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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Thursday 18th November 2004

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

PRAYERS.

1    Message from the Lords,—A Message was brought from the Lords, as follows:

The Lords agree, without Amendment, to the Amendments proposed by this House in lieu of certain Lords Amendments to the Civil Contingencies Bill to which this House has disagreed; they do not insist on certain of their Amendments to which this House has disagreed but propose Amendments in lieu thereof, to which Amendments they desire the agreement of this House; and they do not insist on their remaining Amendments to which this House has disagreed. The Lords do not insist on their remaining Amendment to the Pensions Bill to which this House has disagreed.

2    Civil Contingencies Bill,—Lords Amendments in lieu of Lords Amendments to the Civil Contingencies Bill to be printed [Bill 186].

3    Welsh Grand Committee,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Welsh Grand Committee be printed [No. 1284].

4    Northern Ireland Grand Committee,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Northern Ireland Grand Committee be printed [No. 1285].

5    Standing Committee on Regional Affairs,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Standing Committee on Regional Affairs be printed [No. 1286].

6    European Standing Committee A,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of European Standing Committee A be printed [No. 1287].

7    European Standing Committee B,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of European Standing Committee B be printed [No. 1288].

8    European Standing Committee C,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of European Standing Committee C be printed [No. 1289].

9    Standing Committee on the Inter-Governmental Conference—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Standing Committee on the Inter-Governmental Conference be printed [No. 1290].

10    Accommodation and Works,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Accommodation and Works Committee be printed [No. 1291].

11    Administration,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Administration Committee be printed [No. 1292].

12    Broadcasting,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Broadcasting Committee be printed [No. 1293].

13    Catering,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Catering Committee be printed [No. 1294].

14    Constitutional Affairs,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Constitutional Affairs Committee be printed [No. 1295].

15    Culture, Media and Sport,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee be printed [No. 1296].

16    Defence,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Defence Committee be printed [No. 1297].

17    Education and Skills,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Education and Skills Committee be printed [No. 1298].

18    Environmental Audit,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Environmental Audit Committee be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Environmental Crime Sub-Committee [No. 1299].

19    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Cetacean By-catch Sub-Committee, the Environmental Directives Sub-Committee, the Food Information Sub-Committee, the GM Planting Regime Sub-Committee, the Milk Pricing Sub-Committee, the Reform of the Sugar Regime Sub-Committee, the Sites of Special Scientific Interest Sub-Committee, the Toxins in Shellfish Sub-Committee, the Government's Rural Delivery Strategy Sub-Committee, the Future for UK Fishing Sub-Committee, the Draft Animal Welfare Bill Sub-Committee and the Water Pricing Sub-Committee [No. 1300].

20    European Scrutiny,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the European Scrutiny Committee be printed [No. 1301].

21    Finance and Services,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Finance and Services Committee be printed [No. 1302].

22    Foreign Affairs,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Foreign Affairs Committee be printed [No. 1303].

23    Health,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Health Committee be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Maternity Services Sub-Committee [No. 1304].

24    Home Affairs,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Home Affairs Committee be printed [No. 1305].

25    Human Rights,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Select Committee appointed to join with a Committee of the House of Lords on Human Rights be printed [No. 1306].

26    Information,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Information Committee be printed [No. 1307].

27    International Development,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the International Development Committee be printed [No. 1308].

28    Liaison,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Liaison Committee be printed [No. 1309].

29    Modernisation of the House of Commons,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons be printed [No. 1310].

30    Northern Ireland Affairs,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Sub-Committee of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [No. 1311].

31    Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Urban Affairs Sub-Committee [No. 1312].

32    Procedure,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Procedure Committee be printed [No. 1313].

33    Public Accounts,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee of Public Accounts be printed [No. 1314].

34    Public Administration,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Select Committee on Public Administration be printed [No. 1315].

35    Regulatory Reform,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Regulatory Reform Committee be printed [No. 1316].

36    Science and Technology,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Science and Technology Committee be printed [No. 1317].

