The House met at Ten o'clock, pursuant to Resolution [24th April].
1 Address to Her Majesty (Golden Jubilee),-The Speaker and the House proceeded to Westminster Hall to attend Her Majesty with an Address.
2 The Speaker resumed the Chair at half-past Two o'clock, and reported that the House had this day attended Her Majesty in Westminster Hall with an Address, in reply to which Her Majesty had been pleased to make a Most Gracious Speech; and he directed that his own words in presenting the Address and Her Majesty's Speech in reply be entered in the Journal.
The Speaker presented the Address to Her Majesty in the following words:
Your Majesty: we, your faithful Commons, offer our heartfelt congratulations on the completion of fifty years of your reign. We wish to assure you of our loyal devotion and to express our profound gratitude for the unstinting service which you have given to the Nation and to the people we have the privilege to represent in Parliament.
Your long and distinguished reign has seen extraordinary changes at home and in the wider world. The United Kingdom of 1952 would be unrecognisable today. A society where the scars of war had not yet healed has given way to equality of opportunity, to social and geographic mobility and to levels of prosperity and health which that generation could only have dreamed of. The nature of society too has changed dramatically, as today we celebrate the diversity of race, culture and faith that makes this country a vibrant and exciting place to live.
New democracies have emerged across the world which this Parliament is proud to nourish and support. The Cold War has given way to new partnerships, new challenges and new opportunities. The United Kingdom continues to exercise important influence in the counsels of the world and we make a major contribution to securing the peace. Fifty years ago this Parliament was at the heart of an Empire. Today we are one of 54 independent members of the Commonwealth, of which you are Head. Your personal contribution to the development of this unique organisation has been of great significance and millions of people are grateful for it.
During your reign, Madam, this Parliament too has changed. We have chosen to share our sovereignty with our European partners and to delegate powers to the devolved Parliaments and assemblies of Scotland and Wales as well as Northern Ireland. The House of Commons today looks rather different from 1952. We have six times as many women Members and it is also a younger House-nearly half our Members have known no other Monarch. You have been served by ten Prime Ministers and I have the honour to be the eighth Speaker of your reign.
Amidst this sea of change the monarchy has acted as a beacon of stability and a unifying influence for our people. But it is not simply the throne that we honour today-it is your personal contribution that we have reason to give thanks for. By your sense of service and your devotion to duty, by your consistent display of dedication and commitment, by your wisdom and grace, you have demonstrated for all to see the value of a constitutional monarchy in securing the liberties of our citizens and the fundamental unity of this Kingdom and the Commonwealth. In 1952, in a motion moved by Winston Churchill, the House of Commons expressed their complete conviction that you would throughout your reign work to uphold the liberties and promote the happiness of all your peoples. That confidence has been amply justified over the last 50 years.
Few monarchs in the history of these islands can match your contribution. We are supremely grateful to you and to His Royal Highness Prince Philip, whose support for you has been so manifest and whose personal commitment to the Nation has been of such value to us.
In this historic Hall at the heart of the Palace of Westminster, the scene of so much royal, political and parliamentary history, Parliament salutes its Sovereign. We offer you our respect, our affection and our prayers.
May God save Your Majesty and give you His blessing, both now and for many years to come.
Her Majesty's Most Gracious Reply was as follows:
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:
You do Prince Philip and me a great honour in inviting us here today. I am most grateful to have this opportunity to reply to your Loyal Addresses and I thank you both, Lord Chancellor and Mr Speaker, for your generous words.
It is right that the first major event to mark my Golden Jubilee this summer is here in the Palace of Westminster. I would like to pay tribute to the work you do in this, the Mother of Parliaments-where you, like so many famous predecessors before you, have assembled to confront the issues of the day, to challenge each other and address differences through debate and discussion, and to play your essential part in guiding this Kingdom through the changing times of the past fifty years.
For if a Jubilee becomes a moment to define an age, then for me we must speak of change-its breadth and accelerating pace over these years. Since 1952 I have witnessed the transformation of the international landscape through which this country must chart its course, the emergence of the Commonwealth, the growth of the European Union, the end of the Cold War, and now the dark threat of international terrorism. This has been matched by no less rapid developments at home, in the devolved shape of our nation, in the structure of society, in technology and communications, in our work and in the way we live. Change has become a constant; managing it has become an expanding discipline. The way we embrace it defines our future.
It seems to me that this country has advantages to exploit in this exciting challenge. We in these islands have the benefit of a long and proud history. This not only gives us a trusted framework of stability and continuity to ease the process of change, but it also tells us what is of lasting value. Only the passage of time can filter out the ephemeral from the enduring. And what endure are the characteristics that mark our identity as a nation and the timeless values that guide us. These values find expression in our national institutions-including the Monarchy and Parliament-institutions which in turn must continue to evolve if they are to provide effective beacons of trust and unity to succeeding generations.
