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Reginald Buckland v. Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire

Lord Burton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: No information has been provided by the Home Office either to the Chief

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Constable of Cambridgeshire Constabulary or to the Crown Court in relation to this case.

Firearms Legislation: Guidance Circulars

Lord Burton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will place in the Library of the House copies of all Home Office and Scottish Office guidance to chief constables, with issue dates, whether in draft or final form, on the administration of the Firearms Acts up to and including the 1997 Acts.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Copies of all Home Office and Scottish Office circulars to chief officers on the firearms legislation are routinely placed in the Library, usually following the passing of the relevant Act. The circular on the implementation of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 was issued to chief officers on 10 June and a copy was placed in the Library shortly thereafter. In the interests of clarity only final versions of circulars are placed in the Library.

Referendums

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will introduce legislation to regulate procedure for holding referendums in the United Kingdom, in order to promote fairness and confidence in them, before the future referendums which they have already announced.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: No. The Government believe that it is right that Parliament should determine in relation to each referendum the key details, such as the question and the franchise, and that the referendum itself should be conducted by experienced electoral staff. The recent referendums in Scotland and Wales commanded public confidence and their conduct was seen to be fair.

Prohibited Weaponry: Radioactive Material

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will seek to add radioactive material in any form to the internationally agreed lists of prohibited weaponry.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We have no plans to do so. There are no "internationally agreed lists of prohibited weaponry" as such, although certain weapons are banned by treaty or convention. There is no convention on radiological or radioactive weapons.

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Certain types of radioactive materials are, however, subject to control under a number of international agreements and guidelines.

European Commission for Democracy through Law

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

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 2 July (WA 27), whether the United Kingdom will participate in the work of the European Commission for Democracy through Law; and, if not, whether they will indicate when they are likely to be in a position to announce their decision.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 2 July. Consideration of whether the United Kingdom should participate in the work of the European Commission for Democracy

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through Law (Venice Commission) is taking place in the context of the comprehensive review of government expenditure. Current expectations are that the review will be concluded in Spring 1998.

Ministerial Statements to Parliament

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many ministerial statements have been made to each House of Parliament in each of the last 10 years on the following subjects: EU/EEC; NATO; G7/G8 group of industrialised countries; Western European Union, Council of Europe; Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe; International Monetary Fund; World Bank; the United Nations; and specialised agencies of the United Nations.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The total number of ministerial Statements made to each House of Parliament in each of the last 10 years is given in the table below:

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Ministerial statements on various organisations in Parliamentary proceedings, 1987-1997

EC/European Community/ies EU/European Union EEC/European Economic Community/ies NATO G7 G8 WEU Western European Union
CLCLCLCLCLCLCL
198731----1--1--------------
198885--------2--------------
198983----1--1--------------
199086--------5111--------
199112422113221----22
19921--55--------1----------
1993----23----3311----21
19941111----761----------
19954211----2111--------
19968925----11--------11
1997 (to October 14)
------1----111111----


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CSCE IMF UN/United Nations UN Security Council UN Commission on Sustainable Development WTO GATT
CLCLCLCLCLCLCL
1987--------1111------------
1988----------------------------
1989----------1----------------
19903--1--3411--------43
1991--------5522------------
19921--1--5632--------65
1993--------45----11----42
1994--------9931------------
1995----1122--1------------
1996--------11--------2------
1997 (to October 14)--------11----------------

C = House of Commons, L = House of Lords.

21 Oct 1997 : Column WA207



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