HC Deb 02 November 1988 vol 139 cc1025-36 3.42 pm

Queen's recommendation having been signified

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Douglas Hogg)

I beg to move,

That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Firearms (Amendment) Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament of sums required by the Secretary of State for making payments in respect of expenses incurred in the performance of their duties by members of the consultative committee established by that Act.

I want so speak about the money resolution, not least because I see that the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) is in his place. In the past he has made some comments about money resolutions, and no doubt has had a considerable degree of pleasure from them.

The House will recall that this is the third money resolution relating to the Firearms (Amendment) Bill. The first money resolution, which was debated in January this year, provided for the payment out of money provided by Parliament of any administrative expenses incurred by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State as a consequence of the Bill, and also for the payment into the Consolidated Fund of any sums of money received under the Bill by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.

The House will recall that a number of hon. Members—notably the hon. Member for Bradford, South made the point that the scope of the money resolution being accepted by the House was not wide enough to cover the buy-in policy if it were to be adopted. As the House knows, it was adopted and, as a result, a second money resolution was brought forward and debated in the House at the beginning of March. The second money resolution provided for the making of payments in relation to the buy-in scheme for weapons prohibited under the Bill.

During the progress of the Bill, and particularly on Report, the Government accepted the need to make provision in the Bill for the establishment of a firearms consultative committee, which would be made up of representatives of those involved in the administration and enforcement of firearms legislation and of various shooting interests. The purpose of the committee will be to keep the legislation under review and to advise my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on firearms matters.

Clearly, it is right that the Government should meet the costs incurred by members of the committee in the performance of their duties. The posts are not salaried. I am talking of travelling, subsistence costs and so on. The Government therefore introduced an amendment in the other place to provide for the payment of expenses. As the existing money resolutions do not cover such provision, it is now necessary to pass this third money resolution to cover the cost, which we estimate will not exceed £10,000 a year.

It was not possible to lay a money resolution to meet such expenditure before, because until the Bill reached its Report stage the Government had not intended to provide for a statutory—as opposed to a non-statutory—consultative committee. The House will recall, however, that members of the Committee took a different view and that the Government were beaten on that issue.

3.45 pm
Mr. Robin Corbett (Birmingham, Erdington)

I suppose that this could be regarded as a case of "third time lucky" for the Minister. He makes the background to the money resolution sound as though it had involved a comfortable natural process of evolution—far from it. As he said, this is the third money resolution that the Government have tabled. It was only after the Second Reading debate that we discovered that the money resolution did not allow the Committee to debate a possible compensation scheme for the owners of weapons that the Bill will make illegal.

The Minister will recall our exchanges across the Floor of the House and in Committee. The Government tried to gag and stifle debate on this important matter. I remind the Minister that, despite the cosy way in which he described the process, he managed to get his sittings motion passed in Committee only by giving an undertaking to undo that attempt at cheating and to table a second money resolution to enable the Committee to discuss the principle of a possible compensation scheme.

We now come to the third money resolution. To be fair to the Minister, he reminded the House that it was at the insistence of members of the Committee, including my hon. Friends and myself, that we amended the terms of reference of the consultative committee to ensure that it was set up on a statutory basis. Nevertheless, the provision was not perfect, because it meant that the members of the Committee—some of us suspected that it was simply the old home affairs arms consultative committee dusted down and given a new title—could speak only when spoken to by the Home Secretary. That was a wholly wrong approach to such an important matter, and I am glad that it was put right in another place.

Why has this third money resolution come before us so late? If the Minister and the Government had allowed proper and adequate debate on Report and Third Reading we could have disposed of the matter at that stage, but Ministers came to the House with a gagging motion—a guillotine— which meant that that part of the Bill was not discussed. Indeed, the bulk of the Bill was never discussed on the Floor of the House. That was no accident. It was done in a remarkable way. It was not a Government response to the Opposition messing about and filibustering —far from it. I have no need to remind the Minister that he relied heavily in Committee on the general support of the Opposition for the Bill's aims, although, like some Conservative Members, we disagreed with its detail.

Why was this not allowed to be dealt with on Report or Third Reading? I am not complaining about reimbursing the proper expenses of members of the consultative committee; I am complaining because of the underhand and outrageous manner in which the Government have dealt with the Bill. It has been an affront to the House. That is not a party political point—I make it on behalf of all hon. Members. Now, the Government are in an even worse mess. It is right that the committee members should be paid, but I strongly resent having to return now and spend time on this resolution because of the trouble into which the Parliamentary Under-Secretary and his colleagues dug themselves earlier this year.

