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Lord Ewing of Kirkford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sewel: When the scheme was introduced by my right honourable friend's predecessor in the autumn of 1996 it was made clear that the number of events would be restricted to six per year and that it would be limited to registered charities. The purpose of the scheme is to enable national charities to hold evening events in the prestigious setting of Edinburgh Castle. The events may be to mark some noteworthy anniversary or achievement and should be in keeping with the historical importance and dignity of the castle. Demand has been heavy and very difficult choices have therefore had to be made. In making decisions on applications, the aim has been to achieve a balance across the broad range of national charitable activity in Scotland. There are inevitably a number of organisations which do worthwhile and much needed work which have been unsuccessful and I recognise that they will be disappointed. Scotland Bill: Consultation

Lord Selkirk of Douglas asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sewel: Prior to the introduction of the Scotland Bill on 17 December 1997, the Secretary of State for Scotland and his Ministerial colleagues had a large number of informative and useful meetings with organisations, groups and individuals covering a wide range of devolution-related issues. There were also a large number of meetings between officials and interested parties and a large volume of correspondence at both Ministerial and official level both before and after the introduction of the Bill. During these meetings and in correspondence many points of detail relevant to the drafting of the Scotland Bill were raised including the definition of the "legal profession" contained in Schedule 5 of the Bill. Careful consideration was given within Government to all the points made, including this particular point. Turkish Authorities: Training Arrangements

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): No formal arrangements to provide training for police or military personnel have been conducted with the Turkish authorities since 1 May 1997. The UK Government have, however, a programme of practical assistance to help the Turkish civil authorities in the field of human rights. This programme was announced in October 1997 and includes police training in the areas of public order policy, detainee rights, domestic violence and the role of an independent police complaints authority. Details of the military training given to Turkish personnel was set out in the reply I gave the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, on 22 April, (Official Report, WA 212) and in the reply given by my right honourable friend the then Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Dr. Reid, to the honourable Member for Tooting, Mr. Cox, on 14 July 1998 (Official Report, col. 173). NATO Members: Defence Expenditure

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the need to increase defence expenditure is generally discussed within NATO; and whether the statement of the Turkish Minister of National Defence, Mr. Ismet Sezgin, that the Turkish armed forces need an investment of 150 billion United States dollars is agreed within NATO.[HL2955]

Lord Gilbert: At their meeting on 11 June 1998, NATO Defence Ministers noted that the armed forces needed in the new strategic environment, while smaller than before, still require significant funding levels. However, the setting of the overall level of defence expenditure of an individual NATO member is not a matter for the Alliance as a whole. RAF Feltwell: Units and Roles

Lord Hill-Norton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list those units based at RAF Feltwell, and what functions each of these units carries out.[HL3237]

Lord Gilbert: The units based at RAF Feltwell and their roles are:

    USAF 5th Space Surveillance Squadron

    Tracking of man-made objects in space.

    US Department of Defence Schools

    : Educational establishments for dependants of USVF personnel.

    : US Mathes Airmen's Leadership School

    : Training for Junior NCOs.

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    : US Contracting Squadron

    : US Visiting Forces contracting authority.

    : US Army Veterinary Detachment

    : Provision of veterinary services.

    : US Army Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES)

    : Furniture and retail warehouse.

    : US Defence Audit Agency

    : Provision of audit services. RAF Feltwell: Space Tracking System

Lord Hill-Norton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the role of RAF Feltwell in relation to the tracking of unidentified objects in space; how many objects detected by the Deep Space Tracking System at RAF Feltwell remain unidentified; and how many of these were transmitting a signal.[HL3238]

Lord Gilbert: RAF Feltwell is responsible for tracking man-made objects in deep space. I am withholding the further information requested under exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. Unidentified Flying Objects

Lord Hill-Norton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Gilbert on 15 July (WA 25), what changes in procedures were implemented following the April 1997 review of the system to disseminate reports of unidentified flying objects; and whether airports, observatories, RAF bases and police stations receiving reports of UFOs are required to send them to the Ministry of Defence.[HL3239]

Lord Gilbert: Procedures were clarified to ensure that reports received by the department would have the attention they deserved. The department's responsibilities for maintaining the integrity of UK airspace, as set out in the Strategic Defence Review, are well known. Anybody may send in reports for assessment in that context. Medical and Dental Officers: Pay Awards

Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the recent pay award to medical and dental officers in the Armed Forces is being awarded in two stages, with 2 per cent. being paid from 1 April and the remainder payable from 1 December.[HL3240]

Lord Gilbert: In line with government policy on public sector pay, the award for medical and dental officers has been staged in the same way as the pay

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awards for all other pay review body groups, nurses, teachers, the senior salaries group and the rest of the Armed Forces, which were announced by the Prime Minister in January. RAF Base: Bentwaters, Suffolk

Lord Bridges asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether an unconditional contract for the sale of the former RAF base at Bentwaters in Suffolk has been completed; and, if not, what conditions remain to be fulfilled, by whom, and for what amount.[HL3137]

Lord Gilbert: The unconditional sale of the former RAF base at Bentwaters was completed on 15 May 1997. Dairy Products: Food Safety

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action should be taken by a cheese maker when a tuberculosis reactor is found in a herd of animals from which milk supplies are obtained.[HL2844]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): The Food Safety Act 1990 places the responsibility for the safety of food on to food businesses. Food Businesses should therefore take appropriate action to ensure that any cheese offered for sale for human consumption meets the requirements of the Act. They should note that the Dairy Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1995 as amended, require that any raw milk, or raw milk based products intended for sale for human consumption obtained from bovine animals shall come from a herd which is officially tuberculosis free. Medicines and Pesticides: Authorisation

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Donoughue on 16 July (WA 39), whether they will specify which sections of which Acts of Parliament oblige Ministers to accept the advice given to them by any of the statutory advisory committees, rather than to consult the committees; and whether they will place in the Library of the House papers relating to the "subsequent study of the issue" referred to in that Answer, including any instructions to Counsel and Counsel's opinion.[HL2872]

Lord Donoughue: The legislation which, in relation to marketing authorisations for veterinary medicinal products, specifies the functions of the Ministers in dealing with the statutory advisory committees comprises Regulation 12 of Schedule 3 to the Marketing Authorisations for Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulations 1994 (SI 1994/3142) as amended; which implement Council Directive 81/851/EEC as amended.

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Ministers' approval functions in relation to pesticides are specified in the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (SI 1986/1510) as amended--except where pesticides fall to be regulated as plant protection products under the regime introduced pursuant to Council Directive 91/414/EEC as amended, in which case their approval functions are specified in the Plant Protection Products Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/887) as amended; the functions of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides and Ministers' duties to consult them are found in Section 16 of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985, as amended. None of the legislation expressly obliges Ministers to adopt the recommendation of any given committee. The lawfulness of choosing, in any given case, to grant, refuse, withdraw or suspend authorisation/approval despite a committee recommendation to the contrary would need to be tested against general EC principles, UK administrative law principles and the terms of the specific legislation.

The reference to subsequent study in the Written Answer of 16 July related to further consideration of legal issues relating to the precautionary principle. The papers relating to this study concerned the request for and provision of legal advice and, in accordance with normal practice with respect to its legal advice, the Government does not propose to make them available.

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