Clackmannan. They are riding inadequately silenced motorbikes around the Back Wood, within 50 metres of the flats. I should declare an interest here in that I live 300 metres from the same woods, and I should say that the noise is intrusive at that distance. Therefore, I leave it to Members of the Committee to imagine what it is like at 50 metres for those who live in the flats. The motorcyclists are riding on, and demanding priority on, a legally-asserted public footpath, among other footpaths. The surface of that public footpath is being broken up, and pedestrians are now avoiding that footpath because of such misbehaviour.

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The case I make is this: if an antisocial behaviour order is not available for these youthful motorcyclists, will the order be appropriate for the parents who bought the motorcycles? A child brought before the children's panel is usually cited as being "beyond parental control", and an offence is libelled in evidence. Where does the parent stand in all this if he has bought the motorcycle? Does that act of purchase and consequent encouragement of his children to ride the motorbike, in an antisocial manner, constitute behaviour suitable for an antisocial behaviour order? I believe that I have said enough in that respect. The inclusion of over 12 year-olds in the clause would meet the needs of harassed people, especially neighbours. It is miserable to have one's home life disturbed regularly by others. I beg to move.

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