Spoken Interventions in the House of Lords


To read the details of the following interventions in House of Lords debates and questions please click on this link:

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Results 1-20 of 406 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] (19 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the topicality of today’s debate was underlined in the headlines in the weekend newspapers, saying that the stem cell revolution has ended the need to use human embryos. I should like to turn back to that question in the substantive part of my remarks, but before doing so I should like also to touch briefly on one point just alluded to by the noble Baroness, that of the prospect that…

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] (19 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble and learned Lord may have misheard me. I was talking about the equally contentious issue of assisted dying in order to make the point that that Select Committee, which inevitably did not reach a conclusion, was nonetheless able to inform the debate by producing weighty documents based not entirely on taking soundings on public opinion, as the noble Baroness just said, but…

Africa: Arms Trade (14 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the recent report published by Oxfam and others on the economic and human costs of conflict in Africa; and what prospects there are for the ratification of a global arms trade treaty.

Africa: Arms Trade (14 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. However, will he confirm the findings of the authors of the report that conflict in Africa over the past decade or so has cost a staggering $300 billion and that it is estimated that every year it costs $18 billion-roughly the equivalent amount of money that the rest of the world puts into Africa in aid and development? Does he accept that…

Terrorism: Charities and NGOs (23 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, can the Minister tell us who was responsible for the killing on 17 October of three humanitarian workers working on behalf of the World Food Programme in Darfur to try to deliver food aid there? What does he say to the comment of the co-ordinator of the United Nations humanitarian affairs group that there was a 100 per cent increase in attacks on humanitarian aid workers in August…

Results 1-20 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Terrorism: Charities and NGOs (23 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, can the Minister tell us who was responsible for the killing on 17 October of three humanitarian workers working on behalf of the World Food Programme in Darfur to try to deliver food aid there? What does he say to the comment of the co-ordinator of the United Nations humanitarian affairs group that there was a 100 per cent increase in attacks on humanitarian aid workers in August…

Debt and Pensions Advice (15 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, what is the current level of personal indebtedness in the United Kingdom compared with 10 years ago? Will he also reflect on the social consequences of indebtedness and those agencies which encourage indebtedness in this country?

Education: 10-year Strategy (26 Jul 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I, too, welcome the Statement and reinforce the points made by the noble Baronesses, Lady Morris and Lady Walmsley, about the importance of celebrating the achievements of young people. I commend to the Minister the successful good citizenship awards given by Liverpool John Moores University, where I hold a chair. Over 10 years, they have been extended and expanded into 1,000 schools in the…

Hong Kong (27 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, did the Minister see the BBC reports last week aboutthe imprisonment and the beating up in jail of the Chinese human rights activist, the blind, barefoot lawyer Chen Guang Cheng? When the Minister has had discussions with the Government of China, has he raised human rights issues? Has he raised the censoring of internet access to search engines, which deprives people in China of the…

Rainforests (12 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, returning to the question raised by the noble Lord, Lord Eden, what is being done to ensure that the funds reach the intended recipients? In a country such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 4 million people have died in the past 15 years, which is regularly plundered by its neighbours and where there is no civil society worth talking about, what guarantees do we have that…

Multi-cultural Britain (7 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, it is a pleasure to be able to speak in support of my noble friend Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick, who opened today’s debate in such a thoughtful and challenging way. I shall talk about the achievements of the abolitionist movement and adduce some contemporary lessons. Recently, I took my children to see the excellent new film “Amazing Grace”. Its title is drawn from the hymn composed…

Burma: Karen (24 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, is the Minister aware that Sunday will be the 17th anniversary of the 1990 elections in Burma, when the National League for Democracy won more than 80 per cent of the seats? It will also be the day, one year on, when the extension of the house arrest order on Aung San Suu Kyi will expire. Will he take this opportunity to support the statement made recently by the noble Baroness, Lady…

Liverpool: European Capital of Culture (15 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, beyond the plaudits and the commendation of the Merseyside Police Authority and the city of Liverpool for winning the status of Capital of Culture, will the Minister return to the Question put to her by the right reverend Prelate about the inconsistencies in public policy? How can it be right that over the past two years Merseyside Police’s budget has been cut by £12 million, so…

Prisons: Anti-corruption Squads (10 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the noble and learned Lord reflect for a moment on the importance of education inside our prisons-prisons such as Lancaster Farms where I saw for myself the education programme-and the powerful effect that it can have on weaning young people away from drug misuse, recidivism and re-entry into criminality? Does he agree that in working with those responsible for…

Stem Cell Research (3 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, although I disagree with my noble friend Lord Patel about the use of human embryos for these research purposes, I congratulate him on initiating today’s debate and on the way in which he introduced it. Two seminars recently held in the Moses Room explored stem cell policy, the policy that led to our refusal to sign the 1997 European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and…

Zimbabwe: Non-governmental Organisations (2 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that one of the guarantees that can be given to NGOs and civil society is the presence of a free press and free media in a country such as Zimbabwe? Does he not agree that the capricious licensing system used to stifle the freedoms of the press in Zimbabwe is not a good augury for what might happen to the NGOs? What does he make of the decision of the South…

Sudan and Chad (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their assessment of the current humanitarian and security situation in Darfur and Chad.

Sudan and Chad (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, as the hourglass recorded at the weekend, on the fourth anniversary of the war in Darfur with reports of the Sudanese military continuing to bomb Darfur, some 4 million people are now dependent on aid, some 2 million people have been displaced, and some 400,000 people have been killed during the conflict. Can the Minister tell the House when the heavy-duty package which he referred…

Zimbabwe (26 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the Minister rightly emphasised the importance of the role of both President Mbeki and the African Union. What discussions was he able to have with President John Kufuor in his capacity as chairman of the African Union during his recent state visit here? The Minister has laid a lot of emphasis on the importance of European Union countries imposing things such as travel restrictions,…

India: Dalits (26 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of India about human rights and exploitation of the Dalits in India.

India: Dalits (26 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. Is she aware that 200 years ago William Wilberforce described what he called “the cruel shackles” of the caste system as, “a detestable expedient … a system at war with truth and nature”? With the launch this week of the film “India’s Hidden Slavery”, which highlights the violence, exploitation and discrimination experienced by India’s 167…

Sudan: Darfur (20 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What action is being taken by the United Nations Security Council, in light of the Government of Sudan’s decision to prevent the deployment of a new peacekeeping force in Darfur, to ensure the creation of effective peacekeeping arrangements in the region.

Sudan: Darfur (20 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, when the British ambassador to the United Nations last week rebuked Sudan for its failure to allow the hybrid UN/AU force into Darfur, he said that there had to be a firm response to the continued provocation. I wonder what specific sanctions the Minister had in mind from the list that he has just given to the House. Do the Government now favour disinvestment, the freezing of assets…

Zimbabwe: International Crisis Group (13 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, given the failure of President Mbeki and others to speak out vocally against what is happening in Zimbabwe, would not the visit this week by President John Kufuor of Ghana, who has just taken over the presidency of the African Union, be an ideal moment to raise this issue with him and to engage a nation such as his in trying to broker a way forward in a country that is seeing not…

English Teaching: Immigrant Workers (6 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, is the Minister aware of the continuing concerns of people such as Asylum Link Merseyside, on whose behalf I wrote to his department at the beginning of last month, that there will be cuts affecting asylum seekers and refugees? What does he have to say to them about the detrimental effects that this would have on community cohesion and integration? When does he expect to be in a…

Results 21-40 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Chad: Refugees (27 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the security and well-being of Darfurian refugees in Chad.

Chad: Refugees (27 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply. Will he confirm that it is now estimated that there are 380,000 refugees in the refugee camps on the border between Chad and Darfur? They are drawn from the Central African Republic as well as from Chad and Darfur. Ground-to-air missiles have been provided by the Sudanese Government to Chadian rebels, and there is the continued arming of the…

Palliative Care Bill [HL] (23 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, my noble friend Lady Finlay of Llandaff has rendered a great service to your Lordships’ House by introducing her excellent and timely Bill. I think that we were all moved by the powerful speeches that were made in this debate, and by none more so than those of my noble friends Lady O’Neill of Bengarve and Lady Masham of Ilton, and of the noble Baroness, Lady Gardner of Parkes. I was…

Palliative Care Bill [HL] (23 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord, who was a supporter of the Bill of my noble friend Lord Joffe in favour of assisted suicide, and who has represented the Voluntary Euthanasia Society on occasion in the courts, has expressed his views on other occasions. Members of your Lordships’ House may measure them against what he has said today. We have no right to tell a physician that they must judge a person’…

Schools: GCSE History (21 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords-

Schools: GCSE History (21 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that issues such as the Holocaust, famine and slavery are proper ones to be investigated by history students in our schools? However, there is a danger of conflating history with an examination in citizenship. Is it not the case that only in this country would we turn something like community service into a punishment to be dispensed by the courts? We are in…

Climate Change: UN Report (7 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, on that point, have the Government taken into account what the Stern report and this international panel of experts have said about the danger of tidal surges-not least the consequences for London, the public transportation system in London and the Thames barrier?

Sudan: Darfur (30 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I believe that all noble Lords will want to thank the Minister for the way in which he answered the debate and wish him Godspeed as he returns to Africa to Addis Ababa to the important talks in which he plays such a significant part. He knows that he has the whole confidence of your Lordships’ House in the incredibly important work that he is undertaking. I thank all noble Lords who…

Sudan: Darfur (30 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking, along with international partners, to secure peace in Darfur. My Lords, I make no apology for asking the House to return again to the situation in Darfur. The only thing to have changed since my visit there in October 2004 has been the exponential increase in the number of fatalities. It is estimated that as many as 400,000 people have…

Sudan: Darfur (23 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome what the Leader of the House has just told us, but can I draw her back to the statement of the UN aid agencies? They say that, without decisive intervention, the humanitarian situation will be irreversibly jeopardised. They point out that access has already been compromised and is worse than at any time since April 2004, and that in the past six months 400 aid workers have…

Medical Research: Animal Eggs (9 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in trying to strike the balance that the noble Lord has mentioned, will he take into account the views of Professor Austin Smith, of the University of Cambridge, who said as recently as 18 December in the Times that cloning research has limited potential for treating disease and that, “there are real question marks about whether it has any utility at all”? Is it not the case that…

Zimbabwe (8 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the noble Baroness ensure that in discussions with our European Union colleagues the depredations of the regime are not lost sight of, not least the reduction in life expectancy in Zimbabwe, especially among women, and the levels of child mortality and malnutrition in the country? Will she ensure that the remarks of the Archbishop of Bulawayo, who spoke to Members of both Houses…

Slavery (19 Dec 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, my noble friend, the indomitable and indefatigable Lady Cox, has once again laid a Question of singular importance before your Lordships’ House for debate. Commemoration on 22 February 2007 of the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade is of course right, but we are also right, as preceding speakers have said, to note that contemporary forms of slavery persist on a vast…

Burma: Ethnic National Groups (7 Dec 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in addition to the barbarities that my noble friend has described taking place inside the Karen state, does the Minister accept the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, that we must do more to aid and support the 120,000 to 140,000 people who have for up to 40 years been in the festering camps along the Thai-Burmese border? What role did Her Majesty’s Government play recently…

North Korea: Nuclear Test (30 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, this has been a characteristically well informed debate and a timely one. I agree with the Minister when he said that there has been widespread agreement from all parts of your Lordships’ House about the importance of holding together the three strands of humanitarian concerns, human rights and security questions. Among the recurring themes expressed by many have been the…

North Korea: Nuclear Test (30 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to call attention to the implications of North Korea’s decision to conduct its first nuclear test; and to move for Papers. My Lords, in moving the Motion, I should like to thank in advance all those Members of your Lordships’ House who are to participate in the debate, and I should like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to raise the matter today. This is the third occasion on…

Debate on the Address (20 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in the gracious Speech, reference was made to North Korea and Darfur. On Thursday last, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office organised a welcome discussion with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korea, Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn. During our discussions, I referred to the 2 million people who starved to death in North Korea, the 200,000 people who languish in modern-day…

Education and Inspections Bill (30 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Baker, explained this point and mildly admonished me earlier for raising it. He has admitted that this is not the amendment which he tabled a week ago, which proposed a centrally imposed quota. The amendment now passes that power to local authorities. If the amendment is successful, they will be able to decide whether to impose a quota of up to25 per cent. That…

Education and Inspections Bill (30 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, what will that lead to? It will lead to debate taking place in every local authority up and down the land. What will that lead to in turn? It will lead to a patchwork quilt. I give noble Lords an example-it is not hypothetical. During the 1980s, many noble Lords will have followed events in Liverpool. If an ideologically motivated city council takes it into its head to oppose…

Education and Inspections Bill (30 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Baroness makes a good point. She will know that I believe in integration. I am a patron of the Belfast trust which worked for integrated education in Northern Ireland. I am married to an Anglican, with eight ordained Anglican clergy on my wife’s side of the family. I work with Muslims, Jews and many others to bring about some sense of social cohesion in places such as…

Results 41-60 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Education and Inspections Bill (30 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I oppose the amendment. I do not want to rehearse all the arguments that I put to your Lordships on Report-I know that we all want to make progress. I enjoyed the knock-about to which the noble Lord, Lord Baker, treated us earlier, but I think that he sometimes underestimates the passion that ordinary Catholics feel about this issue. I do not refer to the Catholic Church but to…

Education and Inspections Bill (30 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord. I would just like to say to him that although I too am a great admirer of the Archbishop of Birmingham and have known him for probably30 years, I have not actually spoken to him once about this Bill during its proceedings. He is more than capable of reading Hansard and seeing what the noble Lord has said. What I was agreeing with the noble Lord about…

Education and Inspections Bill (30 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, replies, I would simply say in support of the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Baker, that there has been coherence to the debate thus far and most noble Lords anticipated that we would come to a conclusion on these questions before the dinner break. Many of the points that would need to be made during the course of the debate have already been made…

Education and Inspections Bill (30 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I would not like the noble Lord to leave that point on the record as it is, because I did not say that. What I made clear, I hope, in my remarks and in my speech last week on Report was that where a community has made considerable sacrifice to build a school, it should have rights to send its children to the school that they have contributed towards, whereas if quotas are imposed,…

Education and Inspections Bill (30 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, as one of the signatories to this amendment I am happy to support the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, who has so ably moved it today. In answer to the noble Earl, it is worth mentioning a letter from Christine Gilbert, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Ofsted, which was sent to the Minister in the last day or so. She says: “I believe that it will be possible for inspectors to make a…

Education and Inspections Bill (24 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, because of the uncoupling of these amendments we are revisiting issues that we discussed last week. I therefore do not intend to rehearse arguments that I have already put to your Lordships’ House and to extend this debate unduly. I should like, however, to make one or two comments about the contributions today. The noble Lord, Lord Wedderburn, was particularly critical of what he…

Education and Inspections Bill (24 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I do not think your Lordships will want me to go into great detail about The God Delusion but I have read Dawkins’s book. I can only say to the noble Lord, Lord Wedderburn, that although Professor Dawkins is unable to believe in God, I am glad that God still believes in him.

