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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Written Questions In the House of Lords

To read the details of the following written questions in the House of Lords, since March 2000, please click on the link below: Then click on the question and the answer will also be given:http://www.theyworkforyou.com/search/?pid=13103&s=section%3Awrans&pop=1

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (21 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many abortions on the grounds of rectifiable disabilities have occurred after 24 weeks’ gestation in the past 10 years.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Tibet (21 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of China about the arrest and conviction by a court in Sichuan of the Tibetan nomad, Runggye Adak, who was imprisoned after he called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (21 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 23 October (WA100-1) regarding relevant paragraphs in the Declaration of Helsinki and guidelines produced by the International Society for Stem Cell Research, whether they will seek to enshrine in primary legislation a simple yet unambiguous prohibition of all such experiments that lack a compelling…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Adoption (19 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many children are adopted each year in Britain; what percentage are aged under one year; and how these figures compare with other European Union and North American countries.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Nuclear Programme (19 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their assessment of the current state of progress of the six-party talks seeking to resolve the dispute with North Korea over its nuclear programme.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (14 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When they last raised the subject of human rights abuses in North Korea with representatives of the Government of North Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (12 Nov 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 29 October (WA144-5) regarding Medical Research Council expenditure, why a total of £760,000 might now be required to identify potential benefits of somatic cell nuclear transfer, especially in light of Answers provided by Lord Darzi of Denham on 23 October (WA100-1) stating that research licences cannot be…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (12 Nov 2007)
Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 29 October (WA144-5) regarding Medical Research Council expenditure on somatic cell nuclear transfer research, what assessment they have made of work described in Transplantation Proceedings (2006) 38:3103-3108 and Transplantation Proceedings (2007) 39:658-661, and in particular of any costs known to be…

Results 1-20 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (30 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many abortions on the grounds of rectifiable disabilities have occurred after 24 weeks’ gestation in the past 10 years.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (29 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What action they will take in the light of the evidence submitted by Dr Vincent Argent, medical director of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that he had observed (a) doctors authorising abortions who (i) signed batches of forms before patients are seen for consultation; (ii) signed the forms with no…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (29 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in the light of the oral evidence given to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee by the chief executive of the Medical Research Council on 5 February 2007 (HC 272-1 (Q249)), expressing doubt about support for the use of human oocytes for somatic nuclear transfer due to the virtually zero success rate, they will account for the use…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (29 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Which parts of a child created as a saviour sibling can or cannot be harvested for the purpose of treating conditions that are not life-threatening, as described in paragraph 43 of the Government’s response to Recommendation 17 of the report from the Joint Committee on the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill (HL Paper 169-I); and How early in development…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Childbirth (29 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What are the current levels of pre-term births in the United Kingdom; how these levels compare with the numbers for each of the past 40 years; and what assessment they are making of worldwide studies into the causes of pre-term births.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan (29 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their assessment of the level of conflict in the constituent regions of Sudan and the prospects for resolution.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (29 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: In light of the shooting dead on 17 October of three contract truck drivers working for World Food Programme in Darfur, what additional measures can be taken to improve the security and safety of humanitarian aid workers.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Peace Agreement (29 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their current assessment of the long-term viability of the comprehensive peace agreement in southern Sudan following the decision of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to withdraw from the government of national unity.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (23 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the decision of South Korea’s ministry of health and welfare to prohibit the transfer of somatic cell nuclei from animals into enucleated human eggs and to further restrict the types of eggs that can be used for cloning to immature or abnormal eggs prepared for in vitro fertilisation and those which become surplus following…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (23 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why the Medical Research Council’s provision of financial incentives to partake in the use of human oocytes for somatic nuclear transfer has taken precedence over implementation of the February 2004 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines regarding National Health Service provision of three in vitro fertilisation cycles to all infertile…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (23 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answers by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 6 February (WA 118-19), 17 April (WA 42-43) and 18 June (WA 9-10) regarding the use of human embryos in basic research, how they will enforce paragraph 11 of the Declaration of Helsinki and paragraphs 8.3 and 10.3 of the International Society for Stem Cell Research guidelines for human embryonic stem…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (23 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answers by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 28 June (WA 157-58) and Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 12 July (WA 240-41), whether they propose to alter by order the stage of development at which an animal attains protected status under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 with regard to injecting human embryonic stem cells into a…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (23 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have taken steps to ensure that the conduct formerly associated with Woo-Suk Hwang in South Korea remains unique to that country; and how they ensure that all research licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority conforms to World Medical Association standards as set out in the Declaration of Helsinki.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (22 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What data concerning in vitro fertilisation patients who have produced 20 or more eggs are held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), in particular whether they maintain records which show the highest numbers of eggs obtained and the frequency with which such numbers of eggs have been obtained from individual patients; and whether they will…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (22 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What consideration they have given to the view of the Joint Committee on the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill that denying the existence of a biological father on birth certificates “involves the authorities and we are deeply concerned about the idea that the authorities may be colluding in a deception”; what importance they attach to the presence of a…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan (22 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the likely consequences of the decision by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to suspend its involvement in the national unity Government citing the failure of its northern partners to implement parts of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement which ended the 21-year civil war.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Taxation: VAT (17 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the annual amount raised by the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the cost of repairs to historic houses; and what consideration they are giving to removing VAT on such repairs or providing a tax allowance to offset the cost of such repairs.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Skills (16 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answers by Lord Adonis on 18 October 2005 (WA 122) and 7 November 2005 (WA 63-4), what evidence has emerged from the most recent National Skills Surveys concerning (a) the specific technical or practical skills which are most in short supply in the United Kingdom; and (b) the skill shortages, if any, which could be addressed by practical…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Trade (16 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What has been the overall level of trade between the United Kingdom and Sudan each year, for the past five years; and to what extent pension funds controlled by the Government have been divesting from businesses that support the Government of Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Aid (15 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What discussions they have had with the European Commission about budget lines available for programmes in North Korea.

Results 21-40 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (11 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked the Chairman of Committees: Whether all evidence received by the Joint Committee on the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill has been made available to the public, whether by publication in print and online or through deposit in readily accessible archives.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma: Human Rights (10 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Burma about (a) the peaceful protests calling for democratic government; (b) the continued house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi; and (c) the continued attacks on Burma’s ethnic minorities; and what consideration they are giving to any additional measures or actions.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Aid (10 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What discussions they have had with the European Commission about providing support to health, water and sanitation sectors in North Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Aid (10 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What support they are giving to North Korea in response to the recent flooding.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Aid (10 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in light of the recent flooding, they will review their earlier statements about the stability of the humanitarian situation in North Korea not requiring support from the European Commission’s humanitarian aid.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Humanitarian Aid (1 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will take steps to encourage the European Commission to fund health and water programmes in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Humanitarian Aid (1 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their assessment of the current humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; and whether they have assessed the likelihood of a repeat of the famine of the 1990s.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Humanitarian Aid (1 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What discussions they have had with the EuropeAid Co-operation Office and the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) about ECHO ending its humanitarian support in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2008.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (1 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What additional humanitarian assistance they will provide in Gereida refugee camp following the withdrawal of Oxfam from that camp; what assessment they have made of the increased demand for humanitarian relief during the rainy season; and what is their current assessment of the number of civilians affected by the crisis in Darfur who are presently unable to…

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Humanitarian Aid (1 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What discussions they have had with the EuropeAid Co-operation Office and the European Community Humanitarian Office about their support for the work of non-governmental organisations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; when any such discussions took place; who was present; what was discussed; and what was the outcome.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Chad (1 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What discussions they have held with European Union Ministers on the deployment and potential mandate of the international peacekeeping troops to Chad and their relationship with the United Nations, African Union and NATO.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (1 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will provide details of known violations of United Nations Resolution 1591 prohibiting offensive military flights in and over the Darfur region since its implementation on 29 March 2005; and what representations they have made to the government of Sudan to end such flights.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (1 Oct 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What steps they intend to take to follow up the second international meeting on Darfur, held in July, in order to assist the international community as it begins to pursue the pre-negotiation stage of the United Nations roadmap for Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (26 Jul 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will resist any proposal to extend the scope of the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (26 Jul 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 26 June (WA 129-30), whether definitions in the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill only apply in the context of that Bill; whether they apply to either the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 or the decision taken by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority appeals committee…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (26 Jul 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 26 June (WA 129-30), what assessment they have made of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report on Government proposals for the regulation of hybrid and chimera embryos (HC 272), in particular, whether there should be a total prohibition of any form of reproductive cloning; and…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Schools: Class Sizes (23 Jul 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have received representations during the past three years from St Leonard’s Church of England primary school in the London Borough of Lambeth about reducing the number of children in its classes; and Whether they have received representations in the past three years from Lambeth local education authority about reducing the number of children in the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (12 Jul 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 25 June (WA 101-2) on the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill, whether they have assessed the possibility of a regulated procedure under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 involving the injection of human embryonic stem cells into tetraploid animal embryos as a potential route to human…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (11 Jul 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 January (WA 129-30), why data on the number of embryos created using cell nuclear replacement (cloning) as part of a research project are not routinely collected by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, regardless of the grant of a particular licence in the first instance.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (11 Jul 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answers by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 January (WA 204) and 26 June (WA 129-30), whether the remit of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority extends to the responsibility for licensing human embryo research which is prohibited by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; and whether the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft)…

Results 41-60 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (28 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the creation of an animal embryo that has been altered by the introduction of one or more human cells comes under the reserved matters set out in the Scotland Act 1998, bearing in mind that an embryonic animal-human chimera that is destroyed before half the gestation or incubation period has elapsed does not come under the remit of the Animals (…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (28 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 19 June (WA 29), how many children have been born using embryos created since 1991.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (28 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 19 June (WA 29), why no data are held regarding embryos created using cell nuclear replacement (cloning) as part of a research project.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (26 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 8 June (WA 223), whether they will explain how research can be both embryonic and adult and at the same time foetal and adult.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (26 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 18 June (WA 9-10), why they have permitted the genetic modification of embryos to study implantation when they have also stated that there is no intention to implant such an embryo.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (26 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 19 June (WA 29), how they maintain confidence in the regulation of nuclear transfer if no data are held by the Department of Health, and if data on the number of embryos created using cell nuclear replacement (cloning) as part of a research project are not routinely collected by the Human Fertilisation…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (26 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 18 June (WA 9), how removal of any nuclei or pronuclei from an embryo would not have significantly altered the genetic structure of that embryo due to the removal of all nuclear genes, bearing in mind that altering the structure was considered by the appeal committee for the Human Fertilisation and…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (26 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 19 June (WA 38) regarding the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill, on what date the draft bill was published; on what date a public consultation was announced; and what was the closing date prior to the publication of the draft bill for written evidence, other than electronic communications, from the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (26 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 19 June (WA 39-40), bearing in mind that the response of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to the Department of Health’s public consultation stated that the “issue of mitochondrial disease is appropriately highlighted as an example where this technology may be clinically…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Vietnam: Human Rights (26 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Vietnam about the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of the human rights lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan and the democracy activist Father Nguyen Van Ly.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Disability: Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether parents of children with special needs are able to recover their costs incurred in appealing to a Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many diagnostic and research licences for the creation of pure hybrids up to the two-cell stage have been permitted since 1990 under Section 4(1)(c) and paragraph 1(1)(f) of Schedule 2 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; when these licences were issued; how many clinics requested such licences; how many clinics were granted such licences;…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When the last licences for the hamster egg penetration test (HEPT), permitted under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, were granted and when they expired; andwhether the HEPT has been superseded by intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Through which bodies or mechanisms other than the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council do the Government support stem cell research; how much money was invested in stem cell research during the last financial year by such bodies or mechanisms; how much of this was for adult stem cell research and how much of…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether there are any bodies or mechanisms that have previously been used to provide government support for stem cell research but no longer do so; if so, what are the names of any such bodies or mechanisms; what were the totals invested by these bodies or mechanisms; how much money from these totals was invested in adult stem cell therapy; and how much was…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, under the terms of the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill, animal chimeras, where human cells are inserted into animal embryos, will be unregulated; and, if so, whether the Bill permits their transfer to an animal womb; and Whether the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill permits a procedure involving tetraploid complementation using an animal…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the proposed new Section 4A(5)(e) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 set out in Clause 17(2) of the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill is intended to apply only to conventional hybrids generated by cross-species fertilisation.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether animal chimeras are (a) subject to the 14-day rule; (b) unregulated until half the gestation period of the animal, after which they would fall under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; (c) permitted to be taken to term in an animal womb and be born, under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986; and, if not, what legislation would prevent…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the proposed new Section 4A(5)(e) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, set out in Clause 17(2) of the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill, would apply equally to an inter-species embryo at any stage of pre-implantation development that contains haploid human chromosomes or any multiple thereof (whether euploid or aneuploid) and genetic…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Schools: Wheelchair Users (25 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their estimate of the average cost of transporting a wheelchair user to school by bus.

Results 61-80 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers Written Answers – House of Lords: Schools: Special Educational Needs (21 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many schools have failed to produce accessibility plans, as required by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001; of those schools, how many are (a) Church of England, and (b) Roman Catholic primary schools; and what sanctions are in place for schools which fail to produce such accessibility plans; and How many children with disabilities or…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (20 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 May (WA 90-1), why the focus for their stem cell funding is on potential clinical efficacy; and why no funding bias has been made towards work developing adult stem cells.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (19 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many human embryos have been created each year since the passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1991; and how many cloned human embryos have been created since 2001.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Cord Blood (19 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the clinical and public service implications of the remarks of Professor Nicholas Fisk of Imperial College, London, on (a) the survival rates of patients treated with cord blood compared to those given bone marrow transplants; (b) the validation of cord blood as a first-line treatment for leukaemia; and (c) the size of public…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (19 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 May (WA 90), to what period of time the figures given for investment in stem cell research via the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) related; what are the totals invested by the BBSRC and the MRC to date in (a) adult, and (b) human…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (19 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What was the date of the publication of the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill; and what is the closing date for public response to the draft; and In publishing the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill, what account they took of the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Draft Freedom of Information Bill (HL Paper 97, 1998-99) with regard to the need for…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (19 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 7 June (WA 203-04), how their stated commitment to a ban on reproductive cloning is reflected in the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill, particularly in light of the repeal of the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001, proposed on page 88 of the draft Bill, and proposal 22 on page 146 of the draft…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (19 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What are the details of the revised plan agreed at Addis Ababa for a joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force to be sent to Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (18 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 14 May (WA 4) concerning Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority licence application R0153, to what extent Members of Parliament were consulted in determining the overall intentions of Parliament; and How the definitions used by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in the appeals…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (18 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 14 May (WA 4), why the embryos of no other species would be suitable for researching implantation; and what scientific references to previous research undertaken on this aspect demonstrate the feasibility of such proposed research with human embryos.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (18 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the implications for public policy arising out of the work of Japanese scientists in successfully turning adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells; and what purpose now remains in using animal eggs and human embryos when an unlimited supply of embryonic stem cells and tissues may now be produced without the necessity of…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (13 Jun 2007)

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

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Sanctions (13 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the decision of the Government of the United States to press for new sanctions against the Government of Sudan; and what efforts they are making in the Security Council of the United Nations to press for the implementation of all existing resolutions against Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Cord Blood (8 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 3 May (WA 238), whether they will now make available discarded cord blood units to research scientists; and what consideration they are giving to developing opt-out arrangements whereby patients’ cord blood will be made available for therapies and research unless a patient indicates an unwillingness…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (8 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 May (WA 90), whether he will state what are the totals spent to date on embryonic stem cells; and who have been the beneficiaries thus far.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (8 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 May, what were the total number of applications for stem cell project licence funding and the percentage of applications that were successful in drawing down funds for embryonic stem cell research and adult stem cell research respectively.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue and Embryos Bill (Draft) (8 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What consultation is taking place with the Scottish Parliament in connection with the draft Human Tissue and Embryo Bill; and which powers in the Bill are (a) reserved, and (b) devolved; and Whether the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill will apply to Northern Ireland; and what consultation is taking place with the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (7 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether it is their intention, as intimated at Clause 16(5) and (6) of the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill, to permit the possibility of reproductive cloning; and Whether the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill will supersede the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001 by permitting the placing of a human embryo in a woman if the regulator deems that the embryo…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Cord Blood (7 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 3 May (WA 236), what plans they have to extend blood cord banking beyond the four National Health Service hospitals currently collecting cord blood to the rest of the United Kingdom; how much of the £10 million allocated thus far has been used; what percentage of this will be used to meet the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (4 Jun 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 30 April (WA 182) on clinical application of stem cell knowledge, which of the clinical applications involved the use of embryonic stem cells; and which involved the use of adult stem cells.

