HC Deb 13 April 1994 vol 241 cc361-83

Amendments made: No. 344, in page 110, line 17, leave out from beginning to 'this' in line 18 and insert 'With the exception of section 72 and, subject to subsection (3A) below,'.

No. 41, in page 110, line 18, leave out 'Chapter' and insert

'Chapters I and'. No. 345, in page 110, line 19, after 'State' insert 'or, in the case of sections 43 and 44, the Lord Chancellor'.

No. 346, in page 110, line 25, at end inser— '(3A) The following provisions and their related amendments and repeals shall come into force on the passing of this Act, namely sections 5 to 15 (and Schedules 1 and 2), 51, 53, 55, 58, 59, 60, 61, 67 to 70, 71, 73, Chapters I and IV of Part VIII, 131, 133(1) to (3), 137, 141 and this section.

(3B) For the purposes of subsection (3A) above—

  1. (a) the following are the amendments related to the provisions specified in that subsection, namely, in Schedule 10, paragraphs 35 and 38(1), (3), (4) and (5);
  2. (b) the repeals related to the provisions specified in that subsection are those specified in the Note at the end of Schedule 11.'

No. 176, in page 110, line 26, at beginning insert 'Except as regards any provisions applied under section (Power to apply sections 29 to 33 to armed forces) and'.—[Mr. Maclean.]

Mr. Maclean

I beg to move amendment No. 28, in page 110, line 29, leave out '58, 59,'.

Madam Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments:

No. 25, in page 110, line 29, leave out '60, 61,'.

Government amendment No. 80.

Amendment No. 22, in page 110, line 33, at end insert '(7A) Sections 58 and 59 do not extend to Wales'.

Mr. McFall

The Minister of State, the hon. Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Maclean), last night mentioned when he rejected new clause 22 on badger digging that it was normal for people to go about: the countryside with shovels—that is a matter of public record. In Scotland, people who go about the countryside in hill-walking gear may find themselves contravening the law because the Government have, for the first lime, brought the criminal law to bear on such a situation there. That is very worrying for many people in Scotland.

I and other right hon. and hon. Friends have been contacted by 115 organisations that are fearful for the consequences. The law creates the offence of aggravated trespass. In the opinion of many people in Scotland the law is unnecessary—it is vague and will be subject to various interpretations. The Law Society, for example, stated when it contacted me about the matter that the case has not been made for the need to legislate in that area. In that society's view the law of breach of the peace would satisfactorily cover the intimidation of persons carrying out a lawful activity.

Why have the Government brought such activities within the law? So far as I am aware, the provision was not intended to apply to Scotland, but the Secretary of State received a letter on 29 October 1993 from a farmer in the Borders—a certain Mr. Peter Straker-Smith—complaining about disruption of his grouse shooting. As a result, the Secretary of State decided to introduce this catch-all amendment, which will be very bad for the law in Scotland. The provisions in respect of obstruction or disruption of lawful activity are unduly vague and could lead to innocent or lawful behaviour which obstructs or disrupts other lawful activity being subject to the offences provisions. Ramblers, hill walkers and other recreational users are not excluded from the provisions of the clause.

Here, one of the main proponents has been the Scottish Landowners Federation which, it is stated, is fully behind this law. I have here a letter dated 22 March 1994 from Duncan Thompson, who is the legal adviser to the Scottish Landowners Federation. Mr. Thompson stated that the organisation's view is that there is a specific public order problem which must be addressed—the deliberate disruption of field sports—and which is not adequately dealt with under the existing law. The federation's legal adviser goes on to say that it would have no objection to an amendment to narrow the focus of the clause to the specific mischief to be targeted.

Why has the Secretary of State incorporated in the Bill a catch-all provision when no one—absolutely no one, and certainly not the Scottish Landowners Federation—in Scotland is asking for it? Why is the clause necessary? What is the mischief that the Government intend to prevent? And what are the lawful activities to which the clause refers? Can the Minister explain the difference, in Scotland, between a breach of the peace and intimidation, as dealt with in clauses 58 and 59? What constitutes obstruction and disruption? Are these tests not subjective rather than objective? One person may be more disruptable than another.

Have the Government really considered the implications for Scotland of the results of this legislation? Will it, for example, be disruption if a party of school children on a nature lesson disturbs a shepherd during lambing? Will it be disruption if an environmental group seeks, through peaceful protest, to prevent environmental damage?

In a letter to George Cubitt, the chairman of the outdoor pursuits division of the Central Council for Physical Recreation, the Home Secretary's private secretary, Miss Vikki Molloy, stated that the police and the courts are very familiar with the concept of intent and that the problem of misinterpretation should not, therefore, arise. In fact, the police in Scotland are not very familiar with that concept. Because of the vagueness of the catch-all phrase, they are very fearful about the introduction of the provision in Scotland. It will undermine the long-established freedom to roam in uncultivated areas of mountain and moorland in Scotland. As some 100,000 walkers and climbers use the highlands during summer weekends it will pose a danger to many people enjoying the countryside.

The provision also makes nonsense of a review currently being undertaken by the Government's own body, Scottish Natural Heritage. I refer to the review of access to the outdoors. What are the opinions of Scottish Natural Heritage? I wrote to the organisation about this matter and the chief executive, Roger Cross, stated in a very sensitive way that what Scottish Natural Heritage does not want is that the understanding that has been built up between hill walkers and landowners should be disrupted. There is no doubt that the understanding, sensitivity and equilibrium that have been achieved will be disrupted. What does Scottish Natural Heritage say? Why have the Government gone ahead when that organisation is currently conducting its review of access? Out of the blue, trespass is to be criminalised. I am informed that the chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage, Magnus Magnusson, has written privately to the Secretary of State. Mr. Magnusson is worried about the fact that voluntary co-operation between landowners and sports bodies in respect of land use could be seriously undermined.

There is a problem in respect of loch Lomond, which is in my constituency. Month after month and year after year, I have been telling the Scottish Office that something other than the voluntary principle is needed. The Government have stood by the voluntary principle in relation to loch Lomond. Yet here we find the voluntary principle possibly being undermined by the introduction of this unnecessary clause.

Those laws, according to the Law Society of Scotland and others, could be far more oppressive than Ministers intended. The Scottish Landowners Federation does not want the unspecific wording. In his address to the annual general meeting on 8 March, the convenor of the federation, Mr. Disney Barlow, stated that the essence of the new offence will be criminal intention to intimidate, disrupt or obstruct. Those are not the intentions of ramblers or of any reasonable people, and reasonable people are not going to be affected".

But any lawyer will confirm that it is extremely hard to define in law a "reasonable" action or person. The legal adviser has already recognised that reasonable people will be affected, so landowners are aware of the concerns.

If the Minister or the Secretary of State had reassured the Scottish people, that would have been fine, but not a word has been uttered and I am afraid that the Scottish public are convinced that the Home Secretary is legislating for England and Wales and the Secretary of State for Scotland at the very last minute is applying the clauses to Scotland for a problem that does not exist there. The case for legislation has not been made. We have adequate mechanisms now with regard to breach of the peace. The civil law has operated in Scotland since 1965 under the Trespass Act of that date.

