Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have taken part in this debate. There were around 10 contributions and, with the exception of the Minister, the voices of your Lordships' House were behind the spirit if not the precise wording of the amendment.

What is the Government's argument? They have offered us three arguments, none of which are valid. The first is that the role of the NDC is to be an influential and credible body giving advice to government. Would not that advice be that much more enriched and effective if the NDC was also receiving the texture of complaints and issues arising from the fact that it was an advice and information service to employers, disability organisations and disabled people? Would it not be a more effective guide to the Secretary of State precisely because it was rooted in the hands-on experience of advice and information? We believe it would be.

The second argument put forward by the Government was that the advice and information, which the Minister recognises need to be delivered, would more appropriately be delivered by another agency. Why? Why invent another organisation to proffer a helpline when the NDC is in place and disability organisations and, in their briefing material, the CBI on behalf of employers, would like to see the NDC do it? Why are the Government inventing more bureaucracy at public cost and adding to public confusion?

The third argument that the Government gave is that the amendment applied only to the goods and services clause of the Bill and therefore the instances I gave of difficult cases where advice and guidance should be consistent, coherent and authoritative would not fall within the council's remit. That is true, except of course that the Government have indicated to us—I do not think I am putting words into the Minister's mouth—that over the next 12 to 18 months the existing body, the National Advisory Council on Employment of Disabled People, which guides the Government on employment matters, is quite likely to be conjoined, amalgamated and subsumed within the NDC. Therefore, the Minister's point, in so far as that point is valid, is inappropriate. We all believe and expect that within two years of the Act coming into operation the NDC will

24 Oct 1995 : Column 990

have a remit of the total field. Therefore, I believe that all three of the points which the Government have sought to make are not valid.

What does the amendment do? What the amendment does not do is ask the NDC to campaign, to inquire, to investigate or to advocate. What it will do is reduce the amount of litigation, the number of test cases, recourse to tribunals and conflicting advice. It will only give advice and assistance. The point of that is that in the eyes of employers and disabled people alike it will help to make the Bill work. I do not believe that there is a Member of your Lordships' House who does not want the Bill to be effective. We all want it to work, do we not? I simply ask noble Lords to consider this question. Is the Bill more likely to work if the NDC has the capacity to give advice and information to those most affected by it? If we will the ends, should we not will the means? Would it not be a better Bill, because it would be a more effective Bill, if your Lordships were to approve the amendment? I should like to test the opinion of the House.

4.32 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 124; Not-Contents, 159.

Division No. 2


Addington, L. [Teller.]
Allen of Abbeydale, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Avebury, L.
Barnett, L.
Bath, M.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Birk, B.
Birmingham, Bp.
Blackstone, B.
Broadbridge, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
Darcy (de Knayth), B.
David, B.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gallacher, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L. [Teller.]
Glenamara, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grey, E.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooson, L.
Howell, L.
Hughes, L.
Hylton, L.
Inchyra, L.
Jay, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kennet, L.
Kintore, E.
Kirkhill, L.
Kirkwood, L.
Kissin, L.
Lawrence, L.
Leigh, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McCarthy, L.
McConnell, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew, L.
Meston, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Monson, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Nelson, E.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Richard, L.
Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Rix, L.
Robson of Kiddington, B.
Rochester, L.
Russell, E.
Sainsbury, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scanlon, L.
Seear, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Serota, B.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Stallard, L.
Stedman, B.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strafford, E.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Wallace of Coslany, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whaddon, L.
Wharton, B.
White, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Wyatt of Weeford, L.
Zouche of Haryngworth, L.


Aberdare, L.
Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Annaly, L.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Beloff, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Borthwick, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brigstocke, B.
Bruntisfield, L.
Butterworth, L.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Chorley, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cochrane of Cults, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Cumberlege, B.
Davidson, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Derwent, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dormer, L.
Downshire, M.
Dundonald, E.
Dunrossil, V.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elibank, L.
Ellenborough, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elles, B.
Faithfull, B.
Ferrers, E.
Foley, L.
Forbes, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Fraser of Kilmorack, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Gridley, L.
Grimston of Westbury, L.
Haddington, E.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L.
Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Hardinge of Penshurst, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harmsworth, L.
Harrowby, E.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hood, V.
Hothfield, L.
Howe, E.
Inglewood, L.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Kenyon, L.
Keyes, L.
Kimberley, E.
Kingsdown, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Knollys, V.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
MacLehose of Beoch, L.
Macleod of Borve, B.
Marlesford, L.
Merrivale, L.
Middleton, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Monk Bretton, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Mottistone, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mountgarret, V.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Norfolk, D.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Orkney, E.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Pender, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prentice, L.
Pym, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Renton, L.
Rodger of Earlsferry, L.
Salisbury, M.
Seccombe, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Sudeley, L.
Swansea, L.
Swinton, E.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Torphichen, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Westbury, L.
Whitelaw, V.
Wolfson, L.
Wynford, L.
Young, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

24 Oct 1995 : Column 992

4.41 p.m.

Clause 5 [Meaning of "discrimination"]:

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page