§ Mr. Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department received a copy of(a) the European Commission communication of 14 July 1998 relating to the progressive alignment of criminal laws and procedures within the Union COM (1998) 459 and (b) the Draft Convention of Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. 
Mr. Straw: The European Commission Communication towards an area of Freedom, Security and Justice of 14 July 1998 (COM (1998) 459) was received in the Home Office on 2 September 1998 and deposited for scrutiny on 15 September 1998.
The most recent consolidated text of the draft Convention on mutual assistance in criminal matters between the member states of the European Union is in Council Document 13144/98 JUSTPEN 108, which was received on 20 November 1998. That document has since 44W been supplemented by proposals for additional articles to be included in the draft Convention. Those proposals, like the consolidated text, have been submitted to the relevant parliamentary Select Committees and have been, or will be, placed in the Library.