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Lord Whitty: The Secretary of State for International Development gave a wide ranging interview to the political editor of the New Statesman, which was published in its 20 February edition. I recommend that the noble Baroness read the interview. She may find it interesting to compare its content with some of the news reports of the interview.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The Government is committed to obtaining an appropriate balance between the due administration of justice on the one hand and freedom of speech on the other. It has concluded that the committee's recommendations maintain that balance and has therefore accepted them in principle.
(ii) that Section 2 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 should be strengthened so that it covers the collective or cumulative effect of pre-trial publicity in risking prejudicing a trial, as well as the effect of individual articles. This means that newspapers could not escape liability, as one case held they could, because a number of them had acted in a similar way and together had caused the prejudice.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The only document to be considered at the Sixth Session of the Preparatory Committee which we have yet received is the report of the intersessional meeting from 19 to 30 January 1998 in Zutphen, The Netherlands. This report contains the draft Statute for the International Criminal Court. It is available on the Internet at http://www.igc.apc.org/icc. We placed a statement of Her Majesty's Government's policy on the International Criminal Court in the Libraries of the House on 24 February.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We continue to be concerned about allegations of human rights violations in Algeria, including those contained in the latest Human Rights Watch report, and raise these concerns as part of our ongoing dialogue with the Algerian Government.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We welcome the Secretary-General's report on the implementation of oil-for-food. His recommendations to improve and enhance the oil-for-food arrangements were embodied in Security Council Resolution 1153, adopted on 20 February, which was drafted by the UK.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): At present most general medical services expenditure is non cash-limited or demand-led and is funded nationally rather than from moneys allocated to health authorities. Cash-limited funds are allocated to health authorities according to a weighted capitation formula. Deprivation payments are made from non cash-limited funds and the Government are considering ways in which a more effective use of deprivation payments can be achieved.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: In November 1997 the Government announced the development of a national programme to tackle the high rate of teenage conceptions in England. The principal aim of this programme is to reduce the number of teenage conceptions by supporting young people in deferring sexual activity and improving access to advice and counselling services, including contraception for those who are sexually active.
A consultation exercise on the national programme is currently under way. A wide range of organisations and individuals have been and will continue to be involved. These include professionals in primary and community health, education and social services as well as
Baroness Jay of Paddington: Doctors may prescribe Zyloric tablets on the National Health Service, but there is no 200mg preparation in tablet form. In 1996, 1.7 million 100mg Zyloric acid tablets and 3.3 million 300mg tablets were dispensed in the community in England. The net ingredient cost of 100 tablets was £10.96 for 100mg tablets and £28.07 for the 300mg tablets.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: The Government do not fund any organisation to campaign for or against abortion. Funding, via the Section 64 schemes and equivalent Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish schemes, is provided to assist national voluntary organisations with their central administrative costs. A number of grants are also awarded for projects which are innovative and of potential national significance, or which further the department's policy objectives by developing a particular pattern of service.
The Department for International Development funds a number of organisations involved in the provision of services, advice and information on reproductive health in poorer countries, including the United Nations Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. These organisations are opposed to the promotion of abortion as a method of family planning.
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