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29 Jul 1999 : Column WA209

Written Answers

Thursday, 29th July 1999.

International Court of Justice Dicta: Use of Force

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they accept the dicta of the World Court in June that (a) the use of force other than as authorised by the UN Security Council is forbidden; (b) the UN Security Council alone is responsible for peacekeeping and international security; and (c) all relevant humanitarian conventions must be observed at all times.[HL3756]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The noble Lord's references to the cases brought by the FRY against 10 NATO states do not exactly reflect the orders issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 2 June 1999. The ICJ emphasised that all parties appearing before it must act in conformity with their obligations under the UN Charter and other rules of international law, including humanitarian law. The Court also stressed that where a dispute gives rise to a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression, the Security Council has special responsibilities under Chapter VII of the Charter. The Government do, of course, accept these statements by the Court.

Former Yugoslavia: UN Report

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they expect the "comprehensive report, including an assessment, on the events dating from the establishment of the safe area of Srebrenica on 16 April 1993 under Security Council Resolution 819 (1993) of 16 April 1993, which was followed by the establishment of other safe areas, until endorsement of the peace agreement by the Security Council under Resolution 1031 (1995) of 15 December 1995", called for by the United Nations General Assembly in paragraph 18 of its Resolution 53/35 of 13 January 1999, to be submitted in accordance with the resolution by 1 September; and what arrangements are being made for its publication.[HL3773]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We understand that the UN Secretariat is working to submit its comprehensive report to the General Assembly by 1 September, and that the report will be issued as a General Assembly document.

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Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will refrain from accepting any outcome in the United Nations Security Council which would give Saddam Hussein control of Iraq's oil revenues, for as long as he is in defiance of the Security Council Resolutions; and[HL3764]

    Since the United States Administration has said it has "some problems with parts" of the Anglo-Dutch draft resolution on Iraq currently under consideration by the Security Council, whether agreement is being reached with the United States over the improvements which it would require to be made to the draft resolution; and [HL3823]

    Whether, in the absence of the required confirmation that Iraq has been disarmed and is being monitored, they will refrain from supporting any proposal during the discussions on a new United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq to implement the work of the three United Nations panels which would leap-frog previous Security Council resolutions and lift the sanctions on Iraq; and[HL3766]

    Whether, in light of the fact that the report of the United Nations panel on disarmament concluded that Iraq has not fulfilled its obligations as set out in the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, they will give an assurance that the draft resolutions on Iraq seeks to secure a more, rather than less, intrusive monitoring system for disarmament; and what consensus on this has been reached within the United Nations Security Council; and[HL3767]

    What is the progress of the expansion and streamlining of the oil-for-food programme.[HL3768]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Iraq has still failed to comply with its obligations under Security Council resolutions. UN expert panels have confirmed that there are serious disarmament questions unanswered and that Iraq had failed to come clean about the fate of over 600 Kuwaitis and other nationals detained in 1991. The Government believe that in these circumstances sanctions cannot be lifted. Iraq's oil revenues must be controlled, in particular to ensure that they are not diverted for rearmament and that Iraq meets its obligation to compensate those who suffered during the invasion of Kuwait.

The draft resolution which we and six other members of the Security Council are co-sponsoring reflects this. It proposes a new disarmament organisation which would attempt to answer the outstanding questions. This would need to be more intrusive in some ways than UNSCOM has been in the past. Our draft resolution also removes the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports while maintaining close control over the use of those revenues. Discussions continue on the resolution, especially with the other permanent members of the Security Council, with the shared aim of reaching consensus on the best way forward.

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European Union: Accession

The Earl of Carlisle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in view of the Prime Minister's speech to the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest on 4 May, in which he said that the United Kingdom will support an invitation to Romania at the Helsinki European Council in December to begin negotiations to accede to the European Union, this support extends to the Republics of Latvia and Lithuania.[HL3799]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Yes.

House of Lords Reform: Hereditary Peers and Life Peerages

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any hereditary Peers have been offered life peerages following the passing of the House of Lords Bill.[HL3884]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): As I told the House on 20 April (col. 1114), as foreshadowed in the White Paper Modernising Parliament: Reforming the House of Lords (Cm 4183), the hereditary Peers of first creation have all been offered life peerages. This was in recognition of their unique position as both created and hereditary peers in relation to the House of Lords Bill. As I also told the House on 11 May (col. 1174), it would not be appropriate to comment on the question of whether any further such offers had been made to Peers who are not in such a unique position.

National Curriculum Review

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In view of the delay in the publication of the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education report All our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education, whether they will extend the deadline for response to the review of the national curriculum from 23 July 1999 to the autumn to allow for a wider public debate; and[HL3835]

    Whether the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education report All our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education has been sent out to schools, and if not, when schools will receive this document so that responses can be made to the review of the national curriculum; and[HL3865]

    How they intend to resolve the differences between the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education report All our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education

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    and the substance of the review of the national curriculum consultation document regarding the importance of arts and humanities education within the national curriculum; and[HL3866]

    Whether they will incorporate the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education report All our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education into the national curriculum.[HL3867]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The consultation on the national curriculum review ended on 23 July and cannot be extended. The National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education report was published on 14 May and from that date was available to the public and all schools via the internet. This allowed ample time for both documents to be considered and comments submitted within the consultation period. Over 6,000 copies of the committee's report have been sent out in this period.

