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House of Commons
Session 1998-99
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 19th May 1999

The House met at half-past Nine o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Adjournment,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House do now adjourn—(Mr Kevin Hughes);
 
        And it being Two o'clock, the Motion for the adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
2Leeds Central Writ,—Ordered, That the Speaker do issue her Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown to make out a new Writ for the electing of a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the Borough Constituency of Leeds Central in the room of the Right honourable Derek John Fatchett, deceased.—(Mrs Ann Taylor.)
3Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Bill,—Mr Humfrey Malins reported from Standing Committee D, That it had gone through the Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Bill, and made Amendments thereunto.
 
        Bill, as amended in the Standing Committee, to be considered on Friday 11th June; and to be printed [Bill 106].
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to be printed [No. 461].
4Mental Health (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill,—Mr Jim Cunningham reported from the Second Scottish Standing Committee, That it had gone through the Mental Health (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill and directed him to report the same, without Amendment.
 
        Bill, not amended in the Standing Committee, to be considered on Friday 23rd July.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to be printed [No. 463].
5Tenth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Humfrey Malins reported from the Tenth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 438).
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
6Eleventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Barry Jones reported from the Eleventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Local Government Finance (England) Special Grant Report (No. 46): Private Finance Initiative (House of Commons Paper No. 408).
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
7European Standing Committee B,—Mr Edward O'Hara reported from European Standing Committee B the following Resolution:
 
        That the Committee takes note of European Union Document No. 5263/99, a draft Council Regulation on the provision of assistance to economic reform and recovery in the Newly Independent States and Mongolia; and supports the Government's position that the proposed Regulation is broadly acceptable, that the Government will work with Member States to secure a Regulation which will ensure greater emphasis on social and environmental issues, maintain TACIS as a technical assistance instrument, improve procedures and incorporate a dialogue-driven approach to programming.
 
        Report, together with Resolution, to lie upon the Table.
8Message from the Lords,—A Message was brought from the Lords, as follows:
 
        Road Traffic Regulation (Cycle Parking) Bill [Lords],—The Lords have passed a Bill to amend section 63 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984; and for connected purposes; to which the Lords desire the concurrence of this House.
9Pensions (Amendment) Bill,—The Order for reading the Pensions (Amendment) Bill a second time on Friday 21st May was read and discharged.
 
        Bill to be read a second time on Friday 11th June.
10Bells on Pedal Cycles,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Secretary of State to make regulations on the fitting, maintenance and use of bells on pedal cycles—(Dr Nick Palmer);
 
        And the Motion being opposed, after a brief explanatory statement from the Member who made the Motion and from a Member who opposed it, the Speaker put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in bills and nomination of select committees at commencement of public business):—It was agreed to.
 
        Ordered, That Dr Nick Palmer, Mr Andrew F. Bennett, Mr Andrew Dismore, Mr Kelvin Hopkins, Ms Margaret Moran and Mr Alan Simpson do prepare and bring in the Bill.
11Bells on Pedal Cycles Bill,—Dr Nick Palmer accordingly presented a Bill to require the Secretary of State to make regulations on the fitting, maintenance and use of bells on pedal cycles: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 23rd July and to be printed [Bill 105].
12Opposition Day [13th 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.
 
        Fraud in the European Union Budget,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes that for four successive years the European Court of Auditors has declined to provide assurance that the transactions underlying payments from the European budget are legal and regular; regrets the failure of the UK Presidency to achieve any concrete measures to tackle fraud and mismanagement in the EU budget; congratulates Mr Paul Van Buitenen on his courageous action in exposing the incompetence and unwillingness of the European Commission to tackle fraud; condemns the action of Labour MEPs, urged on by the British Government, in seeking to protect the Commission from censure; notes that, despite the vote in the European Parliament to censure the Commission, no Commissioner has yet left office; believes that confidence will only be restored if all existing Commissioners are replaced forthwith; and calls on the Government to ensure that genuine and effective measures to tackle fraud in all of the institutions of the European Union are taken as a matter of urgency—(Mr Francis Maude);
 
