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The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): By accepted usage, the two jurisdictions in which the North/South Ministerial Council exercises its functions are sometimes referred to by their legal titles, and at other times by reference to less formal nomenclature. On this occasion the use of less formal terminology was felt to be appropriate.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): Together with his French and German colleagues, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary visited Tehran on 21 October for discussions on Iran's nuclear programme. They met President Khatami, Foreign Minister Kharrazi and the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Committee Hassan Rouhani. The discussions were aimed at underlining to the Iranian authorities the concerns of the international community regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions, and the necessity for Iran to comply fully with the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors' resolution adopted on 12 September.
This joint statement represents a good start to the process of resolving international concerns over Iran's nuclear programme and is welcomed as such. But it was also made clear to the Iranian interlocutors that the real test will be full and early implementation of the commitments they have offered. They know that the international community will be looking closely at the evidence in the next report of the IAEA director-general, which is due to be presented to the board of governors in early November.
The joint statement makes clear that, while implementation of the steps outlined should enable the IAEA board to resolve the immediate problem with Iran, there is also a longer-term issue. Britain, France and Germany remain ready to address that issue through dialogue with Iran on a basis for longer-term co-operation, which would provide all parties with satisfactory assurances about Iran's nuclear power generation programme. It was made clear that it is only once international concerns are fully resolved that Iran could expect easier access to modern technology and supplies.
The visit has demonstrated the value of a united approach between Britain, France and Germany, working to uphold the decisions of the IAEA and its board of governors, and consistent with the common approach to Iran agreed by several European Councils.
The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): The average property price paid by first-time buyers has increased by 133.6 per cent, from an average of £46,489 in 1995 to £108,591 in the second quarter of 2003. Over the same period, average first-time buyer incomes have increased by only 70.3 per cent, from £18,697 in 1995 to £31,841 in Q2 203.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Defence Export Services Organisation of the Ministry of Defence has responsibility for the promotion of defence export sales of jet trainers.
What importance they attach, during the current European Union presidency working party discussions on the draft Directive on Articles of Precious Metal, to the need for harmonised trade in such articles to have a high level of consumer protection secured by reliable third-party verification; and whether this objective is shared by other member states.[HL4890]
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Her Majesty's Government attach great importance to high consumer protection in this area, which we believe can best be achieved through a system of independent third-party checks. We have been liaising closely with a number of other member states who share our concerns in order to oppose this measure.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The tabular format was adopted in order to bring together in a simpler and clearer form the existing rules about the number of prices required to be displayed for food and wine with the new ones about soft drinks.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Wireless Telegraphy (Limitation of Number of Licences) Order 2003 was made under powers conferred by Section 164 of the Communications Act 2003. The order and the Act came into force on 25 July.
Section 164 of the Act permits the order to specify the frequencies and uses for which Ofcom will grant or make only a limited number of licences. The order must set out the criteria which Ofcom will apply in determining the limit and the persons to whom licences will be granted. (The order was made by the Secretary of State rather than Ofcom for the reasons given in the Explanatory Note to the order.)
The order does not set out a maximum number of licences available for frequencies and uses. This was not a requirement of Section 164. Further, the Secretary of State does not limit the availability of licences in that way. What happens is that factors such as technical frequency assignment criteria and criteria relating to persons who may be awarded licences operate to determine the limit on the number of licences granted and the persons to whom they are granted.
Schedule 2 to the order concerns the class of licences for broadband fixed wireless access at 28 GHz. Licences are only awarded to persons by a competition (as indicated in part 2 of the schedule). The fact that licences are awarded in this way is a factor which inevitably limits the number of licences which are available at any given time and the persons to whom they are awarded. The ability of applicants to meet the terms of licences will also be a factor limiting the numbers of licences (as described in Article 4(c) of the order). There are no further specific criteria limiting numbers so "none" was inserted in part 3 of the Schedule.
Schedule 9 concerns the class of licence for amateur radio at a range of frequencies. Part 2 of the schedule sets out the criteria relating to persons to whom licences are awarded. Those criteria, together with the ability of applicants to meet the terms of licences, are the only factors limiting the numbers of licences. Amateurs who fulfil the criteria specified in part 2 of the schedule may all share use of the same spectrum. There were no further specific criteria limiting numbers so "none" was inserted in part 3 of the schedule.
Schedule 10 concerns the class of technology development radio licences, which may be at any frequency approved case by case where no undue interference results to other authorised services. Criteria for this class were in fact specified in both parts 2 and 3 of schedule 10.
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