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Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, the noble Lord knows that the experts are only now—in the next couple of months—going to assemble to follow up on last year’s resolution, which was driven by the United Kingdom and supported by 150 countries, to establish an arms trade treaty. We shall be very involved in the work of that expert group and I

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suspect that both suggestions should be raised with that group. It is an expert group and will have to reach its own conclusions. I should add that obviously this treaty is not intended to prevent the legitimate provision of arms to defence forces in Africa to defend the sovereign borders of their countries.

Lord Judd: My Lords, I declare an interest as a former director of Oxfam and a continuing committed supporter. Does my noble friend agree that, as he has himself indicated, the real tragic dimension to this conflict is that the overwhelming majority of people who suffer—who are killed and maimed—are civilians? Therefore, the urgency of action along the lines of a global arms trade treaty cannot be overestimated. Does he accept that there is a great deal of admiration from those involved for the leadership shown by the British Government on this issue but a great deal of disappointment that our United States allies are not as forthcoming in their support? What is being done to bring the United States on board?

The Earl of Onslow: Be careful, my Lord!

Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, the advice of the noble Earl is well taken, and I shall stick to the facts. It is the case that the United States was the one country to vote against this resolution last December, and we continue to press the US to reconsider its position. We very much hope through the consultations around the drafting of the treaty that we will be able to bring the US on board. While others either voted with us or abstained, I regret to say that the objectors to the treaty are not limited to the United States; it was, as is often the case, just a bit more straightforward in making its position clear.

Health: Ritalin

3.24 pm

Baroness Greenfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, a Europe-wide review of the efficacy and safety of methylphenidate began in June and it will consider the findings of the University at Buffalo’s report. Following the review, any necessary updates will be made to guidance for prescribers and the information provided for patients. The review will also inform the NICE guidance on the pharmacological and psychological interventions to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—ADHD—which should be published in July 2008.

Baroness Greenfield: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her reply. However, does she think that the time might now be right for the Government to commission an inquiry into the causes of ADHD,

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beyond merely evaluating the current medication? Given the more than threefold increase in prescriptions over the past 10 years, might it not be valuable to explore the concomitant possible changes over that period in environmental, dietary and social factors?

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I well understand the noble Baroness’s concern about the apparent increase in ADHD. It is not clear whether the percentage of children with ADHD has increased in recent years or whether this reflects greater awareness of the condition. But the suggestion that there should be a wide-ranging review is certainly interesting, although it would of course go far wider than the Department of Health—it would have to be a cross-Government initiative. I will therefore take it back to my colleagues, who will discuss the suggestion with the noble Baroness. I assure her that we will pursue it.

The Earl of Listowel: My Lords, is the Minister aware of research linking ADHD with post-natal depression? Many parents do not realise that they are suffering from post-natal depression, making the role of health visitors essential in addressing it early. Can the Minister tell me or write to me about what she is doing to recruit young men and women into the health visiting profession to tackle this problem? I understand that it is an ageing professional group.

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I was unaware of the relationship between post-natal depression and ADHD, and will therefore write to the noble Earl. He makes a valid point about the importance of health visitors and the need for more. The Government are acutely aware of this, and I will get back to him with further details.

Baroness Barker: My Lords, ADHD was first described in 1902, but there is as yet no diagnostic test for it. Can the Minister say whether the Department of Health and the Department for Children, Families and Schools would fund research into a better diagnostic test for general practitioners?

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, funding is always a difficult issue. However, I well understand the need for a diagnostic test, so I will also have to come back to this in writing. There is a range of options for dealing with ADHD, such as psychotherapies, drugs and all sorts of things. Clearly, the most important thing is to have a diagnosis so that we get the treatment right.

Lord McColl of Dulwich: My Lords, does the Minister recognise that it is difficult to assess the effect of drugs on behaviour, whereas it is much easier to assess the effect of a drug on, say, an infection? I am therefore sure that the Minister is right in not being too quick to draw conclusions from one bit of research in Buffalo.



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Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, the noble Lord is absolutely right; that is one of the problems thus far. There is a lack of data on the impact that treatment has had on ADHD. It is perhaps not a recent phenomenon, but Ritalin, for example, has only been prescribed since 1988. Sadly, the long-term data are currently lacking.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff: My Lords, do the Government have any data on the extent of abuse of methylphenidate, given press reports that students are using it to improve their concentration when coming up to exams and because its effects on the body are similar to that of cocaine and other amphetamines?

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I, too, have read the deeply disturbing press articles. We have no evidence that it is being prescribed wrongly in a great number of cases. It is clearly being prescribed wrongly in a certain number of cases, or the incidents would not happen, but the Government are aware of this and, I am sure, are taking appropriate action.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass: My Lords, I declare an interest as the chair of the review of autism in Northern Ireland. Will the Minister extend her thinking beyond merely ADHD? Will she look at ASD where one finds that there is an abuse of Ritalin? One sometimes thinks it is an abuse through ignorance on the part of GPs who, since the Government have not produced a coherent and co-ordinated policy on autism, do not understand, so only behavioural problems are being tackled. There are also communication and sensory problems, and the objective must be to create transferable skills in autistic children.