Results 81-100 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (24 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What treatments for cerebral palsy, using stem cells from umbilical cords, are available in the United Kingdom; what assistance is being given to families with children suffering from this condition to travel to countries where the treatment is available; and when it is anticipated that comparable treatments will be available in the United Kingdom.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (24 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What research is being undertaken into the use of cells from umbilical cords as treatments for cerebral palsy; whether umbilical cords used for this purpose are retained or destroyed; and what percentage of the funds allocated for stem cell research has been reserved for the development of work with stem cells derived from umbilical cords.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (24 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 30 April (WA 182), what information they have on proposals to use embryonic stem cells in therapies; and what therapies are currently available (a) in the United Kingdom, and (b) overseas using adult stem cells.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (22 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 30 April (WA 182), what were the proportions of funding allocated to adult stem cell research compared with that allocated to embryonic stem cell research; what are the totals spent to date; and who have been the beneficiaries thus far.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (16 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath to Lord Patten on 29 March (WA 291), which research studies indicate that only a small minority of women experience long-term post-abortion distress; and what is meant by long-term.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (16 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will make representations to the Government of Sudan about the suspension of 52 local non-governmental organisations working in the southern area of Darfur; and about the denial of access to John Holmes, the United Nations humanitarian co-ordinator, to Kassab camp, north Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (16 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they will make to the Governments of Russia and China regarding the report published by Amnesty International that Russia and China have breached United Nations Resolution 1591 by permitting attack helicopters, bombers and other weapons to be supplied to the Government of Sudan for use in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (14 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 17 April (WA 42-43), whether they will explain the feasibility of proposals to allow research activities that involve alteration of the genetic structure of human embryos in order to understand how specific gene defects lead to failure of embryo implantation, whilst maintaining a specific…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (10 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they are making to the Government of Sudan about the stamping of exit visas for humanitarian workers who have been working in Darfur with prohibitions on their return to Sudan within a six-month period from the date of departure; and what assessment they have made of the impact of these new restrictions on the ability of agencies to recruit…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (9 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What public funding is provided for the National Health Service cord blood bank at Edgware; and whether they intend to review the level of funding it receives.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (8 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What proportion of total stem cell research funds go into adult stem cell or cord blood stem cell research.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (8 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will support cord blood stem cell research both in the private sector and in universities.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (8 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What timetable has been established for the recruitment of the 3,000 soldiers to be deployed as part of the heavy support package of the United Nations soldiers to be deployed in Darfur as part of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS); and whether this deployment is conditional on the call made by UNMIS of 25 April for a cessation of hostilities before the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (8 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the claims of the Sudan Liberation Movement on 24 April that the Government of Sudan have been actively recruiting Arab tribes from Niger to constitute a new militia in Darfur and Chad.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Cord Blood (3 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will provide comprehensive information to pregnant women on cord blood donation; and Whether they will provide the infrastructure to allow the easy collection of cord blood in delivery units; and Whether they will take steps to promote cord blood stem cell technology to the public; and Whether they will work with the royal colleges, especially the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (3 May 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How much cord blood is collected annually in the United Kingdom; what percentage is discarded; and what estimate they have made of the number of National Health Service patients who travel overseas annually to receive treatments involving adult stem cells derived from cord blood.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is (a) the number of scientists, and (b) the total allocation of public and private funds currently allocated in the United Kingdom for the development of embryonic stem cells and to work on adult stem cells.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Stem Cell Therapy (30 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What hazards to health have been identified in connection with the use of embryonic stem cell therapies; and what therapies are currently available in which embryonic stem cells are being used; and What hazards to health have been identified in connection with the use of adult stem cells; and what therapies are currently available in which adult stem cells are used.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Spinal Cord Injuries (26 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why National Health Service patients suffering with spinal cord injuries are required to travel to a clinic in Portugal for treatment; what comparable therapies using adult stem cells are available in the United Kingdom; and how many patients have been successfully treated for spinal cord injuries in treatments using embryonic stem cells.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (26 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their estimate of the number of refugees in Darfur who may now be reached by humanitarian aid workers compared with July 2005.

Results 101-120 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (26 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What reports they have received concerning (a) Salaam camp, in north Darfur, which cannot take any more displaced people due to water shortages; (b) Abu Shouk camp, which has been closed to newcomers; and (c) Zam Zam, which is close to maximum capacity.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (26 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their estimate of the number of people (a) who were displaced across Darfur in February 2007, and (b) who have fled violence in the region since January 2007; and what is their assessment of the International Committee of the Red Cross report of 22 March 2007 that the plight of the most needy rural communities in Sudan’s strife-torn region of Darfur is…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (18 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What consideration they are giving to the warning given by Sir John Holmes, the United Nations emergency relief co-ordinator, that aid relief in Darfur is close to collapse and that aid workers have been beaten and sexually assaulted.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (17 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, with reference to paragraphs 2.51 and 2.52 of the White Paper on the Review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, genetic modification of either embryonic stem cells or tissue stem cells is clearly distinct from genetic modification of cells which are still part of an embryo; and what the ultimate aims or purpose of such research might be, in…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma: Karen (16 Apr 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Burma about the increased number of attacks on villages in the Papua district of the Karen state by the Burmese Army.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo: Human Rights (29 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo about the deaths caused in Kinshasa last week by fighting and civil unrest.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo: Human Rights (29 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What has been the outcome of the representations made to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo about the safety and health of the human rights lawyer and opposition Member of Parliament, Mrs Marie Thérèse Nlandu, following her imprisonment.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (28 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the recommendations of the United Nations high-level report on Sudan that (a) the General Assembly of the United Nations should request the compilation of a list of foreign companies that have an adverse impact on human rights in Darfur; and (b) United Nations institutions and offices should abstain from entering into business…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (28 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Governments of China and Russia about their decision to dismiss the report of the United Nations Human Rights Council into human rights violations in Darfur as having no validity as the report’s authors were denied visas to visit the region.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Disinvestment (28 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have given further consideration to the disinvestment of British commercial investment in Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (27 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What action the United Kingdom ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, had in mind when he indicated that, in relation to the Government of Sudan’s actions in Darfur, the United Nations Security Council should respond to continued provocation and that the council should consider further sanctions.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (27 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their latest estimate of fatalities, casualties and displaced people in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: International Criminal Court (27 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Sudan about their decision to suspend co-operation with the International Criminal Court.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Philippines: Arrests and Extra-judicial Killings (26 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of the Philippines about the recent spate of extra-judicial killings and the arrest of the leader of the opposition in the Philippine Congress, Congressman Satur Ocampo.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Philippines: Elections (26 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the arrangements in place for the conduct of the forthcoming elections in the Philippines.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (22 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the statement by the Rwandan Foreign Minister, Charles Murigande, that Rwanda will withdraw its troops from the African Union mission in Darfur because of inadequate equipment and lack of resources to fund its soldiers.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (22 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the Organisation of Islamic Conference’s rejection of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s report on human rights abuses in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (14 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What factors underlay the finding of the Home Office position paper, published in May 2006, that “ordinary non-Arab ethnic Darfuris are not at risk of persecution outside the Darfur States and … it is not unduly harsh to expect them to relocate to an area within Sudan in which they will be safe”.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Immigration: English Language Courses (13 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their estimate of the financial savings they will make by cutting provision for English for speakers of other languages courses for refugees and asylum seekers.

Results 121-140 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Health: Unpaid Charity Workers (12 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What consideration they are giving to restoring the rights of unpaid charity workers who are United Kingdom citizens, and who have worked overseas for more than five years, to receive free National Health Service healthcare.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Employment Law (6 Mar 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How the law is applied, in the case of first offences, to university students from overseas who have sought paid employment and worked longer hours than permitted by law; and whether they recommend the use of cautions and warnings.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Immigration: English Language Courses (22 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many refugees and asylum seekers have benefited from English for speakers of other languages courses.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Immigration: English Language Courses (22 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What consideration they gave to the effect on community cohesion and integration of the decision to cut the provision of English for speakers of other languages courses; and whether they will review this decision in due course.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Immigration: English Language Courses (19 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What consideration they are giving to the representations made by Asylum Link Merseyside to the Department for Education and Skills about the restriction of access by refugees and asylum seekers to English for Speakers of Other Languages courses.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (6 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 January (WA 203-04), why human embryos rather than those of other species are used for basic research; whether such basic research necessarily requires the creation of additional human embryos; and whether they will now provide an Answer to the Question for Written Answer tabled by Lord Alton of…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo: Human Rights (5 Feb 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo about the imprisonment of Marie Thérèse Nlandu, the Congolese human rights lawyer.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: African Union (31 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have made any representations to African Union member states concerning the scheduled Sudanese presidency of the African Union.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (31 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the likely impact of a Sudan-led African Union on the conflict in Darfur and of the comments of the Greater Sudanese Liberation Movement on this issue.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (31 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have made an assessment of the remarks of Jan Pronk, the former United Nations Special Representative to Darfur, on the further deterioration of the situation in Darfur in the past two months of 2006 and the increasing strength of the Government of Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Non-governmental Organisations (31 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Sudan following the police raid of the International Non-Governmental Organisations compound in Nyala, which led to the arrest and assault of 20 people who had gathered for a social function.

Written Answers – House of Lords: India: Human Rights (23 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will make representations to the Government of India about the anti-conversion law recently passed by the Congress Government in Himachal Pradesh state.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (22 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether paragraph 2.74 of the White Paper, Review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, regarding the possible need for “more basic research” means that basic research has already been unlawfully authorised. Whether they will clarify the meaning of “basic research”, referred to in paragraph 2.74 of the White Paper Review of the Human Fertilisation and…

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Human Rights (8 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they are making concerning the conviction and sentence of Chen Guangcheng following the campaign he waged in Shandong province against the coercive birth control policy.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo: Human Rights (8 Jan 2007)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo about the detention without charge of civil rights lawyer Marie-Thérèse Nlandu and six of her associates; and whether they will take action to ensure that the detainees are not tried in a military court and have access to adequate legal representation.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Investments (19 Dec 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What endowments and investments are held by the parliamentary pension fund or by the Government in companies with commercial interests in Sudan; how large are these endowments; who controls them; and whether they have plans to disinvest until the end of hostilities in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (14 Dec 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they intend to communicate their concerns over the alleged human rights violations occurring in North Korea to the United Nations Secretary-General-designate, Ban Ki-Moon; whether they will invite him to give his public backing to the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Vitit Muntarbhorn; and…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Assisted Dying (11 Dec 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they will respond to the proposal made by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that the deliberate intervention to cause the death of a disabled infant should be made legal through the enactment of laws; and what account they are taking of the opposition of the Disability Rights Commission and disabled people’s organisations such as RADAR:…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Suicide (7 Dec 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they will respond to the call by the charity Papyrus for amendment of the Suicide Act 1961 which has the effect of banning internet sites which may incite people to, or advise people on how to, commit suicide.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: UN Resolutions (28 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they plan to enforce targeted sanctions under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1591; and whether targeting the economic assets of Khartoum, its security agencies and fraudulent charities will deter the Government of Sudan from perpetrating atrocities in Darfur.

Results 141-160 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: UN Resolutions (23 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Given their role in securing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1706, what pressure they are exerting in their relationship with the Government of Sudan to ensure that the resolution is implemented.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: UN Resolutions (23 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether inviting the head of the Sudanese intelligence services, Salah Abdallah Gosh, to the United Kingdom to hold talks with the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer, in March and September 2006, contributed to exerting pressure on the Government of Sudan to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1706.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: UN Resolutions (23 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Given that the Government of Sudan have thus far failed to implement the comprehensive peace agreement and the Darfur peace agreement as well as mandatory United Nations Security Council resolutions, and given their recently reinforced military campaign in Darfur, on what basis they claim that the Government of Sudan make a trustworthy partner in peace and are a…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: UN Resolutions (23 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they intend to respond if the Government of Sudan fail to fulfil their commitment to and obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1556 to disarm the Janjaweed within two months.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Women (23 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What steps they will take to assist the African Union in protecting women against sexual attack in and around camps for internally displaced people; and whether they will make representations to the Government of Sudan to implement the reform necessary to ensure that legal recourse is available to women.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo: Child Soldiers (2 Nov 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have made an assessment of the Amnesty International report, Children at War: Creating hope for their future; and what practical help they are giving through their development programme to the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of children under arms in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Security Council Resolution (27 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What role they expect the United Kingdom to play in the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolution on North Korea, especially in regard to naval capacity and the imposition of a naval blockade.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Queen’s Counsel (26 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: During the assessment of applicants for appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2006, what criteria were used to select successful applicants; what account was taken of issues such as gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation; and when they will respond to correspondence addressed to the Lord Chancellor from the Lord Alton of Liverpool about the selection of this year’…

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Nuclear Technology (23 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What measures will be taken by the international community to prevent the transfer of nuclear weapons, material or technology from North Korea to other Governments or to terrorist organisations.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Sanctions (18 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: In light of the calls from the United Nations Security Council for the imposition of sanctions on North Korea, what are known to be the quantities of aid, oil and other key commodities imported by North Korea over the past 12 months; and from which countries these imports originated.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (17 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What reports they have received about the recent heavy fighting in Darfur, involving the Sudanese army and the Janjaweed militia; and what information they have about the numbers of recent fatalities and casualties.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (17 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What role they are playing to ensure that an international peacekeeping presence in Darfur will be sustained; and whether they envisage a role for British and NATO troops in such a peacekeeping force.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (17 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the eye witness account of Paul Salopek in the report he was compiling for National Geographic magazine about the situation in Darfur, his subsequent arrest and imprisonment by the Sudanese authorities; and what representations they are making to the Government of Sudan about this matter.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (10 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What progress is being made on the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Darfur; what is their current assessment of the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur; and what are their current assessments of total numbers of fatalities and displaced people since the conflict began.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Human Rights (9 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of China about reports by Human Rights Watch of physical abuse, harassment and interference with due legal process in the case of Chen Guangcheng.

Written Answers – House of Lords: NHS: Longridge Primary Care Trust (9 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have received from general practitioners and local users regarding the effect on the Longridge district of Lancashire of the reconfiguration of the existing primary care trust; and why they declined a request for a meeting by Councillor David Smith, on behalf of objectors to the proposal.

Written Answers – House of Lords: NHS: Longridge Primary Care Trust (9 Oct 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What consideration they have given, in developing proposals for the reconfiguration of the primary care trust in the Longridge district of Lancashire, to the existing partnerships and traditional links with Preston, and to the views of patient and public involvement.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma: Rohingya People (17 Jul 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights about the conditions in the Rohingya refugee camps on the border between Burma and Bangladesh; and When they last made representations to the Government of Burma and the United Nations about the Rohingya people in Burma; and whether they will make joint representations with…

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Missile Testing (17 Jul 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of North Korea about its decision to test the Taepodong-2, and other missiles, on 4 July.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryology (14 Jul 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the total number of eggs obtained from patients since the enactment of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; how many have been used for research; and how many have been used for fertility treatments; and What data are collected about hyperstimulation syndrome, and other adverse clinical effects, when eggs are collected at fertility centres…

Results 161-180 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (14 Jul 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to raise with the Governments of China, Chad, Libya and Eritrea the findings of the recent United Nations report, The Supply of Small Arms, about the continuing sale of arms to the Darfur region of Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (19 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What action they intend to take in response to recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics on the number of babies that have been aborted in advanced pregnancy because scans showed that they had club feet, webbed fingers, cleft palate or extra digits.

Written Answers – House of Lords: NHS: Denial of Treatment (16 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Warner on 5 June (WA 157), what violence Mr Edward Atkinson is alleged to have committed against National Health Service staff; when this occurred; and to whom it was directed; and Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Warner on 5 June (WA 157), whether the actions taken by Mr Edward Atkinson were abusive or violent.

Written Answers – House of Lords: NHS: Denial of Treatment (16 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Warner on 5 June (WA 157), how many prisoners and offenders in the United Kingdom have been banned from receiving National Health Service treatments.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Iran: Public Executions (6 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have made representations to the Government of Iran about the number of public executions which have taken place in Iran since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power; and whether they have made an assessment of that number.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma: Karen (5 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Burma about the escalating violence in the Karen state; and what assessment they have made of the number of fatalities and injuries.

Written Answers – House of Lords: NHS: Denial of Treatment (5 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: On what legal basis Mr Edward Atkinson has been told that National Health Service treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, will be denied him in the future except in life-threatening circumstances; what other categories of offender are also denied hospital treatment; and how many other prisoners in the United Kingdom have been banned from receiving…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Tristan da Cunha (5 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What steps they are taking to collaborate with the islanders of Tristan da Cunha to establish opportunities for eco-tourism.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Tristan da Cunha (5 Jun 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How much funding has been provided directly to Tristan da Cunha over the past five years for the development of education and training opportunities; and what steps they will take to encourage educational opportunities in the future.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo (14 Mar 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What information they have received on the estimated daily mortality rate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo (14 Mar 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their current assessment of the humanitarian crisis in the south-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially with regard to the numbers and well-being of street children.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo (14 Mar 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What programmes they are supporting to address the condition of street children throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo (9 Mar 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many United Nations peacekeepers are stationed in the south-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and what assessment they have made of their ability to deal with the violence there.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (16 Feb 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What estimate the United Nations has made of the number of peacekeepers required to maintain peace in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (14 Feb 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Sudan about bringing to justice those responsible for violence in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (14 Feb 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many African Union soldiers have now been deployed in Darfur; and what plans are being made to review or extend its mandate when it expires in March.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (14 Feb 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have received any reports about hostilities between Sudanese and Chadian forces along their common frontier in Darfur; and, if so, what is the nature of those reports.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (14 Feb 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What progress has been made since the passage of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1556 of 30 July 2004 requiring the Government of Sudan to disarm the Janjaweed militia within 30 days.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (13 Feb 2006)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What are the latest estimates of facilities and displaced people in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Family Planning Policy (19 Dec 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have considered ending the provision of funding, either directly or through the United Nations Population Fund or the International Planned Parenthood Federation, to the Chinese Population Association following recent reports in The Independent and the Daily Telegraph about the use of coercion against Chinese women.

Results 181-200 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo (8 Dec 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: To what extent they have decided to implement the recommendations of the International Crisis Group’s Congo Action Plan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo (8 Dec 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What provision they are making in their aid programme for the development of key performance indicators that reflect progress in reducing the number of street children in the cities of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo (8 Dec 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What provision they are making for financial and technical investment in human rights organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo; what is being done to monitor the effectiveness of the organisation; and what representation they are making to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo with regard to the plight of street children.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo (8 Dec 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of (a) the number of fatalities in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo; (b) the number of people displaced by the conflict; and (c) the number of children under arms.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Human Rights (24 Nov 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of China about the arrest of the Chinese human rights activist, Chen Guang-Cheng, in connection with forced sterilisation of women and abortions in Shondong province.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (18 Nov 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What impact the latest upsurge in violence in Darfur is likely to have on humanitarian operations.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Skills Shortages (7 Nov 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Adonis on 18 October (WA 122), which specific technical or practical skills are most in short supply; and which skills shortages, if any, could be addressed by technical or practical courses in secondary schools.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (2 Nov 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the government of Sudan are co-operating with the International Criminal Court in its investigation of the violence in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (25 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the proposed complement of 7,700 African Union soldiers will be in place in Darfur by the 22 October deadline; and whether this number of peacekeepers will be sufficient to safeguard the 3.5 million people dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan (24 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What progress is being made to (a) extend the arms embargo to the whole of Sudan; (b) prevent the use of armoured personnel carriers in Sudan; and (c) bring the perpetrators of the violence in Sudan before the International Criminal Court.

