The House met at twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock.
1 Message to attend Her Majesty,-A Message from Her Majesty was delivered by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.
The Queen commands this Honourable House to attend Her Majesty immediately, in the House of Peers.
Accordingly, the Speaker, with the House, went up to attend Her Majesty:-And having returned;
The Speaker resumed the Chair at half-past Two o'clock.
2 Liaison,-Mr Alan Williams reported, pursuant to Standing Order No. 145 (Liaison Committee), That the Liaison Committee had directed him to report the following recommendation for the allocation of time for the consideration of Estimates on an allotted day (being the first allotted day in the present Session of Parliament):
That a day not later than 6th February be allotted for the consideration of the following Votes on Account for financial year 2004-05:
Department for Work and Pensions in so far as it relates to childcare for working parents.
Department of Trade and Industry in so far as it relates to the modernisation of the post office network, with particular reference to the impact on post offices of the direct payment of pensions.
Report to lie upon the Table.
3 Elections,-Ordered, That all Members who are returned for two or more places in any part of the United Kingdom do make their Election for which of the places they will serve, within one week after it shall appear that there is no question upon the Return for that place; and if any thing shall come in question touching the Return or Election of any Member, he is to withdraw during the time the matter is in debate; and that all Members returned upon double Returns do withdraw till their Returns are determined.
Resolved, That if it shall appear that any person has been elected or returned a Member of this House, or endeavoured so to be by bribery, or any other corrupt practices, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against all such persons as shall have been wilfully concerned in such bribery or other corrupt practices.
4 Witnesses,-Resolved, That if it shall appear that any person has been tampering with any witness, in respect of his evidence to be given to this House, or any Committee thereof, or directly or indirectly has endeavoured to deter or hinder any person from appearing or giving evidence, the same is declared to be a high crime and misdemeanour; and this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender.
Resolved, That if it shall appear that any person has given false evidence in any case before this House, or any Committee thereof, this House will proceed with the utmost severity against such offender.
5 Metropolitan Police,-Ordered, That the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis do take care that during the Session of Parliament the passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and open and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House, and that no disorder be allowed in Westminster Hall, or in the passages leading to this House, during the Sitting of Parliament, and that there be no annoyance therein or thereabouts; and that the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do communicate this Order to the Commissioner aforesaid.
6 Votes and Proceedings,-Ordered, That the Votes and Proceedings of this House be printed, being first perused by the Speaker.
7 Outlawries,-A Bill for the more effectual preventing Clandestine Outlawries was read the first time and ordered to be read a second time.
8 Standing Orders (Public Business),-Ordered, That the Standing Orders relating to Public Business be printed [No. 3].
9 Queen's Speech,-The Speaker reported Her Majesty's Speech and directed that it be entered in the Journal, as follows:
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
My Government will maintain its key commitment to economic stability and growth.
This will enable my Government to continue to deliver reform of the public services and continue to focus on greater opportunity and social justice, enhanced security and protection and constitutional reform.
Delivering a world class education system that enables individuals to achieve their full potential remains my Government's main priority for Britain's future success. Educational reform will continue to raise standards in all schools.
A Bill will be introduced to enable more young people to benefit from higher education. Upfront tuition fees will be abolished for all full-time students and a new Office For Fair Access will assist those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Universities will be placed on a sound financial footing.
My Government will continue to reform the National Health Service by giving more choice to patients, more freedom to NHS staff and more control over hospitals to local communities.
My Government will introduce a Bill that will provide all children born from September 2002 with a Child Trust Fund with an initial endowment from the Government and more for poorer children. This will mean that when children reach the age of 18 they have an asset to draw on as a springboard for the future.
Legislation will also be introduced to encourage both employers to provide good quality pensions and individuals to save more effectively for their retirement. A Pension Protection Fund will be set up to protect employees and pensioners if companies become insolvent.
My Government will maintain its commitment to increased equality and social justice by bringing forward legislation on the registration of civil partnerships between same sex couples.
A draft Bill will also be published responding to a review of the law relating to disabilities as part of my Government's programme to extend the rights and opportunities of disabled people.
My Government is committed to the maintenance of an effective asylum and immigration system. Legislation will therefore be brought forward to establish a single tier of appeal against asylum decisions, to reduce the scope for delay caused by groundless appeals, and to put in place a range of other measures to tackle abuse of the system and fraudulent claims.
