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1 Nov 1999 : Column WA57

Written Answers

Monday, 1st November 1999.

Bahrain: Arms Export Licences

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will give details of licences issued for the export of arms to Bahrain since the beginning of 1999.[HL4293]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The entry in the relevant legislation under which the export of goods is controlled is known as their rating. The Export Control Organisation's computer databases have been interrogated and the following results were obtained. Between 1 January 1999 and 15 October 1999, 15 Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) and 14 Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) were issued for the export to consignees or end-users in Bahrain of goods subject to export control by being listed in Part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, commonly known as the Military List. Individual licences may cover a range of goods with various ratings (and OIELs may also cover a range of countries). Where this is so, the licence is included in the table in the total for all of the relevant ratings (and/or countries).

Individual Licences issued between 1 January 1999 and 15 October 1999 for the export to Bahrain of goods on the Military List

RatingNo of SIELs issued covering goods with this ratingNo of OIELs issued covering goods with this rating

This information does not cover any Media OIELs that may have been issued during this period. Media OIELs authorise the export to all destinations of protective clothing, mainly for the protection of aid agency workers and journalists, when working in areas of conflict.

This information should be considered in light of the answer given by my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Competition and Consumer Affairs to the Member for Kingswood on 27 July 1999, House of Commons Official Report, columns 307-308.

In addition, Bahrain is a permitted destination on certain Open General Export Licences, covering the export of goods on the Military List; copies of all Open General Export Licences valid at any time during the period are in the Library of the House.

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Therapeutic Cloning

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the recent remark of the Lord Sainsbury of Turville that he supports the introduction of therapeutic cloning represents the position of the Government.[HL4206]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government believe that before deciding whether to make regulations under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act to extend the purposes for which embryos may be used in research we need further advice on the potential benefits of the additional purposes suggested; whether there are alternative approaches which might offer the same benefits, and whether the range of additional purposes is comprehensive.

That is why we have asked the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Liam Donaldson, to chair an independent advisory group to seek the views of a range of experts, both here and abroad, and of organisations and individuals with an interest in this area. We expect the expert group to report its findings to Ministers early next year.

In my recent comments I made it clear that I think this is the right course of action and that the Government will take no decisions on this matter until the Chief Medical Officer's expert group has reported.

South Yorkshire: EU Objective 1 Status

Lord Mason of Barnsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether European Union Objective 1 financial status will be awarded to South Yorkshire; if so, when; and what would the likely financial benefits be, particularly for Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Barnsley.[HL4288]

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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Berlin Council on 25 March agreed that four regions in the United Kingdom, including South Yorkshire, will be eligible for Objective 1 status from 2000 to 2006.

South Yorkshire should receive support from the Structural Funds of about £742 million over the life of the programme.

The financial benefits of Objective 1 status to particular areas within South Yorkshire are subject to the details of the region's Single Programming Document. This document is being drawn up by regional partners and will set out the region's funding objectives. The document has to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of October 1999. The Commission will then have up to five months to agree the programme.

Maritime Studies: University Courses

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why maritime studies are no longer a category of university assessment; in which universities maritime studies are now being carried out; and in which they have recently ceased.[HL4376]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): Maritime studies have not been a separate category of quality assessment for teaching or research since the present arrangements were introduced in 1992. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service guide to undergraduate entry in 2000 lists the following universities under the category "Marine Sciences and Technologies": Glamorgan, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton, Strathclyde, Sunderland, and University College London. The number of universities providing courses under this category has not fallen in the last two years, though one university (Luton) is no longer listed, while two (Heriot-Watt and Sunderland) have been added. Maritime studies may also be included under other categories such as Environmental Sciences and Business and Management Studies.

