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Lord Moynihan: My Lords, I appreciate the Minister reminding the House about Second Reading. I also recall some exchanges on Second Reading, not least the excellent way in which the Minister undertook the responsibilities of the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who, sadly, was not present. I recall that at that time I was keen and eager to praise the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, for his contribution. I do so again today. I am very grateful to him for his generous remarks about me.

I went further than to praise him. I urged the Government to recognise that as Minister with special responsibility for the European Union presidency he should be given a private office, a car and the full

14 May 1998 : Column 1190

back-up services that a man of his capability and a noble Lord of his oratory excellence deserved. I went so far as to table some questions and I was deeply upset to receive a reply from the Government which did not accede to my request that the noble Lord should be recognised as a Minister. The reply simply said:


    "As a Government Whip, Lord Whitty is a member of the Government and regularly speaks on FCO business particularly on EU issues in the House of Lords. In that context he frequently carries out official duties on behalf of the FCO, in particular in relation to the UK presidency of the EU. There are no additional costs to public funds."

I can assure the noble Lord that, after his eloquent performance today, we will continue to battle on his behalf. We hope that in the imminent reshuffle, not least in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we will see him promoted.

The noble Lord, Lord Whitty, reflected yet again on the period of government and his interpretation of Conservative fishing policy. As he knows full well, this is not what the amendment is about. There are no grounds whatever for arguing to your Lordships' House that you could not really expect the Government to go to Amsterdam and achieve anything on behalf of the fishermen. How can he possibly say that in view of what his own Prime Minister stated? Given the way that the significance of this whole issue has been belittled by the noble Lord, it is worth repeating what the Prime Minister said:


    "we certainly have not ruled out holding up IGC business in order to get the right changes to fishing policy and British interests ... where Britain's interests are at stake, we are perfectly prepared to be isolated."

The Prime Minister did not say that about any other issue; he said it about fishing. He said it about British fishermen's interests. It is no good the noble Lord coming before this House this afternoon and saying, "Come on, you do not expect us to achieve anything. There was nothing we could really do", when his own Prime Minister considered this the one issue of top priority that he believed he could deliver in Amsterdam.

The noble Lord's speech was unconvincing. It was in stark contrast to the excellent contribution from my noble friend Lord Campbell, whose knowledge on this subject is second to none. I would need no more persuading to push this to a Division than simply to listen to my noble friend Lord Campbell. I was absolutely persuaded when I heard the Minster's rather pathetic defence of the Government's position at Amsterdam. The defence avoided recognising that the legal protection for British fishermen which the Treaty of Amsterdam afforded--and which was there to be grasped--was lost. The truth is that, as it stands today, the Treaty of Amsterdam affords no legal protection.

I repeat, the Government's guarantees have come to nothing, their promises to fishermen are broken, their deal is worthless. They clearly do not regard the fishing industry as key to British interests. My Lords, I ask for the opinion of the House.

14 May 1998 : Column 1191

4.26 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 8) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 160; Not-Contents, 108.

Division No. 1

CONTENTS

Aberdare, L.
Addison, V.
Ailesbury, M.
Ailsa, M.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Annaly, L.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Bethell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Braine of Wheatley, L.
Brentford, V.
Bridgeman, V.
Broadbridge, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller.]
Byford, B.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Clanwilliam, E.
Coleridge, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cowdrey of Tonbridge, L.
Cox, B.
Craigavon, V.
Cranborne, V.
Cuckney, L.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dartmouth, E.
Davidson, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denbigh, E.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Erroll of Hale, L.
Falmouth, V.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Gage, V.
Gainford, L.
Gisborough, L.
Gray, L.
Halsbury, E.
Harlech, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Holderness, L.
Howe, E.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Kintore, E.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Knollys, V.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Lawrence, L.
Leigh, L.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Marlesford, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monckton of Brenchley, V.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Mottistone, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newall, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Norrie, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow of Woking, L.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pender, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Rennell, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Renwick, L.
Romney, E.
Rotherwick, L.
Rowallan, L.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Sudeley, L.
Suffolk and Berkshire, E.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Teviot, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waterford, M.
Weatherill, L.
Westbury, L.
Wharton, B.
Wilcox, B.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Wolfson, L.
Wynford, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Avebury, L.
Bath, M.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Burlison, L.
Calverley, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Ezra, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gallacher, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Glasgow, E.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanworth, V.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hylton, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennet, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Levy, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lockwood, B.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Meston, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Newby, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell, E.
Sainsbury, L.
Sandberg, L.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Thomas of Macclesfield, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thurlow, L.
Thurso, V.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitty, L.
Wigoder, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winston, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

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14 May 1998 : Column 1193


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