Mr. Deputy Speaker
With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 5, in page 16, line 12, leave out'(a) which the Secretary of State'and insert'which the Secretary of State, having taken legal advice,'.264 No. 6, in page 16, line 13, leave out from 'obligations' to end of line 19.
§ Mr. Ancram
It is perhaps surprising that, with only one day to go of the 11 days we will have spent on the Bill, we have finally reached clause 33. When the Bill was published, the clause caused a certain amount of consternation, and almost immediately became known as the governor-general clause, or the veto clause. In a Bill otherwise designed to produce and deliver devolution for Scotland, the clause suddenly appears to create an enormous potential road block. For that reason, it is useful to be able to debate it tonight.
The rather draconian amendments that I have tabled are intended to carry the debate. They are probing amendments; I do not seek to delete the clause. That said, I hope to press amendment No. 5, as it is useful.
Given the way in which we have dealt with the delegation of powers from this Parliament to the Scottish Parliament, given all the arguments about sovereignty and the practical restraints on it that might exist in the new set-up, and given the powers that are being transferred to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Ministers, it is extraordinary suddenly to come across a clause that appears to place draconian powers in the hands of the Secretary of State. Clause 33(1) states:If a Bill contains provisions—(a) which the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would be incompatible with any international obligations … he may make an order prohibiting the Presiding Officer from submitting the Bill for Royal Assent.If there were a clear contravention of international obligations, the Bill would not proceed. None of us would cavil at that, because that power must be within the Secretary of State's responsibility and purview.
Clause 33(1)(b), however, is rather out of tune with the rest of the Bill. It states that if a Bill contains provisionswhich are within the legislative competence of the Parliament by virtue of subsection (4) — but which the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have an adverse effect on the operation of an enactment as it applies to reserved matters,he may make an order prohibiting the Presiding Officer from submitting the Bill for Royal Assent.That is very different. The Secretary of State, a politician, will have the power to decide whether in his view—he will have to state reasonable grounds, which I should like to pursue further—the legislation will have an adverse effect on the operation of some Act that applies to a reserved matter. He will effectively have the power to kill an Act of the Scottish Parliament stone dead.
That power goes beyond the other powers that the legislation places in the hands of the Secretary of State. I would have understood if the Bill had said that the Secretary of State could, for instance, apply to the courts to decide whether a particular piece of legislation from the Scottish Parliament transgressed the interests of an enactment on reserved matters. The Bill does not say that, however; it says that the Secretary of State himself can make that decision.
The point is worth exploring further. If I read clause 101(6) correctly, the Secretary of State could make an order that would be subject to the negative resolution procedure. There would be parliamentary scrutiny of the order, but it would be by negative resolution, although the 265 effect of the order would be to prevent a piece of legislation from the Scottish Parliament from being submitted for Royal Assent.
Clause 33(2) states:The order must identify the Bill and the provisions in question and state the reasons for making the order.Perhaps, if I probe a little, the Secretary of State will provide some reassurance. The Bill says that the Secretary of State can say, "In my view, this piece of legislation will have an adverse effect on a piece of legislation affecting a reserved matter." If, however, he is required to give reasons, or to show that he has been reasonable, what test will he have to meet? I am not an expert on employment law—under which the question of reasonableness is often raised—but I think, and will be corrected if I am wrong, that the person making the judgment must show that there has been a proper inquiry, and that there is evidence on which to base the judgment. In employment cases, where facts will decide the matter, I can see that reasonableness might easily be shown. My difficulty with the clause is that the judgment will often essentially be a political judgment, not one that can simply be based on facts. How is the Secretary of State to set out his reasons, which may be challengeable or unchallengeable, possibly by judicial review? I do not know the answers, for which I look to the Secretary of State, who is seeking advice even as I speak.
Unless there is some control, we are creating, for a Secretary of State who will have almost no other role left on devolution, a power to bring the actions of the Scottish Parliament to a halt. People may ask why I am worried about that, given my views on devolution and the delegation of powers. It is because the purpose of the Opposition throughout the passage of the Bill has been to try to identify the areas in it that could lead to dramatic confrontation between the Parliament and Government in Edinburgh and the Parliament and Government in London. I can see within this draconian power—were it used in a way that ran counter to the wishes of the Scottish Parliament—the epitome of such a confrontation. What will be the criteria by which the Secretary of State will make the judgment. What will be the restraints on the Secretary of State in making it? In what ways can he be challenged?
§ Mr. Browne
The basis on which this power can be used by the Secretary of State is clearly set out in the words that the right hon. Gentleman himself read to us. Under clause 33(1)(b), the Secretary of State must have "reasonable grounds to believe" that a certain state of affairs exists. There is no suggestion that he merely needs to hold a view; he must have reasonable grounds to believe. He must thereafter set out the reasons why he believes that he has reasonable grounds.
§ Mr. Ancram
The hon. Gentleman is a member of my profession; I should have thought that we should have reasonable grounds to hold a view. There is no identification or definition of what the reasonable grounds are. Such decisions will often be taken on neat little points involving much subjective political judgment. That is when such a provision will lead to confrontation.
§ Mr. Hogg
Is there not a further problem? The requirement is not that the Secretary of State believes 266 something, merely that there are "reasonable grounds to believe" something. It might be more reasonable to impose on the Secretary of State an obligation actually to believe the state of affairs set out in the statute.
§ Mr. Ancram
I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend, who makes my point with even more force. I do not want take up too much time, because other hon. Members wish to speak. I am trying to provide a reasonable and simple solution. The Secretary of State should not be allowed to make such a judgment on his own because of the difficulties that I have identified: he should be required to take advice. In amendment No. 5, I suggest that the Secretary of State should take legal advice before he reaches a judgment—just as it might have been better had an ability to refer the matter to the courts been created.