3.51 pm
Sir Hector Monro (Dumfries)

I agree with the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Mr. Corbett) that the Minister's benign statement covered a great deal of unhappiness with sweetness and light. The Bill is small, but its repercussions will be serious, and it is incredible that we are now discussing a third money resolution.

The first, as the hon. Member for Erdington said, dealt with manpower, which was grossly underestimated. The second covered compensation, without whose acceptance the Standing Committee would never have begun to sit. The third has to do with the consultative committee. These grudging extensions to the original money resolution were squeezed out of the Government until the pips began to squeak.

New clause 14, which originally instituted the consultative committee, was an important part of the wishes of both sides of the Committee. It was voted in because we won the argument and we won the vote. We planned to have a committee of five and not more than eight members. The Minister's committee is more expensive, which is why we want to know a little more about the money resolution.

We wanted experts in the use of firearms, in security, in weapon technology—the Home Office was lamentably short of experience in that—in sport, recreation and competition and in the police and enforcement. At the Olympic games, two of our great triumphs came in winning the gold and silver medals in rifle shooting, which showed that our discussions were held against a background of responsible competitors.

The purpose of the committee that we set up was to advise the Government on security, the proper use of firearms and any other matters that the Secretary of State decided upon. It was voted in with cross-party support, and we were given every sign and assurance that it would be kept in the Bill as it was. But things did not turn out that way.

At the eleventh hour, on the day before Report, the Government tabled amendments that made substantial changes to the committee, perhaps improving it in the Minister's opinion, but the majority of the Committee's Members did not agree with the changes. We could not discuss them in the debate on the guillotine motion on Report. I am glad that Lord Swansea and his team continued the attack in another place in an attempt to get the consultative committee right, and the Government had to agree to include representatives expert in sport and recreation in the committee's membership. The Government have increased that membership to at least 12. Under the terms of the money resolution, we are entitled to know who the extra members of the committee will represent.

The Minister spoke about £10,000. We need proper advice on weapons technology, especially for the future, and we cannot have that without some laboratory and range facilities. If the committee is to do its job properly, £10,000 is fairly minimal, because the committee might need to have a full-time technical officer. A sum of £10,000 far underestimates the value and importance of the work that the committee will do for the Home Office. I hope that the Minister will go into some detail about how he reckons £10,000 can possibly do the job, when the Home Office, as was demonstrated throughout the passage of the Bill, is so short of expertise.

The Bill says that personnel would amount to about 80, which is an insignificant manpower requirement. However, we hear from police authorities that Cambridge has already taken on 13 people and that Dorset has taken on six. On such figures, it will he seen that the personnel required for England and Wales would be 450, additional staff who would be required to monitor the Bill. That would cost £5 million or £6 million, and I should like to hear from the Minister about that.

The Minister seeks authority under the three money resolutions for significant expenditure. Throughout the passage of the Bill he has failed to say what the legislation will cost or how much the fee will be for firearms and shotgun certificates. He has left us in the dark—which is probably his intention.

3.57 pm
Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South)

I can recall the debate on the first of the money resolutions. That debate developed when the money resolution was about to go through, largely on the nod. I thought that we should have an explanation, and it became clear that the first money resolution after Second Reading did not meet the scope of the assurances that the Minister had given. I thought that I was doing the job of scrutinising the work of Ministers, even though I know that some of us who speak a great deal in the Chamber sometimes incur some criticism. We should not be criticised and penalised by, for example, a totting up of the speeches that we make, because they are by way of scrutiny.

This debate is an example of the way in which the scrutiny of Ministers has worked. In order to comply with the pressure from the House, the Minister had to bring forward a second money resolution, which, as he said on Second Reading, was to pay compensation for old firearms. It was rather surprising to find that the money resolution was so narrowly drawn that it did not make provision for any other consequences of the legislation, especially as this is controversial legislation. That controversy is fuelled by hon. Members in all parts of the House, and especially by Conservative Members. It might have been prudent for the Government to realise that there might be changes. The establishment of a statutory review committee is a useful development. Therefore, it should be financed, and we are discussing a money resolution for that statutory committee.

I endorse the comments of the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro). The Government are cheering the Tory-controlled Bradford council for sacking people who provided services for the old, the young, very young children, education and sports services and a huge range of other local authority services. Bradford council is proposing to sack 9,000 people, yet the Government are apparently providing a system that will, not entirely by way of Government finance, but through other finance provided by various authorities, involve the employment of 450 people. That is, I would have thought, extending bureaucracy somewhat unnecessarily, but then some critics of the Bill thought that that was explicit in the original legislation anyhow.

