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Column 369issue as the Scottish Landowners Federation said. We need better definitions to satisfy both sides of the argument so that once again the symbiosis between landowners and climbers and ramblers can continue and that we in Scotland can continue to maintain the freedom to roam the mountains.
Mr. Wilson : Like my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Galbraith), I deplore the fact that what should have been the united voice of the Opposition parties was divided by a rather bitter and unpleasant attack on the Labour party by the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing). [Interruption.] I hear the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh), who I think plays the role of Baldrick to the Blackadder of the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond). I do not know where the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan is
Mr. Welsh rose
The idea that there is a great Westminster conspiracy hardly stands up. The right to roam survived very well in Scotland from 1707 until 1994 under a Westminster Parliament. It is threatened not by Westminster but by the current breed of Tories at the Scottish Office. It was not I who voted in 1979 to help to bring the current breed of Tories to the Scottish Office-- very specifically, it was both members of the Scottish National party who are here tonight. Perhaps they should have exercised a little foresight, because when they helped to bring the Tories to power, they were helping to bring this type of legislation to Scotland.
There is nothing axiomatic in the system. The offence of aggravated trespass will apply not only to Scotland but to the whole of the United Kingdom. As a socialist and a Member of Parliament, my ambition will be to remove that offence from the statute book, not only in Scotland but in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, too. I recognise, even if those silly people do not, that Scottish climbers do not climb only in Scotland, and English climbers do not climb only in England.
We are concerned with a wider vista, and with defending the rights of our people--the ordinary people of every part of the United Kingdom. That, essentially, is what differentiates us from the nationalists, who try to divide and fragment every argument according to race and nationality, as opposed to seeing things within the framework in which they are only too pleased to participate at other times--the framework of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is not Westminster but the Tories who are imposing the new law. It is not my job to advance the interests of Scottish nationalist Members, but I suggest that in their own interests they might sometimes address the real enemy instead of expressing their paranoia about the Labour party in Scotland.
Contrary to what my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Galbraith) said, I stand here tonight as the spokesman for the Scottish Landowners Federation. That is an unlikely role for me, because at other times I have been critical of the federation as an organisation and of some of its individual members. But tonight I stand here happily holding a letter written on the notepaper of the Scottish Landowners Federation. If the Minister would stop talking to his fellow Under-Secretary
Column 370of State, the hon. Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart), long enough to listen, he might know what case he has to answer.
The only people who seem to support the new power are those in the Tory party in Scotland. As I have said before, normally one of their roles is to act as the political wing of the Scottish Landowners Federation, so one would expect them to be prepared to accept the federation's bidding on this issue. However, the federation has been sufficiently moved by the campaign of resistance that we have led against the measure to make its position clear. I heard its views summarised on the radio this week, and I was surprised and interested enough to get hold of a copy what it had said.
The preamble in the letter says that the federation wants the power of aggravated trespass in Scotland because there is a problem with hunt saboteurs and other such people, especially in the borders, and that it is worried that, if the new offence existed in England but not in Scotland, there would be an incentive for people to cross the border, and hunt saboteurs would become more active, particularly in the Borders. I do not necessarily accept any of that, and I certainly have no prejudice against hunt saboteurs, who probably do quite a good job.
However, having set out that preamble, Duncan W. Thomson, legal adviser to the Scottish Landowners Federation, then makes the crucial point :
"However, we are conscious of the concerns which have been expressed about the scope of these Clauses and, as we have no wish for there to be any possibility of this legislation restricting normal public access to the countryside or of limiting the public's legitimate right to protest, we would have no objection to any amendments which would narrow the focus of the Clauses onto the specific mischief to be targeted. Indeed we have suggested some alternative wording for this purpose."
So what is the situation that we have to deal with ? The Government are advancing a catch-all power--I shall talk about the nature of that in a moment. Yet the Scottish Landowners Federation, in whose interests the Tories usually act, says that it recognises that such a power cannot be justified.
