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Mr. Hogg: The hon. Gentleman is rightand another irony is that literally scores of clauses passed through the House without being discussed in any detail. Indeed, they were not even reached. That is not the example that we should set to other countries.
We were talking about detention without trial. What do Members suppose the Government are saying to the Israeli Government at this very moment? They are urging on that Government the undesirability of detaining people
Mr. David Lidington (Aylesbury): Will my right hon. and learned Friend contrast the way in which the House is being invited to agree to the motion with the extensive consideration given, inside and outside Parliament, to the Bill that became the Terrorism Act 2000? Parliament had the advantage of a detailed report from Lord Lloyd of Berwick and a White Paper, but the Bill still required considerable debate and rewriting as a consequence of the parliamentary scrutiny. Does that not reinforce the case for adequate parliamentary scrutiny now?
Mr. Hogg: My hon. Friend has made a very important point. However, he will forgive me if I make a point in response, on decaying standards, which was the point that I was making when the Parliamentary Secretary was not listening. Once we start to chip away at those protections, our standards decay. Suddenly, having gone through the proper process with the 2000 Act, we are abandoning all those processes and are leaping quickly and without proper consideration to deeply oppressive legislation.
Mr. Gummer: Madam Deputy Speaker, I think that I am speaking precisely to the motion. Would my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) like to advise Ministers on what to say to middle east dictators who tell us
Mr. Hogg: I think that I can properly say in reply to what I think was in the mind of my right hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Coastalalthough you and I can only guess what was in his mind, Madam Deputy Speaker, as you intervened at that pointthat middle east dictators are very quick to use draconian ways of truncating discussion. I have a feeling that they might look to allies on the Treasury Bench who are doing precisely the same thing.
Mr. Garnier: We do not have to go as far as the middle east. In the east midlands, which my right hon. and learned Friend and I represent, we can find huge disgust at the Government's conduct in curtailing debate not only on the Bill's remaining stages but on its earlier ones. He would therefore be on fertile ground if he confined his remarks to the reaction of people in the United Kingdom; he does not need to go overseas.
I should like first to tell the Parliamentary Secretary how grateful we are to him for telling us that secondary legislation will be forthcoming. I also welcome the fact that we now have eight Labour Back Benchers in the Chamber, which is encouraging progress. I imagine that the Government Whips are now looking in all the bars of the House of Commons and crying out, "Throwing out timecome into the Chamber." Here we have them, and what a pleasure it is to see them.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Coastal knows full well that, whatever the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions would have us believe, secondary legislation is not drafted a day or two before it is laid; it is drafted some time in advance. There is no secret that there will be a draft of the secondary legislation to which the Parliamentary Secretary referred, and that it will be printed. It is probably on his desk[Interruption.] For aught I know, it might even be in his back pocket. It is available to him. However, if it is available to him, why is it not available to us?
Norman Baker: The right hon. and learned Gentleman is right. However, the Minister said from a sedentary position that he intended to give us more information when he replied to the debate. Would it not be more helpful if he gave us that information now?
He is going to give us the benefit of a few snippetsa general precis of what might be in the Billbut he will not give us the text. However, the text will be available to him. If we had the text, we would be in a clearer position to judge whether we want to have more time than will be provided to consider the Lords' amendments. In the absence of the text, we cannot make a proper judgment.
Mr. Gummer: Is not my right hon. and learned Friend being unfair to the Parliamentary Secretary? Should not he explain to the Parliamentary Secretary that all he needs to do is to ask the Box to provide him with the text? He can then cross out the word "draft", which will be on the topmy right hon. and learned Friend and I know well
Mr. Hogg: My right hon. Friend makes a helpful and constructive suggestion and I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary is finding this debate a useful lesson in basic parliamentary procedure. Incidentally, may I say how nice it is to see two more Labour Members in their places?
Mr. Paul Marsden (Shrewsbury and Atcham): I do not know whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman is aware that when the Bill was discussed by the House, some 80 per cent. of it did not see the light of day? Does he agree that it is a travesty of justice that we can discuss matters such as internmentarresting suspects simply on the word of the Home Secretarywithout a proper, full debate in the House? Does he also agree that it is time that the House saw all the details of the Bill and discussed properly its failings, especially for the sake of the Muslim community?
Mr. Hogg: On occasion, my right hon. and hon. Friends and I have treated this debate with a degree of levity, but the hon. Gentleman has made a serious point. It is the fundamental point that all of usthe hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey and my hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset includedhave sought to make. This is a fundamentally important Bill and it is profoundly wrong that it should be enacted in this way. The hon. Gentleman makes the point that scores of clauses went through to the other place without any discussion in this House. The fact that we are not going to see the secondary legislation, which is probably in the Parliamentary Secretary's back pocket, makes the hon. Gentleman's point even more robustly and that takes me to my next point.