Welfare to Work
Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment's comment on 3 July on Welfare to Work that "for the able bodied we do not believe it is right after they have been offered choices for them to turn down those choices and to continue drawing
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benefit. We made that clear before the election"
(HC Deb., col. 442), where and in what words this was made clear before the election.
Baroness Blackstone: The position was clearly set out in the manifesto and in the policy document New deal for a new Britain, which was published on 18 March 1997. The latter included the following:
"The young unemployed have a responsibility too--to seek work, accept reasonable opportunities and upgrade their skills. They have a clear responsibility, in return for the new opportunities which we will provide, to choose from the opportunities for work that are available and make the best efforts to develop the skills that are necessary. With our new opportunities, continuing forever on full benefit cannot and will not be an option."
Privy Council Judicial Committee
Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are the constitutional conventions followed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; and
What are the sources of the constitutional conventions followed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Richard): The jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is derived from the Judicial Committee Acts 1833 and 1844 and rules made thereunder. The constitutional conventions followed by the Committee are to be found in its judgments over more than 100 years.
Security Service Act: Commissioner's Recommendation
Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:
What action they are considering on the recommendation, in paragraph 25 of the report by the commissioner under the Security Service Act 1989 dated June 1997, that the Act be amended if the tribunal is intended to deal with employment matters not relating to security.
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The recommendation remains under consideration with the Security Service.
Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
Lord Winston asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is their policy towards the illnesses being suffered by Gulf War veterans.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The Government is today issuing a detailed policy statement Gulf Veterans' Illnesses: A New Beginning. Copies of the statement have been placed in the Library of the House.
Lockheed Martin and NATO Expansion
Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether, in their dealings with Lockheed Martin and with United Kingdom defence companies linked to it, they have taken account of the dual role of the Director of Strategic Planning of the corporation as Chairman of the US Committee for the Expansion of NATO.
Lord Gilbert: The US Committee for the Expansion of NATO is believed to be a business based organisation whose aims are implied in its title. Her Majesty's Government are unaware of any reason why their dealings with Lockheed Martin, or any other company, should be affected by their involvement with this committee.
NHS Estates Executive Agency
Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they will publish the annual report and accounts 1996-97 of the NHS Estates Executive Agency.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): We have received the report and copies have today been laid in accordance with Section 5 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1921. Copies are also available in the Library.