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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): Total expenditure on contracted professional services for 199293 and 199394 was £204 million and £256 million respectively. Less than 1 per cent. of this related to consultancy advice to assist our internal management of the aid programme. The remainder was aid programme expenditure relating to the provision of professional services to assist over 80 overseas governments with the implementation of their development programmes. The services provided include conventional consultancy advice (about 25 per cent. of the total) and project and programme management services provided by external private and public sector organisations such as the British Council.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Viscount Astor): Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Royal Parks Agency under its Chief Executive, Mr. David Welch. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
I have been asked by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for National Heritage to reply to your Question about consulting Her Majesty the Queen about the pedestrianisation of the area in front of Buckingham Palace.
I can confirm that when the agency first drew up proposals for the scheme, we consulted Her Majesty. Westminster City Council consulted the Lord Chamberlain's office during the planning approval procedures. Subsequently we have kept the Lord Chamberlain's office fully informed of progress.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): We have always said that with Trident we will continue our policy of deploying only the minimum nuclear capability necessary for deterrence purposes. Our nuclear forces make a continuing contribution to maintaining stability in Europe.
Lord Henley: The deterrent role of the nuclear forces of the US, the UK and France is set out in NATO's 1991 Strategic Concept. The role and purpose of the other nuclear weapon states' nuclear weapons are matters for the governments of those countries.
Lord Henley: The size of the Royal Marines Reserve has been examined to determine whether there should be some adjustment in the light of the current strategic environment. We have concluded that there should be no major reduction in strength. We continue to look at the roles of the Royal Marines Reserve to ensure the best utilisation of their many skills.
The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): There does not appear to be any decision of the Scottish courts in which they have held that the European Convention of Human Rights can or cannot be relied upon, in appropriate cases, as an aid to construction of domestic legislation. It is a matter for the Scottish courts, and ultimately for the House of Lords, to decide whether Scots law adopts the same rules of statutory interpretation which have been acknowledged to exist in an English case by the House of Lords.
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