My Government will take forward work on an incremental approach to a national identity cards scheme and will publish a draft Bill in the new year.
My Government will continue to make the reduction of crime and the fear of crime a priority. The Government will be implementing the Criminal Justice Act to ensure the effective punishment of dangerous and persistent offenders. Firm action will continue to be taken against anti-social behaviour by strengthening the powers available to schools and local authorities.
Measures will be introduced to modernise the laws on domestic violence and to establish a Commissioner to speak up for the interests of victims and witnesses.
A Bill will be introduced to improve the services designed to protect children. A Children's Commissioner for England will be established.
A draft Bill will be brought forward on the Criminal Defence Service.
The threat of international terrorism and a changing climate have led to a series of emergencies and heightened concerns for the future. My Government will introduce a Bill creating a long-term foundation for civil contingencies capable of meeting these challenges at national and local level.
A Bill will also be brought forward to improve the delivery of fire and rescue services, ensuring that they can respond to the changing demands placed on them in the modern world.
A Bill will also be introduced to regulate retention of human tissues after death.
My Government will continue its programme of constitutional reform by establishing a Supreme Court, reforming the Judicial Appointments System and providing for the abolition of the current office of Lord Chancellor.
Legislation will be brought forward to reform the House of Lords. This will remove hereditary peers and establish an independent Appointments Commission to select non-party members of the Upper House.
A draft Bill will be published to enable a referendum to be held on the adoption of the single currency subject to the Government's five economic tests being met.
My Government will continue to take forward a Bill on election pilots introduced during the last session.
My Government is committed to improving the quality of people's day to day lives.
Legislation will be introduced on housing that will help create a fairer housing market and protect the most vulnerable.
My Government will continue to take forward a Bill on planning introduced during the last session, which will make the planning system fairer and faster with greater community participation.
Legislation will also be brought forward to improve traffic flows and manage road works more effectively.
A draft Bill will be published to enable some local authorities to pilot new arrangements for school transport to reduce road congestion.
My Government will also introduce legislation on energy matters, to establish a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and to promote secure, sustainable supplies and a safer environment.
My Government will maintain sound public finances and will continue to take action to secure high levels of employment and encourage enterprise.
Legislation will be introduced to implement the conclusions of the Government's review of the Employment Relations Act 1999.
Legislation will also be introduced to modernise company accounting and audit arrangements.
A thriving not-for-profit sector is part of the fabric of a modern democratic society. My Government will introduce a Bill to create Community Interest Companies which will enable social enterprises to meet the needs of their communities in new and innovative ways.
A draft Bill on charities will also be published which will modernise charity law and better enable charities to prosper.
Further draft clauses of a Bill on gambling will also be published.
My Government will continue to take forward a programme of Regulatory Reform Orders to simplify and reform burdensome and outdated legislation.
Members of the House of Commons
Estimates for the Public Services will be laid before you.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
My Government will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales. Bills will be introduced to create a single public audit body for Wales and to retain the current number of members in the Scottish Parliament.
In Northern Ireland, my Government will continue to work closely with the political parties and the Irish Government to secure the full implementation of the Belfast Agreement. Legislation will be brought forward to establish a Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission.
Other measures will be laid before you.
The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to paying a State Visit to Nigeria in December and attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. We look forward to receiving the State Visit of His Excellency the President of Poland next May. To mark the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, we look forward to paying a State Visit to France next April and to receiving His Excellency the President of France in the autumn.
My Government will play an active role in preparing the European Union for the accession of ten new member states next May. They will work hard to conclude negotiations on a new constitutional treaty for the European Union, following which they will introduce legislation to implement the treaty.
My Government will work for a strong partnership between Europe and the United States, underpinned by NATO, and for effective action in tackling the threat from global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
My Government will maintain Britain's commitment to rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq, to promoting peace in the Middle East, and to tackling the underlying causes of conflict and extremism. They will help war-torn countries, particularly in Africa, to seize the opportunities for development which peace can bring.
My Government will publish a Defence White Paper providing a statement of Defence Policy and an assessment of the new strategic environment in which the Armed Forces operate. A Bill will be introduced to give enabling powers to bring in new pension and compensation arrangements for the Armed Forces.
My Government will work to reduce world poverty and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including increased aid flows and effective debt relief for developing countries committed to reform.