§ Mr. Wallace
If I recall correctly, on Second Reading I asked the Secretary of State whether any decision under the clause would be judicially reviewable, and he said that it would. Is that not a sufficient safeguard?
§ Mr. Ancram
I am not certain from my experience of judicial review that I necessarily regard it as a safeguard. It is a way of achieving a remedy. The Secretary of State laughs, but if the law is to be the protection, the sensible thing would have been to create a power for the Secretary of State to refer the question to the courts in the first place. In the absence of that power, my suggestion that he should be required to take legal advice so that he is acting on more than his own judgment represents a sensible compromise.
The clause as it stands creates, and places in the hands of the Secretary of State, an enormous power which, if abused—which is my fear—could lead to a massive confrontation between this Parliament and the Scottish Parliament. I am trying to avoid such a confrontation. That is why I tabled the amendments, and I ask my hon. Friends to support them, particularly amendment No. 5.
§ Mr. Dewar
I shall speak reasonably briefly, because I recognise that many other hon. Members want to speak. I want to put a point of view to the House, as that would inform the debate. This is an important debate and I entirely accept that the clause deserves attention. I have no complaint about what the right hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram) has said and it is proper that we should probe this question, using as a basis for our debate the rather sweeping, albeit perfectly legitimate, amendments that he has tabled.
The clause refers to the Secretary of State. I make no complaint, but everyone jumps to the conclusion that that will be the Secretary of State for Scotland. That is not necessarily true; it is any Secretary of State. This is one case where I can say, "Not me, guv." If the decision to proceed to use the machinery was within the remit of the Secretary of State for Social Security, he or she would be the Secretary of State who took the decision and came to the House with the invitation to it to act in the way the clause describes. The matter is subject bound: "Secretary of State" is not a prescriptive description of one member of the Government.
§ Mr. Alasdair Morgan
Taking that comment in conjunction with the right hon. Gentleman's earlier 267 assurance that such decisions, on reasonable grounds, would of course be subject to judicial review, if the Secretary of State was not the Secretary of State for Scotland but another of the Secretaries of State in this Parliament, in which courts would a judicial review take place—the English courts or the Scottish courts?
§ Mr. Dewar
That might be a matter of choice. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] That is not really surprising—what a shriek. As I understand it, those decisions would certainly be justiciable in the Scottish courts, but may I return to that point in a minute if the hon. Gentleman is not satisfied with that answer?
Let me explain what the clause is all about. We have a situation in which there is a division of responsibility as between reserved and devolved powers. If one takes a simplistic view, one might say that the writ of the Scottish Parliament runs in devolved areas and that there will be reserved areas with which the Scottish Parliament cannot meddle and where its writ does not run. That is the general description of the scheme: a division of responsibilities with strength and internal logic. However, the world of politics and of legislation is not as neatly divided as that—there are no exact demarcations or neat barriers that cannot be crossed—so legislation in a devolved area of responsibility will often have implications for reserved areas and reserved functions.
We had to consider whether we stood pat on the fact that, if there was some effect on a reserved matter, it would not be competent for the Scottish Parliament to continue, or whether we should find some way of building in a safeguard, so that a knock-on effect was not an abuse of process or something that would cause problems in a reserved area. Although I understand the right hon. Gentleman's point, the power is not a blocking mechanism. I would rather see it as an enabling mechanism, because if we do not have such a piece of machinery—we can argue about the detail—we will be in great difficulties. The Scottish Parliament might find that its room for action was greatly inhibited because almost any legislation in Scots private law—to which, hon. Members will recall, clause 33(1)(b) refers—would have an impact on reserved powers or reserved responsibilities. Many United Kingdom responsibilities operate, by definition, in Scotland, and would therefore be subject to Scots private law.
I was not prepared to take the rather narrow view that, if there were a reaction, that legislation would probably be called incompetent or would be open to challenge. We therefore sought a balanced way to ensure that the competence of the Parliament—its range of responsibilities—would be exercisable and at the same time would not give rise to abuse.
§ Mr. Dewar
I will give way in a moment, but this point is important.
We have struck an important balance in the clause. The Secretary of State will have recourse to the power, but it will be subject to a number of important safeguards. The first is that he or she must believe that there would be an adverse effect on the operation of an enactment as it applied to reserved matters. Secondly, the 268 reasonableness test is built in. There is also the important safeguard that if the power is to be used, a majority in this House must be in favour, and that would not be given lightly.
§ Mr. Hogg
The Secretary of State has the power to make an order under the clause. It is not absolutely clear that that is an Order in Council subject to resolution in the House. I know that my right hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram) referred to clause 101, but that seems to apply to delegated legislation, and I am not sure that the order-making power to which the Secretary of State is now referring will be subject to the negative resolution procedure. If it will be, where will the negative resolution be made—in the Scottish Parliament or here? If it will be made in the Scottish Parliament, what will happen if the Parliament decides not to approve the order made by the Secretary of State?
§ Mr. Dewar
The order would be made in this House by a Secretary of State. [Interruption.] The right hon. and learned Gentleman has asked a question and is now engaged in gesticulation with his colleagues. That order would be laid in this House and would have to command a majority.
An important safeguard, which was pointed out by the hon. and learned Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace), is that the decision would be open to judicial review. In my view, it would be open to judicial review in the Scottish courts. The courts would have to consider the adverse effects of such an order and apply the reasonableness test. If the Secretary of State were acting unreasonably, clearly the action for judicial review would succeed. I am advised—I can go a little further; because of my days 35 years ago of practising law, I am aware—that the test of reasonableness is not unknown in the law of Scotland. Judicial review is an important safeguard in this case.
