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Baroness Amos: My Lords, I say to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, whom I believe attended the meeting in February on Indonesia with my honourable friend John Battle, that we are concerned about the complexity of the situation in that country and about the violence on several islands. We have tried to facilitate the peace talks in Ambon, although we recognise that a difficult process is involved and we continue to watch matters very closely.
On the question of the assets of the Suharto family, we have provided the Indonesian Government with the information that they need to begin the process of negotiating a mutual assistance treaty with the UK. Once in place, that treaty will allow the Indonesian Government to work through the English criminal legal system to pursue assets that are held in the UK, should they wish to do so.
Lord Avebury: My Lords, I acknowledge the important contribution that the Government have made to various organisations in Indonesia, such as Komnas HAM, which is a human rights organisation, and the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation; I also acknowledge the initiative taken recently by John Battle, which the Minister mentioned--it involved consulting Members of both Houses and NGOs on the programme for aiding civil society. However, could the Minister look particularly at the situation in Aceh, where NGOs are subject to violence? For example, the torture aid organisation RATA recently lost three of its members--they were murdered--and the organisation Kontrast is constantly harassed by the police. Would not the best contribution to the development of civil society be to persuade the Indonesian Government to protect the NGOs that are trying so hard in difficult circumstances and to stop police harassment?
The situation in Aceh is currently up in the air, as the noble Lord will be aware. There have been no recent reports of serious atrocities. As I said to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, we are continuing to press the Indonesian Government on these matters. We have been pleased by the way in which the Indonesian Government and civil society have come together to work on governance projects. Of course it is important for NGOs to be protected and to feel able to work in a constructive way in terms of conflict prevention and conflict resolution and in relation to the other social and economic issues with which they are concerned.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: My Lords, will the Minister look into the possibility of giving additional funding to the Henri Dunant Centre in Geneva, which has done valuable work in reconciliation and in further conflict prevention in Indonesia? Will she also consider what work her department might do to help the development of small business initiatives in Indonesia? The plight of many people could be much relieved if some small business initiatives, particularly in the outlying areas, were given a boost.
Baroness Amos: My Lords, I say to the noble Baroness, Lady Chalker, that there has been some movement with respect to small business initiatives in Indonesia, although of course there are problems with some of the more outlying and remote areas. I shall consider those concerns and examine what we can do.
Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the prospect of that huge country beginning to crumble at the edges--I refer to the growing violence in Aceh, the Moluccas, west Irian and now in Kalimantan--is deeply worrying? That would threaten the stability of the whole region and this country's interests there. Does she agree that now is the time to engage the interests of regional powers to prevent the collapse of civil power and the imposition of military solutions of a sinister kind? What discussions have there been between Her Majesty's Government and, for example, the Australian and New Zealand Governments, the Singapore authorities--who are right next door to these horrors--the Malaysian Government and others? They might be able to provide the support that the United Nations and the IMF have not so far been able to mobilise.
Baroness Amos: My Lords, I say to the noble Lord, Lord Howell, that of course we want a democratic, prosperous and united Indonesia. However, he and we recognise that that will be difficult to achieve. The noble Lord mentioned some of the worrying conflicts that have occurred in many parts of Indonesia. I take his point about working with regional powers. That
Baroness Amos: My Lords, I say to my noble friend Lady Whitaker that it is only very recently that independent trade unions have been allowed to exist in Indonesia. During the past three years, the number of trade unions has increased dramatically. We are supporting a programme that is being implemented by the International Labour Organisation to train trade union officials in basic union management and organisational development skills--we are contributing £1 million over three years to that programme.
Clauses 1 to 24, Schedule 2, Clauses 25 to 28, Schedule 3, Clauses 29 to 34, Schedule 4, Clauses 35 to 37, Schedule 5, Clause 38, Schedule 6, Clauses 39 to 42, Schedule 7, Clauses 43 to 50, Schedule 8, Clauses 51 to 54, Schedule 9, Clauses 55 to 83, Schedule 10, Schedule 1.--(Baroness Scotland of Asthal.)
Lord Renton: My Lords, as I am sure the Minister realises, strong reasons are required when taking a schedule out of order, especially on Report. Why will Schedule 1 be taken at the very end of proceedings, and even after Schedule 10?
Clauses 1 to 9, Schedule 1, Clauses 10 to 36, Schedule 2, Clauses 37 to 47, Schedule 3, Clauses 48 to 51, Clause 68, Clauses 52 to 55, Schedule 4, Clauses 56 to 67, Clauses 69 to 75, Schedules 5 and 6.--(Lord Burlison.)
Lord Renton: My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that even in Committee it is unusual and undesirable to take a clause out of order unless there is a strong reason for doing so? Will he explain why, in relation to the configuration to be used during the Bill's Committee stage, Clause 68 is being promoted? That clause will be taken before Clauses 52 to 55.
Lord Burlison: My Lords, the procedure has been agreed to. My noble friend Lady Scotland of Asthal told the noble Lord what the procedure is. I trust that nothing untoward has occurred and that the approach conforms with the agreement reached through the usual channels.
The noble Lord said: Members of the Committee will have observed that this amendment attempts to remove paragraph (b) from Clause 17(3). Clause 17(3) requires anybody who produces vehicle number plates to be registered, but the paragraph which I suggest should be considered by the Committee provides that the Secretary of State may, by regulation, provide for people who are of a prescribed description to be exempt from that requirement.
I understand why the Secretary of State may want to make regulations to exempt various activities from the provisions of the Bill but not what type of person may be exempt entirely from the licensing requirements. It may be that there are deserving classes of person who should be allowed to make number plates without a licence but it would be helpful if the Committee were told who they are likely to be. I beg to move.
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