|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, it is always important to get behind the motives for attacks such as the one that took place this morning. The fact that we have had three different points of view does not mean that the analysis of those who put them forward is mutually exclusive. Very often, these are all threads that come together in the motivation of those who carry out such outrages.
In the Foreign Office at the moment we are considering ways in which we might have outreach into a number of communities. We are looking at ways through which we might understand how a number of different cultures work, so as to create a world in which we can all live where there is better mutual understanding. Clearly that is not just work for the Foreign Office; there is work to be done in a number of different government departments. The noble Lord, Lord Elton, made very important points about trade, the way in which we deal with each other and poverty. When something arises on those issues that can usefully be shared I am sure that the various departments that have carried out that work will do so. For the moment we have a very difficult and immediate threat to the United Kingdom's interests around the world. I very much hope that the resources of the Foreign Office are concentrated on dealing with those who have suffered so much today, and on considering some of the immediate issues that arise there from.
Lord Eden of Winton: My Lords, first, in the light of these horrendous and tragic events, will the Government renew their representations to countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, within whose boundaries there may be terrorists, or organisations supporting terrorism, that they should intensify their action against them? Secondly, can the Minister at this early stage give any indication at all whether the terrorists who perpetrated this awful crime are Turkish nationals or came from outside that country?
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I cannot give the noble Lord any further details over and above those given in the Statement by my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, who said that the attack had some of the characteristics of the Al'Qaeda terrorist organisation or its close associates. We shall have to await further information on that. The Statement made clear that a rapid reaction group from our consulate division will travel to Turkey later today. I understand that that will also comprise some police officers who we hope will be able to deploy their expertise. Sadly, there is a great deal of expertise in this country regarding terrorist outrages. We hope that they will be able to add their expertise to that on the ground on the part of the Turkish authorities.
As regards renewing representation, the fact is that representations on these issues are constant, not only with the countries that the noble Lord enumerated but also with many other countries around the world. As the Minister with responsibility for the Middle East, I talk about counter-terrorism on virtually every overseas trip that I make. We exchange information, expertise and new ways of trying to gather human and other forms of intelligence about terrorist organisations around the world. Those organisations are becoming better and better organised and the international community itself must become much better organised in the way that we deal with them.
Lord Sandberg: My Lords, I declare an interest as a past chairman of the HSBC group. I have spoken to staff at the bank today who are bemused by the whole situation. The bank has a record of over 100 years' service in the Middle East through HSBC and its various subsidiaries. Like the Minister, at present they have no firm figures on casualties; all they have said is that they will not be frightened out of the area by such terrorist acts.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for making that important point. HSBC is a flagship organisation, almost an institution, in this country and overseas. Of course our condolences extend to that organisation. Over the next few days we shall stay in constant touch with it. The staff that we are sending to Istanbul will deal not only with our consulate staff but naturally also with those HSBC staff who have suffered in the attack.
Lord Chalfont: My Lords, does the Minister agree that although it is right that we should condemn these atrocities and express horror at them, that will not have much effect on those who carry them out? As a famous Russian once said, the object of terrorism is to terrorise. That is what these people are trying to do. The fact that we deplore what they do and express horror at it may to some extent salve our own consciences but it will not have much effect on the people who carry out the terrorism.
When we consider what motivates these terrorists we should remember that perhaps the main threat of terrorism to our way of life comes from Islamic extremists. They are motivated by one simple thinghatred of our way of life, our religion and our culture. While it is true to say that poverty is a breeding ground for terrorism, the Minister will probably agree that whatever we do to cure the conditions in which terrorism breeds, one thing we must do is to recognise that we have to meet force with force. We must be as ruthless with terrorists as they are with us. Although we may rightly say that there are certain breeding grounds for terrorism, even if we solve all those problems, the threat will not be removed. Islamic fundamentalism or Islamic extremism will persist whatever we do about those other matters.
That also gives us the opportunity to say very clearly that we do not intend to give in to this kind of terrorism. The noble Lord is right to say that we must meet force with force. Of course, we do. Some people will never understand any message except the stark and terrible message that if they use that kind of force they can expect to be met with brutal and terrible force in return. However, there is another message. There is another message for the young people of whom the noble Lord, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, spoke and for the people about whom my noble friend Lord Judd is so concerned; namely, that we must address some of the real problems in the world at present that allow the evil people who perpetrate these kind of horrors to recruit others to their ranks. We have to look at both sides of the question.
At present the Commons have either just begun, or are about to begin, their consideration of our message to them on the Criminal Justice Bill. I am unable to say at present precisely when, or if, they will send their message back to us, which of course will determine how long it will take us to process whatever message we receive so that we can debate it in an orderly fashion. However, I think it is most unlikely that we shall recommence business before 5 p.m. at the absolute earliest. The sensible way to proceed is for us all to watch the annunciator. Immediately we know anything regarding messages from the other place, we shall put an announcement on the annunciator. We shall reconvene to consider any messages on the Criminal Justice Bill as soon as we possibly can after that.
A message was brought from the Commons, That they agree to a Lords amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill; they do not insist on an amendment to which the Lords have disagreed; they have made a consequential amendment to which they desire the
33H Page 28, line 34, after "where" insert "(a)"
33I Page 28, line 35, at end insert "and
(b) notice has been given under section 51B of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (notices in serious or complex fraud cases) in respect of that offence or those offences."
33J Page 28, line 39, leave out "both of the following two conditions are" and insert "the following condition is"
33KPage 28, line 39, leave out "must" and insert "may"
33LPage 28, line 41, at end insert "(3A) The judge must consult the Lord Chief Justice or a judge nominated by him before making such an order."