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Mr. Mike O'Brien: I note that the Minister has now spoken for 20 minutes, and that a number of his colleagues--including the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, North (Mr. Heald), the parliamentary private secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food--spoke at length. Will the Minister tell us whether he also intends to talk out this Bill?
Mr. Sproat: What an extraordinary intervention. Of course I have no intention of doing so. I have made it clear that I support the Bill. Many hon. Members have sat through the entire debate on the Bill, and to be respectful to them and to the House I shall answer every speech that has been made. There were a number of speeches to which, although I will not take too long, I intend to reply courteously.
Column 1384My hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West said that, although he supported the Bill, it was a Bill too late. I hope that he is wrong. I take his point that, during the World cup, there were a number of what might seem to the layman as alleged abuses of the copyright of World cup symbols. Companies will have learnt from the way in which they felt cheated when, having paid good fees to become sponsors of the World cup, they found that competitors in their own market sector were finding a way of muscling their way in. I very much hope that the Bill will help to make matters better, and that we will not see that sort of thing in the forthcoming Olympic games. My hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier) quoted my press release of 12 December, which correctly stated that I was strongly in favour of the measure. The Department of National Heritage and the Government are strongly in favour of the Bill. My hon. Friend also confirmed--in a more legalistic way--the entire accuracy of the fact that shops, butchers, pizza parlours and restaurants should not be worried by the measure.
The hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Chidgey) spoke for the Liberal Democrats in the regrettable absence of the former great Olympic athlete, his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell). The hon. Gentleman gave his support to the Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Mid- Staffordshire (Mr. Fabricant), speaking as a member of the National Heritage Select Committee, also gave his support.
I do not think that anybody in the House felt that the Bill should not be supported, although one or two hon. Members felt that points might arise later in Committee that will be worth going into. With those few brief words of general support for the Bill, I commend it to the House.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: With permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I shall respond briefly to the debate. I thank all those, on both sides of the House, who have spoken in favour of the Bill. I do not want to name those hon. Members, because it would take too long
I hope that the concerns that my hon. Friends the Members for Hexham (Mr. Atkinson) and for Hertfordshire, North (Mr. Heald) expressed were dealt with, not only by the ministerial response and one of my interventions but by the helpful advice given by my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier).
I welcome the House's support, especially that of the hon. Members for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche) and for Eastleigh (Mr. Chidgey). It is tremendous to have such positive support, and I commend the Bill to the House.
Question put and agreed to.
Bill accordingly read a Second time.
Question put , That the Bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House:--
The House proceeded to a Division :
Mr. Stephen (seated and covered) : On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seek your guidance on whether there is any way in which time can be found today for hon. Members who wish to support the Protection of Calves (Export) Bill to speak.
Column 1385debate, but did not express their opposition to the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Bill, to call a vote to waste time and interfere with other hon. Members when the whole House is anxious to deal with the next Bill in the time remaining?
Mr. Mike O'Brien (Warwickshire, North) (seated and covered) : Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You will note that a Minister said that the Government support the Bill, yet a parliamentary private secretary has gone through the Noes Lobby. I think that that should be noted.
Division No. 63] [2.24 pm
Column 1385Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Foster, Don (Bath)
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Column 1385Livingstone, Ken
O'Brien, Mike (N W'kshire)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Young, David (Bolton SE)
Tellers for the Ayes: Mr. Nicholas Winterton and Mr. Piers Merchant.
Tellers for the Noes: Mr. Peter Atkinson and Mr. Michael Fabricant.
Column 1385Question accordingly agreed to .
Motion made, and Question proposed ,
That this House do immediately resolve itself into a Committee on the Bill. --[ Mr. Nicholas Winterton. ]
Order for Second Reading read.
Second Reading deferred till Friday 10 February.
Column 1386Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food --to send his parliamentary private secretary to the House to organise a filibuster to block my private Member's Bill? Is that not contempt of the House?
Mr. Tom Cox (Tooting): Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We have just witnessed what many hon. Members, irrespective of their party, believe to be a shambles. There was clearly a great deal of support for the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Bill. Will you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, bring the matter to Madam Speaker's attention on Monday? She, like you, looks after the interests of Back Benchers and should be made aware of what has happened.
Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover): Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As the Bill has just been carried with no votes against it and it was well noted yesterday that it had the support of every party in the House and was likely to be nodded through in a few seconds, is it not disgraceful that the Tory Government--the Whips and all the rest--have put a gag on our people who wanted to talk about the export of calves? They did so when millions of people in Britain are protesting about it. That shows up the Government for what they are--it stinks to high heaven--
Mrs. Clwyd: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I rise to ask your guidance on a matter of great concern to many people in south Wales. I should normally have made my point of order under Standing Order No. 20 but, as you know, I am precluded from doing so on a Friday.
The reason for my point of order is the casualty department in the Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr, which is a matter of concern to my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands) and me. Its patients have been told not to go to the casualty department because of a shortage of doctors. The casualty rota for the next few days has blank spaces, which means that there are no doctors on duty. May we have a statement on the subject next week?
Second Reading deferred till Friday 10 February.