I draw the Minister's attention to an interesting story in The Scotsman last Friday about trespass. Every voluntary organisation and reasonable landowner will confirm that, because of the understanding that has developed over the years, a balance between access and landowners' rights has been achieved in Scotland. The story relates to two individuals who were found guilty at Dingwall sheriff court of trespass under the 1965 Act. It happened because the landowner sent instructions by fax from southern Africa that they were to be prosecuted. Foreign landowners are insensitive to the position in Scotland. They can fax messages from all over the world and their instructions are then carried out. The understanding that exists in Scotland then goes for a burton because of the wishes of some absent landlord, whether he be in South Africa, Rio or anywhere else. That is what will happen in Scotland. It is fine having a responsible landowner in Scotland, but the chances of having a responsible landowner in South Africa commuting his message by high tech will be far less.

The clause could apply to one's own back yard. We are not just talking about the grouse moor; we could be talking about young people who kick their football into someone's garden and go in to retrieve it. How could that be considered aggressive trespass? According to some people, it could be. If we have a latterday Miss Haversham whose solitude, peace and quiet is being disturbed, we shall have that offence. That is absurd. How much torpor must exist in the Scottish Office for Ministers to think for one minute of introducing such an inappropriate clause in the Bill. Just as equity is as long or as short as the Lord Chancellor's foot, the concepts of obstruction and disruption are as long or as short as the landowner's foot.

12.45 am

That is the type of uncertainty that has been introduced into the law of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is law that may lead to confrontation with which the forces of law and order will be ill equipped to deal. Under this law, if citizen's arrest exists—and we cannot tell from the clause whether it does—we may see a landowner and half a dozen ghillies arresting a troop of hill walkers, or a gamekeeper arresting a group of environmental protestors.

The official Opposition say "Out with this clause". It is inappropriate to Scotland; it has no place in Scotland. When a Labour Government are elected we will make sure that the law is repealed.

Mr. John Home Robertson (East Lothian)

I rise—[Interruption.]

Mr. Dickens


Mr. Home Robertson

Indeed, yes. I rise to support amendment No. 28 because I regard clauses 58 and 59 as deeply sinister intrusions into the law of Scotland. They create powers which are unwarranted and unwanted. Like virtually every Scottish Member in this House, I have received large numbers of letters from constituents expressing strong opposition to the Government's proposal to create a new offence of trespass which could be used to restrict people's right of reasonable access to open countryside in Scotland.

The only law of trespass in Scotland today is in the 1865 Act, which has very limited scope. It applies to unauthorised occupation of buildings, camping and lighting fires. It has no power to obstruct any other form of reasonable access to open countryside. We do not need such a power in Scotland and we do not want it. It is an alien concept which has no place in the law of Scotland.

I speak as a Scottish Member of Parliament from a largely rural constituency, where local people and visitors alike have always enjoyed their access to the Lammermuir hills, the seaside links and the countryside in between. My constituency includes Dunbar, which is the birth place of John Muir, the founder of the environmental movement not only in Scotland but indeed in north America. It is an insult to his memory that we should be considering imposing restrictions on access to the countryside.

I speak also as a farmer who has had plenty of experience of the free access to the open countryside that people enjoy in Scotland. It hardly ever causes any problems. On one occasion a problem was caused by the hunt appearing uninvited on the farm and doing some damage, but that was some time ago. Apart from that incident, my personal experience of farming in Scotland indicates that there is no problem associated with reasonable access to the open countryside. In Scotland we have reasonable access provisions which are greatly enjoyed and not abused. There is no need for this amendment to the law.

In an earlier debate on the Bill we heard about so-called "new age travellers". I fear that what we have in Scotland today—and what the Government are responding to today—is new age landlords. Some of them are home-grown, but in many cases they are people from outside Scotland who have acquired land in Scotland and who feel the need to lock gates and obstruct access to their land. They are creating aggravation where there has never been aggravation in the past.

I have had some trouble of this kind in my constituency. A very substantial tract of my constituency—a big chunk of the Lammermuir hills—has been acquired by a landlord based in Hampshire—he could have been from anywhere, but he happens to be from Hampshire. He is seeking to obstruct and restrict people's access to his land in a part of the countryside where access has always been enjoyed in the past. There have been incidents where estate staff have ordered people off the hills—they have no right to do so, but people are easily intimidated under such circumstances.

The clauses will encourage that type of landlord in Scotland. It is not good enough for the Minister to say that the law is net supposed to work like that. I refer him to the advice that hon. Members have received from the Law Society of Scotland. The society has written: In the Society's view this Clause could be interpreted to restrict many of the recreational uses to which the countryside is put. There is no exclusion of ramblers, hillwalkers or other recreational users from the provisions of the Clause".

If the Law Society of Scotland reckons that the clause can be interpreted in that way, I am sure that its members and their clients will seek to interpret the legislation in that way and seek to impose restrictions where previously there were none. If it can be interpreted that way, it will be. The House must reject this alien and abhorrent intrusion into Scots law.

Mrs. Ewing

The issue is an extremely emotional one for Scotland. There are two key resources for any country: its land and its people. The question of how to unite the land and its people is critical in terms of the economy, the environment and enjoying leisure pursuits in our region.

One difficulty is that many people who speak on the subject try to define it as one that applies only to hill walkers, ramblers and Munro baggers. Those are key people, but there are many other organisations—about 60—that want to have access to our land. They involve geologists, archaeologists and ornithologists, and a variety of people. There is a fundamental principle at stake; it exists in Scotland and has been built up over the centuries. It is the freedom to roam the country while observing obvious and sensible codes of conduct.

Another aspect, to which I particularly refer Labour Members, is that we are talking about legislation that will apply to Scotland and we again see Scottish legislation being crammed into a small section of a UK Bill. But, when it comes to the crunch, Labour Members from Scotland are quite happy to accept that this a United Kingdom Parliament. They vote in favour of Conservative Members from English constituencies dominating the legislative process. At some stage they have to decide whether they want to protect the Scottish legal system and the laws of Scotland or whether they want to sit here on the green Benches and try to climb up the ladder of promotion in the United Kingdom.

There are questions that I want to ask of the Ministers this evening. On what basis did Lord Fraser of Carmyllie decide that the provisions should extend to Scotland? He appeared on a television programme and made it quite clear through the Scottish Lobby that he asked for them to apply to Scotland. Where is the logic in that? If there were a strong argument for the Bill to be applied north of the border, surely Lord Fraser should have included the issue of raves. But that subject is not included in the Bill. What are the Government planning on that aspect? Who wrote to Lord Fraser of Carmyllie? Who asked him to apply the provision to Scotland? What factor led him to decide that the measures should apply to Scotland? Was there one letter or more than one letter or was it an ideological decision?

