Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Hunt of Wirral: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his response. However, I believe that a question raised by the noble Lord, Lord Marsh,

15 Oct 2002 : Column 716

exposed a paradox in the Government's case. In response to the noble Lord the Minister stated that Ministers do not need an intermediary, as if the OFT was not an independent public body and the Minister would fulfil the role of being a recipient of representations, which would then be communicated to the chief executive or, as is proposed, the chairman and chief executive. I remind the Minister that the advertisement, which presumably he authorised, states clearly that the Office of Fair Trading is an independent public body.

In response to the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, who made an important point about Cadbury, perhaps I may say that my point is not to embrace Cadbury alone. I tried to combine it with the pamphlet on corporate governance produced by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), which was responsible for the combined code. As the noble Lord, Lord Marsh, and my noble friend Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts pointed out, CIMA states that that should apply to all organisations. That is the intrinsic point I sought to make. I recognise that the noble Lord, Lord Borrie, belongs to that exclusive club of existing or past director generals of fair trading. I bow to his knowledge of the organisation. However, I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, made an important point. We are asking the question, "Who regulates the regulators?" Therefore, this has been an important debate on that subject.

As the noble Lord, Lord Phillips, stated, we are dealing with a highly sensitive, political and controversial body, which will have to make a whole range of decisions. Therefore, I urge the Government to practise what they preach and to have a separate chairman and chief executive. I recognise that the noble Lord, Lord Borrie, stated that they may do so at some stage in the future, and the Minister seemed to urge that. However, we are dealing with today. The Government made clear in an advertisement that the first chairman will also be chief executive. That is why I believe I should test the opinion of the House.

4.9 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 134; Not-Contents, 123.

Division No. 1


Aberdare, L.
Addington, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Arran, E.
Ashcroft, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Avebury, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridges, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Buscombe, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carrington, L.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Coe, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craig of Radley, L.
Cuckney, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ezra, L.
Freeman, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greaves, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hogg, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jellicoe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Liverpool, E.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E. [Teller]
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Michie of Gallanach, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newby, L.
Northover, B.
O'Cathain, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Perry of Walton, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Razzall, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogan, L.
Roper, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Russell, E.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Amos, B.
Ampthill, L.
Andrews, B.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blease, L.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Elder, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Haskins, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Islwyn, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laird, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lloyd of Berwick, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McCarthy, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Orme, L.
Ouseley, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Serota, B.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stallard, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Tenby, V.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

15 Oct 2002 : Column 718

4.20 p.m.

Lord Hunt of Wirral moved Amendment No. 2:

    Page 1, line 8, at end insert—

"(4) In managing its affairs the OFT must have regard to the generally accepted principles of good corporate governance."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to Amendment No. 2. I should like to test the opinion of the House on it. I beg to move.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Dean of Harptree): Amendment proposed: page 1, line 8 at end insert the words as printed on the Marshalled List. As many of that opinion will say, "Content". To the contrary, "Not-Content". Clear the Bar.

Division called.

Tellers for the Not-Contents have not been appointed pursuant to Standing Order 53. A Division therefore cannot take place, and I declare that the Contents have it.

15 Oct 2002 : Column 719


4.24 p.m.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat a Statement made in another place by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister. The Statement is as follows:

    "With your permission, Mr Speaker, I should like to make a Statement on the bombings in Bali, Indonesia.

    "Two bombs went off near the Sari club in Kuta, Bali, just after 11 p.m. Indonesian time on the night of 12th October. At the same time a bomb exploded in Denpasar, capital of Bali, near the United States consulate, and another at the Philippines consulate in Sulawesi. The Sari club was packed with people, mainly young, enjoying themselves on a Saturday night. The attacks appear to have been timed deliberately to cause the maximum possible injury and loss of life.

    "First of all, I should like to express my deep sympathies and condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in this appalling terrorist outrage. The final toll of the dead and injured is unlikely to be confirmed for several weeks. But as of this morning, more than 180 people are confirmed dead, with hundreds more injured. Many of those who died were young Australians. Up to 30 British people may have died. Nine Britons are confirmed dead, with a further eight bodies yet to be identified, and 13 people still missing. Eight have been medically evacuated from Bali. Many more received hospital treatment at the scene. We are providing assistance, as we did after September 11th, to the relatives of British victims. This will enable those who wish to, to travel to Bali. We will provide help and support to them while they are there.