The committee's recommendations on the curriculum have already informed proposals for the revised curriculum for 2000. In his introduction to the proposals, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State said that a strength of our education system is its ability to develop creativity. Literacy, numeracy and key skills are the foundation on which our ability to exploit creativity is based. Effective teaching of other subjects is also vital to the development of well-rounded individuals. Each subject makes a distinctive contribution to pupils' learning and development; for example, music and art are important for the cultural and spiritual development of young people. For this reason the requirement for primary schools to follow the full programmes of study and for all non-core subjects will be reinstated from September 2000.

Armed Forces: Numbers of Personnel under 18

Baroness Williams of Crosby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many members of (a) the Royal Navy, (b) the Royal Air Force and (c) the Army were (i) 16 years of age and (ii) 17 years of age on 1 July; which units they are serving with; and what percentage of force numbers this represent in each service.[HL3761]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): At 1 June 1999, the latest date for which information is available centrally on all three services: 151 naval service personnel, Royal Navy and Royal Marines, were 16 years of age and 841 were 17 years of age, 0.3 per cent. and 1.9 per cent. of the total strength respectively; 959 Army personnel were 16 years of age

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and 4,032 were 17 years of age, 0.9 per cent. and 3.7 per cent. of the total strength respectively; 45 RAF personnel were 16 years of age and 393 were 17 years of age, 0.1 per cent. and 0.7 per cent. of the total strength respectively.

The list of units they are serving with is provided in the tables below.

Naval service personnel aged under 18 as at 1 June 1999 by unit

UnitAge 16Age 17All under 18
Royal Naval Ratings
HMS Argyll022
HMS Birmingham033
HMS Boxer033
HMS Bristol101
HMS Campbeltown011
HMS Cardiff022
HMS Chatham123
HMS Cornwall066
HMS Coventry011
HMS Cumberland033
HMS Dulverton011
HMS Edinburgh044
HMS Exeter044
HMS Fearless055
HMS Glasgow044
HMS Gloucester066
HMS Grafton033
HMS Herald011
HMS Illustrious02020
HMS Invincible01010
HMS Iron Duke066
HMS Liverpool055
HMS London011
HMS Manchester044
HMS Marlborough011
HMS Monmouth011
HMS Montrose033
HMS Newcastle044
HMS Norfolk011
HMS Northumberland044
HMS Nottingham011
HMS Ocean044
HMS Richmond011
HMS Sandown011
HMS Sheffield033
HMS Shetland011
HMS Somerset033
HMS Southampton011
HMS Sutherland022
HMS Talent011
HMS Trafalgar011
HMS Trenchant011
HMS Turbulent011
HMS Vengeance011
HMS Westminster011
HMS York088
810 Squadron022
Untrained strength105482587
Total RN Ratings123702825
Royal Marine Other Ranks
40 Commando044
45 Commando055
Untrained strength27115142
Total RM Other Ranks28139167
Total Naval Service151841992


(1) Includes, for example, those sick or injured.

(2) Includes those serving in UK shore establishments and those undergoing further training courses.

(3) There were no officers, either trained or untrained in the naval service at 1 June 1999 aged under 18.

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Total number of soldiers aged 16 and 17 by regiment as at 1 June 1999

RegimentAge 16Age 17All under 18
H Cav54651
Rac (Unspec)49196245
9/12 L101
Scots DG066
1 RHA044
4 Regt RA01111
5 Regt RA011
12 Regt RA033
16 Regt RA055
19 Regt RA033
22 Regt RA044
26 FD Regt066
29 CDO Regt RA088
32 Regt RA055
39 Regt RA011
40 Regt RA077
47 Regt RA033
Other RA Units104317421
R Signals74455529
Guards (Unspec)5490144
Gren Gds02727
Coldm Gds03939
Scots Gds284068
Irish Gds088
Welsh Gds11920
Scots (Unspec)11276188
A & SH22931
Queens (Unspec)49131180
R Ang01515
Kings (Unspec)41153194
Kings Own Border279
Green Howards066
R Irish (GS)43943
Pow (Unspec)45179224
D and D077
Light (Unspec)39146185
RLC (EXE)101645746
Int Corps022
AG Corps (SPS)35760
AG Corps (PRO)099

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RAF strength under 18s by unit location at 1 June 1999

LocationAge 16Age 17All under 18
Aldershot (Keogh Barracks)189
Brize Norton01111
Headley Court011
High Wycombe011
Rudloe Manor033
St. Athan11415
St. Mawgan033
Staxton Wold011

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