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Lord Hughes of Woodside: My Lords, most people who have studied the Zimbabwean situation are grateful for the work done by the Minister and her department. Is the Minister aware that it is impossible to deal with Zimbabwe without having the greatest of respect for its people? We think very badly indeed of the Government of Zimbabwe. But whatever we think, we cannot allow those feelings of distaste to prevent us providing the fullest possible aid to those people who so desperately need it.
I would like to get my retaliation in first. I recall many of those people chastising the Government for not being strong enough on the cricket match in Zimbabwe taking precisely the opposite view and being bitterly opposed to sanctions on South Africa, especially sporting sanctions. Some of those people are on the other side of the House today.
Baroness Amos: My Lords, I agree. It is an irony that we are spending £47 million in humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe. It is money which could have gone to development of that country if it had a different government who were committed to promoting the interests of the country and its people.
Lord Blaker: My Lords, it is important that good governance, human rights and the rule of law should be re-established in Zimbabwe, without which the food crisis will get even worse. What steps are Her Majesty's Government taking to persuade the African leaders, including the President of South Africa, Mr Mbeki, to live up to their undertakings under the NePAD and African union treaties to ensure that those human rights and related matters are observed?
Lord Judd: My Lords, with reference to the questions by the noble Lord, Lord Blaker, and the noble Earl, Lord Onslow, would my noble friend agree that while effective government is the long-term answer, as women, men and children are starving, and dying of starvation, the challenge becomes all the greater, not less, to increase our assistance to ordinary people being abused by their own government, and to find ways in which the food can effectively get through? Is there a fuller part that the non-governmental organisations could be playing in this role?
Baroness Amos: My Lords, I believe that the NGOs are playing an extremely full role. Noble Lords will know that some NGOs themselves have come under attack in Zimbabwe. We must do all that we can to work with them and support their worknot just the international NGOs, but also Zimbabwean NGOs, some of which are committed to reporting the many human rights abuses in that countryas well as supporting the population with respect to food aid. We shall continue to do what we can.
Baroness Amos: My Lords, I am aware of those comments. We are not sure whether those comments have actually been made, but I have seen the reporting of them. If those comments have been made they are appalling. I repeat what I said earlier. We have no control on food aid going through the Grain Marketing Board, over which the Government of Zimbabwe have the monopoly. None of the UK or other donor resources is going through that channel. Our money is going through the World Food Programme and other NGOs.
Moved, That Standing Order 41 (Arrangement of the Order Paper) be dispensed with on 14th January to allow the Motion standing in the name of the Baroness Harris of Richmond to be taken before the Motion standing in the name of the Lord Grenfell.(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)
Baroness Rawlings: I shall be brief. The Bill confers a power to make further amendments to the 1991 Act should they be required to implement future amendments to the CFE Treaty. I raised this issue during our Second Reading debate. I wish to express my concern that any such amendments will not be addressed in primary legislation. Is this not yet another example of the Government removing business from the Floor of the House where, quite rightly, important matters can receive your Lordships' full attention and input?
As the CFE Treaty deals with sensitive and important issues, I should be grateful if the noble Baroness, Lady Symons of Vernham Dean, would explain why the Government have taken the decision to implement any future changes by order.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: When we discussed the issue at Second Reading, I indicated to your Lordships that Her Majesty's Government had sent out a memorandum on this subject to the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee. I also indicated that I wanted to listen carefully to the committee's views and in the light of those views to consider the best way forward.
Lord Blaker: As I was the Member who first raised the issue of the Explanatory Notes with which we had been provided before Second Reading, I want to thank the noble Baroness for providing additional Explanatory Notes. They were extremely helpful and entirely met our needs, which is why I did not take up her further offer of a meeting.
As regards the point raised by my noble friend, I am not entirely happy with the views of the Select Committee. I would have preferred not to have the provision relating to delegated legislation in the Bill in its current form. However, as the Select Committee has taken that view, it is difficult to argue too much against it. If it were going to give an affirmative answer to this part of the Bill, I would have preferred it to have limited that more narrowly. I would have preferred it to keep the answer expressly to the point, rather than making the wider comment that:
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Given that the provision is subject to an affirmative resolution, we on these Benches support the Government. We believe that at a time when the international community and the international institutions are enforcing on Iraq the principle of inspection, it is important that we accept the principle of inspection of military installations in Britain. The CFE Treaty is of limited importance compared with some other arms control treaties, but it nevertheless enshrines the principle of inspection.
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