Spouses' Additional Pension: Compensation for Reduction

Lord Rix asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What they estimate to be the cost of compensating spouses whose additional pension was prospectively reduced by the enactment of Section 19 of the Social Security Act 1986 by increasing the additional pension payable to them if their spouse dies after 5 April 2000 by a sum equal to 6.25 per cent of the additional pension to which they would have been entitled by virtue of the contributions of their deceased spouse but for the enactment of Section 19, multiplied by the number of years or part years before 25 July 1986 during which the spouse made contributions.[HL4269]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The information is not available in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Government Actuary's Department is able to estimate global SERPS costings on the basis of earnings data, but does not have figures on individuals' National Insurance contributions, which would be necessary in order to produce the requested information.

Council of the European Union: Forthcoming Business

Lord Brett asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union for November; and whether they will list the major European Union events for the next six months.[HL4492]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Monthly Forecast of EU business: November 1999 2 November 1999--Dubai--EU-Gulf Co-operation Council (EU-GCC 9th Joint Council)

--Opening Statement by the President of the Meeting (United Arab Emirates) and reply by the EU Presidency

--Adoption of the Agenda

--Implementation of the Co-operation Agreement

--Free trade agreement negotiations

--Exchange of views on developments in the two regions:

    European Union; Gulf Co-operation Council

    --Exchange of views on political questions of common interest

    --Approval of the Joint Communique and agreed minutes

    --Any other business Consultation Procedure

--(possible) Proposal for a Council Decision concluding the agreement for scientific and technological co-operation between the European Community and the People's Republic of China

--(possible) Proposal for a Council Decision concluding the Agreement on co-operation for science and technology between the European Community and the government of the Russian Federation

--(possible) Proposal for a Council Decision concluding the Agreement for scientific and technological co-operation between the European Community and the Argentine Republic

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Codecision Procedure Second Reading

--(possible) Common position adopted by the Council with a view to adopting a European Parliament and Council Directive concerning the enforcement of seafarers' hours of work on board ships using Community ports

--(possible) Common position adopted by the Council with a view to adopting a European Parliament and Council Directive amending Directive 93/104/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time to cover sectors and activities excluded from that Directive

--(possible) Common position adopted by the Council with a view to adopting a European Parliament and Council Directive relating to the availability of consumer information on fuel economy in respect of the marketing of new passenger cars 8 November 1999--Brussels--ECOFIN Council

--Adoption of the provisional agenda

--Approval of the list of "A" items

--The Tax Package

    (a) Taxation of Savings

    --Key issues; reports on Dependent or Associated Territories

    (b) Code of Conduct on business taxation

    --state of play

    (c) Interests and Royalties

--(possible) Energy Taxation

--Economic policy co-ordination

--Draft Council report to European Council

--EIB lending: Renewal of Community guarantee for projects in third countries

--(possible) HIPC-initiative

--The introduction of euro notes and coins --Common statement

--Risk capital: Implementation of the Action Plan--Communication by the Commission

--(possible) Own Resources Decision

--The Employment package

--Revised Joint Employment Report

--Joint opinion of the EPC/ELC on the

Employment Guidelines and Recommendations

--AOB (p.m.--EURO 11; Macroeconomic dialogue) 8 November 1999--Brussels--Consumer Affairs Council

--Adoption of the agenda

--(possible) Approval of the list of "A" items

--Amended proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services and modifying Directives 97/7/EC and 98/27/EC

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(Legalbasis proposed by Commission: Articles 47[2], 55 and 95) (Item on which a vote may be called for)

--common positon

13097/98 CONSOM 76 ECOFIN 239 CODEC 622

10505/99 CONSOM 46 ECOFIN 136 CODEC 456

--Implementation and application of consumer protection legislation

--Information from the Commission on the implementation and application in the member states of certain Directives, in particular Directives on time-sharing and package holidays

--Consumer access to justice

    (a) Information from the Commission on the follow-up to its recommendation on the principles applicable to the mechanisms responsible for out-of-court settlements of consumer disputes

    (b) Information from the Presidency on the European Council meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 Ocotber 1999 as regards the item on citizen's access to justice

--Food security

    (a) information campaign on food security in the member states

--Progress report from the Commission

    (b) "European Food 2000" seminar (Helsinki, 23 and 24 September 1999)

