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Lord Glentoran: I thank the noble and learned Lord for his customary brilliant summing-up of our debate. We learn to expect that of someone in his profession, but in particular from himself.

As I said at the beginning of my remarks, I have tabled two further amendments that seek to achieve similar aims to that of Amendment No. 2. I should like to quote a remark made to me not long ago in private by a very learned Member of this House during a discussion concerning other matters: commissions make politically correct decisions and end up doing the wrong thing. All noble Lords should remember that and bear the comment in mind.

I shall support the noble Lord, Lord Smith of Clifton, but at this point I shall withdraw my Amendment No. 2.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass moved Amendment No. 3:



"(1) The Secretary of State may, having regard to any report of the Monitoring Commission, any relevant proceedings in the Assembly and any other relevant matter, if he is satisfied that a Minister or a junior Minister is not committed to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means; or has failed to observe any other terms of the pledge of office, by direction, exclude the Minister or junior Minister from holding office as a Minister or junior Minister for such period of not less than three months and not more than twelve months beginning with the date of the direction, or as the direction may provide.
(2) The Secretary of State may, having regard to any report of the Monitoring Commission, any relevant proceedings in the Assembly and any other relevant matter, if he is satisfied that a political party is not committed to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means; or is not committed to such of its members as are or might become Ministers or junior Ministers observing the other terms of the pledge of office, by direction exclude members of the political party concerned from holding office as a Minister or junior Minister for such period of not less than six months and not more than twelve months beginning with the date of the direction, or any as the direction may provide.
(3) The Secretary of State may, having regard to any relevant proceedings in the Assembly, before any period of exclusion comes to an end extend it for a further period, in the case of an exclusion under section 30(1) or subsection (1) of this section of not less than three months and not more than twelve months, or in the case of an exclusion under section 30(2) or subsection (2) of this section for a further period of not less than six months and not more than twelve months, if he is satisfied that the Minister, junior Minister, or political party as the case may be, is not committed to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means; or is not committed to observance of the terms of the pledge of office."

The noble Lord said: I should very much like to see this Bill move quickly through the House so that it can achieve what has been suggested by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Williams. I note that he picked up the point I made about the option for the Secretary of State to act or not to act according to the recommendations of the commission. Although I cannot remember his exact words, I believe the noble

15 Sept 2003 : Column 678

and learned Lord said that he would find it difficult to envisage an occasion when the Secretary of State would react differently from any recommendation made by the commission. If that is exactly what the noble and learned Lord means then he will give me an unequivocal assurance that the Secretary of State shall so act, rather than may so act, within that particular aspect of the Bill. If the noble and learned Lord is unable to give the assurance, then I have to look at past experience.

I know that the disarmament commission was a different type of body dealing with a technical issue but, sadly, over a number of years, it has not brought about any significant impact for ordinary people. Nor has there been any reassurance. Again, everything done by the Government and the ordinary, law-abiding people of Northern Ireland is covered by legislation, whereas everything done by the Government to remove our defences against terrorism is done through a nod and a wink. In fairness to the people of Northern Ireland, I cannot give up my endeavour and the endeavours of my party to try to ensure more watertight legislation. Hence it is with some regret, but of necessity, that I want to seek the opinion of the House on Amendment No. 3.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): I should point out to the Committee that if this amendment is agreed to, I cannot call Amendments Nos. 4 to 11 inclusive.

3.57 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 89; Not-Contents, 158.

Division No. 1

CONTENTS

Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Blatch, B.
Blood, B.
Bowness, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Cockfield, L.
Cooke of Islandreagh, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Crickhowell, L.
Cuckney, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Fitt, L.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Liverpool, E.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L. [Teller]
Marlesford, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Naseby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Onslow, E.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Plumb, L.
Prior, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thatcher, B.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wilcox, B.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Amos, B.
Ampthill, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fearn, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hylton, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Islwyn, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Levy, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lipsey, L.
Ludford, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Marsh, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Moser, L.
Northover, B.
Orme, L.
Palmer, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sheldon, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stern, B.
Strabolgi, L.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wigoder, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord President of the Council)
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

15 Sept 2003 : Column 680

4.8 p.m.

[Amendments Nos. 4 to 15 not moved.]

Clause 5 agreed to.


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