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Lord Warner: My Lords, on the second point, as I said, there will be a pilot scheme which will be just that. We shall consider how the scheme is working and learn from it before rolling out the scheme nationally. Anti-fraud measures will be built into the current scheme. These include anti-fraud devices built into vouchers, mechanisms for reconciliation of vouchers issued against those reimbursed and spot checks on retailers followed by enforcement action where appropriate.
The Countess of Mar: My Lords, does the Minister agree that while it is very important that children get the right nutrients to start with, a healthy start does not necessarily mean a sterile start? It is important that they receive antibodies to build up resistance so that illnesses such as asthma, eczema and various other allergic conditions do not occur. What are Her Majesty's Government doing to encourage parents to ensure that their children are not necessarily brought up in a sterile environment and that they get what my granny used to call a peck of dirt before they die?
Lord Warner: My Lords, the scheme is designed to expand the range of healthy foods to people previously entitled under the Welfare Food scheme. As I said, supplements will be available. A key feature of the new scheme will be that, when people apply for it, they will be able to access consultation from health professionals.
Earl Howe: My Lords, could the Minister pick up the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, about follow-on formula in the second year of life? There is considerable concern among childcare groups that it is not a feature of the scheme as currently promulgated. Will the department undertake to look again at that?
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Lord Warner: My Lords, we are trying to run the scheme at roughly the same level as the Welfare Food scheme, as was made clear in the legislation. It is a demand-led scheme, and noble Lords know that the voucher will be £2.80, going up to £5.60 for each child up to 12 months.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): My Lords, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister has acknowledged that, although the Iraq Survey Group has uncovered information about programmes for the development of weapons of mass destruction, it has not found the weapons themselves. He has said that the weapons may never be found, but our overall assessment will be better informed when the Iraq Survey Group next reports.
Lord Lamont of Lerwick: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. Is it not the case that the Prime Minister last week, in front of the Liaison Committee of the House of Commons, said that it was possible that Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed, something that he had previously described as "palpably absurd" and against all intelligence? Does that remarkable admission not have some bearing on the legality of the Iraq war? Surely it is not enough to say, "We think that someone has WMD", or, "Someone's behaviour is consistent with having WMD", in order to suggest that something is against a UN resolution and makes the war legal.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, it is important to remember that we did not go into a military conflict in Iraq solely on the basis that the weapons of mass destruction were there. However often political analysts go into it, however often the media throw doubt over it, and however much doubt there is genuinelyI acknowledge that there is doubt, as my right honourable friend has saidthe reason we went to war was that Iraq ignored or defied the United Nations Security Council resolutions over and again. Those were mandatory resolutions that demanded co-operation with UN-authorised inspectors. I remind
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the noble Lord that, on 8 November 2002, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, which recognised the threat of Iraq's non-compliance with council resolutions and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It was not only the United Kingdom Government who believed that to be true, but the governments of those on the UN Security Council, including France and Syria.
Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, is it not outrageous that the BBC's "Panorama" purportedly prejudged the Butler inquiry last night? Is it not also a fact that Parliament will consider the allegations or otherwise on Wednesday?
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I did not see "Panorama" last night, but I understand that it raised a number of questions about the way in which changes were made to the September 2002 dossier on weapons of mass destruction, and a number of other issues. Of course the issues will be challengedthat is right and proper in a democracy with a free mediabut the noble Lord, Lord Butler, is due in two days' time to make his report on the gathering, analysis and use of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq conflict. It is only right that we wait to see what his report actually says.
Baroness Williams of Crosby: My Lords, does the Minister agree, however, that the main argumentit was presented time and again in both this House and another placefor the invasion of Iraq was precisely the likelihood that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and, furthermore, that they could be used at very short notice? Does she agree that that was the sound and solid legal basis for the invasion of Iraq, and that, as long ago as 5 June this year, David Kay, then head of the Iraq Survey Group, said that it would be a delusion to suppose that that group would find any weapons of mass destruction? He said that anyone who had that view would be,
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, it is very easy with hindsight to say a whole range of things. What matters is what was believed at the time. That is why I reiterate the point about Resolution 1441, a motion passed unanimously by the Security Councilnot solely by the United States and the United Kingdom, but by governments who believed that Iraq was proliferating weapons of mass destruction, including a government in the region, that of Syria.
The noble Baroness will no doubt recall, as I do very clearly, that we were briefed just before the conflict by the chair of the JIC. We had a discussion about it on the Floor of the House, and my noble friend Lord Richard was a little exercised about it. However, I was briefed then, along with the noble Lords, Lord Howell of Guildford and Lord Wallace of Saltaire, and the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig of Radley. The noble Baroness was there for the part of the time as well. I did not believe that we were being deliberately misled, and I would never have deliberately misled this
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House about what we believed was the case on weapons of mass destruction. I do not believe that my right honourable friend the Prime Minister is in any different position.
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, we all appreciate the value of wisdom in hindsight, but does my noble friend agree that, immediately prior to the war, virtually the whole world believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Is there an explanation of why Saddam Hussein, if he had nothing to hide, denied the United Nations inspectors the opportunity for full inspection?
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, only Saddam Hussein can answer that question. Some noble Lords may believe that such issues will be exposed during the course of his trial. However, I agree with my noble friend that all those who had intelligence forces delivering security information at the time believed that the weapons of mass destruction existed. I come back to the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, about the legality of the war, which was based on defiance of Security Council resolutions about what the whole world believed that Saddam Hussein had in his arsenal.
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