§ The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Charles Clarke)
I beg to move,That the Order of the House of 17th July be supplemented as follows:
§ 1. Proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments shall be completed at today's sitting and, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion two hours after the commencement of proceedings on this Order.
§ 2.—(1) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1.
§ (2) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.
§ (3) If that Question is for the amendment of a Lords Amendment, the Speaker shall then put forthwith—
- (a) a single Question on any further Amendments of the Lords Amendment moved by a Minister of the Crown, and
- (b) the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees with the Lords in their Amendment or (as the case may be) in their Amendment as amended.
§ (4) The Speaker shall then put forthwith—
- (a) a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown to a Lords Amendment, and
- (b) the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees with the Lords in the Amendment or (as the case may be) in their Amendment as amended.
§ (5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House disagrees with the Lords in a Lords Amendment.
§ (6) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Amendments.
§ (7) As soon as the House has agreed or disagreed with the Lords in any of their Amendments, or disposed of an Amendment relevant to a Lords Amendment which has been disagreed to, the Speaker shall put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown relevant to the Lords Amendment.
§ 3.—(1) The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the consideration forthwith of any further Message from the Lords on the Bill.
§ (2) The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.
§ (3) Sub-paragraphs (4) to (7) apply for the purpose of bringing those proceedings to a conclusion.
§ (4) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.
§ (5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown which is related to the Question already proposed from the Chair.
§ (6) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown on or relevant to any of the remaining items in the Lords Message.
§ (7) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Proposals.1279
§ 4. The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the appointment, nomination and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons and the appointment of its Chairman.
§ 5.—(1) A Committee appointed to draw up Reasons shall report before the conclusion of the sitting at which it is appointed.
§ (2) Proceedings in the Committee shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion 30 minutes after their commencement.
§ (3) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with sub-paragraph (2) the Chairman shall—
- (a) first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided; and
- (b) then put forthwith successively Questions on Motions which may be made by a Minister of the Crown for assigning a Reason for disagreeing with the Lords in any of their Amendments.
§ (4) The proceedings of the Committee shall be reported without any further Question being put.
§ 6. If the House is adjourned, or the sitting is suspended, before the expiry of the period at the end of which proceedings are to be brought to a conclusion under this Order, no notice shall be required of a Motion made at the next sitting by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provision of this Order.
§ 7.—(1) In this paragraph "the proceedings" means proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments and on any further Message from the Lords on the Bill.
§ (2) Standing Order No. 15(1) (Exempted business) shall apply to the proceedings.
§ (3) The proceedings shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.
§ (4) No dilatory Motion with respect to, or in the course of, the proceedings shall be made except by a Minister of the Crown; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.
§ 8.—(1) This paragraph applies if—
- (a) a Motion for the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) has been stood over to Seven o'clock; and
- (b) proceedings on this Motion have begun before then.
§ (2) The bringing to a conclusion of any proceedings which, under this Order, are to be brought to a conclusion after that time, shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the proceedings on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.
§ I will move this guillotine motion briefly, as I am sure that the House will want to debate the substance of the Lords amendments more than the guillotine motion. It will ensure that we get the legislation that the Government need and that the community wants. It will contribute to the orderly conduct of business and it was set out in the original guillotine motion that the House passed. Incidentally, the Opposition amendment to that motion, which was tabled last week, did not seek to amend this aspect of the guillotine in any respect.
§ From the outset, we have made it clear that we shall address from the beginning of the new season—
§ Mr. Nick Hawkins (Surrey Heath)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is a matter of concern that, apart from the Minister's Parliamentary Private Secretary 1280 and the Whip, there is only one Labour Member in the Chamber. That is an extraordinary state of affairs when a guillotine motion is being introduced.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin)
The hon. Gentleman is here, the Minister is here and I am here. That is all we need to get on with the business.
§ Mr. Clarke
I could not express it as well as you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
The guillotine motion that we are debating was envisaged, set out and agreed in the motion introduced last week. The amendment tabled by the Opposition did not seek to remove this aspect of the procedure.
The Government are convinced that the approach that we have set out in the Bill has to be clear and must be understood widely from the beginning of the next football season. We are determined to have the Bill agreed by the end of this month, so that it will have full effect from that date.
The Bill has been debated substantially and it has been improved through discussion. It may help hon. Members to learn that the Government intend to recommend that the House accepts all the amendments passed in the other place. We have sought to move by consensus and to seek agreement. We acknowledge that important suggestions and amendments have been made by both sides of the House. For those reasons, I hope that the guillotine motion will be agreed and that we can move as rapidly as possible on to substantive debate on the issues covered by the Lords amendments.
§ Miss Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone and The Weald)
This guillotine motion is silly and it is unnecessary. Throughout the passage of the Bill, we have co-operated with the Government in making sure that the Bill makes due progress. Indeed, in the debate on the procedural motion in another place, Lord Williams of Mostyn said that the Opposition in the House of Commonsgave us an assurance, and delivered on the promise, that we would have their support.—[Official Report, House of Lords, 25 July 2000; Vol. 616, c. 294.]
During the debate in Committee, Lord Bassam said:There has been support across the parties, more particularly from the official Opposition, to bring the legislation forward.—[Official Report, House of Lords, 24 July 2000; Vol. 616, c. 270.]
On Third Reading, he said:I particularly want to pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Cope, for his constructive approach.—[Official Report, House of Lords, 26 July 2000; Vol. 616, c. 480.]
Even Lord Bassam feels that the procedure used is outrageous. He said:I, too, am less than happy with the circumstances in which we have to deliberate on the legislation. I do not think that anybody can be happy. No one wants to be here at ten past five in the morning talking about complex matters like these.—[Official Report, House of Lords, 24 July 2000; Vol. 616, c. 270.]
Nobody is happy with the procedure—except, possibly, Ministers. They have received the fullest possible cross-party support, but that support did not envisage them rushing the Bill through without due debate. We have had due debate on some, but not all, the matters of considerable concern to which the Bill gives rise. The Minister now says that he accepts all the amendments 1281 made in another place, so why on earth is it necessary to have a guillotine if it is not yet another example of the Government's absolute compulsion to be control freaks at every stage of the way?