37    Scottish Affairs,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Scottish Affairs Committee be printed [No. 1318].

38    Standards and Privileges,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee on Standards and Privileges be printed [No. 1319].

39    Statutory Instruments,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments be printed [No. 1320].

40    Statutory Instruments,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Select Committee appointed to join with a Committee of the House of Lords on Statutory Instruments be printed [No. 1321].

41    Trade and Industry,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Trade and Industry Committee be printed [No. 1322].

42    Transport,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Transport Committee be printed [No. 1323].

43    Treasury,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Treasury Committee be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Treasury Sub-Committee [No. 1324].

44    Welsh Affairs,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Welsh Affairs Committee be printed [No. 1325].

45    Work and Pensions,—Ordered, That the Minutes of Proceedings of the Work and Pensions Committee be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the IT Sub-Committee [No. 1326].

46    Hunting Bill (Procedure) (No. 3),—A Motion was made, pursuant to Order [16th November], and the Question being put forthwith pursuant to Order [15th September], That the Orders of 15th September and 16th November shall be supplemented as follows—

1. At this day's sitting proceedings on consideration of any Lords message relating to the Hunting Bill shall be brought to a conclusion (unless already concluded) one hour after commencement. 2. For the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1 the Speaker shall put the following Questions forthwith (and no others)—

      (1) any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and has not yet been decided, and

      (2) the Question on any Motion moved by a Minister of the Crown.

3. Paragraphs 3 to 5 of the Order of 16th November shall apply.—(Alun Michael.) The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Joan Ryan, Mr Tom Watson: 271.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr David Wilshire: 136.

So the Question was agreed to.

47    Hunting Bill,—The House, according to Order, proceeded to consider the Lords Reasons for insisting on certain of their Amendments to the Hunting Bill and Lords Amendments in lieu of other Lords Amendments to which the Commons have disagreed.

A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House insists on its disagreement to Lords Amendments Nos. 1 to 44 and 46 to 54 and disagrees with the Lords in their Amendments 10C, 12C, 46C and 52C, but proposes Amendment (a) in lieu, to leave out Clause No. 15 and insert the following new Clause— 'Commencement (1) The following provisions of this Act shall come into force on 31st July 2007—

      (a) sections 1 to 4,

      (b) Part 2 in so far as it relates to sections 1 to 4,

      (c) sections 11 to 14 in so far as they relate to sections 1 to 4,

      (d) Schedule 1, and

      (e) Schedules 2 and 3, except in so far as they change the law in relation to an activity to which section 5 applies.

(2) The following provisions of this Act shall come into force at the end of the period of three months beginning with the date on which it is passed—

      (a) section 5,

      (b) Part 2 in so far as it relates to section 5,

      (c) sections 11 to 13 in so far as they relate to section 5, and

      (d) Schedules 2 and 3 in so far as they change the law in relation to an activity to which section 5 applies'—(Alun Michael);

And the Question being proposed, That the Amendment be made; An Amendment (No. 1) was proposed to the Question, in line 3, to leave out from '52C' to the end of the Question.—(Mr James Gray.) And the Question being proposed, That the Amendment be made; And it being one hour after the commencement of proceedings, the Speaker put the Question, pursuant to Order [this day]. The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Heathcoat-Amory, Richard Ottaway: 146.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Jim Murphy, Paul Clark: 286.

So the Question was negatived. The Speaker then put the remaining Questions to be decided at that hour. The Main Question being put;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Jim Murphy, Paul Clark: 46.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr David Heathcoat-Amory, Richard Ottaway: 345.

    So the Question was negatived.

A Motion was made, and the Question being put, That this House insists on its disagreement to Lords Amendments Nos. 1 to 44 and 46 to 54, disagrees with the Lords in their Amendments 10C, 12C, 46C and 52C, but proposes Amendment (b) in lieu, to leave out Clause No. 15 and insert the following new Clause: 'Commencement (1) The following provisions of this Act shall come into force on 31st July 2006—

      (a) sections 1 to 4,

      (b) Part 2 in so far as it relates to sections 1 to 4,

      (c) sections 11 to 14 in so far as they relate to sections 1 to 4,

      (d) Schedule 1, and

      (e) Schedules 2 and 3, except in so far as they change the law in relation to an activity to which section 5 applies.

