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House of Commons
Session 1998-99
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Monday 24th May 1999

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 have agreed to the Rating (Valuation) Bill, without Amendment.
 
        The Lords have agreed to the Northern Ireland (Location of Victims' Remains) Bill, without Amendment.
 
        Draft Local Government (Functions and Standards) Bill,—The Lords concur with the Commons in their Message [21st May], That it is expedient that a Joint Committee of Lords and Commons be appointed to consider the draft Local Government (Functions and Standards) Bill published in the Command Paper entitled Local Leadership, Local Choice (Cm. 4298), and that the Committee should report by 31st July 1999.
2Road Traffic Regulation (Cycle Parking) Bill [Lords],—The Road Traffic Regulation (Cycle Parking) Bill [Lords] was read the first time, and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 11th June and to be printed [Bill 109].
 
        Ordered, That the Explanatory Notes relating to the Road Traffic Regulation (Cycle Parking) Bill [Lords] be printed [Bill 109-EN].
3Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill [Lords],—The Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill [Lords] was, according to Order, read a second time and stood committed to a Standing Committee.
4Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill [Lords] [Money],—Her Majesty's Recommendation having been signified to the proposed Motion relating to Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill [Lords] [Money];
 
        A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 52 (Money resolutions and ways and means resolutions in connection with bills), That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill [Lords], it is expedient to authorise—
 
        (1) the issuing out of the National Loans Fund of sums required by the Secretary of State for making loans to the Commonwealth Development Corporation or a company associated with it;
 
        (2) the charging on and issuing out of the Consolidated Fund of sums required by the Treasury for fulfilling any guarantee given for the discharge of financial obligations of the Corporation;
 
        (3) the payment out of money provided by Parliament of—
 
          (i) sums required by the Secretary of State for fulfilling any guarantee given for the discharge of financial obligations of companies associated with the Corporation;
 
          (ii) sums required by the Secretary of State in connection with the acquisition of, or of rights to subscribe for, securities issued by the Corporation and companies associated with it;
 
          (iii) any increase attributable to the Act in the administrative expenses of the Secretary of State or the Treasury;
 
          (iv) any increase attributable to the Act in the sums payable out of money provided by Parliament under any other Act;
 
        (4) the extinguishing of liabilities of the Corporation and of companies associated with it in respect of guarantees under the Act and advances and guarantees under the Commonwealth Development Corporation Act 1978;
 
        (5) the payment of sums into the Consolidated Fund or the National Loans Fund—(Mr Greg Pope):—It was agreed to.
5Modernisation of the House of Commons,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House approves the Second Report from the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons, on Sittings of the House in Westminster Hall (House of Commons Paper No. 194)—(Margaret Beckett);
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 3, at the end to add the words 'except for paragraphs 17 and 24, and considers that the new sittings should be known as the Commons Committee; that the Wednesday morning sitting devoted to private members' business should not be transferred to Westminster Hall; and that the seating plan to be adopted should be as set out in Appendix 2 of the Report.'.—(Mr Eric Forth.)
 
        Question proposed, That the Amendment be made.
 
        And it being three hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Motion, the Speaker put the Questions necessary to dispose of those proceedings, pursuant to Order [21st May].
 
        Question put, That the Amendment be made.
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Eric Forth, Mr David Maclean: 43.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Keith Hill, Mr Kevin Hughes: 144.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Main Question being put;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Keith Hill, Mr Kevin Hughes: 145.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Eric Forth, Mr David Maclean: 36.
 
        So the Question was agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House approves the Second Report from the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons, on Sittings of the House in Westminster Hall (House of Commons Paper No. 194).
6Sittings in Westminster Hall,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Order [21st May], That in the next Session of Parliament the Standing Orders and practice of the House shall have effect subject to the modifications set out below:
 
        (1) On days on which the House shall sit there shall be a sitting in Westminster Hall—
 
          (a) on Tuesdays between Ten o'clock and One o'clock;
 
          (b) on Wednesdays between half-past Nine o'clock and Two o'clock; and
 
          (c) on Thursdays beginning at half-past Two o'clock and continuing for up to three hours (and in calculating that period no account shall be taken of any period during which the sitting may be suspended owing to a division being called in the House or a committee of the whole House).
 
