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20 Jun 2005 : Column WA145

Written Answers

Monday, 20 June 2005.

House of Lords: Select Committee on the Constitution

Lord Norton of Louth asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The establishment of a Joint Committee is not a matter for this House alone. The first step is for the Liaison Committee to consider whether it agrees with the proposal in principle. If the Liaison Committee does wish to establish a Joint Committee, negotiations with the Commons would then proceed.

Since the publication of the report, I have been in correspondence on this matter with the chairman of the Select Committee on the Constitution. As I have already notified him, he will be invited to attend the Liaison Committee to support the proposal when it next meets, which is expected to be shortly before the Summer Recess.

G8: 2005 Summit

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): One of the Government's main priorities for the G8 2005 summit attended by heads of state and government are to agree a comprehensive plan to address the complex problems within Africa. To be successful, this must include measures that will help build peace and create security across the continent. The Government believe that a legally binding international treaty covering the trade in conventional weapons would be an important step in tackling the problems caused by irresponsible proliferation of arms. We will raise this issue in discussions with our G8 partners including at the meeting of G8 Foreign Ministers taking place on 23 June.

European Court of Human Rights: Mr Ocalan

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

20 Jun 2005 : Column WA146

Lord Triesman: In accordance with Article 53 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the contracting states undertake to abide by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The European Commission's 2004 regular report on Turkey's progress towards accession notes that Turkey has made increased efforts since 2002 to comply with the decisions of the ECtHR. Following the ECtHR ruling that the trial of Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan had not been fair, the Turkish Government confirmed that in this case too, Turkey would comply with the ECtHR judgment, and would reopen the case file to see whether the ECHR violations could have affected the verdict. The Turkish Foreign Minister indicated that any re-examination of the case would be conducted in a manner acceptable to the Committee of Ministers, whose role it is to oversee the implementation of court judgments, and who will consider the case in July. We will continue to follow developments.

National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): NISCC has not so advised.

Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Information is only available for 2004 in relation to SAWS students who left their employment before they were expected to or about whom employers had doubts as to whether they would leave the UK. Of a total of 22,901 SAWS work cards issued, 154 students fell into this category.
20 Jun 2005 : Column WA147

Armed Forces: Internees

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Prior to December 2003, all persons taken into custody by United Kingdom forces were held by the US at Camp Bucca, in southern Iraq. During December those internees were transferred to the UK's divisional temporary detention facility (DTDF) at Shaibah logistics base in southern Iraq, and the figures given from January onwards refer to internees held at that location. However, during December, internees taken into custody by the UK may have spent a short period in Camp Bucca prior to transfer to the DTDF on or around 18 December 2003. From the end of December 2003 to 28 June 2004, no internees were transferred to US custody.


Internees Held
Taken Into
Custody by UK
As at 1 Dec 2003109 (in US Custody)-
Week ending 8 Dec 2003111 (in US Custody)14
Week ending 15 Dec 2003 110 (in US Custody)14
Week ending 22 Dec 20031122
Week ending 27 Dec 200314041
Week ending 5 Jan 200413511
Week ending 12 Jan 20041261
Week ending 19 Jan 20041242
Week ending 26 Jan 20041095
Week ending 2 Feb 200410615
Week ending 9 Feb 20041051
Week ending 16 Feb 20041035
Week ending 23 Feb 20041089
Week ending 1 Mar 2004954
Week ending 8 Mar 2004930
Week ending 15 Mar 2004844
Week ending 22 Mar 2004813
Week ending 29 Mar 2004792
Week ending 5 Apr 2004825
Week ending 13 Apr 200410222
Week ending 19 Apr 20041010
Week ending 25 Apr 2004987
Week ending 2 May 200411827
Week ending 9 May 20041173
Week ending 16 May 200413523
Week ending 23 May 20041258
Week ending 30 May 20041075
Week ending 7 June 2004790
Week ending 14 June 20046814
Week ending 20 June 20047310
Week ending 28 June 2004551

These figures are based on the best available data; it is evident that some theatre records contain inaccuracies.

Armed Forces: US Defense Bill

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Drayson: It is vital that the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom and United States operate effectively together. This can only happen if UK and US defence industries can continue to work closely together.

We are concerned at any proposals for protectionist provisions that would damage this important relationship. As we have done previously we will continue to work with the US Administration to counter protectionism and welcome the recent statement from the White House. We will continue to make the Government's views known to Members of Congress.

Gulf War 1990–91

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Drayson: No inquests remain to be heard resulting from the 1990–91 Gulf War. We understand that 77 remain outstanding since 2003. All investigations into deaths abroad take time to resolve; deaths in operational situations take proportionally longer. Delays have also arisen from pressure on the Oxfordshire coroner, since all bodies are repatriated to RAF Brize Norton.

The Government have assured him that the funds he has requested will be made available and this should not cause further delay.

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