Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Government Defeats in the House of Lords

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Richard): The information requested is not available for Session 1979-80. For the remaining Sessions, the information requested is as follows. I should say, however, that this procedural record of the outcome in each case might not give the whole picture. It would not, however, be appropriate for me to seek to interpret these results.

Session 1984-85

DateStage of BillDecision reached
24/01/85Prosecution of Offences Bill (HL)--CommitteeAccepted
29/01/85Insolvency Bill (HL)-- CommitteeAccepted after further amendments made in both Houses
19/03/85Administration of Justice Bill (HL)--ReportAccepted
28/03/85Representation of the People Bill--CommitteeFurther amended but then overturned
01/04/85Insolvency Bill (HL)-- ReportOverturned
04/04/85Films Bill--Third ReadingOverturned
16/04/85Insolvency Bill (HL)-- Third ReadingAccepted
16/04/85Trustee Savings Banks Bill--ReportOverturned with amendments in lieu
16/04/85Trustee Savings Banks Bill--ReportSubsequent amendment accepted
07/05/85Local Government Bill-- CommitteeAccepted with amendments
07/08/85Local Government Bill-- CommitteeOverturned
09/05/85Local Government Bill-- CommitteeOverturned but further amendments made
13/05/85Local Government Bill-- CommitteeAccepted with further amendments
04/07/85Education (Corporal Punishment) Bill-- ReportBill withdrawn
16/07/85Transport Bill-- CommitteeAccepted
22/10/85Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Bill--Third ReadingAccepted with consequential amendments

In addition, the Government were defeated on a Motion on 29 July. It was not for the Commons to consider this Motion.


27 Feb 1998 : Column WA122

Session 1987-88

DateStage of BillDecision reached
18/01/88Legal Aid Bill (HL)-- CommitteeAgreed with further Lords amendments
16/02/88Local Government Bill--ReportOverturned
18/02/88Local Government Bill--ReportAccepted
03/03/88Social Security Bill-- ReportAccepted
31/03/88Licensing Bill--ReportAccepted with an amendment
12/05/88Education Reform Bill--CommitteeAccepted
19/05/88Education Reform Bill--CommitteeAccepted
28/06/88Education Reform Bill--ReportAmendment offered in lieu
28/06/88Education Reform Bill--ReportAmendment offered in lieu
30/06/88Local Government Finance Bill--ReportOverturned
05/07/88Local Government Finance Bill--ReportOverturned
08/07/88Education Reform Bill--Third ReadingAccepted
08/07/88Education Reform Bill--Third ReadingAccepted
19/07/88Health and Medicines Bill--CommitteeOverturned
19/07/88Health and Medicines Bill--CommitteeOverturned but consequential amendments made
20/07/88Firearms (Amendment) Bill--CommitteeAccepted after further Lords amendments
28/07/88Housing Bill-- CommitteeAmendment offered in lieu

Session 1992-93

DateStage of BillDecision reached
04/06/92Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Bill--CommitteeOverturned
24/11/92Sea Fish (Conservation) Bill--ReportAccepted
02/02/93Agriculture Bill--Third ReadingAccepted
02/02/93Agriculture Bill--Third ReadingAccepted
02/03/93Asylum and Immigration Appeals Bill--ReportOverturned
20/04/93Education Bill-- CommitteeOverturned
11/05/93Housing and Urban Development Bill-- ReportAccepted
25/05/93Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Bill-- Third ReadingAccepted
14/06/93Education Bill--ReportOverturned
14/06/93Education Bill--ReportOverturned
05/07/93Railways Bill-- CommitteeAccepted but modified by amendments
20/10/93Railways Bill--ReportOverturned
03/11/93Railways Bill-- Consideration of Commons Amendments (three separate defeats)Overturned (all 3 defeats)

In addition, the Government were defeated on Motions on four occasions (6 July and 20 October 1992; and 15 July and 18 October 1993). It was not for the Commons to consider these Motions.


27 Feb 1998 : Column WA123

Session 1997-98 (up to and including 25 February 1998)

DateStage of Bill Decision reached
3/07/97Referendums (Scotland and Wales)--CommitteeOverturned
17/07/97Education (Schools) Bill--ReportOverturned
21/07/97Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Bill-- ReportOverturned
16/10/97Firearms Bill--ReportOverturned
16/10/97Firearms Bill--ReportOverturned
13/01/98Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill-- CommitteeOverturned
29/01/98Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill-- ReportOverturned
05/02/98Human Rights Bill-- Third ReadingThe Commons are still considering the Bill
09/02/98Competition Bill--ReportThe Bill is still in the Lords

In addition, the Government were defeated on a Motion on the Beef Bones Regulations on 27 January 1998. It is not for the Commons to consider this vote.


Military and Police Assistance to Foreign Governments

Lord Gladwin of Clee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their policy towards disclosure of details of military and related police assistance provided to foreign governments.[HL861]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): Military and related police assistance is provided in support of a range of foreign and defence policy aims. It can be an important factor in the development of the United Kingdom's relations with countries in all parts of the world, and can make a significant contribution to regional stability by promoting military effectiveness, which helps to deter aggression. This assistance is a key element of defence diplomacy. All requests for military assistance are considered in the light of the Government's wider foreign policy.

Many foreign governments regard such assistance as contributing to their national security and are thus

27 Feb 1998 : Column WA124

sensitive about public disclosure of information about it. As a result of this sensitivity, it has been the practice of Ministers to decline to answer questions concerning the detail and nature of training assistance. This convention has continued to apply since the introduction of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which recognises defence, security and international relations as reasons for withholding information.

The Government have been considering this practice against our commitment to openness. As a result, we have decided that the public interest would be served by greater disclosure of the details of military and related police assistance provided to foreign governments. In future, details of the amount of assistance provided by our Armed Forces will be produced annually and published in the Ministry of Defence's Performance Report, starting with that to be produced following the end of this financial year. These details will include the numbers of overseas personnel trained, by country, the numbers of United Kingdom personnel involved in providing training or assistance overseas, again by country, and levels of any subsidies provided by the MoD. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will publish details of the training subsidy programme funded by them. This information will also be made available to the public on request.

All other requests for information in relation to training and assistance provided will, with immediate effect, be considered on their individual merits, but with a presumption towards disclosure unless this would be against the public interest as governed by the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. In practice, it is possible that information may need to be withheld where foreign countries have legitimate security concerns, where our bilateral relations might be damaged or significantly weakened by disclosure, or where disclosure would harm our own national security. We would also not normally intend to make available personal details of students or training personnel, for reasons of personnel privacy, or provide information which might threaten the safety of individuals. Where a contractor could demonstrate that his sales prospects could suffer specific harm as a result of releasing information on military assistance, this would be weighed against the public interest in deciding to what extent disclosure should proceed, but the amount of information withheld will be kept to the minimum.

The new practice represents an appropriate balance between the need to ensure that genuine defence and foreign policy interests are protected, and legitimate parliamentary and public interest is these matters. It will ensure that significantly more information is available than has previously been the case.



   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page