    "This was an act of pure wickedness—horrific and brutal attacks which have left hundreds of families here and all around the world in shock and grieving. Last night the United Nations Security Council condemned the bombings in the strongest terms, calling them a threat to international peace and security. At the weekend I spoke to Prime Minister Howard and to the Premier of Western Australia to express my condolences, and I hope to speak to President Megawati later this week. I have also spoken to President Bush. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary spoke at the weekend to his Australian and Indonesian counterparts and is discussing the issues with Secretary of State Powell in Washington today.

    "A team of specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police Service Anti-Terrorist Branch has already flown to Bali, and more are on their way. United States and Australian experts are also on the scene.

    "I should also like to place on record the Government's gratitude for the help extended by both the Indonesian and Australian authorities to all those from the United Kingdom who have been caught up in these dreadful events.

15 Oct 2002 : Column 720

    "We had no specific intelligence relating to the attack in Bali. We do not yet know for certain who carried it out. But we do know that there are groups of extremists active in the region, some of which have strong links to Al'Qaeda. These groups have worked with Al'Qaeda on attack plans in the past. We know that they have tried before to carry out major terrorist atrocities in the region, including in Singapore last December, when a massive attack planned against targets including the British High Commission was thwarted by the Singaporean authorities. I discussed this with the Prime Minister of Singapore when he visited London in April this year. He told me that had the authorities not discovered those plans, hundreds of people could have died.

    "The Indonesian authorities have been conscious for some time of the growing threat from extremists in the region. Indonesia is a secular country, with a tradition of tolerance and moderate Islam of which Indonesians are rightly proud. But prior to 11th September, and especially afterwards, we identified the south east Asian region, including Indonesia, as an area with a real and present threat from groups linked to Al'Qaeda. The most prominent is Jemaah Islamiyah, which has a network stretching across a number of countries in the region, and which has to be one of the groups under suspicion for this atrocity. We are urgently considering proscribing that organisation under the Terrorism Act 2000.

    "Earlier this year we put in place an enhanced package of counter-terrorism assistance for Indonesia, including specific programmes on intelligence, crisis management and aviation security. We offered assistance with bomb disposal and bomb scene management training.

    "In June I met President Megawati in London to discuss how we could fight terrorism in Indonesia more effectively and we agreed to expand our existing programme further, drawing on the wide range of expertise in counter-terrorism that Britain can offer. We will do so in close co-operation with the United States and Australia as well as with the Indonesian authorities. We have set up programmes to help other governments in the region. In the Philippines we are training in counter-terrorism, hostage negotiation and police investigations. In Malaysia we are setting up training by Scotland Yard's anti-terrorism branch, and in bomb disposal. We fully support the tripartite counter-terrorism agreement signed by Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines earlier this year, which is designed to combat money laundering, illegal border crossing and the illegal trade in arms.

    "Since 11th September, here in Britain we have enhanced our intelligence efforts, strengthened protection against rogue aircraft and shipping and clamped down on sources of terrorist financing. We have passed new anti-terrorist legislation. Internationally, we have put a new United Nations framework in place under United Kingdom chairmanship to ensure effective national and international action against terrorism and we have

15 Oct 2002 : Column 721

    increased intelligence co-operation, strengthening existing partnerships and putting in place new ones across the world.

    "So we have had a fresh reminder, if we needed one, that the war against terrorism is not over. During the past 10 days, there have been attacks in Kuwait and in Yemen. The threat to all people, at any time and at any place in the world is real.

    "In the end, it is not just the families now grieving for their loved ones who suffer, but also the people of Indonesia, many of whom are already in poverty, who will have to face the devastating economic consequences of the attack. For the bombs and the fanatics who use them do not discriminate between young and old, East and West, black and white, Christian and Muslim. They will kill anyone of any race, creed or colour. They respect no frontier. They have no inhibitions in murdering the innocent; indeed, they rejoice in it. Because of the way in which they work, in small cells of fanatics; because their victims are the most vulnerable, people in a pub or a cafe, on a street or on holiday, discovering where and how they may strike next is hard.

    "But the message that we send out is once again the same: one of total defiance—of determination, in the face of evil, to prosecute the fight against them the world over until, in time, they are defeated. Defeated, of course by intelligence, by police and even military action, but defeated also in the triumph of our values of tolerance, freedom and the rule of law over those of terror designed to produce bloodshed, fear and hatred.