In other contexts, the federation has also said that it does not believe that it is a catch-all power, and does not intend its members to use the measure as such. In the letter, it recognises that the public perception nonetheless is of a catch-all power, and says that, in order to avoid giving that impression, it is prepared, indeed happy, for amendments to be made to the Bill.
The only point on which I dissent from the Scottish Landowners Federation is that it says when the power would not be used as a catch-all power, whereas I say that it would be. One cannot put this power into the hands of the Scottish landowning fraternity without expecting it to be used.
The whole business has its provenance in the Tory party conference last October, when the Home Secretary and various other luminaries were trying to chill the delegates to the marrow by raising the spectres of threats to society as we know it. They told the delegates how those threats to society were to be dealt with on the great law and order platform. Two particular bogies were introduced at that conference--new age travellers, who have always struck me as a relatively harmless lot in Scotland, and hunt saboteurs, who were to be clamped down on to repay a debt
Column 371to the British Field Sports Society. Those are the two bogies which were set up and which then had to be legislated against.
The crucial point is that there is no mention on the face of the Bill of either new age travellers or hunt saboteurs. What is mentioned is groups of people who obstruct. That is nothing to do with what the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie) said about threatening behaviour or intimidation. The Bill refers only to those who obstruct or disrupt "lawful activity". Virtually anything that landowners are likely to do in the Scottish countryside can be construed as lawful activity.
The only defence of the Scottish Landowners Federation previously was to say, "It is not we, the landowners, who prosecute ; it is the police who investigate and the procurator fiscal who decides whether to prosecute." However, the point is that every complaint will have to be investigated ; that is not discretionary on the part of the police.
The other crucial point, into which my hon. Friend the Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden has gone in enough detail, is the fact that the provision will create a climate in which the banditry of Scottish landownership will feel encouraged to put up signs that are intended to intimidate. They are doing so already on the island of Arran in my constituency. I am delighted to say that every one of the signs has been taken down or painted out, and that that will continue.
Mr. Gallie : The hon. Gentleman said that I was wrong to suggest that intimidation would be involved. If he reads clause 58(1)(a), he will see that the word "intimidating" is used. It is he who should read the Bill.
Mr. Wilson : With respect, it is the hon. Gentleman who should have the Bill read for him. The word "intimidating" is one of the options. The other two possibilities are obstruction and disruption, which are far more subjective than the word "intimidating".
There is a great deal to be said on the matter. The provision is a fundamental threat to a very basic right in Scotland--the freedom to roam. The Minister should have nothing to do with it. He can wear two hats tonight. He can wear the hat of someone who is an upholder of the Scottish legal system, or he can wear the hat of someone who is the upholder of a Scottish landowning family. He cannot serve both masters.
Mr. Bill Walker : It is true to say that there is concern in Scotland. Opposition Members who have spoken were right to draw attention to the concern. The concern is that people carrying out their normal, lawful activities fear that they will no longer be able to do so.
We must look carefully at the term "aggravated trespass". I declare an interest here. As the House knows, I am chairman of the all-party scout group. The scouts are very active in the countryside. I also happen to be president of the Scottish Gliding Union. Anyone who has watched the gliders flying around Scotland will realise that they frequently land in other people's gardens and premises. On one occasion, I remember landing in the middle of a go-kart racing meeting, and I hope that my landing on that day would not be looked on as aggravated trespass in future.
I also declare another interest : I regularly walk on the hills in my constituency--and elsewhere, but especially in my constituency. I know, and I have met, the people who
Column 372are concerned. I am sure that the Minister will reflect the aspects of their concerns and will explain to the House why aggravated trespass will be a part of Scottish law, because there are areas in which it is needed.
However, the objective must be clearly to allow the activities that are currently carried out by individuals, such as those which I have described- -the scouts, the hill walkers, the mountaineers and the glider pilots--to continue, so that there is no doubt whatever that normal activities are not at risk.
Mr. Eric Clarke (Midlothian) : I shall also be brief. I want to deal with two aspects which I do not think have been covered. Before doing so, I shall say to the Ministers that, again, there has been no consultation. Whom did they consult in Scotland ? The issue is about Scottish people, including anglers and ornithologists, as has been mentioned, having access.
