|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, is it not clear that, in the light of the report, a key priority must now be to protect the health of staff in pubs and clubs through a ban on smoking in public places? In Ireland, where similar steps have been taken, some 90 per cent compliance is being achieved. Is that not the model that the Government should be following?
Lord Warner: My Lords, the Government do take the issue of second-hand smoke very seriously, as I have indicated. The noble Lord will, however, have to wait until the White Paper is published when he will see what the Government's policy is on that particular issue. I should say to the House, "You will not have very much longer to wait". Of course the Government have been following what has been going on in Ireland, but it is a question of one size not fitting all; in this area we have to do what is right for England.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, given the fact that the Government now apparently accept the argument that passive smoking is dangerous for people who have the misfortune to inhale it and given the Irish experience, which is based on the need to protect employees from the dangers of second-hand smoke, will my noble friend explain the possible justification for protecting employees who work in restaurants but not those who work in pubs and clubs, which apparently is what is going to be in the White Paper when we see it next week?
Lord Warner: My Lords, my noble friend is better informed than the Minister answering the Question on that particular issue. I should be happy to discuss with him the source of his information, but like everybody else in the House he will have to wait patiently for the Government's White Paperbut not too much longer.
Lord Chan: My Lords, is the Minister aware of the study done last year on Merseyside called Passive Smoking and Children? It demonstrated that parents, including those who are smokers, are particularly concerned about their children's health because so many of them have asthma and require emergency health at the Alder Hey Children's Hospital. It stated that 65 per cent of parents smoked; only 35 per cent did not smoke in the presence of their children and 40 per cent smoked at home. In view of that, is it not a good time for the Government to make clear the dangers of passive smoking and to take action to improve the health of our population?
Lord Warner: My Lords, as I said earlier, we are actively engaged in raising public awareness of this
9 Nov 2004 : Column 749
problem. The TV campaign that is currently being used should make all parents aware of the dangers to their children of second-hand smoke. I am aware of the study that the noble Lord mentions. It is good to see that people accept their responsibilities in relation to their children.
Baroness Hayman: My Lords, despite the Government's attempts to bring the matter to people's attention, is my noble friend aware that there are still 2 million workers in this country who have no protection whatever against second-hand smoke? Since he seemed to indicate that the White Paper content has not been completely settled yet, will he do his best to ensure that those 2 million people will in future be protected?
Lord Warner: My Lords, we are aware of all these figures and of the concerns. I would draw my noble friend's attention to the fact that we now have a situation where in total 88 per cent of people's workplaces either restrict smoking to specific areas or are completely smoke-free.
Lord Roberts of Conwy: My Lords, I confess to being an occasional smoker. I am somewhere between Mark Twain and St Augustine on this particular issue. First, will the noble Lord tell us whether the publication of the White Paper actually means a commitment on the Government's part to a ban on smoking in public places? Secondly, will he reassure me that, with all this talk of passive smoking, the Government are doing their utmost to help poor people like me who still cannot give it up?
Lord Warner: My Lords, the sinner who repents is much valued by this Government. I draw the noble Lord's attention to the availability of quitters' clinics in the NHS. We should be delighted to see him. I shall make any arrangements that he thinks may be helpful in that regard.
Viscount Simon: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Chan, mentioned children who need emergency
9 Nov 2004 : Column 750
treatment as a result of inhaling tobacco smoke. For the past 10 years, I have been one of those children who needs emergency treatment from time to time. Can my noble friend advise the House how much smoking-related diseases cost the health service and, if he can, what is the benefit the Exchequer receives from tobacco products?
Whether, since the United States has not ratified the Extradition Treaty signed by the United Kingdom and the United States on 31 March 2003, they will revoke the Extradition Act 2003 (Designation of Part 2 Territories) Order 2003 and replace it with a new order which does not apply to the United States.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): My Lords, the United Kingdom will not revoke the Extradition Act 2003 (Designation of Part 2 Territories) Order 2003 and replace it with a new order which does not apply to the United States. To do so would mean that extradition would no longer be possible between our two countries.
Lord Goodhart: My Lords, the treaty was unbalanced to begin with, and the imbalance has become worse because of the failure of the United States to ratify the treaty, which means that we now receive no benefit at all from it. Should not the Government at the very least say to the USA that it will not get the benefit of extradition on demand, which is what in effect it is, unless and until the Senate ratifies the treaty? When the order was debated on 16 December last year, we were told that the treaty would be ratified by the Senate early in 2004. Is it in fact the case that there is opposition to the treaty in the Senate and that it may never be ratified?
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I have no information to indicate that the latter statement is correct. It is right to say that the new treaty has not been published in the United States, and it must be. Until it has been formally sent to the Senate for advice and consent, it cannot be processed. It is also true that
9 Nov 2004 : Column 751
we must await the outcome of that Senate decision. As the noble Lord will know, constitutionally, the US Senate can decide that it will consent to the treaty only if the text is modified. I cannot tell your Lordships how quickly that will be done, but we have had no indication of any lack of will on the part of the United States Government.
Lord Archer of Sandwell: My Lords, can my noble friend confirm that the purpose of the treaty and of the Act was to facilitate the extradition of those suspected of terrorism? I invite her to speculate on a hypothetical situation: had it been envisaged when the Bill was before Parliament that it would be used against British citizens resident in the United Kingdom accused of committing an offence in London against a British bank, does she think that Parliament would ever have enacted it?
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|