Education and Inspections Bill (24 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I associate myself with the remarks of the noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, regarding the IGCSE, the international baccalaureate and AS-levels. I touched on some of those points at Second Reading. I would like to draw the attention of the House to Amendment No. 99, standing in my name in this group, which also returns to an issue that I raised at Second Reading and concerns youngsters…

Education and Inspections Bill (17 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, has just mentioned the relevance of religion in society today. I was recently asked by a young woman what she should study at university next year, given that she has an interest in politics. She asked me about studying economics, and I said I thought that in the present world climate, theology would probably be her best option. Without an…

Education and Inspections Bill (17 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the noble Baroness touched on that point, she mentioned what she described as the vested interests that RE teachers might have and it seemed to me that she was diminishing the importance of the role of religious education. I am happy to hear her clarification. I want to speak to those amendments in the group which seek to impose a mandatory quota on new faith schools and…

Northern Ireland (16 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I join others in wholeheartedly welcoming the agreement. I welcome also the efforts made by the Minister, his colleagues, the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach. When the Member for North Antrim, the Reverend Ian Paisley, becomes the First Minister in Northern Ireland, he will be entitled to the support of all parts of the community. Was it not always the case that when he and Gerry…

North Korea: Nuclear Test (9 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I remind the House of my non-financial interest as chairman of the All-Party British-North Korea Group. In the 1990s some 2 million people died in North Korea as a result of the violations which took place in that excessively Stalinist regime. That should have concentrated the minds of the country’s leaders on tackling their domestic problems rather than using nuclear weapons. Does…

Education and Inspections Bill (21 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, Thomas Gradgrind famously opens Hard Times by stating his education philosophy: “Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them”. Happily, in these times, I doubt…

Burma: UN Security Council (19 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What steps they are taking to ensure that the United Nations Security Council discusses the report of the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ibrahim Gambari, following his meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi; and the upsurge in violence in the Karen state.

Burma: UN Security Council (19 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. Will he reflect on the fact that on this, Aung San Suu Kyi’s 61st birthday, it is 16 years since the National League for Democracy won 82 per cent of the seats in the Parliament in Myanmar and that for many of those years she has been kept under virtual house arrest? Recently, in Karen state, to which the Minister referred, the upsurge in violence…

Sudan: Darfur (18 May 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What are their current estimates of the total fatalities and numbers of displaced people in Darfur and what their assessment is of progress in ending the conflict.

Sudan: Darfur (18 May 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, with as many as 400,000 people dead, 90 per cent of Darfur’s villages razed to the ground, 2 million people now displaced and the killing and rape persisting while we speak, with attacks on humanitarian workers persisting, and World Food Programme rationing reduced to semi-starvation levels, is it not the case that Darfur is tragically still far from being at peace and that for far…

Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL] (12 May 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, this is the third time that a Bill of this kind has been laid before your Lordships’ House. We have had a full Select Committee, 21 hours of parliamentary debate on the issue, 10 sitting days of the Select Committee of your Lordships’ House and, of course, visits to three foreign countries to look at the law there. It is quite clear from this very balanced debate that there is no…

Zimbabwe: African Commission Report (4 May 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the Minister expand on the remarks of the Foreign Secretary on 26 April that he hoped that China would play a role in helping to resolve the problems in countries such as Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burma? Given China’s track record on human rights issues, does the Minister think that that is a realistic expectation? Has there been a response from that Government?

Bulgaria: Michael Shields (2 May 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, although I understand why the Minister would not want to interfere in the judicial process in Bulgaria or comment on the safety of the conviction of Michael Shields, surely she is in a position to comment on the disgraceful decision of the Bulgarian authorities not to allow the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Liverpool during his visit to Bulgaria to see Michael Shields for the…

Results 61-80 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Housing: Home Information Packs (24 Apr 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, has the Minister seen the suggestion in today’s newspapers that the cost of housing is likely to double again in the next decade? What hope does she hold out for first-time buyers, especially young people, who are desperately trying to get onto the home ownership ladder?

Afghanistan: Death Penalty (28 Mar 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does not the Minister agree that the debate about Sharia law needs to be held when people face execution not just in Afghanistan, but elsewhere? Every man and woman has the right to hold the religious beliefs, or no beliefs, of their choice, as well as the right to change them if they so wish. In that respect, does not the Minister strongly welcome the sensitive debate initiated by…

Democratic Republic of Congo (27 Mar 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the House is greatly indebted to the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Winchester for providing us with this rare and welcome opportunity to debate the catastrophic situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I wholeheartedly endorse the remarks that he made earlier. Imagine for a moment that we woke up tomorrow and read a newspaper headline that told us that the whole of the…

Kenya: Press Freedom (7 Mar 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that in addition to the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Steel, this represents a tragedy for Africa generally, because so many people looked at the peaceful transition from the government of Daniel arap Moi as an example of how regimes could be changed through democracy and the ballot box; and that this retrograde step will therefore reflect badly not just…

China: Human Rights (6 Feb 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What account is taken of human rights violations and limits imposed on individual liberties when determining bilateral relations with China.

China: Human Rights (6 Feb 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, following the arrest of the blind Chinese human rights activist, Cheng Guangcheng, for protesting against the compulsory sterilisation or abortion of 7,000 women in one county of the Shandong province over a four-month period and following the continued imprisonment or torture of political and religious dissenters in China, how do Her Majesty’s Government view Google’s self-serving…

Northern Ireland (11 Jan 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, is there not a danger that the Government will be in a position where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t? Many of us should be grateful to both the Secretary of State and the Minister for the wisdom they have exercised in making this move today. Is the Minister not right to point us towards the long-term problem that remains? Looking at models elsewhere in the world…

Iran (16 Nov 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, following a visit to the camps on the Iran/Iraq border, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Slynn of Hadley, put forward authoritative findings and called for the de-proscription of the Iranian resistance. What consideration is being given to the noble and learned Lord’s recommendations? Does he not agree that it is a paradox that we recognise a state where, as the noble Baroness said,…

Jordan and Libya (15 Nov 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I take this opportunity-perhaps the first we have had-to express the condolences of our House to the people of Jordan following the terrible atrocities that occurred there a few days ago. Does the Minister agree that the popular outpouring of protest on the streets of Jordan against the works of al-Qaeda demonstrates that many Muslim people worldwide see the nature of…

Empty Dwellings (9 Nov 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords-

Empty Dwellings (9 Nov 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, what correspondence or communication has the Minister had with the Housing Corporation about the number of housing association properties currently standing empty? Will he ask the Housing Corporation to advise him on those numbers and to tell him why local authorities in cities such as Liverpool, in areas which are supposed to be subject to regeneration, have to take action against…

Racial and Religious Hatred Bill (25 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I accept the noble Baroness’s point. I said in my preliminary remarks that there is a difference. However, my key point is that legislation has generated vexatious actions. Such legislation will be inciteful: it will generate from different groups complaints against other groups. It will create sectarianism where perhaps none existed hitherto. That is the real danger of this kind of legislation.

Racial and Religious Hatred Bill (25 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The Committee will also want to take that issue into account as it considers how we should proceed. I have said enough. I think that this is a good amendment. It honours the commitment that many entered into at Second Reading to try to find a way forward, recognising the political realities that pertain. I hope that even if the Government resist the amendment today, they will enter into the…

Racial and Religious Hatred Bill (25 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the amendment and I strongly agree with the sentiments expressed by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lyell, when he reminded us that the purpose of the amendment was to deal with the question of intention or incitement. The whole Chamber should recognise that a valuable and helpful attempt has been made by the noble Lords, Lord Lester and Lord Hunt of Wirral, in laying this new…

Kashmir (25 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in view of the deteriorating weather conditions in Kashmir, can the Minister tell the House the number of tents that have been flown into Kashmir and how many are required? Can he say something about the reconstruction of roads to ensure that the more remote regions can be reached?

Racial and Religious Hatred Bill (11 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the 20th century saw more Christian martyrs than the previous 19 centuries combined. Of the world’s 6 billion inhabitants, more than half live in countries where being a Christian could cost you your life. By way of example, the systematic and routine imprisonment and torture of religious believers-Christians, Buddhists and Falangong-in China is well documented. So are…

Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill: Select Committee Report (10 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before my noble friend sits down, would he address the point he made about the number of assisted suicides in Oregon? He said that the figure has remained steady over the period of seven years, when in fact the latest report issued on 10 March this year by the Department of Human Services in Oregon includes a graph indicating that there has been an increase of over 200 per cent over…

Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill: Select Committee Report (10 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, when we last debated the issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide I set out my own reasons for opposing such a change in the law, but I supported the reference of these complex questions to a Select Committee. Along with others in your Lordships’ House today I should like to pay tribute to the Select Committee for the honourable and diligent way in which it has discharged its duties…

Democratic Republic of Congo: Arms Embargo (13 Jul 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the Minister also confirm that, during the period in which African International Airways was acting as the carrier for these arms and the investigation was under way, it was still undertaking work for Her Majesty’s Government? Will he also confirm that, during that period, some 250 tonnes of arms-more than 5 million rounds of machine-gun ammunition and rocket propelled…

Asylum Seekers: Repatriation (12 Jul 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the noble Baroness the Minister accept that the original Question concerned the repatriation of failed asylum seekers? In the light of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and the removal of nearly 100,000 people at least from their homes, bulldozed by Robert Mugabe’s forces, can the Minister tell the House whether those new circumstances have now been taken into account in…

Results 81-100 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Slavery (7 Jul 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in his eloquent speech in opening our debate today, my noble friend Lord Sandwich reminded us that 2007 will be the bicentenary of the abolition of Britain’s role in the transatlantic slave trade. In her moving and very powerful speech, the noble Baroness, Lady Howells of St Davids, reminded us of the continuing legacy from our own time in that trade. Many noble Lords have reminded…

G8: Gleneagles Summit Costs (6 Jul 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister accept that the real cost of Gleneagles will be measured against its effectiveness in dealing with issues such as aid, trade and debt? Will she weigh against these costs the cost in human lives in equatorial Africa and confirm that as many as 400,000 people are now estimated to have died in Darfur? Does she recognise what the Secretary-General of the United Nations…

Street Children in Latin America (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the governments of Latin American countries about the plight of street children. My Lords, I thank all those who are going to participate in this evening’s debate about the plight of the street children in Latin America. While we were in another place, the noble Baroness, Lady Golding, who is unable to be here tonight…

G8: African Issues (21 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords-

Africa Commission (20 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Park of Monmouth, has been an indefatigable champion of the suffering people of Zimbabwe. In opening the debate, she was right to remind us of their plight. Conflict in that benighted country-a conflict initiated and sustained by its own leaders-is creating a hell on earth. Unless violence and corruption are tackled head-on, it is simply fanciful…

Africa: Aid and Corruption (20 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, has the noble Baroness the Leader of the House had a chance to read the recently published report of Human Rights Watch, The Curse of Gold, about the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the 3.5 million deaths over the past decade-more deaths than in any other theatre since World War Two-are closely linked to the corruption of that country and plundering of its resources?…

Kent and Sussex: Water Shortages (13 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, when the Minister looks at overall housing needs, does she take into account population drift from areas such as the north-west of England? In a city such as Liverpool, more than three-quarters of a million people were resident in the 1950s, but only about 340,000 are there today. Does she accept that programmes such as Pathways, which further threaten Georgian and Victorian terraces…

Sudan: Darfur (7 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the recent estimate by the Coalition for International Justice that up to 400,000 people may now have died in Darfur in the Sudan.

Sudan: Darfur (7 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome the noble Baroness to her role and thank her for that reply. I recall that only yesterday the ICC referral would have been welcome news to many who have asked that those responsible for the terrible atrocities in Darfur should be brought to justice. Will the Minister also bear in mind the depressing experiences in Bosnia and agree that this should not become a substitute…

Address in Reply to Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech (19 May 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in his prescient remarks at the outset of our debate, the noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford, reminded us that the gracious Address was silent about the rising power of Asia. I would add only two words to that thought-North Korea. I serve as chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea. We have been increasingly concerned about security issues and revelations…

Sudan: Darfur (5 Apr 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their latest estimate of the number of those who have died or been displaced in Darfur, Sudan, following the recent United Nations report.

Sudan: Darfur (5 Apr 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I strongly welcome the role that Her Majesty’s Government played in securing the passage of Resolution 1593 in particular, referring those responsible for war crimes to the International Criminal Court. However, the Minister will have seen the report published last week by a House of Commons Select Committee entitled Darfur, Sudan: The responsibility to protect. It was critical,…

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for returning to this question and answering the points that have been made. I particularly respect the positions that she has taken personally in the course of the Bill. Many of us were struck by the passion that she showed on Report, where she said that she would rather resign her ministerial office than introduce a Bill that allowed patient-assisted…

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I take the point that the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, is making. She is right to say that such things cut both ways, but it is precisely because of that that I want to see such a provision in the Bill. It would safeguard against the abuses that can occur, particularly where the advance decision is suicidally motivated. The amendment is about that specific set of circumstances. If…

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: moved Amendment No. 9: Page 34, line 39, at end insert- “(2) Nothing in this Act permits or authorises any decision made with a purpose of bringing about the death of a person (“P”). (3) Where a decision is made for a purpose or purposes not including the purpose mentioned in subsection (2), it is not within that subsection even if made with the belief that it will bring about P’s death.”

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the House will be relieved to know that this is the last amendment for our consideration today. Members of your Lordships’ House have been very patient in listening carefully to all the arguments advanced at Second Reading, in Committee, on Report and again today. These are issues of great moment. After all, in the United States at the moment the case of Terri Schiavo is occupying…

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I rise briefly to support the amendment standing in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, as I did at an earlier stage. Members of your Lordships’ House will recall that, when the amendment was tabled on the previous occasion, it was more widely drawn. There was some concern that it included the phrase “in any circumstances whatsoever”. I think that the noble Baroness, Lady…

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the noble Earl, Lord Howe, who introduced the amendment at an earlier stage and has rightly returned us to it today. These are, as the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, implied, Solomon’s judgments; they are difficult and complex questions. I am sure that my noble friend Lady Finlay is quite right that whatever decision we take, there will be agonising cases in the future where…

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, perhaps the noble Baroness will recall-it is in Hansard-that a record of each of the cases was in the debate last week. But I am very happy to meet her officials to give the identities of the people that I mentioned.

