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Lord Phillips of Sudbury: My Lords, how far have the entirely desirable efforts that we have made to encourage the Iranian Government to continue with their human rights improvements been indirectly prejudiced by the United States' human rights failings in Iraq? I am thinking of Abu Ghraib and of the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I have no reason to think that there is a direct read-across, although I am aware that countries that have shortcomings in their practice of human rights try to reach for an argument that may help them, by adducing the difficulties in Abu Ghraib and, indeed, Guantanamo to which the noble Lord alludes. There
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is an important point: we are by no means setting aside our concernsthe United Kingdom's concerns and the European Union's concernsabout human rights because of Monday's agreement. We have made it clear that our relations with Iran can develop only if Iran takes action to address general political concerns, which must include concerns over human rights.
Lord Hannay of Chiswick: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the best way to proceed from the temporary suspension to which the Iranians have agreed is to take up rapidly the recommendation in the UN panel report that a general moratorium on all enrichment and reprocessing of a new kind should be applied worldwide? A system should be put in place to enable countries with civil nuclear regimes that are properly covered by safeguards to get their supplies at a reasonable market rate and without any possible interruption. That offers a way forward that is more solid than the one on which we are at present.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Hannay of Chiswick, that the United Kingdom Government must seriously address questions relating to non-proliferation, which we will promote when we can. I have a slight concern about the general way in which the noble Lord framed his question. There are countries of concern that are not covered by specific agreements, and the noble Lord will remember that it was part of our concern with Iran that we should not force a situation in which Iran would decide to withdraw altogether from the non-proliferation treaty.
Our first concern is to draw others into the non-proliferation treaty, but, if we can make additional requirements of those who wish to turn away from the difficult issue of the spread of nuclear capability, we will do what we can.
Moved, That a Select Committee be appointed to advise the House on the resources required for Select Committee work and to allocate resources between Select Committees; to review the Select Committee work of the House; to consider requests for ad hoc committees
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and report to the House with recommendations; to ensure effective co-ordination between the two Houses; and to consider the availability of Lords to serve on committees;
Moved, That a Committee for Privileges be appointed and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords together with the Chairman of Committees and any four Lords of Appeal be named of the Committee:
B. Amos (Lord President), L. Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L. Browne-Wilkinson, L. Carlisle of Bucklow, L. Cope of Berkeley, L. Graham of Edmonton, L. Grocott, L. Mackay of Clashfern, L. McNally, L. Marsh, L. Merlyn-Rees, L. Roper, L. Strabolgi, L. Strathclyde, L. Williamson of Horton;
Moved, That the Select Committee on Procedure of the House be appointed and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Lords together with the Chairman of Committees be named of the committee:
L. Addington, L. Alderdice, B. Amos (Lord President), B. Blatch, V. Bledisloe, L. Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, V. Brookeborough, L. Burnham,
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L. Cope of Berkeley, B. David, L. Donaldson of Lymington, L. Dubs, L. Falconer of Thoroton (Lord Chancellor), L. Geddes, L. Grenfell, L. Grocott, L. Hoyle, L. Jopling, L. Kimball, L. McNally, L. Roper, L. Snape, L. Strathclyde, B. Symons of Vernham Dean, L. Wakeham, B. Warnock, L. Williams of Elvel, L. Williamson of Horton.
L. Borrie, L. Davies of Oldham, L. Denham, B. Fookes (Chairman), B. Gould of Potternewton, B. Harris of Richmond, L. Palmer, L. Redesdale, B. Rendell of Babergh, Ly. Saltoun of Abernethy, B. Strange, L. Wade of Chorlton;
The report informs the House about developments in the security of the Parliamentary Estate and, in particular, the appointment of a new security co-ordinator. The Speaker of the House of Commons and I will shortly interview suitable candidates. The responsibilities of the new post are set out in the report; I should also emphasise that Black Rod will continue to hold executive responsibility for the security of this House.
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