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Mr. Harry Barnes (Derbyshire, North-East): I may be no expert on this Bill--I am probably one of the few hon. Members who does not have a car and cannot drive--but I am interested in it because if I decided to try to qualify to drive, I would be subject to its provisions. Therefore, I have a self-interest as well as a wider interest in the Bill.
My constituency is a busy commuter belt between Chesterfield and Sheffield. Regularly each morning, we take our standard spending assessment over the border of Derbyshire into Yorkshire and Sheffield for their benefit. We encounter quite serious transport problems, because the roads are such that a serious accident considerably hinders people getting to work and back.
I always seem to be writing letters to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency about massive problems that people have with their licences. Presumably, the Bill may place further pressure on the DVLA as people lose their licences or have to take another test. As the Bill is founded on sense and should progress, I want to make a procedural point. I believe that I am correct in saying that, although the Bill was introduced by hon. Member for Rochford (Dr. Clark), it was initiated by the Government. When I promoted a private Member's Bill in the 1992-93 Session, I was contacted by the Minister to see if I would bring it forward through the Government like other hon. Members. Debating the Proceeds of Crime Bill earlier revealed that acceptable legislation, which the Government have in mind, is being introduced as private Members' Bills. Private Members' Bills should address the concerns of hon. Members, who may then seek the Government's support and help with technical drafting.
My private Member's Bill, the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, attempted to extend the franchise and provide access to polling stations for the
Column 1349disabled. I met the Minister of the Department concerned and if he had agreed to support my Bill, I would have been very happy indeed for a great deal of the work to be taken on by the Government and developed to ensure that its wording was parliamentary and procedurally acceptable.
Hon. Members are allowed £200 for legal assistance with a private Member's Bill; it would be worth £1,400 today if it had been adjusted since it was introduced. One cannot get any serious legal advice on the drafting of a Bill for £200. One can only, therefore--
Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Janet Fookes): Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but I must remind him that we are debating the Second Reading of a particular Bill and he is dealing with matters not germane to it. There are plenty of other opportunities for the hon. Member to raise the general issues to which he is addressing his remarks.
Mr. Barnes: I accept your ruling, Madam Deputy Speaker. I was about to conclude in any case. I was trying to make a point that seemed relevant to this Bill as well as many other private Members' Bills.
I support the Bill and I do not wish to speak at length, but I want to point out that there are other methods by which such Bills, welcome as they are, could progress. The House does not sit often enough in Government time to debate such matters. The Bill could have progressed differently.
The Minister for Transport in London (Mr. Steve Norris): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford (Dr. Clark) on introducing the Bill. For the record, the House should be told that, far from the implications of the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) that my hon. Friend has picked the Bill up at the urging of the Department of Transport, if there is one Member of the House who is not a poodle of the Department of Transport, it is my hon. Friend, whose exertions on behalf of his constituents about the A13 I feel on my back as I speak. I know from conversations with my hon. Friend that he has promoted the Bill because he has great interest in the subject. He has the full support of the Government and I strongly endorse all that he said about the Bill's importance.
I also agreed with the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Chidgey), who said that driving is not just a physical skill. That is exactly the point. Ironically, young drivers tend to be rather good at the physical skill of moving the metal around the road. Indeed, they are so good that they become over-confident, and that is what the Bill is aimed at. The hon. Gentleman was right to refer to the theory test directive.
As my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Merchant) said in an excellent intervention, it is right that the Bill should be part of a package of measures. I will refer briefly to each of the elements to which my hon. Friend referred. I also endorse his remarks about the road safety officer in Bromley. He, like many other people in the London boroughs with whom I have a great deal of personal contact, is doing an excellent job.
As a result of that excellent work, there has been a 34 per cent. reduction in road deaths in this country. We should not lose sight of that; our record is excellent.
Column 1350Reducing road deaths by 34 per cent. since 1986 is an extraordinary success. That has been achieved despite the growth of traffic in the intervening period. That is an extraordinary performance. It is not a political achievement; it is the achievement of many people working nationally and locally and it involves many bodies, private companies, voluntary organisations and motoring organisations all working together.
My hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham referred graphically, but very accurately, to the number of road deaths being equivalent to losing a jumbo jet every five weeks. There are still 80 deaths a week and that fact underpins everything that we do and it provides us all with the motivation to continue to find ways to eradicate that horrendous total.
Some people might think that the Bill is an unreasonably oppressive measure and that it is aimed at killing the joy of the young. They might think that it is unfair to impose this additional measure on the young. The underlying principle behind the Bill is
straightforward. The principle says, "If you manage to accumulate six points, which will mean a minimum of two endorsable offences in the first two years after you have passed your test, the assumption is that you did not actually learn the lessons that you were supposed to have learnt in order to pass the test in the first place. Would you please go back and have another go and this time understand what you are being asked to qualify for?" That principle is not unreasonable. None of us can put our hands on our hearts and say that we have not driven faster than the legal speed limit on a fairly regular basis because life is like that. The only exception in the Chamber to that rule is the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East. He follows a very important principle in this House which is never to let the arguments be bedevilled by the facts and always to ensure that one speaks on subjects about which one has not the slightest personal experience. He is a pastmaster of that art, and he demonstrated it again today.
Mr. Barnes: As a pedestrian, I have great experience of the matters that we are discussing today. I can barely cross the road in front of my house. I am very concerned that people should drive safely. If new drivers are not driving safely, the measures in the Bill should be applied to them. In addition, probably more people have cars in my constituency than in any other.
I will not speak at length, because my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford clearly set out the need for the Bill and how it would work in practice. However, I want to add a piece of information that might not be known to many hon. Members, including those who take a particular interest in this work. A study was published today that follows on from the Transport Research Laboratory programme involving new drivers and a major research programme, which examined the reasons for new driver behaviour.
The study published today showed that 18 per cent. of drivers are involved in at least one accident in their first year after passing the test. However, 42 per cent. of drivers who received fixed penalty notices or a summons in their first year were involved in car accidents. The risk is more than doubled. I am afraid that that emphasises
Column 1351why the measure is necessary, and why I believe that it will do a great deal to reduce the hazard that young people cause on the roads. It is worth recalling the statistic advanced by my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford: that 10 per cent. of licence holders are under 21 and are responsible for 20 per cent. of accidents and 25 per cent. of fatalities. That is a very sad statistic.
Mr. Norris: We have considered probationary licence plates and the Northern Ireland Office has supervised the use of such plates. It produced results on the project only very recently, showing that probationary licence plates are popular in the community and that people support the idea. Sadly, the results also show that plates do not have a discernible effect on accident reduction. The principle is very attractive, but I am not minded to press forward with measures that cannot show--as I believe the Bill can--a demonstrable link with accidents.
The hon. Member for Eastleigh and my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham referred to the need for a package of measures. The post-test driver training scheme called "Pass Plus" will be launched by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport on Monday. A substantial number of insurance companies are involved in the scheme and it will make a major contribution. It is, of course, training after the licence has been acquired, but it offers a genuine discount to the motorist for having bothered to take on the additional training and it will allow insurance companies to lower their premiums. There is gain for each of the parties involved. The greatest gainer is the person who is not now likely to be the victim of an accident.
We have also prepared an educational resource designed to make over-16s aware of their responsibilities when they drive a car. That is a very important part of the package. We intend to introduce the enlarged theory element by July 1996. We are working on the practical details of the package at the moment. I agree with the hon. Member for Eastleigh that it will be a useful addition and it might even allow us to test some of the skills that the existing driving test does not allow us to test.
Even in its present form, our driving test in Britain is among the most demanding in the world. We should not ignore the principle behind the Bill: that some newly qualified drivers do not maintain the high standards that they have learnt in preparing for and taking the test. The Bill will encourage safe and considerate driving and it will allow new drivers to build up the essential experience of traffic and road conditions and the skills of hazard perception that they need to make them safer drivers.
