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Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, the noble Lord raises some of the same issues as those raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy. The whole issue of sex education, particularly for the very young, should be seen in the context of a broader social approach to growing up, to parenthood and to stable family relationships. It is inappropriate simply to offer them practical advice on contraception. We shall do everything we can to ensure that that is not the message which is being given.
Baroness Young: My Lords, I welcome the Government's commitment to dealing with what I think we all agree is a very serious issue. Does the noble Baroness agree that one of the most important points to be made is the significance of marriage and stable family life, as they underpin everything that is required in this area?
Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Young, has made some important contributions to other debates in your Lordships' House on this subject. I very much appreciate her point of view. When one is dealing with very young people--one could say children if one is talking about 13 and 14 year-olds--sometimes the concept of marriage seems very remote. What is important is to deal with these issues in a broad context of general support and counselling about relationships and hope that that will develop into stable marriages.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, that is certainly the international evidence, particularly in Holland, where the programme of sex education in the broader context that we have been discussing is conducted from what we would regard as an early age. There has been a very substantial reduction in the number of teenage pregnancies.
Lord Elton: My Lords, the noble Baroness said that this would become a part of the policy on health. Does she accept that in fact it would not be taught unless it becomes part of the policy of the Department for Education and Employment? Can she take steps to ensure that it does become part of that department's policy?
Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for making that very important point about the structure of government relationships on this issue. Of course, the whole issue of public health and the broader aspects of healthy schools is being discussed already between my honourable friend the Minister for public health and colleagues in the Department for Education. This must be a broad approach. Frankly, it is my view that it is just as important to try to encourage liaison and co-operation at local levels as well as between departments in Whitehall.
Baroness Cumberlege: My Lords, bearing in mind the Minister's initial response to the noble Lord, Lord Northbourne, is my noble friend aware that the World Health Organisation cited The Health of the Nation Programme as a strategy which other countries should follow, which is not surprising since we have met the vast majority of targets and that only two out of 27 are causing problems? With that glowing endorsement, are the new Labour Government going to pursue the strategy in its entirety and, if so, how do they propose to monitor, measure and inform the public as to progress?
Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, as I have already said, we are reviewing The Health of the Nation programme because we believe that in some areas--and I believe the question of teenage pregnancy is one--success has not been as glowing as the noble Baroness suggests. For example, perhaps I may quote the statistics. In 1994 there was a 0.3 per cent. increase in pregnancies among 13 to 15 year-olds and in 1995 a 1 per cent. increase in abortions. I do not believe that that is a satisfactory record and it is something that we want, in the broader context of a public health policy, to attack.
Lord McColl of Dulwich: My Lords, we are very pleased that the Government have endorsed The Health of the Nation, but can the Minister explain why it is that when I received a letter from her the other week the inscription on the back of the envelope "Improving the Health of the Nation" had been deleted? When I telephoned the department the explanation was that it was no longer government policy. Can the Minister explain that?
Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, I cannot account for decisions about stationery in the Department of Health. They were certainly not passed by me. I am surprised that both the noble Lord and the noble Baroness, Lady Cumberlege, have taken from my remarks a firm endorsement for The Health of the Nation policy. In response to two if not three noble Lords who have raised the matter, I said that we are reconsidering the whole strategy. It obviously has some important factors, but we do not believe that as an answer to public health it is the total and most satisfactory solution.
Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his Answer and at the same time perhaps I may congratulate him on his appointment as a Minister within the Scottish Office. I am sure that he will recognise the sincerity of my congratulations when I set them in the context that it is the policy of his Government to remove him from that remit and, indeed, to take the portfolio away entirely from this Parliament. I am sure that we all wish him a long and successful tenure in that position.
The noble Lord has had a distinguished academic career. Does he recognise that the gross figure that he has given of over 500,000 people reveals some very significant ebbs and flows of people moving from Scotland to other parts of the United Kingdom? Does it not give him a moment's unease that in pursuit of consultation of the Scottish people, as the Prime Minister determined it, the only people who are to be consulted are those who were resident in Scotland on 1st October not of this year but of 1996?
Lord Sewel: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his kind words. I look forward to a very short career in the Scottish Office. I also congratulate him on the ingenuity of his supplementary question. The test of who should vote in a consultative referendum is clearly based on residency and not on any idea of ethnicity. If the noble Lord reflects, I am sure he will agree that it would be extremely bad practice to have a test of ethnicity entering into a view about who should participate in electoral politics.
Lord Renton: My Lords, do not the figures which the noble Lord has given confirm the advice given by Dr. Johnson that the finest prospect that the Scotsman ever sees is the high road to England? Is the Minister aware that many Scots still accept that advice, including those who come to the English Bar and become High Court judges? Indeed, one of them has become a famous noble and learned Lord Chancellor.
Lord Sewel: My Lords, I say nothing about what happens to Scots lawyers--it usually costs me money! I have to observe that although 527,000 people may have moved from Scotland to the rest of the United Kingdom, 536,000 moved from the rest of the United Kingdom to Scotland.
Lord Mackie of Benshie: My Lords, is it not a fact that the figures for migration show the necessity for a centre of power in Scotland which will ensure that people will stay there and make Scotland prosper instead of England?
Lord Howie of Troon: My Lords, I believe that the statistics produced by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, demonstrate beyond peradventure the weakness of English management which has gone on for 300 years or so. I would like to urge--
Lord Howie of Troon: My Lords, I ask my noble friend on the Front Bench whether he would like to be urged to consider the circumstances of such a person as myself--who, although of the pure blood, has lived in England to the advantage of that peninsula to the south of the mainland for 40 years or so--taking part in the referendum? I do not wish to ask him to look up Hansard so that he may see the speech that I made on the subject in this House 19 years ago.
Lord Howie of Troon: My Lords, I believe that very serious consideration should be given to Scots of the first generation living in England, and no other part of the world, taking part in this very important matter--
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