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Session 1999-2000
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 23rd November 1999

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Private Bills (Suspension),—The Speaker laid upon the Table a Certificate by one of the Clerks in the Private Bill Office that, in respect of the following Bill upon which proceedings were suspended in this House, the Agents for the Bill have deposited in the Private Bill Office a declaration signed by them, stating the Bill is the same, in every respect, as the Bill which was presented in the last Session of Parliament, viz.:
 
        City of London (Ward Elections) Bill.
2Private Bills,—The Standing Order of 2nd November relating to the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill being read;
 
        City of London (Ward Elections) Bill,—A Bill to make further provision with respect to the qualification of voters at ward elections in the city of London; and for connected purposes, was read the first and second time and committed to the Chairman of Ways and Means.
 
        City of London (Ward Elections) Bill,—The Chairman of Ways and Means reported, pursuant to the Standing Order of 2nd November, That he had gone through the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill and made Amendments thereunto.
 
        Ordered, That the Bill, as amended by the Chairman of Ways and Means, do lie upon the Table.
3Message from the Lords,—A Message was brought from the Lords, as follows:
 
        Alliance & Leicester plc (Group Reorganisation) Bill [Lords] (formerly Girobank plc (Transfer) Bill [Lords]),—The Lords have passed a Bill, intituled, An Act to provide for the transfer to Alliance & Leicester plc of the undertakings of Girobank plc and Alliance & Leicester Personal Finance Limited; and for related purposes; to which the Lords desire the concurrence of this House.
 
        City of Stoke-on-Trent Tunstall Northern By-Pass Local Government Act Compulsory Purchase Order 1997 (Petitions of General Objection),—The Lords communicate that they have appointed a Committee of three Lords to join with a Committee of the Commons as the Joint Committee to which the Petitions of General Objection against the City of Stoke-on-Trent Tunstall Northern By-Pass Local Government Act Compulsory Purchase Order 1997 stand referred, pursuant to section 4 of the Statutory Orders (Special Procedure) Act 1945; that they have ordered that the Committee have power to agree with the Committee of the Commons in the appointment of a Chairman; and that they propose that the Joint Committee do meet on Monday 29th November at half-past Ten o'clock in Committee Room 4.
 
        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 propose that the Committee do meet with the Committee appointed by the Commons this day at a quarter past Four o'clock.
4Private Bills [Lords] (Suspension),—The Speaker laid upon the Table a Certificate by one of the Clerks in the Private Bill Office that, in respect of the following Bills brought from the Lords, and upon which proceedings were suspended in this House, the Agents for each Bill have deposited in the Private Bill Office a declaration signed by them, stating the Bill is the same, in every respect, as the Bill which was brought from the House of Lords in the last Session of Parliament, viz.:
 
        Alliance & Leicester plc (Group Reorganisation) Bill [Lords] (formerly Girobank plc (Transfer) Bill [Lords])
 
        Baxi Partnership Limited Trusts Bill [Lords]
 
        London Local Authorities Bill [Lords]
 
        United Reformed Church Bill [Lords].
5Private Bills [Lords],—The Standing Orders of 27th October and 1st and 4th November relating to the Alliance & Leicester plc (Group Reorganisation) Bill [Lords], the Baxi Partnerships Limited Trusts Bill [Lords], the London Local Authorities Bill [Lords] and the United Reformed Church Bill [Lords] being read;
 
        Alliance & Leicester plc (Group Reorganisation) Bill [Lords],—The Alliance & Leicester plc (Group Reorganisation) Bill [Lords] was read the first time and second time, and committed.
 
        Baxi Partnership Limited Trusts Bill [Lords],—The Baxi Partnership Limited Trusts Bill [Lords] was read the first and second time, and committed.
 
        London Local Authorities Bill [Lords],—The London Local Authorities Bill [Lords] was read the first and second time, and committed.
 
        United Reformed Church Bill [Lords],—The United Reformed Church Bill [Lords] was read the first time and ordered to be read a second time.
6Liaison,—Mr Robert Sheldon reported, pursuant to Standing Order No. 145 (Liaison Committee), That the Liaison Committee had directed him to report the following recommendations for the allocation of time for the consideration of Estimates on an allotted day (being the first allotted day in the present Session of Parliament):
 
        That a day not later than 6th February be allotted for the consideration of the following Votes on Account for the financial year 2000-2001:
 
        1. Class III, Vote 6: Environment, Transport and the Regions: transport industries, in so far as they relate to aviation safety.
 
        2. Class XIII, Vote 1: Scotland and transfers to the Scottish Consolidated Fund, in so far as they relate to inward and outward investment in Scotland.
 
    and that debate on the first Estimate be interrupted not later than three hours after its commencement.
 
        Report to lie upon the Table.
7Queen's Speech (Motion for an Address),—The Order of the day being read, for resuming the adjourned Debate on the Question proposed [17th 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 makes no mention of the fact that the number of police officers in England and Wales has declined by more than 1,000 since the General Election, that a large proportion of the Government's measures have been ineffective, that crime is rising in many areas of the country and that, despite the large number of Home Office Bills listed in the Gracious Speech, there are hardly any measures to combat crime; further note the chaos in the Home Office over the past year which has been caused by the Government's mismanagement; deplore the Government's proposals to abolish the right to elect trial by jury; believe that the Government's proposals for Freedom of Information will result in greater secrecy; further regret the failure of the Government to reduce the burden of bureaucracy and regulation which places unnecessary restrictions on teachers and schools, particularly at a time when class sizes are rising, deplore the increasing centralisation and interference by Government evident in the measures contained in the Gracious Speech and condemn the failure of the Government to include any measures in the Gracious Speech to improve standards in schools; and call for effective scrutiny of the other measures proposed in the Gracious Speech to ensure that common sense prevails.'—(Miss Ann Widdecombe.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the Amendment be made;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Jacqui Lait, Mr Stephen Day:181.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Clive Betts, Mr Robert Ainsworth: 338.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Main Question being again proposed;
 
        And it being after Ten o'clock, the Debate stood adjourned.
 
