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27 Feb 2008 : Column WA121

Written Answers

Wednesday 27 February 2008

Armed Forces: War Pensions

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Officials have held a number of initial informal discussions with the ex-service organisations including the Royal British Legion to obtain their first thoughts.

All submissions will be considered in order to decide what options may be developed. We will continue to work with the Central Advisory Committee in taking the review forward. Any proposals will be subject to full consultation in due course.

Arms Trade

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The first meeting of the group of government experts took place at the UN headquarters in New York from 11 to 15 February 2008. The 28 experts examined the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally binding instrument to stop the irresponsible import, export and transfer of all conventional arms. The meeting was constructive, with full engagement by all the experts. The experts agreed a framework for more detailed discussion at forthcoming meetings scheduled for 12 to 16 May and 28 July to 8 August, also in New York.

The UK's position on the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was set out in full in the paper submitted to the UN in March 2007. It is available on the UN website at: http://disarmament.un.org/cab/att/ Views_ Member States.html. UK experts at the 11 to 15 February meeting based their interventions on the principles in the paper. We believe that an ATT should uphold international humanitarian and human rights law and support sustainable development; and that its overall effect should be to help maintain international peace and security, including by reducing conflict.

Channel Tunnel Rail Link

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Under The Railways Infrastructure (Access and Management) Regulations 2005 CTRL became liable to publish a network statement in November 2006.

The first network statement was published for consultation at this time by Network Rail (CTRL) Ltd, the independent allocation body and charging body, and covers both CTRL Sections 1 and 2.

The current network statement, aspects of which continue to be the subject of discussion with the industry, is available on HS1's website (www.highspeed1. com—click downloads then click CTRL network statement). The network statement can also be obtained from Network Rail (CTRL) Ltd.

Climate Change: Carbon Capture and Storage

Lord Jenkin of Roding asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Jones of Birmingham): We are in the very early stages of the development of a carbon capture, transport and storage (CCS) industry, so it is difficult to predict how the relevant infrastructure will develop, whether specific regulation will be required and how it would be financed. These are all issues that we will be looking at as part of our ongoing policy work to consider how to achieve widespread deployment of CCS technology.

Debt Collection

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): The legislation relating to debt collection agencies has been reformed as part of a wider review of consumer credit law. The Consumer Credit Act 2006 strengthens the regulatory options available to the Office of Fair Trading, which is responsible for the

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licensing of debt collectors. In particular, businesses engaging in certain credit activities, including debt collection, will be subject to greater scrutiny at the licence application stage and greater monitoring throughout the life of the licence.

EU: Reform Treaty

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The conferral of legal personality on the EU by the Lisbon treaty will in no way diminish the freedom to criticise the EU. British citizens speaking against the EU cannot therefore be charged with xenophobia.

Food: Supplements

Earl Howe asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: As there is no prohibition on the importation of food supplements for personal use within the EC food supplement directive, with the exception within the UK of Kava-Kava containing foodstuffs, UK Customs must apply the VAT exemption rules.

There are no immediate plans to make any legal or procedural changes to the relief, but the Government take very seriously the impacts of international trading patterns on UK-based businesses and appreciate the wide range of factors that contribute to the pressures facing retailers. Therefore the matter will remain under review.

Incitement to Violence

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): I am not aware of any prosecution proceedings brought against a head of state in relation to inciting violence in London. The

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Government continue to promote the observance of international human rights standards in our contacts with all other Governments.

Iraq: Camp Ashraf

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Iraqi and US authorities are responsible for Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Officials in our embassies in Baghdad and Washington continue regularly to discuss the future of Camp Ashraf with their Iraqi and US counterparts. UK officials have no contact with members of the Mujaheddin e Khalq (also known as the People's Mujaheddin of Iran) resident in Camp Ashraf as the organisation is currently proscribed under the Terrorism Act.

Lord Speaker

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The Lord Speaker has not retained any outside public relations or communications consultants during her term of office.

Passports

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Irish citizens born before 1949 may opt for British subject status under the British Nationality Act 1948 which entitles them to acquire a British subjects passport.

Such British subjects who have resided within the United Kingdom for the qualifying period may then choose to register as British citizens under Section 4 of the British Nationality Act 1981 and apply for a full British citizen's passport.

Irish citizens who do not have British subject status may acquire British citizenship only by naturalising as a British citizen under Section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981. They may then apply for a British citizen's passport.



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Railways: Freight

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: In 2004, the Government declined Central Railways' request for them to support the passage of a hybrid Bill through Parliament to establish a rail link between the south-east and the north-west of England, predominantly for use by freight traffic.

In the event that new proposals were submitted to combine the Central Rail route with any other existing railways, or for other variations to the original scheme, the Department for Transport would consider them in full.

Suicide

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, Director of Macroeconomics and Labour Market, to Lord Roberts of Llandudno, dated 27 February 2008.

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Question asking how many people under the age of 25 committed suicide in each of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2007. I am replying in her absence. (HL2029)

The table below contains numbers of suicides in persons aged under 25 in England and Wales for the years requested up to 2006, the latest year for which data are available.

Figures are provided separately for those aged under 15 and those aged 15-24, because of different definitions of suicide used by ONS for these age groups. Figures for the latter age group also include deaths which are classified by ONS as being due to injury/poisoning of undetermined intent. Details of the definitions used are included in the footnote to the table. There were no deaths in children aged under 13 with a suicide verdict for the years requested.

Before the Suicide Act of 1961 it was not possible for a coroner to return an open verdict and so deaths could not be coded to injury/poisoning of undetermined intent. The figures for 1960 are therefore only for deaths with a verdict of suicide and are not comparable with data for later years.



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Number of deaths from suicide and injury/poisoning of undetermined intent, for ages under 25, England and Wales, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 20061
Suicide2Suicide2 and injury/poisoning of undetermined intent3
Ages 13-1415-24

1960

7

247*

1970

2

404

1980

3

512

1990

2

745

2000

1

555

2006

3

399


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