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Baroness Knight of Collingtree asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The safety and psychological effects of abortion were considered by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in its evidence-based guideline The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion (2000). The college's report concludes that immediate complications are uncommon and that possible long-term effects, including breast cancer, infertility and psychological sequelae, are rare or unproven.

Smuggling of Illegal Drugs

Lord Dixon-Smith asked Her Majesty's Government:

22 May 2002 : Column WA106

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Details of the resources allocated by HM Customs and Excise to detect and deter the smuggling of illegal drugs and other prohibited goods are published in its annual departmental report. Separate figures for Heathrow Airport are not available.

Women in Sport

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

    Further to the Question by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 8 May (HL Deb, col. 1223), which Minister or Ministers will attend the World Conference on Women in Sport to be held in Canada 16–19 May; what are their objectives; and how they will report directly to each House of Parliament upon their return from Canada.[HL4262]

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): No Minister will be attending the World Conference of Women in Sport in Montreal between 16–19 May.

22 May 2002 : Column WA107

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

    Further to the Question by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 8 May (HL Deb, col. 1223), what action have they taken to encourage sporting bodies to sign up to the Women's Sports Foundation's National Action Plan and to put their principles into practice.[HL4263]

Baroness Blackstone: The Women's Sport Foundation (WSF) recently briefed Richard Caborn, and its Chief Executive will be meeting government officials at the end of May to discuss how the Department for Culture, Media and Sport can support the WSF's new strategic plan.

Historical Sites: Excavation

Lord Fearn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many historical sites in England are at present undergoing excavation and exploratory work.[HL4356]

Baroness Blackstone: There is no organisation that keeps an overview of all archaeological work that is presently being undertaken in England. The Government can only provide data in relation to projects supported by English Heritage. In 2001–02 its Archaeological Commissions Programme provided grant aid and advice to 342 projects. The Archaeological Investigations Project, which is funded through English Heritage's Archaeological Commissions Programme, does collate year-on-year information on all archaeological projects undertaken in the commercial sector. The results of this are published in a series of hard-copy reports each year, a summary of which is available through the Archaeological Data Service website.

Treasury Solicitor's Department

Baroness Thornton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, following his acceptance of the recommendations of the recent quinquennial review of the Treasury Solicitor's Department, the Attorney-General has made or plans to make any changes in that agency's framework document.[HL4420]

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): In his quinquennial review of the Treasury Solicitor's Department, Sir Quentin Thomas recommended that the framework document for the Treasury Solicitor's Department should be revised to provide the agency with the flexibilities it required to continue to meet the growing demand for efficient and high quality legal services from government departments and other publicly funded bodies in England and Wales. I am pleased to announce the publication of a revised framework document, a copy of which I have placed in the Library.

22 May 2002 : Column WA108

The framework document has also been published on the Treasury Solicitor's website (

Belfast Agreement: Early Release Scheme

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 10 April (WA 104) concerning the Belfast Agreement of 1998 and a suggestion of amnesty for all terrorists, whether the question could be answered as asked.[HL3790]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The early release scheme was an integral part of the Belfast Agreement. What the British and Irish Governments said in their proposals of 1 August 2001 was that it would be a natural development of the scheme for relevant prosecutions and extraditions not to be pursued.

Northern Ireland: Paramilitary-style Assaults

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider any murders and beatings to be linked to the Provisional IRA since 31 August 1994; and, if so, how many.[HL3928]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Statistical information is held only under the general categories of Republican and Loyalist. The following table provides figures to date for both categories.

31 August 1994 to 15 May 2002

Number of security related murdersBy Loyalist By RepublicanTotal
72 73 145
Number of casualties as a result of paramilitary-style assaultsBy Loyalist By RepublicanTotal
677 637 1,314
Number of casualties as a result of paramilitary-style shootingsBy Loyalist By RepublicanTotal
410 233 643


2002 statistics are provisional and may be subject to minor amendment.

Northern Ireland: Paramilitary Organisations and Ceasefire

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether involvement in the international drug trade on the part of a paramilitary organisation is compatible with being on ceasefire; and[HL4016]

    What they consider is meant by the expression "ceasefire"; and[HL4082]

    Whether they will define in the Northern Ireland context what they understand by the concept of an organisation which is considered to be no longer on ceasefire.[HL4108]

22 May 2002 : Column WA109

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Section 3(8) of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 requires the Secretary of State to specify any organisation which he believes (a) is concerned with terrorism in connection with the affairs of Northern Ireland or in promoting or encouraging it; and (b) has not established or is not maintaining a complete and unequivocal ceasefire. The meaning of terrorism for the purposes of the Act is defined in Section 13. No definition is given for ceasefire, but Section 3(9) lists four considerations which the Secretary of State must take into account in judging whether a complete and unequivocal ceasefire is being maintained. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will continue to endeavour to meet the obligations placed on him by the legislation as interpreted by the courts.

Northern Ireland Prison Officers: Attacks

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many Northern Ireland prison officers or their properties have been subject of attack in each month since 1 January 2000.[HL4084]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: During the period 1 January 2000 to April 2002 there have been three attacks on prison officers and 14 attacks on prison officers' properties. The monthly breakdown is listed in the table below.

Attacks on officers and their property

MonthOfficersHomes/ Property
January 20001
February 2000
March 20001
April 2000
May 2000
June 2000
July 2000
August 2000
September 2000
October 2000
November 2000
December 20001
January 2001
February 20011
March 2001
April 2001
May 20012
June 2001
July 2001
August 20011
September 2001
October 20012
November 20011
December 2001
January 20026
February 2002
March 20021
April 2002

22 May 2002 : Column WA110

Prime Minister: Holiday in Egypt

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 1 May (WA 132), whether statements by the Prime Minister's spokesman that the Prime Minister had paid for his own Christmas holiday and that of his extended family in Egypt are accurate.[HL4345]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The position is as the Prime Minister made clear in the Register of Members' Interests.

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