The extent and scope of the money resolution should be more closely defined by the Minister. After all, they are supposed to be the Government who are critical of expenditure and who want to see bureaucracy cut. That is why they praise the lunatic endeavours of the tiny extreme Right-wing Tory clique that is manoeuvring cuts by Bradford city council.

Mr. Nicholas Soames (Crawley)

Is not the difference between Bradford city council and the point that the hon. Gentleman is trying to make that, under its previous administration, Bradford city council was grossly overstaffed, whereas police forces are grossly understaffed? Therefore, his comparison is invalid.

Mr. Cryer

I do not want to go too far down that road, because I always try to follow Standing Orders, and sometimes get penalised for so doing. The hon. Gentleman's point is not based on experience or accuracy. Bradford city council tried to use an absolute minimum number of staff to provide the best possible service, bearing in mind that the rate support grant had been savagely cut by the Conservative Government, who are now preparing—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Let us bear in mind the Standing Orders.

Mr. Cryer

I was just coming to the motion before you interrupted me, Mr. Speaker, as you interrupted my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) during Question Time, and extended the speech, you may recall,—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I think that the hon. Gentleman, who is an old hand here, knows that we must stick to the motion before the House.

Mr. Cryer

That is so, Mr. Speaker. I was about to say that, with this money resolution, the Government are proposing further expenditure when it is open to question whether that expenditure is justified. Therefore, I look forward to hearing the Minister's explanation of the precise extent and nature of the money resolution, and whether he is satisfied that it covers all the changes made to the Bill by the two Houses of Parliament.

4.2 pm

Mr. Henry Bellingham (Norfolk, North-West)

I should like my hon. Friend the Minister to clarify one or two points. By way of prefacing that, I would say that it is ironic that this Government, of all Governments, who are doing their best to improve efficiency, get better value for money and, above all else, to use police resources more effectively, are embarking on legislation that will greatly increase the pressure on those scarce police resources. It is ironic because there was not adequate consultation on the Bill, which was rushed through far too quickly.

The Bill will break the trust and confidence between the shooting community and the police, which is one of the sine qua nons of workable firearms legislation. I fear that that will be breached and then destroyed. I have had worrying reports from my local police force, the Norfolk constabulary. It is worried about the extra pressure that the Bill will place on its scarce resources to cope with bureaucracy and provide the extra manpower.

My hon. Friend the Minister has to tell us exactly what he thinks the financial consequences will be, because the Bill is couched in extremely general terms. It says: some increases … will initially be required". Can my hon. Friend tell us why the increases will be required only "initially"? We are bringing in a panoply of new controls and structures, which will need a continuing commitment of police resources. To use the word "initially" is unrealistic.

Will my hon. Friend let us have more details about the amount of money that we are talking about in compensation? I welcome the moves made by the Government on compensation. When the Bill was first published, many of us were appalled and outraged that the Government were taking away people's weapons without giving compensation. It probably ill-behoves people like myself, who pressed so hard for compensation, to say now that it is not adequate. It could be improved on, but, in the circumstances, we got the best that we could have expected. However, I should like my hon. Friend to tell us exactly what sums of money we are talking about. He should know by now the number of weapons involved and the sums of money available to be paid out. I should like some more details on that.

I should also like my hon. Friend to give us some idea of what the consultative committee will cost. My hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) pointed out that when we first put this animal into the Bill in Committee it was an excellent body, and the Government then attempted, in an underhand and squalid way, to dismember it. I am pleased that some of its teeth have been returned to it by the other place, although one thing concerns me, and it may be appropriate for my hon. Friend to cover this. I am concerned that it has been established to last for only five years. It would be helpful if my hon. Friend could tell us what he feels the Committee has to do, or what criteria of competence and effectiveness it has to work to, to secure its position beyond five years. Will my hon. Friend tell us something about that, and about what the cost of the committee will be?

4.6 pm

Mr. Ian McCartney (Makerfield)

My hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Mr. Cunliffe) and I recently met Lord Ferrers to discuss the resources for the Greater Manchester police force, and in our discussions the issue of the administrative resources and the disagreement about the level of funding of those resources was paramount. Therefore, I look to the Minister for some clarification of what he said about resources, start-up money, and the way in which the Greater Manchester police force will be involved in the consequences of this legislation. To what extent are the Minister and Lord Ferrers to provide additional resources, in real terms, to Greater Manchester police force to cover this provision?

