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Session 2002 - 03
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 11th June 2003

The House met at half-past Eleven o'clock.

PRAYERS.

1    Transas Group Bill,-The Order of the day being read, for the Second Reading of the Transas Group Bill;

    Ordered, That the Bill be read a second time on Wednesday 18th June.

2    Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mr Mike Hancock reported from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003.

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.

3    European Standing Committee B,-David Taylor reported from European Standing Committee B the following Resolution:

    That the Committee takes note of European Union Document No. 8475/03, Commission Recommendation on the Broad Guidelines of the Economic Policies of the Member States and the Community (for the 2003-05 period); and supports the Government's welcome for the publication of the Recommendation and the operational context it provides for addressing the key economic policy issues and priorities over the next three years, in line with the European Union's strategic goal agreed at the Lisbon European Council.

    Report, together with Resolution, to lie upon the Table.

4    Children's Commissioner for England Bill,-Mr Paul Burstow presented a Bill to establish a Children's Commissioner for England; to make provision for the Commissioner's duties including monitoring complaints procedures for children, overseeing arrangements for children's advocacy, monitoring legislation to ensure that the needs of children are taken into account, overseeing child death reviews and carrying out inquiries into major child abuse cases and child deaths; and to make provision to ensure that the work of the Commissioner is compatible with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 11th July and to be printed [Bill 121].

5    Village Halls (Grants),-Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision in relation to grants from the Community Fund for village halls: And that Mr David Cameron, Mr Nicholas Soames, Mr Hugo Swire, Gregory Barker, Hugh Robertson, Tony Baldry, Mr Adrian Flook, Mr George Osborne, Mr Paul Goodman, Mr Andrew Turner and Mr Andrew Lansley do prepare and bring it in.

6    Village Halls (Grants) Bill,-Mr David Cameron accordingly presented a Bill to make provision in relation to grants from the Community Fund for village halls: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 11th July and to be printed [Bill 122].

7    Opposition Day [8th 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.

    Referendum on a New European Treaty,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes that any Treaty providing a constitution for the European Union should only be ratified by Parliament once it has received the consent of the British people, democratically given in a referendum-(Mr Michael Ancram);

    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 'notes that previous governments rejected referendums on previous constitutional treaties such as the Single European Act and Maastricht, both of which involved greater change than the draft Treaty proposed by the Convention on the Future of Europe; believes that since the proposals of the Convention do not involve any fundamental change in the relationship between the EU and its Member States, there is no case for a referendum; and notes that any proposals from the Convention are a matter for unanimous agreement by an Inter-Governmental Conference, and then endorsement by the Parliament of the United Kingdom', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Straw.)

    And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Wilshire, Mr Mark Francois: 155.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Jim Murphy, Jim Fitzpatrick: 293.

    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);

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Jim Murphy, Jim Fitzpatrick: 283.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Mark Francois, Mr David Wilshire: 178.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House notes that previous governments rejected referendums on previous constitutional treaties such as the Single European Act and Maastricht, both of which involved greater change than the draft Treaty proposed by the Convention on the Future of Europe; believes that since the proposals of the Convention do not involve any fundamental change in the relationship between the EU and its Member States, there is no case for a referendum; and notes that any proposals from the Convention are a matter for unanimous agreement by an Inter-Governmental Conference, and then endorsement by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

    Post Office Card Accounts,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes that those Post Office customers who wish to continue receiving their benefits, pension payments and tax credits through the Post Office, following the introduction of ACT in April, should be allowed to do so through a post office card account opened at the counter of a post office or sub-post office; further believes that customers should be offered a genuine choice between the options available, including a post office card account; supports the National Federation of SubPostmasters' call that there should be no administrative obstacles to customers opening a post office card account; notes the importance of post office card accounts to the future financial viability of sub-post offices; and calls upon the Government to ensure that there is a level playing field in the marketing, promotion and advertising of the banking options from all Government departments and agencies, including the Department for Work and Pensions, the Inland Revenue and the Veterans Agency-(Mr Oliver Heald);

    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 'recognises that more people than ever are choosing to receive their benefits and pensions straight into accounts and welcomes the significant steps the Government has taken to modernise the payment of benefits and enable customers to choose the account that suits them best; welcomes the introduction of the Post Office Card Account as one important option; further recognises the major benefits the move to Direct Payment will have in cutting fraud and crime and the important role it will play in extending financial inclusion; recognises the importance of this programme, which alongside other initiatives such as Pension Credit, increases opportunities for elderly people; applauds the Post Office and the cross-departmental programme that ensured the new system was delivered on time at the start of April; and believes that the move to Direct Payment is central to the future of a successful modern Post Office', instead thereof.-(Malcolm Wicks.)