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I put my name to this amendment and have spoken in favour of there being a conscience clause provision in the Bill. I argued for that at Second Reading, in Committee and on Report. I think that your Lordships would be surprised if I did not briefly intervene to say again that I think that we should make belt-and-braces provision. At the heart of the argument is the comment made on…

Results 101-120 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Mental Capacity Bill (24 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am happy to help the noble Lord on that point. I, too, was looking at these amendments. Every one of the 94 amendments to which the noble Baroness referred is a government amendment. Of course, some of them reverse amendments that were passed in another place. The Member of Parliament for Knowsley North, for example, has moved amendments which have been replaced by Lords amendments…

Human Rights Act 1998: The Monarchy (23 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister nevertheless agree that to have a provision on our statute books that seems to challenge the loyalty of one specific section of the community in this country, one specific denomination, is itself something that should be addressed? The Prime Minister was right when he said at the beginning of the previous Parliament that this was an issue that he wanted to see…

North Korea: Nuclear Weapons (21 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the admission by the Government of North Korea that they possess nuclear weapons and to that Government’s failure to re-engage in the six-nations talks.

North Korea: Nuclear Weapons (21 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister share the view expressed by Condoleezza Rice this weekend in Beijing that China will be pivotal in persuading Kim Jong-il’s regime to return to the six-nation talks? Does she agree also that the threat posed to North Korea’s neighbours is probably equal only to the threat posed to the rest of the world when North Korea acts as quartermaster? North Korea sold uranium…

Mental Capacity Bill (17 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome that provision and I am grateful to the Government for having included it. If, for example, a cup of tea was put aside and the patient could not reach it because of his incapacity, that would now be a criminal offence. I think that the Minister is right to remind us that that provision is in the Bill.

Mental Capacity Bill (17 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I strongly support Amendment No. 38, which the noble Earl, Lord Howe, has moved. He is right to see the matter as being of a piece with the debates that we have had about best interests and intention and purposes-all the debates that have flowed through our Committee and Report proceedings. He is absolutely right to draw a distinction between the right of veto and the right of…

Mental Capacity Bill (17 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in Committee, I too raised the issues and brought to noble Lords’ attention the Joint Committee’s recommendations, the biomedicine convention and conflicts of interest. The Government have gone a long way to addressing a number of those questions, and I am grateful to them for that. When the Minister introduced the amendment, she said that there were no significant discrepancies…

Mental Capacity Bill (17 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I have added my name to Amendment No. 62, to which the noble Baroness, Lady Murphy, has just referred. I agree with her that the Government need to answer the points made by the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, in relation to that amendment. I know that the noble friend of the noble Baroness, Lady Andrews-she is just about to resume her place-reminded us at the Committee…

Mental Capacity Bill (17 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I agree with the noble Earl, Lord Howe. This is an extremely welcome amendment and one that is in very good faith. I am grateful to the Minister for incorporating it on the face of the Bill.

Mental Capacity Bill (17 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the amendment standing in the name of my noble friend. I also pay tribute to the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, who has just resumed her seat. She previously put before your Lordships’ House her Patient’s Protection Bill and has assiduously pursued this issue, believing, as she does, that we need to give every possible protection in the Bill to vulnerable people. I know that…

Mental Capacity Bill (17 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Carter, for reminding us of that. He will also confirm that throughout the consideration period Professor Finnis had extensive discussions with the department and ensured that this provision was placed in the Bill. But it is also important to recognise his view that this provision does not go quite far enough. I recognise also that the gap…

Mental Capacity Bill (17 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, on that point, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Carter, but does he recall that I raised at an earlier stage of our proceedings the case of Andrew Devine, who also entered a persistent vegetative state, on the same day as Tony Bland. He was a constituent of mine then, when I represented a constituency in Liverpool. The noble Lord will recall that it was at the Hillsborough…

Medical Graduates (15 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, can the Minister tell the House how many doctors and nurses now working in the United Kingdom are from Africa? Will he reflect on the criticisms made by the BMA yesterday that it is immoral to rely on thousands of people who are trained as doctors and nurses in Africa when we are not training enough graduates in this country to fill those needs?

Mental Capacity Bill (15 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the Minister sits down and further to that point, does she recall stating in your Lordships’ House on 27 January at col. 1505 of the Official Report that Clause 58 has no relevance to advance decisions, and that the Lord Chancellor himself said that in a letter to Archbishop Peter Smith on 18 January?

Mental Capacity Bill (15 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am happy to support Amendments Nos. 2, 4 and 10 tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Knight of Collingtree, to which I have added my name. In doing so we return to an issue that we debated in Committee, where the noble Earl, Lord Howe, had tabled an amendment. I had tabled a similar amendment on the issue of conscience. This is a logical debate to follow the one that we have just had…

Mental Capacity Bill (15 Mar 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for saying that. I will certainly let her have those details, and they will, of course, be in Hansard as well. Does she not accept, however-given everything the noble Lord, Lord Lester of Herne Hill, has said to the House about how provision already exists to protect people, and all these conscience opportunities-that if people are being…

Mental Capacity Bill (8 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the Minister. Could she identify the areas that, she feels, would be in addition to those that she has already identified about which information will already be in the public domain through the Office of the Public Guardian and others? My noble friend Lord Walton of Detchant raised a proper concern about not creating a bureaucratic nightmare for people in the NHS, and I agree…

Mental Capacity Bill (8 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the Minister for the points that she has made to the Committee. I shall reflect further on the matter. I think of the Abortion Act 1967 in this context. A careful reporting procedure was put in the Bill because of the concerns that people raised during its passage. In the past couple of years, there has been the example of that remarkable young Anglican clergywoman, Joanna…

Mental Capacity Bill (8 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: moved Amendment No. 178: After Clause 41, insert the following new clause- “NOTIFICATION AND REPORTING OF DECISIONS (1) The appropriate authority shall make provision by regulation for the maintenance of a record of all medical treatment decisions made by deputies and by donees of lasting powers of attorney, and the related information specified in subsection (5) below, and for that…

Mental Capacity Bill (8 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The amendment standing in my name and that of the noble Lord, Lord Brennan, and my noble friend Lady Masham of Ilton would insert a new clause that deals with the notification and reporting of decisions. The amendment is intended to provide a framework for monitoring decisions made by court-appointed deputies and attorneys. The Government are aware of the real fears about the powers that the…

Results 121-140 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Sudan: Darfur (8 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, whether the issue is referred to the International Criminal Court or to a local African tribunal, is not the real problem the attitude of the Sudanese Government? Did the noble Baroness note the defiant speech made at the weekend in Darfur at El Fasher by the Sudanese Vice-President, Ali Osman Taha? He said: “The Government will not accept any official to go to any (legal) organ…

United Nations Reform, and Conflict in Africa (2 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the whole House is indebted to my noble friend Lord Hannay for the clarity which he showed when he introduced the report, “A more secure world: Our shared responsibility”, and for the way in which he opened our debate today. The high-level panel’s report calls for a radical reappraisal of how we deal with conflict. In the case of Africa, this cannot come a day too soon. I want later…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the spirit of the amendments that the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, has tabled. In Amendments Nos. 174 and 175 the noble Lord is correct to direct us towards the affirmative procedures as being appropriate in such cases. The codes that we have discussed are of sufficient importance to warrant that level of parliamentary scrutiny and accountability. Anything less than that would send the…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support Amendment No. 167 proposed by the noble Earl. I know that the noble Baroness dislikes lists, but in the lines of WS Gilbert, she does not have this particular group on her list; she has seven other groups on her list, but she does not have people involved in research. Given the gravity of the debate that we had earlier today and the issues that were raised, the noble Earl is right to…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: In order to give the Committee some feel for the scale of the problem, can the Minister give some idea of the number of people who fall into the unbefriended or unsupported group, as it were? I refer to those people who are not in a position to receive the kind of support to which the noble Lord, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, referred earlier, who have loved ones and are supported by their families…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: It is the scale and scope that we are trying to put our fingers on. If the Minister cannot answer now perhaps she will do so in correspondence later, but can she give a figure of how many people that 20 per cent represents?

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Listening to what the noble Lord, Lord Pearson, and my noble friend had to say, I think that there is an argument that we have to appreciate and understand families who are giving loving support and who are advocates for those they care for. I would not want my amendments or those of my noble friend to conflict with that in any way. I am happy for continuing discussions to take place about…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I have added my name to this amendment, and I am happy to support the remarks made by the noble Baroness, Lady Barker. She, the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, and the noble Earl, Lord Howe, have proposed this amendment. Amendment No. 142, which is in my name and that of the noble Baroness, Lady Masham of Ilton, is grouped with it. The amendments-a great number of them are grouped together&#…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I, for one, am extremely grateful for the way in which the noble Baroness has responded to the arguments I advanced earlier. I guess that my noble friend Lady Chapman, will reply, as the person who moved the lead amendment in the group. However, I am very pleased at what the noble Baroness has said and look forward to corresponding with her between now and Report.

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the noble Baroness withdraws her amendment, I should like the Minister to return to a point that was raised earlier as regards the direct interest that a researcher might have with the person on whom research was taking place. Should a suitable barrier be in place so that no researcher should ever be able to give the authority for research to proceed?

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Amendment No. 127 is grouped with Amendment No. 107, which was moved by my noble friend Lady Chapman. Perhaps I may say in parenthesis that I strongly support the sentiments that she has just expressed. During our previous debate, we had some discussion about the safeguards of the use of medical research ethics committees. Quite a lot of store has been placed on them, following the…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: As the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, was moving Amendment No. 105, I was thinking of a piece of fiction written just after the Second World War by C S Lewis called That Hideous Strength. One of its central characters is Lord Feverston, a fictitious Member of your Lordships’ House, who sets up an organisation called NICE. The acronym stands for the National Institution of Co-ordinated…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The noble Lord brings great experience to this debate from his previous ministerial responsibilities. Does he accept that a linkage should be made between the specific condition of the patient and the research being carried out, so that there is a possibility that it might help or remedy the condition that the patient experiences, rather than just a wider and much vaguer idea of the general good?

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I would not want the silence at this stage of the debate on research to be misunderstood as agreement with carrying out research in these circumstances unless other safeguards are put in place. Without pre-empting my own Amendment No. 127 and amendments in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, and others, we will be having that debate a little later. This is almost a back-to-front…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I do not want to detain the Committee unduly, but the Minister has just said that if your Lordships agree to the amendments people would have treatments inflicted upon them that they did not want. Yet Amendment No. 98 categorically says, “save where that provision would harm the person or otherwise be unduly burdensome to him”.

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the noble Baroness sits down, I am very grateful for what she said about her willingness to reflect further on what the Joint Committee said about the inadequacies in the Bill. Will she consider a mechanism, before we reach Report stage, for discussing with opposition spokesmen and other Members of your Lordships’ House the possibility of taking those concerns into account?

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Does the noble Baroness want to clarify her remark about the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay? She is actually a signatory to my Amendment No. 98 and is a strong supporter of it. She believes that there is a need to strengthen these provisions, if not in precisely the way sought by some of the other amendments. However, the amendments were all grouped together.

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the noble Lord sits down, the whole Chamber will have been very moved by what the noble Lord has just said. I think that he will understand and agree that no Members of the Committee have been arguing for any kind of burdensome treatment. Indeed, I think that we all would have acted in the humane way in which the noble Lord has acted. Has the noble Lord, Lord Winston, had a chance to…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the noble Lord for raising that point. We have been advised that it does not disturb the Bland judgment. I have also discussed that assurance with the Minister, as I think the noble Lord is aware. Perhaps I may briefly reflect on an incident in Liverpool, where I was serving as a Member of Parliament at the time, resulting from the Hillsborough tragedy. On the same day that…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful for the forbearance of the Committee and will be brief. The Minister has been extremely helpful in what she has said this afternoon. If we can find some way of putting that sentiment in words, as my noble friend suggested, it would go a long way to assist the patient and the doctor. Everyone would benefit. As the Minister deliberates further on the spirit of the noble Earl’s…

Results 141-160 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: When the noble Baroness, Lady Knight, introduced her Patients’ Protection Bill to your Lordships’ House, I strongly supported what she sought to do. She has rendered the Committee a service today by tabling Amendment No. 92 for our consideration. I certainly support the spirit of her remarks. My amendments, Amendments Nos. 98 and 199, are grouped. Although they do not depart from the spirit of…

Mental Capacity Bill (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the spirit which lies behind the amendment moved by the noble Earl. My only concern is the way in which it is phrased and whether it takes into account sufficiently the criticisms that have been made by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which has looked at how conscience clauses work generally. It says in regard to this approach that it does not allow the doctor who does not want…

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Amendment No. 80, dealing with the issue of second opinions, is grouped with these amendments. Before speaking to it, however, I should like to add my voice to that of the noble Lord, Lord Carter, in support of the arguments that have been so persuasively and eloquently put by the noble Earl. It will be dangerous for the person with incapacity unless we do something along the lines…

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the Minister leaves that point, I specifically asked her about the experience in Scotland. Amendment No. 80 is based on the Scottish legislation. Why did the Government reach different conclusions from those of their Scottish counterparts? Have we weighed the evidence and experience in Scotland in proceeding in the direction that the Minister has outlined?

