§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Home Department(Hilary Benn)
I beg to move,That, in accordance with the resolution of the Programming Committee of 1st April and pursuant to the Programme Order of 4th December 2002 relating to the Criminal Justice Bill, as amended by the Orders of 4th February and 5th March:
- (1) Proceedings on consideration shall be taken on each of the three days allowed by the Order as shown in the second column of the following Table, and shall be taken in the order so shown.
- (2) Proceedings on the first day shall be brought to a conclusion six and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on that day or at the conclusion of the proceedings set down for that day, whichever is the earlier.
- (3) The proceedings shown in the second column of the table shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the time specified in the third column.
- (4) Proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion six and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Bill on the third day.
|Day||Proceedings||Time for conclusion of proceedings|
|First day||Clauses 1 to 6, Clause 8, Schedule 1, New Clauses relating to Part 3, Clauses 18 to 22, New Clauses relating to Part 4, Clause 23, Schedule 2, Clauses 24 to 26, New Clauses relating to Part 8, Clauses 44 to 49||Two and a half hours after the commencement of the proceedings on a motion relating to this resolution|
|Clauses 99 to 120, Schedule 6, Clauses 121 to 126||Three and a half hours after the commencement of those proceedings|
|New Clauses relating to Part 11, Clauses 82 to 98, Schedule 5||Six and a half hours after the commencement of such proceedings|
|Second day||New Clauses relating to Part 1, Clause 7, Clauses 9 and 10, New Clauses relating to Part 2, Clauses 11 to 17, New Clauses relating to Part 5, Clauses 27 to 34, New Clauses relating to Part 6, Clause 35, Schedule 3, New Clauses relating to Part 7, Clauses 36 to 43, New Clauses relating to Part 9, Clauses 50 to 62, New Clauses relating to Part 10, Clause 63, Schedule 4, Clauses 64 to 81||Six and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Bill|
|Third day||New Clauses relating to Part 12, Clauses 127 to 163, Schedule 7, Clause 164, Schedule 8, Clauses 165 to 171, Schedule 9, Clauses 172 to 176, Schedule 10, Clauses 177 to 201, Schedule 11, Clauses 202 to 206, Schedule 12, Clauses 207 to 211, Schedules 13 and 14, Clause 212, Schedule 15, Clauses 213 to 221, Schedule 16, Clauses 222 to 246, Schedule 17, Clause 247, Schedule 18, Clause 248, Schedules 19 and 20, Clauses 249 to 251, Schedule 21, Clause 252, Schedule 22, Clauses 253 and 254, Schedule 23, Clauses 255 to 258, Schedule 24, Clauses 259 to 265, Schedule 25, Clauses 266 to 268, Schedule 26, Clauses 269 to 273, Schedule 27, Clause 274, Schedule 28, Clause 275, Schedule 29, Clauses 276 to 280, remaining New Clauses, New Schedules, any remaining proceedings on the Bill||Five and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Bill|
§ I do not want to detain the House because I am sure that all hon. Members want to get on to the substance of the debate. Much consultation has taken place through the usual channels and I am grateful for the support and co-operation of the Opposition parties. I pay tribute to the contribution in Committee of my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, East (Mr. Heppell), the Government Whip, and to his enabling the House to consider the Bill on Report for an unprecedented three days. I hope that the structure of the programme motion will allow hon. Members to debate the subjects that they want to discuss. I therefore suggest that we get on with it as quickly as possible.12.51 pm
§ Mr. Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield)
The official Opposition are not fond of programme motions on Report. We are worried about whether we shall have sufficient time for proper scrutiny of the Bill. However, it would be utterly churlish not to thank the hon. Member for Nottingham, East (Mr. Heppell). As Government Whip in charge of the Bill in Committee, he showed enormous flexibility. Although we experienced difficulties, and it was unfortunate that we did not succeed in scrutinising every aspect of the measure, it was not his fault but that of the person above him, who had set such a tight time schedule. The hon. Member for Nottingham, East did everything in his power to ensure that the Bill went through Committee properly scrutinised and in a spirit of co-operation that I had not previously experienced. I am immensely 927 grateful to him for that and because I believe that he played some part in ensuring that we have three days in which to consider the measure on Report.