The deterrent effect of having to use L-plates again and to be accompanied by an experienced driver should be sufficient to prevent newly qualified drivers from behaving irresponsibly and foolishly. It should thus result in a reduction in road accidents and injuries to those drivers and to other road users.
Column 1352My hon. Friend the Member for Rochford has done the nation a service by introducing his Bill. I congratulate him on the way in which he introduced it today and I am delighted that hon. Members on both sides of the House have seen its wisdom, and I wish it every success.
Mrs. Barbara Roche (Hornsey and Wood Green): I congratulate the hon. Member for Rochford (Dr. Clark) on his success in the ballot and on introducing his Bill. The Bill will clearly have great importance for the public and it is supported by hon. Members on both sides of the House. It certainly has the very full support of those on the Opposition Front Bench.
We have had an interesting debate this morning. It is quite appropriate that my hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) should take part in it. He follows in an honourable tradition of people who have made great contributions to transport issues but who have not been drivers. I am thinking, of course, of my own political heroine, Baroness Castle, who was a distinguished Secretary of State for Transport but who was a non-driver. She certainly made a considerable impact on driving and transport issues.
The hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Chidgey) made an interesting speech and drew a welcome contrast between male and female drivers. The machismo that is often shown by male drivers, who sometimes have poor regard for road safety and poor car control and display anti-social behaviour, is not shared by their female counterparts. My hon. Friend the Member for Warwickshire, North (Mr. O'Brien) made an interesting point about the police view. There is no doubt that the police are concerned about accidents involving new drivers. It is good to have my hon. Friend's expertise as we consider the matter.
The hon. Member for Beckenham (Mr. Merchant) made a graphic point about road fatalities and the tremendous grief that they cause. Although I welcome the reduced figures that the Minister recited, I feel that there are too many fatal accidents. One occurred in my constituency this week. When I speak to some of the families concerned, I see their grief at having a loved one--husband, wife, son or daughter--suddenly and tragically taken away. That will always stay with me. I am sure that all hon. Members have had the same experience. It is important to take the issue very seriously. Southampton university has found that a significant minority of young drivers--about 35 per cent.--could be categorised as unsafe. As has been said, when we talk about driving, we talk not only about driving skills but about judgment, maturity and courtesy. We need much more common courtesy on our roads. It would have a tremendous impact not only on tragic fatalities but on day-to-day road incidents.
Although I warmly support the Bill, may I pose a couple of questions? The Bill does not take into account newly qualified drivers of heavy goods vehicles or public service vehicles. Will the hon. Member for Rochford clarify that point? Also, if newly qualified drivers of
Column 1353heavy goods vehicles or public service vehicles accrue six penalty points, will they automatically lose their licences? Obviously, that is a small part of our anxiety about newly qualified drivers, but it is valid to draw it to the hon. Gentleman's attention, and I shall be interested to hear his response.
The House will be aware of the great concern about road safety and drivers' conduct. In my constituency, there is a tremendous problem with drivers who, particularly early in the morning, think that they have a straight run and speed with complete disregard for members of the public. Last week, I took my six-year-old daughter to school. We were just about to cross at the zebra crossing, when, without any regard for pedestrians, a car sped by. That is a daily occurrence for many people, and we should be aware of it.
I welcome the Minister's honesty and candour in saying that not one of us can say that he or she has not regularly exceeded the reasonable speed limit--
Mrs. Roche: The Minister says, "The legal speed limit." With the greatest respect, we should not encourage that attitude. Speed limits are to be obeyed, and we must do everything we can to encourage drivers to abide by them.
Mrs. Roche: I am grateful to the Minister. Although I hold a full driving licence, I am an extremely reluctant driver, as my husband will testify, and I therefore hardly drive at all. I am afraid I am one of those drivers with whom the Minister obviously becomes very irritated. I drive very slowly--far too slowly. I am grateful for the Minister's approval. I shall have great pleasure, this weekend, in passing on that approval to my family.
