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Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The report Ethnic Minorities and the Criminal Justice System prepared for the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice in 1993 described the comparative studies available at that time.

We are aware of no recent research studies that provide robust figures on the ethnic origins of those who elect Crown Court trial. The information that we have on prosecution and sentencing of ethnic minorities is contained in Chapter 6 of Statistics of Race and the Criminal Justice System, published in December 1999.

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: No regular statistics are collected on this. There is some research, Entry into the criminal justice system: a survey of police arrests and their outcomes, which contains information about charge reduction. It shows that the incidence of charge reduction varies with the category of offence: for example, the Crown Prosecution Service reduced charges in 26 per cent of assault cases, 6 per cent of burglary cases and 8 per cent of public order cases. But these findings relate to cases in all courts, not the Crown Court only; and they include reductions from an indictable only charge to an either-way one.

Mike Tyson

Lord Brett asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why they have decided to allow Mike Tyson to enter the United Kingdom.[HL579]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Mike Tyson arrived in the United Kingdom on Sunday 16 January and was given leave to enter until 30 January for the purposes of the scheduled contest on 29 January. He was admitted under an instruction to immigration officers which my right honourable friend the Home Secretary announced on 13 January and which was made under Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971. Given the high profile nature of this case and the complex issues that it raised, my right honourable friend took the view that it would have been invidious for an individual immigration officer to have to weigh the competing considerations involved.

My right honourable friend was advised that the relevant immigration rule, which has been in place in this form since 1994, provides that normally persons with convictions for offences which in this country attract a maximum sentence of 12 months', or more, imprisonment are to be refused leave to enter but leaves a discretion to allow entry if there are strong compassionate circumstances or the case is otherwise exceptional. My right honourable friend considered representations sent by Mr Frank Warren against the background of this advice and concluded that there were no strong compassionate circumstances but there were other exceptional circumstances in this case which justified granting leave to enter to Mr Tyson. He took account, in particular, of evidence presented to him in these representations of the effects on small providers of ancillary services, some of whom could have been facing bankruptcy because they have invested heavily in the contest and who are innocent third parties. He also took acount of the effect on business in the Manchester area and the inconvenience and disappointment of the many thousand members of the public who have purchased tickets for the fight in good faith if entry had been refused and the contest cancelled of this notice.

Further, my right honourable friend was not satisfied that in practice this immgration rule has had consistent outcomes in the past; and took that into account in determining whether this case was exceptional. Persons seeking leave to enter the United

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Kingdom are not routinely asked whether they have relevant previous convictions on the landing card or otherwise (though they would be so asked if from countries requiring a pre-entry visa).

My right honourable friend has, therefore, asked for a full review to be carried out of the rules and practice relating to admission of persons with previous convictions. He will report the outcome of this review to Parliament when it is completed.

Old Palace Yard Restoration Scheme

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked the Chairman of Committees:

    Whether, in the light of the criticism of English Heritage by the House of Commons Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee (HC 477-I), the Director of Parliamentary Works intends to proceed with the tendering process for the £2.44 million Old Palace Yard project before the House has had a further opportunity to consider this matter.[HL464]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): The Old Palace Yard restoration scheme was extensively considered by the House and its committees and was finally approved by the House, on division, on 18 November 1998. The project will enhance the setting of the Palace of Westminster, and significantly improve a public open space of great historical importance.

English Heritage is only one of a number of organisations to have indicated their support. For example, Westminster City Council, the Westminster Abbey authorities, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Royal Parks Agency, the Royal Fine Art Commission and the International Council for Monuments and Sites have all endorsed the project.

In the light of these circumstances, I do not consider that the comments about English Heritage by the House of Commons Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee in paragraph 127 of their Report on Town and Country Parks justify a reconsideration of the project by the House.

House of Lords Website: Select Committee Report Hits

Lord Norton of Louth asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What is the total number of "hits" to date on the website pages of each of the separate reports of (a) the European Communities Committee and (b) the Science and Technology Committee in the 1998-99 session.[HL357]

The Chairman of Committees: The information is not readily available in the form requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. A new contract with The Stationery Office for the provision of electronic and Internet services comes into force in

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April 2000 and it will then be possible to provide the information more easily in the form the noble Lord requests. Set out below is an overall monthly figure for each committee for 1999:

House of Lords European Communities Select Committee (1999)


House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee (1999)


Tourist-related Industries: Fall in Number of Self-employed Jobs

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the outcome of the assessment, carried out by the Office for National Statistics at the request of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, of the reasons for the fall in self-employed jobs in the tourist-related industries by 17,000 over the year to December 1998.[HL91]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that the number of self-employed jobs in the tourist-related industries in England fell by around 37,000 (22 per cent) in the year to December 1998, rather than the 17,000 quoted in a previous answer to a question (the mistake was caused by an error in typing). Over the same period, employee jobs in the tourism-related industries in England rose by 8,000 (1 per cent).

The Office for National Statistics identified that these changes were in the same direction as general trends in total employee and self-employment jobs in England, although the percentage fall in self-employed jobs in the tourism-related industries was much greater: total employee jobs increased by 1 per cent and total self-employed jobs fell by 2 per cent in the year to December 1998.

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The fall in the number of self-employed jobs in the tourism-related industries might also be partially explained by the decrease in tourism expenditure by UK residents staying at least one night away in England in 1998 of slightly under £800 million compared to 1997.

Gulf Veterans: Human Tissue Act 1961

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are aware of any instances where organs or tissue samples have been removed from the bodies of deceased Gulf veterans without the consent of the next of kin; and, if so, who was

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    responsible for requesting the samples; and for what purpose.[HL325]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Ministry of Defence's Gulf Veterans Illnesses Unit is not aware of any instances where organs or tissue samples have been removed from the bodies of deceased Gulf veterans without prior consent. The Ministry of Defence has no specific arrangements in place to request post mortem examinations on Gulf veterans, nor is it routinely informed of the results of such examinations. Where an industrial cause of death is suspected, the case is reported to the coroner and the consent of the next of kin to post mortem examination or retention of organs or tissue samples to determine the cause of death is not required. In all other cases the Human Tissue Act 1961 applies.

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