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House of Commons
Session 1999-2000
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 17th November 1999

The House met at twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Message to attend Her Majesty,—A Message from Her Majesty was delivered by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.
 
        Madam Speaker,
 
        The Queen commands this Honourable House to attend Her Majesty immediately in the House of Peers.
 
        Accordingly, Madam Speaker, with the House, went up to attend Her Majesty:—And having returned;
 
        Madam Speaker resumed the Chair at half-past Two o'clock.
2Elections,—Ordered, That all Members who are returned for two or more places in any part of the United Kingdom do make their Election for which of the places they will serve, within one week after it shall appear that there is no question upon the Return for that place; and if any thing shall come in question touching the Return or Election of any Member, he is to withdraw during the time the matter is in debate; and that all Members returned upon double Returns do withdraw till their Returns are determined.
 
        Resolved, That if it shall appear that any person hath been elected or returned a Member of this House, or endeavoured so to be by bribery, or any other corrupt practices, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against all such persons as shall have been wilfully concerned in such bribery or other corrupt practices.
3Witnesses,—Resolved, That if it shall appear that any person hath been tampering with any witness, in respect of his evidence to be given to this House, or any Committee thereof, or directly or indirectly hath endeavoured to deter or hinder any person from appearing or giving evidence, the same is declared to be a high crime and misdemeanour; and this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender.
 
        Resolved, That if it shall appear that any person hath given false evidence in any case before this House, or any Committee thereof, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender.
4Metropolitan Police,—Ordered, That the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis do take care that during the Session of Parliament the passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and open and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House, and that no disorder be allowed in Westminster Hall, or in the passages leading to this House, during the Sitting of Parliament, and that there be no annoyance therein or thereabouts; and that the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do communicate this Order to the Commissioner aforesaid.
5Votes and Proceedings,—Ordered, That the Votes and Proceedings of this House be printed, being first perused by the Speaker; and that she do appoint the printing thereof; and that no person but such as she shall appoint do presume to print the same.
6Outlawries,—A Bill for the more effectual preventing Clandestine Outlawries was read the first time and ordered to be read a second time.
7Journal,—Ordered, That the Journal of this House, from the end of the last Session to the end of the present Session, with an Index thereto, be printed.
 
        Ordered, That the said Journal and Index be printed by the appointment and under the direction of William Robert McKay, Esquire, C.B., the Clerk of this House.
 
        Ordered, That the said Journal and Index be printed by such person as shall be licensed by the Speaker, and that no other person do presume to print the same.
8Selection (Standing Committees),—Mr John McWilliam reported from the Committee of Selection the following Resolution:
 
        That, after a Bill has been under consideration in a Standing Committee, no application for changes in the composition of that Committee in respect of that Bill will be entertained by this Committee except where a Member is incapacitated from attendance by illness or where he has been appointed or ceased to be a member of the Government or has changed his office for another, or has acquired other duties, or ceased to hold or changed such duties.
 
        Report to lie upon the Table.
9Selection (Select Committees),—Mr John McWilliam reported from the Committee of Selection the following Resolution:
 
        That Motions to alter the membership of Select Committees may be tabled on behalf of the Committee of Selection only if previously approved at a meeting of the Committee of Selection.
 
        Report to lie upon the Table.
10Chairman's Panel (Parliament Act 1911),—Mr John McWilliam reported from the Committee of Selection, That, in pursuance of section 1(3) of the Parliament Act 1911, it had appointed Mr John McWilliam and Mr Nicholas Winterton to be the two Members whom the Speaker shall consult, if practicable, before certifying a Bill to be a Money Bill.
11Standing Committee C,—Mr John McWilliam reported from the Committee of Selection, That it had designated Standing Committee C as the Committee on which Government Bills shall not have precedence.
12Queen's Speech,—Madam Speaker reported Her Majesty's Speech and directed that it be entered in the Journal, as follows:
 
        My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
 
        This is my Government's third legislative programme. It aims to build on my Government's programme of reform as they seek to modernise the country and its institutions to meet the challenges of the new Millennium.
 
        My Government's aim is to promote fairness and enterprise, providing people with real opportunities to liberate their potential. They will focus on continued modernising of our economy, the promotion of enterprise, reform of the welfare system, protection of the public, and the development of a safe transport system.
 