    "Some say that we should fight terrorism alone and that issues to do with weapons of mass destruction are a distraction. I reject that entirely. Although different in means, both are the same in nature. Both are the new threats facing the post-Cold War world. Both are threats from people or states who do not care about human life and who have no compunction about killing the innocent. Both represent the extreme replacing the rational; the fanatic driving out moderation. Both are intent on not letting people live in peace one with another; not letting us celebrate our diversity and work out our differences in an orderly way. They want to produce such disorder and chaos that from it comes a world in which religions, nations and peoples fight each other for supremacy. That is the true measure of what is at stake.

    "The war on terrorism is indeed a war, but one of a different sort to the ones to which we are used. Its outcome, however, is as important as that of any that we have fought before".

My Lords, that concludes the Statement.

4.33 p.m.

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, I thank the noble and learned Lord the Leader of the House for repeating the Statement. It is indeed a sombre day when a Statement on such a terrorist atrocity abroad will be followed later by one about terrorist intransigence here at home.

15 Oct 2002 : Column 722

As the Prime Minister said, never has vigilance and firmness of purpose been more needed. He is right to say that the threat is global, constant and urgent. However distant it is geographically, it is very near to us all.

I shall not seek to add to the words poured out in response to the massacre in Bali, but the hearts of all of us go out to the families and friends of those young British people who died—some of whom are to be found in this place. Our sympathy goes to those of all nations who have been struck down, but perhaps the noble and learned Lord might consider sending a particular message of sympathy and solidarity from this House to the Senate of the good and brave people of Australia—for so long our most close and trusted friends—who have been so brutally scarred. It must be our common resolve not to rest until we have seen the perpetrators of this crime brought to justice.

The nation expects unity at this time. It also deserves realism. I have been dismayed to hear certain voices say that the outrage in Bali somehow shows that we were wrong to be concerned about a threat from Iraq. As the noble and learned Lord mentioned during his repetition of the Prime Minister's Statement, the word "distraction" has been freely used by some here at home and by depressingly many in Europe. Like the Prime Minister, I repudiate that view. It fails to reflect the grim realities of the global challenge that we now face or the daily realities of what this country and the United States have been trying to do.

I see no evidence that a concern about weapons of mass destruction held by a dictator who has assaulted four of his neighbours and who rewards the families of suicide bombers is either ill-founded or a distraction. The Government are right to put pressure on Saddam Hussein to give up weapons of mass destruction and we on the Conservative Benches hope that they will maintain that pressure. Saddam Hussein knows all about terror. Bring together weapons of mass destruction and global terrorism and all mankind is threatened. So that is not a distraction; it is essential to our future security.

We must also have no illusions about the terrorist mentality. Terrorists do not read the manuals of human rights; for them, the sanctity of human life means less than nothing. Some laugh behind their sleeves at the idea of a war on terrorism. But it is a war. It is not a war that we declared; but it is a war that we must win. For if we do not win it, all the values in which we believe will be put in peril.

Perhaps I may ask some specific questions arising from the Statement that I hope that the noble and learned Lord will be able to answer, within the constraints of the need to protect our intelligence sources. Can he say more about the links between Al'Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah? Why was Jemaah Islamiyah not placed on the list of foreign terrorist organisations published by the United States' State Department, the European Union or, indeed, our Government? Should that not now be done urgently? What is the status of Jemaah Islamiyah today, according to the Government? What are we now doing

15 Oct 2002 : Column 723

to ensure that Indonesia deals with militant Islamic groups as effectively as have Singapore and Malaysia in recent years?

Does the noble and learned Lord know whether Jemaah Islamiyah has any resources in this country? If so, have its assets been frozen, before they are moved offshore? Finally, is he satisfied that organisations and agitators in Britain who declare the same support for the aims of Al'Qaeda pose no threat to our people?

We are again reminded by these events that the war on terrorism is a global war. It affects us all. We cannot dismiss it as some quaint American eccentricity—a view that itself is too often a by-product of anti-Americanism—because we must now believe that we are all targets. Scores of our citizens have already been made victims. We must fight back, and we must be ready to carry that fight to the enemy for as long as it takes to win. If the Government have the resolve for that, they may be sure that we on these Benches will not be found lacking.

4.38 p.m.