The motion is not necessary. Frankly, it is an insult given all the co-operation that the Minister has had. The Government have shown that they are not taking the Bill as seriously they would have done if they had allowed adequate time for debate and had given it a sensible passage through the House. Instead, the process has been characterised by one guillotine motion after another, all of which have been unnecessary.
§ Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark, North and Bermondsey)
I share completely the view that we should not have this guillotine motion. The Bill was introduced late in the Session entirely at the Government's instigation—it could have been introduced at any time after the Queen's Speech or been scheduled in the Queen's Speech—and this motion is the latest in their attempt to bounce the Bill through all its stages. It is the last unhappy event in a series of unhappy events about a fundamentally worrying Bill.
I wish to consider the procedure that has been used. The Bill received its Second Reading the week before last and it came back before the House on the next but one working day. We went through all the remaining stages under a guillotine without any separation between the Committee and Report stages or between Report and Third Reading. As colleagues pointed out to the House, we were required to anticipate what we might want to debate after the Committee stage before the end of the Committee stage. There was just a matter of moments before the debate on Report began when other amendments could be considered. We discussed Report and Third Reading under a guillotine motion and that debate ended at 2.56 am on Tuesday last week.
There was just one working day before the Bill went to the Lords on Thursday last week. On Second Reading, the Lords expressed their unhappiness. However, they do not traditionally vote on Second Readings, so the Bill was not opposed at that stage. The Bill returned to the Lords on the first available working day—on Monday this week. As the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) suggested, the Lords Committee sat until 5 or 6 o'clock in the morning to deal with the amendments. I pay tribute to Lord McNally and my other Liberal Democrat colleagues, and to the colleagues of the right hon. Lady. They carried out assiduously until the early hours of the morning what Madam Speaker reminded us we are all here to do—holding the Government to account. Incidentally, if Parliament decided that it did not want to sit at anti-social hours, we would never be able to introduce such Bills. It is not possible to scrutinise them other than in the early hours, because no other time is available.
The Government decided that they wanted the Bill's remaining stages—Report and Third Reading—to take place in the Lords on Tuesday. In their wisdom, the Lords said, "No thank you. Up with this we will not put!" and rightly defeated the Government's proposal to carry straight on with the debate. That gave the Lords at least a day in which to consider the matter. It allowed them 18 hours—instead of the Government's anticipated nine—to read the relevant Hansard, which was not available until Wednesday, and to table amendments.
1282 The Lords held the Report and Third Reading debates yesterday, and the debate on Third Reading ended early yesterday evening. The Bill, with the amendments made by the Lords, was published for the first time for us to see this morning, and the earliest that anyone could get hold of a copy was at 7 o'clock this morning when the Vote Office opened. We now have to debate four groups of Lords amendments, some of which raise controversial matters. Although they improve the Bill, they do not improve it nearly as much as some of us would have wished, and some of the improvements need to be explained and justified.
My colleagues and I considered what we wanted to do this morning and we tabled our amendments then—the only time available. Madam Speaker has selected my amendments, which I discussed with colleagues, in three of the four groups and we are likely to want to vote on at least one of those groups, if not more.
I have outlined the Bill's history, but we shall certainly vote against the guillotine motion for two other reasons. As the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald rightly suggested, this is a Government Bill which was introduced at their instigation. It returns to us on what is scheduled to be the last but one sitting day, with two relatively uncontroversial matters behind it on the Order Paper, and tomorrow we shall debate a completely uncontroversial item of business. There is absolutely no reason why we should not deal with the Bill in our own time. We have plenty of time; the House does not have to rise at a particular time today, which is a working day, and we are able to sit in the evening. We could deal properly with the four groups of Lords amendments and the amendments in my name.
It is unlikely that the Government will be defeated, given their majority, but if they are, the Lords will have the opportunity to do their work again. There is no reason for the guillotine. It comes down to the sad admission—I do not blame the Minister of State for this—that the Government have become obsessed with limiting debate. They want to ensure that their legislation is passed, but they do not want it to be debated. In the other place, thank goodness, there is no power to guillotine proceedings. The Government tried to pull a fast one by attempting to concertina the times between the different stages, but they failed in that.
I was amused to hear that the Government almost failed again in the middle of Monday night when a Conservative Member of the Lords insisted on a vote on his amendment, because the Lords had generally assumed that they were not going to vote on the Committee stage, and almost all the Government had gone home. That was a good amendment, and my noble Friends who were around in the early hours of the morning voted for it.
We should vote against the motion because it is not necessary and because the Government have to be told that Parliament will not just give in to an Executive which keep on piling guillotine motions on to the House. The Government have remaining legislation that they have not, for some reason, brought back from the other place, but have kept in the sidings. That legislation went to the Lords weeks or months ago. I refer to the Freedom of Information Bill, the Race Relations (Amendment) Bill and sex equality legislation. None of those have been dealt with. I give the Government warning that if, when we 1283 return from the recess, they try to argue that they need a guillotine on those measures, we will oppose each and every motion.
The Home Office is entitled to bring legislation to the Cabinet Committee; the Cabinet Committee is entitled to bring legislation to the Government, and the Government are entitled to introduce it to the House, but they are not entitled, without opposition and strong argument, to disfranchise Members by preventing them from taking part in reasonable debates on important issues. I hope that they will learn that they do themselves no credit by seeming to curb debate. The Prime Minister has a new desire to be tough, but limiting debate is not a tough measure that does him credit. We have accepted that there is a case for amending the law before the summer holidays, but there is no case for a guillotine to limit debate on the motion and Lords amendments to a total of two hours.
§ Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North)
I apologise to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and to my hon. Friend the Minister for not being here for his opening speech, but apparently it was very brief. It was so brief that by the time I had crossed the road by Big Ben and arrived here, it was over. I hope that my hon. Friend will forgive me if I read his speech in Hansard on another occasion.
I am not sure whether the House is entirely focused on the Bill, judging by the acres of empty green Benches around and opposite me.
§ Mr. Corbyn
Well, there is still not much of it.
I am genuinely sorry that the Government have introduced a timetable motion to try to get the Bill through the House this afternoon because I had assumed that we could have a thorough debate about the Lords amendments tomorrow. Discussing why the Government want to rush the Bill through the House would be an ideal way to spend the last Friday before the recess. I am slightly nervous of guillotine motions at the best of times. They underline the problem of complacency in British parliamentary democracy in that the Executive, for good or for ill, effectively controls what Parliament does because it controls the timetable. In a more mature democracy, which we will one day reach, Parliament may be more independent of the Executive, and may be able to decide on its programme and timetable.