        (2) Any Member of the House may take part in a sitting in Westminster Hall.
 
        (3) Subject to paragraph (12) below, the business taken at any sitting in Westminster Hall shall be such as the Chairman of Ways and Means shall appoint.
 
        (4) The Chairman of Ways and Means or a Deputy Chairman shall take the chair in Westminster Hall as Deputy Speaker; and the House may appoint not more than four other members of the Chairmen's Panel to sit in Westminster Hall as Deputy Speaker.
 
        (5) Any order made or resolution come to at a sitting in Westminster Hall (other than a resolution to adjourn) shall be reported to the House by the Deputy Speaker and shall be deemed to be an order or resolution of the House.
 
        (6) If a motion be made by a Minister of the Crown that an order of the day be proceeded with at a sitting in Westminster Hall, the question thereon shall be put forthwith, but such motion may be made only with the leave of the House and may not be made on a Friday.
 
        (7) The quorum at a sitting in Westminster Hall shall be three.
 
        (8) If at a sitting in Westminster Hall the opinion of the Deputy Speaker as to the decision of a question (other than a question for adjournment) is challenged, that question shall not be decided, and the Deputy Speaker shall report to the House accordingly; and any such question shall be put forthwith upon a motion being made in the House.
 
        (9) If any business other than a motion for adjournment is under consideration at a sitting in Westminster Hall, and not fewer than six Members rise in their places and signify their objection to further proceeding, that business shall not be further proceeded with in Westminster Hall, and the Deputy Speaker shall report to the House accordingly, and any order under paragraph (6) above relating thereto shall be discharged.
 
        (10) At the end of each sitting in Westminster Hall, unless a question for adjournment has previously been agreed to, the Deputy Speaker shall adjourn the sitting without putting any question; and proceedings on any business which has been entered upon but not disposed of shall lapse.
 
        (11) The provisions of Standing Orders No. 29 (Powers of chair to propose question), No. 36 (Closure of debate), No. 37 (Majority for closure or proposal of question), No. 38 (Procedure on divisions), No. 39 (Voting), No. 40 (Division unnecessarily claimed), No. 41 (Quorum), No. 43 (Disorderly conduct), No. 44 (Order in debate), No. 45 (Members suspended, &c. to withdraw from precincts), No. 45A (Suspension of salary of Members suspended) and No. 163 (Motions to sit in private) shall not apply to sittings in Westminster Hall.
 
        (12) The House shall meet on Wednesdays at half-past two o'clock, and paragraphs (1) and (2) of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House) shall have effect on Wednesdays; and Standing Order No. 10 (Wednesday sittings), so far as it relates to business taken before Two o'clock, shall apply only to sitting in Westminster Hall, and shall have effect as if paragraph (3) were omitted—(Mr David Clelland);
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr David Hanson, Mr Keith Hill: 132.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Eric Forth, Mr David Maclean: 26.
 
        So the Question was agreed to.
 
        Ordered, That in the next Session of Parliament the Standing Orders and practice of the House shall have effect subject to the modifications set out below:
 
        (1) On days on which the House shall sit there shall be a sitting in Westminster Hall—
 
          (a) on Tuesdays between Ten o'clock and One o'clock;
 
          (b) on Wednesdays between half-past Nine o'clock and Two o'clock; and
 
          (c) on Thursdays beginning at half-past Two o'clock and continuing for up to three hours (and in calculating that period no account shall be taken of any period during which the sitting may be suspended owing to a division being called in the House or a committee of the whole House).
 
        (2) Any Member of the House may take part in a sitting in Westminster Hall.
 
        (3) Subject to paragraph (12) below, the business taken at any sitting in Westminster Hall shall be such as the Chairman of Ways and Means shall appoint.
 
        (4) The Chairman of Ways and Means or a Deputy Chairman shall take the chair in Westminster Hall as Deputy Speaker; and the House may appoint not more than four other members of the Chairmen's Panel to sit in Westminster Hall as Deputy Speaker.
 
        (5) Any order made or resolution come to at a sitting in Westminster Hall (other than a resolution to adjourn) shall be reported to the House by the Deputy Speaker and shall be deemed to be an order or resolution of the House.
 