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Earlier in the proceedings of the Committee, I raised a question about codifying the various forms of conflict of interest that are peppered throughout the Bill. The point just made by the noble Lord, Lord Christopher, illustrates again the need for us to be very clear about that. I support strongly the remarks made by the noble Earl. I do not intend to reiterate my earlier arguments, but will…

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: With his usual forensic skills, the noble Lord, Lord Brennan, in the amendments that he has laid before the Committee, has taken us back to some of the crucial life and death decisions about which we are legislating. During his remarks, the noble Lord drew our attention to the case of W Healthcare Trust v KH and others which was decided in September 2004. It is a case on which we need to…

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Carter. I have followed that argument and I agree with him that it looks as though the Government are determined to go in this direction anyway. I understand the reasons for that, and there are arguments on both sides. However, if that is to be the case, does he not accept that Amendments Nos. 85A and 87 would therefore be a useful contribution to…

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The point I was making from the judgment was precisely that: as it was just a casual remark, it certainly could not be taken as binding on the doctors who were treating the patient. The second point is that the peg was not removed; the peg had come apart accidentally and the ruling was that the peg should be reinserted over and above the wishes of the relatives of the patient on the basis that…

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I also share the concerns voiced by the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, on that point. I am sure that we all agree that clarity in legislation is essential but sometimes we fall back on a certain amount of gobbledegook and anyone reading paragraph (2)(b) of Clause 23 would agree with the remarks just made. However, I particularly support what the noble Earl, Lord Howe, said on Amendment No. 40…

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the Minister leaves that point, she said earlier in our proceedings that she was aware that many people will never read the detail of the Bill but they will have a rough idea of what it allows. Would it not be sensible to codify in one part of the Bill all the questions around conflicts of interest? We will debate the different aspects of that when we discuss Amendment No. 64. But the…

Mental Capacity Bill (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am sorry to interrupt the Minister again, but these are important questions. She has been very helpful in assisting us to explore them. She referred earlier to a situation where, for example, a house might be sold over the head of the person who previously lived there because they lost their capacity. As she said, in many cases a relative will be acting on behalf of someone with their wishes…

Mental Capacity Bill (25 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I, too, support the noble Lord, Lord Carter, in the spirit of the amendment. I have two brief questions for the Minister. The first is whether local authorities and health authorities have been consulted about the new duties that will be placed on them. The second relates to their ability to carry out these functions. What resources will be made available to them when the legislation is…

Mental Capacity Bill (25 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support Amendment No. 6 moved by the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, and also the amendment spoken to by my noble friend Lady Chapman. Earlier in our proceedings, I talked about the importance of continuity of treatment. The Minister discussed speech therapy, which is an issue close to my heart; we discuss it a great deal at home because my wife is a speech therapist in the National Health…

Mental Capacity Bill (25 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The list of amendments before the Committee is complex and, indeed, extensive. There are 10 amendments in this group, some of which cover ground which the noble Lord, Lord Brennan, touched upon, and other issues. However, he is right that these are crucial questions that cut to the heart of the Bill. This has to be seen not only in the context of our Second Reading debate but also in the…

Mental Capacity Bill (25 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: On the point of government Amendment No. 13, I believe that the Committee is grateful to the Minister for the amount of intellectual energy that she has put into trying to help us to resolve the issue. But she will have heard the anxiety expressed from all sides of your Lordships’ House during this Committee stage about the distinction between the word that the Government have chosen to use&#…

Mental Capacity Bill (25 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: It is an important point. The Minister was good enough to organise a meeting last week that a number of noble Lords were able to attend, addressed by Dr Michael Wilks, the chairman of the BMA’s ethical committee. During that discussion upstairs, he said that doctors must act free from pressure where advance refusals are involved. Given the concern of many people in the profession that they…

Mental Capacity Bill (25 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The government amendment does not use the word “purpose”, but “motive”.

Sudan: Darfur (13 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What measures they are taking to respond to the recent call from the United Nations Secretary-General for member states to give greater support to the African Union Mission in Darfur and to address the situation there.

Sudan: Darfur (13 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the noble Baroness the Leader of the House agree that, with international focus inevitably now on events in and around the Indian Ocean, and on the signing of the north-south peace accord, we must remain focused on the continuing atrocities in Darfur? Will she confirm the UN estimates that some 70,000 fatalities have occurred there, 1.7 million people are displaced, 2.2 million…

Mental Capacity Bill (10 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the principle of creating a statutory framework to protect those individuals who lack mental capacity. I recognise also that the Bill presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to remedy the deficiencies that currently exist and to safeguard the rights and interests of adults lacking mental capacity. That is why it is so important that we get it right and why we must…

Results 161-180 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Asian Tsunami (10 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Baroness will know that all quarters of the House wish to be associated with the expressions of sympathy offered today by herself and by her right honourable friend the Prime Minister, and in particular to associate ourselves with the comments of the Leader of the Opposition in your Lordships’ House that some record of the expressions of sympathy and promises of help made…

Address in Reply to Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech (24 Nov 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, there have been many rich themes in today’s debate on the gracious Speech. In reflecting perhaps one of the Government’s own priorities in the gracious Speech, many of those who have contributed to the debate today have chosen to speak about the challenges facing Africa. I should like to do the same. Six weeks ago on behalf of the human rights organisation, the Jubilee Campaign, I…

Iraq: Refugees (11 Nov 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the Minister will be aware of the debate led by her honourable friend, Mr Stephen Pound, in another place concerning the plight of the ancient Assyrian community in Iraq and the peculiarly difficult circumstances in which it finds itself. Will she study that debate further and have regard to their plight before making decisions about returning those people to their very vulnerable…

Somalia (9 Nov 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in pursuing the question asked by the noble Baroness, Lady Falkner, does the Minister agree that conflict, the violence and the communal fratricide taking place in Somalia, Sudan, the Congo and throughout that part of Africa have already been responsible for the deaths of millions of people and for the destabilisation of the region? Does she further agree that unless we can stop the…

Sudan: Darfur (18 Oct 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their latest assessment of the number of people who have died or been displaced in Darfur, Sudan.

Sudan: Darfur (18 Oct 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, has the Minister had a chance to reflect on the harrowing first-hand accounts of ethnically motivated killings, rape, burnings and lootings that I handed her last week after I returned from Darfur? Notwithstanding the welcome intervention of the Prime Minister, does she agree that the abject failure of the international community to enforce two chapter seven resolutions, one of which…

Sudan: Darfur (15 Sep 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, given that it has now been three months since the United Nations said that this is the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster, and that in August alone, it was said on Monday, 10,000 people died in Darfur, making a total of 50,000 in total so far, can the noble Baroness tell us what has to happen before we follow the United States in declaring this to be genocide? To do so would lay…

Immigrants: Treatment (9 Sep 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, did not the deaths of the Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay underline the dangers in which immigrants can be placed if they come here as illegal workers? Reverting to the question that the noble Lord, Lord Judd, put to the Minister, is not there a lot to be said for trying to devise some form of green card system along the lines of that used in the United States so that we can…

Abortion (20 Jul 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister accept that a poll of 150 MPs is not the same as a vote in another place? On the previous occasion when another place voted on this subject, on a Bill that I put forward, 296 MPs-a majority of 45-voted in favour of a reduction in the time limit to 18 weeks. Does he also accept that many of us from all sides of the argument very much welcome what the…

Sudan: Darfur (13 Jul 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, given that the Machakos peace accord relies on reconstruction of many parts of Sudan, including southern Sudan, which I visited, will the Minister confirm that the Question on the Order Paper, calling for aid to be switched from other parts of Sudan to Darfur, is not the Government’s policy and that the overall amount of aid that will be given to Sudan will not change? Can she also…

Iran: Uranium Enrichment (30 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, what light can the Minister shed on the recent reports that nuclear materials leaked at the new Tehran International Airport, that it was closed one day after the formal opening, and that those materials had been flown in from North Korea? Does she place any credibility on the statements by the Iranian authorities that there is no connection between the development of the domestic…

Regional Assemblies (29 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the Minister return to the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Hanham; that is, that there should be proper parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill and proper debate in both Houses before these questions are put to a referendum? There is great anxiety in the north-west of England about the nature of the powers that will be given to the regional assemblies. Does the Minister not…

Mersey Tunnels Bill (28 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank, has several things in common with me on this question, not least that together we both campaigned for the city to become the City of Architecture. Indeed, he and I took part in a debate in your Lordships’ House with the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, who was also a key figure in campaigning for Liverpool to become the Capital of Culture in…

Mersey Tunnels Bill (28 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in seeking to elucidate the procedures of your Lordships’ House for her noble friend, the noble Baroness who has just resumed her seat suggested that, at this stage in the proceedings of a Bill, there was something mildly improper in the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Wirral, moving amendments or in your Lordships debating those amendments. There is nothing improper in that. Until the Bill…

Mersey Tunnels Bill (28 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in a moment. Mr John Warman is a councillor in Neath Port Talbot and is another member of the noble Baroness’s party. I am not saying this to embarrass her; I am pointing out that there are inconsistent views in many parts of the United Kingdom, and to suggest that this is merely a local issue, as though we are wasting your Lordships’ time this evening, is quite improper.

Mersey Tunnels Bill (28 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, to bring us back to order I think I should now give way to the noble Lord, Lord, Faulkner of Worcester.

Mersey Tunnels Bill (28 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, if it were going to be used for the benefit of the people of Merseyside, it should be raised through national taxation based on people’s ability to pay. What is unfair is to tax on a second headcount a small group of people. As the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Wirral, pointed out, people living in communities in places such as Birkenhead and Wallasey are living in some of the most…

Nigeria (9 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, did the noble Baroness see the reports in the media that, on 11 May in Kano, 3,000 people may well have lost their lives? Has she had chance to study the letter from President Obasanjo in which he makes the welcome statement that he will pursue a policy of zero tolerance against those involved in the atrocities? In pursuing the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, I should…

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (Disclosure of Donor Information) Regulations 2004 (9 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, it is well known in your Lordships’ House that my noble friend Lady Warnock and I fundamentally disagree on the issue of the moral status of the human embryo, but on this occasion I am happy to stand four square with her in supporting these regulations, as far as they go. I shall return to that point in due course. In 1990, when I served in another place, I argued that donor-…

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (Disclosure of Donor Information) Regulations 2004 (9 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the noble Baroness leaves the issue of the campaign that is to be waged next year, I want to know the answers to my two particular questions about the cost of the campaign and whether it would emphasise the risks to women involved in egg donation.

Results 181-200 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Burma (25 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: No.

Burma (25 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Flather, who has just resumed her seat, will know that I profoundly disagree with much of what she has just said. However, I am nevertheless glad to hear that point of view being expressed in our free Parliament. I hope it is an illustration to those who will read the accounts of this debate in places like Burma that contrary opinions can be held by Members…

Burma (25 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am glad that the noble Baroness said that. It is worth reminding the House what the former UN special rapporteur on Burma, Mr Rajsoomer Lallah, QC, said in his report on the situation of human rights in Myanmar: “The Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned about the serious human rights violations that continue to be committed by the armed forces in the ethnic minority areas. The…

Zimbabwe (25 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to raise the recent closure of church schools in Zimbabwe, the arrest of teaching staff and warnings of forthcoming famine in the country at the United Nations.

Zimbabwe (25 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the Leader of the House for that reply. Did she see the disturbing comments at the weekend of the Archbishop of Bulawayo, Archbishop Ncube, who said that he believed that the Mugabe regime, “is planning to starve the people in order to get votes”? Does she not agree that the deliberate targeting of food against opponents of the regime is a very sinister development,…

Sudan: Darfur (20 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the allegation by Human Rights Watch that the Government of Sudan are responsible for ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Sudan: Darfur (20 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, given what the Minister has just said, the description used by the United Nations of Darfur being the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and the Swedish Government’s description of what is happening in Darfur-where there are mass executions, the burning of villages and the destruction of food supplies-as genocide, when will Her Majesty’s Government raise this issue by way…

Burma: Human Rights (13 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the Minister confirm that the meeting held in Rangoon in January between General Bo Mya, who is holder of the Burma Star and has led the Karen for the past 55 years, was at least a welcome first step and that we should do all that we can to encourage the process of dialogue and engagement? Will she also confirm that, if the military junta simply hand-picks representatives from…

North Korea (21 Apr 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in keeping with the after-sales service attributed to me during the debate by the noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford, and the Minister, it falls to me to conclude our debate. I am extremely grateful to all noble Lords who have participated in our proceedings for sharing with us their insights about how to resolve the security issues posed by North Korea and for their account of the…

North Korea (21 Apr 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to call attention to the security and human rights questions posed by the actions of the Government of North Korea; and to move for Papers. My Lords, good fortune in the ballot enables me to place the Motion before your Lordships today. I will touch on security concerns, human rights, the treatment of refugees and the humanitarian crisis. Our last debate, on 13 March 2003, was…

Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL] (31 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before we approve the Motion, perhaps I may ask the Chairman of Committees two short questions. Will he confirm that when the Joint Committee on Human Rights met on Monday last, it declined to give the Bill a compatibility certificate, as it was incompatible, as it currently stands, with the European Convention on Human Rights? Should not such matters be resolved first, before Bills…

Lords Amendment (30 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I, too, shall be brief. The noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, was right to remind the Minister that there were philosophical disagreements at earlier stages on the Bill about whether there should be compulsory postal voting. Indeed the Minister will recall contributions that the noble Lord, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, and I made questioning the desirability of having electors sitting at…

Brazil: Street Children (22 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Brazilian Government about the killing of street children and about their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Brazil: Street Children (22 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for that reply. Would she confirm that the new dimension that has emerged in the Brazilian favelas is the proliferation of drugs and small arms and that between four and five children and adolescents are murdered in Brazil every day? Does she agree that there needs to be an end to the cycle of retaliation, fear and violence that dominates the…

Abortion (16 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review the provisions in statute that permit conditions such as cleft palate and cleft lip to be regarded as “serious handicaps” for the purposes of terminating the lives of the unborn after 24 weeks’ gestation. My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to raise the issue this evening in this short debate. I am grateful to those members…

Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL] (10 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, on a Friday last June, as the noble Lord, Lord Joffe, has just mentioned, many of us gathered in your Lordships’ House for what must rank as one of the longest Second Reading debates in recent years, starting as it did at 11 a.m. and not finishing until just before 7 p.m. It was a memorable debate with many distinguished contributions. By a small margin, a majority of Peers spoke…

Uganda (9 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the Minister accept that the depredations of the Lord’s Resistance Army are not confined to northern Uganda, but are spreading into the provinces of neighbouring countries? This is not only a tragedy for the victims of the brutal assaults and killings; it is also a stain on the reputation of Uganda at a time when that reputation has been growing within the international…

European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill (23 Feb 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the amendment moved by the noble Baroness and corroborate what she said about the practicalities of houses in multiple occupation. Unlike a house with one family in residence, if 10 or 15 people live in a house in multiple occupation, the turnover is very great. Electoral registers are regularly out of date before they have even been printed because people move on. Many…

European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill (23 Feb 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the amendments in the names of the noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, and the noble Lord, Lord Rennard. In their speeches at earlier stages of the Bill, they trenchantly set out-as they have done again today-the arguments why we should be cautious in proceeding to “roll out”-as the noble Lord, Lord Rennard, described it-these arrangements in many parts of…

North Korea (3 Feb 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare a non-financial interest as chairman of the All-Party British North Korea Parliamentary Group. The Question was as follows: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the security and human rights situation in North Korea.