    And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    David Maclean rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

    And the Question being put, That the Question be now put:-It was agreed to.

    And the Question being accordingly put;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Mark Francois, Mr David Wilshire: 187.

      Tellers for the Noes, Gillian Merron, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe: 314.

    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);

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Gillian Merron, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe: 307.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr David Wilshire, Mr Mark Francois: 178.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House recognises that more people than ever are choosing to receive their benefits and pensions straight into accounts and welcomes the significant steps the Government has taken to modernise the payment of benefits and enable customers to choose the account that suits them best; welcomes the introduction of the Post Office Card Account as one important option; further recognises the major benefits the move to Direct Payment will have in cutting fraud and crime and the important role it will play in extending financial inclusion; recognises the importance of this programme, which alongside other initiatives such as Pension Credit, increases opportunities for elderly people; applauds the Post Office and the cross-departmental programme that ensured the new system was delivered on time at the start of April; and believes that the move to Direct Payment is central to the future of a successful modern Post Office.

8    Food,-Ordered, That the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 1387) be referred to a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation.-(Dan Norris.)

9    Immigration,-Ordered, That the Immigration and Asylum Appeals (Fast Track Procedure) Rules 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 801) be referred to a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation.-(Dan Norris.)

10    Public Petitions,-Public Petitions from-

    (1) residents of the Martins Wood ward of the town of Stevenage against the sale for development of a play area between Martins Way and Vardon Road,

    (2) residents of the Pudsey constituency and others for restrictions on the sale and use of fireworks, and

    (3) residents of Reading and Woodley against the unrestricted opening of pharmacies able to dispense NHS prescriptions

    were presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

11    Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Dan Norris.)

    And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till Eight o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 8 p.m.

Michael J. Martin
Speaker


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


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:

    1    Contracting Out,-Draft Contracting Out (Functions in relation to the Management of Crown Lands) Order 2003 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

Other Papers:

    2    Culture, Media and Sport,-Department for Culture, Media and Sport Minute, dated 11th June 2003, concerning contingent liabilities relating to the English Heritage exhibition at the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood [by Command] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

    3    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,-Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minute, dated 11th June 2003, concerning indemnity insurance for personal liability of members of the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum [by Command] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

    4    European Communities (No. 5, 2003),-Decision of the Council, meeting in the composition of the Heads of State or Government, done at Brussels on 21st March 2003, on an Amendment to Article 10.2 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 5840] [Mr Secretary Straw].

    5    Miscellaneous (No. 8, 2003),-Agreement, done at Geneva on 9th December 2002, establishing the Agency for International Trade Information and Co-operation as an Intergovernmental Organisation, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 5844] [Mr Secretary Straw].

    6    Miscellaneous (No. 9, 2003),-Agreement, done at New York on 9th September 2002, on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 5839] [Mr Secretary Straw].

    7    National Heritage,-Department for Culture, Media and Sport Minute, dated 11th June 2003, concerning the value of any contingent liabilities arising from undertakings made under the National Heritage Act 1980 and which remain outstanding at the end of the period ending 31st March 2003 [by Act] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

    8    Pensions,-Paper, entitled Simplicity, security and choice: Working and saving for retirement: Action on occupational pensions [by Command] [Cm. 5835] [Mr Secretary Smith].

    9    Public Accounts,-Treasury Minute on the Tenth to the Twelfth and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Reports from the Committee of Public Accounts, Session 2002-03 [by Command] [Cm. 5802] [John Healey].

    10    Public Petitions,-Observations by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the Petition [21st May] from residents of the village of Ward Green in the constituency of Barnsley West and Penistone against the proposed closure of the village Post Office [by Standing Order]; to be printed [Clerk of the House].

    11    Work and Pensions,-Government Reply to the Third Report of the Work and Pensions Committee, Session 2002-03, on The Future of UK Pensions [by Command] [Cm. 5846] [Mr Secretary Smith].