        (6) If a motion be made by a Minister of the Crown that an order of the day be proceeded with at a sitting in Westminster Hall, the question thereon shall be put forthwith, but such motion may be made only with the leave of the House and may not be made on a Friday.
 
        (7) The quorum at a sitting in Westminster Hall shall be three.
 
        (8) If at a sitting in Westminster Hall the opinion of the Deputy Speaker as to the decision of a question (other than a question for adjournment) is challenged, that question shall not be decided, and the Deputy Speaker shall report to the House accordingly; and any such question shall be put forthwith upon a motion being made in the House.
 
        (9) If any business other than a motion for adjournment is under consideration at a sitting in Westminster Hall, and not fewer than six Members rise in their places and signify their objection to further proceeding, that business shall not be further proceeded with in Westminster Hall, and the Deputy Speaker shall report to the House accordingly, and any order under paragraph (6) above relating thereto shall be discharged.
 
        (10) At the end of each sitting in Westminster Hall, unless a question for adjournment has previously been agreed to, the Deputy Speaker shall adjourn the sitting without putting any question; and proceedings on any business which has been entered upon but not disposed of shall lapse.
 
        (11) The provisions of Standing Orders No. 29 (Powers of chair to propose question), No. 36 (Closure of debate), No. 37 (Majority for closure or proposal of question), No. 38 (Procedure on divisions), No. 39 (Voting), No. 40 (Division unnecessarily claimed), No. 41 (Quorum), No. 43 (Disorderly conduct), No. 44 (Order in debate), No. 45 (Members suspended, &c. to withdraw from precincts), No. 45A (Suspension of salary of Members suspended) and No. 163 (Motions to sit in private) shall not apply to sittings in Westminster Hall.
 
        (12) The House shall meet on Wednesdays at half-past Two o'clock, and paragraphs (1) and (2) of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House) shall have effect on Wednesdays; and Standing Order No. 10 (Wednesday sittings), so far as it relates to business taken before Two o'clock, shall apply only to sitting in Westminster Hall, and shall have effect as if paragraph (3) were omitted.
7Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr David Clelland.)
 
        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 o'clock.

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
1Legal Aid and Advice,—Legal Aid in Criminal Cases (Statement of Means) (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 1999 (S.R.(N.I.), 1999, No. 241), dated 21st May 1999 [by Statutory Instrument] [Mr Keith Vaz].
2Maintenance of Dependents,—Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (Hague Convention Countries) (Variation) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1318), dated 11th May 1999 [by Act] [Margaret Beckett].
3Protection of Wrecks,—The Protection of Wrecks (Designation) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1438), dated 23rd May 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Smith].
Other Papers:
4Broadcasting,—Report and Financial Statements of the Channel Four Television Corporation for 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Smith].
5Freedom of Information,—Paper, entitled Freedom of Information: Consultation on Draft Legislation [by Command] [Cm. 4355] [Mr Secretary Straw].
6National Audit,—Reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General on—
 
        (1) Procurement in the English Higher Education Sector, and
 
        (2) The Millennium Threat: 221 Days and Counting
 
        [by Act]; to be printed [Nos. 437 and 436] [Clerk of the House].
7Representation of the People,—European Parliamentary Elections (Welsh Forms) (Amendment) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1402), dated 18th May 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Straw].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
Draft Army, Air Force and Naval Discipline Acts (Continuation) Order 1999,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Terry Davis from the Eighth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Martin Salter.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Defence,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Defence Committee [Security of Supply: The Award of a Propellant Contract] to be printed [No. 274-iii] [Mr Bruce George].
2Public Accounts,—(1) Sixteenth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [National Savings: Developments in Financial Reporting]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 243];
 
        (2) Seventeenth Report from the Committee [Ministry of Defence: Major Equipment Storage]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 266];
 
        (3) Eighteenth Report from the Committee [Ministry of Defence: Appropriation Accounts 1997-98]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 289]; and
 
        (4) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Inland Revenue: Inheritance Tax: A Progress Report]; to be printed [No. 474-i]
 
    [Mr David Davis].
3Treasury,—Fifth Report from the Treasury Committee [The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England: Confirmation Hearings], together with the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 476] [Mr Giles Radice].



 
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