I cannot resist the temptation, with the Minister present, to raise a matter of great concern in London in relation to speeding, road safety, and newly qualified and existing drivers. I refer to red routes. The Minister will be aware of points that colleagues and I have made about the Government's accident figures on those routes, which have been shown to be inaccurate. On a serious point, he will be aware also about road fatalities. They cause us great concern. I congratulate the hon. Member for Rochford on introducing the Bill. It has our support. I hope that the public, who have closely followed our proceedings, will know that the whole House is concerned about this important issue.
Mr. Miller: The hon. Gentleman says that it was disgraceful. I was doing some work on road deaths--a matter to which I drew attention on Friday. I listened intently to this debate upstairs. A couple of weeks ago our road safety debate, regrettably, was poorly attended by hon. Members. This Bill neatly follows that debate.
Column 1354I congratulate the hon. Member for Rochford (Dr. Clark) on bringing the Bill to the House. I sincerely hope that it is supported by all hon. Members. The way in which the Bill fits in with the discussions to which I referred is clear.
Young drivers who speed are dangerous, and the young are statistically among the group most likely to cause death on the roads. The issue of handling death on the roads is extremely tortuous. I am having detailed discussions with a number of people in the legal profession, such as the Law Commission, and I made arrangements to go to the Crown Prosecution Service to discuss the way in which the courts deal with such cases.
It is, of course, a process which takes place after the event, and the important thing about the approach adopted by the hon. Member for Rochford is that it is part of a process of deterrence of the crime of causing death on the roads. The jigsaw puzzle must be put together in that way, and the Bill is an important part of that.
In my discussions with eminent people in the legal profession, the thrust of the debate has been how on earth we can stop the crimes taking place in the first place. The hon. Member for Rochford has hit upon an important aspect of that. We know that the drink-driving laws changed attitudes, and there is an extraordinary difference in the attitudes of people in their 40s and 50s, and of young people, towards the drink-driving laws. It is not unusual to see a group of 18 to 20-year-olds, out for an enjoyable evening, deliberately making arrangements that one of them will not drink. The cult of having to have the macho six pints before one drives a car has gone. It is perfectly accepted that one person in a group, or a number of people, should have soft drinks or low-alcohol drinks.
That positive change followed a lead from the House. As my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche) said, the lead given by Baroness Castle had an important impact. I hope that education will create a climate that will bring sense to some road users. As my hon. Friend said, some road users are totally oblivious to the rights of others. A measure such as this will help in that regard.
I urge the House to think that the Bill, while important, is not a panacea. It will not in itself stop the huge number of deaths which occur on the roads each year. Last year, 510 deaths were caused by drinking and driving. We must carry on working hard as a Parliament to find the right set of rules and regulations which will bring that figure down to zero.
The police and the motoring organisations welcome the Bill which, I am sure, will receive widespread support. There is a recognition of the stark difference in accident statistics between young drivers and more mature and experienced drivers. I admit openly to the House that the first accident I had while driving was in the early 1960s. I have driven 20,000 miles every year of my adult life, and I know full well that--given the same situation 30 years later--I could have driven out of the circumstances which caused that accident. It was somebody else's fault, but experience does help in driving.
We must instil in young people the firm belief and understanding that one does not simply pass the test and become an expert driver. If that were true, the figures would look healthier. It is important that the House gives the Bill an unopposed passage, but let me emphasise that this must be a part of a series of approaches aimed at tackling all the causes of death on the roads. We may
Column 1355need to think positively about the design of vehicles, and about whether, for example, heavy vehicles have adequate vision. We must also consider the way in which some companies impose schedules upon drivers which make it impossible for them to drive safely. We know about that in the context of coaches, and the Minister has taken positive steps recently in that respect. There are a host of issues and the House must address them in its efforts to tackle the huge numbers of unnecessary deaths. The Bill forms an important part of the strategy, and I once again congratulate the hon. Member for Rochford on promoting the Bill. I wish it a speedy passage through its remaining stages.
