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Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, I am sure that when the noble Baroness reads what I said she will see that it is quite clear and unambiguous. Of course I was not suggesting anything of the kind. I was dealing with the argument based on majoritarianism and pointing out the dangers of an approach, especially from a member of a persecuted minority.

Baroness Young: My Lords, I will accept the apology from the noble Lord, Lord Lester.

I am all in favour of the working party that the noble Lord, Lord Williams and his colleagues are setting up. I believe that that is right. The fact that it is required illustrates what is wrong with the position that the House of Commons has left us with. Of course, we must help vulnerable boys and girls. I accept all the points that have been made about children at risk. Just because people are at risk now does not mean to say that we should add to their number. That does not make the position any better.

I return to the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Elton, which is really the one that I made at the start of my remarks. I stand by my statement that I believe that this is a flawed amendment. I believe that the Government have admitted that it is. Therefore, it ought to go back to the House of Commons for its further consideration.

But this is an issue of principle. I have stood up on this issue only because I care very much for young people. I have been blessed in my life to have a happy family life--to have three daughters and five grandchildren, and to have been in the academic world where I can say that, quite literally, hundreds of young people have come through my house for one reason or another. I like and care for young people very much. Today, I feel that I would be failing in my duty if I did not say that I believe that lowering the age of consent in these circumstances without proper parliamentary scrutiny would be quite wrong--wrong constitutionally

22 Jul 1998 : Column 973

and wrong in principle. I wish to test the opinion of the House and I hope that those who support me will be in the overwhelming majority.

9.25 p.m.

On Question, Whether Motion 14A shall be agreed to?

*Their Lordships divided: Contents, 290; Not-Contents, 122.

Division No. 4


Aberdare, L.
Aldington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Annaly, L.
Arran, E.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Baldwin of Bewdley, E.
Balfour, E.
Balfour of Inchrye, L.
Banbury of Southam, L.
Beaverbrook, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Beloff, L.
Berners, B.
Blackwell, L.
Blake, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Blease, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bramall, L.
Brentford, V.
Bridgeman, V.
Brightman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Bruntisfield, L.
Burnham, L.
Burton, L.
Butterworth, L.
Byford, B.
Cadman, L.
Caldecote, V.
Callaghan of Cardiff, L.
Carew, L.
Carnarvon, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Chadlington, L.
Chalfont, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Coggan, L.
Coleridge, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Cottesloe, L.
Cowdrey of Tonbridge, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Cranborne, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cross, V.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
De L'Isle, V.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dearing, L.
Denbigh, E.
Denham, L.
Diamond, L.
Digby, L.
Dixon, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donegall, M.
Donoughmore, E.
Donoughue, L.
Downshire, M.
Drogheda, E.
Dudley, E.
Dundonald, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ely, Bp.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Exmouth, V.
Fairfax of Cameron, L.
Falmouth, V.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fitt, L.
Fookes, B.
Freeman, L.
Gage, V.
Gainsborough, E.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Gisborough, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Grantley, L.
Greenway, L.
Grey, E.
Habgood, L.
Halsbury, E.
Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Hampton, L.
Hankey, L.
Hanson, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harmsworth, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Haslam, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hemphill, L.
Hindlip, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Home, E.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hylton, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Inchyra, L.
Ironside, L.
Islwyn, L.
Jakobovits, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Keith of Castleacre, L.
Kenyon, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Killearn, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Wartnaby, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Kinnoull, E.
Kintore, E.
Kitchener, E.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Knutsford, V.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lane, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Lichfield, Bp.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, E.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Long, V.
Longford, E.
Lothian, M.
Lowry, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Lytton, E.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McFarlane of Llandaff, B.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Macleod of Borve, B.
Manchester, Bp.
Mancroft, L.
Manton, L.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Middleton, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monckton of Brenchley, V.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mountgarret, V.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier of Magdala, L.
Neill of Bladen, L.
Nelson, E.
Newall, L.
Nolan, L.
Norfolk, D.
Northbrook, L.
Norton, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Onslow of Woking, L.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Orme, L.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Pender, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Perry of Walton, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pike, B.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Quirk, L.
Radnor, E.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Renwick, L.
Ripon, Bp.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Robertson of Oakridge, L.
Rochester, L.
Rockley, L.
Romney, E.
Rotherwick, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seccombe, B.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Shannon, E.
Sharples, B.
Simon, V.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Southwell, Bp.
Stallard, L. [Teller.]
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodard of Leaston, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Suffolk and Berkshire, E.
Swinfen, L.
Swinton, E.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Teviot, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Thurlow, L.
Tollemache, L.
Tombs, L.
Torphichen, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trenchard, V.
Trumpington, B.
Tryon, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Waterford, M.
Waverley, V.
Weatherill, L.
Weir, V.
Westbury, L.
Wharton, B.
Wilcox, B.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Winchester, Bp.
Windlesham, L.
Wise, L.
Wolfson, L.
Wrenbury, L.
Wynford, L.
Young, B. [Teller.]


Addington, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Barnett, L.
Bath and Wells, Bp.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Biffen, L.
Blackstone, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Clancarty, E.
Clement-Jones, L.
Craigavon, V.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Freyberg, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hacking, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hardie, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hattersley, L.
Hayman, B.
Henderson of Brompton, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hoffmann, L.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kirkwood, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lincoln, Bp.
Lockwood, B.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Ludford, B.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B. [Teller.]
Mar and Kellie, E.
Meston, L.
Methuen, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Ogmore, L.
Oxford, Bp.
Paul, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Razzall, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Richard, L. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Ridley, V.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Rowallan, L.
Russell, E. [Teller.]
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Tugendhat, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Tweeddale, M.
Varley, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walpole, L.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.
Young of Dartington, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

[* The Tellers for the Contents reported 290 names. The Clerks recorded 289 names.]

22 Jul 1998 : Column 976

Resolved in the affirmative, and Motion agreed to accordingly.

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