Results 201-220 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

North Korea (3 Feb 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply and welcome the strong approach that the Government have adopted. What assessment have they made of the BBC television documentary that was broadcast on Sunday evening, which documented examples of lethal chemical weapons tests against civilians? Does she agree that the best way forward in North Korea is to continue the process of engagement and…

Sudan (15 Jan 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, my noble friend Lord Sandwich, along with the noble Lord, Lord Clarke of Hampstead, rightly paid tribute to the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, for so consistently keeping events in Sudan before your Lordships’ House. I am happy to join them in that tribute. I also join my noble friend in paying tribute to the role played by the Minister, the noble Baroness, Lady Symons of Vernham Dean, in…

Liaison: Select Committee Report (14 Jan 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the Chairman of Committees sits down, he will recall that I wrote to him last week setting out a number of concerns. I wonder whether he will answer two questions to help the House. First, when the Liaison Committee considered the Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill, did it weigh up the fact that there had already been a Select Committee, chaired by the noble Lord, Lord Walton of…

Cannabis and Mental Health (14 Jan 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister recall our debate on 12 November, in which several of us raised a concern that Professor Murray and others had sought a meeting with the Home Secretary and that that meeting had been declined? Will she confirm that, of the 34 members of the advisory council, not one comes from an organisation opposed to the changes that she outlined to the House that night? On that…

China: EU Arms Trade Embargo (12 Jan 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, while welcoming the connection that the Minister has made between the arms trade and human rights, can she tell us when Her Majesty’s Government last raised specific issues concerning political and religious violations of human rights with the Government of China, in particular the suppression of the Falung Gong, the suppression of the underground House Church Movement in China, the…

Special Advisers: Civil Service Legislation (8 Jan 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister accept that the principle of a Select Committee bringing forward a draft Bill rather than simply a report is a very welcome development in itself? Does he also accept that at the heart of these recommendations is a shift away from the Government and back to Parliament in who will decide on the number of special advisers? Will he say whether that principle, enshrined…

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Modification) (No. 2) Order 2003 (12 Nov 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts. Having sat through the entire debate and listened to all the contributions, I think that the controversial nature of the contributions that have been made and the divided opinions that we have heard in your Lordships’ House this evening should at least give us all pause for thought. Timid though the…

North Korea: Nuclear Weapons (12 Nov 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare a non-financial interest as chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea. The Question was as follows: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the nuclear weapons programme in North Korea, and when they anticipate the resumption of the six-nations…

North Korea: Nuclear Weapons (12 Nov 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. Following the visit that the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, and I made to North Korea six weeks ago, has the Minister had a chance to reflect on the statements that were recorded in the report that we submitted to her from some of the most senior figures in North Korea? They would be prepared to renounce their nuclear programme and submit to a…

Sudan (6 Nov 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, do not the figures given by the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, underline the urgency of the peace agreement? In addition to the 0.5 million people who have been displaced since February this year, some 7,000 in Dafur have died and 300 villages have been razed to the ground. What discussions has the Minister had with her counterparts in the US Administration about the lifting of sanctions…

Breast Cancer and Abortion (29 Oct 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, perhaps I may intervene before the noble Baroness proceeds. I am grateful to her for giving way. Can she explain why the RCOG also said that that evidence cannot be disregarded? Perhaps she can refer to the successful court action last week based on the same evidence, laid before the British Government, in both the United States and previously in Australia, where women have now won…

Breast Cancer and Abortion (29 Oct 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am extremely grateful to the noble Baroness. I am glad that we are fighting on the same side in this particular battle.

Breast Cancer and Abortion (29 Oct 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence links breast cancer with abortion; and what measures they are taking to alert women to any risks involved. My Lords, as your Lordships will be aware, October is breast cancer awareness month. This is therefore a timely debate and I am grateful for the opportunity to ask this Unstarred Question today. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in…

Northern Ireland (22 Oct 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, should we not reflect on the years that preceded the Good Friday agreement and the deaths, violence, carnage and hatred in the two intractably opposed communities in Northern Ireland? We should reiterate and welcome the progress that we have made since then, and not least pay some credit to the leadership of David Trimble. In very difficult circumstances, he has persevered against…

Lords Amendment (16 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Brennan, with his usual acuity, has brought us back to the issue. With his unrivalled track record in dealing with human rights questions and issues of discrimination, he has reminded us that this is ultimately an issue that involves discrimination. The noble Baroness, Lady Wilcox, spelt that out at Second Reading. I said in a speech at the time that if she…

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi (9 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What information they have about the health and safety of Aung San Suu Kyi following her imprisonment at Insein prison, and what measures they are taking to secure her release.

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi (9 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I strongly welcome the statement the Minister has just made. I ask her to reiterate the condemnation that many on all sides of your Lordships’ House feel for the arbitrary actions of the Burmese military and, indeed, our admiration for Aung San Suu Kyi as she enters the second month of her imprisonment. Can the Minister tell us more about the initiative that has been taken with our…

Patients’ Protection Bill [HL] (25 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Earlier in the debate, the noble Baroness, Lady Andrews, said that she would hold the ring in maintaining her neutrality. She has done that extremely well in her response to the amendment. Perhaps she should hold the ring further by taking up the suggestion of my noble friend Lady Masham that the Government assist with ensuring that the draftsmanship of the amendments matches the definitions…

Patients’ Protection Bill [HL] (25 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I do not want to detain the Committee at length. My noble friend Lord Joffe raised the point about the Tony Bland case. I was perhaps the constituency MP most involved in 1993 when I was in another place. Your Lordships will recall the terrible tragedy at Hillsborough involving Liverpool Football Club. On the same day that Tony Bland went into a deep coma and became PVS-persistent…

Patients’ Protection Bill [HL] (25 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in Committee I said: “None of us wants to see officious legislation directed at doctors or nurses which makes prosecution more probable or likely”.-[Official Report, 20/5/03; col. 779.] In addition, in response to my noble friend, none of us believes that we should go to heroic lengths to keep people alive who would otherwise die. I certainly agree with him that the officious…

Results 221-240 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Burma (24 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in endorsing every single word that the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, has just expressed, perhaps I may also associate myself with what the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, said in initiating tonight’s timely debate. Her own personal example and her courage and bravery in raising this issue again and again in your Lordships’ House is an inspiration to us all. The Burmese military’…

Burma (18 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome the robust response of both Her Majesty’s Government and ASEAN to the deplorable treatment of Aung San Suu Kyi. Does the Minister share the Government’s reluctance to press for genocide charges to be brought against members of the Burmese military for the pernicious policies that they have pursued against the ethnic minorities inside Burma-not least against the Karen…

Drugs (11 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in associating myself strongly with and endorsing everything that the noble Lord, Lord Chadlington, has said, I welcome also the initiative of my noble friend Lord Cobbold in securing this debate. It is, I think, the first on this subject in your Lordships’ House since 1994. The University of York, in research for the Home Office, says that drug use and misuse, and the associated…

Mr James Miller: Israeli Shooting Inquiry (11 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the Minister underline to the Israeli authorities that there is widespread support for the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Waddington, in many parts of this House and outside it? Does she agree that, not only in the case of Ian Hook but also in that of Tom Hurndall, internal inquiries were perceived to be partial and were not seen as dispassionate or objective? Great cynicism…

National Service Framework for Children (10 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, during our recent debate on the trafficking of children, the Minister’s noble friend admitted that more than 70 children have disappeared from the care of West Sussex social services. Can she tell us any more about the fate of those children? In the national framework, are the Government looking at this most vulnerable group of children to ensure that the existing inadequate…

Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill [HL] (6 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Joffe, was good enough to say recently that we are usually on the same side of the argument. Although he knows that I am profoundly opposed to the underlying principles of the Bill, I commend the way in which he has introduced the arguments. At a number of meetings that we have jointly attended over the past few weeks, he has proved to be a very formidable and…

Sudan (22 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister recognise that the situation in Darfur, in western Sudan, has deteriorated particularly in the past two weeks? Has she seen Amnesty International’s call that the Machakos protocol should be extended to cover Darfur, and that the situation should be monitored by the international human rights teams that both sides signed up to? Does she agree that Machakos still…

Africa (21 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in advance of the G8 summit in Evian the whole House is grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Lea, for introducing this timely and well attended debate featuring so many singular contributions. This is also an opportunity to welcome the Minister to her new role as Secretary of State. I join other noble Lords in warmly welcoming her, not simply because of the personal achievement it…

Patients’ Protection Bill [HL] (20 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the amendment that the noble Baroness, Lady Knight of Collingtree, has just moved. At Second Reading, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Oxford and my noble friend Lady Finlay of Llandaff spoke of the position of patients who might not want to be given treatment that would keep them alive against their wishes. The noble Baroness, Lady Knight of Collingtree, made clear her…

Patients’ Protection Bill [HL] (20 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the amendment that the noble Baroness, Lady Knight of Collingtree, laid before the Committee. However, I think that she will want to clarify the point that the Minister has just made. The purpose of the amendment is simply to provide a record and not to dilute in any way the consultation that should take place between a consultant and other doctors before reaching the decisions that…

Sexual Offences Bill [HL] (13 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: That would be helpful to the Committee. Following the meeting that we had at the Home Office, the noble and learned Lord provided some information at that time about the numbers. I want to put that on the record. My question is: do we have any further information about whether any additional children have disappeared? We are talking about approximately 70 children. The real point made by my…

Sexual Offences Bill [HL] (13 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Can the Minister share with the Committee the number of children who have disappeared from care in West Sussex during the time that they were placed there? What does he know about their fate?

Sexual Offences Bill [HL] (13 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I should like briefly to reinforce the points made by my noble friend Lord Hylton and by the noble Lord, Lord Skelmersdale. The Minister will recall that when the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, and I came to see him, we raised the issue of West Sussex social services and the question of reflection periods. Indeed, the noble Lord, Lord Bassam of Brighton, will recall that we have also had exchanges…

Sexual Offences Bill [HL] (13 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support what the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, has just said and I support the amendments tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Alli. I added my name to the amendments as a result of a debate held in this House about 18 months ago. I was fortunate enough to win a balloted debate and I used it to raise the subject of trafficking. Fortuitously, the debate falls during the week when we will commemorate…

Iraq (12 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in giving evidence to the International Development Select Committee just before hostilities commenced, Miss Clare Short predicted that as many as 8 million people could become refugees as a result of the hostilities. It is a great mercy that such apocalyptic scenarios have not come to pass and that the kind of problems outlined in her Statement today are the ones with which we are…

Sars (10 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What advice they are issuing and what measures they are taking to contain the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Sars (10 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in thanking the Minister for that Answer, might I ask for her assessment of reports in today’s newspapers that the Government of China have concealed the extent of the spread of SARS in China, and, indeed, the evidence given to a select committee of the Senate on Monday by the World Health Organisation that the outbreak might have been curbed much more quickly had they acted earlier…

Religion and Global Terrorism (9 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the work done by the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, for reconciliation between the great religions is much to be admired. Frequently, religion is seen as the cause of wars, and it is said to be the root of many terrorist organisations such as Al’Qaeda, Hezbollah and the sectarian paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. Historically, religion appears to have been the principal reason for…

Indonesia (9 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the Minister is right to congratulate the Indonesian police authorities on the work they have done in bringing to justice many of those who perpetrated the Bali massacre in which more than 200 people, including 24 Britons, died. However, what progress is being made in bringing to justice the operational head of Jemaah Islamiyah, who remains at large? Will the Minister also compare…

Iraq: Military Operations (3 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the courage and the conduct of our troops contrast not just with the cynicism of using holy places at Najaf and Karbala for purely cynical motives, but also with the cowardly way in which Saddam’s militia have used civilians, including pregnant women and children, as human shields and with the way in which hospitals, including a maternity unit, have been…

Results 241-260 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Medical Research Council (1 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister recall the recommendation of the House of Lords Select Committee on stem cells that a discrete line should be kept between embryos and eggs being used for research purposes and those being gathered from fertility clinics? Will he therefore look again at the way in which the MRC has decided to fund nurses working in fertility clinics, bearing in mind the proscription…

Iraq (26 Mar 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, many will have welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday that we will not make the same mistake we made in 1991 by failing to support the uprising that took place then. He said that we would not fail the people of Iraq this time. Given the tyranny and the brutality to which the Minister referred, can he tell the House the current situation in regard to the uprisings of…

Communications Bill (25 Mar 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the convergence of the media and telecommunications industries clearly demanded an end to the split of responsibilities between five regulators. I therefore support one of the principal objectives of the Bill-the creation of Ofcom-the question to which my noble friend Lord Currie of Marylebone returned us. Everyone in the House will wish him well in the onerous duties…

Iraq (20 Mar 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I strongly welcome the tone and content of what the Minister has said to the House today. I have two questions. My first question concerns the issue of deserters and the report that the half-brother of Saddam last night went into exile in Syria. Is the Minister able to share any information on both that move and the desertion of troops at the border with Kuwait? Will the Minister…

North Korea (13 Mar 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their policy on the threat posed by North Korea to international security and to the human rights of its citizens. My Lords, I am glad to have an opportunity to ask a Question that I tabled last November. It allows us to consider the international crisis sparked by North Korea’s decision to reopen its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon and its continued…

Patients’ Protection Bill [HL] (12 Mar 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the whole House should be grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Knight of Collingtree, for introducing the Bill and laying it before your Lordships’ House. I join my noble friend Lady Masham and the noble Lords, Lord Tombs and Lord Swinfen, in welcoming the way that the noble Baroness introduced the Bill this evening. In his speech, the right reverend Prelate invited us to tilt at…

Iraq (26 Feb 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Alderdice, was right-even if we reach different conclusions-to return us to the central question of whether what we are doing is right. Inside and outside your Lordships’ House much has been made of the principles for a just war and whether there is a just cause for using armed force in Iraq. As was heard earlier in the debate, Thomas Aquinas’s tests…

Malawi and Kenya: Aid (24 Feb 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome what the Minister has said to the noble Lord, Lord Steel of Aikwood. Does she agree that during the final months of the rule of Daniel arap Moi in Kenya corruption had become endemic and had led to the closure of a number of United Nations schemes, particularly the building of water catchment dams in remote areas of Kenya such as Turkana, which I visited a few months ago?…

Asylum Seekers (18 Feb 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the system was brought into disrepute last week when a woman who has lived in this country for nearly 50 years was threatened with deportation to the United States? That woman lives in Suffolk and has never travelled out of this country. By contrast, The Times today reports that three members of the Taliban, including one militiaman, who paid £9,000…

Sudan (13 Jan 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the speeches already made vindicate the decision of the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, to return us to this subject of the Sudan. When the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Salisbury and the noble Lord, Lord Moynihan, referred to the recapture of Torit by the forces of the Government of Sudan, it reminded me of my experience there, to which I referred in our previous debate on this…