I believe that many of the traditional values etched across our history equip us well for this age of change. We are a moderate, pragmatic people, more comfortable with practice than theory. With an off-shore, seafaring tradition we are outward-looking and open-minded, well suited by temperament-and language-to our shrinking world. We are inventive and creative-think of the record of British inventions over the past fifty years or our present thriving arts scene. We also take pride in our tradition of fairness and tolerance-the consolidation of our richly multicultural and multifaith society, a major development since 1952, is being achieved remarkably peacefully and with much goodwill.
But there is another tradition in this country which gives me confidence for the future. That is the tradition of service. The willingness to 'honour one another and seek the common good' transcends social change. Over these fifty years on visits up and down this country I have seen at first hand and met so many people who are dedicating themselves quietly and selflessly to the service of others.
I would particularly pay tribute to the young men and women of our armed forces who give such professional service to this country, often in the most demanding and dangerous circumstances. They have my respect and admiration. I also wish to express my gratitude for the work of those in the public service more widely-here in Westminster or the corridors of Whitehall and town halls, as well as in our hospitals and schools, in the police and emergency services. But I would especially like to thank those very many people who give their time voluntarily to help others. I am pleased that the Jubilee is to be marked by the introduction of The Queen's Golden Jubilee Award, a new annual award for voluntary service by groups in the community. I hope this will give added recognition to those whose generosity of time and energy in the service of others is such a remarkable tradition in our society.
These enduring British traditions and values-moderation, openness, tolerance, service-have stood the test of time, and I am convinced they will stand us in good stead in the future. I hope that the Golden Jubilee will be an opportunity to recognise these values and to celebrate all we have achieved as a nation since 1952. For my part, as I travel the length and breadth of these islands over the coming weeks, I would like to thank people everywhere for the loyalty, support, and inspiration you have given me over these fifty unforgettable years. I would like to express my pride in our past and my confidence in our future. I would like above all to declare my resolve to continue, with the support of my family, to serve the people of this great nation of ours to the best of my ability through the changing times ahead.
3 Deregulation and Regulatory Reform,-Mr Peter Pike reported from the Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee the following Resolutions:
That the draft Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 17th April, should be approved.
That the draft Regulatory Reform (Carer's Allowance) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 22nd April, should be approved.
The Committee came to these Resolutions without a Division.
4 Consolidation, &c., Bills,-Sir Patrick Cormack reported from the Select Committee appointed to join with a Committee of the House of Lords on Consolidation, &c., Bills, to which the European Parliamentary Elections Bill [Lords], now pending in the House of Lords, was referred, That it had gone through the Bill; and had agreed to a Report which it had directed him to make to the House; and had directed him to report the Minutes of Evidence taken before it on 30th April.
Report to lie upon the Table; and to be printed [No. 802-I].
Minutes of Evidence to lie upon the Table; and to be printed [No. 802-II].
Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to be printed [No. 802-II].
5 Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mrs Marion Roe reported from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Local Government Finance (England) Special Grant Report (No. 96) (House of Commons Paper No. 710), on Special Grants for School Standards and Support of Post-Sixteen Budgets.
Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
6 Disability Discrimination (Amendment) Bill [Lords],-The Disability Discrimination (Amendment) Bill [Lords] was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 10th May and to be printed [Bill 129].
7 Waste,-Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to grant additional powers to local authorities in England and Wales for the enforcement of controls and for the prosecution of offences relating to the unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste and the transporting of controlled waste without registering; to amend the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 and Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; and for connected purposes: And that Joan Ruddock, Peter Bottomley, Malcolm Bruce, Mr Gregory Barker, Sue Doughty, Jim Dowd, Julia Drown, Julie Morgan, Mr Bill O'Brien, Bridget Prentice, Mr Simon Thomas and Joan Walley do prepare and bring it in.
8 Waste Bill,-Joan Ruddock accordingly presented a Bill to grant additional powers to local authorities in England and Wales for the enforcement of controls and for the prosecution of offences relating to the unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste and the transporting of controlled waste without registering; to amend the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 and Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 19th July and to be printed [Bill 128].
9 Finance Bill,-The Order of the day being read, for the Second Reading of the Finance Bill;
And a Motion being made, and the Question being proposed, That the Bill be now read a second time;
An Amendment was proposed to the Question, to leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question and add the words 'this House declines to give a Second Reading to the Finance Bill because the provisions contained in its two volumes and 488 pages increase the burden of taxation on important sectors of the economy; fail to make adequate commitments about taxation and personal allowances in future years; and will have a negative impact on competitiveness and the attractiveness of the UK as a location for investment', instead thereof.-(Mr John Bercow.)
