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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I believe that a number of points arise here. With regard to the number of children's hospices, my view is that, as my noble friend Lady Pitkeathley suggested, we need to encourage the development of many more community-based services in order to avoid, if at all possible, the need to travel long distances. Because hospices are in the independent sector, decisions with regard to support for travel costs must rest with the arrangements of the individual organisations.
The Lord Bishop of Birmingham: My Lords, does the Minister agree that if there is insufficient support from public funds for hospices, which do an absolutely marvellous job, pressure is likely to fall back on the general wards of ordinary hospitals where people are, in point of experience, likely to die with less dignity and less support than in hospices?
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I believe that the whole development of palliative care services needs to be seen as a partnership between the National Health Service and the independent sector. There is no doubt that the NHS has learned much from the independent sector about palliative care services and, of course, has developed many services within its own NHS hospitals. I should not want to underestimate the high quality work that is being done there. However, I certainly accept the substantive point that the NHS needs to provide support to the hospice movement. I believe that 31 per cent of revenue costs is a reasonable base line. However, at the end of the day those matters must be decided locally on the basis of an agreed palliative care strategy.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): My Lords, government agencies, the police and the Football Association have been working together since England qualified to ensure that our security preparations are comprehensive. The aim is to minimise the risk of significant disorder involving England supporters. A copy of the measures taken in preparation for Euro 2000 was placed in the Library of the House on 2nd June.
The Government were pleased to note that England's opening game involved no public order problems. The mayor of Eindhoven and the police commander praised England supporters and the degree of co-operation provided by the United Kingdom authorities and police teams operating in the host countries. No one can afford to be complacent in these matters, particularly as the high-risk England v. Germany match lies ahead.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. I am sure that he will want to take this opportunity to wish England well in our match against Germany on Saturday. However, is he not concerned that that game is to be played in a stadium which is wholly unsuitable for a match of this importance and which, had it been located in Great Britain, would not have received a safety certificate? Therefore, what representations have the Government made to have the match moved from Charleroi to another, more suitable location?
On the wider issue of crowd violence, is he aware that those of us who in the past have followed England abroad all too frequently have been sickened by the behaviour of a small number of so-called England supporters? Is he also aware that, for the life of us, we cannot understand why it is impossible for people who are known to the National Criminal Intelligence Service to be prevented from travelling abroad when they have a known record of crowd violence at home?
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I believe that it is well known that the Government made representations concerning the choice and selection of venue. We certainly raised the question of the Charleroi stadium being used for the high-profile match with Germany. Ultimately, of course, rightly the decision must be made by the tournament organisers. We have tried to play a constructive role and have concentrated our efforts on doing all that we possibly can to ensure the maintenance of law and order during the tournament.
I agree entirely with my noble friend's final point. As noble Lords know, the Government were determined to do all that they could to strengthen and toughen the legislation which covers football hooliganism. Our original intention was to have far wider powers to confiscate passports from known and suspected hooligans in particular so that they could be prevented from travelling abroad. Sadly, we were prevented from extending the law in that way, not by our own ill-doings but by Members of the Opposition, who were determined to wreck the legislation when it passed
Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, should not the Minister recall that, following the violence at the World Cup, two years ago during the passage of the Crime and Disorder Bill in 1998 this party proposed football behaviour orders which would have allowed the police to apply to magistrates for restrictions on hooligans who were likely to cause violence. At that time, the Home Secretary rejected the idea but said that the Government would consider it. A year ago, the relevant Minister said that they would do something, but still the Government have done nothing. So far as concerns the Private Member's Bill, that was not wrecked by Conservatives; indeed, it was a Conservative Bill.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I am extremely interested in and entertained by what the noble Lord says on the matter. It is indeed the case that the issue was raised some two years ago. When a government-supported Private Member's Bill was brought before another place and passed through this House, Messrs David Maclean, Eric Forth, Roger Gale and, I believe, Edward Leigh and Michael Fabricant, waving his passport, said that these were liberties which should not be taken away. I believe that David Maclean said that there would be European Court of Human Rights implications in the move to take away passports. I fail to understand why some Members of the Opposition appear to be more interested in the civil liberties and rights of known football hooligans than in the civil liberties and rights of those who want honourably to watch football matches in peace.
Lord Hoyle: My Lords, can my noble friend say whether the advice given to football supporters not to travel to games if they do not have a ticket is being heeded? If not, what is being done to reinforce that message?
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, we have been passing on that message. We have made a number of moves and given great support to the Football Association, the Football Supporters Association and to those other supporters' associations that are independent in order to discourage people from travelling to matches without tickets. The success of the police operation in Eindhoven over the weekend and on Monday bears testament to the active support that the police here have given.
The supporters who were in Eindhoven on Monday are to be congratulated on their good behaviour. I hope that that good behaviour extends to the next match against Germany, which I hope to enjoy myself. I shall watch carefully to ensure that the security arrangements for that match are thorough.
This is the second consolidation Bill that has been brought before your Lordships this Session. It consolidates the legislation on European parliamentary elections, at present to be found, principally, in the European Parliamentary Elections Acts of 1978, 1993 and 1999.
The Bill is pure consolidation. It does not change the law on European parliamentary elections and, therefore, it does not raise any of the issues on this subject which have been of such interest to your Lordships in the past two Sessions.
The Government support the important work of the Law Commission and parliamentary counsel in ensuring that legislation is easy to find and easy to follow. I commend the latest results of their work to your Lordships. If your Lordships are content to give this Bill a Second Reading, it will be referred to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills in the usual way. I commend the Bill to the House.