Dr. Michael Clark: With the leave of the House; I should like to thank all of those hon. Members who have taken part in the debate for the support that they have given without reservation. I would particularly like to thank the hon. Member for Warwickshire, North (Mr. O'Brien), the advisor to the Police Federation, for conveying to the House the support that the police give to the Bill. He pointed out that drink-driving was a problem of past generations, while macho driving may be a problem of this one, and welcomed the Bill in that regard.
The hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Chidgey) pointed out that young males offend under the age of 25, but that the rate of offending tends to fall once people are over 25. The Bill might help them to get through that period. I was pleased with the hon. Gentleman's comments, and I thank him for them. He also pointed out that young drivers have skills, but generally choose not to use them. We must persuade them to use those skills, and I am grateful for the work done by the university of Southampton in that respect.
The hon. Member for Eastleigh described the Bill as being one measure in a series of steps, and my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Merchant)
Column 1356wenton to outline what those steps are. They include "Pass Plus", a driving test on theory and driving teaching in schools.
The hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East (Mr. Barnes) pointed out that he is a non-driver and, were the Bill to come into law, he--a man of mature years--would be caught within its provisions if he were to apply for a licence. Despite that, he welcomed the Bill.
I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Minister for his support, and I am also grateful that he pointed out that I am not a poodle of the Department of Transport. We both know that that is true. He mentioned that road deaths have reduced by 34 per cent. since 1987, despite more miles having been covered by drivers.
I was pleased that the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche) spoke from the Opposition Front Bench. She will know that my constituency takes its name from the principal river--the Roche--so it was appropriate that she responded this morning. I thank her for her support.
She asked about HGVs and public service vehicles. Those are not included in the provisions of the Bill, principally because drivers of those vehicles must be 21 years of age at least before they can hold a licence. They must also hold a car licence before they can apply for those licences. It is thought, because of their age and the fact that they must have a car licence first, that they will be caught within the provisions of the Bill in those stages rather than later when they have a more advanced licence.
I thank the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Mr. Miller) for his support. I know that he was busy this morning on road safety matters in the privacy of his office. I am grateful that he could break away to come here to support the Bill. He, too, pointed out that young people are more responsible with regard to drink-driving. Let us hope that the Bill will make them more responsible in other ways, too.
I am pleased to see you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I thank you for the time that you have given me. I thank all hon. Members for the support that they have given the Bill.
Question put and agreed to.
Bill accordingly read a Second time, and committed to a Standing Committee, pursuant to Standing Order No. 61 (Committal of Bills).
Order for Second Reading read.
The Bill seeks simply to protect the Olympic symbol and the Olympic words from unauthorised commercial exploitation. It has all-party support. Perhaps it would be appropriate to spell out the names of those who are supporting me in the Bill. They include my right hon. Friend the Member for Worthing (Sir T. Higgins), who, of course, is respected and renowned for his sporting ability in the past and for his on-going interest in sport; my hon. Friend the Member for Falmouth and Camborne (Mr. Coe)--I need not describe his exploits, ability and the achievements that he has notched up, not only on his own behalf but on behalf of the United Kingdom, and his tally of medals, including Olympic medals, is something of which everybody can be proud; my hon. Friends the Members for Wyre Forest (Mr. Coombs) and for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel); the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman), who has been a distinguished Minister and Opposition spokesman and currently heads the Select Committee on National Heritage; the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Pendry), who has established a fine reputation for his interest in sport, who supports a wide range of sport and speaks with considerable knowledge; the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton), an outspoken and robust advocate of sport who has done great credit to himself, his constituency and the sports for which he speaks; the hon Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Maxton); the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Ms Hoey), who has held the position of Opposition spokesman for sport and is highly respected and regarded; the hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell), who represents the Liberal Democrats, has given the Bill his warm support and acts as a sponsor; and our hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, South (Rev. Martin Smyth), who brings a genuine all- party image to and support for the Bill.
