§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the right hon. Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Maclean) of 21 April 1999,Official Report, column 583, on the Justice and Home Affairs Council, for what reasons it was not practicable to make an earlier report to the House on the outcome of the meeting on 12 March. 
§ Mr. Straw
We always aim to report promptly to the House on the outcome of Justice and Home Affairs Council meetings. But we can only prepare a report when we have a reliable record of the proceedings. In the 45W present case, this was received in the Home Office on 16 March, and I reported to the House in the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Clydesdale (Mr. Hood) on 22 March 1999, Official Report, columns 23–26. I assure the hon. Member that there was no avoidable delay.