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Session 1997-98
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Monday 18th May 1998

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Message from the Lords,--A Message was brought from the Lords, as follows:
 
        The Lords agree, without Amendment, to the Amendments made by this House to certain of their Amendments to the Social Security Bill.
2Opposition Day [11th 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.
 
        Sierra Leone,--A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House deplores the muddle of government policy towards Sierra Leone over the last year; notes the contradictory statements made on this matter by the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; stresses the importance of establishing what knowledge and involvement there was on the part of government ministers, officials and officers of the intelligence services of and in the activities of Sandline International, including possible breaches of both international and United Kingdom law; and calls on the Government to announce without delay that it will establish a public inquiry into this question, presided over by a judge to be nominated by the Lord Chief Justice--(Mr Michael Howard);
 
        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 the Government's consistent policy of support for the restoration of President Kabbah and recognition of him as the elected and legitimate President of Sierra Leone and welcomes the success of that policy and the overthrow of the brutal and repressive military regime; applauds the open and proper manner in which the Government have responded to allegations of a breach of the UN arms embargo; and congratulates the Government on its commitment to an urgent outside investigation and publication of a full report', instead thereof.--(Mr Secretary Cook).
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr John M. Taylor, Mr John Whittingdale: 128.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr John McFall, Mr Jon Owen Jones: 287.
 
        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 notes the Government's consistent policy of support for the restoration of President Kabbah and recognition of him as the elected and legitimate President of Sierra Leone and welcomes the success of that policy and the overthrow of the brutal and repressive military regime; applauds the open and proper manner in which the Government have responded to allegations of a breach of the UN arms embargo; and congratulates the Government on its commitment to an urgent outside investigation and publication of a full report.
 
        Territorial Army,--A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House views with concern recent reports that the size of the Territorial Army may be reduced to 40,000 and that it may be stripped of many of its combat units; recognises the role of the Territorial Army both in complementing the role of the regular army on active service in places such as Bosnia and in providing a strategic reserve of trained combat and supporting units in case of wider conflict; applauds the work of the Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer Reserve Associations around the country in providing opportunities for young people to volunteer in the reserves and cadets, and in building bridges between local communities and the armed forces; and urges the Government to use the Strategic Defence Review to develop rather than undermine the role of this important national resource--(Sir George Young);
 
        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 'supports the Government in its determination to ensure that the United Kingdom has armed forces that are modern, capable, relevant and structured for the new post Cold War strategic realities; considers that the Territorial Army, like the rest of the armed forces, should continue to adapt to these realities; welcomes the valuable role played by the Territorial Army in the wider life of the nation; and is confident that the outcome of the Strategic Defence Review will be capable, relevant and even more usable reserve forces to help support Britain's foreign and security policies', instead thereof.--(Mr Secretary Robertson.)
 
        And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question.
 
        Mr James Arbuthnot 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, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Peter Ainsworth, Mr John M. Taylor: 154.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Kevin Hughes, Mr Jim Dowd: 286.
 
        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 supports the Government in its determination to ensure that the United Kingdom has armed forces that are modern, capable, relevant and structured for the new post Cold War strategic realities; considers that the Territorial Army, like the rest of the armed forces, should continue to adapt to these realities; welcomes the valuable role played by the Territorial Army in the wider life of the nation, and is confident that the outcome of the Strategic Defence Review will be capable, relevant and even more usable reserve forces to help support Britain's foreign and security policies.
3Banks and Banking,--A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Cash Ratio Deposits (Value Bands and Ratios) Order 1998, which was laid before this House on 27th April, be approved--(Mr David Clelland):--It was agreed to.
4Banks and Banking,--A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Bank of England (Information Powers) Order 1998, which was laid before this House on 27th April, be approved--(Mr David Clelland):--It was agreed to.
5Business of the House,--Ordered, That, at the sitting on Thursday 21st May, Standing Order No. 16 (Proceedings under an Act or on European Community documents) shall not apply to the Motion in the name of the Prime Minister relating to the Common Agricultural Policy; and the Speaker shall put the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on that Motion not later than three hours after their commencement.--(Mr David Clelland).
6Public Petitions,--A Public Petition from East Kent against proposed reductions in NHS medical services in the area was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
7Adjournment,--Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.--(Mr David Clelland.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till seventeen minutes to Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 10.43 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

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

APPENDIX I
Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 15th May 1998 (Non-sitting Friday, S.O. No. 12) pursuant to Standing Order No. 159 (Presentation of statutory instruments):
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
1Education,--Education (Partnership Grant) Regulations 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1222), dated 12th May 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
2Pensions,--Pensions Appeal Tribunals (Scotland) (Amendment) Rules 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1225), dated 12th May 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Monday 18th May 1998:
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
3Deregulation,--Draft Deregulation (Methylated Spirits Sale by Retail) (Scotland) Order 1998, together with a statement by the Scottish Office [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
4Broadcasting,--Broadcasting (Local Delivery Services) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1240), dated 15th May 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Smith].
5Education,--Education (London Residuary Body) (Property Transfer) (Modification) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1239), dated 15th May 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
6Seeds,--Seed Potatoes (Fees) Regulations 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1228), dated 15th May 1998 [by Act] [Dr John Cunningham].
Other Papers:
7National Loans,--Accounts relating to issues from the National Loans Fund for 1996-97, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 744] [Clerk of the House].
8Public Petitions,--Observations by--
 
        (1) the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on the Petition [8th April] from Putney against a further terminal at Heathrow Airport, and
 
        (2) the Secretary of State for Social Security on the Petition [1st April] from residents of Solihull in favour of an earnings-related state pension
 
    [by Standing Order]; to be printed [Clerk of the House].
9Sea Fisheries,--Reports by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State responsible for Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries in Scotland on proceedings under sections 1 to 5 of the Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967 for--
 
        (1) 1995, and
 
        (2) 1996
 
    [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Competition Bill [Lords],--The Committee of Selection has discharged from Standing Committee G Mr Michael Wills (nominated in respect of the Bill); and appointed in substitution Barbara Follett.
2Data Protection Bill [Lords],--The Speaker has appointed Mr Barry Jones an additional Chairman of Standing Committee D in respect of the Bill, in place of Miss Ann Widdecombe.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
Public Accounts,--(1) Thirty-eighth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [The Industrial Research and Technology Unit (NI)]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 427];
 
        (2) Thirty-ninth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [MAFF: Protecting Environmentally Sensitive Areas]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 513];
 
        (3) Fortieth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [The Management of Building Projects at English Higher Education Institutions]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 558]; and
 
        (4) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts on 18th May [Department of Trade and Industry: Sale of AEA Technology]; to be printed [No. 749-i]
 
    [Mr David Davis].



 
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