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Mr. Ross: It was remiss of me not to ask my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, South (Rev. Martin Smyth) to move the second group of amendments. I am greatly attracted to a provision for 54 Members because

22 Apr 1998 : Column 893

that would add to their status. My hon. Friend gave some figures. If there were 90 Members, each one would represent an average of just over 13,000 people. If there were 54, the average would be 21,814, which is still well below the averages for Scotland and Wales. Any rational, logical examination shows no good reason for that vast disparity.

If we applied the Scottish figures there would be 38 Members of the Assembly; application of the Welsh figures would result in 32 Members. Those figures are probably too low, but 50, 54 or 55 seem sensible and reasonable. The Government are not prepared to accept that, but I cannot accept the Minister's explanation. The law is not made by an elected body in Belfast. This country's law is supposed to be made in this Chamber, which is where it should be made.

I see no good reason to go well over the top with such a huge number of people. It is quite unrealistic, unless of course it is for some other reason. On Second Reading, I gave what I thought was the real reason; I said that the only possible reason for going down this road is to ensure the election of representatives of murder and terror organisations. That is unacceptable to any decent man or woman.

For me, the issue contains not only the question of reasonableness but the questions of principle, honour and decency for ordinary men and women. We should not bend the rules to get murderers or representatives of terrorism elected. It is clear that the threat is, "If you do not provide a system that will allow us to get elected, we will go back to the gun and the bullet and the things that we do best." If the Minister wants to live with the immorality, or perhaps the amorality, of the Government's proposals, on his head be it. I certainly cannot go along with them.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 5, Noes 274.

Division No. 252
[8.26 pm


AYES


Forsythe, Clifford
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Thompson, William
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)

Tellers for the Ayes:


Rev. Martin Smyth and
Mr. Roy Beggs.


NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Alexander, Douglas
Allan, Richard
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Atherton, Ms Candy
Austin, John
Baker, Norman
Ballard, Mrs Jackie
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Borrow, David
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Buck, Ms Karen
Burnett, John
Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Stephen
Campbell, Menzies (NE Fife)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Canavan, Dennis
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chidgey, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Church, Ms Judith
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Colman, Tony
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Ms Jean
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dafis, Cynog
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davidson, Ian
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Fearn, Ronnie
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Gapes, Mike
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godman, Dr Norman A
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Gorrie, Donald
Grant, Bernie
Grocott, Bruce
Grogan, John
Gunnell, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hanson, David
Harvey, Nick
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Home Robertson, John
Hoon, Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howells, Dr Kim
Humble, Mrs Joan
Iddon, Dr Brian
Ingram, Adam
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kennedy, Charles (Ross Skye)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kilfoyle, Peter
Kirkwood, Archy
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lawrence, Ms Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Liddell, Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Livingstone, Ken
Livsey, Richard
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Ian (Makerfield)
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFall, John
McGrady, Eddie
McGuire, Mrs Anne
Mackinlay, Andrew
Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallon, Seamus
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Milburn, Alan
Moore, Michael
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Mowlam, Rt Hon Marjorie
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Paul (Torfaen)
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Mrs Diana
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Quinn, Lawrie
Radice, Giles
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
Rendel, David
Robertson, Rt Hon George
(Hamilton S)
Rooker, Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruddock, Ms Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Southworth, Ms Helen
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stott, Roger
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
(Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Tyler, Paul
Vaz, Keith
Wallace, James
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wigley, Rt Hon Dafydd
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Willis, Phil
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. Robert Ainsworth and
Mr. Jon Owen Jones.

Question accordingly negatived.

22 Apr 1998 : Column 895

Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


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