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Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The proposals which are currently the subject of a preliminary consultation exercise clearly set out the principles which should guide the proposals, as advised by English Heritage, the Royal Parks Agency and the Historic Royal Palaces trust, which is responsible for the Orangery and sunken garden. The preliminary consultation document recognises that any design for area 3, which extends up to the Bayswater Road, would be constrained by the

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historical framework in the area lying between the Orangery and Kensington Palace.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the questionnaire on the possible Memorial Garden to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has been sent to all residents round Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, or only to "householders"; if so, whether "householders" include the offshore landlords of property in these areas, who may never or only infrequently reside there; why the consultation should be thus limited; whether they will now consult all individuals on the electoral register in the relevant parts of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster; and, if not, why not.[HL2822]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I understand that the leaflets and questionnaires have been distributed in addresses closest to Kensington Gardens in postal areas W1, W2, W8, W11 and W14 and SW1, SW3, SW5, SW7 and SW10. The principal purpose of the leaflet is to inform people of the exhibition, where they can see the full information on the proposals. The aim is to gain a broadly representative sample of views and suggestions, and this exercise provides a very much greater opportunity for public comment at a much earlier stage than normal. Posting to all persons on the electoral register would have been expensive, excessive and inappropriate for a preliminary exercise of this nature.

Commercial Radio: Servicesfor People over 55

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What representations the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and his department have received about neglect by commercial radio stations of the demand from radio listeners aged over 55 for more choice of listening; what replies have been sent; and whether they will be taking any action.[HL2829]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has received several representations from one company about the provision of commercial radio services for people aged over 55 years and officials have met the company concerned. However, decisions on the award of commercial radio licences are solely a matter for the Radio Authority under the terms of broadcasting legislation.

Millais' "Mariana at the Moated Grange"

Lord Lloyd-Webber asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What market testing took place to establish the true value of Millais' "Mariana at the Moated Grange"

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    before it was accepted for the nation in lieu of tax.[HL2866]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In general, when the Museums and Galleries Commission has been informed of the offer of an object in lieu of tax by the Capital Taxes Office, it is required to provide the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with an opinion of the value of the object on the open market. The Commission in turn consults the appropriate experts both in museums and the art trade. Because of taxpayer confidentiality, it would not be appropriate to comment on any particular case.

Palestine: Tourism

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are considering appropriate guidance for tourists organisations in the United Kingdom to support tourism in Palestine in the context of the Millennium Jubilee and of the Bethlehem 2000 project.[HL2984]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Palestinian authorities are very active in bringing these and other events to the attention of tourist, cultural and business organisations around the world. The Palestinian Delegate General in London is an energetic and effective part of that exercise. He is aware that he and his colleagues have the support of the UK and its EU partners for these efforts.

These events are likely to generate significant interest in travel to the region at the time of the millennium, and we will continue to ensure that our consular guidance to tourist organisations and individual travellers is accurate and relevant.

Republic of the Congo: Policy

Lord Steel of Aikwood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their reaction to the "white book" Civil Wars in Congo Brazzaville handed to them by the Foreign Minister of that country on his recent visit to London; and what is their policy on future relations with the Republic of the Congo.[HL3076]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We have read with interest the white book, handed to the Foreign Office on 30 June 1998 by Mr. Adada. This claims that former President Pascal Lissouba was guilty of genocide during the 1997 civil war in the Republic of the Congo. We have seen no independent evidence to that effect.

We have diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Congo. We remain concerned at the reliance of Congolese authorities on the continued presence of foreign forces in the Republic of the Congo. We will continue to press for the return to an inclusive democracy that allows all the key players to participate.

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Space and International Law

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider, in the light of the increasing uses being made for political, social, economic and military purposes of space, it may now be desirable to set up an internationally agreed framework to develop and enforce international law in space.[HL3117]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: An international framework governing such activities in space already exists and is primarily based upon the United Nations Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the moon and other celestial bodies.

Details of this treaty and other relevant international agreements are contained in the United Nations publication Treaties and Principles on Outer Space a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.

Korea: United Nations Command

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in pursuance of the policy expressed by the Foreign Secretary on 17 July (HC Deb, col. 682) that "key decisions on peacekeeping and conflict prevention are taken to the United Nations", they will take steps to place the United Nations Command in Korea under full United Nations Security Council control and to update the mandate of that Command, especially as regards anti-personnel landmines.[HL3119]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Following the United Nations Security Council's resolution of 27 June 1950, the Security Council delegated responsibility for United Nations Command operations in Korea to the United States of America, as its executive agent. This remains the position, with the United Nations Command reporting to the United Nations on a fixed annual and "as-required" basis. We are satisfied that this arrangement allows adequate UN supervision.

We are aware of the positions of the US and Republic of Korea on the deployment of anti-personnel landmines in Korea. As one of the first countries to ratify the December 1997 Ottawa Convention, the United Kingdom continues to use its contacts with all countries to encourage their early accession to the convention. However, three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as the Republic of Korea, have not signed the convention, and there is at present little or no prospect of agreement to revise the mandate of the UN Command in Korea, to take account of the convention's provisions.


Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they agree with Ambassador Chris Hill of the United States that an all-party executive including persons representing the Kosovo Liberation Army should be formed under the leadership of Ibrahim

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    Rugova, to be based in Prishtine, and to conduct negotiations with the Serbian authorities on "enhanced status for Kosovo and much, much greater self-government for the people of Kosovo"; and whether the European Union Troika received the assent of President Milosovic to this proposal.[HL3224]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We remain committed to the statement by the Contact Group on 8 July that the Kosovo Albanian leadership should urgently establish a negotiating team which is fully representative of all political opinion in Kosovo. We welcomed the announcement by Dr. Rugova on 13 August of the establishment of a negotiating team, and we continue to urge those political parties who are not represented on it to align themselves with the team. President Milosovic told the EU Troika mission to the FRY in July that Belgrade remained willing to negotiate with the Kosovo Albanians. We will continue to press both sides for an early start to this negotiating process.

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