Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

While the reconstruction of Zimbabwe and development in the Commonwealth are strategic concerns to us, in the words of my right honourable friend the Prime Minister, there are no “moral strangers” in this world. I am conscious that many in this House share this view and have exercised much effort and expertise toward this end. I hope that in my position as Minister for International Development I can build on your Lordships’ strong platform. I was rather optimistically named Shriti, which means “knowledge” in Sanskrit. To borrow the words of Herman Hesse, more than knowledge, it is the wisdom of the distinguished Members of this House that I will seek to find, live, and be filled and sustained by in fulfilling my duty. Thank you.

10.42 pm

Lord Luce: My Lords, with the forbearance of the House, on behalf of your Lordships I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Vadera, on not only an excellent but a delightful maiden speech. Her speech and her experience show that she is highly suited to her new ministerial job in the Department for International Development and is very well placed to stand up for the Commonwealth.

The noble Baroness spoke most movingly about her earlier years in Uganda and later in India and made the point that she is devoted to the Commonwealth.

18 July 2007 : Column 362

She worked for 14 years with the City investment bank SG Warburg, later owned by UBS, and worked on many projects from banking to project finance. She has advised Governments of poor and emerging countries on issues such as external debt and public sector restructuring, and she has worked with many Commonwealth countries, from South Africa and Uganda to India, Nigeria and Kenya. Since 1999, as we all know, she has worked at Her Majesty’s Treasury as the personal adviser to the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is now Prime Minister, and was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers as a policy expert on many issues, ranging from business and finance to international development. As we heard from another noble Lord, she has been a trustee of Oxfam for five years.

The noble Baroness has excellent experience of economic and developmental issues and of the Commonwealth. On behalf of your Lordships, I congratulate her most warmly on her maiden speech and on becoming a Minister. I wish her well in government, where I am quite sure she will make a positive contribution.

Parliament (Joint Departments) Bill [HL]

The Bill was returned from the Commons agreed to.

Statistics and Registration Service Bill

The Bill was returned from the Commons with their disagreement to certain Lords amendments insisted on, with amendments proposed to the words so restored to the Bill and with Commons amendments not insisted on. The amendments were ordered to be printed.

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill

The Bill was returned from the Commons with their disagreement to certain Lords amendments insisted on and with Commons amendments in lieu not insisted on and with certain other amendments disagreed to but with amendments proposed in lieu thereof. The amendments were ordered to be printed.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page