        The central economic objectives of my Government are high and stable levels of economic growth and employment. More people are in work in Britain today than ever before, with employment up by 700,000, and long-term unemployment has halved.
 
        My Government are helping people back into work. The New Deal has helped 145,000 young people into employment.
 
        My Government have introduced a national minimum wage and a new 10p starting rate of tax. They have reformed National Insurance and from next April will cut the basic rate of income tax. The new Working Families Tax Credit, introduced in October, is raising incomes of working families.
 
        My Government will continue to manage the public finances prudently, in accordance with the Code for Fiscal Stability and the two fiscal rules.
 
        The new system of monetary policy-making ensures that interest rate decisions are taken in the best long-term interests of the economy. As a result, long-term interest rates are around their lowest level for almost thirty years. Inflation is historically low and expected to meet my Government's target of 2Ö per cent.
 
        My Government will continue to work with others to promote economic reform in Europe. They will work for more open markets, greater economic growth and new job creation.
 
        To prepare Britain as a dynamic, knowledge-based economy my Government will introduce a Bill to promote electronic commerce and electronic government, improving our ability to compete in the digital marketplace.
 
        Financial services lie at the heart of a modern economy. The financial services industry accounts for 7 per cent of our national income, employing over 1 million people. With the new Financial Services Authority, my Government are determined to maintain and advance the UK's position, and the Bill introduced last Session will be carried over to this.
 
        As part of my Government's drive to address inappropriate and over-complex regulation, legislation will be introduced to increase the effectiveness of the power to remove regulatory burdens.
 
        My Government will introduce a Bill to enable the Post Office to improve its services and to compete more effectively in UK and overseas markets.
 
        To put the consumer first, cut prices and make utitility regulation more transparent and accountable, a Bill will be introduced to modernise the utility regulation system.
 
        Legislation will be introduced to assist the rescue of viable businesses in short-term difficulties, and improve the procedure for disqualifying unfit company directors.
 
        My Government believe a stronger and fairer society strengthens our economy. They will continue to give young people and the long-term unemployed the opportunity to learn new skills and fulfil their potential.
 
        Education remains my Government's number one priority. My Government will continue to implement policies to reward good teaching, reduce infant class sizes, and continue the drive to build on the improvements in literacy and numeracy already achieved.
 
        Having focused change upon primary and secondary education, a Bill will now be introduced to establish a new Learning and Skills Council to improve standards for Post 16 education and training.
 
        As part of my Government's drive against social exclusion, a Bill will be introduced to improve the help available to young people leaving local authority care.
 
        To build on my Government's modernisation of the welfare system, a Bill will be introduced to reform child support so that money gets to children more speedily and effectively. It will introduce further pension reforms, including the State Second Pension, which will give more help to low earners, carers and long-term disabled people with broken work records. And it will reinforce people's obligations to society by linking benefit entitlement to compliance with community sentences.
 
        Legislation will be introduced to improve the education of children with Special Educational Needs. My Government are determined to promote fairness of opportunity for disabled people building on the establishment of a Disability Rights Commission.
 
        Members of the House of Commons
 
        Estimates for the public service will be laid before you.
 
        My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
 
        My Government's ten year programme of modernisation for health and social care will provide faster, more convenient services to help improve the country's health.
 
        As part of this programme, a Bill will be introduced to improve standards and stamp out abuse in social services, in private and voluntary healthcare, and in childcare.
 
        My Government are determined to reduce crime and improve public protection. A Bill will be introduced to extend the use of mandatory drug testing in the criminal justice system. It will reform the probation services in England and Wales, create a new Children and Family Court Advisory Service, and prevent unsuitable people from working with children.
 
        A Bill will be introduced to give the courts themselves the power to decide whether certain defendants should be tried by jury or by magistrates.
 
        The Bill to equalise the age of consent, and strengthen the protection of young people from abuse of trust, will be re-introduced.
 
        My Government are determined to combat terrorism. A Bill will be introduced to modernise and make permanent the powers available to respond to all forms of terrorism.
 
        A Bill will be introduced to ensure that the interception of communications, and the use of other intrusive techniques, continues to be regulated for the protection both of the rights of individuals and of society as a whole.
 