Papers withdrawn:

    12    Insolvency,-Draft Insolvency Act 1986 (Amendment) (Administrative Receivership and Urban Regeneration etc.) Order 2003 [laid 5th June].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    1    Courts Bill [Lords]:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee D; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated eighteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr David Cameron, Yvette Cooper, Ross Cranston, Mr Paul Goodman, Mr Nick Hawkins, Mr David Heath, Stephen Hesford, Huw Irranca-Davies, Mr Boris Johnson, Mr Fraser Kemp, Mr David Kidney, Norman Lamb, Mr Andrew Miller, Laura Moffatt, Gareth Thomas (Clwyd West), Angela Watkinson, Mr Shaun Woodward and David Wright.

    2    Courts Bill [Lords] (Programming Sub-Committee),-The Speaker has appointed Yvette Cooper, Mr Nick Hawkins, Mr David Heath, Huw Irranca-Davies, Mr Fraser Kemp, Laura Moffatt and Angela Watkinson members of the Programming Sub-Committee of Standing Committee D in respect of the Bill.

    3    Section 5 of the European Communities Act 1993 (Government's Assessment as set out in Budget 2003):

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Assessment to the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Adrian Bailey, Sir Paul Beresford, Mr Paul Boateng, Colin Burgon, Mr Michael Jack, Norman Lamb, Mr David Laws, Ian Lucas, Mr Calum MacDonald, Mr Khalid Mahmood, Kali Mountford, Mr Mark Prisk, Helen Southworth, Ms Gisela Stuart, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe and Mr David Wilshire.

    4    Draft Uncertificated Securities (Amendment) (Eligible Debt Securities) Regulations 2003,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Dawn Primarolo from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Regulations); and nominated in substitution John Healey.

    5    Prosecution of Offences (Youth Courts Time Limits) (Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations (S.I., 2003, No. 917):

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Regulations to the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Peter Ainsworth, Mr Graham Allen, Mr Kevin Barron, Mr Keith Bradley, Annette Brooke, Mr Tom Clarke, Mr Michael Jabez Foster, Mr Mark Francois, Mr Barry Gardiner, Paul Goggins, Mr Dominic Grieve, Jane Griffiths, Mr John Heppell, Simon Hughes, Mr Ian Taylor and Paddy Tipping.

    6    Draft Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Stephen Byers and Mr Martin Caton from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Regulations); and nominated in substitution Mr Ross Cranston and Diana Organ.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Broadcasting,-First Report from the Broadcasting Committee [The Rules of Coverage], together with an Appendix; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 786] [Mr David Lepper].

    2    Defence,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Defence Committee [The appointment of the new Chief of the Defence Staff and Lessons of Iraq]; to be printed [Nos. 771-i and 658-iii] [Mr Bruce George].

    3    Draft Corruption Bill,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on the Draft Corruption Bill; to be printed [No. 705-viii] [Mr Richard Shepherd].

    4    Education and Skills,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Education and Skills Committee [Secondary Education: Teacher Retention]; to be printed [No. 714-ii] [Mr Barry Sheerman].

    5    Environmental Audit,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Budget 2003 and Aviation]; to be printed [No. 672-iii] [Mr John Horam].

    6    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee [OFWAT Annual Report]; to be printed [No. 785] [Mr David Curry].

    7    Northern Ireland Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [The Illegal Drugs Trade and Drugs Culture in Northern Ireland]; to be printed [No. 353-vi] [Mr Michael Mates].

    8    Procedure,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Procedure Committee [Procedures for debates, Private Members' Bills, and the powers of the Speaker]; to be printed [No. 333-vii] [Sir Nicholas Winterton].

    9    Transport,-(1) Fourth Report from the Transport Committee [Railways in the North of England]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 782-I]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Aviation]; to be printed [No. 454-ix]

    [Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody].

    10    Welsh Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Welsh Affairs Committee [Draft Audit (Wales) Bill]; to be printed [No. 763-ii] [Mr Martyn Jones].

    11    Work and Pensions,-Paper laid before the Work and Pensions Committee [Government Actuary's Department: Women's Pensions Issues] [Sir Archy Kirkwood].

[W.H., No. 68]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

The sitting commenced at half-past Nine o'clock.

    Adjournment,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That the sitting be now adjourned-(Gillian Merron);

    And the sitting having continued for two and a half hours after Two o'clock, it was adjourned without Question put, till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 4.30 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker

CORRIGENDUM

    In the Votes and Proceedings for Tuesday 10th June, in Appendix III, Item 8 (Ninth Report from the Trade and Industry Committee) should have had printing number 686.



 
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