§ Sir Teddy Taylor
Let us assume that the Scottish Parliament, for good reasons, after careful debate, decided to pass legislation to make separate arrangements for the trial of those who carried out the Lockerbie bombing, and that the Foreign Secretary took the view that, under clause 33(1)(a), that legislation might be incompatible with an international obligation relating to the United Nations. How would that be resolved? Would we tell the Scottish Parliament that it had no right to determine a legal issue relating to a bombing that took place in Scotland in which people were killed? Would the Foreign Office be able to step in and prevent it from doing so? To avoid conflict, we should say what would happen in such a situation. That is a specific, clear question. Would the Foreign Secretary have the right to step in?
§ Mr. Dewar
That comes under clause 33(1)(a). If what is proposed by the Scottish Parliament—or by any Government Department in the United Kingdom—is a clear breach of Britain's international obligations, the Government would have the right to intervene. The House has constantly recognised those special and important circumstances, and my answer to the hon. Gentleman is yes. However, that would occur only if there was a breach—or there was held to be a breach—of Britain's international obligations. We could not allow any part of the Government machine, including the Scottish 269 Parliament, to defy a binding international obligation if that breach caused great damage to this country or cost the Government of the United Kingdom substantial financial penalties. We are talking about a very unusual event, and the mechanism takes account of a situation that I do not for a moment envisage occurring. However, it is right that provision should be made.
I do not know where the Opposition are coming from on this matter—I do not say that in an unfriendly spirit. I stress that the process of government is a process of negotiation and discussion; it is a matter of bilaterals and discussions at an official level. It is ultimately a case of Minister talking to Minister—whether it be the Scottish Executive talking to a United Kingdom Department or United Kingdom Departments talking to each other. All hon. Members are familiar with that process. Common sense dictates, consensus emerges and agreement is reached 999 times out of 1,000.
Hon. Members must accept that that is the business of politics. I do not know whether the Scottish National party, for example, conducts its affairs on the basis that, if one man says "jump", everyone jumps; or whether sometimes a little discussion and canvassing the merits of a situation lead to a common result. That is certainly what happens in my party; it is what happens in government; and it will certainly happen within the United Kingdom when we have a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh assembly and a United Kingdom Administration. We are nearing the end of a very long process of discussion which I suspect, in almost all cases, will ensure that matters are settled properly.
§ Mr. Dewar
I am sorry, but I want to continue. I said a moment ago that I did not know where the Conservatives were coming from, and perhaps they would care to explain it to me. It seems to me that we have a choice: we can say that, if there is any impact for devolved legislation on a reserved responsibility or enactment, that stops the devolved legislation in its tracks, because it has gone outwith its competence, or some formulation of that kind—in which case, the Government would be open to the charge that we were not meeting the prospectus laid down in the White Paper—or we can say that there must be some proper mechanism that recognises that there will be an impact and provides a remedy, if it is thought that that impact will be adverse, damaging and will go too far. On top of that, we could build in the safeguard of judicial review.
I see this measure not as a blocking mechanism or governor-generalship, but as introducing a sensible element of flexibility that allows expansion and contraction at the edges of the division between the reserved and devolved functions in a way that is ultimately very sensible and makes the system much more workable. It is the old clichéwhich I used in an earlier debate—of whether a glass is half full or half empty. This measure is a means of ensuring that we enable the Scottish Parliament to fulfil its remit. Without a mechanism of this kind, it would be cabin confined and restricted in a way that most people—including certainly all Scottish parties—would consider to be unacceptable.
§ Mr. Wallace
It sometimes seems that we are quibbling about affirmative or negative procedure, but as the 270 Secretary of State thinks that the situation would arise very rarely, and as it would be an important step for a Secretary of State to take, should not the mechanism be affirmative resolution of both Houses, rather than negative resolution?
§ Mr. Dewar
Under clause 101(6), as the right hon. Member for Devizes mentioned—I congratulate him on his energy in pursuing the matter to the end—the negative procedure would be used. If the hon. and learned Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) feels that that would not be a sensible procedure, his hon. Friends can no doubt push that at a later stage.
I believe that that machinery would have to be used only in very exceptional circumstances. I find it almost inconceivable that the negative procedure would not be invoked if the order was as controversial as hon. Members imagine. Subsequently, if there was no satisfaction, the judicial review process could be invoked.
§ Mr. Salmond
The Secretary of State is aware that clause 33, to which the amendments refer, has been dubbed by the Conservative party the "governor general" clause. If that is the Tories' view, most reasonable people would reflect on how much power the clause puts into the hands of the Secretary of State for Scotland or any other Secretary of State. We have already had this evening an illustration of how political considerations can prevail on the better judgment of Secretaries of State.
Earlier, the Secretary of State for Scotland suggested that I papered my bedroom wall with quotations of his statements in this place. I do not paper my bedroom wall with them, but I have them in my speaking notes. The right hon. Gentleman will hear a great deal more of them in the coming weeks and months in Scotland.
In Hansard on 4 June last year, the Secretary of State said:Although the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan is in favour of a multi-option referendum as a general principle, when it comes—if it ever does—to the point where he wishes to implement a specific constitutional scheme, he should put that to the people of Scotland in a single-question referendum to get it endorsed."—[Official Report, 4 June 1997; Vol. 295, c. 433.]On 21 May last year, the Secretary of State said:Even though the hon. Gentleman"—that is a reference to me—and I may have differences of interpretation, I hope that he will accept that I should be the last to challenge the sovereignty of the people or to deny them the right to opt for any solution to the constitutional question which they wished. For example, if they want to go for independence, I see no reason why they should not do so. In fact, if they want to, they should. I should be the first to accept that."—[Official Report, 21 May 1997; Vol. 294, c. 725.]
§ Mr. Salmond
I shall give way to the Secretary of State in a few seconds. I am illustrating how political 271 considerations can prevail on the judgment of a Secretary of State, which is highly pertinent to clause 33 and the amendments that we are debating.
