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The Earl of Onslow: The Minister is in danger of being "horsist". He is saying that those who follow on a horse are committing an offence, but those who follow in a car are not. I may have misunderstood, but he particularly said that those who follow are not hunting. That is what I understood him to say. He implied that those who follow in cars would be all right, but those who follow on horses possibly would not. I thought he was being "horsist"; that was all.

Lord Whitty: I carefully tried to avoid being "horsist" in this particular context. In a normal hunt there are horse people who are clearly engaged in the hunt from the word go. There may be other horse people who are, like a car, going down the lanes to catch up with the hunt or to get a view of the hunt at some different point. There may be others on foot who might be doing the same thing. There will be some forms of hunting where people on foot are clearly engaged in the activity. So it is not a "horsist" or a "carist" or a "footist" remark; it is whether one is engaged in the activity or a spectator in the activity.

Baroness Byford: I am grateful to the Minister for clarifying that last point. From what the Minister said, I can put it into layman's terms. I am trying not to put words into his mouth. He is referring to members of the hunt staff who would normally lead and control the hunt itself. He is excluding from those participating in hunting those who are in the field and not involved in the hunt itself. I am happy if the Minister wants to come back on that point, but we need to clarify that point. It is a major issue.

When we talked about this matter before—I have looked very carefully at what was said in another place—my understanding was that, on the whole, it is those who are involved in the activity of organising the hunt who are actually considered as hunting. Those involved in following the hunt, as hunt supporters either on foot or on horseback—it is particularly the horseback that we needed clarification on—are not involved in hunting. They are observers, or whatever else, but they are not engaged in hunting itself. I think that I have understood him to say that. I hope that I have not put words into his mouth.

7 p.m.

Lord Whitty: The noble Baroness has not put words into my mouth, but I think that we are in broadly the same territory. It is not only those who organise the hunt, it is also those who participate as against those who are spectators.

Baroness Byford: I think that the noble Lord and I are in total agreement. I am sorry that he is perhaps not quite happy with my words, but it is those who are actually involved in the hunt.

Time is moving on. I explained earlier to noble Lords that my amendments are probing in nature and seek to improve the Bill. I understand what has been said by

21 Oct 2003 : Column 1560

many noble Lords and I should have liked to say more about Amendment No. 4 myself. However, the restrictions on time prevent me from doing so. At this stage, I do not wish to press these amendments. I shall withdraw them because it is clear that noble Lords want to consider Amendment No. 4, which would restore the Bill over which the Minister keeps slipping and referring to as "the Alun Michael Bill", but is the government Bill, set out in their words. For that reason and that one alone, I beg leave to withdraw Amendment No. 5.

Amendment No. 5, as an amendment to Amendment No. 4, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 6 to 16, as amendments to Amendment No. 4, not moved.]

Lord Mancroft: We have had an extensive debate, indeed, a rather more extensive discussion than I had thought. The debate has been remarkable for a number of reasons, not least because of the speech made by the noble Lord, Lord Brennan. The House will have listened to his remarks with great care. Having listened to his fascinating words, I wonder how on earth we could have got ourselves into a situation where we are discussing issues such as the Parliament Act on the very first day of our deliberations in Committee. Much as I appreciate the noble Lord's words—and he was absolutely right in everything he said—it can only be an indication of the muddle that possibly Parliament and certainly the Government have got into when an issue such as the Parliament Act is discussed on the very first day in Committee, before we have even considered the Bill in depth.

It would be so much better for both Houses and for all those outside in the country who are worrying about these issues if we were able to step back and think about them in the terms expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Alli, in what I thought was a most remarkable speech. It was an example to all. It is not easy to make speeches about unpopular issues. The noble Lord, Lord Alli, has done that with great courage and his speech served as a useful guide. Noble Lords should hear such speeches occasionally.