I want to talk about birdwatchers. The steamer in May over to Orkney is full of people who are going bird watching. It is a big industry, by the way. It fills a lot of hotels and puts bread on the tables of a lot of people in those areas. If there is no access to the nesting sites, or to the lochs when trying to fish, or to the moorlands or the hills, how can people carry out their activities ? Many barriers and no-go areas in Scotland already exist. Huge boulders have been put in natural parking places by landlords who do not want people to stop. They want people to continue, to move on, and they do not want anybody to have any access to the country in which they were born. They may have bought land in the country, but they have not bought the country, and they have certainly not bought the people of country. I want access for Scottish people and for any visitors who are law-abiding.
I have been stopped and asked why I am looking over a bridge into a pool that happens to be full of salmon in the Strathalladale valley. I did not have a fishing rod, I had no gun in my hand, but the people there who were in control happened to be the ghillies who were watching us from a hill, and they told us to move on while we were on a highway. We told them what to do with themselves in no uncertain fashion. That is without the law being changed. Under the interpretation of over-zealous people, we know what will happen. Such people will move on everybody if they do not like them, or if they cannot make any money from them.
Aggravated trespass is trespassing of the wrong kind. I hope that the Government will think twice, especially the Ministers who are having a wee chat, and will take cognisance of the sincerity of our words. Like my colleagues and others, I have had many letters from many organisations and individuals who are worried about access and about the clause. I hope that, this early morning, we amend the clause, and I appeal to Conservative Members to support the amendment.
Mr. Thomas Graham (Renfrew, West and Inverclyde) : The other week, I celebrated my silver wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, I had to be in the House to vote against the Government. If I had been privileged to spend the time with my wife, I would have been in the north of Scotland. I would have been in Sutherland enjoying the absolutely magnificent scenery and the magnificent countryside that we have in Scotland.
Column 373If the Government got their way, I would not be able to move in the countryside ; I would probably be charged with aggravated trespass. I shall come to that point in a moment.
The Government are one of the most bungling, bloody foolish Governments that we have ever had in the history of this country.
The Government have run the country into billions of pounds worth of debt. Once again, they have introduced a measure which will probably cost Scotland millions of pounds in tourist earnings. That is something that they do not recognise. They make every move with tunnel vision--they do not look at the overall situation.
I live in Scotland. I also travel the length and breadth of Scotland, and I meet American tourists, Italian tourists and German tourists--I meet the lot. They come to Scotland for fishing, hunting, hill walking, climbing and ornithology. I do not think that Tory Members, especially the Minister, have any fun in life. Some of us know that the country makes a living out of fishing and various other leisure pursuits.
Scotland has the longest coastline in Europe. Access to that long coast is free to the public and fishermen. I could take the Minister to many places in Scotland where people can park their cars, wander over the hills down to the beach, take out their fishing rods and throw them into the sea without breaking the law. Hopefully, they try to catch a cod, a haddock or whatever they can in the sea, without any fear of breaking the law. Under the Government's proposals, people will be breaking the law when they go to some of those areas ; it will be aggravated trespass.
Many people in Scotland may spend a weekend of pleasure perhaps by driving- -they may even drive from my area of Linwood. Perhaps a busload of men and women who have worked hard all week will drive to the north of Scotland, cross to the beach, bring out their rods and fish without any problems. [Laughter.] Listen to the laughter of those who have plenty. Many people do not have plenty ; they rely on the freedom and ability to take part in pursuits, but they will be punished for not having the money to go to a golf course, a swimming pool or whatever. In Scotland, sea fishing is free at present. There is no charge for or hindrance to crossing land.
My hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Clarke) talked about ornithologists. I happen to be an amateur ornithologist. I know that Tory Members like real bird watching ; my bird watching is of the feathered kind. I agree with my hon. Friend that there are many places that could be denied to a group of ornithologists who wish to see rare birds which have a beauty that perhaps other folk may not appreciate, but ornithologists do. Yet we could be construed as an unlawful assembly. It is very frightening for somebody like myself who was born in a tenement building in Glasgow but who appreciates the opportunity to get out into the countryside and who recognises the freedom of the Scottish heritage and the right to the freedom of movement which we have always agreed that our people should have. As a kid and as a young man, I went with my father to camp on the banks of the Clyde. Maybe they were not very
Column 374salubrious. Maybe the Ministers camped near Cannes. Maybe they swanned about the Seine or whatever--I do not know. But when I was a young boy, we did not have money, and we camped on the banks of the Clyde. There was nothing more pleasurable than beachcombing. It gave us a wee bit of fun, and it did not cost our parents a fortune. If this law is passed tonight, these pursuits, which have been free to the people of Scotland, will become costly. Even the simple pursuit of sunbathing could be construed as a crime. I look at the rows of sun-tanned faces in front of me, the Tenerifes, the Canary Islands and the Bahamas. I can tell the House that few of the people I represent have that opportunity. They have to go into the public parks or to the free open spaces of Scotland--when the weather is good.
The point that I am making is a serious one. I underline the fact that these things are free, not subject to a punitive £5 or £10 tax while the Government's leaders fly to sunny lands elsewhere. I have spoken about sea angling, about ornithology and about sunbathing, all of them free in Scotland. I will tell the House a story and ask hon. Members to think about it.
I am an hon. Member, and last year, in the company of my wife, my 15-year- old son and a friend who is very knowledgeable about the countryside, I went for a drive in the north of Scotland. We drove into an area called Inverpolly. I hope that the House is listening to this story. [Hon. Members :-- "Yes."] We stopped in a beautiful part of Sutherland, known as Inverpolly nature reserve. My friend, my young son and I got out. [ Laughter. ] This is important. Maybe we have some laughing Members here and maybe they do not want to listen to a serious point, but they could be put in the situation that I was put in. My son was shown various sorts of fauna, things that were very rare. I am not skilled in these things, but my friend happens to be.
A Land Rover drew up, and a young man got out with a Welsh accent. [ Laughter. ] He shouted to myself and my family, "What are you doing here ?" [Interruption.]
The gentleman proceeded to ask what we were doing there. I said that we happened to be looking at the fauna, and that my friend was explaining to my son what it is, what it means and how it arrived in Scotland. It arrived long before any Welshmen came to the area. I did not enter into any argument with the man, but I asked him who he was. [Interruption.] Government Members who may want to know about the Bill which we are debating tonight should consider this.
The man said that he was the landowner. He was not--he was the landowner's son. However, he was under the impression that we had to beg to be on the land. Is that the type of Scotland we want for the tourists who come along ? I am not interested for myself, and I know that for every one of him there are a hundred others who will welcome the interest in the countryside.
However, there is that individual who can abuse the law, deny that freedom of movement, damage the reputation of this country and of tourism in this country, and can cost us a fortune in earnings which we desperately
Column 375need. I say to the Minister that this is bad legislation. The Government are trying to crack an ant and use a tank. It is nonsense.
I love Scotland. [Hon. Members :-- "Hear, hear."] I also love and appreciate other parts of the world. The one fundamental thing that I have is that I am free to move about and to love the Scotland I live in. I hope that my sons will cherish the love that I have for the country by knowing that they can move about in it.
That is why we Scotsmen will play our part in defending this nation in any cause--because we know that we are supporting the right of Scotland to be for all. It is not for rich, it is not for the haves, but for every one of us--including those who have not even been born. I ask the Government to consign this bad legislation to the bin.
Mr. Maclennan : I begin by expressing my appreciation to the hon. Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde (Mr. Graham) for his eloquent testimony to the beauties of my constituency. Long may he visit it with his family and advertise its attractions. The hon. Gentleman expressed a true voice which needed to be expressed in this debate and which was an appropriate climax to the debate. He speaks for many in the House.