In The Herald in May last year, it was reported that the Secretary of Statemade it clear that there would be no 'glass ceiling' built in. 'The only way in which we could move to independence would be if people voted for independence. That is clearly their right and I would not wish to deny them that right' he said, ruling out any trick in the White Paper.The amendments reflect concerns and considerations about whether a Secretary of State may be moved by political reasons to attempt unduly to restrict the ability of the Scottish Parliament to determine the legislation before it. I submit that we have seen an illustration this evening of how political considerations can prevail to turn a Secretary of State who, last year, put forward a perfect democratic prospectus into a Secretary of State who, this year, dissembled and wriggled when asked clear questions to which he had an affirmative answer last year.
If the Secretary of State goes to the people of Scotland and says that the Government are forming a Scottish Parliament to allow the people of Scotland to determine their own future, and that the Government have signed a Claim of Right which asserts absolutely the sovereignty of the Scottish people, but also says that there must be a safeguard in Westminster so that any Secretary of State can say, "This far and no further—we do not consider this matter pertinent or within the competence of a Scottish Parliament," he will be extremely fortunate to sustain his current position in the opinion polls—never mind the position that the Labour party previously had.
The amendments are highly pertinent because they illustrate the difficulties and vulnerabilities of investing in a single person or persons abilities and powers to restrict a democratic Parliament when the Secretary of State, or any Secretary of State, as has been clearly illustrated this evening, can be panicked or influenced by political events into changing from what was a clear democratic position last year to a somewhat muddied position this evening.
§ Mr. Dalyell
We are in political fairyland. I have worked with nine Secretaries of State for Scotland; all of them had considerable authority as members of the British Cabinet. Some of them, such as Willie Ross, Jack Maclay, who became Viscount Muirshiel, and, I suspect, my right hon. Friend the current Secretary of State, had considerable say in the British Cabinet. The Secretary of State whom we are talking about tonight will be a poor creature after May 1999 whose job will soon evaporate. The Secretary of State for Scotland will have a car, a chauffeur, a salary, he may have a private secretary and he may even have an assistant private secretary, but he will have little else.
Sooner rather than later, the British Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) or whoever it is, will want to deal, in relation to Scotland, with the First Minister of Holyrood in Edinburgh. That is the natural course of events. I see the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) nodding.
My right hon. Friend implicitly and, indeed, my hon. Friend the Minister of State have recognised that because they have decided where the power is. There is no question about it. I state that as a matter of fact. The Secretary of State whom we are discussing will be a 272 Minister of no consequence. I predict that, within months, the Secretary of State will find that he does not have a place in the British Cabinet. He will be moved over, because it is natural that the Prime Minister in London will want to have his discussions with the person in control of the spending Departments. Therefore, tonight's discussion is totally unreal.
During the debates on the Government of Wales Bill, my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelli (Mr. Davies) often referred to the unbundling of the United Kingdom. It will be an unbundled United Kingdom, and the Secretary of State, whom we are discussing tonight, will have about as much power as Silver Stick in Waiting.
§ Mr. Wallace
I agree with what the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) says about the diminishing powers of the Secretary of State for Scotland. It has been the Liberal Democrats' policy that he would become unnecessary, but I am not sure how that relates to clause 33 and amendment No. 1, tabled by the right hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram). I welcome the fact that we have had a debate on that clause because it is an important provision.
When I first read the clause, I thought that it was the "governor general" clause, as it was described earlier, giving huge powers to the Secretary of State to block legislation of the Scottish Parliament. I think that I am right in saying that such a power existed in the 1978 legislation. Under that legislation, any Act of the Scottish Parliament had to obtain the further approval of the Secretary of State for Scotland. We have moved miles from that.
It is important to put that point into context, although it is difficult to find examples of what is involved. My understanding is that this is a safeguard in relation to a provision that allows the Scottish Parliament to go beyond what would be the case if we strictly adhered to reserved and devolved powers. It allows the Scottish Parliament to take a step over the threshold into the territory of reserved powers, where it makes practical common sense to do so. The Secretary of State would intervene only if that step were one too far.
I have tried to think of other examples and, for other reasons, happened to read the House of Commons brief on the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Bill. It refers to correspondence between Lord Clinton-Davis and Lord Fraser of Carmyllie. Lord Clinton-Davis, on behalf of the Government, makes it clear that interest and late payment of commercial debt will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament, albeit that the legislation before the House will also apply to Scotland. The letter to Lord Fraser states:We see no compelling reason why policy responsibility should be retained by Westminster for late payment legislation, particularly since, as noted above, all other aspects of contract law are to be devolved; hence, this area has not been included in Schedule 5 of the Scotland Bill".The Scottish Parliament may amend that Bill, which could have an impact on commercial matters that otherwise would be reserved under head 3 of schedule 5. There would be a lot of sense in that: we would achieve a degree of consistency across a range of interest and late 273 payment of debt issues, rather than subject only some contracts to the Bill because they were clearly in devolved areas. Therefore, the provision is welcome.
§ Mr. Salmond
I am following the hon. and learned Gentleman's argument carefully, but can he explain why clause 33, which authorises the Secretary of State tomake an order prohibiting the Presiding Officer from submitting the Bill for Royal Assent",could be considered to be a permissive clause, as he is arguing?
§ Mr. Wallace
If the hon. Gentleman had followed my argument and tried to understand the issue rather than making political points—although he is perfectly entitled to do so—he would have realised that that provision is related to clause 28, which is the permissive part of the Bill. The Scottish Parliament will be able to step into the area of reserved functions, but if it goes too far, an order would have to be—
§ Mr. Wallace
The hon. Lady asks how far I would let that go, but the question whether an order applied to reserved matters would have an adverse effect on the operation of an enactment is a matter of judgment. An order must be made subject to approval and subject to judicial review. If the opponents of the provision are proposing that the Scottish Parliament should not have power in any respect to go beyond the threshold between reserved and devolved matters, they will inhibit the Scottish Parliament far more than is allowed under the Bill.