Written Answers – House of Lords: National Curriculum (18 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What consideration is being given to the suitability of some aspects of the national curriculum as it relates to less academic pupils; and what consideration is being given to the provision of employment-related courses.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Skills Shortages (18 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Which ten specific skills are in shortest supply in the United Kingdom; and which specific courses are available in schools, or will be shortly, which would fill these shortages.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (10 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What protest they have made to the government of Sudan following the complaint by Mr Kofi Annan that the estimated 10,000 mainly Sudanese humanitarian aid workers in Darfur face constant harassment and interference.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (10 Oct 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will institute a regular system of reporting to both Houses of Parliament of the accounts of African Union monitors of air attacks, beatings, rape and killings in Darfur; and what incidents of this sort were reported in April and May 2005.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China and Tibet (19 Jul 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What action they intend to take during the course of their presidency of the European Union to encourage the People’s Republic of China to drop pre-conditions to substantive negotiations on Tibet’s future status.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing: The Groves, Liverpool (7 Jul 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the representations of the Lodge Lane Regeneration Group, Toxteth, Liverpool, concerning the future of the Groves; how many of the empty properties in this area are owned by housing associations; and what consideration they have given to requiring these properties to be placed for sale on the open market with priority given to…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Pathfinder Programme (29 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How residents groups have been consulted about the Pathfinder programme; and how they are represented on the boards of Pathfinders.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Property: North-west England (28 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: On what grounds they have determined to overrule the recommendations of a public inquiry in the north-west of England not to permit the compulsory purchase and demolition of properties.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (28 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the deployment of an international peacekeeping force in Darfur represents an invitation to every jihadist in the region to go there, as stated by Mr Chris Mullin MP, when Minister responsible for Africa, in an interview on Panorama in November 2004.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (27 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What criteria they used to establish that what has taken place in Darfur is not genocide; and in what ways such criteria differed from those used by the United States State Department, and the governments of Canada and Germany.

Results 201-220 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (27 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the calls of a group of former Foreign Ministers, including Madeleine Albright, Robin Cook, Lloyd Axworthy and Lamberto Dini, calling for an international peacekeeping force from NATO countries to be deployed in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Malnourished Children (27 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the statement of the Catholic relief agencies Caritas and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development that one in three of the children in receipt of food aid at their feeding station in Ed Dhein, Sudan is malnourished.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Torture (27 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What discussions have been held between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office about the position of Sudanese refugees facing torture in Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What account they took of genocide in Darfur when they supported the decision of the international community in April 2005, in Oslo, to pledge more than $4 billion in aid and debt relief to Sudan; and whether the meeting of the G8 Finance Ministers in London on 12 June considered the Government of Sudan’s role in Darfur as a factor when including Sudan on the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the 10,000 photographs taken by Mr Brian Steidle, serving with the African Union, of violations of human rights in Darfur and of the nine boxes of statements collected by Antonio Cassese while he led the United Nations Commission to Darfur in late 2004.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have assessed the validity of work undertaken by the Coalition for International Justice, North Western University and Tufts University in the United States that 400,000 people have died in Darfur in the past two years and that 90 per cent of Darfur’s villages have been destroyed.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they agree with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that the “Janjaweed have operated with total impunity and in close co-ordination with the forces of the Government of Sudan”; and What is being done to implement the Security Council resolution of 30 July 2004 to disarm the Janjaweed militia.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of evidence collated by the International Crisis Group that the Government of Sudan are incorporating members of the Janjaweed militia into formal security structures such as the Popular Defence Force, the Border Intelligence Guard, the Popular Police and the Nomadic Police; and Whether they have asked the Government of Sudan to…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What they have done to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution of 29 March, to freeze the assets and restrict the travel movements of the architects of the genocide in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What estimate they have made of when the first indictments will be handed down to the 51 names on the International Criminal Court’s list of alleged perpetrators of war crimes in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Arab League about the killing of African Muslims in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What they are doing to establish and enforce a no-fly zone over Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their estimate of the number of African Union troops required to secure Darfur; and how many there are at present.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the statement by Jan Egeland, the United Nations Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, that 10,000 people will die every month in Darfur if the security situation leads to humanitarian organisations suspending their operations.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: UN Arms Embargo (23 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What their view is in relation to the application made by Belarus to the United Nations Sanctions Committee seeking permission to sell arms to Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they reconcile their principle of sustaining the cohesion of communities with programmes based on demolition and dispersal; and what assessment they have made of the social implications of such programmes.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How much public money has been designated for housing market renewal in the Midlands and the north of England in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and, in total, for the next 15 years; and how much, as a percentage and in real terms, will be used for demolition, for renovation or for renewal in the Pathfinder areas.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Which are the nine areas targeted for the Pathfinder programme and what are the names of the projects in each area; how many properties in each area are currently owned by owner occupiers, local authorities, housing associations and private landlords; and how many of the affected properties are earmarked for demolition or renovation.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Where they have set out the thinking behind their Pathfinder housing market renewal project.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the average package of financial compensation given to people whose homes have been compulsorily acquired as part of the Pathfinder programme; and what is the commensurate price of an average house available for acquisition in the north-west of England.

Results 221-240 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many residents and tenants’ groups and non-governmental organisations have expressed opposition to the Pathfinder programme; what are those groups and organisations; and on what grounds the Ancient Monuments Society, English Heritage, the Victorian Society, the Council for British Archaeology, the Heritage Trust for the Northwest, Save Britain’s Heritage and…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What account they have taken of the structural survey conducted by Professor Brian Clancy in which he assessed the cost of renovating properties he examined in a Pathfinder’s area.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether decisions to proceed with the demolition of properties were arrived at on the basis of a drive-by survey or some other criteria; and whether they intend to publish, under the provisions of the Environmental Impact Regulations, the basis on which individual streets and individual homes have been listed for compulsory acquisition and demolition.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Housing (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What grounds constitute the designation of properties within Pathfinder areas as unfit; and whether residents are given the opportunity to make good repairs before demolition is required.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (22 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What plans are being developed to repatriate the displaced people of Darfur to their homes and to provide the necessary security for them to live in safety and without fear of molestation.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (21 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their latest estimate of the number of people dependent on food aid in Darfur; how this compares with the number requiring food aid this time last year; and whether sufficient food is in place to enable those who are dependent on food aid to survive the rainy season.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (21 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the level of malnutrition and risks to personal health of the displaced people of Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (21 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When they expect to complete the arrangements for the United Kingdom-funded mortality survey in Darfur; and whether they accept the most recent estimate that 500 people are dying each day in Darfur.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Convention on Action against Human Trafficking (13 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will sign the Council of Europe convention on action against trafficking in human beings; and, if not, what specific articles of the convention they object to.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Niger (9 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the Department for International Development is involved in any projects in Niger which aim to combat the root causes of descent-based slavery.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Iraq: Minority Groups (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they will make to ensure that the new constitution of Iraq provides specific references to the protection of minority groups such as the Sabian Mandaeans and Iraqi Christians.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Iraq: Minority Groups (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will assess human rights violations experienced in Iraq by minority groups such as the Sabian Mandaeans and Iraqi Christians.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What measures they are taking to ensure that (a) the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has access to North Koreans in China so that the UNHCR can assess their circumstances and ensure that no individuals are deported if this would put them at risk of persecution or other serious harm; and (b) the organisation can work for a permanent solution to the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What measures they are taking to ensure that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korea is invited to visit North Korea this year so that he can monitor the human rights situation, including conditions in the detention centres and labour camps.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have made an estimate of the number of North Koreans who have been forcibly returned from China and other neighbouring countries to North Korea in the past 10 years.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Niger (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made in relation to the arrest on 28 April and subsequent imprisonment in Niger of two human rights activists from the organisation Timidria.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Women and Children (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the concerns expressed by UNICEF regarding the effectiveness of the Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Women and Children’s (CEAWC) work in Sudan in releasing those people abducted during the course of the civil war; and whether CEAWC’s operations were suspended in March 2005 despite some 10,000 people waiting to be released…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Abduction and Slavery Prohibition (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they support calls for the prohibition of abduction and slavery to be addressed directly in the new constitution of Sudan so that prosecutions can be secured against those responsible for abductions and forced labour in the last 14 years, which have not hitherto been pursued.

Written Answers – House of Lords: People Trafficking (8 Jun 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the United Kingdom is the only member of the European Union which has not signed up to the European Union Council directive on the residence permit issued to third country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration; and whether they are considering signing up to…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Arrests (25 May 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What information they have about the arrest of Sudanese human rights activists, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, Mr Yasir Saleem and Mr Abdallah Taha in Khartoum on Sunday 8 May; and what representations they will make to the government of Sudan on their behalf.

Results 241-260 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (7 Apr 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their assessment of the numbers of (a) fatalities; (b) displaced people; and (c) people dependent on aid in Darfur, Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (6 Apr 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the report of Médecins Sans Frontières, The Crushing Burden of Rape. Sexual Violence in Darfur, published on 8 March.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (6 Apr 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What talks they have held with Minni Arkoi, the Secretary General of the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA), during his visit to London; and how they intend to respond to his request for United Kingdom involvement in peace-keeping in Darfur, Sudan, and for the United Kingdom to act as broker between the SLA and the Khartoum government.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (6 Apr 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many African Union soldiers are now garrisoned in western Darfur, Sudan; and whether their numbers and mandate will enable them to enter discussions with the Janjaweed militia and protect the civilian population.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (5 Apr 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many people are dependent on food aid in Darfur, Sudan; to what percentage of the region aid agencies have access; and what assessment has been made of the plight of people living in areas where there is no presence of international non-governmental organisations.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (5 Apr 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What were the circumstances that led to the withdrawal of aid agencies and United Nations personnel from areas of western Darfur, Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan (7 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the statement made by the British Ambassador to Sudan, on 27 April 2004, welcoming the deepening and extension of commercial and trading opportunities with the Government of Sudan, accurately represents their policy.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Stem Cell Research (2 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of recent research indicating that existing embryonic stem cell lines are unsafe for human use because of contamination with animal products.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (1 Feb 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in formulating their policy on Darfur, Sudan, they are taking into account the findings in the recent report by the AIDS Education Global Information System (AEGIS), Management of the Genocidal Crisis in Sudan, and the latest edition of AEGIS Review.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Arms Sales (31 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What progress they have made in their investigation into attempts by British businessmen to sell tanks, personnel carriers, an Antonov aircraft and munitions to the government of Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Human Rights (27 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the government of the Republic of China regarding the treatment of the South Korean National Assembly member, Kim Moon-sik, and three others, during a fact-finding visit to China, when they raised the abduction and possible death of Reverend Kim Dong-sik in North Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (26 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: In light of the Statement on 12 January to the United Nations Security Council by the senior United Nations envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, that “we may move into a period of intense violence unless swift action is taken”, what action they are taking to implement the Security Council Resolution taken under Chapter 7 Powers requiring the disarmament of the Janjaweed…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (26 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the mandate given to the African Union serving in Darfur, Sudan is adequate; and what consideration they are giving to the extension and clarification of this mandate.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: UK Arms Exports (26 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the finding of the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade) that the United Kingdom has exported 180 tonnes of arms to Sudan since 2001 is correct.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Reverend Kim Dong-sik (24 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have made representations to the government about the fate of Reverend Kim Dong-sik.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (17 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the current position regarding the suspension of African Union monitoring flights in Darfur, Sudan, following an attack on one of its helicopters.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (17 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the current position regarding the threat made by European Union and African Union ambassadors to abandon the Abuja peace talks on Darfur, Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (10 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of Amnesty International’s open letter to members of the United Nations Security Council of 6 December about the deteriorating situation in Darfur, Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (10 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the report of the United Nations Secretary-General of December 2004 on the situation in Darfur, Sudan; and what progress has been made in the disarming of the Janjaweed militia.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo: Eastern Province (10 Jan 2005)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their assessment of the current situation in the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo; what action they are taking to defuse tensions between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda; and whether they intend to encourage both governments to exchange ambassadors and to normalise diplomatic relations.

Results 261-280 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (21 Dec 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the percentage of vulnerable persons accessible to non-governmental agencies and aid workers in Darfur, Sudan, has declined in the past four weeks; what number of people are now estimated to have been affected by the conflict in Darfur; and what are the estimated numbers of fatalities and displaced people.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion: Under 16 Year-olds (1 Dec 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the absolute number, and rate per population, of abortions performed on those under 16 years of age for each of the past 10 years; and what are the equivalent figures for 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 year-olds.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Arms Embargo (18 Nov 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What information they have concerning the recently reported sale of arms by a British businessman to Sudan; and what action they are taking to enforce European Union and British sanction policies in regard to the sale of arms to Sudan. Question number missing in Hansard, possibly truncated question.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion: Under-16s (18 Nov 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What research they have conducted examining the short and long-term complications, including morbidity, mortality and psychological sequelae, of a termination of pregnancy in girls under the age of 16; and How many abortions have been performed on girls under the age of 16; and what is the corresponding abortion rate per 1,000 in this age group in every year…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (16 Nov 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Sudan about the attacks made by their army on two refugee camps near Nyala in Darfur on 2 November. Question number missing in Hansard, possibly truncated question.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (16 Nov 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have instructed British officials in Sudan to investigate allegations that chemical weapons have been used against civilians in Darfur. Question number missing in Hansard, possibly truncated question.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (16 Nov 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the government of Sudan concerning the evacuation of 88 humanitarian aid workers from West Darfur on 1 November following further developments in the security situation. Question number missing in Hansard, possibly truncated question.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Mentally Incapacitated Patients: Artificial Nutrition and Hydration (29 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Warner on 29 April (WA 92), in what circumstances the provision of nutrition and hydration by artificial means would not be in a patient’s best interests.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Rwanda Survivors Fund (21 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will raise with the Rwandan Government the concerns of the Rwanda Survivors Fund that failure to care for raped women may result in their deaths before they are able to testify against their attackers.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Rwanda: Rape Victims (16 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What pressure they have exerted on the Rwandan Government to make women victims of rape by Hutu militiamen a priority for medical and welfare programmes.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Rwanda: Rape Victims (16 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether Tutsi women raped by Hutu militiamen during the genocide in Rwanda have had access to HIV drugs and nutritional programmes funded by the international community; and whether their imprisoned attackers are being supported by these programmes.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (16 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What information they have on the numbers of dead and displaced in Darfur and the number of refugees in Chad; what help is being provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and whether they intend to increase the humanitarian response.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Emergency Contraception (15 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will review their decision to allow over-the-counter sales of the “morning-after” pill following the decision of the United States Food and Drug Administration to ban such sales.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Stem Cell Bank (14 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why they decided to publish the code of practice for the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank after the establishment of the bank.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Eritrea (9 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in view of the refusal of the Government of Eritrea to release over 380 Christians from prison, the Government and the European Union will impose sanctions on Eritrea to pressure the authorities to end religious persecution.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (9 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When they last raised concerns with the Burmese Government regarding atrocities against the Karen, Karenni and Shan people; and whether, in future, they will raise concerns on this issue with the Burmese authorities on a frequent and regular basis.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Indonesia: Reverend Damanik (9 Jun 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have made representations to the Government of Indonesia regarding the Reverend Rinaldy Damanik, who is being held as a prisoner of conscience.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Darfur (26 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What weight they attach to the identification by the United Nations of Darfur as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”; and whether they will set out their policy in relation to human rights violations by the Janjaweed militia in this province of Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Libya: Human Rights (24 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the representations made to them about the case of Fathi al Jehmi, the Libyan human rights and democracy campaigner, whose family disappeared in Libya on 26 March.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Department of Health: “Arm’s Length Bodies” (19 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Warner on 11 May (WA 32), when the Department of Health’s review of its executive non-departmental bodies, special health authorities and executive agencies will be completed.

Results 281-300 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue Bill (18 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is meant in Schedule 2 to the Human Tissue Bill, which states that no member of the Human Tissue Authority should have a professional interest in any of the kinds of activity within the remit of the Authority; and Why it is proposed that the chairman of the Human Tissue Authority should have no professional interest in any of the kinds of activity within…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Tissue Bill (18 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why the Human Tissue Bill proposes the creation of two inspectorate boards rather than one.

Written Answers – House of Lords: General Practitioners (18 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many general practitioner principals or salaried general practitioners (excluding trainee general practitioners), both in absolute numbers and numbers per population, have been employed full time in England and Wales in the years 1997 to date.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Department of Health: “Arm’s Length Bodies” (18 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many quangos for which the Department of Health is responsible have been created since 1997.

Written Answers – House of Lords: National Drug Strategy (13 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: In the light of the latest annual report by the International Narcotics Control Board, whether they have made an assessment of harm reduction strategies as part of the national drug strategy.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Department of Health: “Arm’s Length Bodies” (11 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they propose to undertake a review into the proliferation and necessity of quangos and other agencies for which the Department of Health is responsible.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion: Cleft Lip and Palate (6 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether as reported by the Times on 19 April, senior detectives described the decision of the police to reopen the inquiry into late abortion for cleft lip and palate as “political correctness gone mad”, if so what action they propose to take against those detectives; and whether those same detectives will be responsible for the reopened inquiry.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Vietnam: Montagnard Christians (4 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of Vietnam regarding the killing of Montagnard Christians in the central highlands of Vietnam during demonstrations over the Easter weekend.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Vietnam: Montagnard Christians (4 May 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have given support to the call of King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia that the Government of Cambodia should give refuge to Montagnard Christians fleeing the central highlands of Vietnam.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Mentally Incapacitated Patients: Artificial Nutrition and Hydration (29 Apr 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the withdrawal or withholding of nutrition and hydration delivered by artificial means from mentally incapacitated patients with persistent vegetative state and other similar conditions can only be authorised on application to the courts.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Mentally Incapacitated Patients: Artificial Nutrition and Hydration (29 Apr 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their policy on the withdrawal or withholding of nutrition and hydration delivered by artificial means from mentally incapacitated patients.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made about the veracity of reports of biological and chemical experimentation on human subjects in North Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What was the outcome of the recent meeting between the Government and the Ambassador of North Korea following the broadcast of a BBC programme detailing allegations of chemical weapons testing on civilians detained in prison camps.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What work they are undertaking in advance of the 2004 meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to ensure increased support for the resolution of human rights violations in North Korea, passed in 2003; and whether the Government have lobbied the commission to appoint a special rapporteur to monitor human rights abuses within North Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What was the outcome of the six-party non-proliferation talks recently held in Beijing; whether human rights violations in North Korea have been raised during those talks; and what timetable has been established for the continuation and deepening of the process.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What initiatives have been launched to pursue the implementation of the resolution of the 59th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on violations of human rights in North Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made for the release of all returnees, detainees and abducted citizens of Japan, the Republic of Korea and other nationals being held in North Korea; and what information they have on the plight of humanitarian aid workers, imprisoned in China and North Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korea: Human Rights (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will promote North Korea as a priority country for inclusion in the European Union Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: North Korean Refugees (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made, with regard to North Korean migrants and refugees to the Peoples’ Republic of China, concerning its obligations under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and the protocol of 1967, particularly in respect of providing North Koreans with a reasonable opportunity to petition for asylum and in…

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: North Korean Refugees (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will ask the United Nations Secretary General and Security Council to request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legality of China’s denial of access by North Korean refugees to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Results 301-320 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: North Korean Refugees (15 Mar 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will promote a new United Nations resolution designating displaced North Koreans to China as a population of concern subject to protection by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Written Answers – House of Lords: IVF: Techniques and Research (8 Jan 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the claim that some techniques, such as the freezing of embryos, and the practice of growing embryos in the test tube for extra days prior to transfer, have not been sufficiently tested in animals prior to their use in humans; and What is their response to the claim that the lack of laboratory research into in vitro fertilisation means…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Stem Cell Research (7 Jan 2004)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What plans they have to license research projects involving the creation of human sperm and human eggs from human embryonic stem cells; and what assessment they have made of the safety of such research.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan: Social and Civil Development (16 Dec 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What discussions they have held with the Governments of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to encourage social and civil development.