The Bill is born out of appalling events in Brussels and Charleroi during the European cup tournament. Nobody condones what went on there, but the criminal law that applies in Belgium, France, Germany and this country can deal with such disorder. It is important that we understand and accept the principle of the separation of police powers from those of the court. The general thrust of the Bill is to give an excessive power to the police to prevent people from travelling on the assumption that they may cause trouble in future. That assumption is based on their past behaviour, if there is knowledge of that behaviour. That sets a dangerous precedent.
The Bill is being rushed through because the Home Office believes that legislation automatically solves a problem. I am not convinced that the Bill will make a 1284 hap'orth of difference to what happens at the England versus France game at the beginning of September. There is no need for the legislation because there is criminal law to deal with these matters. Football violence has been dealt with in previous legislation.
Legislating in haste, which we have done several times in this and previous Parliaments, means either that the legislation is simply never used or that it is challenged in the courts in this country or, ultimately, in the European Court of Human Rights, and we end up having to amend it. I realise that the Minister has invested a great deal of time and energy in the Bill, but we should ask whether it is necessary, whether it creates a dangerous legal precedent and whether we would be better off abandoning the whole thing, rather than trying to pass it this afternoon in less than two hours.
The hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) reminded me that we finished last Monday night at 2.56 am. I went home on my bicycle and saw a great deal of anti-social behaviour on Charing Cross road. I had no idea that there were so many people out on Charing Cross road at that time. There is criminal law to deal with those who behave anti-socially, or not, as the case may be, but the police have no powers to deport people or stop them travelling just because of their absurd behaviour; they would have to go through a legal process.
I am concerned that the Bill will set a precedent that could be applied in other cases. What if the measures were to apply to other sports, such as golf or cricket, for which people choose to travel? What if they applied to people going to France for a demonstration?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will return to the timetable motion, because that is what we are debating.
§ Mr. Corbyn
I conclude by saying that if we legislate in haste, by rushing the Bill through today, we will set a precedent that could easily affect other walks of life, thus damaging our civil liberties. The Bill should be dropped.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham)
I rise to support what the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) has said. I find it slightly disconcerting that he and I, who stand at completely opposite ends of the spectrum, should agree so often on matters of civil liberties.
I am against the timetable motion, and I will vote against it. It is unnecessary and wrong in principle. The hon. Gentleman said that one reason why the House is not as respected as we would wish is that the Government control the proceedings. He referred to their control of the timetable. The hon. Gentleman is right, but the point goes further because the Government also control the votes through their Whips Office, and we are certain of the outcome of any discussion in this place. It is therefore essential that we should have full discussion because although we cannot determine the outcome, we can certainly set out the arguments, which may affect the argument outside the House. It is therefore wrong in principle that the Government should not only control the votes, but curtail the discussion.
That takes me to a point that I made earlier this week. This is the fifth timetable motion that we have had in four weeks. The essence of a democracy is that the discussion 1285 in Parliament signifies consent to legislation going through, and consent must mean, if it means anything, informed consent. We can have informed consent only if the House hears the arguments on all sides of the debate. Given that the effect of timetable motions is that whole groups of amendments are never discussed or voted on, how can we have informed consent? People will increasingly realise that this House is simply driving through legislation that has never been discussed or voted on. That undermines the legitimacy of what we are about.
The Minister of State argued that we should get through this timetable motion rapidly so that we can get on to the substantive motion. That is an attractive notion so far as it goes, but it is a form of blackmail.
§ Mr. Corbyn
Aside from the concern about timetables, does the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that one of the problems with this timetable motion and one or two others that we have had is that, because they do not timetable by groups of amendments, many amendments are automatically not mentioned in debate and therefore, legally, they cannot be mentioned in the courts in the future because Ministers' intentions on the subject are not known?
§ Mr. Hogg
The hon. Gentleman is right. We saw this happen last Tuesday, when important amendments were not just not voted on, but were never discussed. That means that the process of informed consent does not take place. If legislation that passes out of this House has not been the subject of rational or informed discussion, what legitimacy does the legislation have? It brings the process of law making into contempt.
§ Mr. Roger Gale (North Thanet)
To some extent, my right hon. and learned Friend missed the point made by the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn), which was about legal challenges. If something is referred to, either in Committee or on the Floor of the House, it can be raised as an argument in the courts. My right hon. and learned Friend knows that better than I do. If an issue is not mentioned, it cannot be referred to.
§ Mr. Hogg
That is not absolutely correct, although I know what my hon. Friend is getting at. Certainly, statements by a Minister can be taken into account when interpreting the meaning of statute, but my views or those of my hon. Friend would not have that desirable effect. My hon. Friend is therefore only partially right.
As I was saying, the Minister of State said that we should hurry through the timetable motion so that we can get on to the substantive debate. Although that is an attractive notion, it is wrong. It is a form of blackmail, because those of us who think that the timetable is wrong in principle and unnecessary in this case owe the House a duty to say so. Otherwise, the public will not know about the abuses going on and our silence will be treated as acquiescence in the process. I think that what is going on is wholly wrong.
I agree with what the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) said: there is no need for us to hurry today. We know, because we have been told—I welcome this fact—that the Government will accept the Lords amendments. That makes a rotten Bill slightly less bad. However, we should not be discussing 1286 Lords amendments today because this Bill came out of the other place only yesterday and one had to be remarkably nimble-footed to table any amendments by today. We have ample time to consider the Bill tomorrow—or, indeed, next week, if the House would so order its business. We are being pushed in an unnecessary way to do something that we should not do. Those of us who value parliamentary government and who agreed with Madam Speaker when she stressed the need for proper scrutiny owe it to the House to say that enough is enough. I, for one, will seek to divide the House on this motion, and I hope that others will do the same.
§ Mr. Tony Banks (West Ham)
The right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) makes a point that all of us have argued from time to time, depending on which side of the House we have been sitting on and what view we have taken of a particular piece of legislation.