        The report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence raised profound issues for our multiracial society. A Bill will be introduced which will make it unlawful for public bodies to racially discriminate, implementing one of the report's key recommendations.
 
        A Bill will be introduced to give people greater access to the countryside and to improve protection for wildlife. And my Government will continue their leading role in protecting the global climate.
 
        My Government are committed to creating a modern integrated and safe transport system, providing more choice for the travelling public. Following the recent tragedy at Paddington my Government will ensure that rail safety is a top priority. A Bill will be re-introduced to establish a Strategic Rail Authority. It will contain measures to improve bus services and reduce road congestion. It will include measures for National Air Traffic Services to separate safety regulation from operational matters, and deliver major investment in the next generation technology.
 
        My Government will bring forward a Bill to introduce the latest accounting methods to improve value for money in Whitehall and generate more investment in public infrastructure and front line services.
 
        A Bill will be brought forward to allow firms to incorporate with limited liability whilst organising themselves as partnerships.
 
        A Bill will be introduced to modernise the powers and duties of trustees.
 
        My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
 
        In Northern Ireland, my Government will continue to work closely with the political parties and the Irish Government to secure the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. A Bill will be presented to implement proposals from the Independent Commission on Policing, following the completion of consultation.
 
        My Government are committed to making devolution in Scotland and Wales work and to continue the process of decentralising Government in the interests of all the people in the United Kingdom.
 
        A Bill will be introduced to set up an Electoral Commission to regulate the funding and spending of political parties and organisations. My Government will also bring forward a Bill to reform our electoral procedures to make it easier for people to participate in elections.
 
        My Government are committed to further long-term reform of the House of Lords and will look forward to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords.
 
        A Bill will be brought forward to reform local government to make it more innovative and accountable.
 
        My Government will introduce a Bill on Freedom of Information. It will give everyone the right of access to information held across the public sector for the first time.
 
        My Government will continue to provide greater openness by publishing legislation in draft for public scrutiny. This will include Bills enabling the United Kingdom to ratify the International Criminal Court, promoting more efficient water use and leasehold reform as well as commonhold for flat owners.
 
        Other measures will be laid before you.
 
        The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to receiving a State Visit by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Prince Henrik in February next year.
 
        We also look forward to our visit to Australia in March.
 
        My Government will work towards a new partnership between Britain and the Overseas Territories. They will take forward the offer of British Citizenship to the people of the Territories.
 
        My Government will take a leading role with our partners to shape the future development of the European Union. They will promote the enlargement of the Union, support co-operation in the fight against cross-border crime and work to improve the effectiveness of the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy and its development programmes.
 
        My Government will ensure that NATO remains the foundation of Britain's defence and security. They will seek to continue the work of adapting the Alliance to meet the challenges and opportunities of the new century.
 
        A Bill will be introduced to reform aspects of the armed forces' system for administering discipline.
 
        My Government will seek to modernise the United Nations. They will work to make the Security Council more effective and more representative.
 
        Over the coming year, which is the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, my Government will build on their work to strengthen protection for children. My Government will take further measures to meet its target of abolishing child poverty in 20 years. It will play an active part in the Council of Europe Conference against Racism.
 
        My Government believe this is a substantial programme of work, addressing their priorities and helping the country to meet the challenges of the new millennium.
 
        My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
 
        I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.
13Queen's Speech (Motion for an Address),—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, 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—(Dr Jack Cunningham);
 
        Ordered, That the Debate be now adjourned.—(Mr David Jamieson.)
 
