Viscount Goschen: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for permitting me to intervene. I attempted to go over the difficulties that I foresaw with European action and that it would face the same difficulties as national action. As regards the EU/US approach, there was a feeling that it was difficult to see how it would not run into the difficulties that the approach of the US memorandum of understanding has met. Nevertheless, the noble Lord made a number of suggestions and I shall ensure that they are considered.
Lord Avebury: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that assurance. Perhaps he will bear with me on one further point. If those approaches do not seem to work, we may come to the conclusion after discussing them with the Americans that an impasse has been reached so that it would be pointless for us to copy it in Europe, even with the combined force of the two
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great trading blocs. It would then be useful for us to know what action the Government intend to take either with the ILO or the OECD to combat the use of slave labour. At the G7 meeting this morning the Government said that they did not believe that the World Trade Organisation was the right place for that but they would consider the two other forums. I believe that there is that element of common ground between us: we all want to see slave labour eradicated or combated. We are not quite sure of the right way to do it and we must work within the framework of our obligations under GATT.
Having said that, I am grateful to the Minister for the kind way in which he has received my proposals and for undertaking to consider them. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.
Motion for second reading, by leave, withdrawn.
London Regional Transport Bill
Brought from the Commons; read a first time, and to be printed.
Baroness Trumpington: My Lords, now that at last we have come to the end of this day, may I wish a very happy Easter to one and all. I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.
House adjourned for the Easter Recess at nine minutes past ten o'clock until Monday, 15th April next.