Mr. Alan W. Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Calder Valley (Sir D. Thompson) of 25 May,Official Report, columns 667–68, if he will detail the technical points that are holding up ratification by the United Kingdom of the Council of Europe's framework convention for the protection of national minorities. 
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The timing of the ratification of an international legal instrument is a matter of political judgment. The framework convention was opened for signature very recently, on 1 February 1995. So far, the convention has been signed by 27 member states of the Council of Europe and ratified by one.
The technical points to which I referred in my answer of 25 May remain under consideration.