What would the Minister define as lawful activity in the context of the Bill? I have already mentioned the various organisations, many of them comprised of very lawful people who have no desire to fall out with the landowners, the farmers and all the people who respect the countryside. Why cannot lawful activity be defined in the Bill? Does a deficiency exist in the Scottish legal system? Anyone who does not observe the countryside code, as the Minister and I understand it, can be prosecuted in civil law under the Trespass Act 1865 or for a breach of the peace. Why should criminality be attached to actions that I consider lawful?

Does the Minister believe that Scotland faces the prospect of one landowner bringing a test case before the Scottish courts? If the landowner was not particularly sympathetic to ramblers, geologists and so on, such a test case could be a key factor in future Government legislative programmes and for Scottish courts. Relying on a test case sets a dangerous precedent in Scottish law, and one that could set the pace for future cases.

This part of the Bill is vague, unnecessary and subject to various interpretations—as has already been made clear by the Law Society of Scotland and other organisations. Why is the Minister introducing such legislation now, when Scottish Natural Heritage is holding back on its access recommendations? In his letter to The Scotsman on 10 March, Magnus Magnusson said that rules of access to Scottish land must first be defined and that the Bill is premature. He warned the Secretary of State against changing trespass from a civil to a criminal offence.

If the Minister is determined to pursue that course, what resources will he provide to chief constables and police forces in constituencies throughout the Scottish regions, so that they may employ extra staff? It is clear from the Bill that many police men and women will be required to police various organisations as their members walk through the hills and glens of Scotland—although that is clearly ridiculous. In the context of joint police boards under local government reorganisation, will suitable facilities be made available as part of those arrangements?

The Bill has huge implications for the traditional right and freedom to roam our Scottish countryside, for our police forces and for tourism—with visitors discouraged, fearing that they will be accused of criminal activities. Why on earth are the Government adopting this attitude when the Bill concerns England and Wales?

Mr. Sam Galbraith (Strathkelvin and Bearsden)

I regret that, in her bitterness, the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing), instead of attacking the Government, once again could not refrain from attacking my party. Not only does that not do her party any good, but it does not do the cause that we are fighting any good.

Mr. Andrew Welsh (Angus, Fast)


Mr. Galbraith

No, I will not give way—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. It might be to the advantage of the House if hon. Members settled down. Let us hear what the hon. Gentleman has to say.

1 am

Mr. Galbraith

I shall return to the substance of the debate. I am sure that the Minister must be somewhat ashamed of himself in having to introduce the amendment tonight. He knows that it offends the tradition of Scottish law and also the Scottish tradition of access to the Scottish countryside, be it high in the mountains or low in the plains. A tradition in which there has been a symbiosis between the landowners and those wishing to use it for recreational purposes has persisted throughout the years. But now the Minister and his Government are threatening that, for reasons that are not clear to Opposition Members. Perhaps the Minister will explain who asked for this provision in the Bill. Where is the demand coming from? The landowners say that it is not them. There is no recreational organisation. I think, therefore, that the Minister is duty bound to answer that question tonight.

I have been tramping the Scottish hills and mountains for the best part of 40 years—yes I am only 40. I started early. In that time, I have noticed two significant changes. The first is the reduction in the amount of wild camping, where one can pitch one's tent by the road in glens without having to be organised into official camp sites. There has been a significant reduction in the amount of such camping over the years and it will be reduced by the Government's proposals tonight. In many cases, the reduction was necessary, because of the increased numbers, the sanitation, and so on, as seen, for example, on Glenbrittle, Skye. But, increasingly, landowners are breaking down the relationship between themselves and those who use the mountains.

The second thing that has changed over the years is what climbers call the hassle factor—the number of signs that appear when one enters the mountains. The signs have no legal bearing or standing whatever, but are intended to try to bluff and intimidate hill walkers and others into not utilising the land. A current offensive sign is that in Strathconon. It reads: Deer in these hills are shot from mid August-February for sport, meat and Government control policy"—

whatever that is. But one can see immediately the inference that, somehow or other, it is Government policy and that one will offend some statute when there is no such statute to offend. It continues: Walkers are therefore warned that rambling on high ground at this time can seriously upset large areas for deer stalking and can be dangerous.

I wonder about the danger. I do not see the hills laden with shot hill walkers and mountain climbers. There is an important point in that notice in relation to what is termed "intent" in the Bill that is before us.

On top of the hassle factor and the restriction—

Mr. Phil Gallie (Ayr)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Galbraith

I am certain that I will regret this, but, as the hon. Gentleman is a well-known hill walker and will explain to me the intricacies of Scottish law, I will give way.

Mr. Gallie

I have listened carefully to what the hon. Gentleman has suggested. Given the contents of the Bill, the fact that intimidation must be shown to have been involved, and that a uniformed police man must be present, is it not the case that, as was suggested by the hon. Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson), the hill walkers who have been hassled in the past by the ghillies and others can now feel quite confident in saying that they have no authority and that they should bring in someone, perhaps from the police force, before they can be forced from the land?

Mr. Galbraith

It is clear that the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie) has not read the Bill and does not understand any part of it. I shall explain to him that, if one is half-way up a mountain glen staring at a ghillie with a large-bore shotgun, quoting to him what the hon. Member for Ayr said in the Chamber will not assist one's chances of getting down.

The Scottish Landowners Federation has given a number of assurances. I am not going to attack the federation—my hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) is a consummate expert at that so I shall leave it to him—but the problem is that it does not speak for all landowners and especially not for the new age landowners who are moving in.

I cite the classic example of the land around Loch Maree which includes several mountains that are important to the climbing fraternity. Access to and camping on that land used to be free but along came a new landowner from outwith this country, and who is not part of our tradition, and suddenly there is a block not only on access but on camping. We are talking not about new age travellers or vast armies pitching their tents but about the occasional climber of Slioch. The assurances from the Scottish Landowners Federation are not adequate.

The crux of the issue is intent. The Scottish Landowners Federation says that intent has to be shown but the problem is whether, if a notice similar to that which I have just described from Strathconon is presented at the point of access to the hills but ignored and bypassed by hill climbers—as it should be—in the knowledge that deerstalking is taking place, can the landowner claim and have it upheld in law that an individual had intended to disrupt that activity? That is the important point. Will the law state that an individual who ignores a notice stating that there might or might not be deerstalking in a given area intended to disrupt it?

I remind the House that it need not necessarily be the intent of disrupting deerstalking; lambing must also be considered. Will crossing areas during the lambing season mean intentionally disrupting a lawful activity in which the landowner is engaged? It is a serious legal point, and I ask the Minister please not to tell us that the matter will be settled in the courts. It should not need to go that far; it should be clarified now.

If the Minister is not willing to accept our amendments which would remove these provisions from Scotland, he should at least give an assurance that he will reconsider the issue as the Scottish Landowners Federation said. We need better definitions to satisfy both sides of the argument so that once again the symbiosis between landowners and climbers and ramblers can continue and that we in Scotland can continue to maintain the freedom to roam the mountains.

