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14 Apr 2003 : Column 649—continued

5.28 pm

Mr. Andrew Hunter (Basingstoke): With a declarable interest as a member of the Lords and Commons pipe and cigar and smokers club, I beg to oppose this motion on the grounds that it is illiberal nonsense and wholly unnecessary. Scientific evidence does not justify it; self-regulation is working perfectly well. The health case that the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Thomas) and others try to present is not justified on available evidence. The majority of workplaces and public places in this country already operate a smoking policy—either being non-smoking entirely, or having designated smoking areas. Such schemes work perfectly well. They are voluntary and do not need the backing of statute. The hon. Member would be well advised to re-read the 1998 White Paper and the firm conclusion drawn therein

14 Apr 2003 : Column 650

that no new legislation was necessary. No one is compelled to smoke in any bar, restaurant or hotel. If people object to the smoking policy—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but the House must listen to his speech with the same degree of respect with which it listened to the first speech.

Mr. Hunter: I was pointing out that no one is compelled to frequent any bar, restaurant or hotel. If they do not like the smoking policy, they need not go there. If they do not like the music, they need not go there. If they do not like the patron, they need not go there.

In short, the prohibition of smoking in cafés, bars and restaurants by means of legislation is not required. Scientific evidence does not demand a total ban. Self-regulation works. We need nothing more—it is a question of freedom and choice.

Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in Bills and nomination of Select Committees at commencement of public business):—

The House divided: Ayes 115, Noes 43.

Division No. 162
[5:30 pm


Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barrett, John
Bayley, Hugh
Begg, Miss Anne
Betts, Clive
Blizzard, Bob
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Challen, Colin
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Colman, Tony
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Crausby, David
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Doran, Frank
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Hermon, Lady
Hinchliffe, David
Holmes, Paul
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Kidney, David
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lazarowicz, Mark
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McFall, John
Mackinlay, Andrew
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Owen, Albert
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Plaskitt, James
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Quin, rh Joyce
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Rooney, Terry
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Savidge, Malcolm
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Viggers, Peter
Walley, Ms Joan
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
White, Brian
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Peter Kilfoyle and
Mr. Kevin Barron


Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Bercow, John
Blunt, Crispin
Burnside, David
Cameron, David
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cotter, Brian
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Etherington, Bill
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Hague, rh William
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Harvey, Nick
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Lamb, Norman
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lilley, rh Peter
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Mercer, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Öpik, Lembit
Portillo, rh Michael
Pound, Stephen
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Robathan, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Sanders, Adrian
Simmonds, Mark
Soames, Nicholas
Tyrie, Andrew
Wiggin, Bill
Wilshire, David

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Andrew Hunter and
Mr. Andrew Turner

Question accordingly agreed to.

14 Apr 2003 : Column 651

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Gareth Thomas, David Taylor, Mr. Kevin Barron, Paul Clark, Phil Hope, Colin Burgon, Mr. Terry Rooney, Kali Mountford, Mr. Mark Todd, Mr. Mark Hendrick, Hugh Bayley and Michael Fabricant.

Smoking (Restaurants) Bill

Mr. Gareth Thomas accordingly presented a Bill to prohibit smoking in cafés and restaurants; and for connected purposes. And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 11 July, and to be printed [Bill 93].

14 Apr 2003 : Column 652

Orders of the Day


Order read for resuming adjourned debate on Question [9 April].


Motion made, and Question proposed,

Question again proposed.

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

5.42 pm

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): Before I call the Secretary of State to speak, I remind the House that Mr. Speaker has imposed an eight-minute limit on Back-Bench speeches.

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Ms Patricia Hewitt): This year's Budget once again reflects our values and our central purpose as a Government: equality and opportunity; prosperity for all; social justice; and economic success, at home and abroad. It is in difficult times, however, that values and principles are put to the test, and these are difficult times. There is slow growth all around the world. Profits, stock markets and investment are down all around the world. World trade is falling, which did not happen even in the recession of the early 1990s.

In the past, when the world economy slowed, Britain's economy crashed. We were first into recession and last out, but not now. Thanks to the tough decisions that we took in our first term, we are now enjoying the lowest inflation for 30 years, the lowest interest rates for 40 years, and faster growth than any other major European economy. We will do nothing to jeopardise those stable economic foundations that have now been tested in bad times as well as good. We will build on them as we face up to the long-term issues and challenges that will determine our competitiveness, the profitability of our businesses and the prosperity of our people.

The economic map of our world is being redrawn. China is joining the World Trade Organisation, India is producing a quarter of a million science and IT graduates every year, 10 more countries are joining the European Union next year, and others are queuing up behind them. There are new opportunities for our businesses, but new competition from lower-wage

14 Apr 2003 : Column 653

countries, too. On top of that, technology and consumer demands are changing so fast that one year's up-to-date skills or new products may be out of date just a few years later. We cannot hold back this technological change or the growth of the developing countries, and we should not try to. We cannot compete on the basis of low-cost, low-skill, low-margin goods, and we should not want to. Our response to even faster change and to even greater competition cannot be protectionism; it has to be innovation. What we need in Britain are the higher value-added products, the faster, cleaner production processes and the virtuous circle of higher investment, higher profits, better jobs and higher wages.

That is why we are supporting our science base. As we celebrate 50 years since the discovery of DNA and we welcome the publication of the latest findings from the human genome project, we should all be proud of British science. With just 1 per cent. of the world's population, we fund nearly 5 per cent. of the world's science and we produce 8 per cent. of all the world's scientific papers. Of course, that is not how the Conservative party saw it. When it was in government, it cut science spending and, with 20 per cent. cuts in public spending, it would cut science investment again. I am proud of the fact that this Government have increased investment in science from £1.3 billion in 1997 to about £2 billion this year and almost £3 billion by 2005–06—an average increase in real terms of 10 per cent. a year.

We are also supporting our universities to turn that great research into great commercial success. In recent years, we have seen more researchers filing patents, more universities licensing technologies to business and more spin-out companies, which were running at an average of fewer than 70 a year, but are now up to 248 in the latest year alone. Now the challenge that we face is to get more of our businesses investing in research and development, partnering with universities and applying new technologies.

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