In short, the Bill will enable the Secretary of State to grant the British Olympic Association an exclusive licence to exploit the Olympic symbols commercially, thus giving statutory force to the common law rights of the BOA. As our national Olympic committee, the BOA is responsible, as most hon. Members will be aware, for all aspects of the British team at the Olympic games, such as organising transport and providing accommodation, the necessary kit and back-up support. That in itself is an increasingly expensive exercise. Its role now, however, is much wider, as it also provides extensive services to potential British competitors of all Olympic sports. Those services are aimed at ensuring that the team--we all want this--is as well prepared as possible for international competition, and are acknowledged by the governing bodies of the sport in question to be vital for our top competitors.
As the BOA receives no Government funds, its ability to provide and maintain the existing levels of service to competitors depends, as we are clearly aware, on its ability to raise sponsorship. If we are to maintain and improve British international performances through
Column 1358expenditure of the commercial income available through Olympic sponsorship, statutory protection from unauthorised commercial exploitation is vital.
Such protection would give sponsors--who will, I believe, provide a great deal of money--the comfort of knowing that they have a legally protected right. Thus, control of any authorised use would be very much easier. It is an unfortunate fact that such unauthorised use has become increasingly prevalent and poses a serious threat to the BOA's fund-raising ability and so to the future of British sport. At this point it may be worth quoting a sentence from a letter that I have received from Craig Reedie, the chairman of the BOA. He says:
"The Bill has the unanimous backing of the sporting community and I hope that, given its uncontentious nature, it will receive your support."
I have also received a letter from Gavin Stewart, chairman of the BOA's Competitors' Council. He is a well-respected and renowned international rower. In his letter, copies of which may have gone to many hon. Members, he says:
"The ability to maintain existing levels of service to top British competitors depends increasingly on the ability to generate income through commercial exploitation of the Olympic Symbols. The protection which this Bill would offer is vital in order to ensure that Britain's top competitors are not deprived of the benefits of the revenue which this commercial exploitation can produce." It is interesting that Mr. Stewart sends out with his letter a list. It was written on behalf of the governing bodies of Olympic sports, all of which are listed and all of which support the Bill. I am almost tempted to read out all of them, because it is so comprehensive, and it shows the wide support for the Bill. [ Hon. Members:-- "Go on!"] I will succumb to the temptation. The list comprises the Grand National Archery Society; the British Athletic Federation; the British Badminton Olympic Committee; the British Baseball Federation; the British and Irish Basketball Federation; the British Bobsleigh Association; the British Amateur Boxing Association; the British Canoe Union; the British Curling Association; the British Cycling Federation; the British Equestrian Federation; the Amateur Fencing Association; the Football Association; the British Amateur Gymnastics Association; the British Handball Association; the Great Britain Olympic Hockey Board; the British Ice Hockey Association; the National Ice Skating Association of the United Kingdom; the British Judo Association; the Lawn Tennis Association; the Great Britain Luge Association; the Modern Pentathlon Association of Great Britain; the Amateur Rowing Association; the British Ski Federation; the National Softball Federation; the Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain; the British Olympic Table Tennis Committee; the Great Britain Target Shooting Federation; the British Volleyball Federation; the British Amateur Weightlifters' Association; the British Amateur Wrestling Association; and the Royal Yachting Association. That is an extremely comprehensive list.
Column 1359British Amateur Rugby League Association, I am confident that, although that organisation is not directly affected by the legislation, its members would unanimously support the Bill. The United Kingdom is one of the few countries that do not give statutory protection to the olympic symbol. As the BOA is one of the few national Olympic committees that does not receive Government funds, British sportsmen and women operate at a significant disadvantage compared with their counterparts from the countries against which they compete.
