Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

World Trade Organisation: Sustainability Policy

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Her Majesty's Government's objective is to ensure that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is seen to contribute to sustainable development, as enshrined in the founding agreement of the WTO. We do this through pressing for sustainable market access liberalisation and ensuring coherence between WTO and global environmental governance. Where necessary we seek to clarify WTO rules to support legitimate environmental regulation while ruling out unwarranted protectionism.

We and our European partners are committed to launching a new trade round. A new round will strengthen the global economy and help raise living standards in developing countries. A key part of the EU's and UK's approach is that a new round must support global sustainable development. This means it must have an environmental dimension.

We want to maximise the 'win-win' potential of trade liberalisation where there are positive environmental impacts. Where there are negative impacts, we are pressing to eliminate perverse subsidies which are both trade-distorting and environmentally damaging. Agriculture and fisheries are two key areas where we will pursue this approach.

We also want to see WTO rules clarified in two key areas so that legitimate environmental policy is not undermined. The interface between WTO rules and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) must be addressed to prevent friction between two major bodies of international law. The legitimacy of

2 Apr 2001 : Column WA80

voluntary environmental labelling schemes must be recognised. We take seriously the concerns of developing countries about "eco-protectionism" and we are working actively with our EU colleagues to ensure that these concerns are addressed.

We take part, through the EU, in the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment established by the Uruguay round and use this committee to engage in active dialogue with developing countries and others on clarifying the relationship between MEAs and WTO rules. We also take every opportunity to use appropriate bilateral meetings to press arguments in favour of ensuring that MEAs are fully reflected in the policies of the WTO.

Hydro-electric Power

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they classify hydro-electric generation of electricity as a renewable source of energy.[HL1355]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Hydro is a renewable source of energy as defined in the Utilities Act 2000.

Third Generation Wireless Telegraphy Act Licences

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the light of the current difficulties being experienced by the telecommunications sector, there is a case for extending the period for which 3G (Third Generation) licences were auctioned beyond the original 20 years and for a relaxation of the conditions regulating network roll-out.[HL1322]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The conditions for the 3G Wireless Telegraphy Act licences were set out clearly in the Information Memorandum for the 3G auction. This will have influenced companies decisions on whether to participate in the auction and if so how much to bid. The Government see no case at present for changing these conditions after the auction in response to short-term market conditions.

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What were the Treasury's original budgetary projections of the revenue to be derived from the auction of 3G (Third Generation) licences.[HL1323]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Budget 2000 fiscal projections assumed receipts from the spectrum auction of £3,000 million in 2000-01. These figures were set out in the Government's return to the European Commission for the Excessive Deficit Procedure which was deposited in the Library on 31 August 2000.

2 Apr 2001 : Column WA81

Public Expenditure in England, Scotland and Wales

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish a table giving the latest available figures for annual expenditure per capita under the main departmental headings for (a) England, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales.[HL1301]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Information on identifiable total managed expenditure per head by programme for England, Scotland and Wales is contained in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses, which is being presented to Parliament today (Cm 5101).

Heathrow: Stop and Search Statistics

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the total number of people stopped and searched by HM Customs and Excise annually at Heathrow airport; and[HL1332]

    What percentage of black, Asian, white, Chinese and Japanese people have been stopped and searched by HM Customs and Excise at Heathrow airport in the last year for which figures are available; and what quantity, and percentage of (a) illegal drugs and (b) other illegal goods were seized from persons in each of these groups.[HL1333]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: HM Customs and Excise does not maintain records of persons searched at airports or ports, but does so by operational region. Information on the total numbers stopped, including all of the main London airports, is set out in Customs and Excise's Annual Report for 1999-2000, a copy of which is in the Library.

Customs and Excise: Equality and Diversity Training

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What training is given to Customs and Excise Officers in relation to race, religious and gender issues.[HL1334]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: HM Customs and Excise is strongly committed to the avoidance of discrimination in all that it does, to valuing diversity and ensuring equality of opportunity. In support of the culture we are working towards, we have run an awareness campaign to emphasise the importance of treating people with dignity and respect.