Mr. Speaker

Order. I have some difficulty in relating that to the firearms legislation.

Mr. McCartney

I respect your ruling, Mr. Speaker. Unlike my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer), I am somewhat new to these procedural matters. I am trying to relate what I am saying to what the hon. Member for Norfolk, North-West (Mr. Bellingham) said about the police force in his constituency. I ask the Minister to clarify what the effects of the legislation will be on the administrative responsibilities of the Greater Manchester police force and the resources available to it.

4.8 pm

Mr. Lawrence Cunliffe (Leigh)

I was a member of the Committee that considered this legislation, and I know that at no time in the Committee's proceedings was it the Government's intention to pay compensation. They came along with an ill-prepared Bill that had not been properly thought out and conceived without any rational judgment about the various interests involved.

I am opposed to anybody, with the exception of the armed forces and the police, having guns. My hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney) raised the point about Greater Manchester police force resources. I share the view of the chief constable of Manchester. He is much criticised and much attacked for his views, but he is a first-class policeman. Politically he is a disaster, and in public relations and the other sectors into which he strays from time to time he is wrong in his opinions.

At the end of the day, regardless of personal beliefs, there was a degree of tolerance and democracy in the Committee for other interests. It was rather ironic that a minority Labour representation on the Committee consistently bailed out a Conservative Minister and provided him with a majority. The Bill would never have got off the ground if it had been left to Conservative Back-Benchers, who for obvious reasons were promoting a campaign to safeguard various shooting societies throughout the country.

I accept that that is fair play and that they did it extremely well, but I take umbrage at certain applications for gun clubs that are sprouting up throughout the country. There was a recent application for a shooting club in my constituency, in Greater Manchester, to be set up in a wildlife area in a green belt. That would be an environmental intrusion. All the money in the world could not compensate for such an environmental intrusion into that area.

The Government were hell-bent on pushing through the legislation although it was ill-prepared and badly thought out. We could have taken a more rational and sensible approach, which would have saved the embarrassment of my party having to bail out Government Ministers in order to make progress on the Bill.

4.11 pm
Mr. Frank Haynes (Ashfield)

I shall be very brief. I have been here throughout the debate, and I must say that there are some honourable fools in the Chamber. From time to time we have to listen to them.

Mr. Speaker

Order. Let us agree that they are hon. Members.

Mr. Haynes

They are hon. Members, but they are fools.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I think that that might be considered unparliamentary.

Mr. Haynes

In that case, I withdraw it, but I hope that they will be reasonable while we are here.

First, in regard to the money resolution, the Minister cocked it up right from the beginning. I was here when my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) and the right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath) had a go at the Minister at the Dispatch Box.

I share some of the concern among hon. Members that the Government are finding money for this purpose. Normally when we ask for money for services in our constituencies we are refused, as we were for rate support grant, yet the Government are able to find money today.

I think that this is the thin end of the wedge. I hope that the Minister will put us straight and tell us where he thinks the legislation is going. What will happen in future? Will there be more and more bodies providing this kind of service? If so, even more money will have to be found. Will larger and larger accommodation have to be provided for those people? I can visualise what is happening in the Minister's mind over the provision of money for this type of work.

I share the concern of my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South, who spoke about the way in which the Government treat local authorities, particularly those in his area—I am glad that he is listening now—when he mentioned that Bradford city council is now Tory controlled. I shall not say any more about that, but I know what happens when Conservatives take control of local authorities. We experience it here in the mother of Parliaments. There is a by-election tomorrow in the city of Nottingham. The Tories are in control at the moment, but if we win that seat we will be in control. I am sure that people will be listening to what is being said today about money being provided for this kind of thing, but not for necessary and important services that people need.

I hope that the Minister and the Government do not have it in mind, when they get this measure off the ground, to find more and more money at the expense of services that people need. After all, we represent those people and we are speaking on their behalf.

4.15 pm
Mr. Douglas Hogg

We have had a surprisingly wide-ranging debate, given how narrowly the money resolution is drawn. The money resolution is drawn exclusively to meet the payment of out-of-pocket expenses of members of the consultative committee. It goes no further than that. Therefore, the broader issues that have been raised do not arise directly out of the money resolution; and I propose to keep my remarks fairly narrowly focused.

The money resolution is designed to give financial effect to the power of the Secretary of State to meet the out-of-pocket expenses of the consultative committee, if that is the will of the House. I shall be commending to the House a Lords amendment to that effect. Quite plainly we cannot put a precise figure on that, but it is bound to be extremely modest, because we are talking about the out-of-pocket expenses of a relatively small number of people.

My hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro) criticised the Government, and particularly me, for increasing the number of members of the consultative committee. I wonder whether he is wholly fair in that respect. The definition of those eligible to serve on the consultative committee includes quite a number of people —those with expertise in possession, use, keeping, transactions, technology, enforcement and administration. My hon. Friend wished to add to that sport and recreation, and I agree with him. If one representative for each of those interests served on the committee, it would consist of nine people. If we wanted to have one or two more, say two from one interest group, we would get to 12 very quickly. Simply to meet my hon. Friend's natural desires, it was necessary to extend the number.

My answer to the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) is that I get cross sometimes, but I never criticise hon. Members who talk about money resolutions. When I was sitting below the Gangway I used to do so frequently. I thought that it was good sport, and occasionally it was useful.

I admit that the hon. Member for Bradford, South made a good point when he spoke about the first money resolution. He was right in saying that the money resolution then before the House was not drawn sufficiently widely to cover a buy-in scheme. The reason for that was quite plain and was nothing covert. We did not intend to have a buy-in scheme. There was no pretence about that, there was no intent to cheat, deceive or fetter the ability of the committee. We did not intend to have a buy-in scheme, and that is why the money resolution as originally formulated did not provide for one.

The hon. Member for Bradford, South was a little unfair when he criticised me, and certainly the Government, for not ensuring that the second money resolution covered the requirement now before the House. As he will recall, when we were debating the second money resolution we did not have in mind a statutory consultative committee, and therefore we assumed that the issue would not arise.

As the hon. Member for Bradford, South is joining the Conservative party in his anxiety to safeguard and husband public money, I am sure that he will not ask for money resolutions that are at large, which is what he would have to argue for if he were to sustain his proposition that the money resolution now before the House should in some way have been encompassed within the second money resolution. On reflection, I think the hon. Gentleman will feel that he scored one good point, but also made one rather less good point. I commend the money resolution to the House.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 232, Noes 161.