Mr. Wilson

Like my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Galbraith), I deplore the fact that what should have been the united voice of the Opposition parties was divided by a rather bitter and unpleasant attack on the Labour party by the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing). [Interruption.] I hear the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh), who I think plays the role of Baldrick to the Blackadder of the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond). I do not know where the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan is—

Mr. Welsh


Mr. Wilson

No, I shall not give way.

The idea that there is a great Westminster conspiracy hardly stands up. The right to roam survived very well in Scotland from 1707 until 1994 under a Westminster Parliament. It is threatened not by Westminster but by the current breed of Tories at the Scottish Office. It was not I who voted in 1979 to help to bring the current breed of Tories to the Scottish Office—very specifically, it was both members of the Scottish National party who are here tonight. Perhaps they should have exercised a little foresight, because when they helped to bring the Tories to power, they were helping to bring this type of legislation to Scotland.

There is nothing axiomatic in the system. The offence of aggravated trespass will apply not only to Scotland but to the whole of the United Kingdom. As a socialist and a Member of Parliament, my ambition will be to remove that offence from the statute book, not only in Scotland but in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, too. I recognise, even if those silly people do not, that Scottish climbers do not climb only in Scotland, and English climbers do not climb only in England.

We are concerned with a wider vista, and with defending the rights of our people—the ordinary people of every part of the United Kingdom. That, essentially, is what differentiates us from the nationalists, who try to divide and fragment every argument according to race and nationality, as opposed to seeing things within the framework in which they are only too pleased to participate at other times—the framework of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

It is not Westminster but the Tories who are imposing the new law. It is not my job to advance the interests of Scottish nationalist Members, but I suggest that in their own interests they might sometimes address the real enemy instead of expressing their paranoia about the Labour party in Scotland.

Contrary to what my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Galbraith) said, I stand here tonight as the spokesman for the Scottish Landowners Federation. That is an unlikely role for me, because ai other times I have been critical of the federation as an organisation and of some of its individual members. But tonight I stand here happily holding a letter written on the notepaper of the Scottish Landowners Federation. If the Minister would stop talking to his fellow Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart), long enough to listen, he might know what case he has to answer.

The only people who seem to support the new power are those in the Tory party in Scotland. As I have said before, normally one of their roles is to act as the political wing of the Scottish Landowners Federation, so one would expect them to be prepared to accept the federation's bidding on this issue. However, the federation has been sufficiently moved by the campaign of resistance that we have led against the measure to make its position clear. I heard its views summarised on the radio this week, and I was surprised and interested enough to get hold of a copy what it had said.

The preamble in the letter says that the federation wants the power of aggravated trespass in Scotland because there is a problem with hunt saboteurs and other such people, especially in the borders, and that it is worried that, if the new offence existed in England but not in Scotland, there would be an incentive for people to cross the border, and hunt saboteurs would become more active, particularly in the Borders. I do not necessarily accept any of that, and I certainly have no prejudice against hunt saboteurs, who probably do quite a good job.

However, having set out that preamble, Duncan W. Thomson, legal adviser to the Scottish Landowners Federation, then makes the crucial point: However, we are conscious of the concerns which have been expressed about the scope of these Clauses and, as we have no wish for there to be any possibility of this legislation restricting normal public access to the countryside or of limiting the public's legitimate right to protest, we would have no objection to any amendments which would narrow the focus of the Clauses onto the specific mischief to be targeted. Indeed we have suggested some alternative wording for this purpose. So what is the situation that we have to deal with? The. Government are advancing a catch-all power—I shall talk about the nature of that in a moment. Yet the Scottish Landowners Federation, in whose interests the Tories usually act, says that it recognises that such a power cannot be justified.

In other contexts, the federation has also said that it does not believe that it is a catch-all power, and does not intend its members to use the measure as such. In the letter, it recognises that the public perception nonetheless is of a catch-all power, and says that, in order to avoid giving that impression, it is prepared, indeed happy, for amendments to be made to the Bill.

The only point on which I dissent from the Scottish Landowners Federation is that it says when the power would not be used as a catch-all power, whereas I say that it would be. One cannot put this power into the hands of the Scottish landowning fraternity without expecting it to be used.

1.15 am

The whole business has its provenance in the Tory party conference last October, when the Home Secretary and various other luminaries were trying to chill the delegates to the marrow by raising the spectres of threats to society as we know it. They told the delegates how those threats to society were to be dealt with on the great law and order platform. Two particular bogies were introduced at that conference—new age travellers, who have always struck me as a relatively harmless lot in Scotland, and hunt saboteurs, who were to be clamped down on to repay a debt to the British Field Sports Society. Those are the two bogies which were set up and which then had to be legislated against.

The crucial point is that there is no mention on the face of the Bill of either new age travellers or hunt saboteurs. What is mentioned is groups of people who obstruct. That is nothing to do with what the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie) said about threatening behaviour or intimidation. The Bill refers only to those who obstruct or disrupt "lawful activity". Virtually anything that landowners are likely to do in the Scottish countryside can be construed as lawful activity.

The only defence of the Scottish Landowners Federation previously was to say, "It is not we, the landowners, who prosecute; it is the police who investigate and the procurator fiscal who decides whether to prosecute." However, the point is that every complaint will have to be investigated; that is not discretionary on the part of the police.

The other crucial point, into which my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden has gone in enough detail, is the fact that the provision will create a climate in which the banditry of Scottish landownership will feel encouraged to put up signs that are intended to intimidate. They are doing so already on the island of Arran in my constituency. I am delighted to say that every one of the signs has been taken down or painted out, and that that will continue.

Mr. Gallie

The hon. Gentleman said that I was wrong to suggest that intimidation would be involved. If he reads clause 58(1)(a), he will see that the word "intimidating" is used. It is he who should read the Bill.

Mr. Wilson

With respect, it is the hon. Gentleman who should have the Bill read for him. The word "intimidating" is one of the options. The other two possibilities are obstruction and disruption, which are far more subjective than the word "intimidating".

There is a great deal to be said on the matter. The provision is a fundamental threat to a very basic right in Scotland—the freedom to roam. The Minister should have nothing to do with it. He can wear two hats tonight. He can wear the hat of someone who is an upholder of the Scottish legal system, or he can wear the hat of someone who is the upholder of a Scottish landowning family. He cannot serve both masters.

Mr. Bill Walker

It is true to say that there is concern in Scotland. Opposition Members who have spoken were right to draw attention to the concern. The concern is that people carrying out their normal, lawful activities fear that they will no longer be able to do so.

We must look carefully at the term "aggravated trespass". I declare an interest here. As the House knows, I am chairman of the all-party scout group. The scouts are very active in the countryside. I also happen to be president of the Scottish Gliding Union. Anyone who has watched the gliders flying around Scotland will realise that they frequently land in other people's gardens and premises. On one occasion, I remember landing in the middle of a go-kart racing meeting, and I hope that my landing on that day would not be looked on as aggravated trespass in future.

I also declare another interest: I regularly walk on the hills in my constituency—and elsewhere, but especially in my constituency. I know, and I have met, the people who are concerned. I am sure that the Minister will reflect the aspects of their concerns and will explain to the House why aggravated trespass will be a part of Scottish law, because there are areas in which it is needed.

