|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Lord Whitty: Peru is a priority country for health and population assistance from the Department for International Development. We are in regular dialogue with the Peruvian Ministry of Health concerning its policies and their implementation. In this dialogue we have indicated the potential for targets to reduce emphasis on service quality. The Government of Peru has recently announced that it will implement a number of reforms to its population and reproductive health programmes, as well as a comprehensive monitoring programme, to ensure compliance with international family planning norms and informed consent procedures.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): The accounts of the Association of Chief Police Officers for Scotland are contained in the association's annual report. I have arranged for a copy of the latest available report, for 1996-97, to be placed in the Library of the House, together with a copy of the letter of 11 July 1996 submitted to the Scottish Office Home Department by the association in respect of its estimated expenditure on staff salaries and administrative costs for the financial year 1997-98.
Staff and administration services for the association's secretariat are provided by Lothian and Borders Police Board and the department's contribution is paid direct to the board and not to the association.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We are encouraged by recent progress in the peace process, including the demobilisation of UNITA personnel, and have urged both sides to implement the remaining provisions of the Lusaka Protocol by the 1 April deadline. We are aware of reports of arms being supplied to UNITA through Zambian airspace; the Zambian authorities have given their assurance that they will work to prevent this happening. The United Nations has an important continuing role to play in promoting national reconciliation and socio-economic development, particularly with regard to human rights.
The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Clinton-Davis): The Commission's proposals for the structural funds and for other cohesion policies for the years 2000-2006 and reform of the common agricultural policy were published on 18 March.
The Government believe that the structural funds need to be fair, affordable, durable, simpler and more efficient. The overall budget should be well below the 0.46 per cent. of Community GNP proposed by the Commission, both before and after enlargement. The current member states, including the UK, should be prepared to see reductions in their receipts after 1999, but the burden should be distributed fairly. The Government will argue for flexibility for member states to target funds at areas of greatest need.
Reform of the common agricultural policy is a major UK Government objective, and the Commission's proposals go very much in the direction the UK has advocated. The proposed cuts in support prices could save UK consumers over £1 billion per year, the environment would gain from reduced production incentives and the creation of an integrated rural development policy, while farmers would benefit from a move to a more sustainable and market-led policy.
Our overriding concern in the long negotiations ahead is to ensure that the outcome is fair and sustainable to the UK, other member states, and those states being considered as part of the enlargement process.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The khat plant is not controlled under the international United Nations drug conventions and we have no current plans to bring it under the controls of the misuse of drugs legislation. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs considered the misuse of khat in 1988 and advised that there was little evidence of a social problem arising from its misuse in the United Kingdom to justify bringing the plant under the controls of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. We continue to keep its misuse under review with a view to the introduction of controls, if necessary.
The active ingredients of the khat plant are cathinone and cathine, which are controlled under the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971. The United Kingdom has been a party to this Convention since 1986 and both substances were controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in 1987. Cathinone and cathine are classified as Class C drugs.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: We understand that the khat plant is classified as a controlled drug in the following European Union member states: Belgium; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Spain; and Sweden.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: There were some reports in the media in 1990 of the sale in the United Kingdom of magic mushrooms by mail order. However, we are unaware of any companies selling magic mushrooms or khat plants by mail order within the United Kingdom since then. Information is not available on the position in other European Union member states.
The Protection of Animals Act 1911 applies more generally and can be invoked in cases of abuse or failures of care to laboratory animals. Home Office inspectors have no specific locus under the 1911 Act; if they were involved in reporting under its provisions, their reports to the police would have the status of evidence in any subsequent proceedings and any reports to the Home Secretary would be covered by Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page