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Mr. Redwood: My hon. Friend is suggesting that the Committee will need a lot of time to table exploratory and probing amendments because the Bill is so comprehensively useless at telling the House and the wider British public what it intends for whom and when. Just as we know nothing about the number of hours allowed under the guillotine, we know nothing about when the Act will come into effect. Does my hon. Friend agree that our Front-Bench colleagues should table probing amendments?

Mr. Howarth: My right hon. Friend, as on so many occasions, is entirely right, but I am not sure that they should be probing amendments. They should be substantive amendments, so that the people of this country can see exactly what the Bill is about. We heard it argued earlier that the Bill had serious implications for small businesses; that applies also to not-so-small businesses. The Bill also deals with internet services and proposes that an internet service provider should not publish or distribute, or cause to be published or distributed, a tobacco advertisement of which it is unaware. That looks to me like a gaping hole in this draconian measure, which I hope will be exploited to maximum advantage. However, I heard the Minister of State on the radio this

22 Jan 2001 : Column 765

morning trying to explain away how internet service providers will not be affected by the Bill. It seems to me that they will. There is so much uncertainty--

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The hon. Gentleman is making a Second Reading speech. He must direct his remarks exactly to the programme motion that is before the House.

Sir Peter Emery: Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Howarth: Of course.

Sir Peter Emery: My hon. Friend said that he thought that tobacco advertising at motor racing was not going to be banned until 2006, and I understand that tobacco advertising at all other sporting fixtures will be banned by 2002. Does he think that the timetabling of the Bill allows us to probe how and why these differences come about?

Mr. Howarth: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his guidance. I had the privilege of seeing him on Friday in his wonderful constituency which has been so well-served by him for such a long time. That is the kind of perceptive remark that we get from Conservative Members. Why is the Bill being thrust upon the House with so little debate when its principal targets will not be affected, according to the Minister--on the radio, and not here in Parliament--apparently until 2002 or 2006?

Mr. Hawkins: Further to the remarks of my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Sir P. Emery) on the Government's open betrayal of what they previously indicated, does my hon. Friend recognise the particular anger that my hon. Friend the Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) mentioned earlier about the inconsistency in terms of darts? Darts is a sport that is well liked in his constituency and mine and its ban would take effect in 2002 or 2003. Those involved feel that they are being discriminated against by comparison with the Government's more generous treatment of Formula 1.

Mr. Howarth: My hon. Friend makes an extremely important point. As he knows, Mr. Bob Potter, a constituent of his, who has a splendid hotel in my constituency, hosts darts competitions at Lakeside--

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Mr. Hawkins) sat down before I could reprimand him, but the hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Howarth) should not be pursuing his current line because it has to do with the Bill and not with the programme motion.

Mr. Howarth: I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I had not intended to be led astray by my hon. Friend.

Mr. Leigh: Is it not somewhat ironic that the 650 elected Members of the House of Commons are worth two weeks, while one man--Mr. Bernie Ecclestone--is worth six years?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I have already said that I have heard enough on that subject. The hon. Member

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for Aldershot should get on with his speech or complete it because at the moment it appears to be strung together with a number of interventions from colleagues who may wish to catch my eye.

Mr. Howarth: I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker; it not my intention that you should regard my remarks as strung together.

Mr. Paul Tyler (North Cornwall): The hon. Gentleman should be strung up instead.

Mr. Howarth: I was in the hon. Gentleman's consistency on Saturday and did not suggest that he should be strung up; perhaps I made a mistake.

Profound issues arise from the Bill, of which there has been no satisfactory explanation from the Government--just a bored look from the Under-Secretary. I am sorry to have to say to her that her attitude to the House is thoroughly contemptible. This Bill is very serious--it will affect many and could well damage many sporting events that people enjoy--yet all the Minister can do is look bored and weary, waiting until 8 February when she can get this wretchedly illiberal measure on to the statute book, attack successful business and deprive many people of sports that they enjoy.

11.12 pm

Mr. Hogg: This is an arrogant motion; it should not be before the House.

The motion provides that the Bill leaves Committee by 8 February, but the truth is that we do not know whether that allows sufficient time. We do not know when the Bill will go into Committee or how many sittings there will be. How can we possibly say whether there will have been sufficient time to consider it by 8 February?

We can say some things with certainty. My right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) drew attention to the fact that there will not be sufficient time to consider amendments. That is most certainly the case if the Bill is to report by 8 February. Indeed, as I said to my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman), amendments will then be tabled in the other place and this House will not have sufficient time to debate them. That is a denial of democracy.

There is another denial of democracy. The Bill has just begun its progress. We can argue whether it is desirable, but on any view, it represents a serious attack on liberty. People who have small businesses in my constituency wish to make detailed representations on the Bill, but all of us know full well that they will not have sufficient time in which to do that. They are being denied the opportunity to express their criticism of the Bill through their elected Members.

Mr. Bercow: Is not the position of the Under-Secretary succinctly encapsulated thus: "I do not know how many sittings of the Committee there will be; I do not know how many amendments there will be; I do not know how much time for consideration there will be; but something in my stars says none the less that 8 February is the right day for conclusion"?

Mr. Hogg: My hon. Friend is right, with one further observation, to which I was about to draw the House's

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attention. In justifying the programme motion, the Under- Secretary said, "We think that this is sufficient time." That is not reassuring to the House. The Government may think that there is sufficient time, but what is their agenda? We do not.

11.14 pm

Mr. Nick St. Aubyn (Guildford): I have known the Under-Secretary for as long as we have been in the House; I know that she is an honourable Member. Surely in arriving at the date of 8 February she must have known how many amendments would be tabled in Committee. Perhaps she will come to the Dispatch Box and share with the House her knowledge of the number of amendments that will be tabled in Committee. However, she may not know that figure; I certainly do not. My hon. Friends do not know how many will be tabled. Given that--

It being forty-five minutes after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, Mr. Deputy Speaker, pursuant to Order [7 November], put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

The House divided: Ayes 254, Noes 79.

Division No. 72
[11.15 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Banks, Tony
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Butler, Mrs Christine
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr Jack
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Dawson, Hilton
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Drew, David
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Fisher, Mark
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Gapes, Mike
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Grogan, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Joyce, Eric
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle
(B'ham Yardley)
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Purchase, Ken
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, Nick
Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Walley, Ms Joan
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Kevin Hughes and
Mr. Graham Allen.


Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bercow, John
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brand, Dr Peter
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Cash, William
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Duncan, Alan
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Fabricant, Michael
Fearn, Ronnie
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr Liam
Gidley, Sandra
Gray, James
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Kirkwood, Archy
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Leigh, Edward
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Loughton, Tim
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
Moore, Michael
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Nicholls, Patrick
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Prior, David
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Sanders, Adrian
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tyler, Paul
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Willis, Phil
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Peter Luff and
Mr. Stephen Day.

Question accordingly agreed to.

22 Jan 2001 : Column 769


Queen's recommendation having been signified--

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 52(1)(a),

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