It may be something of a dying cause to recall the origins of the two clauses that have proved so controversial this evening, but the Government's failure to recognise the views that the hon. Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde expressed has unnecessarily led us a merry dance tonight.
Undoubtedly, the two clauses were introduced in response to a genuine policing problem in England and Wales, and with the full support of the police there. The problem did not exist in Scotland and we discovered with some surprise that the Government intended that the law should also be applied there. Changes to the public order laws affecting access to land in Scotland are bound to be sensitive and should not be made without widespread open consultation. The mischief--if mischief there is--must be demonstrated clearly before amendments to Scots law are put before the House. It is not the case, as the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) said, that the Labour party lay down and accepted the legislation. In the Standing Committee, the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman)--the sole voice of the Labour party in Scotland on the Committee-- from the very beginning protested most strongly about the manner in which the Government were legislating. He was right to do so. A part of the Bill is devoted to Scotland, but no Scottish Minister was present in Committee to explain what consultations had taken place and the attitude of the Scottish police and the Law Society of Scotland to the problem. We heard tonight that they do not believe that the two clauses are necessary or wise. None of those matters was debated properly or considered before tonight, which is why there has been a long, protracted and open discussion. We could not discuss them before.
Contrary to the views expressed earlier, there is a justification for the two clauses to apply in England as they will enhance the effectiveness of the police when dealing with serious confrontations, which have grown in magnitude in recent years, to the point that lives have been lost in England and Wales. That problem does not exist in
Column 376Scotland and there is no reason to believe that it will do so. The proposition that it may is hypothetical and we should not legislate to make major changes in the public order law of Scotland on the basis of such a hypothesis. I therefore support the view that the amendments that affect Scotland should not be added to the Bill.
Dr. Godman : I promise that I shall be brief, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I thank the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) for the compliments that he paid me some minutes ago. Apart from all else, the debate has been reasonable--it was a lively one when my hon. Friend and neighbour, the Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde (Mr. Graham), spoke.
The debate was considerably marred by the unpleasant and nasty speech by the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing). The hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland also protested over the inclusion of controversial Scottish legislation in what is primarily an English Bill. We said over and over again that the measures should have formed part of a Scottish criminal justice Bill--I am given to understand that one will be introduced next year--or a Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Bill. Such measures come before the House every four or five years.
As an immigrant to the Clyde and someone who is neither a Munro bagger nor an ornithologist like my hon. Friend and neighbour the Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde, I should like to make a couple of points. Incidentally, my hon. Friend is himself a bit of a land grabber. It looks as if, as a result of the findings of the Boundary Commission, the best part of my constituency will go to him. I may lose 9,000 or 10,000 votes. I would take that very badly if it meant that I did not have the second safest seat in Scotland. 1.45 am
The measures were introduced to deal with a difficult problem in the shape of the activities of so-called new age travellers, hunt saboteurs and other, so-called, subversive groups--subversive in the view of people with a Tory perspective. What is wrong with the existing legislation when it comes to dealing with people who behave in a disorderly or unruly fashion while traversing land owned by others ? We have the common law charge of breach of the peace, which many police officers have told me is entirely adequate to deal with the rare cases of unruly trespassers. Do we not also have the civil law enabling a landowner or his or her factor to take out an interdict in the Court of Session ? What is wrong with that law ? As a lawyer, the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland knows as well as any Opposition Member that the clauses have been foisted upon him by Home Office Ministers. When, in Committee, I challenged the Minister of State about bringing the legislation into Scotland, he said--I am not quoting him verbatim--"If we were to leave the law in Scotland as it stands, and introduce these necessary measures to deal with new age travellers and others south of the border, the new age travellers would head north." I do not know how far they would go. Would they look for standing stones, dolmens and so on ?
I challenge the Under-Secretary to contradict what I have just said. He and his right hon. and learned Friend at the Home Office foisted the legislation on to what I suspect were reluctant Scottish Office Ministers, as happened in
Column 377the case of the privatisation of prisons. In the context of the House of Commons and the Westminster Government, Scottish Office Ministers are very much messenger boys.