(2) The following provisions of this Act shall come into force at the end of the period of three months beginning with the date on which it is passed—

      (a) section 5,

      (b) Part 2 in so far as it relates to section 5,

      (c) sections 11 to 13 in so far as they relate to section 5, and

      (d) Schedules 2 and 3 in so far as they change the law in relation to an activity to which section 5 applies'—(Alun Michael);

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Jim Murphy, Paul Clark: 283.

      Tellers for the Noes, Richard Ottaway, Mr David Heathcoat-Amory: 132.

    So the Question was agreed to.

48    Civil Contingencies Bill,—The House, according to Order [yesterday], proceeded forthwith to consider the Lords Amendments in lieu of Lords Amendments to the Civil Contingencies Bill.

Lords Amendments Nos. 49B and 50B were disagreed to.

    A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Orders [28th June 2001 and 6th November 2003 (Programming of Bills)], That a Committee be appointed to draw up Reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to their Amendments Nos. 49B and 50B;

    That Mr Richard Allan, Mr Oliver Heald, Ruth Kelly, Bridget Prentice and James Purnell be members of the Committee;

    That Ruth Kelly be the Chairman of the Committee;

    That three be the Quorum of the Committee;

    That the Committee do withdraw immediately—(Bridget Prentice):—It was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker suspended the sitting, pursuant to Order [8th November].

49    Civil Contingencies Bill,—Ruth Kelly reported from the Committee appointed to draw up Reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to certain of their Amendments to the Civil Contingencies Bill, That it had drawn up the following Reason, which it had directed her to report to the House:

    The Commons disagree to Lords Amendments Nos. 49B and 50B for the following Reason:

      Because it is not desirable to limit the duration of Part 2.

    The Reason was agreed to.

    Message to the Lords to communicate the said Reason, with the Bill and Amendments.

50    Business of the House,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business), That, at this day's sitting, the consideration of any Lords Amendments and Messages that may be received may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour—(Bridget Prentice):—It was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker suspended the sitting, pursuant to Order [8th November].

51    Message from the Lords,—A Message was brought from the Lords, as follows:

The Lords insist on their Amendments to the Hunting Bill, to which this House has insisted on its disagreement, for which insistence they assign their Reasons; they insist on their Amendments to which this House has disagreed, for which insistence they assign their Reasons; and they disagree to the Amendment proposed by this House in lieu of the Lords Amendments, for which disagreement they assign their Reason. The Lords do not insist on their Amendments to the Civil Contingencies Bill, to which this House has disagreed. The Deputy Speaker suspended the sitting, pursuant to Order [8th November].

52    Message to attend the Lords Commissioners,—A Message from the Lords Commissioners was delivered by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.

Mr Speaker,

    The Lords, authorised by virtue of Her Majesty's Commission, for declaring Her Royal Assent to several Acts agreed upon by both Houses, and under the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 and for proroguing the present Parliament, desire the immediate attendance of this Honourable House in the House of Peers, to hear the Commission read.

    Accordingly the Speaker, with the House, went up to the House of Peers, where a Commission was read, giving, declaring and notifying the Royal Assent to several Acts, and for proroguing this present Parliament.

The Royal Assent was given to the following Acts agreed upon by both Houses:

      Armed Forces (Pensions and Compensation) Act 2004

      Civil Partnership Act 2004

      Housing Act 2004

      Pensions Act 2004

      Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

The Royal Assent was given to the following Act, passed under the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949:

      Hunting Act 2004.

(The said Bill having been endorsed by the Speaker with the following Certificate:

I certify, in reference to this Bill, that the provisions of section two of the Parliament Act 1911, as amended by section one of the Parliament Act 1949, have been duly complied with.