Written Answers – House of Lords: South Caucasus: Democracy and Civil Society (10 Dec 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What initiatives they have supported to build democracy and civil society in the southern Caucasus.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (8 Sep 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many of the abortions of girls under 16 years of age have led to criminal prosecutions of those individuals responsible for making these girls pregnant in the past five years for which statistics are available.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (17 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have information that the Burmese military are committing against the Karen, Karenni and Shan people in Burma any or all of the following crimes under international law: crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide; and what reasons they have for their conclusions.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990: Section 3A (16 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will enforce the law if attempts are made to use the eggs of aborted unborn babies in fertility treatments.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Euthanasia (16 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they reconcile their opposition to the legalisation of euthanasia with their decision to adopt a neutral position on the Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (14 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have any plans to raise the issue of atrocities by the Burmese military against the Karen, Karenni and Shan people in Burma at the United Nations Security Council

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (14 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will lobby the United Nations Security Council for a global arms and investment embargo against Burma.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (14 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will lobby at the United Nations Security Council for the setting up of an international criminal tribunal on Burma to try members of the Burmese military regime for alleged atrocities against the Karen, Karenni and Shan people.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (14 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Since the beginning of 2003, on how many occasions the British Ambassador in Rangoon raised concerns with the Burmese military regime regarding atrocities against the Karen, Karenni and Shan people; and what response the Ambassador received on each occasion.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (14 Jul 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Since the beginning of 2003, on how many occasions they have participated in a European Union demarche to the Burmese regime regarding atrocities against the Karen, Karenni and Shan people.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Pro-life Groups: EU Monitoring (18 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the scope, budget and staffing of the unit set up by the European Union to monitor the activities of pro-life groups.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Population Control (4 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they agree with the United States State Department’s Country Report 2002 for China which concludes that the Chinese Government continue to pursue a policy of coercive population control encompassing physical, psychological and economic pressure notwithstanding the presence of the United Nations Population Fund in a number of Chinese countries.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide (3 Jun 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Andrews on 12 May (WA 13), whether they will support any proposal to legalise assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (21 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What funding they have made available for wildlife projects in Burma; and how this money is being spent.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (21 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What funds are currently available to assist internally displaced people in Burma and to provide education for Burmese refugees in refugee camps on the Burma border.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Northern Ireland: Paramilitary Intimidation (7 May 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will lay before both Houses a monthly report recording the number of individuals and families forced by paramilitary organisations to leave Northern Ireland and to go into exile; and listing the number of attacks carried out by such groups; and recording which factions are responsible where that is known.

Results 321-340 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: North Korean Refugees (30 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What negotiations they have had with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Government of China about treaty obligations to provide sanctuary for North Korean refugees.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korean Refugees (8 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will give further consideration to the allocation of funds to assist North Korean refugees who have fled to China.

Written Answers – House of Lords: North Korean Refugees (8 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will raise with the Government of China the arrest and imprisonment of five South Korean aid workers, working as partners of Medecins Sans Frontieres, who have been gaoled by the Chinese for assisting North Korean refugees.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Human Rights (8 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to re-evaluate their work with China on the issue of human rights in the light of criticisms made in the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Human Rights Annual Report 2002.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: One-Child Policy (8 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: On how many occasions in the past five years they have raised the one-child policy with Chinese Government officials; and what has been the Chinese Government’s response.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Cannabis: Effect on Unborn Children (4 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What advice is being issued to women regarding the effect on unborn children of exposure to cannabis.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Licensed Fertility Treatment: Selective Terminations (1 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many pregnancies arising out of licensed fertility treatment have been selectively terminated in each of the past five years; at what stage of gestation was each pregnancy terminated; and on what ground of the Abortion Act 1967 (as amended) was each abortion performed.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (1 Apr 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in the light of the decision of the United States Senate to ban partial-birth abortion, they have any plans to prohibit abortion up to birth on the ground of disability.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Calthorpe Clinic, Edgbaston (24 Mar 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When was the Calthorpe Clinic in Edgbaston, Birmingham, last subject to inspection by the National Care Standards Commission; what was the result of this inspection; and whether recommendations made in the inspection report from the commission have been acted upon.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Cloning (17 Mar 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: In the light of recent votes in the United States’ House of Representatives, the French Senate and the German Parliament in favour of a complete ban on all forms of human cloning, including therapeutic cloning, what progress is being made towards developing an international consensus on the issue of human cloning.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion Clinics (13 Mar 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How frequently abortion clinics are subject to inspection by the National Care Standards Commission; and What mechanisms are in place to ensure that abortion clinics act upon recommendations contained in inspection reports from the National Care Standards Commission.

Written Answers – House of Lords: CBRN Incidents: NHS Guidance in the North West (10 Feb 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What guidance have general practitioners, hospital doctors, accident and emergency staff and other health care professionals in the North West of England received regarding patient treatment in the event of a major biological, chemical or nuclear incident; and what mechanisms are in place to enable these healthcare professionals to implement any such guidance

Written Answers – House of Lords: Fertility Clinics (6 Feb 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 16 January (WA 60), what clinics have had funding made available to them from the Medical Research Council (MRC), or have applied for such MRC funding, to enable them to employ nurse co-ordinators to counsel couples on the donation of their embryos for research purposes.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortions (29 Jan 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 2 December 2002 (WA 83), whether the information contained in the footnote is correct.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Fertility Clinics (16 Jan 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether it is legal for research institutions to offer financial or other inducements to fertility clinics in exchange for human embryos; and Whether it is legal for human embryos to be created specifically for subsequent sale to research institutions.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryo Research (13 Jan 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they intend to reflect the special status of the human embryo when regulating embryo research.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sex Selection (13 Jan 2003)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the results of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s 1993 consultation on sex selection are in the public domain.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: North Korean Refugees (19 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What action has been taken by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or Her Majesty’s Government’s representatives in China on behalf of North Korean refugees.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Stem Cell Research (19 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How much of the additional £40 million funding for stem cell research recently announced by them will be devoted exclusively to adult stem cell research.

Written Answers – House of Lords: HFEA: Licences (19 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When was the first licence for embryonic stem cell research issued by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; to whom; and for what purposes.

Results 341-360 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: HFEA: Licences (19 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many licences have been issued to date by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for embryonic stem cell research; to whom; and for what purposes.

Written Answers – House of Lords: HFEA: Licences (19 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many licences have been issued to date by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for the creation of human embryos via cell nuclear replacement; to whom; and for what purposes.

Written Answers – House of Lords: HFEA: Licences (19 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether or not they intend to direct the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to communicate to the public: (a) all licence applications received by the authority prior to the granting of any licence; (b) the results of all licence applications including a detailed explanation of the authority’s decision; (c) the identity of all peer reviewers; (d) an…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Eggs (18 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have launched an investigation into recent disclosure that human eggs are being shared or traded in at least one London fertility clinic; and Whether the sharing or trading of human eggs is legal.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Stem Cell Research (18 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they propose to commission an independent annual review of embryonic stem cell research.[HL Question number missing in Hansard, possibly truncated question.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: North Korean Refugees (18 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations they have made to the Government of the Republic of China and to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees about the forced repatriation of North Korean refugees from China to North Korea.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: North Korean Refugees (18 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many North Korean refugees there are in China; when they fled there; and what efforts have been made by the international community on their behalf.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortions: Girls Aged 12 and Under (16 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many abortions have been performed on girls aged 12 and under in each of the past five years; and at what stage in gestation each abortion has been performed

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embroyology Authority (4 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they plan to commission an independent review of the work of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in the light of, among other things, the report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee earlier this year and the disclosures in the Sunday Telegraph on 10 November by embryologist Dr Sammy Lee.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Assisted Reproductive Technologies (4 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 7 November (WA 144) for exactly how long the Department of Health has known about dangers inherent in in vitro fertilisation and other assisted reproductive technologies.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Reproduction: Sex Selection Consultation (2 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the significance of asking respondents to the questionnaire on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s consultation document Sex Selection: Choice and Responsibility in Human Reproduction to identify themselves in a category called “pro life”; and why respondents are not also asked to identify themselves where appropriate in a category called…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion Act 1967, Section 1(1)(d) (2 Dec 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many abortions have been performed each year since 1990 under Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967; and how many of these abortions have been performed after 24 weeks’ gestation; and Whether medical practitioners performing abortions under Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967 are legally obliged to specify the nature of the physical or mental…

Written Answers – House of Lords: In Vitro Fertilisation: Health Effects (7 Nov 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: For how long the Department of Health has known about dangers inherent in in vitro fertilisation and other assisted reproductive technologies; and What circumstances prompted the Secretary of State for Health to commission the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Medical Research Council to conduct an investigation into safety aspects of in vitro…

Written Answers – House of Lords: In Vitro Fertilisation: Health Effects (7 Nov 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What account has been taken of dangers to public health in in vitro fertilisation procedures when considering the use of human embryos for the purpose of therapeutic cloning.

Written Answers – House of Lords: HFEA: Human Embryos (7 Nov 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many human embryos have been: (a) created; (b) frozen; (c) destroyed; (d) implanted; and (e) experimented upon since the passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Ascension Island (7 Nov 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will make an announcement on democratic development on Ascension Island.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryo Research Applications (5 Nov 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether any investigation has been launched into Professor Austin Smith’s recent declaration that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority asked him for independent scientific advice on his own application to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to conduct embryonic stem cell research; and, in such circumstances, whether the Government retain…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan: Radar System (4 Nov 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the sale of the Alenia Marconi Systems radar system to the Government of Sudan and its use by that Government in pursuing their bombing campaign in Southern Sudan; and whether they have discussed with the aid agencies their concern that the radar system used in conjunction with recently acquired Mig-29s will prevent humanitarian…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortions: Mifepristone (28 Oct 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What practical arrangements have been made to deal with the disposal of foetal remains where abortion is caused by the use of the abortion drug mifepristone and occurs at a place other than a registered medical establishment.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Communications Bill: Religious Broadcasting (21 Oct 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have any plans to meet formally with a range of representatives from the Christian broadcasting industry to discuss the statutory ban on religious organisations holding several categories of broadcasting licence in the context of their consultations on the draft Communications Bill.

Results 361-380 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (15 Oct 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many abortions have been performed in the United Kingdom since 1967 under the provisions of the Abortion Act 1967; how many of these, expressed as a total figure and as a percentage of the total number of abortions, have been performed in order to save the life of the pregnant woman under section 1(1)(c) of the Abortion Act 1967.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion Statistics (7 Oct 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many abortions have been performed after 30 weeks gestation for each of the past five years; and at what specific point of gestation each of these abortions has been performed.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (24 Sep 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What rights parents with moral and ethical objections to abortion will have to ensure that their children are not given the abortion pill RU 486 to procure a medical abortion.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (24 Sep 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they consider that a potential conflict of interest arises so long as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is responsible for both the awarding of licences to clinics and the generation of income for itself by charging fees to IVF clinics holding licences.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Early Abortion Procedures (22 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to extend the pilot scheme, whereby the abortion pill RU 486 will be made available from selected family planning centres, to family planning centres throughout the United Kingdom.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (16 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why the publication of the annual report for 2001 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority was delayed; and whether they believe such delay prejudices effective scrutiny of the role and functions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; and When the next annual report of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is due to be…

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Human Rights (3 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Mr MacShane on 17 June (HC Deb, 8W), what were “the standard lines” along which Li Ruihan, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, replied to the Lord Chancellor when the Lord Chancellor raised a range of human rights issues at a recent meeting.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking People (1 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the offence of people trafficking contained in Schedule 2, paragraph 3 to the Proceeds of Crime Bill is adequate to combat people trafficking in its various guises.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryonic Stem Cell Research (1 Jul 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 January 2002 (HL Deb, col. 120) and the adult stem cell research carried out by Professor Verfaillie and her team and published today in Nature Online, whether they conclude that embryonic stem cell research should now stop.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking People (27 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether it is their intention to amend Schedule 2, paragraph 3, of the Proceeds of Crime Bill (people trafficking) when the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill is enacted to incorporate the new offence of people trafficking as defined in that Bill.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Azerbaijan: Displaced Persons (27 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assistance they are providing to agencies working with internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Least Developed Countries: Exports (26 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have any plans to press their G8 counterparts to provide tariff and quota-free access to all exports from the least developed countries by 2005.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: One-Child Policy (24 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Amos on 29 May (WA 149), how many Chinese state family planning officials have been prosecuted in the past five years for abuses connected with family planning programmes.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: One-Child Policy (24 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Amos on 29 May (WA 149), when they expect the Chinese State Family Planning Commission to have ended the system of birth targets and quotas.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Religious Broadcasting (20 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why the relaxation of the disqualification against religious broadcasting contained in Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Act 1990 was omitted from the Broadcasting Act 1996.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Religious Broadcasting (20 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What considerations have led them to exclude Christian and other religious broadcasters from applying for local digital multiplex broadcasting licences.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (17 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 13 May (WA 17), why information on the number of women refused an abortion because their particular circumstances do not fit the criteria of the Abortion Act 1967 is not collected centrally; and whether they have any plans to correct this.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion (17 Jun 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 13 May (WA 18), under which sections of the Abortion Act 1967 selective reduction of pregnancies have been performed in the past five years.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: One-Child Policy (29 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Dennis MacShane MP on 9 May (HC Deb, 309W), what has been the response of the Chinese authorities to the concerns expressed by Her Majesty’s Government over abuses associated with the one child policy.

Written Answers – House of Lords: English Regions (23 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the recent publication of their White Paper Your Regions, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions, how they will gauge whether or not there is sufficient public interest to trigger a regional referendum; and what procedure is to be adopted for holding such a referendum.

Results 381-400 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (15 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to revisit their teenage family planning strategy in the light of research conducted by David Paton of the University of Nottingham Business School from which he concludes that there is no evidence linking greater access to family planning with a reduction in under-age conceptions or abortions

Written Answers – House of Lords: Birth Defects (13 May 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 10 April (WA 99), why, in the light of the reported increase of birth defects attributable to the use of recreational drugs by young mothers and an increase in oestrogen-like substances in the diet, data are not collected centrally; and whether they have any plans to revise this policy.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Family Planning Abuse Allegations (30 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the letter by the Secretary of State at the Department for International Development to the Lord Alton of Liverpool dated 26 March, what is the nature of the allegations of family planning abuses in Hunan, Hubei and Fujian provinces which they have brought to the attention of the Chinese authorities.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Immigration Control: Protection of Children (29 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why they rejected counsel’s advice obtained by Save the Children which recommends that the Government withdraw their reservation in respect of nationality, immigration and asylum to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Immigration Control: Protection of Children (29 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether their reservation in respect of nationality, immigration and asylum to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is capable of a broader interpretation than that which they apply.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Immigration Control: Protection of Children (29 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What their assessment is of the potential conflict between the detention of children seeking asylum and Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Smallpox Vaccine (23 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the stockpile of smallpox vaccine which they have purchased from PowderJect Pharmaceuticals is derived from cell lines from aborted foetuses.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Medicines: Safety (23 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether companies who want their drugs to be approved by the Medicines Control Agency have to disclose all information about their products, including evidence relating to safety; and, if not, on what grounds are they entitled to withhold information.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Medicines: Safety (23 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they consider that all the information involving public health related to the drug paroxetine is in the public domain.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Birth Defects (10 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of the increase in the number of babies who are born with disabilities; and what factors have caused this.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Birth Defects (10 Apr 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What data they have collected on the impact of the use of recreational drugs by young mothers and an increase in oestrogen-like substances in the diet as contributory factors in the rise in birth defects.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Babies Born with Birth Defects (25 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What efforts have been made to ensure that the Office for National Statistics complies accurate figures on the number of babies born with birth defects.

Written Answers – House of Lords: NHS Cord Blood Banks (19 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many national cord blood banks there are in the United Kingdom.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (19 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What are the average number of human embryos destroyed as a result of the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select a genetic match for ultimate use as an organ, bone marrow, cells or tissue donor upon the subsequent live birth of the designed baby.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Breast Cancer (19 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 16 January (WA 159), what are the assumptions made in Patrick Carroll’s study entitled Abortion And Other Pregnancy-Related Risk Factors In Female Breast Cancer.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Sudan (11 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Answer by Baroness Amos on 17 January (HL Deb, cols. 1177-80) whether they consider their growing trade links with the regime in Khartoum to be consistent with the continuing embargo on development assistance to Sudan.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Organs and Tissue Removal (11 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What limitations will be placed on the extraction of organs, bone marrow, cells or other tissue from a designed baby; and what protection will be provided against the imposition of significant pain upon the designed baby during medical procedures to extract organs, bone marrow, cells or other tissue.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Immigration: Rights of the Child (4 Mar 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to withdraw their reservation in respect of nationality, immigration and asylum to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the light of counsel’s advice obtained by Save the Children which concludes that reservation is incompatible with the convention’s object to protect all children.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Incitement to Racial Hatred: Criminal Proceedings (27 Feb 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why no criminal proceedings for incitement to racial hatred have been brought against Abu Hamza, Abdulla el Faisal, Omar Bakri Mohammed and Abu Qatada, arising out of their alleged distribution of inflammatory anti-Semitic material.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Morning-after Pill (13 Feb 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they agree with the report by the Scottish Council on Bioethics that there is a scarcity of independent research on the safety of the morning-after pill; and, if so, what action they intend to take to correct this.