--Presidency briefing on the outcome

    (c) Discussion

(15.00-16.10: open dabate)

--Consumer protection and services of general interest--Discussion

11682/99 CONSOM 49 MI 93

--Other business

--Transparency for the consumer in regard to civil liability for motor vehicles (automobile insurance)

--contribution by the Italian delegation 9 November 1999--Brussels--Industry Council

--Adoption of the agenda

--(possible) approval of the list of "A" items

--Competitiveness and entrepreneurial policy of the European Union

--Debate and Council conclusions

    (a) Commission communication entitled "Structural change and adjustment in European manufacturing"

11552/99 ECO 309

11552/99 ECO 309

11706/99 ECO 317

    (b) Competitiveness in the Information Society

    (c) Medium-term programme for the organisation of an ongoing debate on industrial competitiveness

    (d) SME

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--SME forum: Rapid growth and competitiveness through technology

--Commission report on concerted action with the member states

--Integration of sustainable development into EU industrial policy

--Report to the Helsinki European Council

--State of the competitiveness of the EU forest-based and related industries

--Commission communication

--Council conclusions 11707/99 ECO 318

--Steel industry

    (a) State of the competitiveness of the steel industry in the EU

--Commission communication

= Commission presentation

11708/99 SID 32 SOC 332 FIN 374 ECO 319

    (b) Commission report to the Council on the monitoring of aid for steel covered by Article 95 of the Treaty

    --Information from the Commission


    (a) Commission report on the international shipbuilding situation

    --Council conclusions 11919/99 RC24

    (b) Fourth Commission report to the Council on the monitoring of aid to certain shipyards currently being restructured in Germany and Spain

    --Commission presentation 11921/99 RC 26

--White Paper on the modernisation of the rules laid down by Articles 85 and 86 of the Treaty--Commission briefing

--Other business--State aids

    = Note from the Danish delegation 11855/99 ECO 323 FIN 379 RC 23 EEE 99 11 November 1999--Brussels--Development Council

--No agenda yet available 11 November 1999--Brussels--Standing Committee on Employment

--Rules of procedure

    --Confirmation of the Council's position

Co-ordinated strategy for employment

    --Commission Communication on Employment Guidelines for 2000

    --Draft Joint Report on Employment for 1999

    --Commission Recommendation for a Council Recommendation on the implementation of Member States' employment policies

The discussion will take account of the Community's economic and social objectives (i.e. the Broad Economic Guidelines) 11-12 November 1999--Helsinki--Ministerial Conference on the Northern Dimension

--No formal agenda

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12 November 1999--Brussels--Accession Conference

--No formal agenda 12 November 1999--Brussels--Labour and Social Affairs Council

--Adoption of the provisional agenda

--(possible) Approval of the list of "A" items


    --Proposal for Guidelines for member states' Employment Policies 2000 doc. 10992/99 SOC 302 ECOFIN 159

    --Draft Joint Employment Report 1999 doc. 10993/99 SOC 303 ECOFIN 160 + COR1 (f)

    --Commission Recommendation for Council Recommendations on the implementation of member states' Employment Policies doc. 10994/99 SOC 304 ECOFIN 161

--Any other business 15-16 November 1999--Brussels--Agriculture Council

--Adoption of the agenda

--Approval of the list of "A" items

--Strategy on environmental integration and sustainable development in the common agricultural policy (in preparation for the Helsinki European Council on 11 and 12 December 1999) 12082/99 AGRI 165 ENV 360

--Beef labelling

    (a) Report by the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council on the situation regarding the implementation of beef-labelling systems in the different member states (Art. 19(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 820/97) 12031/99 AGRILEG 163

    (b) Proposals for Regulations of the European Parliament and of the Council

    --establishing a system for the identification and registration of bovine animals and regarding the labelling of beef and beef products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No. 820/97

    --amending Council Regulation (EC) No. 820/97 establishing a system for the identification and registration of bovine animals and regarding the labelling of beef and beef products 12030/99 AGRILEG 162 CODEC 583