Michael J. Martin

Speaker.)

And afterwards Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech was delivered to both Houses of Parliament by the Lord High Chancellor (in pursuance of Her Majesty's Command), as follows:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

My Government has taken action in support of economic stability and growth, and to deliver reform of the public services, increasing opportunity and social justice.

My Government is committed to delivering a world class education system to allow individuals to achieve their full potential. An Act has been passed to enable higher education institutions to secure the additional necessary funding and ensure fair access for all. My Government has brought forward a Bill to enable some local authorities to pilot new arrangements for school transport to extend provisions to cover more pupils.

An Act has been passed to provide all children born from September 2002 with a Child Trust Fund, encouraging parents and children to save and ensuring that all children have a financial asset at eighteen.

Legislation has also been passed to protect pension scheme members if companies become insolvent, to encourage employers to provide good quality pensions and individuals to save effectively for retirement.

My Government has published a draft Bill to ensure comprehensive civil rights for disabled people.

In addition, legislation has been passed putting in place a range of measures to streamline the asylum and immigration system and tackle abuse.

My Government continues to make the reduction of crime and the fear of crime a priority, and to enhance security and protection.

An Act has been passed modernising the laws on domestic violence and establishing a Commissioner to support the interests of victims and witnesses. A Children's Commissioner for England has also been established as part of legislation improving services to protect children.

Draft legislation has also been published on establishing a national identity card scheme.

Legislation has been passed creating a long-term foundation for civil contingency planning in the UK, improving the basis for preparations at a local level and modernising the emergency powers framework.

An Act has been passed to ensure the fire and rescue services can respond effectively to the changing demands they face.

Members of the House of Commons I thank you for the provision you have made for the work and dignity of the Crown and for the public service.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

My Government remains committed to working closely with the political parties and the Irish Government to see an end to all forms of paramilitary activity and to restore as soon as possible a stable and inclusive partnership government in Northern Ireland. An Act has been passed establishing a Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.

My Government continues to work closely with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales. Acts have been passed to retain the current number of members in the Scottish Parliament and to establish a single public audit body for Wales. A Bill to provide the National Assembly for Wales with a range of transport-related powers has been published in draft.

My Government continues to take forward a programme of constitutional reform.

Legislation has been passed to improve traffic flow and manage road works more effectively.

An Act has been passed to establish a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and to promote secure and sustainable energy supplies.

Legislation has been passed to help create a fairer housing market and protect the most vulnerable, and to make the planning system fairer and faster with greater community participation.

In addition, legislation has been passed implementing the Government's review of the Employment Relations Act 1999, and to improve company law by strengthening accounting, audit and inspection arrangements removing barriers to recruiting directors and creating Community Interest Companies to enable social enterprises to meet the needs of their communities in new and innovative ways.

My Government has brought forward draft legislation on a number of other matters including animal welfare, charities and mental health.

Other important measures have been enacted.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

The Duke of Edinburgh and I were pleased to pay a state visit to Nigeria in December and attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. We were pleased to receive the state visit of His Excellency the President of Poland in May, and to pay a state visit to Germany earlier this month. We were also pleased to mark the centenary of the Entente Cordiale with a state visit to France in April and will receive His Excellency the President of France this week.

My Government played an active role in preparing the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for further enlargement in March and the European Union for the accession of ten new member states in May. They worked with other member states to conclude negotiations on a new constitutional treaty for the European Union and to strengthen peace and prosperity in Europe.

My Government has worked for a strong partnership between Europe and the United States of America, and for effective action against the threat from global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. My Government was active in securing the first ever generic United Nations Security Council Resolution on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The resolution imposes obligations on all states to criminalise the possession, manufacture or trafficking of such weapons, in particular for terrorist purposes. My Government was active, with the Government of the United States, in working with the Libyan Government towards their renunciation of weapons of mass destruction.

My Government has maintained the United Kingdom's commitment to enhancing stability in the Balkans and in rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq. My Government worked with the people of Iraq and the United Nations to establish the Iraqi Interim Government in June.

