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Lord Rix asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Simon of Highbury: The European Parliament's amendments to Article 5.2(b) of the draft directive would require that right owners receive "fair compensation" where exceptions to rights are provided in national law permitting private copying of protected material on audio or audiovisual recording media. However, we do not consider that a levy or other form of payment would be justified in relation to the exception in this field in the UK applying to recording of broadcasts for time-shifting purposes.

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Kosovo: Reported Killings

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have received confirmation of the killing of the following civilians in Kosovo: Professor F. Agani, aged 66, member of Kosovan delegation to Rambouillet; Baton Haxhiu, newspaper editor; Bajram Kelmendi, lawyer, and his two sons; Alush Gashi, adviser to Mr. I. Rugova; Din Mahemti, writer.[HL1854]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We have received reports indicating that Fehmi Agani is alive. Baton Haxhiu is alive and met the Foreign Secretary on 7 April. Bajram Kelmendi and his two sons are believed to have been killed. We have no information on the whereabouts of either Alush Gashi or Din Mahmeti.

Arms Exports to Turkey

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in view of the displacement of a large number of people from their homes, and widespread human rights violations over many years reported by the United Nations Human Rights Commission in the South East of Turkey, they consider that arms for which export licences to Turkey have been issued might be used for internal repression.[HL1891]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government's criteria to be used in considering applications for the export of arms are quite clear. The Government will not approve the export of goods if there is a clearly identifiable risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression. The same criteria are applied to all countries, including Turkey.

General Pinochet

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there were any telephone contacts between Ministers of the British and Spanish Governments about General Pinochet before the issuing of the first warrant for his arrest; and if so, whether they will give details of these contacts.[HL1904]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: There were no contacts between British Foreign Office Ministers and Spanish Government ministers about Senator Pinochet before the provisional warrant for his arrest was issued on 16 October 1998.

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Senator Arlen Spector

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they agree with Senator Arlen Spector's suggestion that only European countries should provide the ground troops which may be needed to continue military activities in the Balkans.[HL1911]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Senator Spector's alleged comments are a matter for him.

MMR Vaccine: Adverse Reactions Study

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect the Medicines Control Agency to publish its review of 531 adverse reactions to measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.[HL1974]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): The Medicines Control Agency and Committee on Safety of Medicines have set up a working group of independent experts to evaluate reports from parents of children suspected to have suffered an adverse effect from measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. The working group's draft report is expected to be provided to the committee by mid-year. The committee will advise on the findings, the need for any regulatory action and consider how the report should be disseminated.

NHS Audiology Services

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent meetings Ministers have had with organisations representing people with hearing impairments about NHS hearing aid services and technology; what response they gave to the representations made to them; and what action they are taking to improve existing NHS audiology services with respect to their quality, consistency and range; and[HL1934]

    What the NHS currently spends on each person being tested for hearing impairment and fitted with one of its range of hearing aids; and by what date the NHS will be funded to bring the full benefits of modern technology to people in need of such aids.[HL1935]

Baroness Hayman: My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health, met the Royal National Institute for Deaf People recently when they outlined their vision of improved service delivery. This included a move towards the wider availability of digital aids within the NHS. My honourable friend stated that the Government are continuing to look at audiology services to see how

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delivery can be improved and how new technology can be used appropriately and effectively.

The type of hearing aid provided by the NHS is a matter for the clinician concerned in consultation with the patient.

The average cost of supplying and fitting an NHS hearing aid is £90 to £100.

The NHS range of hearing aids has been substantially improved over the last three years. "In the ear" models have been introduced, as have high frequency aids, mini aids and aids in different colours. Additionally, many features have been incorporated in the more expensive aids which make sounds clearer. NHS Supplies have also introduced a hearing aid for the paediatric market.

Refusal of Hostel Places to Homeless People

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have on the number of homeless people who have been refused hostel places because they do not possess two pieces of identification.[HL1823]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Information is not available on people who are refused hostel places. We are aware of concerns about the impact on homeless people of the level of verification required in connection with Housing Benefit claims following the introduction of the Verification Framework. A number of changes were made in November 1998 in response to the problems faced by homeless people. We are actively considering what further steps are necessary to ensure that this vulnerable group is not disadvantaged, and looking at the impact on hostel providers.