Results 401-420 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (5 Feb 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answers by Lord Rooker on 17 December (WA 3-4) and 9 January (WA 113), whether they intend to incorporate the definition of trafficking from the Trafficking Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime when introducing legislation to combat the trafficking of human beings. Question number missing in Hansard,…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (5 Feb 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer about Project Reflex by Lord Rooker on 9 January (WA 115), whether they will distinguish how many of the arrests and convictions cited relate to smuggling and how many relate to trafficking in the light of the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Fetal Abormalities:Informing Parents (5 Feb 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 13 November (WA 69), what guidance has been issued to hospitals and clinics following the publication of a paper in the British Medical Journal in February of this year entitled “What parents are told after prenatal diagnosis of a sex chromosome abnormality: interview and questionnaire study” by…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Stem Cell Research (5 Feb 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 12 November 2001 (WA 57), whether the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has issued a licence authorising Geron Biomed to derive its own human embryonic stem cell lines in the United Kingdom; whether Geron Biomed has disclosed its source of human embryos and gametes for this research; and…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion Act 1967 (28 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 13 November (WA 69), how they believe disability and non-disability can be valued equally when disability alone, exclusive of any risk to the mother’s life or health, can provide sufficient grounds for termination of pregnancy under the Abortion Act 1967 (as amended).

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryonic Stem Cell Research (28 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answers by the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 13 December 2001 (WA 235) and 17 December (WA 23), whether those individuals who donated embryos for research purposes prior to January 2001 have been asked to provide specific consent indicating whether such embryos can be used in a research project to derive stem cells in accordance with the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Breast Cancer (16 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 17 December (WA 21), on what basis they conclude that Patrick Carroll’s study does not provide evidence of a casual link between induced abortion and breast cancer.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Disability Rights Commission: Statement on Abortion Act 1967 (16 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 13 December (WA 69), whether they have met the Disability Rights Commission, the medical professions, and other relevant organisations to discuss the recent statement from the Disability Rights Commission that Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967 (as amended) is incompatible with the principle…

Written Answers – House of Lords: In Vitro Fertilisation: Bone Marrow Matching (14 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they agree with the statement by Lord Winston in The Times on 15 December that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s recent ruling authorising the use of in vitro fertilisation with genetic screening to create a child who will be a suitable bone-marrow match for his or her sibling has “given permission for the first British designer baby”.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (9 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 17 December (WA 3-4), which countries have failed to sign the Trafficking Protocol to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (9 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 17 December (WA 3-4), when it is anticipated that the European Union Framework Decision is likely to be adopted.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (9 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 17 December (WA 3-4), whether they could give some estimates of the levels of trafficking in the United Kingdom and other European Union countries.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (9 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 17 December (WA 3-4), what has been the level of United Kingdom contribution to the European Union STOP Programme and the European STOP II Programme; and how many organisations in the United Kingdom are recipients from these Programmes.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (9 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 17 December (WA 3-4), what level of funding they are providing for prevention projects aimed at, amongst other things, educating potential victims of trafficking of the dangers.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (9 Jan 2002)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 17 December (WA 3-4), what arrests and convictions have arisen to date out of the Reflex Project.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryonic Stem Cells (18 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What guidance they give to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority concerning the status of embryonic stem cells and their understanding of the point at which a human embryo ceases to be a human embryo and, for the purpose of regulation, can be regarded as stem cells; and what advice the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority gives to clinics on…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Trafficking in Human Beings (17 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What measures they are taking to reduce levels of trafficking in human beings, especially children.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Breast Cancer (17 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the findings of Patrick Carroll of the Pension and Population Research Institute that “the main cause of the fast increase in post-menopausal breast cancer since the late 1980s can only be the increased availability of induced abortion”; and Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 7 November (WA 25), whether they…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryonic Stem Cell Research (17 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What measures they are taking to prevent commercial exploitation of human embryos by companies seeking to derive stem cell lines from them; and what consulation has taken place with the parents of these embryos before commercial exploitation and subsequent destruction occurs.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryonic Stem Cell Research (17 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether any research applications have been received by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for embryonic stem research since the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2001 were passed in January 2001 and whether any licences have been issued.

Results 421-440 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Embryonic Stem Cell Research (17 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What are the increased personnel and budgetary implications for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority following the passage of the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2001.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Breast Cancer (13 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What strategy they have in place to combat the expected rise by over 2 per cent per annum between now and 2023 in the breast cancer rate among women aged 45 to 59, which the recent report from Patrick Carroll of the Pension and Population Research Institute concludes will be largely due to the high rate of nulliparous abortions and the decline in the birth rate.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Embryonic Stem Cells (13 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What information they hold concerning the import into the United Kingdom of human embryonic stem cells, particularly from the United States; and what information they collect on their use; and What provision will be made to regulate the import and export of human embryonic stem cells; and what penalties will be imposed for their improper use.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Embryonic Stem Cells (13 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Given the circumstances which prevailed prior to January 2001 when donor consent was provided for human embryos to be used for research purposes, whether they consider that such consent will remain valid for research envisaged under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2001.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Embryonic Stem Cells (13 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What account has been taken by the Department of Health in framing legislation determining the status of human embryos of studies in animals showing that embryonic stem cells have successfully grown into adult mice and cows.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Geron Bio-med (13 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many times the Department of Health has consulted representatives of Geron Bio-med or Geron Corp in the last two years; and whom they have met.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001 (12 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How, under the terms of the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001, they intend to police clinics and laboratories using cloned human embryos; how they intend to enable inspectors to distinguish between human embryos created by in vitro fertilisation and those cloned by cell nuclear replacement; and what penalties will be imposed upon those who violate the law.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Stem Cell Research: Funding (12 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to provide public funds to private companies involved in developing human embryonic stem cells for experimental and therapeutic purposes; and what account they will take of a company’s intention to patent any results of such research for purposes of private profit.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Cloning (3 Dec 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What response they intend to make to the resolution of the European Parliament of 14 November which stated that Xresearch activities aiming at human cloning for reproductive purposes; creation of embryos for research purposes, including somatic cell nuclear transfer; research activity resulting in a modification of the genetic heritage of human beings, which…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Asylum Seekers: Voucher Scheme (22 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the joint evidence of the British Medical Association and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture in relation to the operation of the voucher scheme and its effect on asylum seekers.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Citizenship (20 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What plans they have to require applicants for British citizenship to be given a foundation course on the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Closed List Voting System (20 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What review has taken place of the closed party list voting system used in the last European elections; and what conclusions they have drawn about (a) the attitude of voters faced with a closed list; (b) the impact on voter turnout; and (c) the desirability of using such a system in future elections.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Overseas Aid: Coercive Population Programmes (19 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the statement by Lord Grocott on 25 October (HL Deb, col. 1120), whether and in what circumstances a ban on the use of United Kingdom overseas aid in programmes involving enforced non-voluntary abortion and compulsory sterilisation could adversely affect work to combat HIV in developing countries.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Overseas Aid: Coercive Population Programmes (19 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the statement by Lord Grocott on 25 October (HL Deb, col. 1120), which organisations currently in receipt of United Kingdom overseas aid implement HIV prevention programmes that involve enforced non-voluntary abortion and compulsory sterilisation.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Overseas Aid: Coercive Population Programmes (19 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the statement by Lord Grocott on 25 October (HL Deb, col. 1121), on what basis he stated that this year the United States Government had increased their funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) from 25 million dollars to 39 million dollars; how much of this is used in China; and, in the light of his remark that this funding is not that…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Abortion Act 1967 (13 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is their response to the recent statement from the Disability Rights Commission that Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967 (as amended), in authorising abortion up to birth on grounds of handicap, is incompatible with the principle that disabled and able-bodied people should be treated equally; and whether they plan to introduce legislation to repeal…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Stem Cells (12 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What plans they have to follow the example of the United States National Institutes of Health in collecting centrally information about the import and use of stem cells.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Population Policies (7 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: On what basis they maintain that the United Nations Population Fund monitors coercive population policies in the 47 counties referred to by Lord Grocott on the International Development Bill (H.L. Deb., 25 October, col. 1119); what data have been published and what monitoring takes place in the other 2,435 Chinese counties.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer (7 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What guidance has been issued to hospitals and clinics offering abortion services on advising their patients of the link between induced abortion and breast cancer.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Premature Babies: Pain Relief (5 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in the light of research published by the Medical Research Council which concludes that the foetus may be aware of pain after 20 weeks of gestation, revised guidance has been issued to hospitals and other medical establishments with regard to pain relief for premature babies.

Results 441-460 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Foetal Pain Relief: Guidelines on Use in Abortions (2 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in the light of the research on foetal pain published by the Medical Research Council, they intend to issue guidelines for the use of foetal pain relief in abortions between 20 weeks and 24 weeks.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Reproductive Cloning: Proposed Ban (2 Nov 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When they intend to introduce the proposed ban on reproductive cloning.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Tristan Da Cunha (24 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What funding has been made available to Tristan Da Cunha following the damage inflicted by the recent hurricane; and, in particular, what medical provision is currently available on the island.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Laos (24 Jul 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What recent reports they have received concerning the persecution of Christians in Laos; how much aid they give in each year to Laos; and whether they make such aid dependent on an improvement in that country’s human rights record.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Police Authorities: Age Limit (8 May 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to repeal the legislative provision which led to the retirement of two members of the Merseyside Police Authority on the grounds of age; and whether they will explain how such discrimination is compatible with the requirements of human rights legislation.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Bishop Shi Enxiang (3 May 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What representations are being made to the Government of the Republic of China about the reported reimprisonment of Bishop Shi Enxiang, following the previous 33 years in gaols and forced labour camps.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Reproductive Cloning (28 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Following reports in the Sunday Times of 18 February, what action they intend to take to raise with the Bush Administration the consequences of permitting the development of a cloned baby; and what is their policy concerning the proposed adoption of babies produced via reproductive cloning by British nationals.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Parkinsons’s Disease: American Clinical Trials (19 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How they propose to take account of the health and safety implications of the use of foetal cells to treat American Parkinson’s disease patients, given that these therapies have led to outcomes worse than the disease.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Parkinsons’s Disease: American Clinical Trials (19 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will arrange for details of the research using foetal cells in Parkinson’s disease treatments to be placed before the Select Committee on Stem Cell Research; and whether copies will be placed in the Library of the House.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Regulations (12 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why they did not inform the House of Lords on 22 January that lawyers acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health intended to tell the High Court on 26 January that they would need five months to prepare scientific evidence in defence of the regulations on human embryos arising out of the Donaldson Committee Report.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: One-child Policy (8 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to raise the coercive methods used by China in enforcing its one-child policy at the United Nations Human Rights Commission meeting on 19 March.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Population Control (6 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they intend to support the Bush Administration’s withdrawal of funding for agencies involved in China’s one-child policy.

Written Answers – House of Lords: China: Population Control (6 Mar 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in the light of reports from Hubei Province, China, of the murder of a baby by population enforcement officials, they will consider the funds they provide to organisations which, in turn, fund the Chinese Population Association.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (12 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: On what grounds licences for human embryo research were granted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to: (a) Kings College Hospital, London (1992); (b) the University of Oxford (1992); and (c) the Centre for Genome Research, Edinburgh (1996); and in what ways were studies into cell lives derived from human embryo relevant to the development of…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (12 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: (a) when they next intend to review the membership of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; (b) whether they intend to reform the peer review procedures for licence applications to the HFEA to exclude peer reviewers who have submitted or intend to submit their own application; (c) what qualifications or experience are required in order to be…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (12 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether any members of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority have accepted sponsorship or benefits of any kind from Serono, Organon or any other company involved in fertility drugs or related products; and, if so, whether they will list them.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (12 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What applications have been received by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority into human embryo stem cells under the regulations approved on 22 January; whether these are currently subject to peer review; and whether they will list them.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (12 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in the light of the decision of the High Court to permit a Judicial Review of the Government’s response to the Donaldson Committee report into the use of human embryos for research into stem cell techniques, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority will not issue licences permitting the use of human embryos until after the court has deliberated…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (12 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they are giving consideration to the scientific research into the use of embryonic stem cells published in The Scientist on 22 January, which highlighted the development of tumours in animal models; and what weight they will attach to the safety issues which arise.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Foetuses Retained for Research (12 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: How many foetuses are held for research purposes by hospitals and clinics through the United Kingdom; what form of consent was obtained from their parents; whether any foetal tissue has been used for work involving stem cells or germ live gene therapy; what ovarian tissue from aborted or miscarried foetuses has been the subject of research licences; and whether…

Results 461-479 of 479 items spoken by Lord Alton of Liverpool in Written Answers

Written Answers – House of Lords: Foetuses Retained for Research (12 Feb 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What foetal tissue is supplied to the Medical Research Council foetal tissue banks at Hammersmith Hospital by the Marie Stopes Ealing abortion clinic; what commercial arrangements exist between these institutions; to what use this foetal tissue been put; what consent has been obtained from parents; what other links exist in the United Kingdom between the…

Written Answers – House of Lords: Human Cloning (17 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Why the Prime Minsiter declined to meet an all-party delegation of peers and inter-faith religious leaders to discuss the scientific and ethical objections to human cloning.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Reproductive Cloning (15 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: When they intend to introduce a Bill which they have promised to prohibit reproduction cloning.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Therapeutic Cloning (15 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will set up a House of Lords Select Committee to inquire into the issue of therapeutic cloning to enable conflicting claims about the respective benefits of the use of embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells to be fully considered.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Therapeutic Cloning (15 Jan 2001)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Following their decision to permit procedures which could lead to therapeutic cloning, what action they will take if this is contrary to European Union law.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Democratic Republic of Congo: Atrocities (30 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What assessment they have made of atrocities in the Congo in the last two years; whether the level and nature of these atrocities constitute genocide or crimes against humanity; and what initiatives they have taken to raise the situation in the Congo at an international level.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Conjoined Twins: Appeal against Judicial Decisions (23 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What plans they have to change the law to permit the parents of conjoined twins to challenge before the House of Lords judicial decisions of a life-threatening nature affecting their children with which they disagree; and why, in the case of baby Mary, the Official Solicitor did not refer the case to the House of Lords.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Conjoined Twins: Medical Procedures (16 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Further to the statement issued by St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, that “despite all the efforts of the medical team” to save the life of the conjoined twin, Mary, they were unable to do so, whether they will say what these efforts consisted of.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Mr Graham Gaskin (1 Nov 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What action they have taken with regard to the Council of Europe resolution (DH(2000)106) in connection with the release of personal information concerning Mr Graham Gaskin and his time in institutional care; and what actions they intend to take to ensure the early implementation of judgments such as that of the case of Mr Gaskin.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (25 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have raised the issue of the plight of the Karen, Karenni and Shan minorities in Burma at the United Nations Security Council.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (25 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have urged the European Union to raise the plight of the Karen, Karenni and Shan minorities with Burma’s military regime.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (25 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they will urge the European Union to produce a declaration concerning the plight of the Karen, Karenni and Shan minorities in Burma in line with the European Union’s initiative concerning human rights abuses against Aung San Suu Kyi and members of the National League for Democracy.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (25 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they have raised the issue of the plight of the Karen, Karenni and Shan minorities in Burma at the recent United Nations Millennium Summit.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma (25 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether the situation of the Karen, Karenni and Shan minorities in Burma fits within the international legal definition of genocide.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Mr James Mawdsley (25 Oct 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What response they have received to the conclusion of the United Nations working group on arbitrary detention and arrest, on the wrongful imprisonment of James Mawdsley by the government of Myanmar; and what information they have on his present condition.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Indonesia: Use of British Military Equipment (27 Sep 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether, in light of the identification of a British-made Saladin armoured vehicle being used by Indonesian soldiers and Muslim militia attacking a Christian area in Ambon, they will impose an embargo on the sale of all military equipment to Indonesia.

Written Answers – House of Lords: British Embassy, Beijing: DfID Staff (13 Mar 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: What is the present level of the Department for International Development establishment at the British Embassy in Beijing; how many are employed on a permanent basis or on contract; what are their terms of reference; and what was the comparable number of personnel five years ago.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Mozambique: Helicopters for Relief Work (13 Mar 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: (a) how many helicopters are now available for relief work in Mozambique; (b) how many helicopters or trained pilots they have made available; and (c) how many helicopters have been offered by the Ministry of Defence.

Written Answers – House of Lords: Burma: Genocide Charges (13 Mar 2000)

Lord Alton of Liverpool: asked Her Majesty’s Government: Whether they are giving consideration, under Article 2 of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, to the institution of genocide charges against the Burmese military leadership.


Day of Prayer for Sudan

Universe Column

David Alton

June 14th 2009.

Last week I warned that the murderous campaign which, over the past two decades, has claimed more than two million lives in Southern Sudan will be repeated in Nigeria. The redoubtable Baroness (Caroline) Cox, and her charity HART, have campaigned in both countries and are at the forefront in organising next week’s Day of Prayer for Sudan. It will be a timely opportunity to learn more about what Christians in Sudan have experienced and to understand how radicals threaten the stability of many African countries.

At 11.00 am on Thursday June 18th Caroline Cox will lead a march which will begin at the London Eye and this will be followed by a Day of Prayer for Sudan, on Sunday next, June 21st. She is hoping that many will join her on the march and the Day of Prayer .

The urgency and importance of this initiative was underlined by the Catholic Archbishop of Juba, the Metropolitan of Southern Sudan, who said recently in a Pastoral Letter:

“Problems still abound, including corruption. We are a poor people…There are problems with displaced people, food shortages and the Lord’s Resistance Army disrupting food supplies, with lorries travelling from Uganda, knowing the danger of attacks. We need to encourage people to make good use of their land.