In partnership with France, Germany and other partners, my Government has worked to persuade Iran to address international concerns regarding its nuclear programme. My Government supported international negotiations with North Korea, and has continued to work towards peace in the Middle East.

My Government was active in securing a United Nations Security Council Resolution imposing obligations on the Government of Sudan to take action to end the terrible suffering in the Darfur region. My Government is the second largest bilateral donor working to improve the humanitarian situation in Darfur.

My Government published White Papers providing a statement of Defence Policy, and an assessment of capabilities the Armed Forces will require to meet the new strategic environment. Legislation has been passed giving enabling powers to bring in new pension and compensation arrangements for the Armed Forces.

My Government has worked to reduce poverty and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It established the Commission for Africa to focus on development and progress in Africa. In addition my Government launched an HIV and AIDS strategy for the developing world which announces the UK's commitment to spend at least 1.5 billion over the next three years.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may attend you.

After which the Lord Chancellor said:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

By virtue of Her Majesty's Commission which has now been read we do, in Her Majesty's name, and in obedience to Her Majesty's Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Tuesday the twenty-third day of this instant November, to be then here holden, and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Tuesday the twenty-third day of November.

Michael J. Martin

Speaker

APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

1    Magistrates' Courts,—Magistrates' Courts (Amendment) Rules 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2993), dated 15th November 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

2    Social Security,—Housing Benefit (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2984), dated 14th November 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Johnson].

3    Supreme Court of England and Wales,—(1) Criminal Appeal (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2992); and

    (2) Crown Court (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2991),

    dated 15th November 2004 [by Act], with Explanatory Memoranda thereon [by Command] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

Other Papers:

4    Criminal Statistics,—Criminal Statistics for England and Wales for 2003 [by Command] [Cm. 6361] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

5    National Lottery,—Report of the sportscotland Lottery Fund for 2003-04 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 1226] [Mr Secretary Darling].

6    Overseas Territories,—International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (Restrictive Measures) (Overseas Territories) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3039), dated 17th November 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Straw].

7    Parliamentary Papers,—Alphabetical index to the Bills, House of Commons Papers and Command Papers in the House of Commons set of parliamentary papers with notes on the volume arrangement and summary of legislation, Session 2003-04, Fifty-third Parliament, Third Session, 52nd and 53rd Elizabeth II, 26th November 2003 to 18th November 2004; to be printed [No. 1327] [The Speaker].

8    Political Parties, Elections and Referendums,—Report and Accounts of the Electoral Commission for 2003-04, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 796] [Clerk of the House].

9    Statutory Instrument (Notification),—Communication declaring that the undermentioned Statutory Instrument had come into operation before copies were laid before Parliament, and explaining why such copies had not been so laid before the Instrument came into operation:

    Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (Specified Organisations) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3009)

    [by Standing Order] [The Speaker].

10    Treaty Series (No. 44, 2004),—Convention, done at Montreal on 28th May 1999, for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air [by Command] [Cm. 6369] [Mr Secretary Straw].

11    Treaty Series (No. 45, 2004),—Agreement, done at Tripoli on 18th December 2003, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahariya on the Establishment and Activities of Cultural Centres [by Command] [Cm. 6371] [Mr Secretary Straw].

APPENDIX II

Reports from Select Committees

Public Administration,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on Public Administration [Choice and Voice in Public Services]; to be printed [No. 1263-i] [Tony Wright].

[W.H., No. 103]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

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

Adjournment (Health and Safety—Fourth Report of the Work and Pensions Committee, Session 2003-04, and the Government's response thereto),—Resolved, That the sitting be now adjourned.—(Gillian Merron.)

And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till Tuesday 23rd November.

[Adjourned at 2.30 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker

CORRIGENDUM

In the Votes and Proceedings for Wednesday 16th November 2004, in Appendix I, Item 6, the Individual Savings Account (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2996) should have been entitled 'Individual Savings Account (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2004'.



 
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