§ Mr. Banks
I always defer to my hon. Friend, who is a man of great principle. I cannot lay claim to such a reputation, and neither can the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham, whom I have heard and seen strongly supporting guillotine motions when he occupied a Front-Bench position as a Minister in the previous Conservative Government. Therefore, he and I have been on both sides of the argument, so no one can lay claim to being totally consistent throughout their parliamentary life.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that the Government were controlling both the timetabling of legislation and the votes through the Whips. Has anything changed? Did that arise only in 1997? It clearly did not, so he is just telling us something that is self-evident. There are times when all of us, whether our party is in government or not, have felt the need to speak out, either in this Chamber or outside, because we do not agree with something that our Government have been doing. Again, my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) has far more experience in that area than I have.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that this guillotine motion prevents informed discussion and therefore challenges the legitimacy of the Bill, but that does not apply in this case. We have already discussed this issue at length. As I said on Second Reading and at other stages of the Bill, there is a continuum here. Governments of both persuasions have been trying to solve the problem of football hooliganism for many years and, so far, we have failed. This Bill is the latest attempt.
§ Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst)
The hon. Gentleman is missing the whole point of this debate. Whatever discussions may have gone on prior to this, inside or outside the House, or even in another place, this is supposed to be an opportunity for Members of the House of Commons to discuss the Lords amendments. It simply is not good enough for the hon. Gentleman to suggest that, because we have had all sorts of prior 1287 discussions, we need not bother now. This timetable motion denies us the opportunity properly to consider what the other place has sent us.
§ Mr. Banks
I do not agree with the right hon. Gentleman because it depends on what he means by proper discussion. Once we have moved off this guillotine motion, which naturally eats into the time available for discussion of the substantive issue—[HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down, then.] I know that I do not need to make this speech, but I am damned if I will sit down yet.
We have an opportunity to discuss the Lords amendments, albeit not as much time as Opposition Members would like. Let me put a question to the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham, who I trust will answer it honestly. If we were to discuss this Bill from now until Domesday, would he agree with it? That is the whole point: he would not agree with it. It is a matter of principle.
§ Mr. Banks
I accept that. One could therefore say, as with many decisions made in this House, that we do not have to sit here listening to our colleagues on either side of the House opining at great length. Most of us have made up our minds about most matters beforehand. It would be nice to think that this was genuinely a debating Chamber, but it is not; it is a decision-making Chamber with an element of debate attached to it. We tend to know our own minds. If we did not, we could be challenged on what we were doing here in the first place.
That does not mean that we cannot improve legislation by discussion, amendments and votes, which are all part of the procedure, but we should not make too much of the idea that matters must be discussed endlessly if we are to make better legislation.
§ Mr. Corbyn
Yes, dear old friend. My hon. Friend was once my employer. Does he agree that the lack of a detailed timetable motion means that the Government can introduce important amendments in the latter stages of a Bill—or someone else can introduce them and they can be accepted by the Government—without discussion or a ministerial reply? Therefore, when the courts test a particular section of the legislation, they have no ministerial statement in Hansard to which to refer. That is an important part of the legal process of setting precedents.
§ Mr. Banks
I understand what my hon. Friend says in that Ministers could give a better steer. I have always been led to believe that the courts do not take into account in any great detail statements made during the passage of legislation. They interpret the wording of Acts; they do not consider the sentiment behind them. That is the point of the process.
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
To help my hon. Friend in his powerful case, I confirm that the Government do not 1288 intend to table any amendment to the Bill, as he suggests, and we do not propose to accept the other amendments that have been tabled, except those selected by Madam Speaker. We shall simply argue that the Lords amendments should be accepted. The concerns expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) may arise in other cases, but not in this one.
§ Mr. Banks
My hon. Friend the Minister is an honest man, and we can have total confidence in the Bill, but I cannot say that for all the legislation that the Government have proposed. I know that other hon. Members want to speak, but I want to mention that my very good, old and hon. Friend the hon. Member for Islington, North asked how we should gauge people's opinions. He answered his own question—we need only look about ourselves. If the Bill is so controversial, why are not more hon. Members here? Attendance must, at times, be used as an indicator of hon. Members' concern.
§ Mr. Forth
I shall try to answer the hon. Gentleman outright. When Members read that such limited time would be allowed under the guillotine motion, they realised first, that there was no point in attending because they could not all speak, and secondly, that the Government are trampling all over the House as usual. They are two effective deterrents to hon. Members attending.
§ Mr. Banks
I speak for myself because my hon. Friend is clearly an anorak. He said that we should come here tomorrow; it is a perfectly good day for us to do so. I take the point, but he is a notorious non-holiday taker. He is the man who, when pushed to have a day off, took his partner to Highgate cemetery to study the grave of Karl Marx. That is why I love the guy, but he is a notorious non-relaxation Member, who would have us all working like Stakhanovites 24 hours a day. Decent and hard working as he is, we should not use him as our bell-wether for what is good or bad attendance.
We have gone over such matters enough. The timetable motion is perfectly adequate to allow us to deal with the amendments and to continue to discuss the Bill, which I still maintain is necessary. It is the latest measure in a line of legislation that Governments have introduced to try to curb the cancer of football hooliganism. As I have said, I am not certain that the Bill will work, but I am prepared to have a go and to see whether it does. We have plenty of ways in which to keep it under review. If the Bill does not work, or if it works in a way in which we do not believe it should, it is up to us to change it. That is our right, and we are exercising our rights this afternoon.
§ 3.4 pm
§ Mr. Roger Gale (North Thanet)
I, too, apologise for the fact that I missed the Minister's opening comments, but, as the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) has said, they were remarkably brief and I missed them even in the time that it took to cross the road.
This is a curious Bill; these are curious circumstances; and this curious guillotine motion brings together the opinions of the hon. Members for Islington, North 1289 (Mr. Corbyn) and for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) and myself. We do not normally agree on many issues, but we clearly agree on this one. The House, especially those on the Front Benches, should pay attention, if only for the future, to the fact that there is no need to railroad through such legislation. It is interesting that the hon. Members in the Chamber today broadly reflect those who were present in the small hours of another morning not so long ago. Clearly, several hon. Members on both sides of the House share the view that this is an appallingly bad Bill. It is badly drafted and it is likely to be badly implemented, and anything that we can do to help their lordships to improve it must be for the good.
Several hon. Members on both sides of the House have referred to the blackmail element of the motion. The fact of the matter is that every moment that I speak now will truncate debates on the amendments that we wish to discuss. That must be wrong. Although it seems a long time ago, it was only yesterday that Madam Speaker said in her valedictory speech that the job of the Houseis to hold the Executive to account—[Official Report, 26 July 2000; Vol. 354, c. 1114.]to challenge bad legislation at any and every opportunity and, if necessary, to do so in depth.