Stem Cell Research: Select Committee Report (5 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, my concerns about the Select Committee’s report fall broadly into four categories: procedural, ethical, scientific and regulatory. I understand the points that the noble Lord, Lord Dahrendorf, just made, and I know that he has agonised about the issues. However, the dilemma that he faced, when we debated the questions in 2001, was the dilemma of the whole House. The noble Lord had to…

Pakistan (5 Nov 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that a good test of the democratic credentials of any government is the way they treat their minorities and uphold human rights? Is she aware that over the past 12 months in Pakistan there have been 39 deaths, 100 injuries and nine attacks on churches, church buildings, hospitals and schools? Does she recognise that one of the continuing sources of persecution…

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill (10 Oct 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the remarks made by the noble Lords, Lord Judd and Lord Avebury. I believe that Amendments Nos. 76, 77 and 78 are needed in legislation and this is the moment when we should act. This morning I had the opportunity to address a conference of young people-the Inter-schools Human Rights Conference which was held in north London. It was organised by school children from…

Iran: Foreign Secretary’s Visit (10 Oct 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, has the Minister seen the information that was published by the Iranian authorities showing that 292 people have already been executed this year in Iran? That is twice as many as the figure for the same period last year. The Minister is right to recognise that there has been a deterioration in the human rights record of that regime. We must keep such things at the heart of our…

Sudan (7 Oct 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am sure that I speak for many noble Lords on all sides of your Lordships’ House in expressing admiration for the sustained way in which the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, has tirelessly sought to bring the suffering of the people of Sudan to the attention of your Lordships’ House. She has performed another great service today, highlighting the suffering in Sudan and bringing it to the…

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill (8 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: In speaking briefly to Amendment No. 8, perhaps I may remind Members of the Committee that I have a potential interest as I hold a chair in citizenship at Liverpool John Moore’s University. I strongly support the amendment that the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, has laid before the Committee, although I do not believe that it is necessarily right in its detail. It would be better if it were framed…

World Food Summit (8 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, has the Minister had a chance to look at the report in today’s newspapers about the perilous situation in Botswana, where more than one in three of the population has now been diagnosed HIV-positive? Was the AIDS pandemic that is sweeping Africa discussed at Rome? If so, what was the outcome?

Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill (4 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, briefly I too should like to speak on Clause 71 and oppose its removal from the Bill. Though I understand the points made by my noble friend Lord Brookeborough this afternoon, I disagree with him about the need to take out this clause, not least because it is extremely flexible, on any reading. The power in the clause can be exercised only after discussion with the Executive and the…

Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill (4 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Maginnis, has exhibited his usual charm in thanking the noble Baroness, Lady Farrington, for the sensible way forward that she has suggested. He is quite right in saying that the amendments in the second group which have been referred to touch on the same subject. The reason why, on balance, I disagree with my noble friend is that certainly from my own experience…

Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill (4 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I rise to speak on Amendments Nos. 82 to 85. In one respect I very much agree with my noble friend Lord Kilclooney and the noble Lord, Lord Maginnis, about the need for consistency in the way we approach these matters. Although tonight I shall be supporting the Government on the issue, I believe that the clause sends out contradictory messages. In some courthouses we shall have one…

Results 261-280 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Education Bill (3 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support Amendment No. 17 which the right reverend Prelate has just laid before your Lordships. I wish particularly to underline the point he made about how the amendment could enhance the Government’s laudable objective of trying to create federations. If the kind of assurances which the right reverend Prelate has sought cannot be given, many Church schools from varying religious…

Education Bill (3 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the Minister concludes, I point out that she has characteristically gone a very long way to try to address many of the arguments that have been advanced; many of us are grateful to her for that. Why is she opposed to the principle-or at least she has not dealt with it in her summing up-of a governing body of a school that is in a federation simply saying, following…

Education Bill (3 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, very briefly, I support the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn on Amendment No. 15. He has eloquently made the arguments behind the amendment. One of them is about the autonomy of Church schools. Another is about their changing character, should there not be sufficient governors-in this case foundation governors-who are committed to the ethos of that school….

Act of Settlement 1701 (2 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the noble and learned Lord accept that, short of total repeal, those parts of the Act of Settlement that are discriminatory-whether in a practical sense or by perception-could be dealt with in a rather more piecemeal way? Does he further accept that the issue does not trouble people from a Catholic tradition, or indeed from most religious traditions? Most people in…

Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill (1 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the Minister responds, perhaps I may follow on from the question just raised by the noble Lord, Lord Brooke. Varying descriptions are used by academics of the word “merit”. I wonder precisely how the Government intend to define the word. Incidentally, I believe that they are right not to derogate from that principle. They are also right to use the word “reflective” rather than…

Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill (1 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I speak briefly in favour of Amendment No. 8. I do so for precisely the reasons just advanced by the noble Lord, Lord Kilclooney. However, I have a rather different point of view on the matter. I believe that if we are to build confidence in the future in Northern Ireland, not only must that future be built on the basis of peace and non-violence, but we must draw into the process…

G8 Summit (1 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome what the Leader of the House and the Statement on the summit said about tackling endemic poverty in Africa. The figure he announced today, which was announced previously, of 6 billion dollars additional funding is to be welcomed. Can he set out to the House precisely how that will be linked to anti- corruption measures and whether we will retaliate directly against…

Northern Iraq (1 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I understand the reply that the Minister has given to the House. However, does she agree that in 1991 the principal casualties as a result of the unconcluded Gulf War were the Kurdish/Iraqi people and that they are right to feel a sense of apprehension with weapons of mass destruction situated close to their enclave and because within half an hour of their cities there are tanks…

Proceeds of Crime Bill (25 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, for the constructive way in which he has dealt with the arguments put to the House today. This proposal forms part of a continuing attempt by many Members of your Lordships’ House to raise the profile of human trafficking and to ensure that something is done about it. To that end, I am particularly grateful to my…

Proceeds of Crime Bill (25 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: moved Amendment No. 10: Page 4, line 12, at end insert- “( ) If the conditions referred to in subsection (2) relate to an offence involving the trafficking of people the court must order that sums payable under subsection (5) be paid into the trafficked persons fund.”

Proceeds of Crime Bill (25 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the amendments in my name-Amendments Nos. 10, 40, 68, 129, 142 and 211-have been grouped. After the balloted debate in your Lordships’ House on 13th March, in which several of your Lordships, including my noble and learned friend Lord Wilberforce, participated, we had constructive discussions with the Minister’s predecessor-the noble Lord, Lord Rooker-and with…

Education Bill (17 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, like my noble friend Lord Dearing and the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn, I should also like to thank the noble Lord, Lord Peston, for laying the amendment before your Lordships’ House. We all know that this issue has stalked the Bill all the way through its proceedings. It is better that it is placed on the table in this way and that we can debate it fully. Like…

Education Bill (17 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in the absence of anybody else rising, and without wishing to put an elephant in the perambulator as the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, suggested, I rise briefly to support the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn and Amendment No. 5. These debates tend to be cyclical. We have had debates both here and in another place over the past decade on whether or not it is desirable to…

Education Bill (17 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I should like to join my noble friend Lord Rix in commending the Government for the way in which they have gone about the consultation process in this part of the Bill. Indeed, as has already been said, the Minister’s actions have been quite commendable: she has engaged with people from different parts of your Lordships’ House in trying to find constructive ways forward. I believe…

People Trafficking (13 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that one of the most disturbing aspects of trafficking is the trafficking of children, unaccompanied minors? Does he recall that in a debate in your Lordships’ House in March the Government stated that 66 children had disappeared from the care of West Sussex social services alone? How many more children have disappeared since March from West Sussex social…

Education Bill (28 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The Minister has given the Committee an assurance that such issues are covered anyway in PSHE classes and that will continue to be the case. Why has science been singled out? As the noble Lord, Lord Peston, said, it is quite proper for people to discuss the AIDS pandemic in Africa in the teaching of geography. Although I personally have no difficulty with such issues, which I discuss with my…

Education Bill (28 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am inclined to support the remarks of the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch. I, too, have a big reservation about appearing in any way to diminish the importance of the teaching of history and geography. I accept the crucial importance of children understanding information technology and knowing how to access the Internet to find resources there that would never be available to them otherwise; in…

Education Bill (28 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: In speaking to Amendment No. 275, in the name of my noble friend, Lord Northbourne, perhaps I may draw the Committee’s attention to my interest. I am a director of the Foundation for Citizenship at the Liverpool John Moores University. I have much sympathy with what the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, said, but she made one statement that is not correct. Citizenship will not be examinable….

Education Bill (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Given that the Government will be collecting the information anyway, the assurances given earlier, which I welcome, and the increased resources that the Government have properly made available to children with special needs, which are to be commended, laying a report before Parliament would do the Government a service. The form proposed by the amendment may not be precisely the right way but…

Education Bill (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the Committee concludes its debate on this amendment and issue-as the noble Lord, Lord Peston, said, we have rehearsed some of the arguments already-I should like to share an experience from my early days as a local councillor in Liverpool, 30 years ago, when I became the governor of a local comprehensive school which had been built for 2,000 children. It had been built in…

Results 281-300 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Education Bill (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am very happy to support the remarks made by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn. The point that he made about the non-controversial nature of this clause is one with which I agree. It is right that the Government should take these powers to deal with the imposition of interim executive members in the case of the schools that are mentioned in subsection (1) and also in other…

Education Bill (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I hope that it will help the right reverend Prelate to know that, following the correspondence he referred to in the Times Educational Supplement, I spoke today with a group of teachers from Church schools. They had seen that correspondence and wholeheartedly supported the position taken by the right reverend Prelate during our Committee proceedings. I have personally supported the position…

Education Bill (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I have concerns about this amendment and I was intrigued by the two examples that the noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, gave to the Committee. Like the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, I am also worried about the issue of interview. I do not believe that there is an overwhelming case against schools having the right to conduct interviews-in fact, sometimes it can be fairer than some of the other…

Education Bill (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I, too, rise to support Amendment No. 204, moved by my noble friend Lord Rix, for the reasons that have already been advanced. For five years, I worked with children with special needs and one of the last children whom I taught was a young boy who was dying of cystic fibrosis. Many of the children with whom I worked during that period may have had physical disabilities, but they were, as has…

Education Bill (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the Minister sits down, figures published today show that 9,000 children have been excluded from schools-a large number of them from primary schools, where there has been an alarming increase in the number of exclusions. Will the Minister agree that the noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, has a valid point; namely, that before putting children into schools simply to place them at risk of…

Education Bill (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the Minister replies to the amendment, I believe that part of the problem with this debate and our other Committee stage debates is that we have been unclear as to precisely what the Government intend for the future of local education authorities. Because of that, I believe that, throughout the Bill, a whole series of initiatives are being taken to put in place what are almost…

Church and State (22 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Birmingham shared with us some of his experiences from Birmingham. The noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Sheppard of Liverpool, who is in his place, will, I am sure, have shared many of those experiences. His example, and that of the late Archbishop of Liverpool, Derek Warlock, show how irrelevant the debate on establishment or…

Youth Crime (22 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, when considering the reasons why young people between the ages of 11 and 16 commit crime, does the Minister agree that the powerful drugs culture prevalent in so many urban areas is a major factor? Recent data show that about 800,000 children now no longer have contact with fathers, which is another contributory factor. Does he agree that we need to devote more time and resources to…

Education Bill (14 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I rise briefly to support what the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, has just said. I am reminded of the debate about community health councils and the reasons that Parliament decided that community health councils had outlived their usefulness. One reason that the Government decided that they could do without CHCs was that they had become talking shops. They said that they were ineffective in…

Education Bill (14 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I strongly support the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Brennan. I entirely agree with what my noble friend Lord Rix said in moving his amendment about the requirement that should be placed on schools and local education authorities to meet the needs of parents who have children with special needs. I worked in that sector for five years some years ago and I share my noble friend’s concerns. As…

Education Bill (14 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the arguments which were first put to the Committee by the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, in Amendment No. 175. In that amendment, the noble Baroness argued that whether or not an admission forum is established should be a matter for local discretion. That is logical and consistent and coherent with the arguments that she advanced earlier in our proceedings in the context of schools…

Education Bill (14 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am sorry that the noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, is upset by what I said. One can refer only to the record and in our earlier debate I quoted the former Liberal Democrat spokesman on education in another place, Mr Don Foster, who said that in an ideal world there would be no faith schools. He said that he would be in favour of, for example, the abolition of the daily act of worship. We know…

Education Bill (14 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I rise to support the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn. I, too, am happy to be moved between now and Report by any arguments that the Minister may advance to convince me to join her in the Lobby next time. I supported the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, because I did not feel that the arguments so far advanced went far enough. I strongly believe that we should treat voluntary-aided…

Education Bill (14 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Perhaps the Minister will clarify her response to the amendment of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn. She suggested that in some areas where minority interests were relatively small it would not be appropriate for them to be represented on schools forums. However, in some boroughs, such as the borough of Wigan, close to 50 per cent of schools are run by the Churches. In those…

Education Bill (14 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: When the Minister comes to reply to the noble Lord, Lord Jones, and to the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, no doubt she will deal with the general question of schools forums. I believe that we all wait with interest to hear what she has to say. However, my purpose in rising is simply to support the remarks made by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn, who suggested that voluntary-…

Education Bill (14 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, for her observations. I am pleased to note the change in tone and, indeed, of direction from that which dominated our earlier debates on the subject. I agree that it would have been helpful if Amendment No. 178A had perhaps been grouped with the amendment now before the Committee. That would have enabled the debate to be taken in its entirety at…

Middle East: Holy Places (8 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their policy towards the internationalisation of the holy places in the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority and by the state of Israel.

Middle East: Holy Places (8 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome what the Minister has said this afternoon in your Lordships’ House. I agree with her that the cycle of violence will only be deepened by the appalling deaths yesterday of 15 Israeli citizens in a suicide attack. Such actions retard the objective of achieving the goal of peace. Neither the blind violence of terrorism nor the violence of war in revenge can create a way…

Education Bill (7 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Clause 19 deals with the composition of governing bodies, and, as the noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, has just said, Amendment No. 92 touches on the very important point of the build-up of bureaucracy and the build-up of requirements on teachers and governing bodies. When I was a young teacher, one of the joys of teaching was the fact that one was not encumbered with vast amounts of bureaucracy….