        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 'welcomes the efforts of the Government to work with fellow Member States and European institutions to crack down on fraud against the EU budget; notes the real practical progress made in this regard by the Government during the United Kingdom Presidency of the EU; welcomes the Chancellor's initiative for a strong head of fraud investigations heading an independent fraud prevention office; welcomes the role played by Labour MEPs in securing the establishment of the Committee of Independent Experts; joins the Government in calling for recent events to be used as an opportunity for root and branch reform of the Commission; calls on Romano Prodi, following his recent nomination as President-elect of the European Commission, to place the fight against fraud at the top of the new Commission's agenda; and believes that the only way of reforming Europe is the Government's strong leadership and constructive engagement rather than the Opposition's weak leadership, division and isolationism', instead thereof.—(Mr Alan Milburn.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Sir David Madel, Mrs Caroline Spelman: 178.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Kevin Hughes, Jane Kennedy: 326.
 
        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 welcomes the efforts of the Government to work with fellow Member States and the European institutions to crack down on fraud against the EU budget; notes the real practical progress made in this regard by the Government during the United Kingdom Presidency of the EU; welcomes the Chancellor's initiative for a strong head of fraud investigations heading an independent fraud prevention office; welcomes the role played by Labour MEPs in securing the establishment of the Committee of Independent Experts; joins the Government in calling for recent events to be used as an opportunity for root and branch reform of the Commission; calls on Romano Prodi, following his recent nomination as President-elect of the European Commission, to place the fight against fraud at the top of the new Commission's agenda; and believes that the only way of reforming Europe is the Government's strong leadership and constructive engagement rather than the Opposition's weak leadership, division and isolationism.
 
        Conditions of Service of NHS Personnel,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes the proposal of Her Majesty's Government to raise the agreed working hours of junior doctors to 65 per week; notes also its failure to deliver to nurses the pay increases which were promised to be implemented in full from April 1999; notes further the anxiety and disappointment caused to consultants by its failure to implement the recommendations of the Pay Review Body; notes the concerns of Professions Allied to Medicine; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to recognise that increased expectations followed by disappointment have profoundly damaged morale among loyal and hardworking NHS staff—(Miss Ann Widdecombe);
 
        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 and applauds the massive contribution the staff make to providing the fairest and most efficient healthcare system in the world; regrets the shambles in the NHS that the Government inherited which was demoralising to staff and damaging to patients; welcomes the action the new Government has taken to make things better for staff and patients alike, including £21 billion extra for the NHS over the next three years, record capital investment in new buildings, equipment and facilities to enable the staff to provide top-quality care, the biggest real-terms pay rise for nurses for 10 years paid nationally in full, proposals for radical pay reform to give fairer rewards to staff who extend their roles, widen their skills and work in teams to care for patients, negotiations on a new consultants' contract to ensure rewards go to those who contribute most to the NHS, ambitious targets to improve the quality of the working lives of NHS staff, including tough action to crack down on violence and racism at work, the promotion of family-friendly employment policies and investment in training and continuing professional development; welcomes the Government's commitment to reducing junior doctors' hours in line with the draft European Working Time Directive vehemently opposed by the Conservative Party and carefully planned so as not to damage improvements in patient care; and accepts no lectures about conditions of service for NHS personnel from a Party that did more in Government to demoralise the staff than any other in living memory and which spends most of its time in Opposition running down the achievements of the NHS staff and saying the Health Service can no longer cope', instead thereof.—(Mr Secretary Dobson.)
 
        And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        Sir Peter Emery rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put, but the Deputy Speaker withheld his assent and declined then to put that 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;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Caroline Spelman, Sir David Madel: 167.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Robert Ainsworth, Mr David Hanson: 339.
 
        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);
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Hanson, Mr Robert Ainsworth: 338.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Caroline Spelman, Sir David Madel: 163.
 
        So the Question was agreed to.
 