Baroness Williams of Crosby: My Lords, I, too, thank the Leader of the House for repeating a Statement made in another place by the Prime Minister on the terrible events in Bali. Perhaps I may also associate our party with the deep sympathy extended to the families and friends of those British citizens who lost their lives, but also of the many young Australians who lost their lives, and pay particular tribute to the courage of patients in the Darwin hospitals who cleared their beds to enable them to be used for casualties returning from the scene of the crime in Bali. Perhaps I may say a word about the Indonesians who lost their lives and, not least, the people of Bali itself, who will weep not just for the loss of paradise but the loss of their livelihoods.

In addition, I should add that this is not the first paradise that has been lost. Only a week ago I returned from Kashmir, another beautiful place that is being continually attacked by terrorists with help and support from outside. We would be very foolish not to recognise just how extensive is the terrorist network, and the way in which it particularly fastens itself upon those areas of the world that may well be the best hope for their citizens as regards moving out of a life of poverty. Indeed, both Bali and Kashmir are very good examples of the latter.

I believe that there was a strong indication that Indonesia was likely to become the scene of further terrorist activities. I should declare an interest as a member of the board of the International Crisis Group, which, on 8th August of this year, produced a study entitled, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia: The Case of the 'Ngruki Network' in Indonesia. The study sets out in great detail the way in which that network was created, and the way in which it has already been engaged over many months in terrorist activities, many of which were intended to create communal strife.

Literally thousands of Indonesians, both Muslim and Christian, have lost their lives in Aceh, in Kalamantan, in West Papua, and in Molucca, just to

15 Oct 2002 : Column 724

mention four of the islands that have virtually moved towards anarchy over the past few months. I believe that Western governments did not pay sufficient attention to the way in which this situation was building in Indonesia, not least because that country is now attempting, with great difficulty, to embark upon some necessary political reforms. The Prime Minister has let us know that he is in touch with President Megawati, the recently-elected president of Indonesia.

Can the Leader of the House say whether the Government still strongly support the attempts that President Megawati is making—for example, to establish civilian control over the police and to train the police to work with, not against, civilians, which is a very important part of dealing with terrorism? There is always a danger that we deal with terrorism by entirely military means and fail to recognise that cutting off the support on which it feeds is absolutely essential. Therefore, helping Indonesia towards political reform is an important part of that strategy.

When repeating the Prime Minister's Statement, the Leader of the House rightly said that Indonesia has been proud of being a tolerant and moderate Islamic country. It is vitally important that we do not lose the support of that moderate Muslim majority. I trust that the Government will identify with some of the aspirations of the democratically-elected Indonesian Government who are handling an extremely fragile and delicate situation. Can the noble and learned Lord assure us that careful attempts will be made to ensure that the paramilitaries in Indonesia, who have created tremendous opposition against the government of that country, will be reined in and not used as the major method of controlling terrorism? The paramilitaries in Indonesia have huge casualties among civilians to answer for.

Can the noble and learned Lord assure us that we shall continue to support, with aid, the efforts to train the Indonesian police in the proper handling of order? Can he also assure us that, as a crucial part of the second strategy against terrorism, we shall look again with our international partners at the disastrous consequences of reducing the help for education in that country that flowed from the economic crisis of 1998? That has led to a very substantial number of Indonesian Muslim children now being trained in what are known as madrasas in Pakistan and in Indonesia as pogroms—that is, religious fundamentalist schools—because they are free and there is often no secular educational alternative for these children to attend.

I have one further question for the noble and learned Lord with regard to the absolute importance of retaining the united support of the international community for the war on terrorism. The noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition in this House made reference to the comments made by my right honourable friend in another place about the distraction from the war on terrorism caused by the massive concentration on the issue of Iraq. I simply want to say that that concentration has been extreme. Although all of us agree that Iraq is an evil regime, this is a moment when we must use every last ounce of our

15 Oct 2002 : Column 725

effort and energy to try to get agreement in the Security Council on a common resolution to bring back the inspectors, without any conditions—a view that we all share. The alternative would be a divided international community and it is precisely on those divisions that terrorism most feeds.

Can the noble and learned Lord respond to a question about the Prime Minister's reference to the illegal trade in arms by telling us whether, following the outrage in Bali, Her Majesty's Government will now look again at the supply of legal arms to Indonesia because it is both legal and illegal arms that today feed so much of terrorism in South East Asia? We need to reconsider that extremely dangerous situation.