Division No. 465] [4.19 pm
Adley, Robert Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Alexander, Richard Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Buck, Sir Antony
Amos, Alan Burns, Simon
Arbuthnot, James Burt, Alistair
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Butler, Chris
Ashby, David Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)
Aspinwall, Jack Carlisle, John, (Luton N)
Atkinson, David Carrington, Matthew
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Carttiss, Michael
Baldry, Tony Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Chapman, Sydney
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich) Chope, Christopher
Batiste, Spencer Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Bellingham, Henry Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Bendall, Vivian Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Colvin, Michael
Biffen, Rt Hon John Conway, Derek
Blackburn, Dr John G. Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Cope, Rt Hon John
Boswell, Tim Couchman, James
Bottomley, Peter Cran, James
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Critchley, Julian
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Currie, Mrs Edwina
Bowis, John Curry, David
Brazier, Julian Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Bright, Graham Day, Stephen
Brittan, Rt Hon Leon Devlin, Tim
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Dickens, Geoffrey
Dorrell, Stephen Mans, Keith
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Durant, Tony Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Dykes, Hugh Maude, Hon Francis
Eggar, Tim Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd) Mellor, David
Evennett, David Meyer, Sir Anthony
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Fallon, Michael Miller, Sir Hal
Farr, Sir John Mills, Iain
Favell, Tony Miscampbell, Norman
Fenner, Dame Peggy Mitchell, David (Hants NW)
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Monro, Sir Hector
Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Fishburn, John Dudley Moore, Rt Hon John
Fookes, Miss Janet Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Forth, Eric Morrison, Sir Charles
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Moynihan, Hon Colin
Fox, Sir Marcus Mudd, David
Franks, Cecil Neale, Gerrard
Freeman, Roger Nelson, Anthony
Fry, Peter Neubert, Michael
Gale, Roger Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Garel-Jones, Tristan Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Gill, Christopher Page, Richard
Glyn, Dr Alan Paice, James
Goodhart, Sir Philip Patnick, Irvine
Goodlad, Alastair Patten, Chris (Bath)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Pawsey, James
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Porter, David (Waveney)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Price, Sir David
Hampson, Dr Keith Raffan, Keith
Hannam, John Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Harris, David Redwood, John
Haselhurst, Alan Rhodes James, Robert
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney Riddick, Graham
Hayward, Robert Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Heathcoat-Amory, David Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE) Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Roe, Mrs Marion
Hill, James Rossi, Sir Hugh
Hind, Kenneth Rost, Peter
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Ryder, Richard
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Shaw, David (Dover)
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Howells, Geraint Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Hunter, Andrew Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Irvine, Michael Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Jack, Michael Soames, Hon Nicholas
Jessel, Toby Speed, Keith
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Johnston, Sir Russell Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Squire, Robin
Kirkhope, Timothy Stanbrook, Ivor
Kirkwood, Archy Stanley, Rt Hon John
Knapman, Roger Steen, Anthony
Knight, Greg (Derby North) Stern, Michael
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Stevens, Lewis
Knox, David Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Lang, Ian Sumberg, David
Latham, Michael Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Lee, John (Pendle) Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Lightbown, David Thornton, Malcolm
Lilley, Peter Thurnham, Peter
Livsey, Richard Townend, John (Bridlington)
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant) Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Lord, Michael Twinn, Dr Ian
Luce, Rt Hon Richard Vaughan, Sir Gerard
McCrindle, Robert Waddington, Rt Hon David
MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire) Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Maclean, David Walden, George
McLoughlin, Patrick Walker, Bill (T'side North)
McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael Waller, Gary
Madel, David Ward, John
Malins, Humfrey Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Watts, John Wood, Timothy
Wheeler, John Yeo, Tim
Whitney, Ray Young, Sir George (Acton)
Widdecombe, Ann Younger, Rt Hon George
Wiggin, Jerry
Wilkinson, John Tellers for the Ayes:
Wilshire, David Mr. Kenneth Carlisle and
Winterton, Nicholas Mr. Tom Sackville.
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Eastham, Ken
Alton, David Evans, John (St Helens N)
Anderson, Donald Faulds, Andrew
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Armstrong, Hilary Fisher, Mark
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Flannery, Martin
Barron, Kevin Flynn, Paul
Battle, John Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Beckett, Margaret Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)
Beggs, Roy Foster, Derek
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Foulkes, George
Bidwell, Sydney Fraser, John
Blair, Tony Fyfe, Maria
Blunkett, David Garrett, John (Norwich South)
Boyes, Roland Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)
Bradley, Keith Golding, Mrs Llin
Brown, Gordon (D'mline E) Gould, Bryan
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Graham, Thomas
Buchan, Norman Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Buckley, George J. Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Caborn, Richard Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Callaghan, Jim Hardy, Peter
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Harman, Ms Harriet
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Haynes, Frank
Clelland, David Heffer, Eric S.
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Henderson, Doug
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Hinchliffe, David
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Hood, Jimmy
Corbett, Robin Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
Cousins, Jim Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Cryer, Bob Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Illsley, Eric
Darling, Alistair Janner, Greville
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) John, Brynmor
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l) Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Môn)
Dewar, Donald Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Dixon, Don Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil
Dobson, Frank Lamond, James
Doran, Frank Leadbitter, Ted
Dunnachie, Jimmy Leighton, Ron
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Quin, Ms Joyce
Lewis, Terry Radice, Giles
Litherland, Robert Randall, Stuart
Livingstone, Ken Redmond, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Robertson, George
Loyden, Eddie Robinson, Geoffrey
McAllion, John Rogers, Allan
McCartney, Ian Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
McKelvey, William Ross, William (Londonderry E)
McLeish, Henry Ruddock, Joan
McNamara, Kevin Sheerman, Barry
Madden, Max Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Maginnis, Ken Short, Clare
Mahon, Mrs Alice Skinner, Dennis
Mallon, Seamus Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Marek, Dr John Snape, Peter
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Soley, Clive
Martlew, Eric Spearing, Nigel
Meacher, Michael Stott, Roger
Meale, Alan Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby) Turner, Dennis
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Vaz, Keith
Morgan, Rhodri Walker, A. Cecil (Belfast N)
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Wall, Pat
Mowlam, Marjorie Walley, Joan
Mullin, Chris Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Murphy, Paul Wareing, Robert N.
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)
O'Brien, William Williams, Rt Hon Alan
O'Neill, Martin Winnick, David
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Wise, Mrs Audrey
Paisley, Rev Ian Worthington, Tony
Parry, Robert Wray, Jimmy
Patchett, Terry Young, David (Bolton SE)
Pendry, Tom
Pike, Peter L. Tellers for the Noes:
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Mr. Allen McKay and
Prescott, John Mr. Alun Michael.
Primarolo, Dawn

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Firearms (Amendment) Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament of sums required by the Secretary of State for making payments in respect of expenses incurred in the performance of their duties by members of the consultative committee established by that Act.