A large constituency, including not just Scotland but the whole United Kingdom, could be affected by the measures. It is not a middle-class constituency. The people who walk the hills of Scotland, those who fish in Scotland and those who come to enjoy the country's remarkable flora and fauna are from every social stratum. The odd-job lot opposite who, by any measure of parliamentary democracy have no mandate to govern in Scotland, seek to make life difficult. I shall finish with an example. I know an old fellow in Glasgow. An ex-bricklayer, he is a constituent of my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galloway). He is in his 85th year, so there is no way that he can now go Munro bagging. However, for 60 to 70 years he walked Scotland's hills with his late and lovely wife, Pearl. He asked me, "Why are they doing this ?" That remarkable old man said, "We have the common law. People can be accused of breaching the peace if they behave badly. A landowner can bring in an interdict to prevent a group of people from behaving badly on other people's property, so why are the Government doing this ?" I told him that it is because Scottish Office Ministers are the puppets of the Home Secretary, who says that, if England must have the legislation, Scotland must also have it. Scottish Office Ministers will come to regret that, because-- [Interruption.] I wish that the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) would wrap up. She would not accept an intervention from me. She is always highly emotional because she is a loser.
Mr. Welsh rose
Dr. Godman : The Minister is making a mistake in presenting the measures. He is an honourable man, who knows in his heart that this is bad legislation. Scotland's own legal system can deal with recalcitrant trespassers, who should be dealt with effectively and efficiently by the police. They can be dealt with by recourse to extant law. The measure applies to England and should be restricted to England.
Mr. Welsh : The hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman), who would not give way to me, said that my hon. Friend the Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) was a loser. The biggest loser tonight will be Scotland because, despite all the fine sentiments that have been expressed, the vote in this United Kingdom Parliament will ultimately go against the wishes of the Scottish people.
The call for unity has been rather pathetic. Those who have spoken against the measure realise full well that, despite their fine words, the vote will force an unwanted measure on Scotland. That is exactly what is going on upstairs in the Committee considering the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill. The clearly expressed wishes of the Scottish people are simply overruled because the in-built English majority is not listening to Scottish opinion.
There is absolute unity about wanting to maintain the present system in Scotland, where our people have free access, as they should have, to country areas. If that goes, it will go because the United Kingdom Parliament cannot take account of the needs of Scotland or the Scottish people. I wish that the Unionists in the Labour party would
Column 378understand what they are inflicting on our people. All the fine words of protest mean nothing because of the system that they support. That will be seen in the Lobby tonight. When the Minister has finished replying, he will give no concessions. He will force this basically English measure, which is correct for England, on to Scotland.
May I appeal to all those hon. Members who represent an English seat to think seriously ? The measure is correct for them but do they understand that, in voting for it tonight, they will force on to Scotland a measure that is not needed or wanted and is against the wishes of the majority ? The unity in opposition to the measure will not be reflected because the United Kingdom Parliament cannot meet Scottish needs. Hon. Members will be undoing the Union case by ignoring Scottish opinion yet again. The hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) broadly hinted that fact to the Minister. Ultimately, another United Kingdom vote will force on Scotland a measure that is unnecessary, unwanted and against the wishes of the people. That is the reality of the Unionism that the Labour party supports.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : This is not an English measure, as the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) suggests. It is a British measure, which applies to Britain as a whole. No Conservative Member is prepared to see Scotland, any more than any other part of the Great Britain, become a refuge or haven for saboteurs. We have one policy for the nation as a whole.
The hon. Member for Renfrew, West and Inverclyde (Mr. Graham) made a most striking speech. He said that he was asked, "What are you doing here ?" He is not the only Member to have been asked that. Brian Walden asked me that question on my first day in the House of Commons and I told him that I had been elected. I can tell the hon. Gentleman-- [Interruption.]
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I can tell the hon. Gentleman that these provisions are not, in any sense, directed against him, against hill roamers, or against anyone of that kind. The clause refers clearly to circumstances where the trespasser "intends to intimidate". The hon. Gentleman has never intimidated anyone with his fishing rod or anything else.
