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Mr. Foulkes: Will the hon. Lady confirm that, in Committee, when we discussed the matter in detail, she and her colleagues did not divide the Committee on one occasion? We provided four days for the Committee. That time was not taken up. She could have asked all those questions in Committee. She is making cheap party political points, undermining the whole basis of the CDC. It is a disgrace to her and to the House.

Mrs. Gillan: It is good to see that the age of chivalry is not dead and that at least some men on the Labour Benches rush to the defence of the ladies in their party. However, the Minister's reaction only goes to make my point.

We were not going to divide the House on the matter, but this evening's performance has led Conservative Members to believe that the Secretary of State does not know what she is doing and that the CDC will suffer. Therefore, I will press the new clause to a vote.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:--

The House divided: Ayes 21, Noes 293.

Division No. 244
[11.18 pm


AYES


Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Fabricant, Michael
Garnier, Edward
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, Rt Hon David
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Streeter, Gary
Tredinnick, David
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Eric Forth and
Mr. Edward Leigh.


NOES


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Boateng, Paul
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Burnett, John
Butler, Mrs Christine
Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Fyfe, Maria
Gapes, Mike
George, Andrew (St Ives)
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hinchliffe, David
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Rt Hon Ms Tessa
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lawrence, Ms Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Livingstone, Ken
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Morley, Elliot
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Hara, Eddie
Olner, Bill
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pendry, Tom
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Radice, Rt Hon Giles
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Rendel, David
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Short, Rt Hon Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stott, Roger
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
(Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. Keith Hill and
Jane Kennedy.

Question accordingly negatived.

14 Jul 1999 : Column 524

Clause 25

Interpretation: companies and shares.

11.30 pm

Mr. David Heath: I beg to move amendment No. 2, in page 10, line 31, leave out from 'nominee' to end of line 32.

Hon. Members who served on the Committee will recognise that the amendment has some similarities to the discussion that we had on clause stand part on what was then clause 24 and is now clause 25. Yesterday, I received a letter from the Secretary of State which attempted to elucidate the reasoning behind the original wording of the Bill. I thought that I might have struck a slightly curious position when I realised that neither the Ministers in Committee nor the civil servants--which was the crucial thing--quite knew why that part of the clause had been put in. I realise now that it was a slightly tortuous formulation.

14 Jul 1999 : Column 525

There is still an ambiguity in the Bill which I would like to test with Ministers. If I understand the Secretary of State's letter correctly, clause 25(2)(b), which has the effect of allowing a company to be placed between the Secretary of State and the CDC, is inserted there for one purpose, and one purpose only--to qualify clause 25(4), which deals with associated companies.

If I understand it correctly, where an associated company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the CDC, it qualifies as a company that is wholly owned by the Crown, and therefore qualifies for associated company status. I do not entirely understand why the Bill is drafted as it is, as an ambiguity is introduced. There is a possibility that a future Government could interpolate a company between the Secretary of State and the CDC, and that is acknowledged in the letter to me.

Would not it have been easier to qualifyclause 25(4)(b), which refers to a company that


Why not make it "wholly owned by the Crown or by a company that is wholly owned by the Crown" at that point? Or--perhaps this is an easier way of dealing with it--why not rely on the ordinary understanding of the Companies Act 1985 provision dealing with wholly owned subsidiaries, which provides a perfectly appropriate definition of a wholly owned subsidiary company which could have been interpolated in clause 26 in the definition section? That would have had the effect of allowing a wholly owned subsidiary of the CDC to be treated as an associated company without providing the ambiguity which the Bill provides.

Will the Minister explain why the Bill is drafted as it is? I appreciate that it is difficult to change the Bill at this stage. Had I received the Secretary of State's letter a few days earlier, I might have tabled a slightly different amendment which would have had the same effect, but in a different way. If he does not explain, we will have to rely on the assurances that the Secretary of State gave in Committee and which I would be grateful if the Minister could repeat--that there is no intention on the part of the Government to interpolate a further company between the Secretary of State and the CDC.


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