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20Schedule 5, page 80, line 17, at end insert—

"The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (c. 33)

12A The Criminal Justice Act 1988 is amended as follows.


    12B In section 24 (business etc. documents), in subsection (4), for "section 3 of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990" there is substituted "section 7 of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003".


    12C In section 26 (statements in documents that appear to have been prepared for the purposes of criminal proceedings or investigations), for "section 3 of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990" there is substituted "section 7 of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003".


    12D In paragraph 6 of Schedule 13 (evidence before courts-martial etc.)—


(a) in sub-paragraph (1)—
(i) for "section 3 of the Criminal Justice (International Co- operation) Act 1990" there is substituted "section 7 of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003", and
(ii) for "letters of request or corresponding documents" there is substituted "requests for assistance in obtaining outside the United Kingdom evidence", and
(b) in sub-paragraph (4), for "letters of request or corresponding documents" there is substituted "requests for assistance in obtaining evidence"."
21page 83, line 19, at end insert—

"The Criminal Justice (Evidence, Etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 (S.I. 1988/1847 (N.I. 17))

33A The Criminal Justice (Evidence, Etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 is amended as follows.


    33B In Article 4 (business etc. documents), in paragraph (4), for "section 3 of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990" there is substituted "section 7 of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003".


    33C In Article 6 (statements in documents that appear to have been prepared for the purposes of criminal proceedings or investigations), for "section 3 of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990" there is substituted "section 7 of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003"."


22page 87, line 20, at end insert—

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"54A In section 27 (Lord Advocate's direction), in subsection (2), for "section 4(2B) of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990" there is substituted "section 15(4) of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003"."


23Schedule 6, page 90, line 19, column 2, at end insert—
"In Schedule 4, paragraphs 6(2) and 8."

Lord Filkin: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 11 to 23. I have already spoken to the amendments.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 11 to 23.—(Lord Filkin.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Hunting Bill

3.24 p.m.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now again resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved, That the House do now again resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Whitty.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES in the Chair.]

Clause 4 [Hunting: defence]:

Lord Peyton of Yeovil moved Amendment No. 23:


    Page 1, line 18, leave out from "he" to end and insert "conscientiously believed that the hunting in which he was to take part ought to be exempt"

The noble Lord said: I do not hunt, and I am now too old to take it up and thus be made a criminal by this wretched, mean little measure. It comes to us, of course, to satisfy the consciences and feelings of zealots who care little for the consciences of others. It is a Bill which is a mixture of prejudice and nonsense, which my amendment would do something to redeem. I am, however, dreadfully conscious of the fact that there would be no chance whatever of it being accepted by those people down the other end of the Corridor.

Mr Tony Banks—one could describe him perhaps as the other Tony, the one who says what he means—has brought to the proceedings a degree of stark clarity. On 30th June, he said that,


    "the matter is now highly political and, in many regards, has become totemic".

We were, he said, in,


    "a situation in which passions and subjectivity rule the day".—[Official Report, Commons, 30/6/03; col. 91.]

I just pause to wonder—I think that your Lordships might all reflect upon it—what on earth would happen if the rule of passions and subjectivity were to become the norm. I think that our fragile democracy might be mortally damaged by it. Certainly Parliament would enter into a decline even steeper than exists today.

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I turn for a moment to a very different speech made by Miss Kate Hoey in another place on 30th June from which I shall quote one passage of some length. I think that it is so important that it is worth taking up a moment of your Lordships' time to repeat it here. She said:


    "The Bill is inconsistent. Why is it not okay to hunt hares when it is okay to hunt rabbits? That shows that the Bill has been devised by people who take an attitude of zealotry towards those who hunt. They are opposed to hunting, and they are not prepared to listen".

Miss Hoey had met people in Parliament Square. She said:


    "I want to pay tribute to the hundreds of women who spent last night and all day in Parliament square. If only some of my hon. Friends had had the decency to go and talk to those young, middle-aged and elderly women who live in the countryside and know what this is all about, rather than treating them with contempt.


    The saddest thing about this whole process is that there has been no listening at all. At Portcullis House, everyone involved in hunting produced a huge amount of work and put in a great deal of effort, but it was all simply ignored because some of the facts did not fit in with the Minister's or the Government's intentions".—[Official Report, Commons, 30/6/03; col. 116.]

