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Session 1999-2000
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 2nd February 2000

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1City of London (Ward Elections) Bill,—The Order of the day being read for further consideration of the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill.
 
        Ordered, That the Bill be further considered on Wednesday 9th February.
2Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Eriskay Causeway) Order Confirmation Bill,—The House, according to Order, proceeded to consider the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Eriskay Causeway) Order Confirmation Bill.
 
        Bill to be read the third time to-morrow.
3London Local Authorities Bill [Lords],—Mr Tony Baldry reported from the Committee on the London Local Authorities Bill [Lords], That it had examined the allegations contained in the Preamble of the Bill and found the same to be true; and had gone through the Bill and made Amendments thereunto.
 
        Bill to be considered.
4Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Jim Cunningham reported from the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, the draft Census Order 2000.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
5Register of Medical Practitioners (Amendment),—Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Medical Act 1983 with respect to the restoration of names to the register of medical practitioners; and for connected purposes: And that Ms Linda Perham, Mr David Amess, Mr Kevin Barron, Mrs Helen Brinton, Mr Simon Burns, Dr Ian Gibson, Mrs Eileen Gordon, Dr Evan Harris, Mr David Hinchliffe, Mr Simon Hughes, Dr Howard Stoate and Dr Jenny Tonge do prepare and bring it in.
6Register of Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Bill,—Ms Linda Perham accordingly presented a Bill to amend the Medical Act 1983 with respect to the restoration of names to the register of medical practitioners; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 10th March and to be printed [Bill 57].
7Opposition Day [4th allotted day],—It being an allotted day at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), the House proceeded to consider Opposition business.
 
        Asylum and Immigration,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House condemns the Government's failure to deal with the widespread abuse of the right to political asylum and its incompetent management of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate; notes that the number of asylum applications in 1999 exceeded 71,000, more than double the total inherited by the Government when it came to office, and that the backlog of unprocessed asylum applications has doubled over the past two years to a total of more than 100,000; further notes with great concern the Seventh Report of the Committee of Public Accounts (House of Commons Paper No. 130) about the Government's mismanagement of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, and the fears of local authorities about the practical difficulties associated with the asylum seekers dispersal scheme; believes that the Government's 'soft touch' policy has helped bring about the current crisis; and calls upon the Government to take urgent action to reduce the backlog of unprocessed immigration and asylum applications, to put in place new and effective systems of enforcement and to ensure the integrity of the United Kingdom's immigration and asylum controls—(Miss Ann Widdecombe);
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'believes that both the last Government and the present Government have failed to respond properly to the asylum, immigration and nationality demands made of this country; is aware of the widespread discontent with the delays in processing immigration applications and that the number of unprocessed asylum applications has doubled over the previous two years to a total of over 100,000; takes very seriously the Seventh Report of the Committee of Public Accounts (House of Commons Paper No. 130), which criticises the Government's mismanagement of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and the fears of local authorities about the practical difficulties associated with the asylum-seekers dispersal scheme; calls upon the Government, which has now been in office for over a thousand days, to take more effective and urgent action to reduce the backlog of unprocessed applications and to improve the effectiveness of decision-making; believes that the necessary staff should be employed immediately so that good-quality decisions can be made quickly, and that the interests of applicants and taxpayers alike can be met in a system which treats every applicant fairly; and supports the Commission for Racial Equality agreement, signed by all three major party leaders, not to use problems in the immigration and asylum systems in ways which could damage community and race relations' instead thereof.—(Mr Simon Hughes.)
 
        And the Question being put, that the Amendment be made.
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Andrew Stunell, Mr Tom Brake: 38.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Peter Atkinson: 147.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Main Question being put:
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Peter Atkinson: 145.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr David Jamieson, Mr Robert Ainsworth: 362.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        Northern Cities and Southern Green Fields,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House urges the Government to disown the Crow Report and its recommendation of 1.1 million houses to be built in the South-East; condemns the Government's practice of bulldozing homes and walking away from the regeneration of run-down town and city areas; requests an urgent response to the proposals in the Rogers Report for urban renewal; stresses the connections between planning and transport policies; and calls for a change to planning policy to encourage one Britain and urban renewal instead of the divisive policies the Government is pursuing—(Mr Damian Green);
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'welcomes the Government's commitment to create high-quality, desirable, safe places to live without eating up the countryside; supports the Government's policies on protecting the Green Belt and believes the Government's inclusive and strategic approach to planning, housing, transport, countryside protection, welfare and economic policies will achieve more sustainable and equitable patterns of both urban and rural development; recognises that this Government is planning for economic success and that there is an opportunity to use growth to create better and more sustainable communities and improve the quality of life; welcomes the Government's move away from the previous 'predict and provide' approach to housing provision and the introduction of a 'plan, monitor and manage' policy; supports the Government's target of building 60 per cent. of all new housing on previously developed land; and welcomes the Government's determination to ensure that the whole country shares in the benefits of economic recovery', instead thereof.—(Mr Nick Raynsford.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Peter Atkinson: 173.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe, Mr Clive Betts: 321.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):—It was agreed to.
 
