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The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): There were 256 recorded deaths of commercial fishermen on UK-registered fishing vessels during the period 1992 to 2006 (ref: Marine Accident Investigation Branch reportAnalysis of UK Fishing Vessel Safety 1992 to 2006, published November 2008)
Directly comparable statistics for the same time period are not available, but the Maritime and Coastguard Agencys Research Project 578Update of Mortality for Workers in the UK Merchant Shipping and Fishing
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To ask Her Majesty's Government what assurances on ticket prices were given by the present owners of Manchester United Football Club, at their meetings with ministers in May 2005; and whether they have been honoured since then. [HL532]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): During the informal meeting that my right honourable friend, the former Sports Minister, Richard Caborn, had with the Glazers in 2005, about their purchase of Manchester United, they reassured him that they had the best interests of the club in mind. I also understand they indicated that ticket prices would not automatically rise, and that they were looking to expand that club by raising its profile around the world.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps the European Union presidency will take to ensure that the civilian population of Gaza does not suffer collective punishment, contrary to international law and to the European UnionIsrael trade agreement. [HL142]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the response of the Government of Israel to the recent request by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office that humanitarian supplies be allowed into Gaza; and whether they will take any further action. [HL143]
Lord Malloch-Brown: We, along with the EU presidency, are concerned with the serious humanitarian situation in Gaza and consider the restrictions of
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Although there is no permanent physical Israeli presence in Gaza, given the significant control that Israel has over Gaza's borders, airspace and territorial waters, Israel retains obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as an occupying power. The Fourth Geneva Convention is clear than an occupying power must co-operate in allowing the passage and distribution of relief consignments.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many personal medical records of British troops deployed to the 199091 Gulf conflict have details of the use and administering of nerve agent pre-treatment sets (NAPS) tablets. [HL531]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): This information is not held centrally. We would need the permission of 1990-91 Gulf veterans before reviewing individual medical records to collate the necessary information (if available) and this could only be provided at disproportionate cost. In October 2001, MoD published the paper Medical Records in the Gulf. This paper describes the arrangements for medical record-keeping during the 1990-91 Gulf conflict and discusses a number of reasons why records that were kept may not have been complete. A copy of this paper is available in the Library of the House. The MoD's Vaccines Interactions Research Programme addressed the possible adverse health effects of the combination of vaccines and tablets (NAPS) given to troops to protect them against the threat of biological and chemical warfare. This showed that there would not have been adverse effects on 19 October 2006 (Official Report, col. WS 87).
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Tips in House of Lords catering outlets are distributed among Refreshment Department staff in addition to their salary. Salary scales for House of Lords staff are published online at www.parliament.uk/about_ lords/lordshro/2008_09_staffpayrange_hoc.cfm.
To ask the Chairman of Committees whether he will arrange to have the weighing scales in the Peers' lavatories on the Bishops corridor, and in other locations in the House of Lords, display stones and pounds as well as kilograms. [HL950]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): It would not be cost-effective to replace the existing weighing scales. However, I have arranged for a conversion chart (kilograms to stones and pounds) to be placed next to the scales to assist Members.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any warrant was executed on or behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in October, November or December 2008 authorising the interception of communications within the Palace of Westminster in relation to investigations into leaks transmitted to a member of either House of Parliament; and, if so, whether such a warrant was issued in the case of Mr Damian Green MP. [HL269]
To ask Her Majesty's Government under what warrant under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 the Metropolitan Police intercepted parliamentary electronic communications in October, November or December 2008. [HL270]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Metropolitan Police approached the Home Office, the Cabinet Office or the Law Officers of the Crown seeking advice on whether a warrant was required to be executed on or behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in October or November 2008 authorising the interception of communications within the Palace of Westminster; if so, what reply was given; and at what level it was given. [HL271]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is necessary for the police to obtain a warrant under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to intercept the electronic communications of a member of either House of Parliament. [HL272]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Any interceptionthe monitoring or interference with a communication during the course of its transmission so as to make it available to a third party, whether police or other agenciesrequires a lawful authority.
RIPA places an obligation to keep secret all matters relating to any warrant, including the application, issue and the execution of it. Accordingly it has been the policy of successive Governments neither to confirm nor to deny whether a warrant has been sought or issued.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they have not complied with the decision on interim measures of the European Court of Human Rights that Faisal Attiyah Nassar Al-Saadoon and Khalaf Hussain Mufdhi should not be transferred to the Iraqi authorities until further notice, having regard to the obligation imposed on the United Kingdom by Article 34 of the European Convention on Human Rights. [HL783]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Her Majesty's Government take their responsibility to comply with requests from the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg very seriously. However, after 31 December 2008 the UK had no legal power to detain any individuals in Iraq and there was therefore no lawful option other than to transfer Mr Al-Saadoon and Mr Mufdhi to the Iraqi authorities. The Government therefore took the view that, exceptionally, they could not comply with the measure indicated by the court.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We welcome the announcement by the Israeli Government, made during my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary's visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories, on the planned release of over 200 Palestinian prisoners. However, while we welcomed Israel's release of two Hamas Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members in June, we continue to call for all elected PLC members detained by Israel to be either released or subject to due legal process.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what circumstances within the legal aid system in Northern Ireland led to the withdrawal or suspension of services to some who had qualified to receive legal aid; and what the latest position is. [HL587]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many lawyers in Northern Ireland have withdrawn or suspended their defence services due to a dispute over the timeliness of payments under the legal aid system. [HL588]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many court cases in Northern Ireland have been affected by problems involving legal aid payments; what effect this is having on the courts' timetables; what has been the estimated cost of such delays; and when the matter will be resolved. [HL589]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Bar Council of Northern Ireland recently resolved that No counsel at the Bar of Northern Ireland shall be required to accept or retain any brief... in any matter, criminal or otherwise, if he or she reasonably forms the view that fair remuneration will not be forthcoming within a reasonable time. In reliance on this, counsel have declined to act in a number of cases in the Crown Court and in the County Court Family Care Centre pending resolution of difficulties regarding the payment of legal aid fees for such cases.
Arrangements have been made to expedite legal aid payments in very high cost criminal cases in the Crown Court. The Lord Chancellor has also approved an interim payment scheme for cases where fees have not been paid after six months in such cases.
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The following access authorities in England will be covered by the coastal access provisions in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill:
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