        Debate to be resumed to-morrow.
14Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr David Jamieson.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till twenty-nine minutes past Ten o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 10.29 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 presented by Her Majesty's Command and delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office during the Prorogation of Parliament pursuant to Standing Order No. 158 (Presentation of command papers):
1Mental Health,—Paper, entitled Reform of the Mental Health Act 1983: Proposals for Consultation [Cm. 4480] [Mr Secretary Milburn].
Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on the undermentioned dates during the Prorogation of Parliament pursuant to Standing Order No. 159 (Presentation of statutory instruments):
Papers subject to Negative Resolution
Monday 15th November 1999
2Housing,—Housing Accommodation (Persons subject to Immigration Control) (Amendment) (England) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 3057), dated 15th November 1999 [Mr Secretary Prescott].
3Immigration,—Asylum Support (Interim Provisions) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 3056), dated 13th November 1999 [Mr Secretary Straw].
Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Wednesday 17th November 1999:
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
4Agriculture,—Draft Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 [by Act] [Mr Nicholas Brown].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
5Financial Services,—Financial Services Act 1986 (Exemption) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 3085), dated 17th November 1999 [by Act] [Miss Melanie Johnson].
Other Papers:
6Agricultural Marketing,—Report and Accounts of Food from Britain for 1998-99 [by Act] [Mr Nicholas Brown].
7Culture, Media and Sport,—Department of Culture, Media and Sport Minute concerning the proposed gifting of the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, to the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Smith].
8Energy Information,—First Report on the Exercise of Functions by Enforcement Authorities under the Energy Information (Refrigerators and Freezers) Regulations 1994 [by Statutory Instrument] [Mr Secretary Prescott].
9Environment, Transport and the Regions,—Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions Minute concerning a contingent liability consequent upon indemnification for legal action in relation to an independent inquiry into safety on the River Thames conducted by the Rt Hon Lord Justice Clarke [by Command] [Mr Secretary Prescott].
10Legal Aid and Advice (Scotland),—Report and Statement of Accounts of the Scottish Legal Aid Board for 1998-99 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Reid].
11Museums and Galleries,—Accounts of the National Museum of Wales for 1998-99, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 17] [Clerk of the House].
12Public Accounts,—Treasury Minute on the Twenty-fourth and Thirty-fifth to Thirty-eighth Reports from the Committee of Public Accounts, Session 1998-99 [by Command] [Cm. 4515] [Mr Stephen Timms].
13Public Petitions,—Observations by the Secretary of State for Health on the Petition [13th July] from patients, parents, relatives and supporters of patients and residents within the catchment area served by the Poole Hospital Cleft Team against the relocation of services provided by the Team; to be printed [by Standing Order] [Clerk of the House].
14Transport,—Report and Accounts of the Scottish Transport Group for 1998-99 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Reid].
15Treaty Series (No. 73, 1999),—Headquarters Agreement, done at London on 15th April 1999, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the International Mobile Satellite Organisation [by Command] [Cm. 4511] [Mr Secretary Cook].
16Treaty Series (No. 74, 1999),—Agreement, done at Tallinn on 23rd February 1995 and at Stockholm on 23rd April 1996, between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden regarding the M/S Estonia with Additional Protocol [by Command] [Cm. 4512] [Mr Secretary Cook].
17Treaty Series (No. 75, 1999),—Amendment, done at Peking on 17th September 1998, to the Protocol on Scientific and Technological Co-operation between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People's Republic of China [by Command] [Cm. 4513] [Mr Secretary Cook].
18Treaty Series (No. 76, 1999),—Agreement, done at To«rshavn (Faroe Islands) on 18th May 1999, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on the one hand, and the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark together with the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, on the other hand, relating to the Maritime Delimitation in the area between the United Kingdom and the Faroe Islands [by Command] [Cm. 4514] [Mr Secretary Cook].