Education Bill (7 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I add my voice in support of the amendment moved by my noble friend Lord Northbourne. In particular, I support what my noble friend Lord Rix said about the importance of parents being involved in, “the task of developing the child’s emotional, educational or physical potential”- the words used in the amendment. There is always a temptation to assume that the institutional care offered by…

Results 301-320 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Education Bill (7 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. Before he sits down, perhaps I may ask one further question. For the purpose of people following our debate outside the Chamber, can he underline the fact that this is not about private gain; that if, indeed, any surplus was to accrue from the activities of a company inside a school, that that money would be ploughed back into education and the…

Education Bill (7 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Again, I refer the noble Baroness to the example of Merseyside, in which the universities collaborated to set up what was called the “hothouse” from which various new companies were initiated using ideas that were then in circulation around the faculties. It was possible to create enterprises that have gone on to be supported externally-for example, with European Union funding, as part…

Education Bill (7 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I want to give some support to what the Government are seeking to do in this part of the Bill. Although I understand why the noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, properly probed the Government on the details, we should not detach ourselves from the spirit of what this part of the Bill seeks to achieve. It is erroneous to suggest that there is currently no link between education and companies law. In…

Education Bill (7 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support what my noble friend Lord Rix and the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, have said about children with special needs. I worked with children with special needs for several years nearly 30 years ago, and my wife is a speech therapist in the National Health Service who works in schools with children with special needs. I particularly endorse what my noble friend Lord Rix said about parents…

Education Bill (7 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Further to the question of my noble friend, the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, put her finger on the problem earlier when she asked about the conflict that might arise if a child’s entitlements were not being met by the need to provide a properly balanced and broad curriculum. If the school were to fail in delivering such a target, what would happen? What sanctions could be used against the…

Education Bill (7 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the general tenor of the remarks that have been made thus far about the need for some accountability in the working of the system in the future. We do not necessarily want to place a burdensome responsibility on a new body or an existing body for annual reports. Does the Minister consider that if Ofsted or Her Majesty’s Inspectors are going into schools in any event and reporting to…

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem (24 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords-

Indonesia (26 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, it is always a great pleasure to follow, if not my noble friends, certainly kindred spirits-the noble Lord, Lord Clarke of Hampstead, and the noble Baroness, Lady Cox. I apologise to the noble Baroness that I was unable to hear the first part of her remarks today in the light of this debate coming slightly earlier than some of us had perhaps anticipated. However, I was very…

Liverpool (20 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the whole House is indebted to the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, for tabling this Unstarred Question. She made a positive and well-informed speech which eloquently set the scene. This is a rare and welcome opportunity to flag up the significant social and cultural developments that have been achieved by the City of Liverpool. I declare my interest by virtue of the Chair that I hold at…

Trafficking: Children (13 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the whole House will join the Minister in wishing the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, and Lady Rooker our best at this time. We hope that Lady Rooker will quickly return to good health. We particularly understand that to have to step into the breach and deal with tonight’s debate required a considerable effort on the part of the noble Lord, Lord Davies, to master the details of the brief,…

Trafficking: Children (13 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to call attention to trafficking in human beings, especially children; and to move for Papers. My Lords, 1,500 years ago the Emperor Justinian commented on the phenomenon of human trafficking, which he said was spreading as profiteers took “advantage of poverty and inexperienced young girls”. Justinian recorded practices that are used by traffickers even in our own times-debt…

Education Bill (11 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I realise that the noble Lord is making his case in a very measured way, but I believe that he should reflect further upon the remark that he just made about how admission into Church schools would be sought because they would not, for example, permit the admittance of blacks. If the noble Lord thinks about it, he will realise that many Church schools were built in order to…

Education Bill (11 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I say to the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, that only a week ago I spoke at a Catholic sixth form college in London, at which 50 per cent of its 850 students were from other faiths-25 per cent were Hindu and 10 per cent were Muslim. I hope that he realises on reflection that the caricature that he painted of Catholic schools is extraordinarily unfair.

Education Bill (11 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord makes the case for the integrated nature of Church schools and Church education. As he said, if there are not enough people from a particular denomination, those schools simply do not survive. The figures show that across the country, more than 20 per cent of those in Catholic schools come from outside the Catholic Church. That does not bear out the proposition that he…

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum White Paper (7 Feb 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in declaring an interest as director of the Foundation for Citizenship at Liverpool John Moores University, I strongly welcome the provisions in Chapter 2 concerning the teaching of citizenship. Can the Minister say more about how that teaching will be discharged and by whom? I welcome also the proposal in Annex B for an affirmation or oath of loyalty. The words used there are simple…

Women and Children: Trafficking (22 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, while I welcome the reply that the Minister has given to my noble friend, can he confirm that the distinction that he has drawn between smuggling and trafficking in answer to the question from the noble Lord, Lord Renton, will be incorporated into the legislation when it is eventually laid before the House? Can he also confirm that so far we have perhaps underestimated the size of…

Sudan (17 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister recall the reply given in February last year to the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, on the issues of abduction, slavery and forced labour? Has she had a chance to look at the reports compiled by Anti-Slavery International and by the International Labour Organisation which state that up to 14,000 people are still detained and that the Sudanese Government have taken no…

Developing Countries: Aid Programmes (20 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, would the Minister-

Developing Countries: Aid Programmes (20 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the generosity, the altruism and the idealism that inspired the Marshall Aid programme during the post-war period, prompted mainly by the United States of America, was one of the reasons for the stability and prosperity of western Europe in the post-war period? Does he further agree that a similar sense of idealism is now needed for the reconstruction of…

Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill (10 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the remarks of the noble Lords, Lord Dixon-Smith and Lord Lester of Herne Hill. I voted for the Bill at Second Reading. I believe that governments are entitled to be given support in the kind of circumstances which prevailed. I do not in any way resile from the support I gave the Government then. Over the weekend suggestions were made about the Home Secretary. He was…

Results 321-340 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Northern Ireland: Community Policing (10 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the noble and learned Lord agree that the historic reasons for disaffection and disengagement from the institutions in Northern Ireland-not least from the Royal Ulster Constabulary but also from the civic institutions-and the motives for boycott and disengagement have been removed by the creation of these new policing arrangements and civic institutions? We need to…

Asylum System (10 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I refer to a debate we had in your Lordships’ House one month ago. Will the Minister give some thought to the introduction of an American-style green card system and the opportunity, therefore, for at least some of those who come to this country for economic reasons to stay here for licit and legal purposes? Can he tell the House what monitoring of the dispersal system is taking…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support Amendment No. 8 which the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, has just moved. In doing so, I refer the Committee to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act and to the principal terms used in Part I which states: XIn this Act, except where otherwise stated- (a) embryo means a live human embryo where fertilisation is complete, and (b) references to an embryo include an egg in the…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: Before the Minister sits down, perhaps he can help me on a point of clarification. In the principal terms used in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, Section 1(b) states: Xreferences to an embryo include an egg in the process of fertilisation”. Do the Government uphold that definition in the context of the Bill before us today?

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the points made by the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch. Perhaps I may ask the Minister specifically about a report that appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Times, under the headline, XBritish expert may join bid to clone humans”. The report states: XA leading British infertility specialist is in talks with Severino Antinori, the Italian doctor, to help to set up a project to make human clones…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the Minister. That sends the right signal from our debate. Will he make it abundantly clear that he would expect the HFEA to act in that way for any such process that took place in a UK clinic, even if it did not culminate in the placing of a cloned human embryo in a woman, but, as the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, suggested earlier, it resulted in the sale or export of a…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the Minister for the way in which he has replied to the points. It would be good for me to go away and reflect on what he has said and to consider further whether the amendment should be pressed in another place. If that is appropriate, I shall speak to honourable Members and ask them to raise the matter again on Thursday. On the basis of the Minister’s reply, I beg leave to…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I explored this matter with the Minister at Second Reading. I am grateful to him for his reply. Can he clarify at this juncture whether in Scotland it will be the Lord Advocate who will have the role which the Director of Public Prosecution is designated as having on the face of the Bill? Perhaps I may briefly commend the remarks of the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, with which I entirely agree…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: moved Amendment No. 3: Page 1, line 10, at end insert- X( ) against a woman in the circumstances defined in subsection (1).”

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I explored this point with the Minister on Second Reading, and he gave some clarification in his reply, for which I was grateful. The amendment is intended to deal with the point about inadvertent implantation that I made on Second Reading. I think that we would all agree that there would be a great feeling of repugnance if a woman went out of her way deliberately to create circumstances in…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. For the understanding of people outside this House, will the Minister also confirm that as soon as the court case began in January the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said that until the whole legal process was completed-it could go as far as your Lordships’ House and the Law Lords and on to the European Court-no…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, can the Minister also confirm to noble Lords that, 10 days ago, the European Parliament passed by majority vote a resolution to prevent the provision of any funding for any scientist working in the Community who uses therapeutic as well as reproductive cloning techniques?

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for allowing me to intervene. Let us take the case of a woman who is desperate to have a child and so agrees to proceed with such an illicit procedure. In those circumstances, surely if subsequently she were to reconsider her actions, it would quite wrong to criminalise her. According to the penalties set out in the Bill, such a woman could face up to…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for allowing me to intervene once more. The Bill specifies that the Director of Public Prosecutions will bring forward cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and will be responsible for determining whether a prosecution should be pursued. Can the Minister tell the House whether in Scotland the Lord Advocate would undertake those tasks? Who would…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, like the noble Baroness, Lady Gould, I support the Bill so far as it goes in outlawing reproductive cloning. I argued for that during the debate in January. I welcome the initiative that the Government have come forward with, although I wish that it had happened in January and that we could implement a comprehensive ban on all forms of human cloning. The developments in the United…

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (26 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I appreciate that clarification, because that does open up the possibility of some common ground being found in different parts of your Lordships’ House. In January the Minister said to the House that there were no new fundamental issues raised by the regulations which had been placed before us, and the Government told us that CNR-cell nuclear replacement-was lawful….

Human Reproductive Cloning Bill [HL] (21 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in supporting the remarks of the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, perhaps I may ask the Government Chief Whip two questions. The first concerns our standing in terms of international jurisprudence. Is the noble Lord aware that the European Parliament on Wednesday last-the day before the High Court judgment-passed a resolution by a majority vote outlawing any European funding…

Human Cloning (21 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to lay primary legislation before Parliament to prohibit human cloning, and, if so, when.

Human Cloning (21 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. However, does he recall the justification that he gave to the House on 22nd January last for the use of unamendable orders rather than primary legislation? On that occasion he said that no new fundamental issues arose and that the use of cell nuclear replacement was lawful. In the light of those assurances and of the High Court ruling of last week…

London: Emergency Response Co-ordination (5 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that some of the speculation in parts of the media in the past few days about potential attacks on nuclear facilities and others borders on the downright irresponsible? Does he agree that careless talk not only costs lives but also sows seeds of doubt in the minds of many people and can therefore sap national morale? Nothing is to be gained by that kind of..

Results 341-360 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Asylum (29 Oct 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, while the Minister is right in saying that this is not an issue that should result in recrimination between political parties or other Members of your Lordships’ House, does he recognise that in the past decade there have been four attempts at legislation? Looking at the debates in this House in 1998 will have some virtue and be of some benefit to Ministers. At that time Members of…

International Development Bill [HL] (25 Oct 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, as one of the proposers of the amendment, I ask him to look at Amendment No. 2, which refers to “any form of coercion in relation to those said activities”. If the Government were to accept the principle of the amendment and perhaps add a codicil stating that it related only to abortion and the forced sterilisation of women, that would be a great…

International Development Bill [HL] (25 Oct 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, it is a great pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Elton, and the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, who have spoken to the amendment so eloquently and effectively. As the noble Lord reminded us, the amendment has its genesis in an amendment tabled at Committee stage by the noble Baroness, Lady Young, and moved by the noble Baroness, Lady Rawlings. I supported the amendment then and am…

Northern Ireland (23 Oct 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, we are all indebted to the noble Baroness, Lady Park of Monmouth, for instigating this short debate today and for the characteristic prescience that she has shown in her sense of timing. I particularly endorse her remarks about the need for a commission for victims and also what she said about the Maranatha Community whose founder, Mr Denis Wrigley, I have known for 25 years. He is…

Anti-terrorism Measures (15 Oct 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, in his remarks earlier, the noble Lord, Lord McNally, reminded us of the abiding scenes of the emergency workers in New York. We also recollect the rock solid qualities of the Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, standing in the midst of the mayhem and creating some order out of the chaos. I want to ask the Minister whether he is happy that, if, God forbid, similar circumstances were…

China: Human Rights (18 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of human rights abuses in China, and whether they intend to re-assess the funding of agencies involved in population control measures in China. I ask this Unstarred Question against the backdrop of massive violations and abuses of human rights in China. I am extremely grateful to those noble Lords from all sides of the House…

International Development Bill [H.L.] (16 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. Is the noble Baroness able to confirm that her department’s publication China: Population Issues states: “Critics of this position argue that several years of UNFPA and IPPF involvement in China has not led the Chinese to moderate their policies or stop abuses in the implementation of policy. This is true”?

International Development Bill [H.L.] (16 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I signed Amendments Nos. 23 and 24, together with the noble Baroness, Lady Rawlings, the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, who apologises to the House, as she is on parliamentary business in Indonesia at the moment, and the noble Baroness, Lady Young, who is absent on parliamentary business elsewhere. It might be convenient to speak to Amendment No. 26A in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Brennan, at…

International Development Bill [H.L.] (16 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I support the point that the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, made about the undesirability of having amendments to Clause 7 in the same group as stand part debates on Clauses 5 and 6. That has led to some confusion. We have disposed of Clause 5 stand part and are now dealing with Clause 6 stand part. Once that has been dealt with, we should go on to Clause 7 and consider the remainder of the…

International Development Bill [H.L.] (16 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The interesting debate between the noble Lords, Lord Desai and Lord Judd, is one that gets to the very heart of how we perceive legislation–whether it is about the technical objectives of a department or a broad, sweeping statement of intent. In some ways, we must try to combine the best of both arguments. I am tempted to recall to the Committee the story of two Pre-Raphaelite painters;…

Citizenship (9 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I declare an interest as director of the Foundation for Citizenship at Liverpool John Moores University. Like others who have spoken already, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Massey of Darwen, for introducing this topic and putting this important report before your Lordships’ House. I also welcome the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, to the Front Bench to reply to the debate. Ironically, he…

Sudan (9 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, has the Minister seen the recent reports from the Bishop of Rumbek about the killing of civilians in Raga as a direct result of the bombing of those civilian populations? Bearing in mind what she has already heard from those who spoke earlier, is it not time that we reviewed our policy about exploitation of oil in Sudan? The areas around oil fields have been ethnically cleansed of…

Human Cloning Ban: Prospects of Legislation (4 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When they intend to introduce legislation to outlaw human cloning.

