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House of Commons
Session 1998-99
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 1st December 1998

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Sessional Returns,—Ordered, That there be laid before this House Returns for Session 1997-98 of—
 
        (1) Business of the House;
 
        (2) Closure of Debate, Proposal of Question and Allocation of Time (including Programme Motions);
 
        (3) Sittings of the House;
 
        (4) Private Bills and Private Business;
 
        (5) Public Bills;
 
        (6) Delegated Legislation and Deregulation Orders;
 
        (7) European Legislation, &c.;
 
        (8) Grand Committees;
 
        (9) Chairmen's Panel; and
 
        (10) Select Committees.—(The First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.)
2First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Peter Atkinson reported from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Broadcasting (Restrictions on the Holding of Licences) (Amendment) Order 1998.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
3Message from the Lords,—A Message was brought from the Lords, as follows:
 
        City of Westminster Bill [Lords],—The Lords have passed a Bill, intituled, An Act to make further provision for the control of street trading in the City of Westminster; and for related purposes; to which the Lords desire the concurrence of this House.
 
        Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee),—The Lords communicate that they have appointed a Select Committee of seven Lords to join with a Committee appointed by the Commons as the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, with the same orders of reference as were communicated to this House on 20th May 1997, in Session 1997-98; and that they have ordered that the Committee do meet with the Committee appointed by the Commons this day at a quarter past Four o'clock.
4Queen's Speech (Motion for an Address),—The Order of the day being read, for resuming the adjourned Debate on the Question proposed [24th November], That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, as follows:
 
        Most Gracious Sovereign,
 
        We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament;
 
        And the Question being again proposed:—The House resumed the adjourned Debate.
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, at the end, to add the words 'but humbly regret that the Gracious Speech contains no proposals to save jobs or help businesses, but instead continues the policies that are pushing Britain's economy into a sharper downturn than is forecast for any other major EU economy; call on the Government instead to pursue policies of maintaining Britain's competitiveness by reversing its proposals which increase costs on business and to return to the policies conducted by the previous Government which left a golden economic legacy of low inflation, steady and sustainable growth and falling unemployment; and also urge the Government to make a clear statement of its position on the question of European tax harmonisation.'—(Mr Francis Maude.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the Amendment be made;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Caroline Spelman, Sir David Madel: 134.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Mike Hall, Mrs Anne McGuire: 373.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        Another Amendment was proposed to the Question, at the end, to add the words 'but humbly regret, while supporting some proposals in the Gracious Speech, such as those which address the issues of ending the voting rights of hereditary peers and improving the administration of the tax and national insurance system, the absence of key measures in the Gracious Speech to modernise the United Kingdom, including a comprehensive package of environmental policies to tackle pollution, reduce car journeys and switch travel to public transport, a second tier pension scheme, a judicial process to replace the Child Support Agency; and the introduction of a parliamentary committee to scrutinise arms exports; believe that additional measures to improve public health, reduce class sizes, abolish tuition fees, widen the provision of early years education and to tackle age discrimination and other forms of inequality should have been brought forward; call for urgent measures to pave the way for Britain's membership of a successful single currency and to grant proper financial independence and a fair and proportional voting system to local government; further regret any delays in introducing a Food Standards Agency; deprecate the absence of rapid progress on measures to ensure a wide-ranging Freedom of Information Act, to pave the way for a referendum on a fair voting system for the House of Commons and to deliver a fully reformed and predominantly elected Second Chamber; and support all possible early steps to speed the passage of the European Parliamentary Elections Bill in order to allow the 1999 European parliamentary elections to be held under a fairer, proportional, voting system.—(Mr A. J. Beith.)
 
        And the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 33 (Calling of amendments at end of debate), That the Amendment be made;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Andrew Stunell, Mr Donald Gorrie: 51.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Anne McGuire, Mr Mike Hall: 317.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        Main Question put.
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Anne McGuire, Mr Mike Hall: 317.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Caroline Spelman, Sir David Madel: 168.
 
        So the Question was agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, as follows:
 
        Most Gracious Sovereign,
 
        We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament.
 