        The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House recognises and applauds the massive contribution the staff make to providing the fairest and most efficient healthcare system in the world; regrets the shambles in the NHS that the Government inherited which was demoralising to staff and damaging to patients; welcomes the action the new Government has taken to make things better for staff and patients alike, including £21 billion extra for the NHS over the next three years, record capital investment in new buildings, equipment and facilities to enable the staff to provide top-quality care, the biggest real-terms pay rise for nurses for 10 years paid nationally in full, proposals for radical pay reform to give fairer rewards to staff who extend their roles, widen their skills and work in teams to care for patients, negotiations on a new consultants' contract to ensure rewards go to those who contribute most to the NHS, ambitious targets to improve the quality of the working lives of NHS staff, including tough action to crack down on violence and racism at work, the promotion of family-friendly employment policies and investment in training and continuing professional development; welcomes the Government's commitment to reducing junior doctors' hours in line with the draft European Working Time Directive vehemently opposed by the Conservative Party and carefully planned so as not to damage improvements in patient care; and accepts no lectures about conditions of service for NHS personnel from a Party that did more in Government to demoralise the staff than any other in living memory and which spends most of its time in Opposition running down the achievements of the NHS staff and saying the Health Service can no longer cope.
13Section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Order [22nd April] and Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That this House takes note with approval of the Government's assessment as set out in the Financial Statement and Budget Report 1999-2000 and the Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report 1999-2000 for the purposes of section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993—(Mr Clive Betts);
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Hanson, Mr David Jamieson: 340.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Sir David Madel, Mrs Caroline Spelman: 121.
 
        So the Question was agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House takes note with approval of the Government's assessment as set out in the Financial Statement and Budget Report 1999-2000 and the Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report 1999-2000 for the purposes of section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993.
14Terms and Conditions of Employment,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 28th April, be approved—(Mr Clive Betts);
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Hanson, Mr David Jamieson: 330.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Sir David Madel, Mrs Caroline Spelman: 112.
 
        So the Question was agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That the draft Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 28th April, be approved.
15European Communities,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (Framework Agreement for Trade and Cooperation between the European Community and its Member States and the Republic of Korea) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 21st April, be approved—(Mr Clive Betts):—It was agreed to.
16European Communities,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States and the United Mexican States) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 26th April, be approved—(Mr Clive Betts):—It was agreed to.
17Social 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 and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations 1999, which were laid before this House on 4th May, be approved—(Mr Clive Betts):—It was agreed to.
18Social 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 Commissioners (Procedure) Regulations 1999, which were laid before this House on 21st April, be approved—(Mr Clive Betts):—It was agreed to.
19Local Government Finance,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the Local Government Finance (England) Special Grant Report (No. 47) on rural bus subsidy grants for 1999-2000 (House of Commons Paper No. 407), which was laid before this House on 27th April, be approved—(Mr Clive Betts):—It was agreed to.
20Defence,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft International Headquarters and Defence Organisations (Designation and Privileges) (Amendment) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 15th April, be approved—(Mr Clive Betts):—It was agreed to.
21Defence,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Visiting Forces and International Headquarters (Application of Law) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 15th April, be approved—(Mr Clive Betts):—It was agreed to.
22Public Petitions,—A Public Petition from residents of Broxtowe and others calling for legislation to require bells to be fitted to bicycles was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
23Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Clive Betts.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till twenty-eight minutes past Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 11.28 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