Human Cloning Ban: Prospects of Legislation (4 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, while I am grateful to the Minister for that Answer, does he recall the assurances that he gave noble Lords in our debate on this subject on 22nd January? We should assuage the fears of many who believe that therapeutic cloning will inexorably pave the way for full reproductive human cloning. He said that the Government would introduce legislation and the implication was that that…

Belfast Agreement: Decommissioning (27 Jun 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister accept that many on all sides of the House share the view that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mayhew, put to the House: that we should not lose sight of the crucial, central position of Mr David Trimble; and that all of us, whether nationalist or unionist, Catholic or Protestant, owe him a great debt for the personal courage he has shown in trying to press on with…

Developing Countries: Corruption (10 May 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, will the Minister agree that in countries such as Benin–where the Government of President Kerekou have firmly spoken out against the practice of child slavery and the use of children as forced labour–nevertheless, the involvement of western companies, particularly in the manufacture of cocoa and subsequently in the chocolate industry, is frequently through collaboration with…

Iran (25 Apr 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, this has been a well informed debate in which every speaker who has contributed has done so from the basis of knowledge and conviction. I am extremely indebted to everyone who has participated. The noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Crosby, described the fault line that has run through the debate as a difference between optimists and pessimists. That remark was echoed by the Minister….

Iran (25 Apr 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to call attention to the violations of human rights in Iran and to the policy of Her Majesty’s Government towards Iran; and to move for Papers. My Lords, on 27th March, in a debate in your Lordships’ House, considerable dismay was expressed by noble Lords about the decision to place the Iranian resistance movement on the list of proscribed organisations. In moving the Motion on the Order…

Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (27 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for giving way. I strongly welcome what he said about the use of an amicus curiae to put the case on behalf of the appellant–that goes some way to answering the point about fairness raised by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mayhew–but will he say a few more words about the issue of disclosure, which the noble Viscount, Lord Colville, raised with him…

Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (27 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the noble Lord accept that, out of the 21 organisations that we have been considering, there is no dispute between us about 19 of them? One of the more interesting aspects of today’s debate is that consensus has been reached on much of what the Government have done here. However, where there is disagreement, a process should be in place so that the more controversial questions…

Results 361-380 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (27 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord has helped to remove some of the polarisation that was beginning to emerge in the debate. It is wrong to suggest that anyone who in any way questions the order is somehow implicitly in favour of terrorism. I remind my noble friend Lord Marsh that we have an opportunity in this House to question Bills, orders and any other form of legislation. We do not want to turn…

Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (27 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord will forgive me, but the tone of his remarks was such as to suggest that anyone who dared to question the sagacity and wisdom of the committee to which he referred, which comprised very distinguished people, is in some way complicit in collaborating with the upholding of terrorism in this country or overseas. I entirely dispute that, as I dispute the remarks of the…

Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (27 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I shall come to those arguments in a moment. The noble Lord should read the remarks of Elizabeth Sidney, the chair of the International Network of Liberal Women. I had the pleasure of working with her when I was a member of the noble Lord’s party. She is a most distinguished woman who is hardly the supporter of revolutionaries worldwide. Last week, she said: “Instead, we have…

Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (27 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, this is the third intervention in as many minutes, but I shall happily give way to the noble Lord.

Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (27 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the noble Lord will accept that some Members of your Lordships’ House were once members of the British Communist Party. I suppose that they could be caricatured as having Marxist-Leninist roots. I refer the noble Lord to the correspondence that your Lordships have received, as I have, from a number of Iranian organisations in this country. These are respectable groups who have been…

Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2001 (27 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I have just mentioned Menachem Begin. At the time of the blowing up of the King David Hotel 50 years ago, he was placed on the proscribed list and regarded as a state terrorist. We acquire a different view with the passage of time. I suspect that we shall also have a different view of the Mujaheddin in the fullness of time. It is worth stating clearly for the record what the…

Indonesia (6 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they are helping the development of a civil society in Indonesia.

Indonesia (6 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I strongly welcome what the Minister has said to the House and, through her, thank her honourable friend Mr John Battle for the initiatives that he has taken in trying to develop civil institutions in Indonesia. Does she agree that the deepening economic crisis in that country is inevitably having a knock-on effect in damaging civil institutions and creating further communal strife?…

Sudan: Slavery (26 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, while I agree with what the noble Baroness has said today–particularly in regard to a multilateral approach–will she return to the answer that she gave to the right reverend Prelate and agree that what is taking place in Sudan today is the deliberate seizure of women and children, in particular, as slaves as a weapon of war? Does she agree that there is a need to create safe havens…

Asylum Seekers (14 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I join the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, in thanking the noble Lord, Lord Renton of Mount Harry, for introducing the debate and for the tone which he set. He recalled his two years at the Home Office where as a Minister he dealt with many of these matters. As a constituency MP at the time, I regularly took cases to him. He always showed great fairness, objectivity and impartiality in the…

Alder Hey Inquiry Report (30 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, for two years from 1990 my then two-year-old daughter was operated on and treated at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. I put on record my admiration for and gratitude to the staff–the nurses and doctors–for the extraordinary love, care and professionalism they showed during that period. I do not believe that I am alone in saying that; I do so on behalf of the many parents whose…

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2000 (22 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, it is not the tradition of your Lordships’ House for the mover of an amendment to delay the House unnecessarily at the end of a debate. I do not intend to trespass long on the time of the House at the end of what has been an agreeable debate in the sense of people expressing their views in a forthright manner, intelligently listening to one another’s points of view and begging to…

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2000 (22 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, and I should not wish ever to be accused of being fuzzy on this question. He knows that I believe that we should provide protection for the human embryo. It is as simple as that. But he knows also that currently the status quo is the position which he advocates. Half a million human embryos have been used in research since the 1990 legislation was…

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2000 (22 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for giving way. He is right in saying that I have consistently argued in favour of protection for the human embryo. However, as he will appreciate, I am not putting forward the proposals today. The regulations have been placed before the House by the Government. My case is that they have not been properly tested. We have not heard from the witnesses…

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2000 (22 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to move, as an amendment to the Motion to approve the draft regulations, to leave out all the words after “That” and insert “this House declines to approve the draft regulations laid before the House on 12th December until a Select Committee of the House of Lords has reported on the issues connected with human cloning and stem cell research”.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2000 (22 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, the fact that more than 40 Members of your Lordships’ House have sought to speak in today’s debate underlines, as the Minister has said, the momentous and awesome nature of the decisions that we are invited to address. My principal concerns fall into four areas: constitutional, legal, scientific, and ethical. Before turning to those concerns I want to speak about the amendment that…

Iraq: Turkish Incursion (20 Dec 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Avebury. Will the Minister confirm that representatives of our embassy in Ankara were recently able to go to the Tur’abdin area of south-east Turkey? Is she aware that the position of Kurds and other groups seems to have improved in recent months; and will she welcome that? Will she also welcome the recent collaboration between the…

Detention Centre Rules (30 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, how many people are currently in detention centres and what are their family profiles? For what kind of duration are they likely to remain in the centres?

Disqualifications Bill (20 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the noble and learned Lord sits down, would he care to reflect for a moment that real progress has been possible in the past 15 years because, when his party were in opposition, it quite properly gave full support to the previous government and that progress has been made since this Government came to power because Her Majesty’s Opposition have given them great support? If…

Disqualifications Bill (20 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Dubs, who has tried to put the debate into a reasonable context. There has been an edge to much of what has been said this afternoon that will not help the process in Northern Ireland. I always listen to the noble Lord, Lord Lamont of Lerwick, with great regard and I believe that he has a significant contribution to make to these debates…

Results 381-400 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Disqualifications Bill (20 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, does he not agree that the real prize here is that, with the repeal of Articles 2 and 3, any constitutional claim by the Irish Government on Northern Ireland will pass; and as it passes so it ensures that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to continue to determine their own affairs? That is the prize at the end of the process. For those of us…

Disqualifications Bill (20 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: The noble Earl, Lord Russell, has taken us back to the 17th century; perhaps I may move forward two centuries. Noble Lords will recall that Mr Gladstone’s Home Rule Bill came before your Lordships’ House and was defeated. It attempted to create a united Ireland within a United Kingdom. If that Bill had passed through all its stages, perhaps many of the tragedies of the 20th century might have…

Urban White Paper (16 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome the general thrust of the White Paper. Perhaps I may press the Minister to return to the issue of housing. First, I should like to ask him about the use of the compulsory purchase powers, to which he alluded earlier, and whether they will be used particularly in the context of empty houses, which can be such a blight on so many areas. The Minister will be aware that in many…

Asylum Seekers: Information (16 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister recall that, during the proceedings of the Immigration and Asylum Bill, many Members from all sides of your Lordships’ House expressed concern about the way in which the voucher scheme would operate? Given that a review is currently under way, can the Minister ensure that consideration will be given to the way in which the vouchers are tendered? At the moment no…

Police (Northern Ireland) Bill (8 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, there is certainly symmetry in the arguments which I have placed before your Lordships’ House. I hope that, although there is a much smaller percentage of Protestants living in the Republic of Ireland than there are Catholics living in Northern Ireland, nevertheless they would join Garda Siochana in the same way as I argue that nationalists in Northern Ireland should join the police…

Police (Northern Ireland) Bill (8 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I support the position which the Government have put to the House tonight. I do so recalling my maiden speech in this House. I said that I came from a mixed marriage of a Catholic and a Protestant. My late mother was from the west of Ireland and was an Irish speaker. On my father’s side, my uncle died when serving in the RAF and my father served in the 8th Army. I said that you did…

Police (Northern Ireland) Bill (8 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I hope that noble Lords understand that I do not seek to reflect the views of the Catholic community. I give my own views based on conversations last week in Northern Ireland. It was the noble Lord, Lord Rogan, who, from the same Benches, told Her Majesty’s Government that since the peace process began the key issue was intimidation. If the noble Lord reads what I have said…

Police (Northern Ireland) Bill (25 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: I intended to speak in favour of the amendment standing in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Pilkington. The Committee should be indebted to the noble Lord for raising this important question. Like many other noble Lords, I have made representations to the Government about the undesirability of creating this kind of list and picking out certain organisations, some of which are, as the noble…

Russia: Child Welfare (17 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, has the noble Baroness had a chance to consider the report that I gave recently to her officials relating to street children in Moscow, the 5,000 children in orphanages in and around the Moscow area and, in particular–alluding to the points just made–the trafficking that is now taking place with the selling on of children into prostitution? Is the noble Baroness aware of the…

Burma (2 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: rose to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will consider measures to bring to justice those responsible for genocide and abuses of human rights in Burma. My Lords, my Question asks Her Majesty’s Government to consider the remedies open to the international community in the light of the grave human rights abuses and genocide committed by the Burmese military regime. At the outset, I…

Turkey: EU Membership (25 Jul 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, several years ago, I led a fact-finding mission to south-east Turkey on behalf of the Christian human rights group, the Jubilee Campaign. We subsequently published a report warning that the ancient Churches of that region faced systematic destruction, and we detailed examples of individual atrocities and what we described as cultural genocide. In the intervening period, I regret to…

Human Genetic Code (29 Jun 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I accept what the Minister said about the imperative for good science and good ethics to march hand in hand. However, does not he agree that the process would have greater credibility if the Human Genetics Advisory Commission had at least one dissenting voice among its membership? It will not be accepted as a credible body to examine the ethics of genetics as regards future human…

Indonesia (20 Jun 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, it is a privilege for me to follow the noble Lord, Lord Clarke of Hampstead, and to echo and endorse everything that he has said. It is indicative of the widespread concern that many of the sentiments that the noble Lord has expressed, and before him the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, will be echoed on all sides of the House. Before turning to the main burden of my remarks, perhaps I may…

Asylum Seekers: Dispersal Policy (8 Jun 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister recall that during the proceedings on the 1999 Act many Members of your Lordships’ House raised two specific concerns about the dispersal policy? The first was precisely that hard-to-let properties on sink estates might well be used by councils which might be keen to try to maximise revenue from asylum seekers. Secondly, can the noble Lord give some assurances to…

Employers: Family Friendly Policies (17 May 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the introduction of Sunday trading, with over 1.5 million more people now being required to work on Sundays, bringing the total number to 9 million people working on Sundays each week, has had a disastrous effect on family life because it has prevented families from having time together? Does he particularly agree with some of the arguments currently…

Magistrates’ Appointments: Duchy of Lancaster (14 Mar 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, while I welcome what the Minister has just said, does he accept that, although the consultation process has been a courteous exercise, the letter from the Cabinet Office did not include any detail of the opposition that has now emerged from the Lord Lieutenancies in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside? As other speakers have said, there is now increasing resistance to the…

Senator Pinochet: CPS Role (2 Mar 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, surely the noble and learned Lord will accept that, notwithstanding the impeccable credentials of the Attorney-General and the integrity of the Home Secretary, the sight of General Pinochet returning to Chile today will not send a message that dictators will be brought to trial and will find no corner in which to hide. Does he agree that, since 1948 and the creation of the convention…

Mozambique (28 Feb 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome the Government’s intention to provide an additional half a million pounds towards the immediate situation in Mozambique. I welcome, too, the Minister’s remarks about the remission of debt charges. Nevertheless, I am sure that the sight of many victims clinging to wreckage, trees and buildings will be on the minds of everyone in this House. Has the Minister seen the…

Pakistan (19 Jan 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, from debates in your Lordships’ House and in another place, it is strikingly obvious just how many friends Pakistan has right across the political spectrum. For many years, one of the most consistent and reliable of those friends has been my noble friend Lord Weatherill. Anyone who has an interest in the affairs of Pakistan would do well to read his speech and attach proper weight to…

Burma: Tourist Advice (17 Jan 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I welcome what the Minister has said to the House, but is she aware that many of the hotels and the tourist infrastructure in Burma have been built by slave labour, often involving in particular the Kareni people and others from different ethnic minorities, who have been forcibly exploited and many of whom have even died during the creation of that tourist infrastructure? Is she…

Results 401-402 of 402 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Commons debates or Westminster Hall debates or Lords debates or Northern Ireland Assembly debates

Elections: Turn-out (30 Nov 1999)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords–

Elections: Turn-out (30 Nov 1999)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord. Does the Minister recall that his right honourable friend the Home Secretary told another place during the passage of the European Parliamentary Elections Bill that after the election there would be a review of how the procedures had worked? Is it not time, in the light of the other legislation that is to be laid before the House, for the…

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