HC Deb 26 November 2001 vol 375 c729

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Malins

I have a brief question for the Minister and a suggestion. Clause 64 gives the Secretary of State power to require that a specified person be denied access to dangerous substances or to the premises in which they are held, but the Secretary of State will be able to do so only where that is necessary in the interests of national security or public safety.

We think that there is a good argument for the Secretary of State to have power to forbid access to dangerous substances if they are likely to be used overseas—for example, in the United States—as well as in the UK. May I direct the Minister's attention to subsection 64(3) which states: The Secretary of State may not give the directions unless he believes that they are necessary in the interests of national security"? I suggest that the Minister's officials may like to consider with her whether it would be appropriate to broaden the provision slightly, perhaps by adding or the security of any country or territory outside the UK". I can see no practical harm in slightly widening the clause, with which we are otherwise in agreement.

Beverley Hughes

I need to take advice before I can give the hon. Gentleman a definitive answer. I suspect—although I cannot be held to this—that the point may be covered by the definition of terrorism referred to earlier in that part of the Bill. If the hon. Gentleman will allow me to make some inquiries, I shall write to him and clarify the position.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 64 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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