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Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: All public Prison Service establishments in England and Wales have been issued with software designed to audit the use of commercial software. Training on its use has been provided and each prison is required to carry out a full annual audit of software in use and to check that each item has a current licence. Prisons are being advised to carry out interim checks on at least a quarterly basis.

In Scotland, local records are not maintained because the approval of the central Information Technology Branch is required for all local software purchases. In practice, very few such purchases are made.

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Eviction Powers and Responsibilities

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What reports and representations they have received about the death of six year-old Patrick Dooley in the course of an eviction from land in Edmonton on 6 May; and whether they are satisfied that police forces and local authorities are fully aware of their responsibilities in respect of evictions under Order 113 or the Criminal Justice Act 1996 respectively.[HL2314]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Officials from the Home Office and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions have been in contact with the Metropolitan Police and Enfield Borough Council about this tragic incident. Correspondence on the subject has been received from the Friends, Families and Travellers Support Group and a telephone call has been received from a member of the public. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary and my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions are satisfied that the police and the local authorities are aware of the terms of their powers in relation to trespassers and unauthorised campers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, of civil powers to regain land under Order 113 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, and of guidance in relation to welfare considerations.

Alcohol-related Crime

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they agree with Sir Paul Condon, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, that a great deal of violent crime is linked to alcohol; and, if so, what further action they propose taking to discourage the excessive consumption of alcohol.[HL2315]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, for some individuals heavy social drinking can lead to varying degrees of disorder and, on occasion, to serious violence. A number of senior police officers have indicated that alcohol-related crime is one of the most serious problems they face.

The Department of Health, through the Health Education Authority, is currently running a sensible drinking campaign--"Think About Drink" which encourages people to think about what is a sensible, responsible amount to drink and about the consequences of drinking too much. This campaign is complemented by the Portman Group's high profile 2f3m4 publicity campaign, which was devised specifically to support Government guidance on daily alcohol unit consumption of 2-3 units for women and 3-4 units for men. The 2f3m4 logo was launched by Ministers in England, Wales and Scotland earlier this year and is now appearing on a variety of materials, including glasses distributed by the National Union of Students.

To tackle problems caused by the inappropriate drinking of alcohol, the Government have already implemented the Confiscation of Alcohol (Young

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Persons) Act 1997. This gives the police a discretionary power to confiscate alcohol which seems intended to be drunk in public by people under 18. The Home Office also offers to local authorities a model by-law, making it an offence to continue to consume intoxicating liquor in a designated place after being warned by a police officer not to do so. The Crime and Disorder Bill [H.L.], which is currently before Parliament, will impose a duty on local authorities to develop, with others, a local crime reduction strategy, which will enable local drink-related crime and nuisance to be tackled effectively. The Anti-Social Behaviour Order introduced by the Bill will also be available when individuals locally engage in drink-related anti-social behaviour.

Gibraltar: Fishing Incursions

Viscount Exmouth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 1 June (WA 18)-- (a) whether any arrests were made in connection with the recorded 153 incursions by Spanish fishing vessels into Gibraltan waters during the last five months; (b) whether there has been diplomatic dialogue in order to endeavour to rectify this practice; and (c) whether such incursions are placed on record with the European Commission.[HL2228]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): (a) Four fishermen have been arrested for offences connected to fishing incursions into British waters around Gibraltar in the last five months;

(b) This problem has been raised on several occasions by HM Ambassador in Madrid with senior Spanish officials;

(c) No. Although Gibraltar is within the EU as part of the UK Member State, Article 28 of the UK Act of Accession to the EC excludes Gibraltar from the EU common fisheries policy.

Japanese Prisoners of War

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent representations they have had from British ex-Servicemen held as prisoners of war in Japan who are seeking compensation; what reply they have made; and what action they are taking.[HL2255]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given by the Prime Minister in another place on 22 June (Official Report, col. 350).

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Ethiopia/Eritrea Border Conflict

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their analysis of the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea; and what action they favour as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.[HL2189]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We are gravely concerned by the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which undermines the stability of a region already prone to conflict. We have deplored the escalation of hostilities and the loss of innocent civilian lives on both sides. We have urged both parties to implement an immediate ceasefire, and to solve this dispute by peaceful negotiations. In this respect, we and our partners on the United Nations Security Council support the US/Rwandan facilitation efforts, together with those of the OAU.

United States Arrears of UN Dues

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they and the Governments of France, Germany, Italy and other countries which have taken part in peacekeeping operations approved by the United Nations are considering taking the Government of the United States to court over the monies due to them from the unpaid United States dues to the United Nations.[HL2191]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: No. However, we have made it clear to the US Administration on several occasions that we expect the US to pay its UN arrears and future contributions promptly, in full and without conditions. The EU Troika, led by the UK as Presidency, reiterated this to the US Administration on 9 June.

HK33 Assault Rifle: Export to Turkey

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 1 June (WA 15), whether they consider that British Aerospace plc is circumventing controls on the export of small arms, by procuring parts for the assembly in Turkey of the HK33 assault rifle from Germany, while the machine tools involved are made in Nottingham; and what they understand by the words in their reply, "at least initially".[HL2115]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The HK33 assault rifle is a product of Heckler & Koch, a German-based subsidiary of British Aerospace. We understand that the company has submitted to the German Government an application for a licence to export.

In my reply to the noble Lord of 1 June (Official Report, WA 15) the reference to the sourcing of rifle parts "at least initially" from Germany alludes to the

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possibility that, at some point in the future, a request for export from the UK might be made for components or machine tools. In the event of such an application being submitted, the UK Government would consider the proposed export in accordance with our stated criteria and the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports.

Armenian Genocide, 1915

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they "recognise the Armenian genocide of 1915", as did the French Parliament (in such terms) in a Bill passed on 29 May.[HL2149]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The British Government condemned the 1915 massacres at the time, and view the sufferings of the Armenian people then as a tragedy of historic proportions. However, in the absence of evidence to show that the Turkish Government took a specific decision to eliminate the Armenians under their control at the time, the British Government have not recognised the events of 1915 as a genocide.

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