I am very glad that the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Hereford is supporting this amendment. He spoke at Second Reading of his hope that the Government were looking for a middle way. It has been rudely dashed but that thought of an opportunity missed now leads me to ask, what of Mr Alun Michael? How did he manage, I wonder, to perform such an about-turn at such dazzling speed? Perhaps he had in mind the fate of the "late" Lord Chancellor who nourished the old-fashioned idea that a promise was a promise. His successor on the Woolsack has altogether a more accommodating dictionary.

I would not like to end my remarks without a word of admiration for the noble Baroness, Lady Mallalieu. She has shown the most extraordinary courage and determination in pursuing a cause in which she believes. At Second Reading she lamented that the Bill would make criminals of herself, her husband and her children. She went on:


    "I am sorry to say that, to some, all of this does not matter one jot because they are prepared to sacrifice not just animals but people—their homes, their jobs, their way of life, their communities, especially in places such as Exmoor, which I love—for the sake of some transient peace from a section of the parliamentary Labour Party. If that is allowed to happen, the lasting sense of injustice and resentment in those communities will dog the Government who were responsible, not just for a Parliament or two but for a generation".—[Official Report, 16/9/03; col. 782.]

Coming from the West Country as I do, I believe that those words of the noble Baroness are absolutely true and justified and should receive the respectful attention they have not yet received from the Benches opposite.

I marvel how such speeches as those have been swept aside and how the conclusion of the report of the noble Lord, Lord Burns, has been ignored simply because it was not what they wanted. Scientific opinions, too, have suffered much the same fate. I refer to the verdict of Dr Lewis Thomas, a vet already quoted in these debates, who said that,


    "any legislation that bans or seriously restricts hunting . . . cannot be regarded as having the welfare of wild animals as its primary objective".

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One hears no words from those who support this Bill to indicate that they have even taken notice of such arguments. Adverse opinion polls count for nothing. So too, rather strangely, do the strongly expressed views of the media. I quote only today, that of the Guardian of 2nd July which states:


    "The majority should hesitate before it rides roughshod over the minority".

I should have thought that the Labour Party would have that fairly close to its heart as it has had reason to complain of it in the past. The article in the Guardian continued:


    "The peacefully expressed fears of many in the countryside, who see things differently and feel their way of life is under threat from people whom they think do not understand them, have made a persuasive case for a less absolutist approach. This was the spirit that underpinned Mr Michael's bill, and it will be both legitimate"—

I hope that the noble Lord will note this—


    "and desirable if the Lords reinstate clauses in a similar . . . spirit.

Like many of your Lordships I have had hundreds of letters on this subject. I had one in favour of the Bill. I quote from one single letter from Mrs Rutherford of Plymouth. In a very short space she encompassed what seems to me to be the whole issue. She wrote:


    "I neither hunt nor follow a hunt but felt I must write to you in defence of hunting and I fear a ban would have far-reaching, adverse consequences for our beautiful countryside, the rural way of life already affected by poor public transport, school closures and inadequate policing"—

She can say that again! One reason I might just for a moment feel well disposed towards this Bill is because there would be just a chance—an outside chance perhaps—of seeing a policeman in the village in which I live. Mrs Rutherford went on to say,


    "and for this country's long tradition of liberty and tolerance".

For those who espouse this Bill, liberty and tolerance mean nothing except in the most limited subjective sense.

I want to raise with the noble Lord, Lord Whitty—if he will bear with me for a moment—one further point which I have mentioned two or three times but so far without an answering echo. At Second Reading the noble Lord said quite clearly:


    "The threat of disruption—

I am not concerned with that now—


    "and unenforceability is not one to which the Government or Parliament can or should succumb".—[Official Report, 16/9/03; col. 771.]

Does the noble Lord seriously mean that unenforceability is not a matter which should be in the minds of legislators when they contribute to the torrent of legislation which his Government pour through Parliament? The noble Lord might even care to discuss the point with the police.

I shall finish now but I want to end on this note. I find it very hard to avoid the conclusion that the Government abandoned their search for a middle way in order to placate a bunch of their Back-Benchers who might otherwise embarrass the Government on a host

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of subjects. Hunting and the countryside, and perhaps your Lordships' House as well, would serve this Government as useful diversions. I beg to move.


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