However, the objective must be clearly to allow the activities that are currently carried out by individuals, such as those which I have described—the scouts, the hill walkers, the mountaineers and the glider pilots—to continue, so that there is no doubt whatever that normal activities are not at risk.

Mr. Eric Clarke (Midlothian)

I shall also be brief. I want to deal with two aspects which I do not think have been covered. Before doing so, I shall say to the Ministers that, again, there has been no consultation. Whom did they consult in Scotland? The issue is about Scottish people, including anglers and ornithologists, as has been mentioned, having access.

I want to talk about birdwatchers. The steamer in May over to Orkney is full of people who are going bird watching. It is a big industry, by the way. It fills a lot of hotels and puts bread on the tables of a lot of people in those areas. If there is no access to the nesting sites, or to the lochs when trying to fish, or to the moorlands or the hills, how can people carry out their activities?

Many barriers and no-go areas in Scotland already exist. Huge boulders have been put in natural parking places by landlords who do not want people to stop. They want people to continue, to move on, and they do not want anybody to have any access to the country in which they were born. They may have bought land in the country, but they have not bought the country, and they have certainly not bought the people of country. I want access for Scottish people and for any visitors-who are law-abiding.

I have been stopped and asked why I am looking over a bridge into a pool that happens to be full of salmon in the Strathalladale valley. I did not have a fishing rod, I had no gun in my hand, but the people there who were in control happened to be the ghillies who were watching us from a hill, and they told us to move on while we were on a highway. We told them what to do with themselves in no uncertain fashion. That is without the law being changed. Under the interpretation of over-zealous people, we know what will happen. Such people will move on everybody if they do not like them, or if they cannot make any money from them.

Aggravated trespass is trespassing of the wrong kind. I hope that the Government will think twice, especially the Ministers who are having a wee chat, and will take cognisance of the sincerity of our words. Like my colleagues and others, I have had many letters from many organisations and individuals who are worried about access and about the clause. I hope that, this early morning, we amend the clause, and I appeal to Conservative Members to support the amendment.

Mr. Thomas Graham (Renfrew, West and Inverclyde)

The other week, I celebrated my silver wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, I had to be in the House to vote against the Government. If I had been privileged to spend the time with my wife, I would have been in the north of Scotland. I would have been in Sutherland enjoying the absolutely magnificent scenery and the magnificent countryside that we have in Scotland. If the Government got their way, I would not be able to move in the countryside; I would probably be charged with aggravated trespass. I shall come to that point in a moment.

The Government are one of the most bungling, bloody foolish Governments that we have ever had in the history of this country.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Geoffrey Lofthouse)

Order. The hon. Gentleman has been in the House long enough to know how to conduct himself. I shall be grateful if he will withdraw the word "bloody".

Mr. Graham

I withdraw.

The Government have run the country into billions of pounds worth of debt. Once again, they have introduced a measure which will probably cost Scotland millions of pounds in tourist earnings. That is something that they do not recognise. They make every move with tunnel vision—they do not look at the overall situation.

I live in Scotland. I also travel the length and breadth of Scotland, and I meet American tourists, Italian tourists and German tourists—I meet the lot. They come to Scotland for fishing, hunting, hill walking, climbing and ornithology. I do not think that Tory Members, especially the Minister, have any fun in life. Some of us know that the country makes a living out of fishing and various other leisure pursuits.

Scotland has the longest coastline in Europe. Access to that long coast is free to the public and fishermen. I could take the Minister to many places in Scotland where people can park their cars, wander over the hills down to the beach, take out their fishing rods and throw them into the sea without breaking the law. Hopefully, they try to catch a cod, a haddock or whatever they can in the sea, without any fear of breaking the law. Under the Government's proposals, people will be breaking the law when they go to some of those areas; it will be aggravated trespass.

Many people in Scotland may spend a weekend of pleasure perhaps by driving—they may even drive from my area of Linwood. Perhaps a busload of men and women who have worked hard all week will drive to the north of Scotland, cross to the beach, bring out their rods and fish without any problems. [Laughter.] Listen to the laughter of those who have plenty. Many people do not have plenty; they rely on the freedom and ability to take part in pursuits, but they will be punished for not having the money to go to a golf course, a swimming pool or whatever. In Scotland, sea fishing is free at present. There is no charge for or hindrance to crossing land.

My hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Clarke) talked about ornithologists. I happen to be an amateur ornithologist. I know that Tory Members like real bird watching; my bird watching is of the feathered kind. I agree with my hon. Friend that there are many places that could be denied to a group of ornithologists who wish to see rare birds which have a beauty that perhaps other folk may not appreciate, but ornithologists do. Yet we could be construed as an unlawful assembly. It is very frightening for somebody like myself who was born in a tenement building in Glasgow but who appreciates the opportunity to get out into the countryside and who recognises the freedom of the Scottish heritage and the right to the freedom of movement which we have always agreed that our people should have.

As a kid and as a young man, I went with my father to camp on the banks of the Clyde. Maybe they were not very salubrious. Maybe the Ministers camped near Cannes. Maybe they swanned about the Seine or whatever—I do not know. But when I was a young boy, we did not have money, and we camped on the banks of the Clyde. There was nothing more pleasurable than beachcombing. It gave us a wee bit of fun, and it did not cost our parents a fortune.

If this law is passed tonight, these pursuits, which have been free to the people of Scotland, will become costly. Even the simple pursuit of sunbathing could be construed as a crime. I look at the rows of sun-tanned faces in front of me, the Tenerifes, the Canary Islands and the Bahamas. I can tell the House that few of the people I represent have that opportunity. They have to go into the public parks or to the free open spaces of Scotland—when the weather is good.

The point that I am making is a serious one. I underline the fact that these things are free, not subject to a punitive £5 or £10 tax while the Government's leaders fly to sunny lands elsewhere.

I have spoken about sea angling, about ornithology and about sunbathing, all of them free in Scotland. I will tell the House a story and ask hon. Members to think about it.

I am an hon. Member, and last year, in the company of my wife, my 15-year-old son and a friend who is very knowledgeable about the countryside, I went for a drive in the north of Scotland. We drove into an area called Inverpolly. I hope that the House is listening to this story. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] We stopped in a beautiful part of Sutherland, known as Inverpolly nature reserve. My friend, my young son and I got out. [Laughter.] This is important. Maybe we have some laughing Members here and maybe they do not want to listen to a serious point, but they could be put in the situation that I was put in. My son was shown various sorts of fauna, things that were very rare. I am not skilled in these things, but my friend happens to be.

A Land Rover drew up, and a young man got out with a Welsh accent. [Laughter.] He shouted to myself and my family, "What are you doing here?" [Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Chair is keen to know what the Welshman said.

