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Government: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Rooker: I apologise to the noble Lord for the delay in answering. The information requested by the noble Lord is held by the Northern Ireland Office. However, the disclosure of some of this information, including details of internal or interdepartmental meetings with Ministers or officials, would be prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs.

The information that can be disclosed is set out in the following table. In addition to those functions listed, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State has had a number of meetings with political parties in Northern Ireland and has regular meetings with other key public figures in Northern Ireland.

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Week beginningEngagement

25 June 2007


2 July 2007


Co-Operation Ireland Dinner

9 July 2007


Buckingham Palace Garden Party

NI Bureau Reception

Interview Adrian Flannelly Show

Interview with Irish Echo

Interview with Irish Voice

Interview with Press Association

British Consul Reception

16 July 2007

British-Irish Council


US Ambassador

Cabinet Committee Meeting

23 July 2007


NI Questions

Peers with an NI Interest

27 August 2007

Tour of Belfast

Reception for people of Hillsborough Area

3 September 2007


Visit to PSNI Lisburn

British Irish Association

Interview with BBC

10 September 2007

NI Human Rights Commission


Cabinet Committee Meeting

Police Federation Conference

17 September 2007

Cabinet Committee Meeting


Reception for IICD

1 October 2007

Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers

Russian Ambassador

Policing & Devolution Committee

8 October 2007


Italian Ambassador

Australian High Commissioner

Visit to HMP Maghaberry

15 October 2007

Reception & dinner for Select Committee


Interview with Boston Globe

Speech at Boston Harbour Hotel

University Seminar

Harvard School of Government

American Ireland Fund Business Leaders

Interview with Out of Ireland Television

Press Interviews

Alfred E Smith Memorial Dinner

22 October 2007

Dinner with Policing Board


Operation Banner Lunch

Reception for Vital Voices

29 October 2007

Dinner for Parades Commission


Reception for RUC Widows, GC Fund etc

5 November 2007

Juvenile Justice Centre

Cabinet Committee Meeting


State Opening of Parliament

Media re IMC Report

Saudi Arabian Ambassador

Co-operation Ireland Dinner

NI Prison Memorial Service

Remembrance Service

12 November 2007


NI Questions

Co-operation Ireland Dinner

Friends of Ireland

UK Caucus of House of Representatives

19 November 2007


26 November 2007

British Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body


Media interview

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State has visited the United States on official business on three occasions since appointment. It is important as we progress towards the completion of devolution to maintain contact with the US Administration and key politicians and opinion formers there. Such visits also enable my right honourable friend to support the devolved Administration in attracting inward investment to Northern Ireland.

Details are as follows. It is not possible accurately to disaggregate the cost for accompanying officials from those incurred by the Secretary of State. The

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estimated costs include flights, hotel accommodation, and other miscellaneous expenses where available.

Washington DC and New York—10 July to 13 July—accompanied by three officials; estimated cost £21,300

Boston and New York—16 October to 18 October—accompanied by three officials; estimated cost £29,125

Washington DC and New York—14 November to 19 November—accompanied by two officials; estimated cost £19,500.

Government: Secretary of State for Scotland

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: The Scotland Office private office supports both the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Minister of State for Scotland. The office is normally manned from 08.30 until 19.00 Monday to Friday, and beyond those times when required. As with other ministerial private offices, a 24-hour on-call service is operated by private office staff.

Green Belt

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The 2006 designated green belt covered 1,631,800 hectares of land; this is 13 per cent of the land area of England.

Information on how much of land designated as green belt has a particular land use is not available centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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