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Regional Theatres: Review

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

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: We need to ensure that the range, viability, accessibility and excellence of theatre across the regions of England end up stronger as a result of this review.

Arts Council and Regional Arts Boards

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

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Arts Council of England is the national funding body for the arts in England. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport assesses ACE's performance in fulfilling this role through a range of indicators set out in the Department's Funding Agreement with it. Similarly, the Arts Council has funding agreements of its own with the regional arts boards, through which it assesses

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the RABs' performance in meeting the Arts Council's and the Government's objectives.

"Do Not Resuscitate" Instructions: Monitoring

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What monitoring takes place of the use of "Do not resuscitate" instructions in National Health Service hospitals.[HL2894]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Guidance Decisions relating to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation issued by the British Medical Association, Royal College of Nursing and Resuscitation Council (United Kingdom) recommends that such decisions are subject to clinical audit. Details of such local audits are not held centrally. We intend, through a planned Health Service Circular, to require trusts to report the outcome of such clinical audits in the annual clinical governance reports of trusts; and for the Commission for Health Improvement to pay particular attention to trusts' resuscitation decision-making processes during their reviews. We have no plans for central data returns concerning resuscitation decisions.

The Government are committed to ensuring the development of best practice in resuscitation decision-making throughout the National Health Service, and the Department of Health will be issuing guidance to the NHS about this.

GM Maize Seed, France

Lord Morris of Castle Morris asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Following recent reports about the possible GM contamination of French maize crops, what action they are taking to check if UK crops are affected.[HL3209]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): Following reports in the French press last week that the French authorities had discovered low levels of GM presence in conventional maize seed imported into France, we contacted the French authorities, who confirmed on 30 June that they had indeed found some GM seed in conventional maize seed, which has been sown in south-west France. Further information now indicates that they have found three different modifications in a number of varieties of forage maize imported into France by the Company Golden Harvest. The French authorities have not yet confirmed which varieties of maize seed are involved, but have confirmed that sweetcorn varieties are not affected by their current investigations. We are seeking further information from them on the varieties concerned. However, as the varieties

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concerned are cultivated in southern France, it is possible that they would be unsuitable for cultivation in UK conditions.

The GMs found in maize samples by the French authorities are BT 176 and BT 11, and one further, as yet unidentified, modification. BT 176 is insect resistant and has Part C consent within the EU under Directive 90/220 for import, food and feed use, and for cultivation. BT 11 is insect resistant and has Part C consent for import and use in animal feed. Pending further information from the French authorities, my department, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, and the Food Standards Agency are considering what the implications would be should further investigations indicate that affected seed may have been sown in the UK.

Road Safety Advisory Panel

Baroness Pitkeathley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they plan to launch the Road Safety Advisory Panel, as announced in the road safety strategy Tomorrow's roads--safer for everyone.[HL3210]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): The new Road Safety Advisory Panel was launched today, and I chaired the first meeting. The panel includes representatives of the main stakeholders in road safety, including the police, local authorities, road safety organisations, road user groups and other government departments. Its remit is to provide advice to Ministers on road safety policies and to advise on the planned three-yearly reviews of progress towards the casualty reduction targets set in the road safety strategy.

Nuclear Weapon Elimination

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What new initiatives they are taking with the United States and other allies to accelerate the elimination of the nuclear and missile threat.[HL3065]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The recently concluded NPT Review Conference agreed a programme of steps which will contribute to the elimination of nuclear weapons. The UK played a leading role in securing this agreement. Our aim now is to work with the US and other allies to translate this agreement into concrete progress on non-proliferation and disarmament.

We are also discussing with the US and other countries the scope for further international measures to curb missile proliferation.

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European Security and Defence Policy

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    To what aspects of defence policy Baroness Scotland of Asthal was referring when she said, "There is a clear view that a treaty amendment is not necessary" (H.L. Deb., 14 June, col. 1638); how this statement fits with paragraph 36 of the Government's White Paper IGC: Reform for Enlargement; and what is the latest state of play with the European Strategic Defence Initiative.[HL2940]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Feira European Council took note of advice from the Council Legal Service that the conclusions of the Cologne and Helsinki European Councils regarding European security and defence policy could be implemented without it being necessary to amend the Treaty on European Union. This is consistent with the Government's White Paper IGC: Reform for Enlargement.

Progress within the European Union on European security and defence policy is summarised in the Presidency report to the Feira European Council on strengthening the common European security and defence policy, which has been placed in the Library of the House.


Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will seek to strengthen the European Union's position in relation to the Government of Sudan and its human rights record.[HL3073]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We believe that the European Union's dialogue with the Government of Sudan has already resulted in a number of improvements in the human rights situation in Sudan, including the return of abductees and the release of some prisoners.

The European Union continues to urge the Government of Sudan to improved respect for human rights and we will be reviewing progress in this field with our European partners in the autumn.


Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will intercede with the Ethiopian Government to allow Eritrean farmers to return to areas now occupied by Ethiopia in time for the current planting season.[HL3082]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed on 18 June by both Ethiopia and Eritrea provides for the return of civilian administration and the return of populations to those areas affected by the conflict. With our international

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partners, we will continue to press both sides to implement the agreement swiftly.

We continue to monitor the humanitarian situation in Eritrea closely. We are supporting a number of organisations working with those displaced by the recent fighting.


Baroness Uddin asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their export licensing policy towards Pakistan.[HL3179]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We continue to assess export licence applications for Pakistan on a case by case basis against the national criteria and those in the EU Code of Conduct, taking into account the statement made by my honourable friend the member for Manchester Central on 10 July 1998, Official Report, cols. 687-688. The Government have taken time to consider the situation in Pakistan and the wider region following the coup in October 1999 before deciding on a number of licence applications.

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The Government have now refused 26 Standard Individual Export Licence applications for Pakistan. We have also refused Pakistan as a permitted destination on one Open Individual Export Licence and approved its inclusion on one other such licence. We have reached these decisions following careful consideration of each licence application against the stated criteria.

We remain concerned about defence exports to Pakistan in the light of last year's incursion at the Kargil sector of the Line of Control in Kashmir, the military coup, the possibility of diversion to undesirable end-users and continued regional tensions. We have refused licences for certain military equipment to Pakistan because we do not judge that they meet our criteria.

The Government have issued 20 Standard Individual Export Licences for a narrow and well-defined range of equipment--eg, naval spares, bomb disposal equipment and goods for civilian end-users. We have assessed that issuing licences for this equipment would not contravene our national criteria, nor those in the EU Code of Conduct. Details of all licences issued will appear in the 2000 Annual Report.

We will continue to assess licence applications on a case-by-case basis and keep the situation in Pakistan under close scrutiny.

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