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Mr. Hogg: Does my hon. Friend agree that it is impossible to reconcile the statements made by the Under- Secretary of State for the Home Department to the effect that he subcontracted the policy with what is written on the back of the Bill, which tells us that it was presented by the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister and other rogues?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Hogg: Yes, yes, I apologise, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I was about to say that we are going beyond the programme motion before us.

Mr. Lidington: My previous point was perhaps the most serious concern felt on both sides of the Standing Committee about the inadequacy of the Government's response to the many detailed questions asked during our proceedings. It demonstrates the need for further debate without the imposition of the artificial time limit that we are being forced to consider.

The motion is a Government attempt to constrain debate and limit discussion to the priorities that the Government consider appropriate. The motion amounts to a disgraceful attempt to gag Back-Bench Members and prevent the House from exercising its duty to scrutinise the Bill, question the Ministers responsible for it and hold the Government to account for the new criminal penalties and duties that they seek to impose on our fellow citizens. It is a thoroughly bad motion, and I advise my hon. Friends to resist it.

4.19 pm

Mr. Paul Tyler (North Cornwall): It is a tragic irony that we are debating this matter this afternoon. This morning, I had a telephone conversation with a farmer at St. Issey in the centre of my constituency, which is likely to be subject to restrictions as a result of a nearby foot and mouth outbreak. The farmer asked me what the House of Commons would be doing today to help him. I had to say that, for the first part of the afternoon, we would be discussing the timing of the debate that would take place later. He asked what the subject of the later debate was, and I had to admit to him that it was the Hunting Bill.

27 Feb 2001 : Column 725

Whatever one's personal views, no one can pretend that the House of Commons is doing its duty by the countryside, the rural community and all the people--

Mr. Soames rose--

Mr. Tyler: I will not give way; I want to be as brief as possible. The farmer was incredulous that we would be spending time either on the programme motion or on the Bill this afternoon. He said, "Surely my representatives in Parliament are more concerned about the things that concern the real people of the countryside." I know of no one in any rural area, except on the extremes, who thinks that the Bill is the most important issue to bring before the House.

I shall not repeat the comments of the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) about the programme motion, except to emphasise a point that he made in the latter part of his speech. The Bill is unusual because hon. Members of all parties take differing attitudes to it. At least three options have been before Parliament. Even if those on the three Front Benches could agree a programme motion, that would have been entirely inappropriate, because it is not a matter for those on the Front Benches or for the usual channels. It is a matter for the House as a whole, and it is therefore extremely important that we examine the programme motion carefully.

I am sure that the Minister meant well when he said that he did not want to restrict or compartmentalise the parts of the Bill, but major issues will come before the House, some of them introduced by the Government only at this stage, and they will not be properly debated before being voted on. It is not good enough to say that the issues have been agreed between the two sides of the House. Nothing about the Bill is agreed between the two sides of the House, because there are not two sides. There are many sides, and if there had to be a programme motion at all, it should have been generous in time and should have allowed adequate space for each issue to be addressed properly.

That was the proper reason for introducing programme motions in the first place. The right hon. Member for East Devon (Sir P. Emery) has always been in favour of a sensible division of debates, to ensure that all hon. Members can express their views to the House and divide on them. The programme motion does not allow for that. The issues raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) in Committee and again this afternoon will come before the House for the first time--

Mr. Mike O'Brien rose--

Mr. Tyler: I shall not give way. I want to be as quick as possible. I find it extraordinary that on an issue that has presumably been considered at extreme length in Whitehall, the Home Office has failed until now to acknowledge that there were major inadequacies in the Bill. One would have thought that even the Home Office realised that there was a possible anomaly concerning rodents, rabbits and deer stalking in the Bill as first drafted.

It is helpful, I suppose, that there will be time for Divisions, but every minute spent on a Division is time out of the subsequent debate. That will be especially true

27 Feb 2001 : Column 726

at 10 o'clock. We should have provided time for Divisions without reducing the time for debate. I pressed the Leader of the House at business questions a fortnight ago to provide us with adequate time for Third Reading. Again, it will be the first opportunity for many hon. Members to discuss the issues that have arisen during the Bill's passage through Committee. If, however, there are several votes on Government amendments at 10 o'clock, that will necessarily curtail the time available for Third Reading. The programme motion should have provided for a two-hour debate on Third Reading, over and above the time allowed for Divisions.

It is crazy of the Government to prepare a programme motion before they even know the number of amendments, how significant they are, and which ones will be selected by the Speaker. The programme motion is wholly inadequate. It belies the Government's claim to take seriously the concerns of the countryside. Whatever one's views of the Bill--there are differing views in all parts of the House--the motion is a disgrace.

4.24 pm

Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire): I should like to endorse everything that the hon. Member for North Cornwall (Mr. Tyler) said in his brief but powerful speech. Historians have a habit of referring to Parliaments by various names--the long Parliament, the short Parliament and the addled Parliament. This will go down in history as the abused Parliament, because it has been systematically abused by the Executive in a manner for which there is no adequate precedent.

I have frequently had cause to take issue with Governments formed by my party, but never have we seen such overbearing arrogance as that witnessed during the past four years, and never has such arrogance been better exemplified than this afternoon. At a time when the countryside is bleeding, the Government bring before us a Bill for which there is no need. They are doing so for the reasons that I described in my intervention on my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington), and it is utterly disgraceful that they are behaving in this manner.

Mr. Hogg: Actually, it is the self-abused Parliament, because the Government majority is ramming through these gagging measures.

Sir Patrick Cormack: We could say also that Labour Members are allowing it to be the supine Parliament, but the fact of the matter is--[Interruption.] My hon. Friend the Member for New Forest, West (Mr. Swayne) may be laughing, but this is an extremely serious matter for anyone who cares about Parliament, as it is being systematically denigrated by this Government. Its powers are being eroded and set at nought, and the Government are using their steamroller majority to ignore the views of hon. Members of all parties.

The hon. Member for North Cornwall was completely accurate: this is not a Bill on which there are party positions. Even on my own Front Bench, it is not surprising that there are certain differences of opinion within the Home Office team--views that are honestly and conscientiously held. I happen to agree foursquare with the line taken by my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury, who spoke so admirably, but there are others on this side of the House--one has come in recently--who take a different view.

27 Feb 2001 : Column 727

It being forty-five minutes after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, Mr. Speaker put the Question, pursuant to Order [7 November 2000].

The House divided: Ayes 288, Noes 175.

Division No. 130
[4.27 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Rt Hon Donald
(Swansea E)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
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)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
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
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Doran, Frank
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Gapes, Mike
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
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
Gunnell, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Rt Hon Ms Tessa
Joyce, Eric
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kingham, Ms Tess
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle
(B'ham Yardley)
Mudie, George
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Radice, Rt Hon Giles
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rogers, Allan
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Snape, Peter
Southworth, Ms Helen
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Jim Dowd and
Mr. Don Touhig.


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Ballard, Jackie
Beggs, Roy
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom
Brand, Dr Peter
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burnett, John
Burns, Simon
Burstow, Paul
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Day, Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Evans, Nigel
Faber, David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Fearn, Ronnie
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Fox, Dr Liam
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Roger
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibb, Nick
Gill, Christopher
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles
(Ross Skye & Inverness W)
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
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
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Madel, Sir David
Major, Rt Hon John
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paisley, Rev Ian
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Prior, David
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strangford)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Tyler, Paul
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Webb, Steve
Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Willis, Phil
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Keith Simpson and
Mr. James Gray.

Question accordingly agreed to.

27 Feb 2001 : Column 730


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