I also make the point that, unless hill walkers, ramblers, Munro baggers, cyclists, anglers, ornithologists and the like intend to intimidate-- [Interruption.]
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Unless these people intend to intimidate, disrupt or obstruct, there will be no question of the clause militating against them. Scotland is not immune to this kind of activity. There have been incidents--although very few--of this kind in the past. Scotland has been fortunate in not having witnessed the scale of problems encountered in parts of England, but there is every reason to take preventive action-- [Interruption.]
Column 379Mrs. Ewing rose--
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Preventive measures should be taken to make certain that the difficulties that have arisen elsewhere in Britain are not allowed to arise in Scotland. This is a British policy and I strongly commend it to the House.
Mr. James Wallace (Orkney and Shetland) : I had not intended to speak, but it was clear that the Minister was not going to take interventions and I think that there are still important points to be made.
Although a member of the Faculty of Advocates and of the Scottish Bar, the Minister quite clearly fails to appreciate that there is a distinctive legal system in Scotland. We may be a United Kingdom, but we are a United Kingdom that contains different legal systems. The Minister has not addressed that point.
In this clause we are grafting on to the Scottish system measures that the Minister has made perfectly clear are not justified in terms of the mischief that the clause is meant to address. The Minister said that very few incidents have occurred in Scotland. He has not told the House where the pressure has come from within Scotland to bring forward such a measure. There have been some suggestions that the measure was forced upon the Scottish Office. There has been no openness whatsoever. Who has asked the Scottish Office to bring forward the measure ?
The Minister also failed to answer the important questions raised by the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) about how much the measure will cost the police forces in Scotland.
Mr. Graham : Does the hon. Member also realise that the Minister did not answer the point that I raised : that the measure is a recipe for bad landlords ? It will open up a can of worms. It will restrict not just indigenous Scots but tourists and the people who come to this country and spend much-needed income.
Mr. Wallace : The Minister did not answer a number of points. No Scottish Minister served on the Standing Committee that considered the Bill and the reply that we received from the Minister this evening did not do justice to the debate that preceded it. I understand that, under clauses 58 and 59, arrests can be made only by a constable in uniform. Does that mean that all hunts and grouse shoots or every expedition of ramblers has to be policed ? If that is the case, what will be the financial cost to the police forces in Scotland ? Will the Scottish Office make resources available to the police forces to allow this measure--which the Government obviously think is so necessary for Scotland--to be implemented properly ? An important question about resources has arisen. That question has not been answered, and I hope that we can have an answer before the House is invited to vote on the amendment. Mr. John Maxton (Glasgow, Cathcart) rose
Column 380The House proceeded to a Division :
Mr. Maxton ( seated and covered ) : On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I was on my feet wishing to speak in the debate when you called the Division. I do not consider that to be proper parliamentary procedure at the Report stage of a Bill in which anybody is entitled to speak if he rises to his feet unless a motion to close the debate has been moved. No such motion has been moved and I was on my feet wishing to speak. I want you to stop the Division and allow me to make the points that I was going to make.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : The occupant of the Chair must be able to see an hon. Member on his feet, and I did not see anyone on his feet. [Interruption.] Order. I repeat that the occupant of the Chair is supposed to see an hon. Member on his feet and I did not see anyone on his feet. I have called a Division. --
Amendment agreed to.
Amendments made : No. 305, in page 110, line 29, leave out 123, 124, 126, 127'.
No. 79, in page 110, line 30, leave out 132' and insert 132(1)'.--[ Mr. Maclean. ]
Amendment proposed : No. 80, in page 110, line 32, after sections', insert 58, 59'.--[ Mr. Maclean. ]
Question put, That the amendment be made :
The House divided : Ayes 246, Noes 108.
Division No. 209] [2.03 am
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)
Banks, Matthew (Southport)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)
Beresford, Sir Paul
Biffen, Rt Hon John
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes
Browning, Mrs. Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Davis, David (Boothferry)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)