My Government will press for a fairer trade system as part of the current round of world trade negotiations. They will work to strengthen the United Nations in response to key global challenges such as AIDS and climate change.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.
10 Queen's Speech (Motion for an Address),-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, as follows:
We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament-(Mr John McFall);
Ordered, That the Debate be now adjourned.-(Mr Vernon Coaker.)
Debate to be resumed to-morrow.
11 Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Mr Vernon Coaker.)
And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till twenty-nine minutes past Ten o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 10.29 p.m.
Michael J. Martin
Mr Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Eleven o'clock.
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers presented by Her Majesty's Command and delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office during the Prorogation of Parliament pursuant to Standing Order No. 158 (Presentation of command papers):
Friday 21st November 2003
1 Education and Skills,-Department for Education and Skills: Autumn Performance Report 2003 [Cm. 6006] [Mr Secretary Clarke].
2 Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,-Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Autumn Performance Report 2003 [Cm. 6017] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].
3 Treaty Series (No. 47, 2003),-Agreement, done at Ashgabat on 9th February 1995, between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Turkmenistan for the Promotion and Protection of Investments [Cm. 6021] [Mr Secretary Straw].
Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on the undermentioned dates during the Prorogation of Parliament pursuant to Standing Order No. 159 (Presentation of statutory instruments):
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
Friday 21st November 2003
4 Town and Country Planning,-Town and Country Planning (Costs of Inquiries etc.) (Examination in Public) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2948), dated 14th November 2003 [Mr Secretary Prescott].
Monday 24th November 2003
5 Food,-Food (Brazil Nuts) (Emergency Control) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2988), dated 19th November 2003 [Mr Secretary Reid].
Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Wednesday 26th November 2003:
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
6 Companies,-Companies (Acquisition of Own Shares) (Treasury Shares) No. 2 Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 3031), dated 25th November 2003 [by Act] [Ms Secretary Hewitt].
7 Criminal Procedure,-(1) Community Responsibility Order Rules (Northern Ireland) 2003 (S.R.(N.I.), 2003, No. 479), dated 17th November 2003; and
(2) Reparation Order Rules (Northern Ireland) 2003 (S.R.(N.I.), 2003, No. 480), dated 18th November 2003
[by Statutory Instrument] [Mr Secretary Murphy].
8 Local Government,-Private Hire Vehicles (London) (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 3028), dated 25th November 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Darling].
9 National Lottery,-Millennium Commission (Reduction in Membership) Order 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 3033), dated 20th November 2003 [by Act] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].
10 Race Relations Act,-(1) Race Relations Act 1976 (General Statutory Duty) Order 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 3007), and
(2) Race Relations Act 1976 (Statutory Duties) Order 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 3006),
dated 24th November 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
11 Secure Training Centres,-Secure Training Centre (Amendment) Rules 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 3005), dated 23rd November 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
12 Government Resources and Accounts,-(1) Consolidated Resource Accounts of the Department of Trade and Industry
(2) Resource Accounts of the-
(i) Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and
(ii) Office of Telecommunications
for 2002-03, with the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [Nos. 14, 10 and 21] [Ruth Kelly].
13 Office of Communications,-Account of the Office of Communications for 2002-03, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 36] [Clerk of the House].
14 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums,-Report and Accounts of the Electoral Commission for 2002-03, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 11] [Clerk of the House].
15 Public Petitions,-Observations from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on (1) the petition [20th October, in the last session of Parliament] from Katrina Wynne for the removal of Crown immunity in relation to health and safety legislation, and
(2) the Petition [5th November, in the last session of Parliament] from the Restricted Growth Association against stereotyping and discrimination directed towards people of restricted growth,
[by Standing Order] [Clerk of the House].
16 Supply Estimates, 2004-05,-Estimates for which a Vote on Account is required for 2004-05 for-
(1) Central Government [by Command]; to be printed [No. 16] [Mr Paul Boateng],
(2) the Electoral Commission [by Command]; to be printed [No. 19] [The Speaker],
(3) the House of Commons [by Act]; to be printed [No. 17] [The Speaker], and
(4) the National Audit Office [by Act]; to be printed [No. 18] [Mr Alan Williams].
Reports from Select Committees
Public Accounts,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [Hip replacements: an update]; to be printed [No. 40-i] [Mr Edward Leigh].