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Sir Patrick Cormack: The Minister must realise that we do not criticise his conduct of operations, or the Bill. We accept that it is, by and large, a sensible Bill, which has great cross-party support, but why, oh why, would he not accept the undertaking that he was given? I can tell him that it would have been delivered. Instead, he has ended a good ministerial story with a rather sad last chapter by imposing a guillotine.

Mr. Rooker: In replying to the debate, I have concentrated on the specifics. The whole of my contribution was devoted to answering that question. I shall give way to the hon. Member for South-East Cambridgeshire (Mr. Paice), and then I shall conclude.

Mr. Paice: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I want to make it clear that he has treated me--as the leading Opposition spokesman on the matter--and the rest of the Committee with the utmost courtesy throughout the Bill's proceedings so far; I appreciate that. I hope that its remaining stages will be dealt with in the same manner.

In that light, will the hon. Gentleman reconsider the accusation that he threw at my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman)? She and I--in my response to her intervention--were not suggesting that the Government should not have altered the Bill. We were simply making the point that, because they had altered the Bill--quite rightly in many instances--it was necessary to study the new version and give it proper scrutiny. To change the Bill does not remove that objective.

Mr. Rooker: The underlying theme of the criticism seems to be that, for some reason, if any change that the Government make to the draft after the White Paper is not subject to parliamentary debate, we are cheating somehow. We are not. We have been wholly and utterly open about the matter. To improve the Bill as it went along cannot be a charge that can be held against us. There was no criticism in Committee that we had changed it from the draft. I sincerely hope--

Mr. Tyler: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Rooker: I will, but only because I like the hon. Gentleman. He has been extremely positive about the measure. Furthermore, he was a Member of this place for only six months in 1974 and was out of the place for 18 years. I shall give way to him and then I am determined to sit down, or we shall be in danger of losing the chance to discuss the amendments.

Mr. Tyler: I am grateful to the Minister; I cannot take all these compliments from both sides of the House--they are most damaging to my reputation.

I agree with the point that the Minister made at the outset; the experience of the Bill has been uniquely constructive. It has been most helpful.

22 Jul 1999 : Column 1403

However, that does not explain why this motion is before us. The Minister is right to say that there might have been a problem with the Employment Relations Bill, but that could have been dealt with separately. There is no evidence, from anything that he has told us this afternoon, that the treatment of the Food Standards Bill would be obstructed--none whatever.

Mr. Rooker: I explained that there were time constraints because of the need to send the Bill to the other place. There are 13 groups of amendments. At two hours a group, I could easily organise a two-hour debate on any group of amendments, and that would make 26 hours. That is the reason for the motion.

Question put:--

The House divided: Ayes 276, Noes 108.

Division No. 271
[4.51 pm


AYES


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Ashton, Joe
Atkins, Charlotte
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Bennett, Andrew F
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blunkett, Rt Hon David
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunliffe, Lawrence
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Fyfe, Maria
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Godsiff, Roger
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Grogan, John
Gunnell, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Heppell, John
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jowell, Rt Hon Ms Tessa
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kelly, Ms Ruth
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lawrence, Ms Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Leslie, Christopher
Linton, Martin
Livingstone, Ken
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Merron, Gillian
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Eddie
Olner, Bill
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pendry, Tom
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Primarolo, Dawn
Purchase, Ken
Radice, Rt Hon Giles
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robertson, Rt Hon George
(Hamilton S)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooker, Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Roy, Frank
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stott, Roger
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
(Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Wise, Audrey
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Greg Pope and
Mr. Jim Dowd.


NOES


Amess, David
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Baldry, Tony
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Body, Sir Richard
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brand, Dr Peter
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Cable, Dr Vincent
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
(Rushcliffe)
Colvin, Michael
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Day, Stephen
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, Iain
Faber, David
Fearn, Ronnie
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Fox, Dr Liam
Fraser, Christopher
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gill, Christopher
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gorrie, Donald
Gray, James
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Hancock, Mike
Harvey, Nick
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Kirkwood, Archy
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Loughton, Tim
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
Major, Rt Hon John
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Moore, Michael
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Öpik, Lembit
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Prior, David
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Shepherd, Richard
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Spring, Richard
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tyler, Paul
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Wallace, James
Walter, Robert
Wardle, Charles
Waterson, Nigel
Wells, Bowen
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Willis, Phil
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Woodward, Shaun
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. John M. Taylor and
Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.

Question accordingly agreed to.

22 Jul 1999 : Column 1406

Resolved,



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