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House of Commons
Session 1998-99
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Monday 22nd March 1999

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Vacation of Seat (Newark),—The Speaker informed the House that she had received the following letter from the Judge in the case at Nottingham Crown Court against Ms Fiona Jones, Member for Newark.
 
        From the Hon. Mr. Justice Jowitt
 
        Presiding Judge of the Midland & Oxford Circuit
 
        Royal Courts of Justice
    Strand, London, WC2A 2LL.
 
        19th March 1999
 
        Dear Madam Speaker,
 
        Today at Nottingham Crown Court before me, Mrs Fiona Jones, the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Newark, was convicted by the jury of a corrupt practice, namely making a false declaration as to election expenses contrary to Section 82(6) of the Representation of the People Act 1983, the particulars being that on the 6th day of June 1997 she knowingly made a declaration that was false namely that a return of election expenses to be transmitted to the Returning Officer for the Newark Constituency was a complete and correct return. She was ordered to perform 100 hours community service.
 
        Yours sincerely,
    Edwin Jowitt
 
        And the said letter was ordered to be entered in the Journals of the House.
 
        The Speaker further informed the House that, under the terms of the Representation of the People Act 1983, the seat for the constituency of Newark was vacated.
2First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Bill Olner reported from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 1999, the draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1999 and the draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 2) Regulations 1999.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
3Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Frank Cook reported from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft New Opportunities Fund (Specification of Initiatives) Order 1999.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
4Nuclear Safeguards Bill,—The Order for reading the Nuclear Safeguards Bill a second time on Friday 26th March was read and discharged.
 
        Bill to be read a second time on Friday 11th June.
5Opposition Day [8th allotted day],—It being an allotted day at the disposal of the second largest opposition party in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), the House proceeded to consider opposition business.
 
        Council Tax Increases,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes that the prime determinant of council tax levels is the amount of funding allocated by central government to local authorities; further notes that as a consequence of inadequate financial settlements for local government in recent years there has been a substantial real-terms year-on-year increase in council tax; and calls on the Government to improve the funding of local services and abolish budget capping within the lifetime of this Parliament—(Mr Paul Burstow);
 
        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 the 1999-2000 local government settlement was the most generous since the introduction of the council tax; further notes the Government's commitment of an extra £40 billion for schools and hospitals; and welcomes the introduction of Best Value, the abolition of crude and universal capping, the reform of political management structures and the new ethical framework, set out in the local government White Paper', instead thereof.—(Hilary Armstrong.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Andrew Stunell, Mr Adrian Sanders: 40.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr David Clelland, Jane Kennedy: 309.
 
        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 that the 1999-2000 local government settlement was the most generous since the introduction of the council tax; further notes the Government's commitment of an extra £40 billion for schools and hospitals; and welcomes the introduction of Best Value, the abolition of crude and universal capping, the reform of political management structures and the new ethical framework, set out in the local government White Paper.
6Europe, America and the World Trade Organisation,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House deplores the failure of the USA and the EU to resolve the trade dispute arising from the so-called banana war; recognises the serious impact which the US retaliatory measures are having on British industries, in particular the devastating impact on the cashmere industry in the Scottish Borders; is concerned that these actions are a precursor of further major trade disputes over the importation into the UK of genetically and hormonally-modified food products from the USA; and urges the Government to step up its diplomatic and other efforts to ensure that all parties work together to first reform the WTO regime to ensure compatibility with international biodiversity agreements, environmental and animal welfare objectives, and then to ensure compliance with the WTO objectives of free and fair trade—(Mr Michael Moore);
 
        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 the significance of the EU/US relationship and notes that the majority of the trade relationship runs smoothly; commends the efforts of the Government to secure the Transatlantic Economic Partnership Agreement last year; acknowledges the efforts of the Government to find a way through the bananas dispute so as to minimise the impact on British industry and in particular the cashmere industry; notes the current position on the hormones dispute; welcomes the Government's commitment to sustainable development; and endorses the Government's support for comprehensive multilateral trade negotiations to be launched in Seattle at the end of this year', instead thereof.—(Mr Henry McLeish.)
 
        Mr Paul Tyler 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 Andrew Stunell, Mr David Chidgey: 39.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Robert Ainsworth, Mr Jim Dowd: 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):—It was agreed to.
 
        The Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House recognises the significance of the EU/US relationship and notes that the majority of that trade relationship runs smoothly; commends the efforts of the Government to secure the Transatlantic Economic Partnership Agreement last year; acknowledges the efforts of the Government to find a way through the bananas dispute so as to minimise the impact on British industry and in particular the cashmere industry; notes the current position on the hormones dispute; welcomes the Government's commitment to sustainable development; and endorses the Government's support for comprehensive multilateral trade negotiations to be launched in Seattle at the end of this year.
7Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill,—The Order of the day being read for the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill;
 
         A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 56 (Consolidated Fund Bills), That the Bill be now read a second time:—It was agreed to.
 
