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The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): I am grateful for this suggestion. It would not be practicable, for reasons of space, to include a complete list of Questions answered on the cover page of the Official Report. However, officials are actively examining ways to include a numerical index at the back, in addition to the existing alphabetical index. I shall write to the noble Lord when the results of this work are known.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): Each case is considered by the Official Solicitor individually, but in general the Official Solicitor will write in the first language of the recipient of correspondence. However, in order to contain translation costs (whether payable from public or private funds) the Official Solicitor may respond in English where it appears the authority or lawyer concerned is fluent in English or has ready translation facilities.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) was given a concession for the M6 toll (formerly the Birmingham northern relief road) in 1992. Under the Concession Agreement MEL is responsible for all aspects of the M6
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Disinfecting tablets were introduced in prisons in England and Wales in September 1995 as a public health measure but were withdrawn shortly afterwards because of concerns about their safety. Following tests by the Health and Safety Executive, they were successfully reintroduced, on a trial basis, at 11 establishments in 199899. The Prison Service has invited tenders for a consultancy to design and implement a strategy to make disinfecting tablets available at all establishments in England and Wales over the next 12 months.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Statistics on stops and searches under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act are published annually in Arrests for Notifiable Offences and the Operation of Certain Police Powers under PACE. A copy of the most recent bulletin is in the Library.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): In line with emerging international standards for machine readable travel documents, the United Kingdom Passport Service (UKPS) is investigating the possible inclusion of fingerprints or iris scans as a back-up technology to
Lord Filkin: Irrespective of the method of entry to the United Kingdom, an asylum claim is bound to fail unless a claimant can, amongst other things, demonstrate that he is outside the country of his nationality or place of habitual residence and is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country. The claim of any asylum seeker who fails to reveal what country he is claiming asylum from would therefore be refused.
Lord Filkin: When an asylum seeker living in National Asylum Support Service contracted accommodation receives a final determination on their application support continues for 21 days following a negative decision in the case of single asylum seekers, support continues for families with children under 18 until they are removed or they leave the United Kingdom voluntarily or until they fail to comply with removal directions.
Where it is not currently possible for a failed asylum seeker to return to their country of origin following a negative decision, an application may be made for support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 is provided on a full-board basis and accommodation is generally outside the London area.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): As at 20 May 2003, coalition forces had initiated investigations into 99 sites within Iraq which may be connected to programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction. Investigations have been initiated into a further 53 sites identified since the conflict began. The majority of these sites are outside of the area of operations of British forces. We expect further sites to be identified as investigations progress.
Lord Bach: There is a routine programme to change over Tornado F3 airframes stationed in the Falkland Islands. This can be carried out either by flying the planes direct or by transporting them disassembled in a military C-17 or a civilian-chartered AN124 aircraft. There is no extant requirement to carry a Tornado F3 or its successor (Typhoon) in an A400M aircraft. In the event that the United Kingdom decided that such a capability was desired, a loading trial would be required.
Lord Bach: The Manual of Military Law has not been formally withdrawn. A new manual which will deal with the law of armed conflict for all three services, and which will for the Army replace Part III of the manual (The Law of War on Land), is in course of preparation. It is intended that this manual should
Legal advisers are available to commanders at all appropriate levels in the operational chain of command, and they have access to the legal resources necessary to enable them properly to advise. The Rules of Engagement under which United Kingdom Armed Forces operate in any overseas theatre of military operations are always consistent with the UK's international law obligations, and with the provisions of UK domestic law that apply to personnel serving overseas.
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