The Bill has no negative revenue implications for the Treasury and I hope that the House agrees that it is neither complicated nor controversial. As I emphasised, it has total cross-party support, as is evidenced by my 11 co -sponsors. It has the support of the Department of National Heritage, Her Majesty's Opposition and the Labour party spokesman on sport, and the minority parties. As I sought to show, it also has the unanimous backing of the sporting community. I am delighted to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Oliver Heald (Hertfordshire, North): I strongly support the measure but may I ask my hon. Friend about clause 4-- [Interruption.] It may cause a little trouble, as that clause often does. Clause 4 provides an exemption to the infringement provision and suggests that certain kinds of work should not be covered. It says that, if "a dramatic work, a musical work, an artistic work, a sound recording, a film, a broadcast and a cable programme"
infringes the association right, the infringement would not be actionable. What is the thinking behind that? A film that uses the Olympic symbol would probably be a big-money production from which the association could get some useful revenue, so what is the point of the exemption?
Mr. Winterton: I have always been told that it is unwise to give way. I suspect that I may be unable to give my hon. Friend the full answer that he requires. When my hon. Friend the Minister makes the Government's contribution, he may wish to comment on the matter. The widespread legal advice on which the Bill has been framed may marginally limit its scope. Clauses 2 to 4 specify the rights conferred by the Olympic association's rights and what amounts to infringement, and deal with the limits of those rights. There was a danger that, if the Bill went too wide, it risked hybridity. I hope that that is a satisfactory answer.
Mr. Edward Garnier (Harborough): I simply wish to offer my hon. Friend some help in answering the question posed by my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, North (Mr. Heald). My hon. Friend referred to the apparent anomaly in clause 4(2), which mentions "descriptions of work referred to in subsection (1)(a) above are a literary work, a dramatic work, a musical work, an artistic work, a sound recording, a film, a broadcast and a cable programme". Could it be that the sound reason for excluding such activities is that there may often be an incidental reference to or pointing to the Olympic symbol in a sound recording or broadcast? Surely it would be unjust to include such references, and I am sure that my hon. Friend would not
Column 1360wish injustice to occur. It would not be fair for such incidental reproduction to be caught by the provisions of this otherwise highly sensible Bill.
Mr. Winterton: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his extremely supportive and helpful comments on the Bill. Clearly, I do not want the Bill to range so far that it will be difficult to implement and monitor it. My hon. Friend's point is correct. Clearly, there may be many occasions when incidental references will be made and it could create a legal minefield were the Bill's scope to be as wide as my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, North (Mr. Heald) wanted. I am delighted to be introducing the Bill. It is always a pleasure to introduce a Bill that has support across the House.
Mr. Quentin Davies (Stamford and Spalding): Before my hon. Friend finishes his speech, could he deal with two issues that arise from my reading of the Bill, which I broadly support? I welcome the fact that my hon. Friend is introducing the Bill, but does it apply to Northern Ireland? If not, why not?
Secondly, what is the Bill's single market dimension? What is the efficacy of legislating on a purely national basis now that we have a single market in this area? What is to prevent goods with the Olympic logo from being produced elsewhere in the single market, imported into this country and sold on the principle that anything that can be legally sold anywhere in the single market can be legally sold everywhere in the single market? Can my hon. Friend reassure me on that point?
Mr. Winterton: In answer to the first part of my hon. Friend's question I refer him to clauses 10 and 11, which deal with forfeiture in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The Bill relates to all parts of the United Kingdom.
On the issue of the European Community, mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Stamford and Spalding (Mr. Davies), I can only say, as I did earlier, that the British Olympic Association is one of the few national Olympic committees that does not receive Government funds and does not have exclusive use of the Olympic logo within its country. It is my understanding that legislation on the subject is already in place in other countries of the European Community. I stress the point that I made earlier --I have taken lengthy and good legal advice. Clearly, the Bill's draftsmen have been considering such matters, and I believe that we are covered. I do not want to introduce into the debate any matters relating to subsidiarity, because I would be unnecessarily widening the scope of the debate.
I am delighted to be introducing the Bill. It will support the BOA and our athletes, improve our potential Olympic competitors and ensure that money raised from Olympic sponsorship is spent in the way that it should be--on sport and in nurturing the next generation of sportsmen and sportswomen.
I emphasise that, if we are to be at the top of the league in international sport, we need resources with which to train our athletes from a very young age. That is a major