        Ordered, That the Debate be resumed to-morrow.
8Supreme Court of England and Wales,—Resolved, That the draft Maximum Number of Judges Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 1st November, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.—(Jane Kennedy.)
9World Trade Organisation Millennium Round,—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 Union Document No. 10297/99, a Commission Communication on the European Union approach to the World Trade Organisation Millennium Round; considers that a new comprehensive round of trade negotiations is essential for growth and jobs, for maintaining the momentum of trade liberalisation and counteracting protectionist pressures, for promoting sustainable development and better integrating developing countries into the world trade system; and supports the Government's intention to press for this approach within the EU—(Mrs Anne McGuire):—It was agreed to.
10Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mrs Anne McGuire.)
 
        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 Two o'clock.

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
1Audit (Northern Ireland),—Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland on Road Safety in Northern Ireland [by Statutory Instrument]; to be printed [No. 10] [Mr Secretary Mandelson].
2Companies,—Report by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on Companies in 1998-99 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Byers].
3Customs and Excise,—Report and Financial Statements of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise for 1998-99, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Command] [Cm. 4447] [Dawn Primarolo].
4Employment Protection,—Report of the Central Arbitration Committee for 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Byers].
5Provisional Orders (Scotland),—Report by the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Lord Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords and the Chairman of Ways and Means in the House of Commons under the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1936, That they have taken into consideration the representations which have been made to the Secretary of State for Scotland by Alliance & Leicester plc that they desire to obtain the Parliamentary powers specified therein, to be operative in Scotland and elsewhere, and that it is expedient that such powers should be conferred by one enactment because it is necessary to provide for the uniform regulation in Scotland and elsewhere of the affairs of Alliance & Leicester plc and are of the opinion that the said powers would be more properly obtained by the promotion of a Private Bill than by the promotion of a Private Bill and of a draft Provisional Order under the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1936 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Reid].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Draft Dental Auxiliaries (Amendment) Regulations 1999,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr David Chaytor and Mr Stephen Day from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Regulations); and nominated in substitution Mr Denzil Davies and Mr Keith Simpson.
2Draft Number of Stipendiary Magistrates Order 1999,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr John McDonnell and Mr John M. Taylor from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Peter Atkinson and Mr Gerald Bermingham.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Agriculture,—(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Agriculture Committee [Marketing of Milk]; to be printed [No. 36-i]; and
 
        (2) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Implications for UK Agriculture and EU Agricultural Policy of Trade Liberalisation and the WTO Round; Marketing of Milk; Sea Fishing; Segregation of GM Foods]
 
    [Mr Peter Luff].
2Culture, Media and Sport,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee [Funding of the BBC]; to be printed [No. 25-ii] [Mr Gerald Kaufman].
3Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment Sub-Committee of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee [The Work of the Health and Safety Executive]; to be printed [No. 31-i] [Mr Andrew F. Bennett].
4Environmental Audit,—(1) First Report from the Environmental Audit Committee [EU Policy and the Environment: an Agenda for the Helsinki Summit], 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. 44]; and
 
        (2) Second Report from the Committee [World Trade and Sustainable Development: An agenda for the Seattle Summit (incorporating the Government's Response to the First Report of the Committee, 1998-99, on Multilateral Agreement on Investment, HC 58)], 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. 45]
 
    [Mr John Horam].
5Foreign Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee [Human Rights Annual Report]; to be printed [No. 41-i] [Mr Donald Anderson].
6Home Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Home Affairs Committee [Managing Dangerous People with Severe Personality Disorder]; to be printed [No. 42-i] [Mr Robin Corbett].
7Procedure,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Procedure Committee [Delegated Legislation]; to be printed [No. 48-i] [Mr Nicholas Winterton].
8Public Administration,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on Public Administration [The Modernising Government Initiative]; to be printed [No. 40-i] [Dr Tony Wright].
9Statutory Instruments,—First Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No.40-i] Mr David Tredinnick].
10Trade and Industry,—(1) First Report from the Trade and Industry Committee [Government Observations on the Thirteenth Report from the Committee, Session 1998-99, on Small Business and Enterprise], together with an Appendix; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 49];
 
        (2) First Special Report from the Committee [Government Observations on the Eleventh and Twelfth Reports from the Committee, Session 1998-99, on The Horizon Project for Automated Payment of Benefits through Post Offices; the 1999 Post Office White Paper]; to be printed [No. 50]; and
 
        (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Pre-Budget Scrutiny: Climate Change Levy; Export Credits Guarantee Department]; to be printed [Nos. 51-i & 52-i]
 
    [Mr Martin O'Neill].
11Treasury,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Treasury Committee on 18th November and 23rd November [The Bank of England November Inflation Report]; to be printed [Nos. 43-i & -ii] [Mr Giles Radice].


CORRIGENDUM
In the Votes and Proceedings of 22nd November 1999, the entry (Welsh Affairs) in Appendix III should have House of Commons printing number 46-i.



 
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Revised 24 November 1999