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Dame Angela Rumbold : I am not entirely sure whether I agree with my hon. Friend, but hon. Members can make up their own minds. I sincerely believe that we should not attempt to make the Bill more restrictive than necessary. I have no problems with my position ; I have never been anything other than a total deregulator on the issue. I am sad that we have had to impose restrictions, but I am glad that we have at least some agreement in the House on the sort of restrictions that we have agreed to accept. I am concerned that we should not now renege on those agreements by saying that we want to impose a greater restriction on the sale of motor spares than existed in the 1950 Act. I ask my colleagues to consider the subject carefully and to support the Lords amendment No. 8.

Dr. Robert Spink (Castle Point) : I shall not delay the House long. I shall not reiterate the detailed points made by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton), as he made them extremely well.

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I shall deal with the principle of whether or not the regulations are tightly in place. I see that the hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. Powell) has just entered the Chamber, so I shall use the words of his national poet, Dylan Thomas :

"Time let me play and be Golden in the mercy of his means . . . and the sabbath rang slowly In the pebbles of the holy streams." The sabbath rang slowly, but the sabbath will never ring slowly again as a result of the decision that we have made. I believe that we shall come to rue the day that we passed the Sunday Trading Bill. In principle, we should seek to keep Sunday as a special day, and resist the amendments before us.

Mr. Luff : I had not intended to intervene in the debate on this group of amendments, but in view of the confusion over amendment numbers in the speech of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton), I think that it is important to clarify the issue. The hon. Gentleman repeatedly referred to amendment No. 6 in relation to motor supplies and cycle supplies, but amendment No. 6 relates to exemptions for stands at exhibitions, as does amendment No. 11. I hope that amendments Nos. 6 and 11 will not attract any controversy in the House. The amendments to exempt exhibition stands from the provisions of the Sunday Trading Bill are genuinely technical. Exhibitions are not generally affected by the Bill, and the amendments are simply to ensure that individual stands in exhibitions, which might otherwise fall within the definition of a shop, are not affected either.

The amendments are minor, but they are important to the exhibition industry of the United Kingdom if our venues are to be able to compete on an equal basis with exhibition venues overseas, particularly in the European single market. The amendments do not undermine the Bill's principle or provide a loophole in the law. The term "exhibition" has already been defined, so it remains a question of fact. For this purpose, in any dispute about whether something constitutes an exhibition, the courts can decide on the facts on the basis "you know an exhibition when you see one".

The Sunday Trading Bill provides the Secretary of State with the power simply to continue with existing exemptions in local legislation for some venues such as Earls Court, Olympia and the National Exhibition Centre outside Birmingham. Amendments Nos. 6 and 11 ensure that exhibition venues throughout the countries of England and Wales are treated on an equal footing with other venues, with one rule being applied to all. I hope that they will command universal support in the House.

Mrs. Peacock : I should like to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Luff) with a word on amendments Nos. 6 and 11, which are important, not only to the exhibition industry, but to manufacturing industry, many of whose members exhibit at exhibitions that commence on Sundays. Sunday is the very day that retailers are able to visit exhibitions to order and buy goods for sale in their shops. It is most important that we do not impose any restrictions that could affect our manufacturing industry.

As chairman of the House of Commons motor club, I wrote to my hon. Friend the Minister about amendment No. 8, which has been sensibly placed in the Bill by their

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Lordships. Perhaps the original legislation should have contained the provision--I certainly want to see it continued.

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and Morden (Dame A. Rumbold) said, more than 10 million car owners in this country do not belong to the AA or the RAC. None of us wants to see young families or anyone else stranded and having to wait until the shops open the next morning to buy the necessary parts to repair their car if it breaks down after hours. I hope that the House will recognise that.

Mr. Fabricant : Will the hon. Lady give way ?

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Janet Fookes) : Order. I think that the hon. Member for Batley and Spen (Mrs. Peacock) has completed her speech.

6 pm

Mr. Jim Lester (Broxtowe) : I have circulated amendment No. 10 to most hon. Members, as it principally affects a constituency company, Boots. It reinstates in the Bill provisions that originally existed in relation to pharmacists. The pharmacists do not seek additional hours or changes in the hours, but want to be allowed to sell products that are essential for people's health. Pharmacists have been able to sell those products until now, and the amendment restores the original position without affecting the opening hours. Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendment No 6 agreed to.

Lords amendment : No. 7, in page 4, line 44, at end insert ("(za) any shop which is at a farm and where the trade or business carried on consists wholly or mainly of the sale of produce from that farm,")

Motion made, and Question put, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.-- [Mr. Peter Lloyd.]