And the Question being put, That the Amendment be made;
Tellers for the Ayes, Dr Julian Lewis, Mr Desmond Swayne: 142.
Tellers for the Noes, Mr John Heppell, Mr Graham Stringer: 360.
So the Question was negatived.
And the Main Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 62 (Amendment on second or third reading);
Tellers for the Ayes, Mr John Heppell, Mr Graham Stringer: 358.
Tellers for the Noes, Dr Julian Lewis, Mr Desmond Swayne: 141.
So the Question was agreed to.
The Bill was accordingly read a second time.
A Motion was made, and the Question being put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 63 (Committal of bills), That-
(1) Clauses Nos. 4, 19, 23, 26 to 29, 87 to 92, 131 and 134 and Schedules Nos. 1, 5 and 38 be committed to a Committee of the whole House;
(2) the remainder of the Bill be committed to a Standing Committee; and
(3) when the provisions of the Bill considered, respectively, by the Committee of the whole House and by the Standing Committee have been reported to the House, the Bill be proceeded with as if the Bill had been reported as a whole to the House from the Standing Committee-(Mr Gerry Sutcliffe):-It was agreed to.
10 Finance Bill,-Ordered, That, during the proceedings on the Finance Bill, the Standing Committee on the Bill shall have leave to sit twice on the first day on which it shall meet.-(Mr Gerry Sutcliffe.)
11 Police,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Codes of Practice) (Visual Recording of Interviews) Order 2002, dated 11th April 2002, a copy of which was laid before this House on 15th April, be approved-(Mr Phil Woolas):-It was agreed to.
12 Adjournment (Spring),-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 25 (Periodic adjournments), That this House, at its rising on Friday 24th May, do adjourn till Monday 10th June-(Mr Phil Woolas):-It was agreed to.
13 Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from residents of Bolton South-East urging the House to seek a withdrawal of the Israeli Defence Force from the occupied territories was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
14 Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Mr Phil Woolas.)
And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till seven minutes past Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 11.07 p.m.
Michael J. Martin
Mr Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Two o'clock.
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
1 Dentists,-Draft Dentists Act 1984 (Dental Auxiliaries) Order 2002 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Milburn].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
2 Disability Discrimination,-(1) Draft Code of Practice for providers of Post 16 education and related services, and
(2) draft Code of Practice for Schools,
[by Act] [Secretary Estelle Morris].
3 Disabled Persons,-Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Middleton Railway Drewry Car) Exemption Order 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 1188), dated 25th April 2002 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Byers].
4 Convention on the Future of Europe,-First Progress Report from the United Kingdom National Parliament Representatives to the Convention on the Future of Europe [The Speaker].
5 Miscellaneous (No. 9, 2002),-Convention, done at Paris on 14th November 1970, on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 5500] [Mr Secretary Straw].
6 Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors,-Account of the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting for 2000-01, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 762] [Mr Secretary Milburn].
7 Social Security Fraud,-Version Two of the Code of Practice on Obtaining Information, issued by the Secretary of State under section 3(1) of the Social Security Fraud Act 2001 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Darling].
1 Enterprise Bill (Programming Sub-Committee),-The Speaker has appointed Mr Russell Brown a member of the Programming Sub-Committee of Standing Committee B in respect of the Bill, in place of Mrs Anne Campbell.
2 Local Government Finance (England) Special Grant Report (No. 96) (House of Commons No. 710), on Special Grants for School Standards and Support of Post-Sixteen Budgets,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Alan Howarth from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the Special Grant Report); and nominated in substitution Mr Mark Todd.
Reports from Select Committees
1 Deregulation and Regulatory Reform,-Tenth Report from the Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee [The draft Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 and the draft Regulatory Reform (Carer's Allowance) Order 2002]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 807] [Mr Peter Pike].
2 Environmental Audit,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Sustainable Energy]; to be printed [No. 582-vi] [Mr John Horam].
3 Foreign Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee [Zimbabwe]; to be printed [No. 813-i] [Donald Anderson].
4 Home Affairs,-(1) Second Report from the Home Affairs Committee [Police Reform Bill], with the Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings relating to the Report [No. 612]; and
(2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [The Work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission], together with Appendices thereto; to be printed [No. 810-i]
5 International Development,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the International Development Committee [Financing for Development]; to be printed [No. 785-ii] [Tony Baldry].
6 Statutory Instruments,-Twenty-seventh Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 135-xxvii] [Mr David Tredinnick].
7 Trade and Industry,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Trade and Industry Committee [Fuel Poverty]; to be printed [No. 814-i] [Mr Martin O'Neill].
8 Transport, Local Government and the Regions,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Urban Affairs Sub-Committee of the Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee [The Need for a New European Regeneration Framework]; to be printed [No. 483-iii] [Andrew Bennett].