Mr. Graham

I am most grateful for your support in this serious matter, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

The gentleman proceeded to ask what we were doing there. I said that we happened to be looking at the fauna, and that my friend was explaining to my son what it is, what it means and how it arrived in Scotland. It arrived long before any Welshmen came to the area. I did not enter into any argument with the man, but I asked him who he was. [Interruption.] Government Members who may want to know about the Bill which we are debating tonight should consider this.

The man said that he was the landowner. He was not—he was the landowner's son. However, he was under the impression that we had to beg to be on the land. Is that the type of Scotland we want for the tourists who come along? I am not interested for myself, and I know that for every one of him there are a hundred others who will welcome the interest in the countryside.

However, there is that individual who can abuse the law, deny that freedom of movement, damage the reputation of this country and of tourism in this country, and can cost us a fortune in earnings which we desperately need. I say to the Minister that this is bad legislation. The Government are trying to crack an ant and use a tank. It is nonsense.

I love Scotland. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I also love and appreciate other parts of the world. The one fundamental thing that I have is that I am free to move about and to love the Scotland I live in. I hope that my sons will cherish the love that I have for the country by knowing that they can move about in it.

That is why we Scotsmen will play our part in defending this nation in any cause—because we know that we are supporting the right of Scotland to be for all. It is not for rich, it is not for the haves, but for every one of us—including those who have not even been born. I ask the Government to consign this bad legislation to the bin.

Mr. Maclennan

I begin by expressing my appreciation to the hon. Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde (Mr. Graham) for his eloquent testimony to the beauties of my constituency. Long may he visit it with his family and advertise its attractions. The hon. Gentleman expressed a true voice which needed to be expressed in this debate and which was an appropriate climax to the debate. He speaks for many in the House.

It may be something of a dying cause to recall the origins of the two clauses that have proved so controversial this evening, but the Government's failure to recognise the views that the hon. Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde expressed has unnecessarily led us a merry dance tonight.

Undoubtedly, the two clauses were introduced in response to a genuine policing problem in England and Wales, and with the full support of the police there. The problem did not exist in Scotland and we discovered with some surprise that the Government intended that the law should also be applied there. Changes to the public order laws affecting access to land in Scotland are bound to be sensitive and should not be made without widespread open consultation. The mischief—if mischief there is—must be demonstrated clearly before amendments to Scots law are put before the House.

It is not the case, as the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) said, that the Labour party lay down and accepted the legislation. In the Standing Committee, the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman)—the sole voice of the Labour party in Scotland on the Committee—from the very beginning protested most strongly about the manner in which the Government were legislating. He was right to do so. A part of the Bill is devoted to Scotland, but no Scottish Minister was present in Committee to explain what consultations had taken place and the attitude of the Scottish police and the Law Society of Scotland to the problem. We heard tonight that they do not believe that the two clauses are necessary or wise. None of those matters was debated properly or considered before tonight, which is why there has been a long, protracted and open discussion. We could not discuss them before.

Contrary to the views expressed earlier, there is a justification for the two clauses to apply in England as they will enhance the effectiveness of the police when dealing with serious confrontations, which have grown in magnitude in recent years, to the point that lives have been lost in England and Wales. That problem does not exist in Scotland and there is no reason to believe that it will do so. The proposition that it may is hypothetical and we should not legislate to make major changes in the public order law of Scotland on the basis of such a hypothesis. I therefore support the view that the amendments that affect Scotland should not be added to the Bill.

Dr. Godman

I promise that I shall be brief, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I thank the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) for the compliments that he paid me some minutes ago. Apart from all else, the debate has been reasonable—it was a lively one when my hon. Friend and neighbour, the Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde (Mr. Graham), spoke.

The debate was considerably marred by the unpleasant and nasty speech by the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing). The hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland also protested over the inclusion of controversial Scottish legislation in what is primarily an English Bill. We said over and over again that the measures should have formed part of a Scottish criminal justice Bill—I am given to understand that one will be introduced next year—or a Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Bill. Such measures come before the House every four or five years.

As an immigrant to the Clyde and someone who is neither a Munro bagger nor an ornithologist like my hon. Friend and neighbour the Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde, I should like to make a couple of points. Incidentally, my hon. Friend is himself a bit of a land grabber. It looks as if, as a result of the findings of the Boundary Commission, the best part of my constituency will go to him. I may lose 9,000 or 10,000 votes. I would take that very badly if it meant that I did not have the second safest seat in Scotland.

1.45 am

The measures were introduced to deal with a difficult problem in the shape of the activities of so-called new age travellers, hunt saboteurs and other, so-called, subversive groups—subversive in the view of people with a Tory perspective. What is wrong with the existing legislation when it comes to dealing with people who behave in a disorderly or unruly fashion while traversing land owned by others? We have the common law charge of breach of the peace, which many police officers have told me is entirely adequate to deal with the rare cases of unruly trespassers. Do we not also have the civil law enabling a landowner or his or her factor to take out an interdict in the Court of Session? What is wrong with that law?

As a lawyer, the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland knows as well as any Opposition Member that the clauses have been foisted upon him by Home Office Ministers. When, in Committee, I challenged the Minister of State about bringing the legislation into Scotland, he said—I am not quoting him verbatim—"If we were to leave the law in Scotland as it stands, and introduce these necessary measures to deal with new age travellers and others south of the border, the new age travellers would head north." I do not know how far they would go. Would they look for standing stones, dolmens and so on?

I challenge the Under-Secretary to contradict what I have just said. He and his right hon. and learned Friend at the Home Office foisted the legislation on to what I suspect were reluctant Scottish Office Ministers, as happened in the case of the privatisation of prisons. In the context of the House of Commons and the Westminster Government, Scottish Office Ministers are very much messenger boys.

A large constituency, including not just Scotland but the whole United Kingdom, could be affected by the measures. It is not a middle-class constituency. The people who walk the hills of Scotland, those who fish in Scotland and those who come to enjoy the country's remarkable flora and fauna are from every social stratum. The odd-job lot opposite who, by any measure of parliamentary democracy have no mandate to govern in Scotland, seek to make life difficult.

I shall finish with an example. I know an old fellow in Glasgow. An ex-bricklayer, he is a constituent of my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galloway). He is in his 85th year, so there is no way that he can now go Munro bagging. However, for 60 to 70 years he walked Scotland's hills with his late and lovely wife, Pearl. He asked me, "Why are they doing this?" That remarkable old man said, "We have the common law. People can be accused of breaching the peace if they behave badly. A landowner can bring in an interdict to prevent a group of people from behaving badly on other people's property, so why are the Government doing this?" I told him that it is because Scottish Office Ministers are the puppets of the Home Secretary, who says that, if England must have the legislation, Scotland must also have it. Scottish Office Ministers will come to regret that, because—[Interruption.] I wish that the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) would wrap up. She would not accept an intervention from me. She is always highly emotional because she is a loser.

Mr. Welsh


Dr. Godman

The Minister is making a mistake in presenting the measures. He is an honourable man, who knows in his heart that this is bad legislation. Scotland's own legal system can deal with recalcitrant trespassers, who should be dealt with effectively and efficiently by the police. They can be dealt with by recourse to extant law. The measure applies to England and should be restricted to England.

