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Mr. Garnier: My hon. Friend candidly admitted that there is no stag hunting in his constituency; neither is

6 Mar 1998 : Column 1329

there in mine. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King) asked about the continuance of stag hunting under the Bill. My hon. Friend might apply his mind not only to clause 3(1)(b), which the Minister quoted, but to paragraph (a). Red deer is delicious to eat. That paragraph would permit the stalking of a wild mammal or its flushing from cover for the purpose of


    "obtaining food for human consumption",

although, as the Minister was perfectly correct in saying, only if the hunter takes reasonable steps to ensure that the wild mammal is shot. That is precisely what happens with stag hounds in the constituency of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bridgwater and in other parts of Devon. Therefore, the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Foster) has yet to get his head round--[Hon. Members: "Speech."] Is it a speech? Those are words.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Greenway: My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier) has made precisely the point that I was making: to differentiate between locating stags with dogs--

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: Hounds.

Mr. Greenway: Hounds--as my hon. Friend says--and shooting the stags; and the impracticality of using hounds to locate and flush out a fox, and then requiring that the fox be shot. Common sense tells us that hounds will dispatch the fox with all due speed long before people with guns have arrived.

Mr. Peter Atkinson: Like some of my hon. Friends, I am now totally confused about the meaning of clause 3. Like them, I thought that it would permit stag hunting. However, the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Foster) shook his head when that provision of the Bill was stated. Will my hon. Friend try to elicit an answer from the Minister or the hon. Member for Worcester on whether clause 3 would or would not allow stag hunting?

Mr. Greenway: The matter is clearly open to interpretation. I am sure that there will be further opportunities for my right hon. and hon. Friends to raise the issue and to seek even further clarification--although one realises the difficulty of doing so when the hon. Member for Worcester refuses to take any interventions.

Several hon. Members rose--

Mr. Greenway: I should like to make a little progress, and deal with the major benefit that would be provided by passing new clause 19.

Mr. Heseltine: I have never hunted in my life, but clause 3(2) states:


However, that could take a significant amount of time because the hounds will have to chase the stag and get it at bay--that is the whole point--where it can be safely shot. The courts will have huge difficulties in trying to interpret whether the shooting took place as quickly as

6 Mar 1998 : Column 1330

possible. Either the clause is so loosely drafted as to be impossible, or it does not include the possibility of the stag being shot as quickly as possible. Are there to be marksmen trying to shoot the running stag? That is an indication of the nonsense of the clause.

Mr. Bennett rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:--

The House proceeded to a Division--

Sir Peter Emery (seated and covered): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I ask you to cast your eye over Standing Order No. 36(1) which clearly states that if a closure is granted, it must not infringe the rights of the minority? Five new clauses are being debated, each with an entirely different subject. That means that each subject has been granted slightly under 35 minutes, which certainly does not seem to be fair or proper. The new clauses were taken together for the convenience of the House, but that should not mean that the rights of the minority are infringed. Might I suggest, therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that we call off the Division and allow the minority a little more than 35 minutes' debate on each new clause?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The Standing Order gives the Chair the discretion to decide on these matters, and I have decided that I will accept the closure motion.

Sir Peter Emery (seated and covered): Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I see that you did not cast your eye over Standing Order No. 36(1), so may I have your assurance that before we move on to a further debate, you will do so, so that in future we are certain that the point has been taken on board by the Chair?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I have noted the right hon. Gentleman's point.

Mr. Bennett (seated and covered): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Do you not find it remarkable that well over 100 hon. Members have been able to vote in the Aye Lobby, yet it appears that hon. Members are still delaying the vote in the No Lobby? Is not that another example of the filibustering that has been going on today, and will you take steps to ensure that they vote at a reasonable speed?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: It is always essential that Members vote at a reasonable speed.

Mr. Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley) (seated and covered): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. How long will it take to clear the Lobbies? It seems to be taking much longer than usual.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I have already dealt with that point of order. Perhaps the Serjeant at Arms will check whether there are any reasons for the delay.

The House having divided: Ayes 186, Noes 60.

6 Mar 1998 : Column 1331

Division No. 191
[12.30 pm


AYES


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Austin, John
Ballard, Mrs Jackie
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, Andrew F
Betts, Clive
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Brake, Tom
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Church, Ms Judith
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Ms Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Crausby, David
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunliffe, Lawrence
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dowd, Jim
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Gale, Roger
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Gibson, Dr Ian
Goggins, Paul
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Grocott, Bruce
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hancock, Mike
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kelly, Ms Ruth
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Kidney, David
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Linton, Martin
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McIsaac, Shona
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
Organ, Mrs Diana
Palmer, Dr Nick
Perham, Ms Linda
Pike, Peter L
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Rendel, David
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, John
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
(Dewsbury)
Timms, Stephen
Touhig, Don
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Winnick, David
Wood, Mike
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. John Heppell and
Mr. Neil Gerrard.


NOES


Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Blunt, Crispin
Body, Sir Richard
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Cash, William
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
(Rushcliffe)
Collins, Tim
Colvin, Michael
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Garnier, Edward
Gill, Christopher
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodlad, Rt Hon Sir Alastair
Gray, James
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Hawkins, Nick
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Key, Robert
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Leigh, Edward
Livsey, Richard
Llwyd, Elfyn
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Maclean, Rt Hon David
Malins, Humfrey
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Öpik, Lembit
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Prior, David
Ruffley, David
St Aubyn, Nick
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Soames, Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Swayne, Desmond
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Thompson, William
Trimble, Rt Hon David
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Wilkinson, John
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. Peter Atkinson and
Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.

Question accordingly agreed to.

6 Mar 1998 : Column 1332

Question put accordingly, That the clause be read a Second time:--

The House proceeded to a Division--


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