As the hon. Member for Islington, North said, as a result of the timetable motion, we are faced with the prospect that, after two hours, all the provisions will be passed whether or not we have debated them. We cannot even debate the first and second groups of amendments for three quarters of an hour each. Groups of amendments will go through, legally, on the nod. That cannot be right.
I apologise to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg), who helped me out of my confusion. It is not correct, as I and the hon. Member for Islington, North said, to suggest that if something is not said on the Floor of the House, it cannot be quoted in court. However, if the groups of amendments are not debated, the Minister will not be given the opportunity to reply and therefore his reply cannot be quoted in court.
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
Does the hon. Gentleman accept that, in each case, my colleague Lord Bassam—the Minister in the other place—clearly stated the Government's position on the amendments?
§ Mr. Gale
I accept that the Minister has stated several times that the Government agree with the Lords amendments, but that is not the case with other amendments, which will almost certainly not be debated. This is not the first time that that point of principle has arisen. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham mentioned four occasions when guillotine motions have been introduced recently. Whole tranches of legislation are going through on the nod, with no ministerial response. I mean no disrespect to the Minister, who would welcome the chance to respond to all such debates.
In earlier incarnations, Mr. Deputy Speaker, you spent many hours chairing Committees. In the past three years, I have been privileged to spend several hundred hours chairing Committees, but I have never been faced with a guillotine motion. By and large, hon. Members on both sides of the House recognise the need to be broadly 1290 reasonable and they recognise that the Government have a right, with a democratic majority, to pass their legislation. However, they also recognise the right and duty, to which Madam Speaker referred yesterday, to challenge legislation if we believe it to be bad.
Nothing that has happened today or in another place alters the fact that this is a bad Bill, which has been introduced in haste and which we shall repent at leisure. The only fundamental difference between the Bill and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1989 is that, sadly, the Act did not contain the sunset clause that the Minister has now said the Government intend to accept. The Bill is about tokenism; it is a bad Bill.
§ Mr. Banks
The hon. Gentleman and myself are at one on the Dangerous Dogs Act 1989, but it ended up with dogs being killed, and the magistrates had no discretion whatever. Nothing in the Bill will terminate the lives of football hooligans. I know that that was not the comparison that he was making, but that Act was a bit terminal, was not it?
§ Mr. Gale
I have to concede that nothing in the Bill terminates the lives of football hooligans, but the arguments against the Bill are not about the effect that it may or may not have on football hooligans—it probably will not have an effect on them—but about the effect that it may or may not have on all sorts of people who are innocently travelling and who have nothing to do with football. That has been the prime argument against the Bill, but I do not want to go too far down that road because you would rightly declare me out of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
The fundamental fact is that the Bill has been introduced in a hurry to deal with a particular football match. It must be the first time in history that the House of Commons and the House of Lords have devoted—have wasted—so much time on one aspect, on one event, on one date. By October, when the human rights legislation that the House of Commons and the other House have passed comes into force, almost certainly the Bill will be out of court anyway, so we are talking about something that is transitory.
The best that can be said is that the Bill and the Government's acceptance of the Lords sunset clause have truncated the misery and the bad legislation—the duration of a bad Bill. The worst that can be said—it really is the worst—is that the Government are again using a guillotine to curtail debate on groups of clauses that should have the opportunity—there is no reason why they should not have the opportunity—to be properly debated, so that the Minister can put clearly on the record and, therefore, if necessary, into law, the Government's view.
§ Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst)
We have had a rather frightening insight from the hon. Member for West Ham (Mr. Banks) into new Labour's genuine attitude to the House of Commons and to Parliament. He said, with typical candour and great honesty, that he did not regard debate as of any import or substance, that all 1291 votes should be whipped, that the Government must have their way, and what on earth were we all doing here anyway.
§ Mr. Banks
If that is a slight paraphrase of what I said, all I can say is that I hope that the right hon. Gentleman does not start telling untruths about me. I did not say that. I said just that this was not a debating Chamber in quite that sense. Debate can alter things, but the fact is that most hon. Members come in here with their minds made up, and none more so than the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Forth
What I think that the hon. Gentleman said—as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) is pointing out from a sedentary position—is that the Whips make up the hon. Gentleman's mind for him. That is, in effect, what he said. Let us not fall out over it. I and the hon. Gentleman will read Hansard assiduously tomorrow—as we do—probably on the beach, and we will see what was actually said.
This is another rare event. I put on the record that, on this occasion, I agree with almost everything that the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) said and almost everything—no, I think everything—that the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) said. They reflected a widespread unease, which we are now seeing all too frequently in the House, about the use of the guillotine by the Government.
I have never accepted the need for the Bill. I have never accepted the justification that, because of a damned football match, of all things, we are going to legislate and to change the law of the land. That must be the ultimate absurdity. Nor have I accepted the responsibility that the Government say we should accept for the conduct of our citizens abroad. It is for the Belgian authorities to apply their laws properly to people in their country.
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
Given the right hon. Gentleman's absolute clarity about his opposition to the Bill, about which he has been clear all the way through, are there any circumstances in which, without a guillotine, he would consider filibustering for ever to stop the Bill becoming law?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I have never known the right hon. Gentleman to get involved in any filibustering.
§ Mr. Forth
I am grateful, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
Not only that, but the Minister knows that, in the case of a Government Bill, even without a guillotine, closure motions are possible from time to time and have been 1292 used, so what he said is impossible. Even if I wanted to stop the Bill getting on to the statute book, as I would like to, it is not within my power to do so, so that is not even to be considered.
We are told that we have at the most two hours—and now, in effect, only one hour—to consider four groups of important amendments; 22 amendments of substance from another place. It is not good enough to suggest that the Government accept the amendments. That is a matter for the Government. I am not a member of the Government; I am an Opposition Back Bencher. To suggest that we do not need much time because the Government have accepted their lordships' amendments does not wash with me.