Customs and Excise provides a range of training on equality and diversity issues. The programme includes training specifically for staff who deal with the trading and travelling public, covering a wide range of diversity issues including those of race, religion and gender.

2 Apr 2001 : Column WA82

Customs and Excise also provides training for all staff designed to raise awareness of the department's equal opportunities and diversity policies covering racial discrimination, sexual harassment, disability and bullying.

A booklet is available giving information on the major world religions. This helps to give an understanding of the basic beliefs and helps to recognise some of the things which people from different faiths take for granted, and which form part of their culture. This is to help people appreciate and respond to the needs of people from minority ethnic communities. This information is published on the department's intranet site and is widely available to all staff.

Diversity awareness training for all senior managers has been given, with ongoing support provided through an intranet site which includes a guide to practical diversity.

European Convention on Cybercrime: Provision against Racism

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking to ensure that the proposed European Convention on Cybercrime, being promoted by the Council of Europe, contains specific provisions on racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic hate messages.[HL1000]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): Drafting of the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention was completed in December 2000.

The Government view the dissemination of racist, xenophobic or anti-Semitic hate messages very seriously. However, the inclusion of a provision on cyber-racism was not raised until the draft convention was almost completed and it was considered that the detailed consideration required could hamper difficult negotiations on articles that had been in the draft convention for a long time. Furthermore, it appears that the existing United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination already requires State Parties, which include all the participants in the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention negotiations, to criminalise all such conduct irrespective of the medium through which it is committed. The Government are therefore unconvinced that there is a specific need for such an article in the Cybercrime Convention.

Cruelty to Animals: Prosecutions

Lord Hardy of Wath: asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many prosecutions have been recorded in respect of offences concerning cruelty to animals in each of the last three years.[HL1045]

2 Apr 2001 : Column WA83

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Information taken from the Home Office's Court Proceedings Database showing the number of persons prosecuted for offences concerning cruelty to animals in England and Wales during the period 1997-1999 is given in the table.

Data for Scotland taken from the court proceedings database maintained by the Scottish Executive Justice Department are also given in the table.

Data for 1997 for Northern Ireland as provided by the Northern Ireland Office are also included in the table. Data for both 1998 and 1999 are not yet available.

Number of persons proceeded against in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for offences relating to animal cruelty, 1997-1999

Persons Prosecuted Persons Prosecuted Persons Prosecuted
England and Wales
Protection of Animals Act, 1911 (as amended)1,0511,1041,046
Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 Sec 8821
Protection of Animals Act, 193464--
Docking and Necking of Horses Act, 1949----2
Pet Animals Act, 19514710
Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act, 1954342225
Animal Health Act, 1981, Secs 40-42, 46 and 49 and Orders made under Secs 8, 9, 37, 38, 39 and 43657639
Slaughterhouses Act, 1974--24
Abandonment of Animals Act, 1960, Sec 1263617
Animals (Cruel Poisons) Act, 196211--
Animal Boarding Establishments Act, 1963258
Riding Establishments Acts, 1964 and 197011--
Slaughter of Poultry Act, 19676188
Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1968, Secs 1, 2 and 69515
Protection of Badgers Act, 1992 (except Sec 13)441830
Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, Sec 95--3
Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, Sec 11234
Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 199678--
Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 and 1991555
Diseases of Animals Act898558
Wild Birds Protection Acts8468157
Total England and Wales1,4491,4701,432
Cruelty to animals including killing and maiming cattle (excluding dogs)1078562
Cruelty to dogs93--
Total Scotland1168862
Northern Ireland
Dog (NI) Order 19831----
Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 197215----
Roads (NI) Order 19932----
Total Northern Ireland18----
Overall total for United Kingdom1,5831,5581,494

2 Apr 2001 : Column WA84

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page