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Mr. Patrick Nicholls (Teignbridge): The Leader of the House will be aware of the concerns in the British fishing industry, especially in relation to regulation. Will she find time for a debate in the near future, if not next week, so that hon. Members of all parties can express the fact that the industry is concerned not only by the regulation imposed by Europe, and indeed the disparity of enforcement, but by the fact that Her Majesty's Government are now unilaterally imposing further restrictions? The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food would then have the opportunity, which he probably would not welcome, to explain what he is doing about it.

Mrs. Taylor: I am sure that Ministers would like many debates, but they are as much constrained as anyone else. There simply is not time in the immediate future for all the debates that we would like. I can only advise the hon. Gentleman to apply for an Adjournment debate.

Dr. Brian Iddon (Bolton, South-East): The highest priority for debate in the House is given to fiscalmatters. However, the Government regard sustainable development as a high priority, too, and have set up the Select Committee on Environmental Audit, which published its second report today. May I draw my right

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hon. Friend's attention to just one of the report's many recommendations, which is that there should be a major debate on sustainable development on a Government motion relating to the Committee's annual report? I hope that that recommendation will be taken seriously.

Mrs. Taylor: I will certainly take that recommendation seriously. Clearly it will not be possible to provide time for a debate before the summer recess. I cannot say whether there will be time during the spillover period, but, if there is not, I can bear the subject in mind for debate in future parliamentary years. We attach great importance to that subject and will consider how to take into account the wishes of the Select Committee.

Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham): Will the Leader of the House find time for an early debate on the expenditure policies of North Lanarkshire council? That would give the House a chance to consider the specific and worrying case of a lollipop man who was paid at a rate equivalent to £17,500 a year for working 10 hours a week. Given the right hon. Lady's prodigious reading of the daily newspapers, does she recall that that fortunate individual told The Daily Telegraph on 4 June that he could not believe his luck? He was able to do up his flat, take his wife and kids on holiday and buy a new car as a result of the outrageous profligacy of that Labour council. Will the right hon. Lady enable the Secretary of State for Scotland to come to the House in the near future to defend or to condemn that typical record of an old Labour council?

Mrs. Taylor: I am surprised to learn that the main interest of the constituents of Buckingham is the activities of North Lanarkshire council. The hon. Gentleman knows that this Government, unlike the previous one, have acted quickly. We will not tolerate any failure or inefficiency in local government. It is a bit rich for a former adviser to Jonathan Aitken to raise matters of that kind.

Mr. Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove): Will the right hon. Lady take account of serious concern on both sides of the House and among our constituents about the congestion of parliamentary business? Many matters will not be debated and considered, including private Members' business, Law Commission reports and Select Committee reports. There are also many Adjournment debates: I understand that Madam Speaker received requests for more than 50 such debates next Wednesday. Will the right hon. Lady put to the Modernisation Committee the urgent need to find other channels for conducting our business so that the work of the House is not impeded by the time constraints that beset us?

Mrs. Taylor: Demand for debates cannot always be met. That is the case in every parliamentary year. The hon. Gentleman mentions some areas in which there is particular pressure, and he knows that the Modernisation Committee has said that it will consider private Members' Bills in future. He is right to say that more could perhaps be done. We should use our imagination to come up with new ideas on how to resolve some of the problems, although I do not think that we will ever be able to satisfy every hon. Member, given the time available.

Mr. Dalyell: On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I do not wish to prolong our debate, but is there not

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an old-fashioned code of conduct in the House? Before Members of Parliament attack particular councils, they should at least find out the facts. The intervention of the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) relates not to my constituency, but to those of parliamentary neighbours. It is high time that the House was a bit more restrained in throwing around accusations under privilege against people who cannot defend themselves, when there is another side to the story. Would you care to reflect on the old code of conduct which was accepted as a convention, whereby Members of Parliament were careful before attacking councils and other elected bodies?

Madam Speaker: The hon. Gentleman's words are extremely wise. He has used them before, and on numerous occasions I have reminded the House that with our great privileges also come responsibilities. Before we launch into attacks on other people, we must get our facts absolutely right.


Madam Speaker: I have to notify the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act 1967, that the Queen has signified Her Royal Assent to the following Acts and a Measure:

National Lottery Act 1998

Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

Road Traffic Reduction (National Targets) Act 1998

National Institutions Measure 1998

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Orders of the Day

Human Rights Bill [Lords]

[4th Allotted Day]

Considered in Committee [Progress, 24 June].

[Mr. Michael Lord in the Chair]

New clause 9

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

'.--(1) If a court's determination of any question arising under this Act might affect the exercise by a religious organisation (itself or its members collectively) of the Convention right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, it must have particular regard to the importance of that right.
(2) In this section, "court" includes a tribunal.'.--[Mr. Straw.]
Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New clause 13

Freedom of expression

'.--(1) This section applies if a court is considering whether to grant any relief which, if granted, might affect the exercise of the Convention right to freedom of expression.
(2) If the person against whom the application for relief is made ("the respondent") is neither present nor represented, no such relief is to be granted unless the court is satisfied--
(a) that the applicant has taken all practicable steps to notify the respondent; or
(b) that there are compelling reasons why the respondent should not be notified.
(3) No such relief is to be granted so as to restrain publication before trial unless the court is satisfied that the applicant is likely to establish that publication should not be allowed.
(4) The court must have particular regard to the importance of the Convention right to freedom of expression and, where the proceedings relate to material which the respondent claims, or which appears to the court, to be journalistic, literary or artistic material (or to conduct connected with such material), to--
(a) the extent to which--
(i) the material has, or is about to, become available to the public, or
(ii) it is, or would be, in the public interest for the material to be published;
(b) any relevant privacy code.
(5) In this section--
"court" includes a tribunal, and
"relief" includes any remedy or order (other than in criminal proceedings).'.--[Mr. Straw.]
Brought up, and read the First time.

4.15 pm

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Jack Straw): I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

The Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means (Mr. Michael Lord): With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following: New clause 1--Breach of right to privacy--

'.--When a court finds that Article 8 (right to privacy) of the Convention has been breached and that save for the provisions of the Convention and this Act there is no other protection or remedy

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available under United Kingdom law for the party complaining of the breach, the Court shall make a report to Parliament setting out the circumstances of the breach and the action which the Court proposes to take and proceedings shall be stayed until Parliament has debated the report.'.

New clause 7--Convention rights under Articles 8 and 10--

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