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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for what she said. I also thank her because it is reassuring to know that, despite the deplorable regime running Iraq, the truth of the situation is getting through, albeit perhaps only to small groups of people. It is reassuring that we know that in Iraq itself there is knowledge of what is happening outside Iraq on these questions.

The noble Baroness raised, as she has done on previous occasions highly persuasively, the issue of human rights. Yes, of course they must be addressed in Iraq. We know the capacity that there has been in that country for slaughter of its own citizens. The fact is that within the past few weeks we know there have been mass executions in Iraqi gaols. Hundreds of people have been slaughtered in Iraqi gaols in the past few weeks. When one uses the word "hundreds", the numbers are so great that one cannot comprehend the magnitude of what we are discussing. But every one of those was an individual, and every one may not have been guilty of any great crime. They may have been in the unfortunate position of being in opposition to the Iraqi Government. I thank the noble Baroness for what she said and agree with every word about the humanitarian concern which must be pursued.

Lord Kennet: My Lords, the noble Baroness has twice answered questions about the double standards which have been in operation in the policy of America and ourselves between Iraq on the one hand and Israel on the other. In answer to questions on each occasion she has mentioned the peace process. This is of course not such a vital matter but there is a double standard there. The row with Iraq has been about working with weapons of mass destruction. Can the noble Baroness say whether there is any hope that we shall press our American friends to try harder to get Israel to do something about their weapons of mass destruction?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, if I may say so to my noble friend, I think I have answered such questions considerably more than twice--and not only in answer to questions. I tackled the matter in a

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quite forthright way when I addressed your Lordships in a debate last week. We do not stop tackling these issues in relation to Israel. We do so constantly, bilaterally, and by other means at our disposal. I have every confidence that we shall continue to tackle these questions with Israel in the forthright and robust way which your Lordships' House would expect.

Lord Marlesford: My Lords, in the words of the Prime Minister, given that Saddam remains an evil and brutal dictator, and given that he did not himself put his signature on this agreement, does the noble Baroness agree that if this agreement is broken the time for reimposing arms inspections will have passed and the time will have come to remove Saddam and his regime? Does she agree that this will best be done not necessarily by a shooting war but by psychological warfare? Would it not be desirable to start making contingency plans to that end fairly soon?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I can only reiterate what my right honourable friend said in another place this afternoon. He said that any prevarication or obstruction by Saddam Hussein of the smooth operation of the inspections in accordance not only with the current agreement but in accordance with the previous Security Council resolutions will not be accepted by any member state and will inescapably be followed by the most severe consequences for the Iraqi regime. I do not think I have to be more explicit than that at this stage.

Lord Randall of St. Budeaux: My Lords, perhaps I may take the opportunity of congratulating the Government on the way in which they have handled what has clearly been an extraordinarily difficult diplomatic situation. In the Statement by the Prime Minister it was clear that Saddam Hussein must never be allowed to carry on with breaches of this kind ever again. Under the new agreement, what will now actually trigger the use of force and how will that differ from the current agreement?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, what will trigger the use of force is prevarication or obstruction by Saddam Hussein which is tantamount to flouting the memorandum of understanding, a copy of which will be placed in the Library of your Lordships' House. I think also that my right honourable friend's Statement makes clear that although we have progressed a very long way over this weekend, thanks to the skilful negotiation of the Secretary-General, we also have a very long way still to go. Our task is by no means over.

Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar: My Lords, can the Minister elaborate on what she said about double standards? The noble Baroness sought to draw a distinction between Israel and Iraq, and said that we could not negotiate with Iraq but that we could discuss with Israel. In fact, however much we discuss with Israel, Israel goes on expanding her illegal settlements

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and stealing Palestinian land. What value does the noble Baroness think applies to these discussions with Israel, and is it not really a distinction without a difference?

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I think that the events of the past few days have served only to underline that what I have said on this matter in the past is right and that there are no double standards. The fact is that once we were able, through the Secretary-General, to get into a discussion with members of Saddam Hussein's regime, and once we were able to secure an agreement, the threat of force has been withdrawn. The forces are still in that part of the world but there is no imminent threat of war. The fact is that we are still discussing and negotiating with our friends in Israel about how we can ensure that they do comply with Security Council resolutions. It would be absurd to threaten force when discussions are going on, but the scale of the two problems is entirely different. I would draw the attention of the noble Lord to the fact that this is not just a question of compliance with Security Council resolutions and not just the difference between a regime that has used weapons of mass destruction and one which has not. It is also a question of dealing with people who are willing to try to talk through the very real differences that exist. I think that everything that has happened in the last few days has shown that the policy of Her Majesty's Government has been entirely vindicated.

Crime and Disorder Bill [H.L.]

4.35 p.m.

House again in Committee.

Schedule 2 [Procedure where persons are sent for trial under section 42]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 208:

Page 83, line 45, at beginning insert ("Subject to paragraph 10A below").

The noble and learned Lord said: With the leave of the Committee, I should like to move Amendment No. 208 and speak at the same time to Amendments Nos. 209, 210 and 211.

Before the Statement on Iraq we were dealing with Clause 42 of the Bill, which permits indictable-only offences to go fast track to the Crown Court without the usual stages in the magistrates' court. The amendments I shall move relate to those provisions. Much of Schedule 2 of the Bill, to which these amendments relate, is concerned with what should happen to related charges where the indictable-only charge which caused the case to be sent to the Crown Court is for some reason no longer being pursued. In those circumstances, it would clearly be unjust for the either-way charges automatically to be retained in the Crown Court. It may be that, but for the effect of the indictable-only charge, both the magistrates and the defendant would have been content for them to be dealt with in the lower court: hence the rather complicated provisions in paragraph 5

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onwards, which are modelled on the mode of trial provisions in the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 as amended by Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996.

Those provisions which are mainly in paragraph 5 onwards are not, however, appropriate in the case of young people to whom the mode of trial procedure does not apply. The objective once again is to ensure that the defendant is not disadvantaged when he or she finds himself or herself in the Crown Court for an either-way charge through the accident of its having been associated with an indictable-only charge which is no longer being pursued. It follows that the considerations which determine whether the Crown Court should deal with a juvenile should be the same as those which would normally be used by the magistrates in deciding whether to commit him to the Crown Court for trial. That is the effect of the amendments.

The amendments provide for a young person in such a case to be remitted to the magistrates' court for trial except in two circumstances. These are either that he is charged with an offence which is a grave crime for the purposes of Section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and the court considers that it should be possible for him to be sentenced under that provision, or that he is charged jointly with an adult on an either-way offence and it is necessary in the interests of justice that they should both be tried at the Crown Court. Once the indictable-only charges have gone, in only those two circumstances will the juvenile stay in the Crown Court. There is a further amendment, No. 210, but that simply corrects a typographical error. I beg to move Amendment No. 208.

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