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Vitamin B6 Controls: Regulations

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Donoughue: The regulations required to implement the proposed controls on vitamin B6 in dietary supplements are in the process of being drafted and are likely to be issued for consultation at the end of December or early in the New Year. Those consulted will include organisations representing interests likely to be substantially effected by the regulations. No decision has yet been taken on the exact scope of the consultation exercise but it will extend to matters other than the way in which the restrictions will be enforced.

Horses: EU Classification

Lord Rowallan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in view of advice from the British Equine Veterinary Association that in European law the horse is classified as a food producing animal, how they can treat the horse as a food producing animal, but not an agricultural animal.

Lord Donoughue: Classification of all horses as agricultural animals is not a requirement of European law.

Royal Ulster Constabulary: Performance Indicator

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will add to the performance indicators given to the Royal Ulster Constabulary the number of public places of worship and public halls attacked by arson or otherwise.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs): The Government have no plans at present to set such a performance indicator.

N.I.: Health Service Funding

Lord Alderdice asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How the £31 million of new health service funding announced by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in July 1997 is to be allocated.

Lord Dubs: As announced earlier today by my right honourable friend Mr. Tony Worthington, the Minister with responsibility for this matter, in the Northern Ireland Grand Committee, £33 million will be directed primarily at front line services. In addition to alleviating the necessary pay and inflation increases and providing £7.4 million capitation assistance to allow the northern and southern health and social services boards to maintain their current funding, the additional £31 million will allow for key service developments

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through the provision of £5 million for community care, £4 million for child care, £2 million for cancer services and £2 million for essential health and safety work. In addition to those key service developments, some of the additional funding will be used to develop primary care led services, to increase support for voluntary organisations, to meet the cost of improved food safety standards in the wake of the E-coli outbreak in Scotland, to maintain the quality assurance of cervical screening and to improve medical training both in hospital and general practice.

Gibraltar Prison

Lord Bethell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are aware of conditions in Gibraltar prison; and, if so, what plans they have to improve them.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We are aware of the conditions at the prison. The Government of Gibraltar is currently carrying out a programme of improvements. We would consider any proposals for practical assistance.

Mr. Unsal Ozturk

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the five years imprisonment in Turkey imposed on Mr. Unsal Ozturk for his activities as a publisher constitute a contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We are pleased to hear from the Turkish Human Rights Association that Mr. Ozturk has recently been released. The question of whether his conviction is in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights is more appropriately a matter for the European Court to consider.

UNITA Representative: Expulsion

Lord Hughes of Woodside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking to close the UNITA of Angola office in the United Kingdom and to expel its representatives as required by the decision of the United Nations Security Council on 29 October 1997.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Home Office wrote to the UNITA representative, Mr. Kandeya, on 5 December requiring him to leave the United Kingdom immediately.

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UNITA: UN Sanctions Committee

Lord Hughes of Woodside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What reply they have given to the United Nations Sanctions Committee on the implementation of sanctions on UNITA of Angola as required by the United Nations Security Council decision on 29 October 1997.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: A copy of the reply given to the United Nations Sanctions Committee has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

UNITA: Sanctions

Lord Hughes of Woodside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking to implement sanctions against UNITA of Angola as required by the decision of the United Nations Security Council on 29 October 1997.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The information requested is provided in the reply given to the United Nations Sanctions Committee. A copy of this has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

British Forces in Germany: Health Services

Lord Swinfen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they are taking to provide medical consultants in dermatology, plastic surgery and ENT surgery for our servicemen and their families stationed in Germany.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The dermatology service is normally provided by a British civilian consultant employed by the Health Alliance. He is based at Bielefeld, but conducts clinics at garrison and station medical centres throughout British Forces Germany. However, due to the resignation of the postholder, the service is currently being provided by a UK civilian locum consultant who visits Germany for one week every month and conducts out-patient clinics in all regions.

A military consultant in plastic surgery from the Defence Secondary Care Agency makes regular visits at three-monthly intervals to Germany to provide out-patient clinics for Service personnel and their families. Work is in hand to reduce the period between visits to two months. An alternative means of delivering the service is being investigated to facilitate this. If surgery is recommended, arrangements are made for the patients to receive this either at the Royal Hospital Haslar or at a designated German provider hospital. Should urgent treatment be required, the patients would be referred to the nearest appropriate German hospital or evacuated to the UK.

ENT consultants are provided by the five designated German provider hospitals as a part of the latter's

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contracts with the Health Alliance. In addition, a British consultant is currently employed by the Health Alliance to provide an out-patient service in the Rhine region because the designated German provider hospital in that area was originally unable to meet the level of demand. However, with effect from 17 December, the hospital will be able to deliver the required service and, as a result, the British consultant will no longer be required. Consequently, all ENT patients will be referred direct from GPs to German consultants at the appropriate designated German provider hospital.

Lord Swinfen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking to ensure that an emergency ophthalmology service is available at all times for all our servicemen and their families stationed in Germany.

Lord Gilbert: Service personnel and their families in Germany who require emergency ophthalmology treatment are referred to the nearest German hospital which is able to provide the necessary high standard of care.

Littlehey Prison: Self-Inflicted Deaths

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many suicides have occurred at Her Majesty's Prison Littlehey in each year since it opened.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): There have been three self-inflicted deaths at Littlehey prison since it opened. There were one each in 1989 (inquest verdict--suicide); 1992 (inquest verdict--open); and 1997 (inquest scheduled for 17 December).

Rapid Draw Lotteries

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On what evidence the Home Secretary bases his view that the social risk associated with rapid draw lotteries makes their introduction in the United Kingdom unacceptable; and which experts he has consulted.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Successive large scale lottery draws, running in a rapid series through the day and operating simultaneously in a large number of different outlets, would have many of the characteristics of hard gambling. Their association with premises such as pubs, to which the public have ready access and where alcohol is freely available, is likely to encourage excessive participation. It is longstanding public policy that harder forms of gambling should be confined to specially licensed and appropriately controlled premises.

The Government have consulted the Gaming Board, the public body which regulates gambling including under the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 and which is its principal adviser on gambling regulation, the National Association for Gambling Care Educational

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Resources and Training (Gamcare) and the Director of the Centre for Research into the Social Impact of Gambling, University of Plymouth.


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