        And the Question being put forthwith, That the Bill be now read the third time:—It was agreed to.
 
        The Bill was accordingly read the third time, and passed.
8Legal Aid and Advice (Scotland),—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 1999, which were laid before this House on 22nd February, be approved—(Mr Keith Hill):—It was agreed to.
9Legal Aid and Advice (Scotland),—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 1999, which were laid before this House on 22nd February, be approved—(Mr Keith Hill):—It was agreed to.
10Social Security,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Social Security (New Deal Pilot) Amendment Regulations 1999, which were laid before this House on 22nd February, be approved—(Mr Keith Hill):—It was agreed to.
11Government Trading Funds,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Ordnance Survey Trading Fund Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 24th February, be approved—(Mr Keith Hill):—It was agreed to.
12Constitutional Law,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Consequential Modifications) (No. 1) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 25th February, be approved—(Mr Keith Hill):—It was agreed to.
13Welfare of Laying Hens,—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 the European Union Document No. 6985/98 on the protection of laying hens kept in various systems of rearing; and of the progress of negotiations; and supports the Government's intention to continue to work for the adoption of a Directive which sets a clear phase-out date for the battery cage, improved standards in the interim and robust and practical standards for the welfare of birds in non-cage systems—(Mr Keith Hill):—It was agreed to.
14Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill [Money],—Her Majesty's Recommendation having been signified to the proposed Motion relating to Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill [Money];
 
        Resolved, That for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of money provided by Parliament of any expenditure incurred by a Minister of the Crown in consequence of any compensation scheme made under the Act.—(Mr Keith Hill.)
15Road Traffic (Vehicle Testing) Bill [Money],—Her Majesty's Recommendation having been signified to the proposed Motion relating to Road Traffic (Vehicle Testing) Bill [Money];
 
        Resolved, That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Road Traffic (Vehicle Testing) Bill, it is expendient to authorise—
 
        (a) the payment out of money provided by Parliament of—
 
          (i) any expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State in consequence of the provisions of the Act, and
 
          (ii) any increase attributable to the Act in the sums which by virtue of any other Act are payable out of money so provided;
 
        (b) the payment into the Consolidated Fund of—
 
          (i) any sums received by the Secretary of State by virtue of the provisions of the Act, and
 
          (ii) any increase attributable to the Act in the sums payable into that Fund under the Road Traffic Act 1988.—(Mr Keith Hill.)
16Foreign Affairs,—Ordered, That Mr Ernie Ross be discharged from the Foreign Affairs Committee and Dr Phyllis Starkey be added to the Committee.—(Mr Paul Tyler, on behalf of the Committee of Selection).
17Public Petitions,—A Public Petition from the association known as the Palace Theatre (Westcliff) for support for producing theatres was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
18Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Keith Hill.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till seventeen minutes past Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 11.17 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

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

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
1Education,—(1) Draft General Teaching Council for England (Constitution) Regulations 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett]; and
 
        (2) draft General Teaching Council for Wales (Constitution) Regulations 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Michael].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
2Animals,—Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Feeding Stuffs and Surveillance) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 882), dated 17th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Nicholas Brown].
3Constitutional Law,—(1) Scotland Act 1998 (General Transitory, Transitional and Savings Provisions) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 901), dated 19th March 1999,
 
        (2) Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (Crown Status) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 677), dated 10th March 1999, and
 
        (3) Scottish Parliament (Letters Patent and Proclamations) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 737), dated 10th March 1999
 
    [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
4Copyright,—Parliamentary Copyright (Scottish Parliament) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 676), dated 10th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
5Criminal Law,—Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Specified Proceedings) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 904), dated 18th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Attorney General].
6Criminal Law (Scotland),—(1) Confiscation of the Proceeds of Crime (Designated Countries and Territories) (Scotland) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 673), and
 
        (2) Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990 (Enforcement of Overseas Forfeiture Orders) (Scotland) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 675),
 
    dated 10th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
7Education,—(1) Education (Inspectors of Schools in Wales) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 657), dated 10th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Michael]; and
 
        (2) Education (School Teachers' Pay and Conditions) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 917), dated 19th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
8European Communities,—European Communities (Designation) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 654), dated 10th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Cook].
9Hong Kong,—Hong Kong (Overseas Public Servants) (Pension Supplements) (Amendment) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 666), dated 10th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Cook].
10Ministers of the Crown,—(1) Transfer of Functions (Lord Advocate and Advocate General for Scotland) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 679), and
 