In education and so many other areas, we cannot do much, because the support is government to government and we do not see it.”

Commending the work of Baroness Cox he said: “Caroline Cox is part of Sudan’s history. I have followed her closely in the war and I am deeply grateful for her contributions then and now.”

That work has taken her deep into the country on countless occasions. Today she is fearful that the fragile Peace Agreement between Khartoum and Southern Sudan will be broken.

She says that the security situation has deteriorated severely and there is widespread expectation that Khartoum will break the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) sooner or later.

Tension has increased following the brave decision of the International Criminal Court  to indict President El Bashir for crimes against humanity.

On the ground there is general support for the indictment as people believe that justice needs to be done and seen to be done; that he should not be allowed, with impunity, to get away with the atrocities he has perpetrated; that the threat of the cessation of the CPA is a form of blackmail. There is also an acceptance that Bashir will use the indictment as a pretext for breaking the Agreement.

Bashir’s Government falsely tells the world that the South is unable to govern itself and the Southern leadership is corrupt.

The reality is that the structures of government in the south are far more advanced than might be expected for a fragile new nation confronted by so many challenges.

In 2011, under the terms of the CPA there will be a Referendum in the South when the people will be free to decide whether to remain in a united Sudan or to secede.  Huge pressure is already being exerted to try and force the South to remain in a united Sudan.

Caroline Cox says that the South’s leaders want the international community to understand these pressures and to play their part: they told her:  “we cannot achieve peace alone”; that international  involvement is essential to guarantee that fair elections and the Referendum actually do happen, and that the necessary preparations are made.

One of the reasons why secession is the most likely outcome is the history of aggression practiced by Arab, Muslim northerners against the African southerners. The perception that separation may be essential to maintain African identity and culture is frequently cited as a reason for possible secession. Despite the deaths of so many people there is little hatred of Arabs and Muslims but Southerners believe that it is time for African identity and freedom of religion (including freedom from Sharia Law) to be ensured.

I travelled in Southern Sudan during the War and saw for myself the devastation and suffering. The  War, which raged until the signing of the CPA in 2005, left a legacy of massive devastation with acute needs for many essential services – including education, health care and agricultural production. In 2007, only 13% of Southern Sudan had an Immunisation Programme  – increasing to 19% in 2008 – and there were only 20 secondary schools serving this vast region.

The ending of the War also saw the return of many refugees and Internally Displaced People. Their plight remains very serious.

Additionally, the failure of Khartoum to fulfil some of the CPA requirements has undermined confidence in its commitment to peace. The blatant  refusal by Khartoum to be transparent about oil revenues causes doubts about the fairness of allocation of resources due to the south.

And Khartoum’s hand has also been seen in some of the episodic outbreaks of violence instigated by ‘militias’. There are concerns that some of these outbreaks of conflict are instigated directly or indirectly by Khartoum.

Some observers believe that Khartoum has encouraged the resurgence of activity by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the region. This rebel army, originating in northern Uganda, was responsible for widespread death and destruction in a 20-year war, until Peace Talks brokered by southern Sudan brought some respite.

During that war, 500,000 perished, 95% of the local people were driven into overcrowded camps and at least 25,000 children were abducted and forced to become child soldiers. Khartoum was manifestly complicit, allowing some of the training camps, where the children were brutalised and trained to become soldiers, to be based in southern Sudan. In recent weeks, the LRA has renewed its activities, causing serious security problems in northern Congo and southern Sudan.

There is also a fear that, in the event of a renewed conflict, the LRA may be used by Khartoum in ways similar to their use of the Janjaweed in Darfur. In that region of Sudan 400,000 have died, 2.2 million have been displaced and 90% of the homes destroyed.

In the East of the country the dire plight of the Beja people is said to be even worse than that of the people of Southern Sudan.

And nothing has been done to free the thousands who disappeared from the South into slavery.

So Sudan’s plight is critical. The collapse of the CPA and the outbreak of another War would be an unmitigated disaster.

The Victorian Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, once referred to the rule of Khartoum as, “barbarous, cruel, unscrupulous, inconsistent with any idea of civilization which one can entertain.” He described it as “the worst and cruellest Government in the world.”

Not a lot has changed – and that is why Sudan’s proud, dignified and suffering people need  our practical help and prayers:

Lady Cox’s march commences at 11.00am on Thursday next at The London Eye and June 21st is the Day of Prayer for Sudan.

Three Columns on North Korea

Sunday 22nd February 2009

On returning from two weeks on the Korean Peninsular – in both North and South Korea – I remain convinced that there is a historic opportunity to end one of the world’s longest running conflicts. This is the unfinished business of the 1950 to 1953 Korean War, which claimed between 2.5 million and 3.5 million lives, including those of 1,000 British servicemen.With the 1953 ceasefire, the country was severed along the 38th parallel and, technically, the principal combatants are still at war. The stand-off with North Korea is the longest-lived conflict that America has with any other nation.

As all Koreans are acutely aware their border bristles with mines, artillery and troops.

Anyone who travels in North Korea sees a State whose massive arsenal and resources are overwhelmingly geared to the protection and the survival of the regime.

In the aftermath of the Korean War, North Korea’s leaders implemented a policy of

“Juche”-or self-reliance-which has led to decades of isolation. Juche has been combined with dynastic rule.

Isolation has, in turn, led to the State linking itself to criminal activities, including the narcotics trade, to abductions, to the testing, according to BBC allegations, of chemical weapons on civilians, to torture and execution, to alleged links with terrorism, and to the development of a rogue nuclear programme.

North Korea’s tortured history – occupation by the Japanese, followed by the imposition of hard-line ideology, combining a mixture of Marxism, Stalinism, admirable patriotism and the tenets of Confucianism, make North Korea one of the most unusual countries in the world. In 1989 when its principal ally, the Soviet Union, collapsed at the end of the Cold War, predictions that North Korea might also come in from the cold proved to be premature.

I first became interested in North Korea and travelled there five years ago after Yoo Sang-joon, a North Korean Christian, who had escaped from the DPRK, came to see me at Westminster. His story was harrowing and disturbing.He described how he had seen his wife, and all bar one of his children shot dead by Kim Jong-Il’s militia. He subsequently escaped across the border to China with his one remaining son. The boy died en route.

He encouraged me to read Eyes of the Tailless Animals, the prison memoirs of Soon Ok Lee. They are her account of the sham judicial system, the show trials, the starvation, the forced labour, the degradation, humiliation and rape of prisoners. Through her eyes we get a glimpse of corruption, paranoia and tyranny.

Yoo Sang-joon himself became an Asian Raoul Wallenberg – the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Yoo Sang-joon bravely re-entered North Korea and helped many people flee across the border. This led to his arrest in China in 2007. As a result of international pressure, the Chinese agreed to repatriate him to Seoul rather than to the North where he would have been executed.

When, in 2003, I returned from North Korea with (Baroness) Caroline Cox we decided to form an official parliamentary group and I have served as its chairman for the intervening five years. We embarked on what we described as “constructive critical engagement.”

Numerous first hand witness sessions have been held at Westminster. In addition to hearing the accounts of escapees, we have listened to security experts, to others who have detailed the humanitarian crisis (two million people died in the 1990s famine) and to human rights activists. We have held open meetings, followed by questions, with the Speaker of the North Korean Assembly, Choe Thae Bok, and the North Korean Ambassador to London, Ja Song Nam.

My most recent visit was at the invitation of Choe Thae Bok. Once again, Lady Cox engaged in frank and detailed debate. It was a timely visit as there has been a recent deterioration in relations between South and North Korea and the North has been threatening to launch a new Taepodong-2 missile, which is said to have the ability to reach the coast of the United States. Some analysts believe the North might do this to assess the resolve of President Barack Obama – echoes here of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis which tested another new American President, John.F.Kennedy.

This week, America’s Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has been visiting the region to assess the situation for herself, although she will not be going to North Korea.

In advance of her regional sweep, North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, said that North Korea is ready “to develop relations with countries that are friendly toward us.” Hilary Clinton would do well to recognise the significance of these remarks. It would be a tragedy if the US did not grasp this olive branch and seize a historic opportunity to end the technical state of war on the Korean peninsular and to establish a US Embassy in Pyongyang.

A decade ago Britain established a diplomatic mission in Pyongyang and it is time for the Americans to do the same. Embassies don’t imply support for an ideology or regime – if they did, we would have to close down embassies from Burma to Zimbabwe. The US urgently needs to normalise bilateral relations with North Korea. It has done so, for instance, with Vietnam and throughout the Cold War it had a diplomatic presence in the Soviet Union and in other Eastern European countries.

Throughout the Cold War, U.S. embassies were a symbol of freedom, democracy and hope for benighted people. They were a crucial part of the Helsinki Process – which never appeased but linked security and human rights concerns in forthright dialogue.A former US Secretary of Defence, William Perry, put it well when he said, in 2003:

“We should never negotiate from fear, but we should never fear to negotiate.”

The US should also reflect on the role that impartial mediators – like Senator George Mitchell – have played in brokering peace agreements, and the role of respected figures, like General de Chastelain, in ensuring verification and compliance by all sides.

This represents a rare moment for significant change and the U.S, North, and South Korea, should seize it: carpe diem. A step by step strategy will result in the long overdue dismantling of Asia’s Berlin Wall. Failure now will result in many more years of threats and counter threats, with the people of North Korea blighted by lives of enduring hardship and poverty. These wonderful people deserve much better than this.

March 1st, 2009.

During my recent visit to North Korea I repeatedly urged the authorities to allow access to Professor Vitit

Muntarbhorn, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights. To date, he has been refused admission.

He estimates that over the past decade some 400,000 people have been killed by the regime, that about 200,000 people are currently detained in the country’s prison camps and that 2 million people died during the famine of the 1990s.

One case I raised with North Korean Ministers was that of 26-year-old,

Shin Dong-Hyok, who spent the first 23 years of his life in North Korea’s Political prison Camp 14, where he was born. He saw his mother and brother executed, and was himself tortured. During this visit I subsequently spoke at South Korea’s National Assembly and shared a platform with Shin.

Yet cases like his are never raised in the stop-start six party talks aimed at curtailing North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

The failure of the talks has largely been because negotiations have been too narrowly focused, enabling North Korea to exploit the narrow band of nuclear issues while denying the other participants at the talks access to crucial issues, to valuable diplomatic tools, and to a range of incentives and disincentives.

If North Korea wants access to World Bank loans, trading opportunities, and to normal cultural and educational exchanges and so on, this should relate not only to progress on security issues but also to the freeing of its political prisoners and the closure of its prison camps.

We should never under-estimate man’s capacity for evil.

Eric Hobsbawm, the Marxist historian, estimates that 185 million people have died as victims of secular ideologies. In the 1950s alone, some 2.5 million people were incarcerated in Soviet gulags, including 400,000 political prisoners. Many died in the prison camps.

Throughout the Cold War, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan understood the importance of preserving a strong and united front, and a declared willingness to defend our values, with a commitment to raising human rights cases through the Helsinki Process – challenging ideologies and tyrannical systems.

The Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known as the Helsinki Final ActHelsinki Accords or Helsinki Declaration, was the final act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, held in Helsinki, Finland, during July and August of 1975. Thirty-five states signed the declaration, which was an attempt to improve the relations between the Communist bloc and the West.

The civil rights elements of the agreement provided the basis for the work of the

Moscow Helsinki Group, an independent non-governmental organisations specifically created to monitor compliance to the Helsinki Accords (which evolved into several regional committees, eventually forming theInternational Helsinki Federation and Human Rights Watch).

According to the Cold War scholar John Lewis Gaddis, writing in “The Cold War: A New History” (2005): “ the Helsinki Accords gradually became a manifesto of the dissident and liberal movement’… What this meant was that the people who lived under these systems – at least the more courageous – could claim official permission to say what they thought.”

This was a time of terrible suffering but also a time of extraordinary bravery as men and women gradually brought an ideology to its knees.

The movement of dissidents and refuseniks, combined with the courage of the churches and groups like Solidarity, led to fundamental change.

Pope John Paul II said of that period:

“Warsaw, Moscow, Budapest, Berlin, Prague, Sofia and Bucharest have become stages in a long pilgrimage toward liberty. It is admirable that in these events, entire peoples spoke out – women, young people, men, overcoming fears, their irrepressible thirst for liberty speeded up developments, made walls tumble down and opened gates. “

And he said of the fall of Communism…

“…

It fell as a consequence of its own mistakes and abuses. It proved to be a medicine more dangerous than the disease itself. It did not bring about true social reform, yet it did become a powerful threat and challenge to the entire world. But it fell by itself, because of its own inherent weakness.”

North Korea is not the Soviet Union or Poland but the Helsinki principles still apply – we need a

Helsinki Process – with a Korean Face .

There are some circumstances that are unique to North Korea but the underlying principle of critical engagement, dialogue, and the insistence of respect for the human rights of North Korea’s citizens should be paramount.

The six party talks need to have a dual track: with equal consideration of humanitarian and human rights concerns.

Leaving things to drift is not an option.

If we do not make progress we could very soon see a repeat of the catastrophic famine of the 1990s when some 2 million Korean people died – and if the regime simply collapses, North Korea could face an invasion from its Chinese neighbour.
For a variety of reasons the world cannot afford to ignore North Korea.

Cases of Avian Flu on the Korean Peninsular, and SARS infection, make North Korea a hot spot for diseases which could sweep around the world.

Meanwhile, their degraded, unsafe and often non-existent infrastructure makes the danger of a nuclear or chemical accident very likely. Their nuclear sites (identical to Chernobyl) are close to the Russian and Chinese borders and their chemical sites are close to the border with South Korea.

There are six members of Kim Jong Il’s Politburo – four are over 80 and one is 93. Their ideology of

“the military first”, is conditioned by the patriotic struggles from the period of Japanese occupation and the immense cruelty of the Japanese occupation of Korea. But now it is time to move on.

Throughout the Cold War divergent ideologies were pitted against one another.

In defeating communist ideology we combined wisdom with strength, self restraint with a dogged patience and world wide alliances were formed between dissidents, religious leaders, democrats and human rights activists.

Helsinki defeated tyranny – but not everywhere – and today the Helsinki spirit,

Helsinki with a Korean face, offers the most constructive way forward.

The experience of 1989 in the Soviet Union is one that should give us encouragement. Mikhail Gorbachev -himself the grandson of a gulag survivor – ultimately consigned the gulags to history and one day the gulags of North Korea will be consigned to history as well.

Sunday March 8th 2009

Korean Catholics have been mourning the death of their first Cardinal, Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, who died last month. Aged 86, Cardinal Kim was head of the Catholic Church for 30 years until his retirement in 1998. During the 1970s and 1980s, when South Korea was a military dictatorship, Cardinal Kim became known as an outspoken defender of human rights.

He was also Apostolic Administrator of the Pyongyang Diocese of North Korea – where the church had been violently suppressed by the Communists in the aftermath of the Korean War. Neither Cardinal Kim, nor any other Catholic priest has been allowed to serve the Catholics of the north since 1953.

Cardinal Kim became head of a church which Pope John Paul II described as

“a community unique in the history of the Church.” Unique: because the Korean church was not founded by missionaries.

In 1777 a young man, 30-year-old, Yi Pyok, gathered some friends at a small Buddhist monastery near Seoul. Here, at the

“Hermitage of Heavenly Truth” they discussed reports they had received about Christianity and the Catholic faith.

In 1784 one of the friends, Yi Shunghun, had the chance to travel to Beijing with his father on the winter Embassy. By the time he returned to Korea, in 1785, he had been baptised by a Jesuit priest and had taken the baptismal name, Peter.

By 1786 they had set up a secret house church in Seoul – which today forms part of Seoul’s Myeong-dong Cathedral – where Cardinal Kim recently lay in state – and where the relics of many of the church’s martyrs are preserved.

The Confucian ideals of personal goodness, mutual forbearance, reverence for ancestors and respect for the aged – the Confucian

“way” – which permeates Korean culture- and, to this day, make Koreans such wonderful people – sat very comfortably with the Catholic faith.

But this did not stop persecution, and following the planting of the first house church, it is estimated that at least 8,000 Koreans died for their faith. One of them, St.Augustine Yu, who was martyred along with his wife, son and brother, said: ”

Once having known God, I cannot possibly betray him.”

One of the best loved of the Korean martyrs is St.Andrew Kim.

In 1846, aged 25, and only one year into his priesthood, Andrew Kim was brought before the authorities, stripped, and beheaded – becoming the first Korean born priest to be martyred.

The legacy of this suffering and persecution – which still continues in the north of the country – is a dynamic church which continues to grow. Last year Korean Catholics saw a 5% increase in their numbers. At least 10% of South Korea is Catholic, around 5 million people. In the capital, Seoul, the number is perhaps as high as one in five of the population.

The Korean peninsular is divided into sixteen dioceses – three ecclesiastical provinces in the South and three silent dioceses in the north. South Korea has 1,476 parishes and 1,089 mission stations. It has around 4,000 priests and 1,400 seminarians; and 600 religious and priests on foreign missions – in some sixty countries. It runs five TV and radio stations, three newspapers, fourteen periodicals, owns five publishing houses and four printing presses.

The Church has shown great zeal in developing a network of social institutions.

It has nearly one hundred welfare organisations; another two hundred for children and adolescents; fifty for women, two hundred facilities for disabled people; nearly seventy centres for the homeless; and forty counselling centres. They have 224 kindergartens; six primary schools; twenty eight middles schools; thirty eight high schools; nine catechetical institutes; twelve Catholic universities; and twelve centres for children with special educational needs.

During my recent visit to Korea I went to see the brand new St.Mary’s Hospital, which will provide beds for 1,400 people. When it opens later this year, it will be the biggest hospital in Korea. It is at the cutting edge in developing ethical treatments that do not destroy human embryos or take the lives of the unborn. The Church runs twenty two hospitals; twelve clinics; twenty four medical research institutes; and dedicated facilities for patients with Tuberculosis and Hansen’s Disease.

Korea’s present Cardinal, Nicholas Cheong Jik-suk, has been at the forefront in proclaiming the Catholic pro-life message, based on upholding the sanctity of human life and making practical provision for vulnerable people. There is a huge amount that we can learn from the Korean Church.

