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11.9 pm

Mr. Waterson: I am slightly reluctant--

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. Does the hon. Gentleman have the leave of the House?

Mr. Waterson: I am grateful, Madam Deputy Speaker.

With the leave of the House, Madam Deputy Speaker. I speak again with some reluctance. During this short debate we have not heard from the Minister why the so-called programme motion or guillotine motion is a good thing. For all we know, he might think that it is a bad thing. He might agree with the eloquent comments of some Conservative Members, especially those of my right hon. Friends the Members for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer) and for Bromley and Chislehurst (Mr. Forth).

To avoid repetition, I shall say simply that the motion means that the Second Reading debate has no relevance. The hon. Member for North Cornwall (Mr. Tyler) made that point rather well. What was said throughout that good debate has had no effect whatever on how the matter is to be dealt with, in particular in Committee. That is disgraceful. I fear that we are setting precedents for the remainder of this Parliament and perhaps for the future.

In a sense, it matters not whether a Government have a large or a small majority because a Government with any kind of majority who carry on in such a fashion are doing

8 Jan 2001 : Column 821

a disservice to democracy. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Coastal said, it is particularly important for a Government with a very large majority to tread carefully, for they may one day find themselves in the reverse position. That is why setting precedents is dangerous. We are on a slippery slope, and I invite the Minister to explain why that is a good thing.

11.11 pm

Mr. Raynsford: We have heard a great deal of synthetic indignation and an enormous amount of posturing in the past 40 minutes. I put it to the House that the purpose of a programme motion is to ensure a full, thorough and orderly discussion in Committee of the provisions that are subject to scrutiny in that Committee. All Members with reasonably long memories will recall those utterly frustrating and unproductive hours, days, weeks and months spent haggling over the first few clauses of long Bills. That occurred when my party and the Conservative party were in opposition and, at the end of a ritual that often lasted two months, a guillotine eventually had to be imposed. That often happened when only two or three clauses of a huge Bill had been debated. There was no proper scrutiny.

I have to put it to hon. Members that this procedure allows an opportunity to discuss all the provisions and more than adequate time for that. In the past two Sessions, I have taken two of the largest measures through the House: the Greater London Authority Act 1999 and the Transport Act 2000. For both, a timetable for discussion was agreed with the Opposition, which ensured proper consideration of all the provisions.

Mr. Redwood: Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Raynsford: I am afraid that I do not have time.

There was proper opportunity for discussion and all sections of both those large Acts were fully considered. We are considering a Bill of only 34 clauses and three schedules. As has rightly been stressed, it covers issues that were fully debated in a six and a half hour Second Reading debate. There is more than adequate time for proper consideration in Committee.

The timetable has been agreed through the usual channels with both main Opposition parties. No objection was raised to the amount of time provided. Suggestions have been made about how the timetable could be changed, and we have accommodated those--

It being forty-five minutes after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, Madam Deputy Speaker, pursuant to Order [7 November], put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Question put:--

The House divided: Ayes 278, Noes 125.

Division No. 34
[11.14 pm


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Rt Hon Donald
(Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Bennett, Andrew F
Berry, Roger
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Corbyn, Jeremy
Crausby, David
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davidson, Ian
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle
(B'ham Yardley)
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Eddie
O'Neill, Martin
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stoate, Dr Howard
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Tynan, Bill
Vis, Dr Rudi
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Shaun
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mrs. Anne McGuire and
Mr. Clive Betts.


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bercow, John
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Burstow, Paul
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Collins, Tim
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Day, Stephen
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Fearn, Ronnie
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Fox, Dr Liam
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Roger
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibb, Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Gray, James
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Horam, John
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Key, Robert
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Kirkwood, Archy
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Livsey, Richard
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Madel, Sir David
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
May, Mrs Theresa
Norman, Archie
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Prior, David
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Ruffley, David
St Aubyn, Nick
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Trend, Michael
Tyler, Paul
Tyrie, Andrew
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Wigley, Rt Hon Dafydd
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

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

Question accordingly agreed to.

8 Jan 2001 : Column 824


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