Potentially, 500 Members of the House of Commons may wish to discuss the matter—up to 500 of them. [Interruption.] Potentially, I said, before Labour Members get too excited. As I said earlier, I strongly suspect that most responsible hon. Members with an interest in the matter studied the Order Paper this morning, saw to their horror that the Government were yet again curtailing debate unnecessarily on the matter and drew the conclusion that it was most unlikely that 500 responsible, interested Members of Parliament would be able to make a meaningful contribution on four groups and 22 amendments in one hour flat. I suspect that, for that reason, they decided not to turn up on this occasion—until they come in to vote against the guillotine.
§ Mr. Simon Hughes
I add one other, I hope linked, point. By definition, the amendments that the rest of us have tabled were not able to be tabled—let alone published and circulated—until about the time that we began the debate, so, to know what was on the agenda, to decide whether they thought that it was important and to come here was probably for many hon. Members either technically or actually impossible.
§ Mr. Forth
I agree. I hope that many people both inside the House and outside will read the hon. Gentleman's speech. He analysed for our benefit the absurdity of the timetable of the Bill hitherto, which has made proper connection between Second Reading, Committee, the Report stage, the House of Lords and here effectively impossible, thus undermining the process to which we are all supposed to be so committed and attached—parliamentary scrutiny and parliamentary law-making. On this occasion, we have been able to do none of that.
Although we are told that their lordships have deliberated and that the Government, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to accept the amendments, that is still not good enough. The House of Commons has not had an opportunity properly to consider the matter and to determine whether a law that affects people's rights fundamentally should be changed. Nor will we be given any opportunity properly to have Divisions in the House—for the House to vote properly on the four groups, on the 22 amendments or, indeed, on the hon. Gentleman's amendments and those in the name of his hon. Friends.
Therefore, all in all, the entire episode has been shabby and disgraceful. I do not accept the approach that the Government have taken. I do not accept that we should legislate to deal with football, football matches, one particular football match or, indeed, football matches in other countries. None of that is legitimate, so this is a blot on our parliamentary history. 1293 However, my real worry is that the comments of the hon. Member for West Ham and the attitude of the Minister, courteous as ever though he has been, reveal the Government's general approach. They are prepared more and more to resort to such a tactic to ram through an inordinate amount of legislation, usually rather badly drafted, invariably misdirected and ultimately harmful both to the country and to the individual citizenry.
I hope that I have an opportunity to vote against the guillotine. Unless I hear a much more powerful argument, I am minded to vote against the Bill itself if I have an opportunity to do so.
§ Mr. Corbyn
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am sorry to detain the House, but can you please clarify what the situation is on amendments? As I understand it, there are the printed amendments from the Lords, some manuscript or urgently tabled amendments from the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes)—and, I understand, no one else—and a printed list of selected amendments. I am unclear about what time the printed list of selected amendments was placed and whether any of the hon. Gentleman's amendments have or will be selected by the Chair for debate after the timetable motion.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
A revised list has been circulated and it is also available. I will make a statement regarding manuscript amendments.
§ Mr. Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills)
Let me make it clear, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that I am not raising a point of order. I believe that I still have time to speak on the motion.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
The hon. Gentleman took me by surprise. He has only just entered the Chamber, but he is certainly entitled to speak.
§ Mr. Shepherd
I apologise, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and I appreciate what you have said. I want to make just one small point.
Until the early 1980s, the tradition of the House—I regret the change in that tradition—was that debates on Lords amendments were not guillotined. Parliament is composed of two Houses, and it is necessary to carry business in both those Houses. I recall the palpable sense of shock among those who were then Government Back Benchers when we started this practice. It is a profound discourtesy to an equal other Chamber.
§ Mr. Shepherd
The Government Whip may say it that it is rubbish, but it is not. The fact is that we require the passage of legislation in both Houses of Parliament, and it used to be considered appropriate—indeed, the only thing to do—to weigh amendments made by those who had taken time to try to change that legislation. In this guillotine motion, the House of Commons is manifestly rejecting that.
§ Mr. Simon Hughes
May I make a factual point? The hon. Gentleman may not know that, because of the 1294 timetable in the House of Lords, it was impossible for amendments to be tabled by Opposition parties in time following Third Reading there. Both the hon. Gentleman's party and mine protested about that. As a consequence, we have fewer amendments than we would have had if proper procedures had obtained in the other place.
§ Mr. Shepherd
What the hon. Gentleman says emphasises the importance of the process of examining legislation.
That is the only point that I wanted to make, but I think it is important.
§ Mr. Hawkins
When my hon. Friend rightly suggested that ours was a bicameral legislature containing two Chambers of equal worth, there was a sedentary suggestion from the Labour Benches that the Chambers were not equal. Does my hon. Friend agree that that constitutes a serious revelation about the attitude of the Labour party—which is precisely what concerned Madam Speaker in her wise words yesterday?
§ Mr. Shepherd
I do not think I heard the intervention that my hon. Friend has mentioned, but such a suggestion would be misjudged. My concern, however, is deeper. I fear that there will come a time when the House of Lords will say, "There is no point in our considering legislation that has returned from the Commons if the Commons does not do us the courtesy of examining what we have deliberated and decided on."
I am merely saying that this puts our own proceedings at risk. It must be in the Government's interest to weigh that factor against others. I am aware of the crisis that forced the Government to table the original guillotine motion and, today, a supplemental allocation of time motion; but there will come a day when the House of Lords says, "This is not appropriate." We are in dire trouble when we have a legislative programme as weighty and lengthy as this.
§ Mr. Hughes
May I make one final point?
I hope the hon. Gentleman will support what will certainly be said by Members of the other place, including Lord Ackner. He was assured that the Government would consider amendments tabled by him, but the timetable prevented those amendments from being considered or, indeed, tabled. Because of the timetable imposed over the past two days, the Bill could not even come to the House of Commons having been amended in the way agreed by the Government.
§ Mr. Shepherd
As is so often the case in these matters, the hon. Gentleman is right. Our cry from the Conservative Benches is this: such action makes legislation ridiculous and absurd, and diminishes authority. The Government should therefore consider the matter carefully.
§ Mr. Hogg
I am sorry to extend the debate, but the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) has made an important point. If we had been able to consider Lords amendments tomorrow, say, we could have tabled our own amendments to those amendments, reflecting, for example, the intentions of Lord Ackner.
§ Mr. Shepherd
I apologise for arriving late. I assumed that the point made by my right hon. and learned Friend had already been established. I regret that, as it had not, I cannot comment.
