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Mr. Desmond Swayne (New Forest, West): It is an honour to follow the hon. Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Mr. Quinn), and I pay tribute to him for his passion and eloquence. His command of the statistics showed how thoroughly he had researched the matter.

That said, I must disagree with him. I do not favour commissions of the sort that he wants to create. They would divide our people into competing interest groups, often antithetical to one another. Logically extended, his proposal would leave us with commissions for fat people or for any number of other groups. It is fundamental that the House should act as guardian of the interests and rights of our people. It is for us to advise the Government and hold them to account. We should not set up commissions to take on our role.

The bare-faced cheek of the hon. Gentleman's proposal astounds me. The Government's record on age is breathtakingly at odds with his views. Our nation has, through its institutions, acquired a dignity of age over many centuries, but the Prime Minister has characterised the land as a young country. What sort of message was that supposed to convey? The Government's own supporters have eloquently pointed to their failure in these matters. I draw to the House's attention the words of the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) in the address and reply debate that opened this Parliament. The hon. Gentleman said:

The hon. Member for Great Grimsby spoke eloquently for that generation of Labour Members who were beyond the opportunities afforded by those on the Treasury Bench. However, those on the Treasury Bench throughout this Parliament have not acquired the dignity and wisdom of age; they are entirely bereft of it. If the hon. Gentleman's Bill, and the case for it, were to have any credibility, the Government should set an example themselves. Perhaps Labour Members have become so desperate about there being any Government action on the issue that they have had to resort to the motion. The House should deny them the opportunity.

Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in Bills and nomination of Select Committees at commencement of public business):--

The House divided: Ayes 190, Noes 7.

Division No. 264
[3.56 pm


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Allan, Richard
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Baker, Norman
Ballard, Jackie
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Blizzard, Bob
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brake, Tom
Brand, Dr Peter
Breed, Colin
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Butler, Mrs Christine
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cann, Jamie
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coleman, Iain
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Corbett, Robin
Cotter, Brian
Crausby, David
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Drew, David
Edwards, Huw
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Fabricant, Michael
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Fyfe, Maria
Galloway, George
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibson, Dr Ian
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gorrie, Donald
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Gunnell, John
Hancock, Mike
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Hepburn, Stephen
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hurst, Alan
Illsley, Eric
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Khabra, Piara S
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Laxton, Bob
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Love, Andrew
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
MacShane, Denis
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Mudie, George
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Olner, Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris
Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Rendel, David
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salmond, Alex
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Tynan, Bill
Vis, Dr Rudi
Ward, Ms Claire
Watts, David
Webb, Steve
Welsh, Andrew
White, Brian
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Andrew Stunell and
Mr. John McDonnell.


Blunt, Crispin
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh)
Gray, James
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, Rt Hon David
Nicholls, Patrick
Robertson, Laurence

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Eric Forth and
Mr. Desmond Swayne.

Question accordingly agreed to.

12 Jul 2000 : Column 877

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Lawrie Quinn, Mr. Jim Murphy, Mr. Michael Fabricant, Lorna Fitzsimons, Mr. Jeffrey Donaldson, Mr. John Grogan, Mr. Douglas Alexander, Mr. Richard Allan, Mr. Stephen Twigg, Ms Claire Ward and Mr. Andrew Reed.

Age Equality Commission

Mr. Lawrie Quinn accordingly presented a Bill to make provision for the establishment of an Age Equality Commission to advise the Government on discrimination issues in relation to older people: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 21 July, and to be printed [Bill 159].

12 Jul 2000 : Column 878

Orders of the Day

Care Standards Bill [Lords]

As amended in the Standing Committee, considered.

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