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Mr. Ingram: I welcome the report issued by the Decommissioning Commission last week announcing its re-engagement with the IRA and I see this renewed contact as the basis for further progress. Discussion can now move forwards, away from talking about whether decommissioning will happen to how it will happen. It is vital that all the paramilitary groups on ceasefire engage fully and actively with the Commission so that the issue of illegally held arms can be resolved once and for all, and I look forward to early and positive reports from the Decommissioning Commission that progress is being made. I am confident that with the steps the Government are taking to implement all of the outstanding elements of the Belfast Agreement, we are creating the right context for such progress to be made.
18. Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the First Minister regarding compensation for non-farm enterprises affected by the foot and mouth outbreak. 
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Dr. Reid: I have discussed a range of issues relating to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease with Cabinet colleagues, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and with Northern Ireland Ministers, including the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Northern Ireland Executive is fully involved in the Government's Rural Task Force, which has been set up to consider the wider economic impact of the current foot and mouth outbreak. The Minister for the Environment announced a package of measures on 20 March and the Executive will be considering how that package will apply in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Ingram: The main paramilitary groups are maintaining their ceasefires; however, there remains a continued threat from dissident paramilitaries as evidenced by the recent 1,100 lb bomb discovered in South Armagh and recent attacks on the Belfast to Dublin railway line. The security forces continue to thwart the attempts of these groups to destroy the peace process.
Mr. Ingram: Government remain committed to normalisation of security as quickly as the threat allows. Major progress has already been made. Since the ceasefire 42 military bases have been demolished, closed or vacated. There are currently under 13,500 troops in Northern Ireland, the lowest level since 1970. Over 3,000 troops have left the Province since the current ceasefires were declared.
In the longer term, the number of army bases will reduce to no more than 20, to include sites in Londonderry, Belfast, Coleraine and Dungannon. However, these further measures will very much depend on the removal of the threat from dissident republicans and continued progress towards a normal civil society.
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Ulster Constabulary is conducting an ongoing investigation, under the supervision of the Office of the Police Ombudsman, into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Hamill.
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work her Department has commissioned from GGC/NOP since 1 May 1997; and what was (i) the cost of the contract and (ii) the specific nature of the work commissioned. 
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the Government's policy is towards incorporating public feedback via the internet into the process of policy formation and the taking of decisions; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian McCartney: In line with our published Code of Practice on written consultations, it is our policy that from January 2001 all written consultations are published online and that responses can be made via email. A register of all consultations is published on ukonline.gov.uk.
In addition to online written consultations, ukonline.gov.uk also provides a number of discussion forums on a range of issues. Registered users of ukonline.gov.uk may submit their opinions to these discussion groups and comment on the other opinions published online.
We are currently considering how best to make use of the internet in terms of broadening and deepening participation in the democratic process. We will be consulting widely on our policy in this area, including via the internet, as it develops.
Mrs. Liddell: I meet with a wide range of organisations to discuss Scottish industry in general including the future of the manufacturing sector. Financial support for specific industries is primarily the responsibility of the Scottish Executive.
The carpet manufacturing industry is of great importance to the Scottish economy and therefore has been granted the maximum level of support allowed under State Aid rules. I understand further financial support may, however, be available in the next financial year.
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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will list the meetings and conferences organised by her Department and agencies of her Department which have been (a) cancelled and (b) postponed owing to foot and mouth disease; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. St. Aubyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what (a) quantitative and (b) qualitative analytical work her Department has commissioned from GGC/NOP since 1 May 1997; and what was (i) the cost of the contract and (ii) the specific nature of the work commissioned. 
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