--Progress report

    --Proposal for a Council Regulation on measures to promote and provide information on agricultural products in third countries (Item on which a vote may be requested)

    (Legal basis: Art. 37 of the Treaty)

    5386/99 AGRI 7 AGRIFIN 7

    --(possible) Proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No. 1765/92 establishing a support system for producers of certain arable crops (non-food) (Item on which a vote may be requested)

    (Legal basis: Art. 36 and 37 of the Treaty)

    11375/95 AGRIORG 249 AGRIFIN 220

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    --(possible) Cotton: Proposals for Council Regulations

    --adjusting, for the sixth time, the system of aid for cotton introduced by Protocol 4 annexed to the Act of Accession of Greece

    --relating to production aid for cotton

    --(possible) Commission information on the banana dossier

    --Extension of State aid for small producers

    --Austrian delegation's request for authorisation Items within the competence of the Permanent Representatives Committee

--Dioxin:--Progress report

--(possible) Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 64/432/EEC on health problems affecting intra-Community trade in bovine animals and swine

--Other business

    --Use of hormones as growth promoters (request by the Danish delegation)

    --Equal opportunities for men and women and rural development

    (request by the Swedish delegation)

    --Organisation of future work 15-16 November 1999--Brussels--General Affairs Council

--Adoption of the provisional agenda

--Approval of the list of "A" items Horizontal Issues

--Resolutions, decisions and opinions adopted by the European Parliament at its part-sessions in Strasbourg on 417 and 25129 October 1999

--Electoral procedure

--European Security and Defence Policy: elements for the Presidency report on military and non-military aspects of crisis management

--Common Strategies External Relations

--Negotiations for a development partnership agreement with the ACP states

    --preparation for the next Ministerial Conference

--Follow-up of the EU-Russia Summit

--Pakistan; Western Balkans; Indonesia


--WTO: Ministerial Conference in Seattle

--AOB Items Likely to Become "A" Points

--Adoption of the EU position for the 12th meeting of the EEA Council

--Adoption of the EU position for the Association Council with Tunisia (16 November 1999)

--Adoption of the EU position for the 5th Association Council with Bulgaria (16 November 1999)

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--Adoption of the EU position for the second Co-operation Council with Moldova on 16 November 1999

--(possible) European armaments policy: adoption of the common position 15-19 November 1999--Strasbourg--European Parliament Plenary

--No agenda yet available 16 November 1999--Brussels--EEA Council

--No agenda yet available 18 November 1999--Brussels--Health Council

--No agenda yet available 22 November 1999--Brussels--Fisheries Council (possible)

--No agenda yet available 23 November 1999--Brussels--Culture/Audiovisual Council

--No agenda yet available 23 November 1999--Brussels--Youth Council

--No agenda yet available 25-26 November 1999--Brussels--Budget Council

--No agenda yet available 26 November 1999--Brussels--Education Council

--No agenda yet available 29 November 1999--Brussels--Labour and Social Affairs Council

--No agenda yet available 29 November 1999--Brussels--ECOFIN Council

--Preparation of the European Council in Helsinki

    --Economic policy co-operation, report by the Council


    --Joint annual employment report of Council and Commission

    --Employment Guidelines 2000

    --Report on reinforced tax policy co-operation

    --Effective fight against fraud

    --Report by the Council

--Tax Package

    --Code of Conduct (Business Taxation)

    --Final report

    --Taxation of Savings--Political agreement on Draft Directive

    --Interest and Royalties--Political agreement on Draft Directive

--Implementation of Stability and Growth Pact

--Financial Services Policy Group

    --Report by the Commission

--Amendment of the UCITS Directive

    --Political agreement

--Annual Report of the Court of Auditors concerning financial year 1998

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--EURO 11--Joint Meeting with Labour and Social Affairs Council (Employment Guidelines 2000 and joint annual employment report) 30 November 1999--Brussels--Telecommunications Council

--No agenda yet available 30 November-3 December 1999--Seattle--WTO Ministerial Conference

--No formal agenda

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