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House of Commons
Session 1997-98
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 2nd June 1998

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Deregulation Committee,--Mr Peter L. Pike reported from the Deregulation Committee the following Resolution:
 
        That the draft Deregulation (Methylated Spirits Sale By Retail) (Scotland) Order 1998, which was laid before this House on 18th May 1998, should be approved.
 
The Committee came to this Resolution without a Division.
2Human Rights Bill [Lords] (Business Committee),--The Chairman of Ways and Means reported from the Business Committee, that it had come to a Resolution in respect of the Human Rights Bill [Lords], which it had directed him to report to the House:
 
        That the days which under the Order [1st June] are allotted to remaining proceedings in Committee of the whole House shall be allotted in the manner shown in the Table set out below:--
TABLE
 Allotted dayProceedings 
 First dayClauses 2 to 4 
 Second dayClauses 5 and 6 
 Third dayClauses 7 to 12 
 Fourth dayRemaining proceedings 
 
        Report to lie upon the Table.
3First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,--Mr Roger Gale reported from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Army, Air Force and Naval Discipline Acts (Continuation) Order 1998.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
4Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,--Mr Barry Jones reported from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Merchant Shipping (Control of Pollution) (SOLAS) Order 1998.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
5Cities (Process and Criteria for Designation),--Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to establish a process and criteria for places to be designated as cities; and for connected purposes: And that Jane Griffiths, Ms Jenny Jones, Mr Peter Bradley, Mr Michael Wills and Mr Martin Salter do prepare and bring it in.
6Cities (Process and Criteria for Designation) Bill,--Jane Griffiths accordingly presented a Bill to establish a process and criteria for places to be designated as cities; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 3rd July and to be printed [Bill 194].
7Opposition Day [12th allotted day],--It being an allotted day at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business) the House proceeded to consider opposition business.
 
        Britain's Electoral System,--A Motion was made and the Question being proposed, That this House affirms the strength and fairness of Britain's current electoral system; recognises that it meets the criteria laid down for the Independent Commission on the Voting System better than any alternative; believes that the current terms of reference of the Commission prevent a fair and balanced assessment being made; urges the Government to change the remit of the Commission to allow it to examine equally all systems of voting; and believes that, in these circumstances, the Commission would recommend the status quo--(Mr Michael Ancram);
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question, and add the words 'congratulates the Government on its constitutional reform programme; welcomes the creation of the Independent Commission on the Voting System and its remit; and supports the commitment of the Government to consult the people of the United Kingdom by a referendum on the appropriate electoral system to be used to elect this House', instead thereof.--(Mr Secretary Straw.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Caroline Spelman, Mr Oliver Heald: 137.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr David Clelland, Mr John McFall: 339.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):--It was agreed to.
 
        The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House congratulates the Government on its constitutional reform programme; welcomes the creation of the Independent Commission on the Voting System and its remit; and supports the commitment of the Government to consult the people of the United Kingdom by a referendum on the appropriate electoral system to be used to elect this House.
8Public Petitions,--A Public Petition from residents of Warrington North against the construction of a prison on the site of Winwick hospital was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
9Adjournment,--Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.--(Mr David Jamieson.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till nineteen minutes to Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 10.41 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

Madam Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Nine o'clock.

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
1Church of England (General Synod) (Measures),--Measure passed by the General Synod of the Church of England, entitled National Institutions Measure [by Act]; to be printed [No. 771] [Clerk of the House].
2Income Tax,--(1) Draft Double Taxation Relief (Air Transport) (Hong Kong) Order 1998,
 
        (2) draft Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Kazakhstan) Order 1998, and
 
        (3) draft Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Oman) Order 1998
 
    [by Act] [Dawn Primarolo].
3Public Health,--Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1342), dated 29th May 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
4Agriculture,--Home-Grown Cereals Authority (Rate of Levy) Order 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1314), dated 21st May 1998 [by Act] [Dr John Cunningham].
5Education,--Local Government Changes for England (Disability Statements) Regulations 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1339), dated 1st June 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
6Road Traffic,--Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1281), dated 19th May 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Prescott].
7Water (Scotland),--Surface Waters (Dangerous Substances) (Classification) (Scotland) (No. 2) Regulations 1998 (S.I., 1998, No. 1344), dated 26th May 1998 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dewar].
Other Papers:
8Charities,--Report and Financial Statements of the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales for 1997, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 737] [Mr Secretary Straw].
9Church of England (General Synod) (Measures),--Report by the Ecclesiastical Committee on the National Institutions Measure [by Act]; to be printed [No. 772] [Clerk of the House].
10European Union,--Paper, entitled Developments in the European Union, July to December 1997 [by Command] [Cm. 3961] [Mr Secretary Cook].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Draft Merchant Shipping (Control of Pollution) (SOLAS) Order 1998,--The Speaker has appointed Mr Barry Jones Chairman of the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Order, in place of Mr Frank Cook.
2Draft Fire Services (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998,--The Speaker has appointed Mr John McWilliam Chairman of the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Order, in place of Miss Ann Widdecombe.
3Draft Contracting Out (Functions relating to National Savings) Order 1998,--The Committee of Selection has discharged from the Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation Mr Bill O'Brien (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr David Kidney.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Deregulation,--Sixth Report from the Deregulation Committee, [The draft Deregulation (Methylated Spirits Sale by Retail) (Scotland) Order 1998]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 767] [Mr Peter L. Pike].
2Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs,--(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment Sub-Committee of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee on the 2nd June [Implementation of the Best Value Framework]; to be printed [No. 705-iii]; and
 
        (2) Memoranda laid before the Environment Sub-Committee of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee [English Nature]
 
    [Mr Andrew F. Bennett].
3Foreign Affairs,--Minutes of Evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee on 2nd June [European Council Meeting, Cardiff, 15th-16th June 1998, and the UK Presidency of the European Union, (January-June 1998)]; to be printed [No. 387-ii] [Mr Donald Anderson].
4Home Affairs,--Minutes of Evidence taken before the Home Affairs Committee on 2nd June [Electoral law and administration]; to be printed [No. 768-i] [Mr Chris Mullin].
5Procedure,--First Special Report from the Procedure Committee [Government Response to the Second Report from the Committee, on Resource Accounting and Budgeting]; to be printed [No. 773] [Mr Nicholas Winterton].
6Public Administration,--Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on Public Administration on 2nd June; to be printed [No. 770-i] [Mr Rhodri Morgan].
7Standards and Privileges,--Seventeenth Report from the Committee on Standards and Privileges [Complaint against Mr Tony Banks], together with an Appendix (Memorandum by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards); to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 769] [Mr Robert Sheldon].
8Statutory Instruments,--Thirty-Fifth Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No 33-xxxv] [Mr Andrew F. Bennett].
9Trade and Industry,--(1) Fifth Report from the Trade and Industry Committee [Energy Policy], together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 471];
 
        (2) Sixth Special Report from the Trade and Industry Committee [Government Observations on the Second Report from the Trade and Industry Committee, on Progress in the Liberalisation of the Gas Market]; to be printed [No. 747]; and
 
        (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Trade and Industry Committee on 2nd June [Small and Medium Sized Enterprises]; to be printed [No. 774-i]
 
    [Mr Martin O'Neill].



 
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