        (2) Transfer of Functions (Lord Advocate and Secretary of State) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 678),
 
    dated 10th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
11Northern Ireland,—Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 671), dated 10th March 1999 [by Act] [Secretary Marjorie Mowlam].
12Road Traffic,—Motor Vehicles (EC Type Approval) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 778), dated 10th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Prescott].
13Social Security,—(1) Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (General) Amendment Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 920), dated 22nd March 1999,
 
        (2) Social Security Benefits Up-rating and Miscellaneous Increases Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 862), dated 17th March 1999,
 
        (3) Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 858), dated 17th March 1999, and
 
        (4) Social Security (Overlapping Benefits) Amendment Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 820), dated 15th March 1999
 
    [by Act] [Mr Secretary Darling].
14Supreme Court (Northern Ireland),—Crown Court (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 1999 (S.R. (N.I.), 1999, No. 134), dated 17th March 1999 [by Act] [Mr Geoffrey Hoon].
Other Papers:
15Local Government (Scotland),—Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics for 1996-97 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
16Miscellaneous (No. 22, 1999),—Draft Headquarters Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the International Mobile Satellite Organisation, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 4311] [Mr Secretary Cook].
17National Health Service,—(1) Statements of Guarantee given by the Secretary of State for Health on 17th March 1999 on loans proposed to be raised by the following National Health Service Trusts—
 
        (i) Avalon, Somerset,
 
        (ii) Exeter & District Community Health Service, and
 
        (iii) Wiltshire Health Care;
 
        (2) Statements of Guarantee given by the Secretary of State for Health on 18th March 1999 on loans proposed to be raised by the following National Health Service Trusts—
 
        (i) BHB Community Health Care,
 
        (ii) Luton and Dunstable Hospitals,
 
        (iii) North West Anglia Healthcare,
 
        (iv) Plymouth Hospitals,
 
        (v) Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital,
 
        (vi) South Tees Acute Hospitals, and
 
        (vii) York Health Services; and
 
        (3) Statements of Guarantee given by the Secretary of State for Health on 19th March 1999 on loans proposed to be raised by the following National Health Service Trusts—
 
        (i) Gloucestershire Royal, and
 
        (ii) Severn
 
        [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dobson].
18Police,—(1) National Crime Squad (Secretary of State's Objectives) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 821), dated 11th March 1999,
 
        (2) NCIS (Secretary of State's Objectives) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 822), dated 11th March 1999, and
 
        (3) Police Appeals Tribunals Rules 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 818), dated 13th March 1999
 
    [by Act] [Mr Secretary Straw].
19Public Petitions,—Observations by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on the Petition [4th March] from Friends of the Earth (South East Office) and others for a conservation body for the South Downs [by Standing Order]; to be printed [Clerk of the House].
20Transport,—Statement of Guarantee given by the Treasury on 22nd March 1999 in respect of temporary borrowing by the British Waterways Board from the National Westminster Bank plc [by Act] [Mrs Barbara Roche].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees:
1Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Owen Paterson from Standing Committee B (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Mr Andrew Hunter.
2Draft Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 1999, and the draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1999, and the draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 2) Regulations 1999,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Marsha Singh from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Regulations); and nominated in substitution Kali Mountford.
3Draft New Opportunities Fund (Specification of Initiatives) Order 1999,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Roger Berry from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Phil Woolas.
4Draft Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (Application to Summary Proceedings) Order 1999,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Dr Lynda Clark and Mr Brian H. Donohoe from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Malcolm Savidge and Mr Desmond Browne.
5Value Added Tax (Finance) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 594), and the Value Added Tax (Buildings and Land) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 593),—The Committee of Selection has discharged Dawn Primarolo from the Twelfth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Orders); and nominated in substitution Mrs Barbara Roche.
European Standing Committees:
6The Speaker has appointed Mr Bill O'Brien Chairman of European Standing Committee C (in place of Mr George Stevenson) in respect of the unnumbered explanatory memorandum submitted by the Department of Trade and Industry on 17th April 1998 relating to the reform of the Structural Funds; the unnumbered explanatory memorandum submitted by the Department of Trade and Industry on 17th April 1998 relating to Agenda 2000: Cohesion Fund Amendment; and European Union Document No. 5480/99, relating to the European Regional Development Fund.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Public Accounts,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [Overseas Operations, Governance and Management at Southampton Institute]; to be printed [No. 345-i] [Mr David Davis].
2Welsh Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Welsh Affairs Committee [Denbighshire County Council's Funding Legacy]; to be printed [No. 340-i] [Mr Martyn Jones].



 
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