        The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House welcomes the Government's commitment to create high-quality, desirable, safe places to live without eating up the countryside; supports the Government's policies on protecting the Green Belt and believes the Government's inclusive and strategic approach to planning, housing, transport, countryside protection, welfare and economic policies will achieve more sustainable and equitable patterns of both urban and rural development; recognises that this Government is planning for economic success and that there is an opportunity to use growth to create better and more sustainable communities and improve the quality of life; welcomes the Government's move away from the previous 'predict and provide' approach to housing provision and the introduction of a 'plan, monitor and manage' policy; supports the Government's target of building 60 per cent. of all new housing on previously developed land; and welcomes the Government's determination to ensure that the whole country shares in the benefits of economic recovery.
8Business of the House,—Ordered, That, at the sitting on Monday 7th February, notwithstanding Standing Order No. 16 (Proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents), the Speaker shall put the Questions on any Motions in the name of Mr Secretary Darling relating to Social Security not later than Ten o'clock.—(Mr David Jamieson.)
9Overseas Development and Co-operation,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft African Development Bank (Further Subscription to Capital Stock) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 10th January, be approved—(Mr David Jamieson):—It was agreed to.
10Overseas Development and Co-operation,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft International Development Association (Twelfth Replenishment) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 10th January, be approved—(Mr David Jamieson):—It was agreed to.
11Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Further Subscription to Capital Stock) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 10th January, be approved—(Mr David Jamieson):—It was agreed to.
12Ecclesiastical Law,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Grants to the Churches Conservation Trust Order 2000, which was laid before this House on 18th January, be approved—(Mr David Jamieson):—It was agreed to.
13Cinemas and Films,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Films (Modification of the Definition of "British Film") Order 2000, which was laid before this House on 18th January, be approved—(Mr David Jamieson):—It was agreed to.
14House of Commons Commission,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That Sir Peter Lloyd be discharged from the House of Commons Commission and Mr Eric Forth be appointed a member of the Commission under the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978—(Mr David Jamieson);
 
        And it being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Motion, the Deputy Speaker put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 16 (proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents).
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Peter Atkinson: 87.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Ms Angela Smith, Mr Bill Rammell: 108.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
15Public Petitions,—Public Petitions—
 
        (1) from Mr Gordon and Mrs Jacqueline Singleton and others calling for a review of the sentence of Paul Stowers for the murder of Liane Singleton; and
 
        (2) from the Suffolk Pensioners' Association calling for the reduction of the TV licence fee for pensioners who will not be eligible for a free licence
 
    were presented and read; and ordered to be printed and to lie upon the Table.
Thursday 3rd February 2000
16Adjournment,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Jim Dowd.)
 
        And the Motion having been made after Ten o'clock on Wednesday evening, and the Debate having continued for half an hour, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order, it being then half-past Twelve o'clock on Thursday morning, till this day.
[Adjourned at 12.30 a.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

Madam Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Eleven o'clock.

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
1British Library,—Accounts of the British Library Board for 1998-99, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 216] [Clerk of the House].
2Museums and Galleries,—Account of the Wallace Collection for 1998-99, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 217] [Clerk of the House].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Utilities Bill:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee A, and has appointed Mr Jimmy Hood and Mrs Marion Roe Chairmen; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated twenty Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Norman Baker, Mr Ian Bruce, Mr Christopher Chope, Mr David Crausby, Mr Christopher Fraser, Mr Nick Gibb, Mrs Linda Gilroy, Dr Kim Howells, Ms Sally Keeble, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mrs Helen Liddell, Mr Chris Mullin, Ms Linda Perham, Mr Greg Pope, Mr Phil Sawford, Mr Andrew Stunell, Mr Neil Turner, Mr Derek Twigg, Mr Bill Tynan and Mr Brian White.
2Medical Treatment (Prevention of Euthanasia) Bill,—The Speaker has appointed Mr Roger Gale Chairman of Standing Committee C in respect of the Bill.
3Transport Bill,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Michael Portillo from Standing Committee E (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Mr Gerald Howarth.
4Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill,—The Speaker has appointed Mrs Irene Adams an additional Chairman of Standing Committee F in respect of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill.
5Local Authorities (Funds) (England) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1999:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the Regulations to the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, and has appointed Mr Barry Jones Chairman; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr Robert Ainsworth, Mr Peter Atkinson, Mr Kevin Barron, Mr Gerald Bermingham, Mr Lawrence Cunliffe, Mr Edward Davey, Mr Keith Hill, Dr Doug Naysmith, Mr Adrian Sanders, Sir Michael Spicer, Mr Peter Temple-Morris, Mr John Townend, Joan Walley, Mr Nigel Waterson, Mr Phil Woolas and Derek Wyatt.
6Draft Foundation Subject (Amendment) (England) Order 2000:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, and has appointed Mrs Irene Adams Chairman; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr Richard Allan, Mr David Atkinson, Mr Tony Benn, Mr Clive Betts, Mr Colin Burgon, Mr Jamie Cann, Mr James Clappison, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Hilton Dawson, Mr Eric Forth, Mr Piara S. Khabra, Mr Terry Lewis, Mr Ian Pearson, Jacqui Smith, Rachel Squire and Mr Phil Willis.
7Draft Data Protection (Subject Access Modification) (Social Work) Order 2000, the draft Data Protection (Subject Access Modification) (Health) Order 2000, the draft Data Protection (Subject Access Modification) (Education) Order 2000, the draft Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000, the draft Data Protection (Miscellaneous Subject Access Exemptions) Order 2000, the draft Data Protection (Designated Codes of Practice) Order 2000 and the draft Data Protection (Crown Appointments) Order 2000:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Orders to the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, and has appointed Mr Nicholas Winterton Chairman; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr David Amess, Sir Sydney Chapman, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Michael Connarty, Mr John Greenway, Mr Mike Hall, Mr Mike Hancock, Ms Fiona Jones, Mr Tony Lloyd, Ms Julie Morgan, Mr Jim Murphy, Mr Mike O'Brien, Mr Stephen Pound, Angela Smith, Mr William Thompson and Mr Alan W. Williams.
8Draft Competition Act 1998 (Land and Vertical Agreements Exclusion) Order 2000, and the draft Competition Act 1998 (Determination of Turnover for Penalties) Order 2000,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Tom Pendry from the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Acts); and nominated in substitution Mr Stephen Twigg.
9Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 3323),—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Stephen Twigg from the Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Regulations); and nominated in substitution Mrs Ann Cryer.
European Standing Committees
10Unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum dated 1 February 2000 submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Ukraine Common Strategy Work Plan has been referred to European Standing Committee B, together with unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 30 November 1999 relating to Common Strategy on Ukraine referred to the Committee on 15 December 1999; and the Speaker has appointed Mr Humfrey Malins Chairman of the Committee in respect of the unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 30 November 1999 relating to Common Strategy on Ukraine.
11European Union Documents Nos. 14320/98, 12838/99, 12839/99 and 12840/99, relating to the 1999 Review of Telecommunications Legislation and Radio Spectrum Policy, have been referred to European Standing Committee C.
12The Speaker has appointed Mr John McWilliam Chairman of European Standing Committee C in respect of European Union Document No. 10948/99: State Aid to the Coal Industry.
APPENDIX III
Select Committees
1Defence,—(1) Second Report from the Defence Committee [Ministry of Defence Annual Reporting Cycle], with the Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 158];
 
