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Lord Williams of Mostyn: As an equal opportunities employer, the Prison Service is committed to increasing the numbers of ethnic minority staff which it employs at all levels, consistent with fair and open competition and with recruitment and promotion on merit. Measures taken include the following:
Job simulation and assessment centres (JSACs) for the recruitment of prison officers support the devolved recruitment of prison officers. Latest figures for the year to 31 March 1998 indicate that approximately 7 per cent. of people succeeding at JSACs are from ethnic minorities: a three-fold increase on previous figures for people joining the Prison Service;
Prison Service staff are taking part in the national mentoring scheme, which seeks to benefit ethnic minority undergraduates by pairing them with management level staff who act as their mentors.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: No. The Sri Lankan Government is aware that we attach the highest priority to countering any activity in the United Kingdom by international terrorists and their supporters. Where there is credible evidence that organisations or individuals are involved in terrorism, action is taken. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary announced last year the Government's intention to publish a consultation paper on the future of the United Kingdom's counter-terrorism legislation. This will include proposals to increase powers to deal with fund-raising by terrorists. The Government also intend to bring forward legislation which will make it illegal to conspire in this country to commit terrorists acts abroad.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: A copy of these papers is held by the Speaker's Office and by the Home Office. Successive Speakers have directed that the unpublished papers of Speaker's Conferences should be publicly available only on the expiry of 50 years and then subject to the consent of the Speaker in office in respect of each application for access to them.
Lord Dubs: The Government do not intend to grant amnesty to those prisoners released as a consequence of the Belfast Agreement. Prisoners who are released will continue to serve their sentences on licence in the community and will be recalled should they breach the terms of their licence. The Government do not intend to consult victims or their families on those parts of the agreement relating to prisoners. The agreement in its entirety will be put to the peoples of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has previously commissioned a report and recommendations from Sir Kenneth Bloomfield on taking forward recognition of victims of violence. Sir Kenneth's report will be published on 13 May.
Lord Dubs: Terrorism is defined in Section 20 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act as "the use of violence for political ends and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public, or any section of the public in fear". The word "paramilitary" is not defined in legislation. In the Northern Ireland context, however, it is widely used to describe acts, including terrorist acts, committed by members of terrorist organisations.
Lord Dubs: The paper referred to in my Statement to Parliament of 20 April and placed in the Library of the House on that day set out how the commitments in the Belfast Agreement in relation to prisoners would be implemented. Under the proposed arrangements, prisoners who qualify to be considered will be prisoners convicted in Northern Ireland of scheduled offences and sentenced to life imprisonment or to fixed sentences of five years or more as well as transferred prisoners serving sentences for similar offences committed in Great Britain.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): The Government have accepted the overall target rate of return on capital employed as recommended by the Review Board in its report. The new rate will be 22.2 per cent. compared with the current rate of 20.95 per cent., both on the basis of historic costs. It will become effective immediately. The report has been printed and copies will be placed in the Library of the House.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): The two wind farms operated by ScottishPower, sited at Beinn an Tuirc and Cnoc Donn Arnicle to the west of Carradale, have a combined nominal capacity of 30 megawatts (MW) and a combined Declared Net Capacity (DNC) of 12.78 MW.
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