Careers Service

Lord Skelmersdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their policy on the future of the contracted out county careers services.[HL1952]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment announced his intention, on 10 March 1999, to publish proposals this summer concerning new local and national arrangements to develop lifelong learning and skills. The Secretary of State will consider, as part of this review, the arrangements--including contracting arrangements--to deliver the careers service in order to achieve a coherent approach to the organisation of post-16 education and training.

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House of Lords: Staff from Ethnic Minorities

Lord Judd asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What progress has been made in the past two years in increasing the representation of ethnic minorities in the staffing of the House in all departments and at all levels.[HL1985]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): House of Lords staff are appointed through public advertisement and following fair and open competition. Equal opportunities are offered irrespective of ethnic origin. The number of staff from ethnic minorities has increased over the last two years from 41 on 1 April 1997 (total number employed 338) to 50 on 1 April 1999 (total number employed 356).

Territorial Army

Lord Brooks of Tremorfa asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What changes there have been to the plans for Territorial Army units and their locations contained in the government publication, Modern Forces for the Modern World: A Territorial Army for the Future.[HL2028]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): Since the announcement on the structure of the Territorial Army last 17 November, there have been a number of small refinements to the detailed plan. These involve some location changes and some changes in the timing of moves. These are shown in the table below. In addition, several typographical errors in the document are corrected in the table.

Location Changes

TA CentreAnnounced OccupantsRevised Plan
Middlesbrough-Stockton Road TA CentreWas to be base to full infantry company plus pioneer detachment.1. Stockton Road retains infantry company less a platoon detachment which will instead be based at Coulby Newham TA Centre. 2. Pioneer detachment to be based at Cramlington TA Centre.
ScarboroughWas to be base to full infantry company.Scarborough retains infantry company less a platoon detachment, to be based at Northallerton TA Centre, which was to have remained open only for cadets.
TelfordTelford to retain two TA Centres, one with ammunition squadron, the other with yeomanry headquarters squadron and surgical squadron.Surgical squadron to go to Copthorne Barracks, Shrewsbury, to co-locate with infantry company. Telford still retains two TA Centres.
NewcastleDebdon Gardens was to be base to whole of 219 Field Squadron.A detachment of 219 Squadron to be based at Sunderland TA Centre. Debdon Gardens remains open for other units.

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Changed Timings/Roles

UnitAnnounced PlanProposed Plan
Headquarters Squadron 21 Signal Regiment, a TA sub unit in a regular regiment.Due to move from Trowbridge to Oxford to become part of new radio support regiment. Move from Trowbridge as planned, but to be housed temporarily at Bath before moving to Oxford, upon formation of radio support regiment which is delayed.
43 Squadron 21 Signal Regiment, a TA sub unit in a regular regiment.Due to move from Bridgewater to Bath to become part of new radio support regiment.Move to Bath as planned, but retain current 21 Signal Regiment air support role until later re-roled to radio support regiment.
Royal Yeomanry Squadron, Slough.Due to disband 1 July 1999.Retain until 1 June 2000.
Royal Wessex Yeomanry Headquarters Squadron, Cirencester.Was to assume nuclear biological and chemical role.Assume armoured role. The second nuclear biological and chemical squadron now to be Royal Yeomanry Headquarters Squadron in London.

Typographic Errors

UnitPrinted TextCorrected Text
105 Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers) Light Aid DetachmentCo-locate with 207 Battery in Glasgow.Remain with Regimental Headquarters in Edinburgh.
Infantry Detachment CastlefordAnnounced incorrectly as a band.
Lowland BattalionCompany Headquarters in Dumfries; Infantry detachment in Galashiels.Company Headquarters in Galashiels; Infantry detachment in Dumfries.
256 Field HospitalHeadquarters in Hammersmith Road; Squadron in Braganza Street.Headquarters in Braganza Street; Squadron in Hammersmith Road.
Aldershot Cadet Unit TrainingSeeley House, Shoe Lane, Aldershot.Seely House, Shoe Lane, Aldershot.

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