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Lord Janner of Braunstone asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The available information is given in the table.

Estimated number of days in custody for adults and young persons in prisons in England and Wales for persons given custodial sentences by magistrates' and Crown Courts, 1996-98

Number of days
Court type199619971998
Magistrates' courts
Young persons481,400500,100495,300
Crown Courts
Young persons1,905,3002,371,0002,603,200

Leaks of Official Information

Lord Simon of Glaisdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many leaks of information from central government departments have been investigated since 1 May 1997 by the panel maintained by the Cabinet Office; and with what result.[HL3376]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Independent investigators from the list maintained by the Cabinet Office have been employed by government departments on 14 occasions since 1 May 1997 to inquire into leaks of official information. It has been the normal practice of successive governments not to disclose information on the outcome of investigations.

Education: Parental Choice

Lord Craigmyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any plans to remove from parents their "prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children" (United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Article 26, paragraph 4).[HL3469]

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The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Government have no plans to alter the common law and statutory rights currently enjoyed by parents to choose the kind of education to be given to their children.

Sheffield LEA

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the education standard spending assessment for Sheffield local education authority; and what is its level of expenditure on education in relation to it.[HL3510]

Baroness Blackstone: The education standard spending assessment for Sheffield local education authority for 1999-2000 is £195.0 million. The last year for which we have data on the level of local authority expenditure is 1997-98, when Sheffield local education authority spent £185.1 million compared with an SSA for that year of £168.7 million.

EU Pension Fund: Use of Public Moneys

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the European Parliament voted in 1995 to replenish a deficiency in a European Community pension fund with money which had been allocated for office expenses; and, if so, whether this conformed with Her Majesty's Government's policy, set out in the Written Answer by Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 14 June (WA 1), of pushing for the same principles of rigour and cost-effectiveness in spending by the institutions of the European Communities as they apply to the United Kingdom budget. [HL3172]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Following an approach by officials, the secretariat of the European Parliament found no evidence of the European Parliament having voted in 1995 to transfer money from office expenses to pensions. However, if the noble Lord has any information which he believes relevant to this matter, I would be happy to look into it.

EMU: Excess Government Deficits and the UK

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in spite of the opt-out provisions of Protocol 11 of the Maastricht Treaty, the provisions of EC Treaty Article 104 dealing with excess government deficits apply to the United Kingdom; and, if so, when and on what occasions

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    recommendations have been made to the United Kingdom by the Council of Ministers under paragraphs 7 and 8 of Article 104.[HL3360]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Under Protocol 25 of the EC Treaty (ex Protocol 11) the UK is not obliged or committed to move to the third stage of economic and monetary union without a separate decision to do so by its government and parliament. As such, Article 104(1), (9) and (11) of the Excessive Deficit Procedure (ex 104c(1), (9) and (11)) does not apply to it. This means that the UK is not legally obliged to avoid running an excessive deficit and that ECOFIN has no powers to enforce recommendations made under Article 104(7) on the UK.

The UK is however obliged under Article 116(4) (ex Article 109e(4)) to "endeavour to avoid excessive government deficits" and is bound by the remainder of Article 104.


Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the purpose of a building being constructed for NATO occupying 300 hectares in Kurjan in Albania and which, according to Albanian reports, was recently looted of the equipment within it by Albanian peasants.[HL3342]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): We have no knowledge of, or information on, such a building.

Armed Services: Future Stockpile Levels

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is their intention to restore the stores of bombs and missiles held by the armed services to the levels held before the recent action against Yugoslavia.[HL3219]

Lord Gilbert: Steps are being taken to replace ordnance used during NATO operations in Kosovo. We have not yet conducted a full analysis of the lessons learned from those operations. These will need to be taken into consideration when we determine our future stockpile levels.

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NATO: Operation Names

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the light of the Answer by Lord Burlison in response to Written Question HL2987 on 23 June about the choice of names for NATO's current operations in Kosovo (WA 91), and in view of the need to avoid misunderstandings, they consider that the practice of selecting operation names "at random" is satisfactory; and, if not, whether they will consider a more logical approach.[HL3358]

Lord Gilbert: The system for selecting operation names has been working satisfactorily for some time and there are no plans to change it.

Insulin-dependent Diabetes

Viscount Hanworth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes in the British population; and whether it is increasing markedly.[HL3597]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): The burden of disease from diabetes is normally expressed in terms of its prevalence. The most recent estimates of prevalence indicate that in 1997 there were 199,000 people with insulin-dependent diabetes in the United Kingdom. Research suggests that this number will fall somewhat over the next decade, whereas, in line with a worldwide trend, the number of people with non-insulin-dependent diabetes is forecast to rise significantly.

M.4 Westbound Elevated Section

The Marquess of Ailesbury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether statistics show that the westbound elevated section of the M.4 was a dangerous stretch of road when it had a 50 mph limit.[HL3217]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): The total number of accidents on the M.4 elevated westbound in the five-year period January 1994 to December 1998 was 70, of which 23 were speed related. This total is 55 per cent. higher than the average personal injury accident rate for dual 2 lane motorways with a 50 mph limit.

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