|Private Security Industry Bill [Lords]
Mr. Bercow: I have listened carefully, but I am not persuaded by what the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston said, although I shall reflect on it, or by the observations of the Minister. I should therefore like to press the amendment.
Question put, That the amendment be made:-
The Committee divided: Ayes 4, Noes 13.
Division No. 8]
It being after Seven o'clock, The Chairman proceeded, pursuant to Sessional Order D [28 March] and the Order of the Committee [10 April], to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that time.
Schedule 2 agreed to.
Mr. Clarke: On a point of order, Mr. Winterton. Although there is no motion to report the Bill, as it is the subject of a programme resolution, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your co-Chairman Mr. Benton, for the way in which you have conducted our proceedings. I think that all members of the Committee feel that we have had a good, orderly, positive and constructive debate. That is attributable not to the way in which we have conducted ourselves but to the way in which you have conducted us.
I also thank the Doorkeepers and the police, who have ensured that we have been in good order throughout our proceedingsperhaps that is particularly appropriate, given that we were discussing private securityand the Hansard staff, who have had to put up with the Latin definitions and other matters that have been raised by you, Mr. Winterton, and others. We very much appreciate their work.
I want to express my particular appreciation of the work of the Clerks, because these matters are not straightforward and their guidance has been crucial. I also give especial thanks to my officials at the Home Office and in my private office, who have worked so hard and so effectively on these matters. I want to place that on the record. In that context, it is appropriate to pay tribute to those who have worked with other members of the Committee and to those organisations that have engaged with us and helped our dialogues and discussions.
I also pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, South and other hon. Members, who have helped and worked tremendously hard to keep us informed.
Finally, I would like to thank everybody who has participated in the Committee. Throughout our proceedings the Opposition spokespeople, the Government Members and the Opposition Back Benchers tried to ensure that we were scrutinising the Bill as fully and completely as possible. As I said, Mr. Winterton, particular thanks are due to you and your colleague, Mr. Benton, for your conduct of our affairs.
Mr. Hawkins: Further to that point of order, Mr. Winterton. I echo the Minister's thanks to you and your co-Chairman Mr. Benton, which I am sure you will pass on. I would also like to thank the Clerks, Doorkeepers and police, and all those who have contributed to the debate. I agree with the Minister that this has been a sensible and constructive Committee in which a variety of members have made useful contributions. The House will better informed on Report. The Minister and his officials have given helpful indications and they will no doubt burn the midnight oil between now and Report to comply with all the undertakings that have been made.
This Committee has been a good example of how Standing Committees should operate. We nearly made it without programming, although my party is opposed to routine programming. The Minister and the Opposition thought that the number of sittings was about right, and only two groups of amendments were left to the end of this afternoon's sitting, with what Whips Offices often refer to as fingertip controlguided by you, Mr. Winterton. That shows what a constructive effort we have made to scrutinise this important Bill thoroughly. I should like to thank all members of the Committee for their assistance.
Mr. Simon Hughes: Further to that point of order, Mr. Winterton. I shall be brief. [Laughter.] I thank you and your co-Chairman, Mr. Benton. I thank also the civil servants, who are always there to provide answers to questions for which the Minister's brief did not prepare him. I thank the Minister for his usual courtesy. An important Bill, long in gestation, has been dealt with in one of the least confrontational ways of any Home Office Bill that I can remember. I am glad that there was such consensus, and I am grateful for the Committee's expedition. Within limits, there is some merit in programming motions. We should never commit ourselves to doing too muchit could be a straightjacketalthough a little pressure from time to time does nobody any harm.
Mr. Bruce George: Further to that point of order, Mr. Winterton. Having been forcibly denied those two groups of superb amendments, which I was desperate to move, I should like to apologise to my colleagues for detaining them for longer than Back Benchers usually detain Chairmen and Committee members. They have been very tolerant.
I should like to thank the private security industry, without whose obstructionism and opposition the Bill could have been on the statute book 15 years ago. It has finally moved with the times, and I congratulate it. I had forgotten the difference between Select Committees and Standing Committees. I only wish that Select Committee members were accorded the same deference, bordering on sycophancy, that you have received over the past few days, Mr. Winterton. It is quite disgusting. I will not join in, other than to say that what Robert Peel was to the police force in 1829, the names of Clarke, Straw and Winterton will be to the private security industry in 2001. It was an important Committeetoo rushed, but at least the legislation will be on the statute book. It is now up to others to make the good legislation that the security industry and the public deserve.
The Chairman: I thank all Committee members for their kind and generous words. I have found it fun, and I know that my co-Chairman Mr. Benton enjoyed the sittings that he chaired. I am pleased that you believe, as I do, that it has been a constructive and positive Committee. I congratulate all who have participated in the debates. The Minister, the Opposition spokesmen and the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey have all put in a great deal of work. The House will benefit from our debates.
I thank the Hansard staff, the Doorkeepers and the police. I shall not thank the officialsI left that to the Minister and he has done it very well. I thank hon. Members for their generous comments, and I look forward to the next occasion.
Bill, as amended, to be reported, pursuant to the Order of the House [28 March].
Winterton, Mr. Nicholas (Chairman)
Clarke, Mr. Charles
George, Mr. Bruce
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hughes, Mr. Simon
Prentice, Ms Bridget
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Stewart, Mr. Ian
Thomas, Mr. Gareth R.
Turner, Mr. Neil
Winterton, Ms Rosie
|©Parliamentary copyright 2001||Prepared 1 May 2001|