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How many crossing places exist on the Iraq-Syria border capable of carrying heavy lorries and oil tankers; and which of them are monitored by the United Nations; and[HL2283]
What is their estimate of the quantity of oil or other goods being illegally transported either into or out of Iraq across the Syrian border; and[HL2284]
What is their estimate of the number of heavy lorries and oil tankers with Iraqi number plates, travelling each day either into or out of Iraq along the Euphrates valley or through Palmyra.[HL2285]
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: It is the responsibility of individual states to ensure that their nationals and companies do not breach UN sanctions against Iraq. Since sanctions were imposed, we have made many approaches to other governments, including the Government of Syria, informing them of actions by their nationals or through their territories which might breach the UN sanctions regime and requesting them to follow up this information.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The present Ambassador at Tallinn is scheduled to leave in September 2000. We aim to decide the succession to such posts up to 12 months in advance to allow maximum time for preparation. We would therefore expect to take a decision in the autumn of this year.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): Verification of the number of non-combatant casualties is not possible, as access to sites is controlled by the Yugoslav Government. Evidence of fatalities allegedly resulting from allied action cannot, therefore, be tested either by the UK or by international organisations.
Lord Gilbert: NATO does not maintain a nation-by-nation breakdown of the damage caused by missile and bomb attacks. NATO commanders are taking great care to ensure that any damage inflicted on Serbia is justified as undermining Milosevic's military machine.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: These issues are primarily a matter for the independent broadcasting regulatory bodies: the Governors of the BBC, the Independent Television Commission, (ITC) the Radio Authority (RA) and the Welsh Authority, (S4C).
The Government believe that the current statutory programme codes and guidelines administered by the broadcasting regulators, together with their programme monitoring and complaints procedures, are effective in ensuring that the required standards are achieved.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The review of the Tote has been completed. We have considered the report of the steering group which conducted the review and have accepted the recommendations in it. We are most grateful to Peter Jones, the Chairman of the Tote, who chaired the steering group, for his skilful handling of this task. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library of the House.
The Tote's status as a Non-Departmental Public Body has served it well in the past but has become increasingly anomalous as the Tote has become a more commercial operation and developed its non-pool betting activities through acquisition of licensed betting offices. The review, therefore, concluded that the commercial freedom now required by the Tote would be best provided by transfer to the private sector. This will require legislation and, in view of the time this is likely to take, the review has made no recommendation as to the precise method of sale. That will need to be determined at the time.
Further work will now need to be undertaken on the various sale options, including the possibility of a sale to racing, in consultation with the Tote, the racing industry and others. The review also recognised the need to have regard to the interests of the taxpayer, as well as other stakeholders. This means that the Government have rejected the possibility of the Tote being transferred to racing without consideration.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The Access to Justice Bill will replace the current legal aid scheme with two separate schemes, both administered by the Legal Services Commission: the Community Legal Service for civil matters, and the Criminal Defence Service for criminal matters. For the latter, the Government believe that, in addition to contracting with private lawyers, the Legal Services Commission should be able to employ lawyers directly to offer services to the public. Introducing a mixed system of private and salaried lawyers will broaden choice of types of suppliers and introduce a healthy element of competition. The Government have no current plans to employ salaried lawyers to provide services under the Community Legal Service, but have taken the power to do so in order to maintain flexibility for the future. So far as personal injury cases are concerned, the Government believe that conditional fee agreements will provide a suitable source of funding for at least the great majority of cases and that, therefore, only few of them may continue to require public subsidy.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): As my honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary announced on 24 February last year, (HC Deb., cols. 187-88), fishing effort available to the UK pelagic and beam trawl segments in 1998 was allocated between the various Producer Organisations (POs) or groups of fishermen concerned. Monitoring of uptake during 1998 showed that both segments succeeded in remaining within their main targets. Following representations from the industry, we approached the Commission to see if unused effort could be carried over into subsequent years. They have now confirmed to us that this is possible. We will accordingly be holding urgent consultation meetings with those concerned to explore how to reflect this in effort allocations for this year.
Whether they will provide the numbers of farm businesses receiving subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy, including Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances, in the United Kingdom.[HL2150]
Lord Donoughue: The numbers of agricultural holdings both in total and within the above bands in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which received payments under the schemes covered by the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) in 1997-98 (the Arable Area Payments, Beef Special Premium, Suckler Cow Premium and Sheep Annual Premium Schemes and Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances) or certain other schemes in England and Wales were as follows:
|Over £5 million||0||0||0||0|
|£5 million-£1 million||4||0||0||0|
(1) Payments are for European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee Fund year 16 October 1997-15 October 1998. For England only payments under the following schemes are included: the agri-environment schemes, Sheep Compensation Scheme (ex Chernobyl), Objective 5b (EU Structural Funds), Farm Capital Grant Scheme, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Scheme,
BSE compensation, Offspring Cull, TB compensation, Scrapie compensation.
(2) Payments are for 1997 scheme years and include payments under agri-environment schemes.
It is not possible without incurring disproportionate costs to provide the information requested for England and Wales only in respect of IACS-related schemes or the total number of holdings in the United Kingdom which received subsidies under all CAP schemes including those covered by IACS.