§ Mr. Hogg
I shall be brief, although I agree very much with what my right hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram) has said.
I understand the Secretary of State's argument that clause 33(1)(b) is enabling. There is truth in that, for the reasons that the hon. and learned Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) and the right hon. Gentleman have outlined, but if I were a Member of the Scottish Parliament, I should be extremely uneasy about the clause in its entirety. One must analyse why.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Devizes passed quickly over clause 33(1)(a), which relates to international obligations. The Secretary of State would have to intervene where an enactment in the Scottish Parliament contravened an international obligation—I understand that—but let us be clear that what is involved is judicial interpretation of whether an enactment in the Scottish Parliament would or would not contravene an international obligation.
The Bill will give the Secretary of State or his successor—
§ Mr. Hogg
The Secretary of State—it might well be the Foreign Secretary—will be given a right to intervene if he 274has reasonable grounds to believe".That is not satisfactory, because the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will not be accountable to the Scottish Parliament; indeed, he is not accountable to this House for the exercise of his power.
I take the Secretary of State to clause 101(6), which is the order-making power. I have grave doubts about whether the order in clause 33 is covered by clause 101(6). The order-making power under clause 101(6) relates to a statutory instrument containing subordinate legislation. The power of the Secretary of State under clause 33 by order to prohibit an enactment is by no stretch of the imagination subordinate legislation.
The order power conferred by clause 33 is not subject to parliamentary scrutiny, because under clause 101(6), parliamentary scrutiny is confined to delegated legislation. The Secretary of State should think back to new clause 19, which made specific reference to an Order in Council. An Order in Council is different from an order such as we are now contemplating.
§ Mr. Dewar
The objection that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is making is not valid, but I take it seriously as it comes from him. The intention is that the order should be covered by clause 33, hence the reference to that clause in clause 101(6), but we shall consider this point if it is troubling the right hon. and learned Gentleman.
§ Mr. Hogg
I am grateful to the Secretary of State for his generous response. I see the reference to clause 33, but I also see the reference to a statutory instrument containing subordinate legislation. The order power under clause 33 does not include subordinate legislation: it is merely a prohibiting power, which is different in kind.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Devizes is right to emphasise that the power under clause 33(1)(a) or (b) is not subject to any obvious control. If we leave aside the question whether it is a negative resolution, the only other remedy is judicial review. It is not clear which court will have jurisdiction: perhaps the Secretary of State will intervene on that point. He will know that it is not the business of a court on judicial review to consider the merits of the order, but merely to determine whether it is intra vires or whether the Secretary of State is acting unreasonably, which is really the same point.
§ Mr. Dewar
The right hon. and learned Gentleman is making important points. The judicial review would be taken in the Court of Session in Scotland. It would be a challenge from Scotland and would be dealt with by the Scottish courts.
There is an important distinction between the governor generalship powers, as they are sometimes called, under the 1978 legislation and the powers in the Bill. Under the 1978 legislation, the Secretary of State could have intervened on the basis that he did not like the policy that was being followed by the Scottish Parliament. The Bill provides an important qualification. It is no good the Secretary of State pleading that he does not like the policy: it must have an adverse impact on reserved powers. That is a sharp distinction.
§ Mr. Hogg
That is a good debating point, but it does not go as far as the Secretary of State thinks it does. Under 275 the Bill, the Secretary of State would merely have to show that he or she had reasonable grounds to believe that the policy would have an adverse effect. I have never encountered the phrase "adverse effect" in legislation. There is no qualitative assessment of how serious the adverse effect should be. It could be very slight to trigger the power.
§ Mr. Salmond
Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that the permissive aspect lies in clause 28? Clause 33, which empowers the Secretary of State to intervene, cannot be considered a permissive clause.
§ Mr. Hogg
I think that the Secretary of State has a good point. He is arguing that a total prohibition on the Scottish Parliament to deal with issues that touch on—I use a loose phrase—reserved matters would be a total barrier. He is enabling the Scottish Parliament to pronounce on reserved matters subject to the right of the Secretary of State to intervene if he thinks fit and to other controls. To that extent he is right to say that it is an enabling power. However, he goes further than he should. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin)
Order. There are many conversations in the Chamber. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is dealing with a complicated matter and he should be heard. Anyone who wants to engage in conversation should leave the Chamber.
§ Mr. Salmond
Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that if one accepts the basic structure of the legislation, with its reserved and devolved powers, without clause 33 there would be no clause 28? In that sense, it is permissive. Will he comment on the fact that we are debating the adverse effect of an operation on an enactment and not a power?
§ Mr. Grieve
Will my right hon. and learned Friend comment on the juxtaposition of clauses 32 and 33? We have been dealing with clause 33, but clause 32 provides specific instances for reference to the Judicial Committee when there is likely to be conflict over competence. Why have clause 33, unless it is to enable action beyond that? I do not understand that.
§ Mr. Hogg
I think that the Secretary of State wants to go beyond that for the reasons that he has outlined and for which I have some sympathy. My hon. Friend's point is sound because clause 33(1)(a) deals with international obligations that may contravene an enactment of the Scottish Parliament, and such matters could be put to 276 the Judicial Committee. If they were, that would provide some safeguards in the interests of the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan.
§ Mr. Salmond
We are debating an amendment that would delete clause 33. Was that amendment moved to enhance or diminish the powers of the Scottish Parliament?
§ Mr. Hogg
My right hon. Friend the Member for Devizes moved the amendment so that the House could have a clear view of the extent of the powers that are to be conferred on the Secretary of State. There is a respectable case for clause 33(1)(a), but I question whether 33(1)(b) is quite in that category. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Conversations are breaking out again. Perhaps the right hon. and learned Gentleman is speaking in some sort of upper-class, barrister gabble that no one can follow.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
The right hon. and learned Gentleman is in perfectly good order. I can understand him.
