Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Government Litigation

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Consultation has taken place between the various departments handling government litigation, and it was found, in view of the volume of such litigation, that it was not possible to give any definitive figures of the type requested: this would involve examining many thousands of files. Moreover, the information requested is almost certainly covered by legal professional privilege, and it would be necessary to approach each client for their agreement that the privilege might be waived in each case where legal advice to settle had not been followed. The time and effort that would necessarily be involved in such an exercise is thought to be disproportionate. (Also, it is worth noting that, in the majority of litigation cases, it is not possible to be categorical about e.g. prospect of winning or losing.)

EU Veto: Taxation

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

8 Feb 2000 : Column WA86

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Yes.

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the statement from Richard Corbett, the Labour spokesman on reform in the European Parliament, that "there is no danger of Britain losing the veto" is consistent with their policy towards the European dimension on tax matters.[HL811]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As the Government have repeatedly made clear, the United Kingdom considers that tax decisions should continue to be taken by unanimity.

Parliamentary Data and Video Network

Lord Marlesford asked the Chairman of Committees:

    Why the Parliamentary Data and Video Network (PDVN) is subject to interruptions to the main electricity supply in the Palace of Westminster; and whether he will take steps to see that standby power supplies are made available to the PDVN.[HL734]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): All data service centres and major distribution points are already protected by battery back-up and the Palace of Westminster already has a standby power supply. There is no specific generation equipment allocated to the PDVN.

Lord Marlesford asked the Chairman of Committees:

    On what occasions during the last six months there have been interruptions to the e-mail service offered by the Parliamentary Data and Video Network (PDVN), indicating the date, duration and cause of interruption in each case.[HL735]

The Chairman of Committees: Since the replacement of the network infrastructure in August 1999, there have been six interruptions to the e-mail service to multiple users across all or part of the Parliamentary estate, totalling 6.1 hours. The Director of Communications will write to the noble Lord with full details.

8 Feb 2000 : Column WA85



   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page