1295 That is all that I wished to say. I did not wish to delay the House for long.
§ Question put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 276, Noes 141.1298
|Division No. 295]||[3.25 pm|
|Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)||Cox, Tom|
|Ainger, Nick||Cryer, John (Hornchurch)|
|Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)||Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)|
|Allen, Graham||Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire|
|Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)||Darvill, Keith|
|Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)||Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)|
|Ashton, Joe||Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)|
|Atkins, Charlotte||Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)|
|Banks, Tony||Dawson, Hilton|
|Barnes, Harry||Dean, Mrs Janet|
|Barron, Kevin||Denham, John|
|Beard, Nigel||Dismore, Andrew|
|Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret||Dobbin, Jim|
|Begg, Miss Anne||Dobson, Rt Hon Frank|
|Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)||Doran, Frank|
|Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)||Dowd, Jim|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)||Drew, David|
|Bennett, Andrew F||Drown, Ms Julia|
|Benton, Joe||Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth|
|Best, Harold||Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)|
|Betts, Clive||Edwards, Huw|
|Blackman, Liz||Efford, Clive|
|Blears, Ms Hazel||Ellman, Mrs Louise|
|Blizzard, Bob||Ennis, Jeff|
|Bradley, Keith (Withington)||Field, Rt Hon Frank|
|Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)||Fisher, Mark|
|Bradshaw, Ben||Fitzpatrick, Jim|
|Brinton, Mrs Helen||Fitzsimons, Mrs Loma|
|Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)||Flint, Caroline|
|Buck, Ms Karen||Follett, Barbara|
|Burden, Richard||Foster, Rt Hon Derek|
|Burgon, Colin||Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)|
|Butler, Mrs Christine||Foster, Michael J (Worcester)|
|Byers, Rt Hon Stephen||Fyfe, Maria|
|Caborn, Rt Hon Richard||George, Bruce (Walsall S)|
|Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)||Gerrard, Neil|
|Campbell-Savours, Dale||Gibson, Dr Ian|
|Cann, Jamie||Godsiff, Roger|
|Caplin, Ivor||Goggins, Paul|
|Casale, Roger||Golding, Mrs Llin|
|Caton, Martin||Gordon, Mrs Eileen|
|Cawsey, Ian||Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)|
|Chapman, Ben (Wirml S)||Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)|
|Chisholm, Malcolm||Grogan, John|
|Clapham, Michael||Gunnell, John|
|Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)||Hall, Patrick (Bedford)|
|Clark, Dr Lynda||Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)|
|(Edinburgh Pentlands)||Heal, Mrs Sylvia|
|Clark, Paul (Gillingham)||Healey, John|
|Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)||Hepburn, Stephen|
|Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)||Heppell, John|
|Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)||Hesford, Stephen|
|Clwyd, Ann||Hill, Keith|
|Coaker, Vemon||Hinchliffe, David|
|Coffey, Ms Ann||Hodge, Ms Margaret|
|Cohen, Harry||Hope, Phil|
|Coleman, lain||Hopkins, Kelvin|
|Colman, Tony||Howells, Dr Kim|
|Connarty, Michael||Hughes, Ms Bevertey (Stretford)|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton N)||Hughes, Kevin (DoncasterN)|
|Cooper, Yvette||Humble, Mrs Joan|
|Corbett, Robin||Hurst, Alan|
|Corston, Jean||Iddon, Dr Brian|
|Cousins, Jim||Illsley, Eric|
|Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)||Pike, Peter L|
|Jamieson, David||Plaskitt, James|
|Jenkins, Brian||Pollard, Kerry|
|Johnson, Alan (Hull W& Hessle)||Pond, Chris|
|Johnson, Miss Melanie||Pope, Greg|
|(Welwyn Hatfield)||Pound, Stephen|
|Jones, Helen (Warrington N)||Powell, Sir Raymond|
|Jones, Ms Jenny||Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)|
|(Wolverh'ton SW)||Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)|
|Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)||Prosser, Gwyn|
|Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)||Radice, Rt Hon Giles|
|Jowell, Rt Hon Ms Tessa||Rammell, Bill|
|Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Rapson, Syd|
|Keeble, Ms Sally||Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)|
|Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)||Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)|
|Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)||Rogers, Allan|
|Kelly, Ms Ruth||Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff|
|Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)||Rooney, Terry|
|Khabra, Piara S||Ross, Emie (Dundee W)|
|Kidney, David||Roy, Frank|
|King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)||Ruddock, Joan|
|Kumar, Dr Ashok||Ryan, Ms Joan|
|Ladyman, Dr Stephen||Salter, Martin|
|Lawrence, Mrs Jackie||Sarwar, Mohammad|
|Laxton, Bob||Savidge, Malcolm|
|Leslie, Christopher||Sawford, Phil|
|Levitt, Tom||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)||Shaw, Jonathan|
|Lewis, Terry (Worsley)||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen||Shipley, Ms Debra|
|Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)||Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)|
|McAvoy, Thomas||Skinner, Dennis|
|McCabe, Steve||Smith, Angela (Basildon)|
|McCartney, Rt Hon Ian||Smith, Miss Geraldine|
|(Makerfield)||(Morecambe & Lunesdale)|
|McDonagh, Siobhain||Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)|
|McDonnell, John||Smith, John (Glamorgan)|
|McGuire, Mrs Anne||Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)|
|McIsaac, Shona||Snape, Peter|
|McKenna, Mrs Rosemary||Soley, Clive|
|Mackinlay, Andrew||Southworth, Ms Helen|
|McWalter, Tony||Spellar, John|
|McWilliam, John||Squire, Ms Rachel|
|Mahon, Mrs Alice||Starkey, Dr Phyllis|
|Mallaber, Judy||Steinberg, Gerry|
|Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)||Stewart, Ian (Eccles)|
|Marshall, David (SheWeston)||Stinchcombe, Paul|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Stoate, Dr Howard|
|Martlew, Eric||Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin|
|Maxton, John||Sutcliffe, Gerry|
|Meacher, Rt Hon Michael||Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann|
|Merron, Gillian||Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)|
|Michael, Rt Hon Alun||Taylor, David (NW Leics)|
|Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Miller, Andrew||Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)|
|Mitchell, Austin||Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)|
|Moffatt, Laura||Tipping, Paddy|
|Moonie, Dr Lewis||Touhig, Don|
|Moran, Ms Margaret||Trickett, Jon|
|Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)||Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)|
|Moriey, Elliot||Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)|
|Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle||Twigg, Derek (Halton)|
|(B'ham Yardley)||Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)|
|Mountford, Kali||Tynan, Bill|
|Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)||Walley, Ms Joan|
|Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)||Ward, Ms Claire|
|Naysmith, Dr Doug||Watts, David|
|O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)||Whitehead, Dr Alan|
|Olner, Bill||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Organ, Mrs Diana||Williams, Rt Hon Alan|
|Osbome, Ms Sandra||(Swansea W)|
|Palmer, Dr Nick||Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)|