§ Mr. Hogg
We have known each other a long time and we have become very familiar, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The point that I am making to the House, although not, I think, to the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sheerman), is that such powers should be subject to effective constraint. The objection to the clause is that they are not subject to any obvious constraints. That is why I am against the clause.
§ Sir Teddy Taylor
I have just a few minutes, but I hope that hon. Members will think carefully about a matter on which I feel strongly—that clause 33 is the basis for a Parliament which, I am afraid, will be a rather pathetic Parliament. It will lead to frustration and will be a source of conflict with the United Kingdom Parliament. I shall give an example.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. I cannot allow the hon. Gentleman to go wide of the amendment. We are debating the powers of the Secretary of State, not the Scottish Parliament. The hon. Gentleman has had other opportunities to speak about that.
§ Sir Teddy Taylor
I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I was coming on to that in my second sentence. The Secretary of State is taking the power—the complete power—basically to overrule laws passed by the Scottish Parliament.
Imagine just one or two examples of what that will mean. I mention one particular one: the Lockerbie bombing, which has haunted many Members of Parliament and others for a long time. If the Scottish Parliament took the view, because this explosion happened in Scotland and because it felt that the people who had lost their relatives and friends in the bombing deserved to find out the answer, that a special Scottish law should be passed on how the case should be tried—and perhaps even on which procedures should be used—and if the Secretary of State, because of advice from the Foreign Office, said, "That Bill is dead," how would the 277 people of Scotland feel? I have spent most of my life in Scotland. I know that nothing would make them feel more sick or miserable than if the English Parliament—as they would call it, although it is a UK Parliament—overturned the views of the people of Scotland on that matter.
Let us think of another issue on which I know people in Scotland feel strongly, and on which I feel passionately and have a recorded interest. Let us assume that the Scottish Parliament takes a strong opinion on opencast coal.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. Again, the hon. Gentleman must remember that this is a limited debate. I will not allow him to go on to discussions about the Scottish Parliament. With this amendment, we are talking about the powers of the Secretary of State.
§ Sir Teddy Taylor
I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
If the Scottish Parliament were to do that, the Secretary of State could step in and say, "That law is dead. That law is finished." Hon. Members should appreciate that, under clause 33, we are basically giving the Secretary of State an unrestricted power simply to walk in and to tell the Scottish Parliament that what it is doing is wrong—because, in his opinion, it conflicts with some international obligation or with some other aspect of Government policy for the UK or for Scotland.
There is no doubt at all that the wording used causes concern.
§ Sir Teddy Taylor
I am sorry, but the Secretary of State can promote an order, which is put before the House of Commons. That order—it is laid down specifically—can be discussed and Parliament, of course, will decide.
In this clause, there is the basis for the break-up of Britain. Unless some restriction is placed and unless we have a clear demarcation of the lines of responsibility, whereby the Secretary of State's power is limited or controlled, we are not improving democracy, but paving the way for Britain's break-up.
§ Mr. Dewar
Let us take the hon. Gentleman's opencast coal example, because it is interesting. There is no question of the Secretary of State in the UK Government saying, "You cannot pass a law that is properly within the devolved powers, because we do not like it." He could say, of course, that opencast coal was a reserved matter for the Department of Trade and Industry. Without the mechanism I have described, which is in the Bill, the Scottish Parliament might not be able to pass a planning law that had an impact on opencast coal, which is reserved. Therefore, we have to have the enabling flexibility that this mechanism gives.
§ Sir Teddy Taylor
That is exactly the point that I am making. I hope that the Secretary of State will think about it because he will have to deal with it. The Bill clearly says that opencast coal is a reserved matter, but there are exceptions to this. Those exceptions could produce 278 Scottish law. Having warned him what would happen to the SNP once this came through, I hope that he will think carefully. What if the Scottish Parliament does pass a law and sends it to him, or he is notified of it? What if it is clearly and specifically on planning aspects and, in his opinion, conflicts with Government national policy? There will a row. There will be problems. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate and remember what I have said, because we have had sparrings over many years.
The Scottish Parliament—the Secretary of State will be the recipient of this—will probably pass a law every six months which, unfortunately, under this clause the Government will have to overturn. Just imagine the consequences if that happens. Having come from Scotland, and knowing the strength of the views of the Scottish people, I am afraid that it will cause great anger and distress. Inevitably, it will lead to break-up, and not to better government.
The Secretary of State may shake his head and think that I am wrong about that, but we should talk about the matter again in two or three years.
§ Mr. Grieve
I should like briefly to pick up on the points that have been made on clause 33. The Secretary of State asked where Conservative Members were coming from. We are trying to improve clause 33. Will the right hon. Gentleman re-examine the clause, which will be considered in the other place? It is odd that there is no mechanism of reference to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council when there is a dispute, and when the Scottish Parliament and Government wish to dispute the competence of the Secretary of State. Such a mechanism would solve many of the problems in clause 33.
§ Mr. Dewar
Does the hon. Gentleman accept that there are two distinct issues: vires, and a mechanism to deal with knock-on effects on reserved matters, to allow the flexibility that I have mentioned? Those two different issues should not be confused. I am a little surprised that the hon. Gentleman is confusing them.
§ 11 pm
§ Mr. Ancram
We have had a useful debate on a very important clause. However, we have not clarified the issue—if anything, we have rather muddied the waters, which is a matter for concern. My own view is that the clause still places in the hands of the Secretary of State a draconian power which is inconsistent with the desire of all hon. Members to ensure that the legislation works in a manner that will not cause future conflict between England and Scotland.