Having been at the forefront in promoting human rights, social justice and democracy, the Korean church has been outspoken on issues such as conservation of the environment and the treatment of migrants. It also takes a lead in promoting dialogue between different faiths.

The greatest sadness for the Korean church is Asia’s Berlin wall that divides

The Land of Morning Calm at the thirty eighth parallel.

Although the authorities in the North built a Catholic Church (Changchung Cathedral) in Pyongyang in 1988 – they have resolutely refused requests to allow a Catholic priest to be resident and to minister to the needs of the Catholic faithful. Nor have they normalised their relations with the Holy See – which would send an immediate signal to the world’s one billion Catholics that North Korea wants friendly relations with Catholic people.

At Changchung I met Jang Jae On, the Communist Party official who regulates religious belief, and he expressed no willingness to remedy this situation.

Of course, the real tragedy for the North is that in denying pastoral access to the Church it is preventing the Korean Church from providing help, development investment, and support for the poor and needy.

Following my previous visit to North Korea, five years ago, there are two glimmers of hope.

First, the authorities have allowed the rebuilding of the Protestant church at Bong Su (now doubled in size) and the construction of a small seminary, where ten pastors are in training. They have also permitted the building and consecration of a beautiful Russian Orthodox Church – where there are two resident priests. One, Fr.Theodore, is a North Korean who trained in Moscow. Of course, there are few North Koreans who are Orthodox Christians but this is never-the-less, a sign of hope.

Cardinal Nicholas Cheong told me that he remains ready and willing to devote resources and priests to help the North and I hope that as a harbinger of the reunification of the Korean peninsular, which must surely come, we will see the silent dioceses of the north given voices once more. What better signal could the North give to the world that it wants peace, security and a prosperous future? And what better way of honouring the memory of Cardinal Kim?

World Food Crisis

Universe Column

Sunday July 6th 2008
David Alton
Last month’s world food summit in Rome was overshadowed by the bizarre decision to allow Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and two hundred of his henchmen to break the European Union travel embargo that restricts their movements. It is difficult to see what a regime that has ground its people into abject poverty and starvation; that has banned the work of relief agencies; that has terrorised political opponents; where inflation has spiralled entirely out of control; and where a woman’s life expectancy is now just 33 years of age; can possibly contribute to a solving the world food crisis.

Anger at the sight of Mr.Mugabe buying rosaries at the gifts shops that surround St.Peter’s Square should not obscure a much greater cause for indignation: justifiable anger that the summit concluded without agreement on some of the key food issues that now confront the world.

As the world’s leaders – including Gordon Brown – meet this week in Japan’s Toyako for the G8 Summit – they need to put Rome’s unresolved issues at the very top of their agenda.

Each and every single day 25,000 people die of hunger or hunger-related causes and barely a day now passes without reports of the effects of escalating food shortages – riots in more than 20 countries, children dying of hunger in Ethiopia, famine in North Korea, the collapse of the government in Haiti – harbingers of worse to come. Many other fragile countries will reap the whirlwind of our failure to address a crisis that the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has called a silent Tsunami affecting every continent, plunging more than 100 million people  into hunger, and plunging more countries into violence and instability.

Spiralling high food prices are creating the biggest challenge that WFP has faced in it 45 year history, with millions of people who were not in the urgent hunger category six months ago now listed as such. Maize and rice have almost doubled in price over the past year.

In the UK higher food prices are causing us all to tighten our belts but in vast swathes of the world – where even before the crisis around 3.5 children die annually of malnutrition – there are no belts to tighten.

The cost of food accounts for half the expenditure of a poor family and, as prices rocket out of control, those families simply cannot keep up. An average family in Bangladesh that has £2-50p a day will spend £1-50p on food. A 50% rise in the cost of basic food requires a further 75p – leaving them with just 25p for all other expenditure.

This shocking situation has been compounded by rising oil prices that have made farming more expensive and by natural disasters such as Cyclone Nargis in Burma, the Sichuan earthquake in China, flooding and droughts and by crop failures in countries like Ethiopia. It has been accentuated further by the rapid industrialisation of vast parts of the world – especially India and China. That in turn has led to demands for more and better food.

The acute nature of the crisis in some parts of the world has already forced WFP to reallocate some of their resources – they have suspended, for instance, their school feeding programme to 450,000 Cambodian children – because they do not have funds to meet all the challenges. WFP representatives in 78 countries around the world are facing similar challenges.

Even in Darfur – where the five year conflict has led to over 300,000 deaths and 2.5 million displaced people – the WFP has received only 17% of the funds required to go on with their feeding programme. In June they cut back their helicopter operations which they say are the life line through which 12,000 relief workers are able to distribute food to remote areas of Sudan.

In the short term the world food crisis will lead to sudden unexpected starvation and therefore to death. In the long term, development programmes will collapse and nutrition losses will damage children for a whole lifetime. The consequences of the 1990s famine in North Korea, for instance, can best be seen in the contrasting stature of North and South Koreans – the average adolescent in North Korea is 18 centimetres shorter than his counterpart in the south. Stunted growth and malnutrition damage bodies and educational attainment.

Failure to take the right decisions on agriculture, bio-fuel production, subsidies, tariffs and trade are they key factors in precipitating this crisis – not, the old bogey of population. Gandhi famously said there is sufficient in this world for people’s needs, but not for their greed, and that remains true.

The President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, has challenged the world community to find the £370 million needed to avert the immediate crisis: “The world can afford this. The poor and hungry cannot” he has said.

Robert Zoellick should speak to his friends at the World Trade Organisation and persuade them to abandon grossly distorted trade policies that have, for instance, forced Japan to import rice while it produces large surpluses (770,000 tons of unwanted and unneeded rice were imported last year alone).

And what else should we do in the longer term?
Food output in many impoverished parts of the world could be doubled or tripled by creating a special fund to support the world’s poorest farmers – helping them obtain seeds, fertilisers and irrigation. Drought resistant crops need to be developed and more research undertaken into ways of bolstering food production.

As well as a “green revolution” we must persuade European and American governments not to use corn to make ethanol, or to displace food crops by oil seed for use as biodeisel. This is a classic example of the law of unintended consequences. How many people could be fed by the food used to fill the tank of a four-wheel drive Mitsubishi Shogun? The US is spending $7 billion annually in subsidies for maize-based bio fuels. The diversion of this maize from the international markets accounts for a third of the price increase but it also says something about our priorities that we would rather fill a petrol tank than the stomach of a starving child, rather use food to feed our cars than hungry families.

We should immediately abandon the subsides for bio fuels and we should encourage the World Bank to get on with its plans to provide social safety nets – particularly insurance for poor farmers hit by natural disasters such as drought. This would tide them over until better times come and allow them to stay on the land. Too many feel forced to migrate to the squalor of urban shanty towns.

But the World Bank also needs to atone for the too rapid liberalisation of markets in the developing world. The consequence has been the initial dumping of food by Europe and the US and the consequential reliance of poor nations on cheap imports attended by the abandonment of farming by their own people.

“Back to the Land” is a call that needs to go out all over the developing world.
Next week – if we are to avert a catastrophe – the G8 needs to do more than wring its hands and procrastinate.
Ends

Burma and the Winds of Change

Universe Column

Sunday June 1st

Following the catastrophic effects of Cyclone Nargis on the people of Burma, the first instinct of decent men and women was to look for a humanitarian and compassionate response.

The first instinct of the Burmese military regime was to forestall life saving aid from reaching the desperate and to have a scandalous disregard for the suffering of their people.

The Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, said the regime was guilty of “malign neglect.”

The United Nations put the death rate as at least 100,000, with 220,000 people missing. Close to 2 million people have been affected and ten days after the cyclone only one third of the affected population had been reached. It is estimated that the ultimate death toll could be eight times as great as the fatalities caused by the 2004 Tsunami.

World Food Programme told me that because of the obstacles that the regime had erected just 10% of the logistics required had been put in place and only 20% of the required food had reached those who need it.

Throughout the Irrawaddy Delta area vast numbers of villages have been devastated, thousands of homes destroyed and more than 3,000 schools damaged.  Further rains in the weeks ahead are likely to compound an already desperate situation. Once the dead have been buried there will be a desperate need for long term rehabilitation and reconstruction – something the military junta is incapable of doing.

The genius of most modern humanitarian responses to natural disasters has been to move in quickly and to provide safe water, elementary medical support and food. This, in circumstances like the Tsunami, has meant that after the initial fatalities, the subsequent level of fatalities has been kept low.

In Burma, the consequences of the regime’s callous behaviour have been disastrous. Forty relief planes should have been arriving every day at Rangoon airport. Vast amounts of equipment, medicines, water sanitation, and food was stockpiled and ready to go. The Burmese military -having failed to warn the people of the impending cyclone – then refused to let more than a handful of planes arrive.  They even initially refused to allow the intervention of the Red Cross. Too little came and much of it too late.

The failure to act quickly in Burma has condemned people to long and lingering deaths – with cholera and typhoid now claiming lives that could have been saved.

The effect on generous western donors has been equally disastrous. Pictures and stories showing Burmese soldiers seizing for themselves what little aid that had been allowed in; and others painstakingly striking out the names of donor countries and agencies and re-branding aid as “a gift from the Burmese government” have led to western donors declining to give.

What kind of government diverts humanitarian assistance for starving people to its army’s barracks, or sells it on the free market?

Over the past couple of months the price of rice in Burma had already risen by 30%. This, and the worldwide shortage of food (made worse by the ludicrous decision in the West to turn over vast areas of arable land for the production of bio fuels) threatens to leave the entire population of Burma (and other countries, too) at risk of massive food shortages.

While these shocking events have been taking place the military regime used its scant resources to hold a phoney national referendum on a new constitution which few Burmese have even seen. The regime did not even bother to have it translated into the native language of Burma’s many ethnic minorities. It’s a constitution that among other things would ban Aung San Suu Kyi and virtually every other credible political leader from running for political office.

The United Nations Special rapporteur on human Rights in Burma, Paulo Pinheiro, eloquently summed up the sham nature of this process with the words: “If you believe in gnomes trolls and elves, you can believe in this democratic process in Burma.”

But with respect to Mr.Pinheiro should we believe in the international community either?

Contrast our willingness to occupy and subdue sovereign territories from Kosovo to Afghanistan with our unwillingness to invade Burmese airspace in order to drop in supplies to the sick and starving.  I happen to believe in the doctrine of liberal interventionism and despite the cack handed way in which some of its supporters have gone about it, I still do. We intervened in Bosnia in 1992, Somalia in 1993, Kosovo in 1998 and Sierra Leone in 2000 – all to good effect.  Our interventions were successful and saved lives.  Our failures since 2000 do not invalidate the legitimacy of liberal interventionism (and look what happens, for instance in Rwanda, and Darfur, when we do not: hundreds of thousands of people die).

David Milliband is right to talk of Burma’s “malign neglect” but what did his Cabinet colleague, Douglas Alexander (the Minister for Development and Aid), mean when he said it would be “incendiary” for the international community to drop aid into the Irrawaddy delta?  Couldn’t the same argument be used to prevent intervention anywhere in the world?  And there is a considerable difference between violating a country’s air space in order to drop food and aid to its suffering people and entering its air space in order to initiate a military offensive.

Putting out press statements and the ritual condemnations is not much help to a dying man clinging to driftwood.

The secretive military junta that rules Burma moved its control centre to a remote jungle location. That may have spared them the harsh winds of the cyclone but it will not spare them from the winds of change that are blowing throughout the land.

Last year’s murder of the Buddhist monks who led the popular protests have not been forgotten by Burmese people. Nor have their genocide and atrocities against ethnic minorities like the Karen.

As the Burmese mourn their dead, and think about the rebuilding of their homes, many see the cyclone as the signal to sweep out this oppressive regime and to rebuild their entire country. We should help them do that in any way we can.

Why We Need A National Bioethics Commission

The Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, has remarked that “We have had, generally, in this country a deficit of medical ethics”. The truth of that comment has been borne out in the debates on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill.

Along with colleagues from all parts of the House Lords, notably Lord Brennan and Baroness Williams of Crosby, I moved amendments to the Bill to redress this “gap” and to provide for a free-standing National Bioethics Commission to provide a balanced and credible permanent forum capable of adequately informing debate.

This is not to take the place of Parliamentary Select Committees but it would be a way of redressing a debate too frequently dominated by vested interests or by small elites who for two decades have enjoyed free reign in shaping the bio-ethics agenda. Too frequently they have become narrowly ideological in trying to justify their earlier decisions and in dismissing alternative, more ethical, approaches. The net effect has been to undermine public confidence in science.

Our proposal is that a National Bioethics Commission would be given statutory foundation. It would have a diverse membership on terms laid down in statute, would be supported by public money, and would be separate and independent from particular government departments and agencies, having no regulatory, administrative or quasi-legislative functions. Its purpose would be to enhance the democratic process by providing the material to support better informed public debate Decisions subsequently take on contentious matters in the life sciences would be supported by an informed public view and could be taken in a more democratic and inclusive fashion than they are at present.

The idea of a United Kingdom National Bioethics Commission has been proposed in the past. Dr Brian Iddon MP rightly reminded me of recommendation 85 of the 2005 Science and Technology Committee Report, to “recommend the formation of a single commission to develop policy issues relating to the assisted reproduction, embryo research and human genetics”.

Beyond Parliament distinguished commentators and spiritual leaders, such as the Archbishop of Westminster and the Chief Rabbi, Dr Sir Jonathan Sacks, have supported this proposal.

Professor Roger Brownsword of King’s College said in his evidence to the HFE Joint Scrutiny Committee that he thought the UK was less utilitarian than it had been and that changes need to be made to the current regulatory regime to reflect “a political culture which is more committed to the human rights agenda”.  Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, Chairman of the Healthcare Commission, remarked that he had concerns about the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s (HFEA) dual role in inspection and “thinking about really deep issues of bioethics”.

It is impossible for the HFEA to reconcile these conflicting roles: the watchdog and the burglar being too closely identified with one another.

Our recent debates have underlined the fast-moving and complex nature of the daunting issues that face us: everything from whether it is right to add to the 2.2 million human embryos destroyed or experimented upon since 1990; the absence of a single cure anywhere in the world using embryonic stem cells; the contrasting exciting advances ( 80 cures and 350 clinical trials) , in the  use of ethically acceptable adults cells; and whether it is right to create animal-human hybrid embryos or to use a dead person’s tissue to create a human embryo.

In response to the growing number of these challenging questions we need a greater urgency and definition.   In part this is a matter of prudence, effectiveness and efficiency, but there is also an important and ineliminable ethical aspect. Ethics comprise the identification of values and principles, but also surely the determination of their appropriate application. That is no easy matter, particularly given the diversity of moral, social and religious perspectives that characterise contemporary society. At the same time, however, there is widespread agreement on the importance of ethics. Among those who reflect on such matters, there is general agreement about the centrality of such values as welfare, autonomy and respect, and growing recognition that they cannot be reduced to a single value but must be maintained in some kind of balance.

International experience is also relevant.

Governments or Ministers have established national bioethics committees in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and in other countries. It is the worst kind of national chauvinism to dismiss overseas best practice as inferior and irrelevant to the British model.

Their constitutions, remits, operation and achievements can teach us a great deal.. The Danish and German models are widely admired, but several others also have good features.

The Commission would have the authority and standing of an independent statutory body. Its membership should encompass relevant professional expertise, patients and other user-group interests, as well as major religious and ethical groupings. Membership would reflect the diversity of positions held within society and appointment procedures must be public and transparent. Although independent, such a committee would be responsible to Parliament through a Minister to whom it should deliver an annual report, including recommendations for policy and additional reports could be commissioned when required. Its remit would be the entire range of bioethical issues, including, but not confined to those concerning reproduction.

Some have argued for a new in-house Westminster committee.

Parliament is perfectly free, at any time to establish such a body and it might well enhance the work of the existing Select Committees. These two ideas are not mutually exclusive; indeed, they could complement one another very well. Establishing a Parliamentary Committee is not a legislative issue; a National Bioethics Commission is. This is an ideal moment to implement the 2005 recommendation of the Science and Technology Committee and to use the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, to put a Commission onto a statutory basis. If we fail to do this, we will have missed a great opportunity.

Details of how you can oppose the Human Fertilisation Bill and extra bundles of protest post cards from 01925 220999 or 0203 1760032 or email:

gill@epiphany.org.uk or
ian.lucas@appplg.co.uk, .There is also a DVD available of one of the rallies, and this can be shown in small groups or at meetings. Please telephone for a copy. http://www.passionforlife.org.uk

10 million Under 5s Die each year – Time To Act

Universe Column

Save the Children recently published a damning report on the level of infant mortality worldwide: “Saving Children’s Lives – Why Equity Matters” The stark facts make for chilling reading.

Some 10 million children die under the age of five every year: nearly 4 million dead within the first 28 days of their lives. Three million babies live less than a week, including 2 million who die on their first day of life. Each and every one of these statistics represents a throbbing heart, a cherished baby, a new life prematurely extinguished – the triumph of our indifference over love.

In the year 2000 the world community pledged itself to do something about this haemorrhaging of human life. They published their Millennium Development Goals – eight targets for poverty reduction and development. One of the targets, MDG4, specifically calls for a two thirds reduction in under child mortality rates by the year 2015. At the present rate of progress that target would not be reached for another 37 years, until the year 2045. Between now and then 370 million children under the age of five will have died.

Save the Children insist that “These deaths are not random events beyond our control. To a considerable extent, they are the outcome of political and policy choices taken (or not taken) by governments. “ Save the Children argue that a coherent international approach, geared to achievable objectives and outcomes, would save life on a massive scale.

What are the principal causes of these deaths?

I was struck by the situation in sub-Saharan Africa – where 160 out of every 1,000 children die under the age of five each year. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for around 4.8 million of all child deaths.

Anyone who has been to war ravaged areas within that region is immediately struck by the link between conflict, abject poverty, compromised health, malnutrition, forced migration, and the fragility of life in make shift refugee camps. Young children are always bound to be at great risk and among the most likely to die first.

The UK’s department for International Development admits that “Nearly half of all children who die before the age of five are born in fragile states. Child mortality is almost two and a half times higher than in other poor countries and maternal mortality is also more than two and a half times higher.” Eight of the ten countries with the highest under-five mortality rates have recently experienced violent conflict. In four of them, Afghanistan, Angola, Niger and Sierra Leone, more than one in every four children will die. What a damning indictment of our failure to resolve conflict.