Mr. Welsh

The hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman), who would not give way to me, said that my hon. Friend the Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) was a loser. The biggest loser tonight will be Scotland because, despite all the fine sentiments that have been expressed, the vote in this United Kingdom Parliament will ultimately go against the wishes of the Scottish people.

The call for unity has been rather pathetic. Those who have spoken against the measure realise full well that, despite their fine words, the vote will force an unwanted measure on Scotland. That is exactly what is going on upstairs in the Committee considering the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill. The clearly expressed wishes of the Scottish people are simply overruled because the in-built English majority is not listening to Scottish opinion.

There is absolute unity about wanting to maintain the present system in Scotland, where our people have free access, as they should have, to country areas. If that goes, it will go because the United Kingdom Parliament cannot take account of the needs of Scotland or the Scottish people. I wish that the Unionists in the Labour party would understand what they are inflicting on our people. All the fine words of protest mean nothing because of the system that they support. That will be seen in the Lobby tonight. When the Minister has finished replying, he will give no concessions. He will force this basically English measure, which is correct for England, on to Scotland.

May I appeal to all those hon. Members who represent an English seat to think seriously? The measure is correct for them but do they understand that, in voting for it tonight, they will force on to Scotland a measure that is not needed or wanted and is against the wishes of the majority? The unity in opposition to the measure will not be reflected because the United Kingdom Parliament cannot meet Scottish needs. Hon. Members will be undoing the Union case by ignoring Scottish opinion yet again. The hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) broadly hinted that fact to the Minister.

Ultimately, another United Kingdom vote will force on Scotland a measure that is unnecessary, unwanted and against the wishes of the people. That is the reality of the Unionism that the Labour party supports.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

This is not an English measure, as the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) suggests. It is a British measure, which applies to Britain as a whole. No Conservative Member is prepared to see Scotland, any more than any other part of the Great Britain, become a refuge or haven for saboteurs. We have one policy for the nation as a whole.

The hon. Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde (Mr. Graham) made a most striking speech. He said that he was asked, "What are you doing here?" He is not the only Member to have been asked that. Brian Walden asked me that question on my first day in the House of Commons and I told him that I had been elected. I can tell the hon. Gentleman—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. Many hon. Members have had their say and have asked many questions of the Minister. The Minister must be given the opportunity to give his answers in reasonable silence.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I can tell the hon. Gentleman that these provisions are not, in any sense, directed against him, against hill roamers, or against anyone of that kind. The clause refers clearly to circumstances where the trespasser "intends to intimidate". The hon. Gentleman has never intimidated anyone with his fishing rod or anything else.

I also make the point that, unless hill walkers, ramblers, Munro baggers, cyclists, anglers, ornithologists and the like intend to intimidate—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I hope that I shall not have to say this again. The Minister must be given a fair hearing. The Chair wishes to hear him and I hope that hon. Members do so also.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Unless these people intend to intimidate, disrupt or obstruct, there will be no question of the clause militating against them. Scotland is not immune to this kind of activity. There have been incidents—although very few—of this kind in the past. Scotland has been fortunate in not having witnessed the scale of problems encountered in parts of England, but there is every reason to take preventive action— [Interruption.]

Mrs. Ewing


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Lady has been in the House for a long time. She should realise that when the Minister is on his feet she should remain in her seat.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Preventive measures should be taken to make certain that the difficulties that have arisen elsewhere in Britain are not allowed to arise in Scotland. This is a British policy and I strongly commend it to the House.

Mr. James Wallace (Orkney and Shetland)

I had not intended to speak, but it was clear that the Minister was not going to take interventions and I think that there are still important points to be made.

Although a member of the Faculty of Advocates and of the Scottish Bar, the Minister quite clearly fails to appreciate that there is a distinctive legal system in Scotland. We may be a United Kingdom, but we are a United Kingdom that contains different legal systems. The Minister has not addressed that point.

In this clause we are grafting on to the Scottish system measures that the Minister has made perfectly clear are not justified in terms of the mischief that the clause is meant to address. The Minister said that very few incidents have occurred in Scotland. He has not told the House where the pressure has come from within Scotland to bring forward such a measure. There have been some suggestions that the measure was forced upon the Scottish Office. There has been no openness whatsoever. Who has asked the Scottish Office to bring forward the measure?

The Minister also failed to answer the important questions raised by the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) about how much the measure will cost the police forces in Scotland.

Mr. Graham

Does the hon. Member also realise that the Minister did not answer the point that I raised: that the measure is a recipe for bad landlords? It will open up a can of worms. It will restrict not just indigenous Scots but tourists and the people who come to this country and spend much-needed income.

Mr. Wallace

The Minister did not answer a number of points. No Scottish Minister served on the Standing Committee that considered the Bill and the reply that we received from the Minister this evening did not do justice to the debate that preceded it.

I understand that, under clauses 58 and 59, arrests can be made only by a constable in uniform. Does that mean that all hunts and grouse shoots or every expedition of ramblers has to be policed? If that is the case, what will be the financial cost to the police forces in Scotland? Will the Scottish Office make resources available to the police forces to allow this measure—which the Government obviously think is so necessary for Scotland—to be implemented properly? An important question about resources has arisen. That question has not been answered, and I hope that we can have an answer before the House is invited to vote on the amendment.

Mr. John Maxton (Glasgow, Cathcart)


Mr. Deputy Speaker

The Question is that the amendment be made. As many as are of that opinion say "Aye", to the contrary, "No". Clear the Lobbies.

Mr. Maxton

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

The House proceeded to a Division:

2 am

Mr. Maxton (seated and covered)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I was on my feet wishing to speak in the debate when you called the Division. I do not consider that to be proper parliamentary procedure at the Report stage of a Bill in which anybody is entitled to speak if he rises to his feet unless a motion to close the debate has been moved. No such motion has been moved and I was on my feet wishing to speak. I want you to stop the Division and allow me to make the points that I was going to make.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The occupant of the Chair must be able to see an hon. Member on his feet, and I did not see anyone on his feet. [Interruption.] Order. I repeat that the occupant of the Chair is supposed to see an hon. Member on his feet and I did not see anyone on his feet. I have called a Division.

Hon. Members


Mr. Deputy Speaker

The Question is that the amendment be made. As many as are of that opinion say "Aye", to the contrary "No". I think the Ayes have it.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 305, in page 110, line 29, leave out '123, 124, 126, 127'.

No. 79, in page 110, line 30, leave out '132' and insert

`132(1)'.—[Mr. Maclean.]

Amendment proposed: No. 80, in page 110, line 32, after 'sections', insert '58, 59'.—[Mr. Maclean.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 246, Noes 108.