If the Secretary of State is right and the clause is enabling, I am worried, because I can foresee a Scottish Parliament testing the line ever further, to discover how far across the line it can move before it is thought to be acting adversely in reserved matters. I am even more worried by the fact that—as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) said—it will be not the Secretary of State who will be dealing with those issues, knowing what they are about, but any Secretary of State in the Westminster Government. Clause 33 would cause only conflict between Edinburgh and London, and we have to prevent that from happening.
279 Amendment No. 1 was essentially a probing amendment, and I should like to ask leave to withdraw it. However, I should like to press amendment No. 5, which is a useful answer to the specific conundrum with which we have been dealing.
I therefore beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment proposed: No. 5, in page 16, line 12, leave out'(a) which the Secretary of State'and insert'which the Secretary of State, having taken legal advice,'.—[Mr. Ancram.]Question put, That the amendment be made: —
§ The House divided: Ayes 132, Noes 296.282
|Division No. 273]||[11.2 pm|
|Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)||Green, Damian|
|Amess, David||Greenway, John|
|Ancram, Rt Hon Michael||Grieve, Dominic|
|Arbuthnot, James||Gummer, Rt Hon John|
|Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)||Hague, Rt Hon William|
|Baldry, Tony||Hammond, Philip|
|Bercow, John||Hawkins, Nick|
|Beresford, Sir Paul||Hayes, John|
|Blunt, Crispin||Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David|
|Body, Sir Richard||Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Boswell, Tim||Horam, John|
|Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)||Howard, Rt Hon Michael|
|Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia||Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)|
|Brady, Graham||Hunter, Andrew|
|Brazier, Julian||Jack, Rt Hon Michael|
|Brooke, Rt Hon Peter||Jenkin, Bernard|
|Browning, Mrs Angela||Johnson Smith, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey|
|Bruce,Ian (S Dorset)|
|Burns, Simon||King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Butterfill, John||Kirkbride, Miss Julie|
|Cash, William||Laing, Mrs Eleanor|
|Chope, Christopher||Lait, Mrs Jacqui|
|Clappison, James||Leigh, Edward|
|Clark, Rt Hon Alan (Kensington)||Letwin, Oliver|
|Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)|
|Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey||Lilley, Rt Hon Peter|
|Collins, Tim||Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)|
|Cormack, Sir Patrick||Loughton, Tim|
|Cran, James||Luff, Peter|
|Curry, Rt Hon David||Maclean, Rt Hon David|
|Davies, Quentin (Grantham)||McLoughlin, Patrick|
|Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)||Madel, Sir David|
|Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen||Malins, Humfrey|
|Duncan, Alan||Maples, John|
|Duncan Smith, Iain||Mates, Michael|
|Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian|
|Faber, David||May, Mrs Theresa|
|Fallon, Michael||Moss, Malcolm|
|Flight, Howard||Nicholls, Patrick|
|Forth, Rt Hon Eric||Norman, Archie|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman||Ottaway, Richard|
|Fox, Dr Liam||Page, Richard|
|Fraser, Christopher||Paice, James|
|Gale, Roger||Paterson, Owen|
|Garnier, Edward||Pickles, Eric|
|Gibb, Nick||Prior, David|
|Gillan, Mrs Cheryl||Randall, John|
|Gorman, Mrs Teresa||Redwood, Rt Hon John|
|Robathan, Andrew||Trend, Michael|
|Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)||Tyrie, Andrew|
|Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)||Viggers, Peter|
|Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)||Wardle, Charles|
|Ruffley, David||Waterson, Nigel|
|St Aubyn, Nick||Wells, Bowen|
|Sayeed, Jonathan||Whitney, Sir Raymond|
|Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)||Whittingdale, John|
|Spicer, Sir Michael||Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann|
|Spring, Richard||Wilkinson, John|
|Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John||Willetts, David|
|Steen, Anthony||Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)|
|Streeter, Gary||Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)|
|Swayne, Desmond||Woodward, Shaun|
|Syms, Robert||Yeo, Tim|
|Tapsell, Sir Peter||Young, Rt Hon Sir George|
|Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)|
|Taylor, John M (Solihull)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Taylor, Sir Teddy||Mr. Stephen Day and|
|Tredinnick, David||Mr. Oliver Heald.|
|Ainger, Nick||Colman, Tony|
|Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)||Corbyn, Jeremy|
|Alexander, Douglas||Corston, Ms Jean|
|Allan, Richard||Cotter, Brian|
|Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)||Crausby, David|
|Armstrong, Ms Hilary||Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)|
|Atherton, Ms Candy||Cryer, John (Hornchurch)|
|Atkins, Charlotte||Cummings, John|
|Barnes, Harry||Cunliffe, Lawrence|
|Barron, Kevin||Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)|
|Beard, Nigel||Dalyell, Tam|
|Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret||Darvill, Keith|
|Begg, Miss Anne||Davey, Edward (Kingston)|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)|
|Bennett, Andrew F||Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)|
|Benton, Joe||Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)|
|Best, Harold||Dean, Mrs Janet|
|Betts, Clive||Dewar, Rt Hon Donald|
|Blears, Ms Hazel||Dismore, Andrew|
|Blizzard, Bob||Dobbin, Jim|
|Boateng, Paul||Dobson, Rt Hon Frank|
|Borrow, David||Doran, Frank Bradley, Keith (Withington)||Drew, David|
|Bradshaw, Ben||Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth|
|Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)||Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)|
|Browne, Desmond||Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)|
|Buck, Ms Karen||Ellman, Mrs Louise|
|Burden, Richard||Ennis, Jeff|
|Burgon, Colin||Etherington, Bill|
|Burstow, Paul||Fatchett, Derek|
|Butler, Mrs Christine||Fearn, Ronnie|
|Byers, Stephen||Fisher, Mark|
|Caborn, Richard||Fitzpatrick, Jim|
|Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)||Fitzsimons, Lorna|
|Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)||Flint, Caroline|
