The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
1 Fire and Rescue Services Bill,-Mr Secretary Prescott, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Secretary Blunkett, Mr Secretary Darling, Mr Secretary Reid, Mr Secretary Hoon, Ms Secretary Hewitt, Mr Peter Hain, Mr Nick Raynsford and Phil Hope, presented a Bill to make provision about fire and rescue authorities and their functions; to make provision about employment by, and powers of employees of, fire and rescue authorities; to make provision about education and training and pension schemes; to make provision about the supply of water; to make provision about false alarms of fire; to provide for the funding of advisory bodies; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow and to be printed [Bill 38].
Ordered, That the Explanatory Notes relating to the Fire and Rescue Services Bill be printed [Bill 38-EN].
2 Criminal Justice (Justifiable Conduct) Bill,-Mr Roger Gale, supported by Mr Eric Forth, Mr Peter Atkinson, Mr Richard Bacon, Mr Julian Brazier, Derek Conway, Mr Gerald Howarth, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Richard Ottaway, Mr Andrew Turner, Ann Winterton and Sir Nicholas Winterton, presented a Bill to amend the law of England and Wales by making provision for exempting from civil and criminal liability in specified circumstances persons acting in defence of persons or property: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 30th April and to be printed [Bill 36].
3 Civil Service Bill,-Mr Oliver Heald, supported by Mr Michael Howard, David Davis, Mr Alan Duncan, Mr Nicholas Soames and David Maclean, presented a Bill to make provision with regard to the Civil Service; to establish a Civil Service Commission; to make provision for and in connection with the removal of general restrictions as to nationality which apply to persons employed or holding office in any civil capacity under the Crown; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 30th January and to be printed [Bill 37].
4 Housing Bill,-The Order of the day being read, for the Second Reading of the Housing Bill;
And a Motion being made, and the Question being proposed, That the Bill be now read a second time;
An Amendment was proposed to the Question, to leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question and add the words 'this House declines to give a Second Reading to a bill which introduces burdensome, ineffective and bureaucratic information packs; fails to provide a sufficiently clear licensing regime; weakens tenants' right to buy; is unclear on the rules and standards that regulate private sector access to Housing Corporation funds; and, overall, acts as a disincentive to offering property for letting in the UK's weak private rented sector', instead thereof.-(Mr David Curry.)
And the Question being put, That the Amendment be made;
Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Mark Francois, Hugh Robertson: 139.
Tellers for the Noes, Mr Jim Murphy, Gillian Merron: 375.
So the Question was negatived.
And the Main Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 62 (Amendment on second or third reading);
Tellers for the Ayes, Gillian Merron, Mr Jim Murphy: 334.
Tellers for the Noes, Hugh Robertson, Mr Mark Francois: 178.
So the Question was agreed to.
The Bill was accordingly read a second time.
5 Housing Bill (Programme),-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Orders [28th June 2001 and 6th November 2003 (Programming of Bills)], That the following provisions shall apply to the Housing Bill:
1. The Bill shall be committed to a Standing Committee.
Proceedings in Standing Committee
2. Proceedings in the Standing Committee shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion on Tuesday 24th February 2004.
3. The Standing Committee shall have leave to sit twice on the first day on which it meets.
Consideration and Third Reading
4. Proceedings on consideration shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour before the moment of interruption on the day on which those proceedings are commenced.
5. Proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption on that day.
6. Sessional Order B (programming committees) made on 28th June 2001 shall not apply to proceedings on consideration and Third Reading.
7. Any other proceedings on the Bill (including any proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments or on any further Message from the Lords) may be programmed-(Joan Ryan):-It was agreed to.
6 Housing Bill [Money],-Her Majesty's Recommendation having been signified to the proposed Motion relating to Housing Bill [Money];
A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 52 (Money and ways and means resolutions in connection with bills), That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Housing Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament of-
(1) any expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State by virtue of the Act, and
(2) any increase attributable to the Act in the sums payable out of money so provided under any other enactment-(Joan Ryan):-It was agreed to.
7 Environmental Protection,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Solvent Emissions (England and Wales) Regulations 2004, which were laid before this House on 11th December, be approved-(Joan Ryan):-It was agreed to.
8 Adjournment,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House do now adjourn-(Joan Ryan);
And the Motion having been made after Ten o'clock, 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 Eleven o'clock, till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 11.00 p.m.
Michael J. Martin
Mr Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Eleven o'clock.