I make one plea to the Under-Secretary. We do not know how many Government amendments will be tabled. I am comfortable with the prospect of full scrutiny in three days of the amendments that have already been tabled, but if the Government intend to table many more, perhaps the Under-Secretary would be so good as to consider whether three days will do justice to the Bill. We are close to reaching the end of consideration with the Opposition being broadly satisfied—perhaps I should not say that—that adequate time has been given for scrutiny. It would be a great pity if too many fresh amendments spoiled that. I repeat my thanks to the hon. Member for Nottingham, East, who has done the House a signal service.
§ Mr. David Heath (Somerton and Frome)
I have no idea what damage we are doing to the career of the hon. Member for Nottingham, East (Mr. Heppell), but I associate myself with the words of the hon. Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Grieve). I cannot recall such sensible co-operation in Committee and in organising the business on Report. It is helpful for the Opposition parties to know that we will have the opportunity to raise the issues that we believe to be most important. Thank goodness I made the request—never believing that it would be granted—for a third day on Report. Even with it, the schedule is tight for considering important matters of justice, about which we must take great care. I put on record my appreciation of the efforts of the hon. Member for Nottingham, East and of the hon. Member for Rayleigh (Mr. Francois). Let us now get on with the debate.
§ Lady Hermon (North Down)
I am convinced that the hon. Member for Nottingham, East (Mr. Heppell) will have remembered the Ulster Unionist party. My colleagues are with me in spirit if not in body. We are a little troubled, to put it mildly. In Committee on 16 January—the hon. Gentleman appears perplexed, but I shall refresh his memory—the Under-Secretary said at column 390:I confirm … that Northern Ireland Ministers intend that the Bill should apply to Northern Ireland, but incorrectly informed the Committee that it would be done by order. In fact, we intend to do so in the Bill, and will table amendments on Report to that effect."—[Official Report, Standing Committee B, 16 January 2003; c. 390.]Will the Under-Secretary assure us that time has been set aside to discuss such amendments in the three days on Report?
§ Mr. David Cameron (Witney)
The last thing I want to do is to rain on the parade of the hon. Member for Nottingham, East (Mr. Heppell). I want to make one point and one plea. My point is that we did not discuss large chunks of the Bill in Committee, especially the material about charging and the important transfer of responsibility for charging from the police to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Perhaps my plea should have been made as a point of order. It is on behalf of the hard-pressed little people—Back Benchers. We get your marshalled selection of amendments, Mr. Speaker, relatively late. That has always been the case, but the new sitting hours make it even more difficult for Back Benchers to plan when to try to contribute to the debate. We have so many wretched programme motions, and getting the Speaker's selection of amendments a little earlier in the day, and perhaps a couple of days before Report, would help us to plan our Lives, now that we have to be in five places at once.
§ Hilary Benn
The response to the hon. Member for North Down (Lady Hermon) is yes. I hope that that satisfies her. I do not agree with the hon. Member for Witney (Mr. Cameron) about programming, because I believe that it helps hon. Members to debate the subjects that they want to discuss. If it is operated with flexibility and sensitivity, as shown by my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, East (Mr. Heppell), it rightly gives the Opposition the power and opportunity to discuss matters about which they are concerned. However, I acknowledge that, as our understanding of the operation of programming develops, we must ensure that it assists hon. Members. It is a matter for others to reflect upon, but I am committed to that. I hope that all hon. Members will come to love programming in due course.
§ Mr. Graham Allen (Nottingham, North)
I too pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, East (Mr. Heppell) for the good-humoured way in which he got Government Back-Bench Members involved. Having held his job in a previous incarnation, I appreciate that that must have been stressful. However, many Government Back-Bench Members made a positive contribution in Committee. I had never experienced that, and it is a tribute to my hon. Friend.
§ Hilary Benn
I concur with that. I do not know whether the experience was stressful for my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, East, but it was sometimes stressful for the Under-Secretary. However, I am grateful for the contributions in Committee from Members of all parties.
Question put and agreed to.