|Campbell, Menzies (NE Fife)||Flynn, Paul|
|Campbell-Savours, Dale||Follett, Barbara|
|Canavan, Dennis||Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)|
|Caplin, Ivor||Foster, Michael J (Worcester)|
|Casale, Roger||Galbraith, Sam|
|Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)||Galloway, George|
|Chaytor, David||Gapes, Mike|
|Chisholm, Malcolm||Gardiner, Barry|
|Clapham, Michael||George, Andrew (St Ives)|
|Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)||George, Bruce (Walsall S)|
|Clark, Paul (Gillingham)||Gerrard, Neil|
|Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)||Gibson, Dr Ian|
|Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)||Gilroy, Mrs Linda|
|Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)||Godman, Dr Norman A|
|Clelland, David||Godsiff, Roger|
|Clwyd, Ann||Goggins, Paul|
|Coffey, Ms Ann||Golding, Mrs Llin|
|Cohen, Harry||Gordon, Mrs Eileen|
|Coleman, Iain||Gorrie, Donald|
|Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)||McWilliam, John|
|Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)||Mahon, Mrs Alice|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||Mallaber, Judy|
|Grocott, Bruce||Mandelson, Peter|
|Grogan, John||Marshall, David (Shettleston)|
|Hain, Peter||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)||Martlew, Eric|
|Hall, Patrick (Bedford)||Meale, Alan|
|Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)||Michael, Alun|
|Hanson, David||Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)|
|Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet||Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)|
|Heal, Mrs Sylvia||Milburn, Alan|
|Healey, John||Miller, Andrew|
|Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)||Moffatt, Laura|
|Hepburn, Stephen||Moonie, Dr Lewis|
|Heppell, John||Moran, Ms Margaret|
|Hesford, Stephen||Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)|
|Hewitt, Ms Patricia||Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)|
|Hill, Keith||Mudie, George|
|Hodge, Ms Margaret||Mullin, Chris|
|Hoey, Kate||Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)|
|Hood, Jimmy||Oaten, Mark|
|Hoon, Geoffrey||O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)|
|Hope, Phil||Olner, Bill|
|Hopkins, Kelvin||Organ, Mrs Diana|
|Howarth, Alan (Newport E)||Palmer, Dr Nick|
|Howarth, George (Knowsley N)||Pearson, Ian|
|Hoyle, Lindsay||Pendry, Tom|
|Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)||Perham, Ms Linda|
|Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)||Pickthall, Colin|
|Hurst, Alan||Pike, Peter L|
|Hutton, John||Pollard, Kerry|
|Iddon, Dr Brian||Pope, Greg|
|Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)||Pound, Stephen|
|Jamieson, David||Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)|
|Jenkins, Brian||Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)|
|Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)||Prescott, Rt Hon John|
|Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)||Primarolo, Dawn|
|Jones, Ms Jenny (Wolverh'ton SW)||Prosser, Gwyn|
|Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)||Quin, Ms Joyce|
|Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)||Quinn, Lawrie|
|Keeble, Ms Sally||Radice, Giles|
|Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)||Rammell, Bill|
|Kennedy, Charles (Ross Skye)||Rapson, Syd|
|Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)||Raynsford, Nick|
|Khabra, Piara S||Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)|
|Kidney, David||Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)|
|Kilfoyle, Peter||Rendel, David|
|King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)||Robertson, Rt Hon George (Hamilton S)|
|King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)|
|Kingham, Ms Tess||Roche, Mrs Barbara|
|Ladyman, Dr Stephen||Rooney, Terry|
|Laxton, Bob||Rowlands, Ted|
|Leslie, Christopher||Ruane, Chris|
|Levitt, Tom||Ruddock, Ms Joan|
|Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)||Russell, Bob (Colchester)|
|Lewis, Terry (Worsley)||Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)|
|Linton, Martin||Ryan, Ms Joan|
|Livingstone, Ken||Sawford, Phil|
|Livsey, Richard||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Lock, David||Shaw, Jonathan|
|Love, Andrew||Sheerman, Barry|
|McAvoy, Thomas||Singh, Marsha|
|McCabe, Steve||Skinner, Dennis|
|McCafferty, Ms Chris||Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)|
|McDonagh, Siobhain||Smith, Angela (Basildon)|
|McDonnell, John||Smith, John (Glamorgan)|
|McFall, John||Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)|
|McGuire, Mrs Anne||Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)|
|McIsaac, Shona||Snape, Peter|
|Mackinlay, Andrew||Soley, Clive|
|McNamara, Kevin||Southworth, Ms Helen|
|MacShane, Denis||Spellar, John|
|Mactaggart, Fiona||Starkey, Dr Phyllis|
|McWalter, Tony||Stevenson, George|
|Stewart, David (Inverness E)||Ward, Ms Claire|
|Stewart, Ian (Eccles)||Wareing, Robert N|
|Stinchcombe, Paul||Watts, David|
|Stringer, Graham||White, Brian|
|Stuart, Ms Gisela||Whitehead, Dr Alan|
|Stunell, Andrew||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Sutcliffe, Gerry||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Taylor, David (NW Leics)|
|Taylor, Matthew (Truro)||Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)|
|Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)||Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)|
|Timms, Stephen||Willis, Phil|
|Tipping, Paddy||Winnick, David|
|Todd, Mark||Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)|
|Touhig, Don||Wood, Mike|
|Truswell, Paul||Woolas, Phil|
|Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)||Wray, James|
|Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)||Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)|
|Twigg, Derek (Halton)||Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)|
|Vaz, Keith||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Wallace, James||Janet Anderson and|
|Walley, Ms Joan||Mr. Jim Dowd.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
More than six and a half hours having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on the Bill, further consideration of the Bill stood adjourned, pursuant to the Resolution this day. Bill, as amended (in the Committee), to be further considered tomorrow.