        (2) First Special Report from the Committee [Annual Report of the Committee for Session 1998-99]; to be printed [No. 219];
 
        (3) Second Special Report from the Committee [Government Observations on the Sixth Report from the Committee, Session 1998-99, on the Reserves Call Out Order 1999 and progress on Territorial Army Restructuring]; to be printed [No. 220];
 
        (4) Third Special Report from the Committee [Government Observations on the Seventh Report from the Committee, Session 1998-99, on the Strategic Defence Review: Defence Medical Services]; to be printed [No. 221];
 
        (5) Fourth Special Report from the Committee [Government Observations on the Eighth Report from the Committee, Session 1998-99, on its Annual Major Procurement Projects Survey: The Common New Generation Frigate Programme]; to be printed [No. 222];
 
        (6) Fifth Special Report from the Committee [Government Observations on the Ninth Report from the Committee, Session 1998-99, on Defence Research]; to be printed [No. 223];
 
        (7) Sixth Special Report from the Committee [Government Observations on the First Report from the Committee on the OCCAR Convention]; to be printed [No. 224];
 
        [Mr Bruce George.]
2Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry,—
 
        (1) Third Report from the Defence Committee,
 
        (2) Second Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee,
 
        (3) Third Report from the International Development Committee, and
 
        (4) Fourth Report from the Trade and Industry Committee
 
    [Annual Reports for 1997 and 1998 on Strategic Export Controls], with Appendices, together with the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry Committees meeting concurrently pursuant to paragraph (4) of Standing Order No. 152 (Select Committees related to government departments), and Appendices thereto; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings relating to the Report [No. 225] [Mr Bruce George; Mr Donald Anderson; Ann Clwyd; Mr Martin O'Neill].
3Education and Employment,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Employment Sub-Committee of the Education and Employment Committee [Work Permits for Overseas Footballers]; to be printed [No. 218-i] [Mr Derek Foster].
4European Scrutiny,—Seventh Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 23-vii] [Mr Jimmy Hood].
5Public Accounts,—(1) Ninth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [The Government's Resources and Accounts Bill], to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 159];
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [Irregularities in accounting for visa fees at the Deputy High Commission in Calcutta]; to be printed [No. 226-i] [Mr David Davis].
6Science and Technology,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Science and Technology Committee [The Government's Expenditure on Research and Development: Forward Look 1999]; to be printed [No. 196-i] [Dr Michael Clark].
7Social Security,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Social Security Committee [Medical Services]; to be printed [No. 183-iii] [Mr Archy Kirkwood].
Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall
[pursuant to the Order of 24th May 1999]
The House met at half-past Nine o'clock.
1Adjournment,—Resolved, That the Sitting be now adjourned—(Mr Don Touhig);
 
        And accordingly the Sitting was adjourned without Question put, till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 1.57 p.m.
Sir Alan Haselhurst
Deputy Speaker        



 
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