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

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
1Supreme Court of England and Wales,—European Parliamentary Election Petition (Amendment) Rules 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1398), dated 18th May 1999 [by Act] [Mr Keith Vaz].
Other Papers:
2Broadcasting,—Report and Financial Statements of the Radio Authority for 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Smith].
3European Communities (No. 9, 1999),—Convention, done at Brussels on 17th June 1998, drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on Driving Disqualifications, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 4327] [Mr Secretary Cook].
4Parliamentary Commissioner,—Fifth Report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, Session 1998-99: Selected Cases—November 1998 to March 1999 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 438] [Clerk of the House].
5Treaty Series (No. 31, 1999),—Convention, done at London on 23rd April 1996, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Mongolia for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital [by Command] [Cm. 4341] [Mr Secretary Cook].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Health Bill [Lords],—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mrs Helen Liddell from Standing Committee A (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Mr Calum Macdonald.
2Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill [Lords]:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee E; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has appointed sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr Paul Boateng, Mr James Clappison, Mr Harry Cohen, Mr Stephen Day, Julia Drown, Caroline Flint, Mr John Greenway, Mr Mike Hall, Mr George Howarth, Ms Beverley Hughes, Mr Elfyn Llwyd, Ms Margaret Moran, Bob Russell, Angela Smith, Gisela Stuart and Mr Robert Syms.
3Draft Army, Air Force and Naval Discipline Acts (Continuation) Order 1999:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Eighth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has appointed sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr Menzies Campbell, Mr Robin Corbett, Mr Terry Davis, Mrs Linda Gilroy, Mr Mike Hancock, Mr Doug Henderson, Mr Robert Key, Mrs Anne McGuire, Gillian Merron, Mr Jim Murphy, Mr Anthony Steen, Mr Ian Taylor, Mr John M. Taylor, Mr Gareth Thomas, Mr Mark Todd and Joan Walley.
4Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Kuwait) Order 1999:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the Order to the Ninth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has appointed sixteen Members to serve on the Committee; viz.: Mr Robert Ainsworth, Mr Graham Brady, Dr Vincent Cable, Mr Ronnie Campbell, Mr Jim Cousins, Mr Edward Davey, Mr Howard Flight, Mr Nick Gibb, Mr Oliver Heald, Mr Alan Johnson, Mr Martin Linton, Alice Mahon, Dawn Primarolo, Mr Phil Sawford, Mr Dennis Skinner and Mr Paul Stinchcombe.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Defence,—Third Special Report from the Defence Committee [Government Observations on the Third Report from the Committee, on The Future of NATO: The Washington Summit]; to be printed [No. 459] [Mr Bruce George].
2Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs,—(1) Eleventh Report from the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee [Reducing the Environmental Impact of Consumer Products], together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment Sub-Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 149-1 and III];
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [UK Climate Change Programme]; to be printed [No. 171-vii] [Mr Andrew F. Bennett]; and
 
        (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Transport Sub-Committee [Tendered Bus Services]; to be printed [No. 429-ii] [Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody].
3European Scrutiny,—(1) Twentieth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 34-xx]; and
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Pre-Council Scrutiny: Justice and Home Affairs Council 27-28 May 1999]; to be printed [No. 464]
 
    [Mr Bill Rammell].
4Financial Services and Markets,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on Financial Services and Markets; to be printed [No. 465] [Mr Barry Sheerman].
5Foreign Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee [Cologne European Council; Kosovo]; to be printed [Nos. 462-i and 188-iv] [Mr Donald Anderson].
6Home Affairs,—(1) Second Report from the Home Affairs Committee [Freemasonry in Public Life], together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 467]; and
 
        (2) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Freemasonry in Public Life]
 
    [Mr Chris Mullin].
7Northern Ireland Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [Operation of the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1989: Ten Years On]; to be printed [No. 95-ix] [Mr Peter Brooke].
8Procedure,—(1) Third Report from the Procedure Committee [Added Names to Early Day Motions], together with an Appendix; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 466]; and
 
        (2) Fourth Report from the Committee [The Procedural Consequences of Devolution]; together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 185]
 
    [Mr Nicholas Winterton].
9Scottish Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Scottish Affairs Committee [The Work of The Scottish Office]; to be printed [No. 460] [Mr David Marshall].
10Standards and Privileges,—(1) Seventh Report from the Committee on Standards and Privileges [Complaint against Mrs Teresa Gorman], together with an Appendix; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 458], and
 
        (2) Part of the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee on 18th May [Complaint against Mrs Teresa Gorman]; to be printed [No. 458-i]
 
    [Mr Robert Sheldon].



 
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