        Address to be presented to Her Majesty by such Members of this House as are of Her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council or of Her Majesty's Household.
5Agrimonetary Arrangements Following the Introduction of the Euro,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees), That this House takes note of European Community Document No. 9597/98, two draft Council Regulations establishing agrimonetary arrangements and the transitional arrangements to be applied under the Common Agricultural Policy with a view to the introduction of the euro; and supports the Government's intention to support the proposals which simplify the current agrimonetary arrangements by moving to a system which more closely reflects market realities, reducing the cost to taxpayers, consumers and businesses, and also the scope for distortions of competition whilst respecting UK international obligations without discriminating against those Member States not participating in the euro.—(Mr Greg Pope):—It was agreed to.
6EC Development Aid to South Africa (1986-1996),—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees), That this House takes note of European Community Document No. 9690/98, the European Court of Auditors Special Report No. 7/98 on the European Development Aid Programme for South Africa (1986-1996) and its recommendations to the Commission; and supports the Government's position that these recommendations are practical and sensible and that the Government will work with Member States and other partners in all European Community development assistance programmes, and particularly in detailed arrangements to succeed the present EPRD in South Africa after 1999, to ensure that these recommendations are fully implemented.—(Mr Greg Pope):—It was agreed to.
7Public Petitions,—Public Petitions from—
 
        (1) residents of Wheatfield Lane relating to bus services in Haxby and Wigginton; and
 
        (2) Independent Retail News, store owners and their customers relating to bootlegging of tobacco and alcohol
 
    were presented and read, and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
8Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Greg Pope).
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till eight minutes past Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 11.08 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

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

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
1Education,—Draft Financing of Maintained Schools Regulations 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
2Employment and Training,—(1) Draft Industrial Training Levy (Construction Board) Order 1999, and
 
        (2) Draft Industrial Training Levy (Engineering Construction Board) Order 1999
 
    [byAct] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
3Legal Aid and Advice (Scotland),—(1) Draft Advice and Assistance (Assistance by Way of Representation) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 1998, and
 
        (2) Draft Criminal Legal Aid (Scotland) (Prescribed Proceedings) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1998
 
    [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
Other Papers:
4Education (Scotland),—Accounts of the Scottish Qualifications Authority for 1997-98, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 52] [Clerk of the House].
5European Union,—Paper, entitled Developments in the European Union, January to June 1998 [by Command] [Cm. 4152] [Mr Secretary Cook].
6National Lottery,—Report of the Arts Council of Wales Lottery Distribution Activities for 1997-98 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Michael].
7Natural Heritage Scotland,—Report and Summary Financial Statements of Scottish Natural Heritage for 1997-98 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
8Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund,—Report by the Government Actuary on the valuation of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund as at 1st April 1996 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 15] [Clerk of the House].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Draft Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Ireland) Order 1998,—The Speaker has appointed Mr Barry Jones Chairman of the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Ireland) Order 1998, in place of Mr Joe Benton.
2Draft Forensic Science Service Trading Fund Order 1998,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Allan Rogers from the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Stephen Hesford.
3Draft Rates (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mrs Diana Organ from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Kelvin Hopkins.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Education and Employment,—(1) First Special Report from the Education and Employment Committee [Government Response to the Sixth Report from the Committee, Session 1997-98, on Further Education] to be printed [No. 56]; and
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Access for All?]; to be printed [No. 57-i]
 
    [Mr Malcolm Wicks].
2Environmental Audit,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Multilateral Agreement on Investment]; to be printed [No. 58-i] [Mr John Horam].
3Foreign Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee [Vienna European Council]; to be printed [No. 42-i] [Mr Donald Anderson].
4International Development,—(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the International Development Committee [The Future of the EC Development Budget]; to be printed [No. 44-ii]; and
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction]; to be printed [No. 55-i]
 
    [Mr Bowen Wells].
5Procedure,—Memoranda laid before the Procedure Committee [Procedural Consequences of Devolution] [Mr Eric Illsley].
6Public Administration,—(1) First Special Report from the Select Committee on Public Administration [Government Response to the Fifth Report from the Select Committee on Public Administration, Session 1997-98, on the Report of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman for 1997]; to be printed [No. 53]; and
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Annual Report of the Health Service Commissioner for 1997-98] [No. 54-i]
 
    [Mr Rhodri Morgan].
7Statutory Instruments,—First Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 50-i] [Mr David Tredinnick].
8Trade and Industry,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Trade and Industry Committee [Draft Limited Liability Partnership Bill]; to be printed [Nos. 59-i and ii] [Mr Martin O'Neill].



 
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