|Pearson, Ian||Wills, Michael|
|Perham, Ms Linda||Winnick, David|
|Pickthall, Colin||Wood, Mike|
|Woodward, Shaun||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Worthington, Tony||Mr. David Clelland and|
|Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)|
|Wyatt, Derek||Mr. Mike Hall.|
|Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)||Key, Robert|
|Allan, Richard||King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Amess, David||Kirkbride, Miss Julie|
|Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James||Laing, Mrs Eleanor|
|Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy||Lait, Mrs Jacqui|
|Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)||Lansley, Andrew|
|Baldry, Tony||Letwin, Oliver|
|Ballard, Jackie||Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)|
|Beith, Rt Hon A J||Lidington, David|
|Bercow, John||Livsey, Richard|
|Beresford, Sir Paul||Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)|
|Blunt, Crispin||Loughton, Tim|
|Boswell, Tim||Luff, Peter|
|Brady, Graham||McIntosh, Miss Anne|
|Brake, Tom||MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew|
|Brand, Dr Peter||Maclean, Rt Hon David|
|Brazier, Julian||McLoughlin, Patrick|
|Brooke, Rt Hon Peter||Madel, Sir David|
|Browning, Mrs Angela||May, Mrs Theresa|
|Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)||Moore, Michael|
|Burnett, John||Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)|
|Burstow, Paul||Nicholls, Patrick|
|Butterfill, John||O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)|
|Cash, William||Öpik, Lembit|
|Clappison, James||Ottaway, Richard|
|Collins, Tim||Paice, James|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Paterson, Owen|
|Cormack, Sir Patrick||Pickles, Eric|
|Cotter, Brian||Portillo, Rt Hon Michael|
|Cran, James||Prior, David|
|Curry, Rt Hon David||Redwood, Rt Hon John|
|Davey, Edward (Kingston)||Rendel, David|
|Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)||Robathan, Andrew|
|Day, Stephen||Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxboume)|
|Fabricant, Michael||Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)|
|Fallon, Michael||Ruffley, David|
|Flynn, Paul||Russell, Bob (Colchester)|
|Forth, Rt Hon Eric||St Aubyn, Nick|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman||Salmond, Alex|
|Fox, Dr Liam||Sanders, Adrian|
|Fraser, Christopher||Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian|
|Gale, Roger||Shepherd, Richard|
|George, Andrew (St Ives)||Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)|
|Gibb, Nick||Soames, Nicholas|
|Gidley, Sandra||Spelman, Mrs Caroline|
|Gill, Christopher||Spicer, Sir Michael|
|Gillan, Mrs Cheryl||Spring, Richard|
|Gorman, Mrs Teresa||Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Gray, James||Streeter, Gary|
|Green, Damian||Stunell, Andrew Swayne, Desmond|
|Greenway, John||Syms, Robert|
|Grieve, Dominic||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Gummer, Rt Hon John||Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)|
|Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie||Taylor, John M (Solihull)|
|Hammond, Philip||Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)|
|Hancock, Mike||Tonge, Dr Jenny|
|Hawkins, Nick||Tredinnick, David|
|Heald, Oliver||Trend, Michael|
|Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David||Tyler, Paul|
|Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas||Tyrie, Andrew|
|Horam, John||Viggers, Peter|
|Howard, Rt Hon Michael||Waterson, Nigel|
|Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)||Webb, Steve|
|Jack, Rt Hon Michael||Wells, Bowen|
|Jenkin, Bernard||Welsh, Andrew|
|Johnson Smith,||Whitney, Sir Raymond|
|Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Whitbngdale, John|
|Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)||Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann|
|Willetts, David||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Wilshire, David||Mr. John Randall and|
|Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)|
|Young, Rt Hon Sir George||Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
That the Order of the House of 17th July be supplemented as follows:
1. Proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments shall be completed at today's sitting and, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion two hours after the commencement of proceedings on this Order.
2.—(1) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1.
(2) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.
(3) If that Question is for the amendment of a Lords Amendment, the Speaker shall then put forthwith—
(4) The Speaker shall then put forthwith—
(5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House disagrees with the Lords in a Lords Amendment.
(6) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Amendments.
(7) As soon as the House has agreed or disagreed with the Lords in any of their Amendments, or disposed of an Amendment relevant to a Lords Amendment which has been disagreed to, the Speaker shall put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown relevant to the Lords Amendment.
3.—(1) The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the consideration forthwith of any further Message from the Lords on the Bill.
(2) The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.
(3) Sub-paragraphs (4) to (7) apply for the purpose of bringing those proceedings to a conclusion.
(4) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.
(5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown which is related to the Question already proposed from the Chair.
(6) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown on or relevant to any of the remaining items in the Lords Message.
(7) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Proposals.
4. The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the appointment, nomination and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons and the appointment of its Chairman.
5.—(1) A Committee appointed to draw up Reasons shall report before the conclusion of the sitting at which it is appointed.
(2) Proceedings in the Committee shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion 30 minutes after their commencement.
(3) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with sub-paragraph (2) the Chairman shall—
(4) The proceedings of the Committee shall be reported without any further Question being put.
6. If the House is adjourned, or the sitting is suspended, before the expiry of the period at the end of which proceedings are to be brought to a conclusion under this Order, no notice shall be required of a Motion made at the next sitting by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provision of this Order.
7.—(1) In this paragraph "the proceedings" means proceedings on Consideration of Lords Amendments and on any further Message from the Lords on the Bill.
(2) Standing Order No. 15(1) (Exempted business) shall apply to the proceedings.
(3) The proceedings shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.
(4) No dilatory Motion with respect to, or in the course of, the proceedings shall be made except by a Minister of the Crown; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.
8.—(1) This paragraph applies if—
(2) The bringing to a conclusion of any proceedings which, under this Order, are to be brought to a conclusion after that time, shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the proceedings on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.