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 9th January 2003 pursuant to Standing Order No. 158 (Presentation of command papers):
1 Treaty Series (No. 2, 2004),-Agreement, done at Belgrade on 6th November 2002, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Federal Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on Co-operation in the Fields of Education, Science, Culture and Sport [Cm. 6101] [Mr Secretary Straw].
Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 5th January 2003 pursuant to Standing Order No. 159 (Presentation of statutory instruments):
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
2 Companies,-Companies Act 1985 (Accounts of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Audit Exemption) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 16), dated 9th January 2004 [Ms Secretary Hewitt].
3 Medicines,-(1) Medicines (Pharmacy and General Sale-Exemption) Amendment Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 1), and
(2) Prescription Only Medicines (Human Use) Amendment Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2),
dated 6th January 2004 [Mr Secretary Reid].
4 Police,-(1) Police (Recruitment) (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.R.(N.I.), 2004, No. 1), dated 6th January 2004,
(2) Police Reserve Trainee Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 (S.R.(N.I.), 2004, No. 2), dated 7th January 2004, and
(3) Police Service of Northern Ireland Reserve (Part-Time) Regulations 2004 (S.R.(N.I.), 2004, No. 3), dated 7th January 2004
5 Prison and Young Offenders Centres,-Prison and Young Offenders Centre (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2004 (S.R.(N.I.), 2004, No. 4), dated 7th January 2004 [Mr Secretary Murphy].
6 Road Traffic,-Road Traffic (Permitted Parking Area and Special Parking Area) (County of Bedfordshire) (Districts of Mid-Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 13), dated 7th January 2004 [Mr Secretary Darling].
7 Sea Fisheries,-Scallop Fishing Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 12), dated 8th January 2004 [Secretary Margaret Beckett].
Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Monday 12th January 2003:
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
8 Northern Ireland,-Draft Betting and Gaming (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Murphy].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
9 Immigration,-Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules [by Act]; to be printed [No. 176] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
10 Insolvency,-(1) Insolvency (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2003 (S.R. (N.I.) 2003, No. 549) and
(2) Insolvent Partnerships (Amendment No. 3) Order (Northern Ireland) 2003 (S.R. (N.I.), 2003, No. 550)
dated 18th December 2003 [by Statutory Instrument] [Mr Christopher Leslie].
11 Northern Ireland,-Criminal Justice (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 3194), dated 10th December 2003 [by Act] [Mr Christopher Leslie].
12 Proceeds of Crime,-Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (References to Financial Investigators) (Amendment) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 8), dated 6th January 2004 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
13 Social Security,-Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (Abolition of Benefit Periods) Amendment Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 14), dated 7th January 2004 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Smith].
14 Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,-Statute, dated 12th May 2003, made by the Governing Body of Jesus College, Cambridge, amending the Statutes of the College [by Act] [Mr David Lammy].
15 Industrial Organisation and Development,-Report and Accounts of the Apple and Pear Research Council for 2002-03 [by Act] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].
16 National Audit,-Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on-
(1) Northern Ireland Policing Board: Best Value Performance Plan for 2003-04, and
(2) Out of sight - not out of mind: Ofwat and the public sewer network in England and Wales
[by Act]; to be printed [Nos. 160 and 161] [Clerk of the House].
1 Northern Ireland Grand Committee,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr John Taylor from the Northern Ireland Grand Committee and nominated in substitution Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.
Reports from Select Committees
1 Education and Skills,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Education and Skills Committee [National Skills Strategy: 14-19 Education]; to be printed [No. 197] [Mr Barry Sheerman].
2 Human Rights,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on Human Rights [Human Rights and Deaths in Custody]; to be printed [No. 209-i] [Jean Corston].
3 Public Accounts,- (1) Fifth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [Warm Front: helping to combat fuel poverty]; together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report; to be printed [No. 206];
(2) Sixth Report from the Committee [Department of Trade and Industry: Regional Grants in England]; together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report; to be printed [No. 207]; and
(3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Protecting England and Wales from plant pests and diseases; to be printed [No. 208-i];
4 Science and Technology,-(1) First Report from the Science and Technology Committee [Annual Report 2003]; to be printed [No.169];
(2) Second Special Report from the Science and Technology Committee [Government Response to the Committee's Ninth Report, Session 2002-03, The Work of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council]; to be printed [No.171]; and
(3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [The Use of Science in UK International Development Policy]; to be printed [No. 133-i];
5 Select Committees (Choice of Chairman),-Mr Robert Key reported from the Information Committee, That he had been chosen as Chairman of the Committee.