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Attendants: New Uniforms

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): At its meeting on 5th March 1996 the Administration and Works Sub-Committee approved a proposal that the corps of Attendants should be provided with new uniforms in line with recommendations made by the Staff Adviser when he carried out a Review of the Attendants. The aim of the new uniforms is to improve the image and morale of the Attendants.

At the meeting of the Sub-Committee each variation of the uniform was worn by an Attendant and shown to the Sub-Committee, as were examples of tie and badge design. The latter were designed by Black Rod's Department in consultation with the manufacturer.

Further to the approval of the Administration and Works Sub-Committee, the House of Lords Offices Committee agreed to the proposal at its meeting on 26th March.

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A detailed breakdown of the total costs is attached. The sum was included in the Attendants Budget for 1996-97.

Breakdown of costs

(a) Principal Attendants
Uniforms, complete @ £389.64 X 31,168.92
(b) Senior Attendants and Attendants
Working Dress
Uniform, complete @ £329 X 123,948.00
Day Dress
Uniform, complete @ £359.644,315.68
Each attendant @ £688.64 X 128,263.68
(c) Grand Total9,432.60
(d) Badges
Cost of Badges included in "complete" uniforms above:
Unit price4.94
Minimum order X 100494.00
Plus VAT and postageTotal
(e) Ties
Cost of Ties included in "complete" uniforms above:
Unit price4.70
Minimum order X 107502.90
Plus VAT and postageTotal

Offices Committee: Minutes

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether he will place the Minutes of the House of Lords' Offices Committee in the Library of the House on a regular basis.

The Chairman of Committees: Yes.

Criminal Justice: Response to Royal Commission Report

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to issue a final response to the report of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): We have today placed in the Library a copy of the Government's final response to the report of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice.

The Royal Commission made 352 recommendations. The Government have accepted, wholly or in part. 204 recommendations and 58 remain under consideration in the light of other initiatives and developments. The Government have decided not to implement 46 recommendations. The remaining 44 recommendations are not primarily for the Government but the response indicates the action which the Government understand has been taken on them.

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Parole Board

Lord Holmpatrick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Parole Board will become an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body and how its functions will alter.

Baroness Blatch: A Commencement Order has been made which will bring into effect on 1st July 1996. Section 149 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. This will establish the Board as an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body. The statutory functions of the board will not be affected; the changes are essentially administrative and will make the board more accountable for its performance. A copy of the board's management statement and the financial memorandum will be placed in the Library.

Her Majesty's Birthday Honours List: Awards to Women

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of those awarded (a) the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (b) the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (c) the Royal Victoria Order; and (d) the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (i) as OBE: (ii) as MBE, respectively, in Her Majesty's Birthday Honours List were female.

The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne): The proportion of women included in Her Majesty's Birthday Honours List was as follows:

    (a) 14 per cent.

    (b) 0 per cent.

    (c) 16 per cent.

    (d) (i) 17 per cent. (ii) 35 per cent.

Children: Enforcement of Employment Prohibition

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have for enforcing the law prohibiting the employment of children.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): It is for local authorities to enforce the law in this area.

Beef Import Ban by Non-EU Countries

Lord Hooson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which countries outside the European Union have banned the importation of British beef in the course of the past eight years; the date in each case when the ban was imposed; the reasons given for the imposition

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    of the ban; and what representations Her Majesty's Government made to these countries and when.

Lord Lucas: Commission Decision 96/239/EC of 27th March 1996 provided that the UK shall not export from its territory meat and meat products obtained from bovine animals slaughtered in the UK. The list of countries outside the European Union given below, shows those countries with a ban on imports of British beef on the day before the introduction of the Commission Decision. The month and year when the bans commenced are shown where available.

Importing countryDate of ban
AlgeriaJune 1990
ArgentinaAugust 1991
BulgariaSeptember 1994
CanadaMarch 1996
ChinaOctober 1990
IranJune 1990
IraqOctober 1994
JamaicaSeptember 1991
JapanJuly 1990
JordanSeptember 1990
Kazakhstan (CIS)August 1993
LibyaNovember 1990
LithuaniaApril 1995
PhilippinesOctober 1994
Russian FederationSeptember 1993
Saudi ArabiaSeptember 1990
SwitzerlandJune 1990
SyriaAugust 1990
TaiwanFebruary 1990
United Arab EmiratesAugust 1990

The US has not accepted imports of bone in beef from Britain since 1989. After 1989, negotiations concentrated on securing access to US markets for boneless beef, which were successfully concluded in July 1994. Negotiations continue on securing wider access to the US markets, although in regular discussions with representatives of industry the US has not been identified as a priority market for the export of beef.

The following countries have introduced, but subsequently lifted, a ban during the period in question:






    State of Sarawak (Malaysia)






    Trinidad & Tobago



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Details of the specific reasons given for the introduction of these bans, and of the representations made by the UK Government in respect of individual countries, could only be provided at disproportionate cost. However, we have pressed our case strongly with the authorities concerned, in an effort to persuade them to lift these restrictions on trade, based on the scientific evidence available from the WHO and others that there is no human health hazard arising from the consumption of UK beef.

Responsibility for pursuing action through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to secure the removal of unjustified BSE-related restrictions on UK exports and on those of other EU member states rests exclusively with the European Commission (as with all matters relating to trade outside the EU). Action has already been started by the Commission against certain countries who have imposed bans on dairy products from various EU member states.

Compound Animal Feeds: Ingredients

Lord Willoughby de Broke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will make it a statutory requirement that the constituents of animal compound feeds be fully disclosed, in view of the fact that it is a criminal offence to possess or feed animal feedstuffs which contain prohibited material.

Lord Lucas: It is already a statutory requirement to list ingredients of compound animal feeds either by category or in full. The Government welcome the recent announcement that the major feed compounders are to switch from declaring categories of ingredient to full ingredient listing for most compound feeds. The position is being monitored and further action will be taken if necessary.

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