I was interested in what the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chester had to say, in particular his words about the need to improve our animal cruelty laws. Of course he was quite right to make the point; that is what we need to do. That is why we should not be dealing with a shambolic criminal Bill today when we could be spending the time in consideration of something like the Bill of the noble Lord, Lord Donoughue, which really would be of immense benefit to wild animal welfare in this country, a matter which the Government appear to regard as nothing of any significance. For those of us who do care about animals and are not interested in criminalising people, that is a useful piece of legislation. The time being spent by noble Lords on this Bill, both today and next week, could more usefully have been spent on seeking to put the noble Lord's Bill on the statute book.

A number of issues have been raised during the debate. The noble Lord, Lord Hoyle, is very worried about deer hunting, while the right reverend Prelate

21 Oct 2003 : Column 1561

aired his concerns about hare coursing. Those are important details and we shall come to them in due course. However, the issue before us at this precise moment is the concept of registration, which forms the heart that was ripped out of the Bill last summer in the House of Commons. By putting the concept of registration back into the Bill—the simple concept that individuals or groups can register to hunt—we would introduce a strict regulatory framework. We do not need at this moment to discuss details such as animals, places and so forth; rather the issue of registration is a concept, a theory. The Chamber would then put forward the message that it is better to regulate than to ban, a point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Warnock. As the noble Lord, Lord Brennan, remarked, it is better to look for a sensible, middle route than to go to the extremes in these difficult arguments. I hope that noble Lords will agree with me.

7.5 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 4) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 261; Not-Contents, 49.

Division No. 2


Acton, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Ampthill, L.
Armstrong of Ilminster, L.
Arran, E.
Ashcroft, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Baldwin of Bewdley, E.
Barnett, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Belstead, L.
Best, L.
Biffen, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blackwell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Bowness, L.
Boyce, L.
Bragg, L.
Bramall, L.
Brennan, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Brookman, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Butler of Brockwell, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carrington, L.
Carter, L.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chan, L.
Chester, Bp.
Chorley, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cobbold, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Croham, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Denham, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donaldson of Lymington, L.
Donoughue, L. [Teller]
Dundee, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falkland, V.
Feldman, L.
Fellowes, L.
Ferrers, E.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Fowler, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Freeman, L.
Freyberg, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gavron, L.
Geraint, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Glentoran, L.
Golding, B.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greengross, B.
Greenway, L.
Grenfell, L.
Habgood, L.
Hanham, B.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hayman, B.
Henley, L.
Heseltine, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hoffmann, L.
Hogg, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hussey of North Bradley, L.
Hylton, L.
Inge, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
James of Holland Park, B.
Jauncey of Tullichettle, L.
Jopling, L.
Keith of Castleacre, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lewis of Newnham, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lipsey, L.
Listowel, E.
Liverpool, E.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lloyd of Berwick, L.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mancroft, L. [Teller]
Mar, C.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Moran, L.
Moser, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Nickson, L.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Oliver of Aylmerton, L.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Palumbo, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Parkinson, L.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Peston, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Rea, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Richardson of Duntisbourne, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rogan, L.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Saatchi, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scott of Foscote, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Selsdon, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Simon, V.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Skidelsky, L.
Slim, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stern, B.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Tebbit, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Tenby, V.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Tombs, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Turner of Camden, B.
Ullswater, V.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walpole, L.
Warnock, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wilcox, B.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Wilson of Tillyorn, L.
Winston, L.


Amos, B. (Lord President)
Bach, L.
Berkeley, L.
Billingham, B.
Brett, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Craigavon, V.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fookes, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B. [Teller]
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller]
Grocott, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Haskel, L.
Hattersley, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Jones, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laird, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Morgan, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Pendry, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rennard, L.
Sheffield, Bp.
Sheldon, L.
Thornton, B.
Tope, L.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Whitaker, B.
Worcester, Bp.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

21 Oct 2003 : Column 1563

7.20 p.m.

Clause 2 [Exempt hunting]:

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