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Lords, I pay tribute to the noble Lord for his work in the field of autism. I declare an interest as I am a past president of Autism Cymru, another excellent organisation. ASD is extremely important. I undertook to suggest to the department that the suggestion of the noble Baroness, Lady Greenfield, should be looked at further. I will also pass on the comments made by the noble Lord, but, in doing so, I give absolutely no undertakings on behalf of the Government.

Children and Young Persons Bill [HL]

3.31 pm

Baroness Crawley: My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Adonis, I beg to introduce a Bill to make provision about the delivery of local authority social work services for children and young persons; to amend Parts II and III of the Children Act 1989; to make further provision about the functions of local authorities and others in relation to children and young persons; to make provision about the enforcement of care standards in relation to certain establishments or agencies connected with children; to make provision about the independent review of

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determinations relating to adoption; and for connected purposes. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a first time.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Bill read a first time, and ordered to be printed.

Climate Change Bill [HL]

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My Lords, I beg to introduce a Bill to set a target for the year 2050 for the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions; to provide for a system of carbon budgeting; to establish a committee on Climate Change; to confer powers to establish trading schemes for the purpose of limiting greenhouse gas emissions or encouraging activities that reduce such emissions or remove greenhouse gas from the atmosphere; to make provision about adaptation to climate change; to confer powers to make schemes for providing financial incentives to produce less domestic waste and to recycle more of what is produced; to amend the provisions of the Energy Act 2004 about renewable transport fuel obligations; to make other provisions about climate change; and for connected purposes. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a first time.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Bill read a first time, and ordered to be printed.

Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee

Constitution Committee

Joint Committee on Human Rights

Information Committee

Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): My Lords, I beg to move the five Motions standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee

Moved, That a Select Committee be appointed to consider the Merits of Statutory Instruments.

(1) The committee shall, subject to the exceptions in paragraph (2), consider—

(a) every instrument (whether or not a statutory instrument), or draft of an instrument, which is laid before each House of Parliament and upon which proceedings may be, or might have been, taken in either House of Parliament under an Act of Parliament;

(b) every proposal which is in the form of a draft of such an instrument and is laid before each House of Parliament under an Act of Parliament,



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with a view to determining whether or not the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of the grounds specified in paragraph (3).

(2) The exceptions are—

(a) remedial orders, and draft remedial orders, under Section 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998;

(b) draft orders under Sections 14 and 18 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, and subordinate provisions orders made or proposed to be made under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001;

(c) Measures under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 and instruments made, and drafts of instruments to be made, under them.

(3) The grounds on which an instrument, draft or proposal may be drawn to the special attention of the House are—

(a) that it is politically or legally important or gives rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House;

(b) that it may be inappropriate in view of changed circumstances since the enactment of the parent Act;

(c) that it may inappropriately implement European Union legislation;

(d) that it may imperfectly achieve its policy objectives.

(4) The committee shall also consider such other general matters relating to the effective scrutiny of the merits of statutory instruments and arising from the performance of its functions under paragraphs (1) to (3) as the committee considers appropriate, except matters within the orders of reference of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Members be appointed to the committee:

B Butler-Sloss

L CrispB DeechV EcclesL Filkin (Chairman)B KingsmillL James of BlackheathL LucasB MaddockB Thomas of WinchesterL Tunnicliffe;

That the committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the committee have power to adjourn from place to place within the United Kingdom;

That the committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the reports of the committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the committee shall, if the committee so wish, be published.

Constitution Committee

Moved, That a Select Committee be appointed to examine the constitutional implications of all Public Bills coming before the House; and to keep under review the operation of the constitution;



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That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following Members be appointed to the committee:

V Bledisloe

L Goodlad (Chairman)L Lyell of MarkyateL Morris of AberavonB O’CathainL Norton of LouthL PestonB QuinL Rodgers of Quarry BankL RowlandsL Smith of CliftonL Woolf;

That the committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;

That the committee have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the reports of the committee shall be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;

That the evidence taken by the committee in the last Session of Parliament be referred to the committee;

That the evidence taken by the committee shall, if the committee so wish, be published.

Joint Committee on Human Rights

Moved, That a Select Committee of six members be appointed to join with the committee appointed by the Commons as the Joint Committee on Human Rights:

To consider:

(a) matters relating to human rights in the United Kingdom (but excluding consideration of individual cases);

(b) proposals for remedial orders, draft remedial orders and remedial orders made under Section 10 of and laid under Schedule 2 to the Human Rights Act 1998; and

(c) in respect of draft remedial orders and remedial orders, whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to them on any of the grounds specified in Standing Order 74 (Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments);

To report to the House:

(a) in relation to any document containing proposals laid before the House under paragraph 3 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether a draft order in the same terms as the proposals should be laid before the House; or

(b) in relation to any draft order laid under paragraph 2 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether the draft order should be approved;

and to have power to report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said proposals or draft orders; and

To report to the House in respect of any original order laid under paragraph 4 of the said Schedule 2, its recommendation whether:

(a) the order should be approved in the form in which it was originally laid before Parliament; or



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(b) that the order should be replaced by a new order modifying the provisions of the original order; or

(c) that the order should not be approved;

and to have power to report to the House on any matter arising from its consideration of the said order or any replacement order;

That the following Members be appointed to the committee:

L Dubs

L Fraser of CarmyllieL Lester of Herne HillL Morris of HandsworthE OnslowB Stern;

That the committee have power to agree with the committee appointed by the Commons in the appointment of a chairman;


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