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Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, similar amendments were tabled in Committee, although they have now been extended to include, in addition to ethnic minorities, disabled people and any other under-represented group.

It is important to bear in mind that the object of the Bill, first and foremost, is to give effect to Patten's recommendations. In the commission's estimation,


It must therefore be right that this should be our central focus in this legislation. Patten's recommendation, which we have accepted, was that other under-represented groups, such as ethnic minorities, should be targeted by means of an imaginative advertising strategy.

However, notwithstanding that, the Government have already recognised the issue, in equality terms, with the action plan on female representation. We should not lose sight of the fact that the Bill provides for the immediate application of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to the police. This places a duty on the police and other policing bodies to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity as between various categories of people based on race, gender, religion, disability and other distinctions.

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We believe that this provides an appropriate vehicle under which the matters raised by the noble Lord, Lord Smith of Clifton, in Amendments Nos. 46 and 47 can be taken forward. In the light of this explanation, I hope that the noble Lord will feel able to withdrew his amendment.

Lord Smith of Clifton: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for her reply. We shall wish to look in detail at what she said. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 47 not moved.]

Clause 51 [Notifiable memberships]:

Lord Molyneaux of Killead had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 48:


    Clause 51, page 26, line 9, leave out subsection (2).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, it is not our intention to move Amendments Nos. 48 and 49.

[Amendments Nos. 48 and 49 not moved.]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 50:


    Clause 51, page 26, line 15, at end insert--


("( ) The Chief Constable shall publish any guidance issued under subsection (2).").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 50 I shall speak also to Amendment No. 57.

Amendment No. 50 requires the Chief Constable to publish any guidance which he may issue to police officers in connection with notifiable memberships. This responds to points made by the noble Viscount, Lord Cranborne, and the noble Lord, Lord Elton, in Committee. I thank them for their contribution. The theme of this provision--as with so much of Patten--is to enhance transparency and openness within the police service, and this will aid that policy.

Turning to Amendment No. 57, in Committee we undertook to consider some means of qualifying the circumstances in which disclosure of information on notifiable memberships is defensible. This was in response to points made by the noble Lord, Lord Cooke of Islandreagh, who is not in his place. The amendment makes it clear that the defence is not available if it is shown that the person concerned used his position in some way to obtain the information in question. This is an important safeguard to ensure that those who have access to this sensitive information do not abuse their positions.

On the strength of Amendment No. 57, I invite the noble Lords, Lord Rogan, Lord Molyneaux and Lord Laird, not to move Amendment No. 56. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Lord Molyneaux of Killead had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 51:


    Clause 51, page 26, line 16, leave out subsection (4).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have even better news for the Minister. We do not intend to move Amendments Nos. 51 to 55, nor the Minister's favourite, Amendment No. 56.

[Amendment No. 51 not moved.]

[Amendments Nos. 52 to 56 not moved.]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 57:


    Clause 51, page 27, line 16, at end insert--


("( ) But subsection (10) does not provide a defence if it is shown that the person concerned used his position as a person to whom subsection (7) applies in order to obtain the information.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 52 [Code of ethics]:

Lord Archer of Sandwell moved Amendment No. 58:


    Clause 52, page 28, line 8, leave out ("understood the code as currently in force") and insert ("have undertaken to be guided by the code currently in force in the exercise of their general duty under section 32").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, mentioned to me yesterday that, unavoidably, he has to be absent. He greatly regrets it. He asked me to add my name to his amendment and to move it. I thought that I had added my name; however, it does not appear on the Marshalled List. However, I understand that that does not preclude me from moving the amendment.

The noble Lord, Lord Hylton, was kind enough to write out for me what he would have said had he been present. Perhaps the fairest thing I can do is to try to follow it as closely as I can without being tiresome.

The noble Lord says that in drafting the amendment he has tried to follow as closely as possible the intention and language of the Bill. Clause 32 provides that police officers shall be guided by the code of ethics referred to in Clause 52. The clause states that the Chief Constable shall ensure that all police officers--that is, existing officers and new constables--have read and understood the code. The noble Lord seeks to strengthen this wording by providing that they must not only read the code, but must also undertake to be guided by it in all aspects of their general duty and functions.

There is good reason for this. There are those who suspect that existing officers may read and understand the code but then proceed to forget about it. That is why the noble Lord wishes all officers to undertake freely to be guided in their work by the code. Impartiality and good standards of conduct and practice, mentioned earlier in this clause and in Clause 38, depend on it. Officers must not only be aware of convention rights; they must also be continually guided by the explanation of such rights given in the code. The noble Lord says that he wants to see a police service that is acceptable to all sides of the population.

That is what the noble Lord kindly wrote out for me. I merely add: so do I. I beg to move.

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9.15 p.m.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, in responding, perhaps I may speak also to government Amendment No. 59. Amendment No. 59 requires the board to review the steps taken by the Chief Constable to ensure that the code of ethics is brought to the attention of officers. This makes a link to the board's duty to assess the effectiveness of the code under Clause 3(3)(d)(iv), and thereby facilitates that role.

The amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, requires the Chief Constable to ensure that officers undertake to be guided by the code of ethics in carrying out their general duty. Police officers are already required to be guided by the code of ethics in carrying out their functions by virtue of Clause 32(4). So it makes little odds whether or not they undertake to be guided by the code; the fact of the matter is that they must be guided by it.

I believe that the Government and the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, are at one on the policy; therefore, I invite the noble and learned Lord, Lord Archer, on behalf of the noble Lord, to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Archer of Sandwell: My Lords, I had intended to commend my noble and learned friend's amendment, and I had ventured to hope that he might reciprocate. There are those who will be comforted by the explanation that he has given. In those circumstances, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 59:


    Clause 52, page 28, line 11, at end insert--


("( ) In order to enable it to carry out its function under section 3(3)(d)(iv), the Board shall keep under review the steps taken by the Chief Constable under subsection (8).").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 53 [Guidance as to use of equipment for maintaining or restoring public order]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 60:


    Clause 53, page 28, line 22, after ("Constable;") insert--


("( ) the Ombudsman;").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 54 [Regulations as to emblems and flags]:

Lord Desai moved Amendment No. 61:


    Clause 54, page 28, line 26, leave out ("may") and insert ("shall").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, perhaps I may speak also to Amendments Nos. 62 to 66, which all stand in my name. Noble Lords may recall that I had tabled these amendments for debate in Committee but at that time there was a sensitive situation regarding flags so I did not pursue them.

The point is simple and, given the lateness of the hour, I shall be brief. The crux of the proposition is in Amendment No. 62. Clause 54 allows the Secretary of

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State to prescribe the design of an emblem or flag. My amendment says in effect that, in prescribing a design, we should be careful not to hurt the feelings of either community; therefore, we should avoid as far as possible association either with the state of Ireland or with the United Kingdom because either would offend one community or the other. Such a provision would allow the Secretary of State to create a wholly new symbol for a flag or emblem that would unite rather than divide the community. I beg to move.


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