4.46 p.m.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I am grateful for the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, and the noble Baroness, Lady Williams. The noble Lord made a most graceful suggestion that I shall adopt. I shall, today, have a letter sent on behalf of all of us. I am most grateful to the noble Lord for his imaginative suggestion. The noble Lord was absolutely right to speak about the necessity for continuing constant vigilance and firmness. I have to agree with him that our focused concentration on Iraq has not been a distraction. Iraq and international terrorism are not alternatives; they are both common threats, not only to those countries immediately affected but also to the United Kingdom, which is the prime responsibility of Her Majesty's Government.

Her Majesty's Government keep under constant review the sale of arms, but I remind myself that it is not illegal arms of any sort that caused the death and destruction that we are discussing this afternoon; to the best of my knowledge, we are talking about manufactured bombs.

The noble Baroness, Lady Williams, asked a number of questions about whether or not we had recognised over the past year or so the threat from extreme terrorism in South East Asia. I can tell your Lordships that we have. Along with our colleagues in the United States, and others, we have encouraged all governments in that region to act against networks on their own territory. There was significant success in the disruption of planned attacks in Singapore, to which I referred earlier. We have strengthened intelligence co-operation on counter-terrorism with the key countries in the region, as well as with our allies active there. Indeed, to deal with a particular point raised by the noble Baroness, we have set up specific programmes to help governments in the region; for example, training in the Philippines on counter terrorism crisis management, hostage negotiations, and police investigations.

In Malaysia training courses are being organised by Scotland Yard's anti-terrorism branch, and there is also training in bomb disposal. In Indonesia we have planned aviation security training, crisis management training, and have offered bomb disposal and bomb-scene management training. In addition, officers from

15 Oct 2002 : Column 726

the Metropolitan Police have already arrived in Indonesia to offer their detailed, specialist expertise. So we have not been slow, though we have not been entirely successful because that is the nature of opportunistic terrorism.

As the Prime Minister indicated in his Statement, the Government are urgently considering the proscription of Jemaah Islamiyah under the Terrorism Act 2000, which is under active consideration. The noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, asked about that organisation in this country. He was very scrupulous to advise me to keep within the limits of what might prudently be said about, for example, its assets. As on such occasions in the past, I am perfectly happy to have discussions on Privy Council terms with the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, the noble Baroness, and the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig of Radley, in which I shall give such information as I have.

I should point out to the House that we are in the very early stages of investigation. It is prudent sometimes not to jump to conclusions, which experience may sometimes show are not justified. I have information that there are connections and cross-connections between that organisation and Al-Qaeda, but I do not think it would be prudent of me to go further on this particular occasion.

I think that I have dealt with the questions put to me. I am deeply grateful to noble Lords on behalf of those who suffered. They are entirely innocent, young, carefree, guileless and guiltless. I echo what the noble Baroness said. We have to remember the terrible wounds which have been caused in Bali, a country, as many of us know, dependent on innocent tourism. The economic effects seem gloomy. We do not need to consider only death and injury but the wider ripples: the intended consequences of this mindless terrorism.

4.51 p.m.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank the noble and learned Lord for repeating the Statement. I am sure I can speak for my fellow bishops on these Benches in saying how much we deplore this barbaric and evil act of violence perpetrated on the island, its visitors and its people. There will be families throughout the United Kingdom—sadly, some are known already to us today—who will face the future with broken hearts but who, while in mourning, will long that the deaths of their loved ones should somehow be part of a new creation of meaning in our world. While feeling shock, anger and despair they will not want those who have been killed to have died in vain.

One of the awful paradoxes and ironies of the violence is that an extremist terrorist group may claim religious justification for its actions. If that happens, I earnestly hope and believe that the leaders of all religious faiths in this country, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and others, will want publicly and wholeheartedly to join in condemning this terrible act and this twisted abuse of the name of religion.

15 Oct 2002 : Column 727

Terrorists want to blow us apart, literally and metaphorically. They want to injure, fragment and destroy. It seems to me, therefore, that it is the bounden duty of all religious and political leaders, and others, in our own country to make sure that those terrorists can never, ever achieve their aims. We do this not simply by condemnation but by doubling and redoubling our efforts to create just, peaceful and tolerant neighbourhoods in the UK and a just, peaceful and tolerant United Kingdom.

Evil—it is the only word that will do in these circumstances—thrives in darkness. To keep the light of truth, understanding and love burning—it requires much moral courage to be exhibited by believers and non-believers alike—is ultimately the only way to defeat evil. We on these Benches are totally committed to that way. Along with everyone else in this country, we would wish to extend our profoundest sympathy to all those who are bereaved and injured and offer them our heartfelt prayers.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page