These children’s deaths are not all necessarily the result of direct violence – more often it is the consequences of it: vast human displacement of thousands of people form regions like Darfur into camps in places like Chad, consequential reduced access to healthcare and food, and the accelerated spread of disease in unhygienic and cramped conditions. These factors are even more lethal than the bands of marauding war lords or the proxy militias or governments like that of Sudan.

Africa’s most pressing need is to resolve the conflicts that are killing its children and destroying its future.

Beyond conflict there are many other things that can be done.

The prevention of major diseases – such as malaria, pneumonia, HIV and AIDS, measles, diarrhoea and neonatal condition – could all be accelerated if children had access to treatments available in countries like our own.

Dirty water is another core issue and British Government Ministers have confirmed to me that If a set of public health and nutrition interventions could be made at very low cost, the situation would dramatically change”. Surely it is not beyond our wit and ingenuity to make that change happen.

If a set of public health and nutrition interventions were made – often very low cost initiatives – situation would dramatically improve for the better.

Grinding poverty also plays its part in this horrific loss of young life. It is poverty, not population that needs to be targeted. Reduce poverty, increase life expectancy, and population growth declines naturally.

Research undertaken in 50 developing countries discovered that babies born to mothers in the poorest fifth of the population were nearly 30% more likely to die compared to those in the richest fifth. This affects children in a variety of ways. In Guatemala, for instance, 65% of the poorest 20% of households are home to stunted children; and in North Korea I have seen firsthand how years of famine have led to the stunting of large numbers of people.

In a country like Nigeria, while the child mortality rates are significantly improving for the better-off households, they are simultaneously declining in the poorer ones. In Nigeria children from the poorest rural areas have to travel seven times as far to get to a health facility as children from the better off homes. Working out what to do about this isn’t rocket science.

We could also save countless lives if we did more to improve the health of mothers.

Save the Children say that “Poor mothers are more likely to lack adequate nutrition during pregnancy, struggle to access basic health services and be unaware of cost-free steps that could enhance the survival prospects of their children.”

Most of the 40% of those children who die in the first few days of life do so because their condition is related to that of their mother. If we were to effectively tackle maternal health we would make a dramatic impact on the health of under-fives.

In some parts of the world, child mortality may also be linked to issues such as gender. A girl in India, for instance, is far more likely to die before her fifth birthday than a boy (even if she has managed to survive pregnancy, when Indian girls are routinely aborted).  Globally, however, more boys than girls die before reaching their fifth birthday.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown,  has said he wants to make this a year of emergency action to get the world back on track to achieve the millennium development goals.  If he is serious about that ,he should put MDG4  – child mortality – onto the agenda for the European Heads of States summit in June, the G8 Summit in July, and the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September.  With 10 million under fives dying every year, waiting until 2045 should not be seen as an option.

Iran: A Study In Tyranny

Universe Column

Thomas Paine once said, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”.  Those words still resonate today and nowhere more so than in the struggle of Iran’s main democratic opposition movement against the religious tyranny of the Iranian regime.

This month the nature of that tyranny has been graphically underlined by the case of an Iranian teenager who faces deportation from Britain, where his asylum case was rejected last year. Mehdi Kazemi, is aged 19 and is homosexual. His boyfriend was executed two years ago – hanged because he was gay: one of 4000 gays executed in Iran since 1979.   Mehdi, who came to Britain as a student, will almost certainly face the same capital punishment if he is forced to return.

For more than a quarter century, the Iranian regime has terrorised its people – and for a variety of reasons: notably singling out those who have resisted or dissented.

Currently, Iran’s rulers are carrying out their most ferocious crack down on young people – especially women – in recent years. In January alone, the regime executed at least 32 prisoners, murdered a dissident student in the north-western city of Sanandaj, executed another wounded prisoner laying on a stretcher in the northern city of Khoy, amputated the limbs of five prisoners in the south-eastern city of Zahedan, and sentenced two teenagers to be thrown off a cliff in a sack in the southern city of Shiraz famous for its poets, jasmine, and rose gardens.

Most Iranians who have been executed have died because of their political convictions – their passionate belief in democracy – and because of their refusal to comply with the dictates of this theocratic tyranny.

Since coming to power, the regime has executed more than 120,000 members and sympathisers of the resistance movement (the People’s Mujahedin of Iran: the PMOI), while imprisoning and torturing more than 500,000 others.  The regime’s reign of terror has worsened since the instigation as President of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a former torturer and executioner at Iran’s notorious Evin prison.  Among other things, Ahmadinejad is developing a nuclear programme, has famously called for the annihilation of the State of Israel, and denied that the Holocaust took place.

In the first two months of this year, his regime’s official news agencies reported 55 public executions.  This says nothing about those dissidents executed in secret torture centres run by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence.

In a 2007 report entitled, “Iran: The Last Executioner of Children”, a human rights organisation reported that the Iranian regime had executed 24 children and a further 71 child offenders were on death row.  At the same time, widespread summary arrests, torture, public flogging, amputation of limbs, gouging out of eyes, public hanging and stoning to death are used by the regime to suppress the Iranian people’s demands for their basic rights.  Iranian youth, women and labour groups have borne the brunt of this brutality, for it is they, who with the support of the PMOI, are taking on the tyrants in Tehran.  University students, women and labour groups have organised dozens of anti-regime protests each month in which they have clashed with Revolutionary Guards while chanting “Death to the Dictator!” and “We would rather die than accept tyranny!”  Only a few weeks ago Revolutionary Guards who were beating some women in the streets of Tehran for so-called “mal-veiling” came under attack from hundreds of ordinary Iranians who rescued the women and forced the Revolutionary Guards to retreat.  The Revolutionary Guards are now so despised by the Iranian populace that they are forced to wear balaclavas in public.

Outside of Iran’s borders, the Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force trains, arms and funds terrorists responsible for atrocities across the Middle East.  Responsible for more than 450 terrorist attacks worldwide, the regime has earned the mantle of “most active state sponsor of terrorism”.  The Revolutionary Guards produce Improvised Explosive Devices and export them to Iraq and Afghanistan for use against Coalition troops.  The regime also actively opposes peace between Palestine and Israel, while attempting to topple the democratically elected government of Lebanon.  By fanning the flames of conflict, the regime is able to pursue its expansionist agenda in the region.

Of equal concern is the aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons by the most active state sponsor of terrorism.  Despite a third round of UN Security Council resolutions, the regime has made clear it has no intention of abandoning its nuclear programmes.  It is the very appeasement of this vile regime, by politicians like Jack Straw and Javier Solana, that has resulted in the present threat.  Following the August 2002 revelation of the regime’s nuclear programmes by the PMOI, Britain and the EU pandered to the regime and gave them  six more years to further advance their nuclear ambitions.

Apart from their numerous revelations about the Iranian regime’s nuclear programmes and missile delivery systems, the PMOI has been the primary source of information on the regime’s terrorism.  It has revealed the sites of factories in Iran mass producing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as well as the identities of more than 32,000 agents of the Iranian regime operating inside Iraq.

You would therefore have thought that the PMOI enjoys the support of Britain and the EU.  Not so.  In a shameful and unlawful act of appeasement, at the behest of the regime we blacklisted the PMOI, putting them on a proscribed list with terrorist organisations, thereby restricting the PMOI’s ability to struggle against unspeakable tyranny. Once again, this was motivated by a desire to pander to the Iranian regime.

Despite the preparedness of the British Government to disregard the rule of law, the Courts have stepped in to correct this huge injustice.  The Courts have ruled that the Home Secretary’s decision to refuse an application made by 35 MPs and Peers, of whom I was one, calling for deproscription of the PMOI was “flawed”, “perverse” and “must be set aside”.  It ordered the Home Secretary to place an order before Parliament removing the PMOI from the list of proscribed organisations.  The British Government is still trying to defy the Courts.

The  regime’s weak point is its lack of popular support.

According to Iran’s parliament-in-exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, students and women were responsible for a major portion of the more than 5000 anti-government protests that were held in Iran last year alone. If the international community lends support to the Iranian people and their Resistance movement, this would undoubtedly force the regime to think twice before unilaterally pressing on with its clandestine nuclear projects and meddling in the affairs of regional states. It would also encourage the population to come out in greater numbers against the regime which is becoming increasingly isolated on the international scene.

Whitehall should now do the right thing – and take a stand against tyranny – by lifting the ban on the PMOI and allowing the Iranian people and their Resistance to bring about democratic change in Iran. Such action, coupled with comprehensive sanctions against the regime at the UN, would be an appropriate response and pave the way for fundamental change in Iran. It might even enable someone like Mehdi Kazemi to return to his homeland in safety.

Palm Sunday and Easter 2008

Universe Column

Sunday March 16th Palm Sunday

And the crowd called for Barabbas to be freed.”

As we brandish and wave our palms today, celebrating again Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, it’s hard not to fast forward and reflect on how rapidly the crowds repudiate Him: how quickly approbation becomes rejection.

Within days, Pilate will offer the crowds the chance to set Jesus free. Instead, they will demand the release of the rabble-rousing Barabbas; the nationalist political leader, who hated the Romans, rather than the man of peace who urged renunciation of self and reconciliation with others.

When putting these events into a contemporary context, it’s hard not to reflect on how fickle public opinion can be; how crowds can easily be whipped up into lynch mobs; and how transitory is worldly acclamation and success.

Today, we sing our hosannas (which means “save us now”) and tomorrow we stand at the foot of a cross.
Today, we witness the King’s entry into His city – recalling the investiture of Solomon as heir to David’s kingship and the celebration of his kingship and authority over each of us.

Tomorrow, we see the King nailed to a cross.
Today, we see a King entering His Kingdom on the colt of a donkey – a gentle, humble, animal of peace rather than on a horse, an animal symbolising power and warlike intentions. In the Babylonian Talmud the Persian king, Shevor asks “Why doesn’t your Messiah come riding on a horse? If he lacks one, I’ll be glad to provide him with one of my best!”

Jerusalem’s crowds made the same mistake as King Shevor – failing to understand Christ’s purpose; and that’s why tomorrow they shout for Barabbas rather than Jesus.

Today also recalls the ascent of the observant Jew to the hill of the temple; a journey each of us has to make if we would seek the face of God.

Some Catholic priests still observe the old Palm Sunday custom of striking the locked door of the church with the shaft of the processional cross, signifying that this is an action we must each take. The ascent into the temple is through an open door to a tabernacle with an everlasting welcome.

Pope Benedict’s Lenten reflection ( “Conversion of the Heart” published by CTS) recalls that ancient tradition and the Pope says this: “But the Lord also knocks with His cross from the other side: He knocks at the door of the word, at the door of our hearts, so many of which are so frequently closed to God. And he says to us something like this ; if the proof that God gives you his existence in creation does not succeed in opening you to him, if the words of the Scripture and the Church’s message leave you indifferent, then look to me – the God who let himself suffer for you, who personally suffers with you, – and open yourself to me, your Lord and your God.”

Today’s palms will, in due course, be burnt and a year from now the ashes will be used at the commencement of another Lent to mark each of us with the sign of our destiny – “remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.” Those words from the Book of Genesis perfectly express the symmetry of our beginning and our end.

Many nations have used palms as symbols of joy and victory over enemies. The enemy for each of us ascending to the temple is an internalised enemy; the battle a spiritual one.

In many Catholic homes the palms are preserved in prominent places throughout the year; farmers would often place them in their barns; in parts of Germany they are used to decorate graves of loved ones. The palms are full of meaning; so is today’s liturgy.

It is redolent with profound symbolism. The reading from Exodus with the complaints of the children of Israel, left wandering in a desert, but promised the consolation of the manna that will be sent from heaven, foretells the Eucharist; the prophetic words of the High Priest, Caiaphas, in the Gradual, , “That it was expedient that one should die for the people” foresees Calvary; the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Olives that the cup should pass Him by and the modest request to His disciples to watch and pray – reminds us that He found them asleep when they were needed. How so very much like most of us.

Each of these episodes, particularly the overwhelming cheers and salutations of the crowds – which like the palms that so quickly turn to dust – has application in our individual and collective lives.

Perhaps those of us who live in the world of politics particularly appreciate how easy it is to put your trust in the ephemeral and short-term, to cheer the demagogue with the sharp turn of phrase rather than profundity, and how easy it is to turn away from truth. Enoch Powell knew where that kind of politics led when he observed that ultimately “all political careers end in failure.”

It is said that Barabbas, the political leader, was a member of the sicarri, a militant Jewish movement that sought to overthrow the Roman occupation by force – and St.Mark mentions that Barabbas has committed murder in an insurrection. Some scholars argue that the sicarri emerged only after Christ’s death. Whatever the truth, it is clear that Pilate cunningly believed that by offering the mob a choice between a populist rebel and Jesus, he would be absolved of some of his responsibility in ordering Christ’s execution. He knew the choice the mob was bound to make.

Al l of this would make for a fairly depressing conclusion if we could not also fast forward through the events of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum to the moment that make sense of all of this: Christ’s resurrection. Barabbas, by contrast, disappears into the ether of history and the coldness of the grave.

With his characteristic bluntness, G.K.Chesterton summed up the implication of courting worldly approval rather than confronting the mob: “We do not want a Church that will move with the world. We want a Church that will move the world.” As it seeks to challenge today’s world, the Church, too, can expect plenty of moments when the mob will shout for Barabbas, but it should remember always the promise that Easter holds.

Sunday March 23rd,
Easter Sunday
David Alton

G.K.Chesterton famously wrote that “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and not tried.”

This Easter day it is worth reflecting on that brilliant aphorism and asking ourselves how well we put the case for the Christian faith.

I recently attended the world premier of John Taverner’s “Requiem” – poignantly and moving performed by the Liverpool philharmonic Orchestra and Choir at the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The cathedral was full to capacity.

On the same night, elsewhere in the city’s Hope Street, Liverpool University had organised a talk by Richard Dawkins. Some witty Scousers had gathered outside and held aloft some amusing posters: “Don’t let Dawkins Make a Monkey Out of You” they proclaimed.

That Richard Dawkins is sincere in his evangelistic atheism, I have no doubt; but I couldn’t help being struck by the contrast between Taverner’s music and Dawkin’s arguments.

That evening’s events represented the classic clash between faith in an omnipotent Creator God and faith in the human project, constructed by accident, and powered by intellect alone.

Taverner’s music expressed for me an awesome appreciation of the infinite and also the ultimate accountability of mankind before the God who made him. Music and art are two of the finest tools for connecting our lives to what Taverner identifies as the great Light. They often open the way to the Sacraments and to Scripture.

Yet, I also accept that not everyone is reached in this way. That is why – to avoid being made monkeys of – we also have to rationally put the case for Christianity.

Too many of our compatriots dismiss Christianity as a dying superstition. They embrace the anti-Christian writings of Dawkins, or fall back on Marxist dialectics, the musings of Bertrand Russell or the hostile fiction of writers like Philip Pullman.

Not letting the case for Christianity go by default is what led men like Chesterton and C.S.Lewis to see the importance of making the case for Christianity.

They were not alone.
The English journalist, Frank Morrison (real name Albert Henry Ross) was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, in 1881. He died in 1950.

His finest work, still in print, was “Who Moved the Stone?” – essential reading for anyone who doubts the truth of the Easter story.

Influenced by the sceptics of the time Morrison began writing his book to prove that the Resurrection of Christ was a fabricated story. The more he probed, the more he came to believe in its authenticity.

When I first read “Who Moved The Stone?” I was struck by the forensic skills which Morrison used to assemble both the case for the prosecution and the case for the defence. It is investigative journalism at its best.

The book includes a moving and vivid description of the betrayal by Judas, Christ’s trial and death and the accounts of the Resurrection. Some of the chapter titles give a flavour of the style of the book: “The Real Case Against The Prisoner”; “What Happened Before Midnight on Thursday?”; “Between Sunset and Dawn”; and “The Witness of The Great Stone.”

If I was giving Morrison’s book as an Easter present, I might be tempted to add a couple of others.
Another non-believer who came to embrace Christianity was the Oxford academic, C.S.Lewis. His “Mere Christianity” remains one of the most accessible accounts of the Christian faith.

He argued that to comprehend Christianity you have to understand the moral law: without which the entire universe cannot function. He describes the moral law as “hard as nails” and argues that God is its source. He asserts the primacy of God over Satan – whose rebellion is at the root of all evil; and who, in the way of a parasite, twists all that is good.

Without understanding this we cannot, he say, comprehend the coming of Christ or His role as Redeemer and Saviour.
Lewis says that “God “became a man” in Christ in order that “our human nature which can suffer and die” may be “amalgamated with God’s nature” and make full atonement a possibility.

Like Lewis, Professor Alister McGrath, was born in Northern Ireland. His recent book, “The Dawkins Delusion”, is brilliantly argued – as you might expect from Oxford University’s Professor of Historical Theology. He has a background in molecular biophysics.

McGrath says that “Growing up amid sectarian violence, I concluded that if there were no religion, there wouldn’t be any violence. At the time Marxism, with its offer of political transformation and its aim of doing away with religion, was very attractive to me. I was also studying natural sciences. To me, science had disproved God. So I was a Marxist atheist who enjoyed sciences”

He went to Oxford University, a convinced atheist, but:
‘I began to realise that I’d misunderstood what Christianity was. I had thought that it was simply a kind of ritualistic, mechanistic thing. All about keeping rules. I had no idea that it was really about a personal relationship with Christ.

‘Discovering that changed things in a very big way. I discovered not simply that Christianity was true, but also that it was real. It was not just something that made sense but also something that could transform someone’s life. I decided I wanted to become a Christian.

‘I can’t point to a single defining moment but when I went to Oxford in the October I was an atheist; when I went home for Christmas I was a Christian.’

And of his fellow Oxonian academic, Richard Dawkins, he says:
“Richard Dawkins asserts very strongly that to buy into modern science is to say that there is no God. But that is simply not true – scientifically or philosophically. There are a large number of Christians who are scientists who spend most of their professional careers disproving him on this point.”

As we try to convince the world that Chesterton was right – and that Christianity may be difficult but it is worth trying – what better allies could we have than men like Morrison, Lewis and McGrath. Forget the Easter eggs, and give their books instead.