Division No. 209] [2.03 am
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Burt, Alistair
Alexander, Richard Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Carrington, Matthew
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Carttiss, Michael
Amess, David Cash, William
Arbuthnot, James Chapman, Sydney
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Churchill, Mr
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Clappison, James
Ashby, David Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Aspinwall, Jack Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Atkins, Robert Coe, Sebastian
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Colvin, Michael
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Congdon, David
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Conwy, Derek
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Coombs, Simon, (Swindon)
Baldry, Tony Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Couchman, James
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Cran, James
Bates, Michael Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Batiste, Spencer Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Bellingham, Henry Davies, David (Boothferry)
Bendall, Vivian Day, Stephen
Beresford, Sir Paul Delvin, Tim
Biffen, Rt Hon John Dickens, Geoffrey
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Booth, Hartley Dover, Den
Boswell, Tim Duncan, Alan
Bowden, Andrew Duncan-Smith, Iain
Bowis, John Dunn, Bob
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Dykes, Hugh
Brandreth, Gyles Eggar, Tim
Brazier, Julian Elleston, Harold
Bright, Graham Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Browning, Mrs. Angela Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Budgen, Nicholas Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Burns, Simon Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Evennett, David Mans, Keith
Faber, David Marland, Paul
Fabricant, Michael Marlow, Tony
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Fishburn, Dudley Mates, Michael
Forman, Nigel Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Merchant, Piers
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) Mills, Iain
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) Moate, Sir Roger
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger Montgomery, Sir Fergus
French, Douglas Moss, Malcolm
Gale, Roger Nelson, Anthony
Gallie, Phil Neubert, Sir Michael
Gardiner, Sir George Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan Nicholls, Patrick
Garnier, Edward Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Gill, Christopher Norris, Steve
Gillan, Cheryl Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Ottaway, Richard
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Page, Richard
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Paice, James
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Patnick, Irvine
Hague, William Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie Pawsey, James
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hampson, Dr Keith Pickles, Eric
Hanley, Jeremy Porter, David (Waveney)
Hannam, Sir John Redwood, Rt Hon John
Harris, David Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Haselhurst, Alan Richards, Rod
Hawkins, Nick Riddick, Graham
Hawksley, Warren Robathan, Andrew
Hayes, Jerry Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Heald, Oliver Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Hendry, Charles Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Hicks, Robert Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L. Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Sackville, Tom
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Shaw, David (Dover)
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A) Shersby, Michael
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk) Sims, Roger
Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W) Soames, Nicholas
Hunter, Andrew Spencer, Sir Derek
Jack, Michael Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Spink, Dr Robert
Jenkin, Bernard Spring, Richard
Jessel, Toby Sproat, Iain
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr) Steen, Anthony
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Stephen, Michael
Key, Robert Stewart, Allan
King, Rt Hon Tom Streeter, Gary
Kirkhope, Timothy Sumberg, David
Knapman, Roger Sweeney, Walter
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Sykes, John
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n) Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Knox, Sir David Temple-Morris, Peter
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Thomason, Roy
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Thomton, Sir Malcolm
Legg, Barry Thurnham, Peter
Leigh, Edward Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Tracey, Richard
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Tredinnick, David
Lidington, David Trend, Michael
Lightbown, David Trotter, Neville
Lloyd, Rt Hon Peter (Fareham) Twinn, Dr Ian
Lord, Michael Viggers, Peter
Luff, Peter Walden, George
MacKay, Andrew Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Maclean, David Waller, Gary
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick Wardle, Charles, (Bexhill)
Madel, Sir David Waterson, Nigel
Maitland, Lady Olga Watts, John
Malone, Gerald Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Ray Wolfson, Mark
Whittingdale, John Wood, Timothy
Widdecombe, Ann Yeo, Tim
Wiggin, Sir Jerry Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David Tellers for the Ayes:
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton) Mr. Andrew Mitchell and
Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'fld) Mr. Michael Brown.
Abbott, Ms Diane Kilfoyle, Peter
Adams, Mrs Irene Lewis, Terry
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Livingstone, Ken
Austin-Walker, John Loyden, Eddie
Barnes, Harry McAllion, John
Benn, Rt Hon Tony McAvoy, Thomas
Bennett, Andrew F. McCartney, Ian
Blair, Tony Macdonald, Calum
Bray, Dr Jeremy McFall, John
Burden, Richard McKelvey, William
Campbell-Savours, D. N. McLeish, Henry
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Maclennan, Robert
Chisholm, Malcolm McMaster, Gordon
Clapham, Michael Madden, Max
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Mahon, Alice
Corbyn, Jeremy Marek, Dr John
Corston, Ms Jean Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE) Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Dalyell, Tam Maxton, John
Darling, Alistair Meale, Alan
Davidson, Ian Michael, Alun
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Dewar, Donald Milburn, Alan
Dixon, Don Miller, Andrew
Donohoe, Brian H. Moonie, Dr Lewis
Dowd, Jim Morley, Elliot
Dunnachie, Jimmy Mowlam, Marjorie
Etherington, Bill Mullin, Chris
Ewing, Mrs Margaret Olner, William
Foster, Rt Hon Derek O'Neil Martin
Foulkes, George Pickthall Colin
Fyfe, Maria Pike, Peter L.
Galbraith, Sam Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Galloway, George Rendel, David
Gerrard, Neil Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Godman, Dr Norman A. Roche, Mrs Barbara
Gordon, Mildred Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Graham, Thomas Ruddock, Joan
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Sedgemore, Brian
Gunnell, John Simpson, Alan
Hanson, David Skinner, Dennis
Heppell, John Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Hinchliffe, David Spearing, Nigel
Hoey, Kate Strang, Dr. Gavin
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld) Turner, Dennis
Home Robertson, John Wallace, James
Hood, Jimmy Watson, Mike
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Welsh, Andrew
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Wilson, Brian
Hutton, John Wise, Audrey
Illsley, Eric Worthington, Tony
Ingram, Adam Wray, Jimmy
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Jackson, Helen (Shefld, H) Tellers for the Noes:
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S 0) Mr. Eric Clarke and
Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn) Mr. Michael Connarty.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Mr. George Robertson (Hamilton)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. At the calling of the vote, a number of points of order were raised and strong emotions were being expressed. I realise the difficulties for the Chair in an atmosphere of high emotion, and the debate, which lasted 91 minutes, was on a subject that is very important, certainly to Scotland. It has to be said that we were not reassured by the fact that, at the end of the debate, a Minister responded in three inadequate minutes. I therefore suggest that the anger felt by my colleagues is quite understandable. Sensible arguments were made and serious and detailed questions were asked, but the Minister completely—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. As an experienced Front Bencher, the hon. Gentleman knows full well that it is for the Minister to decide on his own speech.

Amendments made: No. 306, in page 110, line 32, leave out '125' and insert `to 127'.

No. 81, in page 110, line 32, after '125', insert '132(2), (3) and (6)'.

No. 103, in page 110, line 32, after '125' insert 133, 134'.

No. 104, in page 110, line 33, at end insert

`and sections 133 and 134 also extend to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man'.

No. 82, in page 110, line 42, after '130', insert 132(5)'.

No. 184, in page 110, line 42, after '130', insert 131(2)'.

No. 83, in page 111, line 1, leave out 'Section 44 extends' and insert 'Sections 44, 74(8) to (11), 75(4) to (6), 76(2) and 132(5A) extend'.—[Mr. Maclean.]

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