Mr. Don Foster: Further to that point of order, Mr. Stevenson. I associate myself with the remarks that have been made and the thanks offered to so many people.
I was interested in the comments by the hon. Member for Eastbourne and the Minister about the boat constructed by the right hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon. It was suggested that it was a form of therapy. I am in a somewhat privileged position, because I can see the therapy involving paper that is required by Whips. Committee Members might like to have a look later, but I can assure them that the therapy for the hon. Member for Cotswold (Mr. Clifton-Brown), who is the Opposition Whip, is to turn himself into a human paper shredder.
As right hon. and hon. Members have said, we have had an important three weeks discussing the Bill. Despite the occasional curmudgeonly outburst from the hon. Member for Eastbourne, this has been a Committee of great good humour, which has at the same time addressed serious points. As I said, we have truly demonstrated the value of Committee work and of the high-quality briefings that are provided for us by various organisations.
The Government have not sought to railroad every proposition in the Bill. There has been some willingness to listen and to take on board the ideas expressed by right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the Committee. We should be grateful for that and for the evidence that we have given of the benefit of the parliamentary process. Sadly, however, the Government have not accepted as many amendments as we would have liked, so I am particularly looking forward to the next stage of our deliberations, next Wednesday.
I thank you, Mr. Stevenson, and your fellow Chairman, Mr. Gale, for the helpful way in which you have chaired the Committee.
The Chairman: The paper boat constructed by the right hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon speaks volumes for his tenacity. Given that he spent a number of years in the European Parliament, was a member of the previous Government, is a former Housing Minister and is now in opposition, I am surprised that his hands were steady enough to put the boat together.
Mr. Curry: On a point of order, Mr. Stevenson. I am happy to present the boat to you.
The Chairman: On behalf of my co-Chairman and myself, I thank every member of the Committee, the Clerks, the Hansard writers, the police and the Ushers of the House for their patience and forbearance. I now have the pleasure of announcing that the Committee's business has concluded.
Bill, as amended, to be reported.
Committee rose at two minutes to Five o'clock.
The following Members attended the Committee:
|©Parliamentary copyright 2001||Prepared 1 February 2001|