The House divided : Ayes 246, Noes 191.

Division No. 269] [6.00 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)

Aitken, Jonathan

Allason, Rupert (Torbay)

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)

Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy

Aspinwall, Jack

Atkins, Robert

Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)

Austin-Walker, John

Baldry, Tony

Banks, Matthew (Southport)

Barron, Kevin

Batiste, Spencer

Bellingham, Henry

Bendall, Vivian

Beresford, Sir Paul

Betts, Clive

Biffen, Rt Hon John

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)

Boyes, Roland

Brandreth, Gyles

Bright, Graham

Brooke, Rt Hon Peter

Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)

Browning, Mrs. Angela

Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)

Budgen, Nicholas

Burns, Simon

Butcher, John

Butler, Peter

Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)

Cann, Jamie

Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)

Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Carttiss, Michael

Cash, William

Chapman, Sydney

Clappison, James

Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Clwyd, Mrs Ann

Coe, Sebastian

Colvin, Michael

Congdon, David

Conway, Derek

Cook, Robin (Livingston)

Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Couchman, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)

Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)

Darling, Alistair

Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)

Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Deva, Nirj Joseph

Column 164

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dover, Den

Dowd, Jim

Duncan, Alan

Duncan-Smith, Iain

Durant, Sir Anthony

Dykes, Hugh

Eggar, Tim

Elletson, Harold

Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)

Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)

Evennett, David

Faber, David

Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)

Fishburn, Dudley

Flynn, Paul

Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)

Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)

Freeman, Rt Hon Roger

French, Douglas

Fry, Sir Peter

Gale, Roger

Gallie, Phil

Garnier, Edward

Gillan, Cheryl

Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair

Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles

Gorst, Sir John

Greenway, John (Ryedale)

Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)

Gunnell, John

Hague, William

Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie

Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)

Hargreaves, Andrew

Harris, David

Harvey, Nick

Haselhurst, Alan

Hawkins, Nick

Hawksley, Warren

Hayes, Jerry

Heathcoat-Amory, David

Hicks, Robert

Hill, Keith (Streatham)

Hoon, Geoffrey

Horam, John

Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Howard, Rt Hon Michael

Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)

Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)

Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)

Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)

Jack, Michael

Jackson, Robert (Wantage)

Jenkin, Bernard

Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey

Johnston, Sir Russell

Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)

Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)

Jopling, Rt Hon Michael

Key, Robert

King, Rt Hon Tom

Kirkhope, Timothy

Kirkwood, Archy

Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)

Knight, Greg (Derby N)

Knox, Sir David

Kynoch, George (Kincardine)

Lait, Mrs Jacqui

Lang, Rt Hon Ian

Lawrence, Sir Ivan

Leigh, Edward

Lennox-Boyd, Mark

Lidington, David

Lightbown, David

Lloyd, Rt Hon Peter (Fareham)

Luff, Peter

Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas

MacGregor, Rt Hon John

MacKay, Andrew

Maclean, David

McLoughlin, Patrick

McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick

Madel, Sir David

Maitland, Lady Olga

Malone, Gerald

Mandelson, Peter

Marland, Paul

Marshall, John (Hendon S)

Martin, David (Portsmouth S)

Mates, Michael

Miller, Andrew

Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)

Moate, Sir Roger

Montgomery, Sir Fergus

Moonie, Dr Lewis

Morley, Elliot

Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)

Moss, Malcolm

Mowlam, Marjorie

Mullin, Chris

Nelson, Anthony

Newton, Rt Hon Tony

Nicholls, Patrick

Norris, Steve

O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)

O'Neill, Martin

Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley

Oppenheim, Phillip

Ottaway, Richard

Page, Richard

Paice, James

Patnick, Irvine

Patten, Rt Hon John

Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey

Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth

Pickles, Eric

Pope, Greg

Portillo, Rt Hon Michael

Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)

Redwood, Rt Hon John

Rendel, David

Renton, Rt Hon Tim

Richards, Rod

Riddick, Graham

Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm

Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn

Robinson, Mark (Somerton)

Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)

Rooker, Jeff

Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela

Ryder, Rt Hon Richard

Sackville, Tom

Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas

Shaw, David (Dover)

Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)

Sims, Roger

Skeet, Sir Trevor

Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)

Soames, Nicholas

Speed, Sir Keith

Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)

Sproat, Iain

Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)

Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John

Steel, Rt Hon Sir David

Steen, Anthony

Stern, Michael

Strang, Dr. Gavin

Sweeney, Walter

Sykes, John

Tapsell, Sir Peter

Taylor, Ian (Esher)

Taylor, John M. (Solihull)

Temple-Morris, Peter

Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)

Thornton, Sir Malcolm

Thurnham, Peter

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