Press Notice 03, Session 2006-07

Members from four influential select committees will gather together on Thursday, 15 March at 1500hrs to quiz Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on the Government's arms export policy.

The Secretary of State and officials will give evidence to the committees' inquiry into strategic export controls and the operation of the Export Control Act 2002.

Quad Chairman Roger Berry MP, who also sits on the Trade and Industry Select Committee, said:

"This is an excellent opportunity for members of four key committees to scrutinise the government's track record on arms export controls.

"It will also allow Members of Parliament to examine the operation of the current law and to make a contribution to the review of the Export Control Act 2002.

"It is crucial for the government to show that measures being implemented at international and national level are effective in controlling the arms trade and that they are preventing weaponry and other potentially dangerous goods from falling into the wrong hands."

The witnesses

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Thursday, 15 March at 1500 in Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

Margaret Beckett MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Paul Arkwright, Head of Counter Proliferation Department

Mariot Leslie, Director for Defence and Strategic Threats

Notes for Editors:

1.Follow committees and parliamentary debates online:

2. Committee website:

3. The Quadripartite Committee consists of four Committees which meet together to consider the control of strategic exports, including weapons. The Committees involved are: Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry. The Chairman for these meetings is Roger Berry MP, who is a member of the Trade and Industry Committee.

4. The Committee's main job is to review Government policy on licensing arms exports and licensing decisions. Each year the Government produces an annual report on Strategic Export Controls which the Committee scrutinizes.

5. News Release: Quadripartite Committee - No. 3.

6. For further information contact Alex Paterson, Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589.