APPENDIX II
Private Business
1Committee on Unopposed Bills (Panel),—Mr John McWilliam reported from the Committee of Selection, That it had appointed eighteen Members to be the Panel of Members to serve on the Committee on Unopposed Bills under Standing Order 111 relating to Private Business (Reference to committees of opposed and unopposed bills), viz.: John Austin, Mr Nigel Beard, Mr Peter Bottomley, Mrs Helen Brinton, Mr John Butterfill, Mr Philip Hammond, Mr Brian Jenkins, Mr John McDonnell, Mr Andrew Mackinlay, Mr David Marshall, Mr Syd Rapson, Mr Nick St. Aubyn, Mr Andrew Stunell, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe, Mr Jon Trickett, Mr Robert Walter, Mrs Ann Winterton and Audrey Wise.
2Provisional Orders (Scotland) (Panel),—The Committee of Selection, in pursuance of Standing Order 228 relating to Private Business (Parliamentary Panel), has selected fifteen members to form the Parliamentary Panel of Members of the House to act as Commissioners under the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1935, viz.: Mr Douglas Alexander, Dr Lynda Clarke, Mr Eric Clark, Mr Michael Connarty, Mr Ian Davidson, Mr Brian H. Donohoe, Mr Donald Gorrie, Rosemary McKenna, Mr David Marshall, Mr John Maxton, Mr Michael Moore, Mr Alisdair Morgan, Sir Robert Smith, Mr Andrew Welsh and Mr James Wray.
3Standing Orders Committee,—The Committee of Selection has nominated six members to serve on the Standing Orders Committee under Standing Order 103 relating to Private Business (Appointment of Standing Orders Committee), viz.: Mrs Llin Golding, Mr Brian Jenkins, Mr Bill O'Brien, Mr Ernie Ross, Mr Andrew Stunell and Mr Nicholas Winterton.
Standing Committees
4Draft Dental Auxiliaries (Amendment) Regulations 1999:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Regulations to the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has appointed sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Dr Peter Brand, Mr David Chaytor, Ann Clwyd, Mr John Cryer, Mr Stephen Day, Mrs Janet Dean, Mr Paul Goggins, Mr James Gray, Mr Philip Hammond, Mr John Hutton, Mr David Jamieson, Mr Kevin McNamara, Mr Denis Murphy, Mr Brian Sedgemore, Mr Richard Shepherd and The Reverend Martin Smyth.
5Draft Number of Stipendiary Magistrates Order 1999:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has appointed sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr Richard Allan, Mr John Burnett, Mr Christopher Chope, Mr Paul Clark, Mr Geraint Davies, Mr Andrew Dismore, Mr Nick Hawkins, Jane Kennedy, Mr Piara S. Khabra, Mr John McDonnell, Mrs Anne McGuire, Mr Dan Norris, Mr Stephen O'Brien, Helen Southworth, Mr John M. Taylor and Dr Tony Wright.
Grand Committees
6Northern Ireland Grand Committee,—The Committee of Selection has nominated twenty-three additional Members to serve on the Northern Ireland Grand Committee, viz.: Mr Harry Barnes, Mr Tony Colman, Mr James Cran, Mr Mike Gapes, Dr Norman A. Godman, Mr Phil Hope, Mr Andrew Hunter, Helen Jackson, Mr Andrew MacKay, Shona McIsaac, Mr Kevin McNamara, Mr Tony McNulty, Mr Tony McWalter, Ms Margaret Moran, Mr Malcolm Moss, Mr Bill O'Brien, Mr Lembit Öpik, Ms Sandra Osborne, Mr Stephen Pound, Mr Andrew Robathan, Mr Martin Salter, Mr Ian Taylor and Mr Gareth R. Thomas.
7Welsh Grand Committee,—The Committee of Selection has nominated two additional Members to serve on the Welsh Grand Committee, viz.: Mr Nigel Evans and Mr Owen Paterson.
European Standing Committees
8European Standing Committee A,—Mr John McWilliam reported from the Committee of Selection, That it had nominated thirteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr David Chaytor, Mrs Janet Dean, Mr Jim Dobbin, Mr Michael Jabez Foster, Dr Ian Gibson, Mr Christopher Gill, Mr Owen Paterson, Mr Lawrie Quinn, Sir Robert Smith, Mr George Stevenson, Mr William Thompson, Mr Peter Viggers and Dr Rudi Vis.
9European Standing Committee B,—Mr John McWilliam reported from the Committee of Selection, That it had nominated thirteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Jackie Ballard, Mr Paul Clark, Mrs Eileen Gordon, Jane Griffiths, Mr Fabian Hamilton, Mr Kelvin Hopkins, Mr David Lepper, Dr Nick Palmer, Mr Bill Rammell, Mr William Ross, Mr Robert Walter, Sir Raymond Whitney and Mr John Wilkinson.
10European Standing Committee C,—Mr John McWilliam reported from the Committee of Selection, That it had nominated thirteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Norman Baker, Mr David Borrow, Mr David Crausby, Mr Keith Darvill, Dr Evan Harris, Mr Ivan Henderson, Mr Stephen Hesford, Mr Michael Jack, Dr Stephen Ladyman, Mr Tim Loughton, Miss Ann McIntosh, Miss Geraldine Smith and Mr Anthony D. Wright.


VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS
 
        The Speaker appointed The Stationery Office Limited to print the Votes and Proceedings of this House.



 
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