|Police (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords]
Mr. Wilshire: I was coming to that very point. If the Government deem any further measures necessary to appease Sinn Fein-IRA, one could argue, on a
Column Number: 010technicality, that it was better to deal with them on Report than in Committee. It is wrong to do that on both counts, but if anything major is to be brought forward as an addition to the Bill, to limit the debate to the few members of this Committee would be an abuse of democracy.
I hope that the Government will give an assurance that they will not use the Committee to deal with specific measures that started in another place and have been fully discussed there as a package, and are now here as a package. That is what I am focusing on. The hon. Gentleman, fairly, asks me what would I say if something were brought in on Report? With the technical exception that on Report, at least all Members of Parliament are entitled to speak, and that is a plus—
Mr. Mallon: That was not the case. People were not allowed to speak. Some of the matters that were brought up were subject to the guillotine, so there was no discussion whatever.
Mr. Wilshire: That is absolutely right. I am simply making the technical point that if there were not a guillotine, more people could contribute—but there is a guillotine here, too. The hon. Gentleman can object to what will happen on Report, as I do, but it is no easier for people to discuss new matters seriously within a six-sitting guillotined Committee. New clauses would be tagged on to one of the sections, and the same principles would apply here as apply on the Floor of the House.
I am simply making the technical point to the hon. Gentleman that theoretically, more people could be involved on Report, but I at one with him in saying that such things should not be done here—and they should not be done on Report, either. If there are negotiations next week, and if anything comes out of them that requires legislation, that should be dealt with in the proper way. It should be brought before both Houses of Parliament for Second Reading debates, for full scrutiny and consideration. I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree with me on that matter.
The general principle of timetabling is wrong. The introduction of knives is wrong. If the Government are tempted to introduce anything other than what has been debated in another place, that too would be wrong.
Mr. Mallon: I shall say a few words on the programme motion. I welcome the early start: dull would he or she be of soul who did not enjoy trudging over Westminster bridge at 7.30 in the morning to sit in Committee on a policing Bill. I believe that that is the most apt time of the day for indulging in such activities.
I agree with the hon. Member for Solihull that this is an unnecessary Bill. Had the Government done what they had been asked when discussing the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, it would not be necessary. The record shows that every change included in the Bill was subject to amendment in Committee; each one was argued against and defeated by the Government. It is interesting now to read the Government's explanatory notes to the Bill—
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It being half an hour after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, The Chairman put the Question, pursuant to paragraph (9) of Sessional Order C, relating to Programming Sub-Committees.
The Committee divided: Ayes 11, Noes 5.
Division No. 1]
(1) during proceedings on the Police (Northern Ireland) Bill (Lords) the Standing Committee do meet (in addition to its first meeting on Tuesday 25th February at five minutes to Nine o'clock) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at five minutes to Nine o'clock and at half-past Two o'clock;
(2) Six sittings in all shall be allotted to the consideration of the Bill by the Committee;
(3) the proceedings to be taken on the sittings shall be as shown in the second column of the Table below and shall be taken in the order so shown;
(4) the proceedings which under paragraph (3) are to be taken on any sitting shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the time specified in the third column of the Table;
(5) paragraph (3) does not prevent proceedings being taken (in the order shown in the second column of the Table) at any earlier sitting than that provided for under paragraph (3) if previous proceedings have already been concluded.
Time for conclusion of proceedings
Clauses 1 and 2, Clause 17, Clause 3, Clauses 5 to 10
Clauses 1 and 2, Clause 17, Clause 3, Clauses 5 to 10 (so far as not previously concluded)
Clause 18, Clauses 20 to 22, Clauses 11 to 16
Clause 18, Clauses 20 to 22, Clauses 11 to 16 (so far as not previously concluded
Clause 19, New Clauses relating to Part 1, New Schedules relating to Part 1, Clause 23, Schedule 1, Clause 4, Clauses 24 and 25, Schedule 2, Clauses 26 to 36, New Clauses relating to Part 2, New Schedules relating to Part 2, Clauses 37 and 38, Schedule 3, Clauses 39 and 40, remaining New Clauses, remaining New Schedules, remaining proceedings on the Bill
Clause 19, New Clauses relating to Part 1, New Schedules relating to Part 1, Clause 23, Schedule 1, Clause 4, Clauses 24 and 25, Schedule 2, Clauses 26 to 36, New Clauses relating to Part 2, New Schedules relating to Part 2, Clauses 37 and 38, Schedule 3, Clauses 39 and 40, remaining New Clauses, remaining New Schedules, remaining proceedings on the Bill (so far as not previously concluded)
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The Chairman: I remind the Committee that there is a money resolution in connection with the Bill. Copies of the resolution are available in the Room. I also remind hon. Members that adequate notice should be given of amendments. As a general rule, my co-Chairman and I do not intend to call starred amendments, including any that may be reached during an afternoon sitting.
|©Parliamentary copyright 2003||Prepared 25 February 2003|