Employment Bill

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Mr. Hammond: Cue the hon. Member for Manchester, Central.

Alan Johnson: As it is coming up to Christmas, I will save my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central from making his intervention. As in the previous debate, I will respond to the intervention before it is made. The Secretary of State has given a firm assurance that that review will be carried out next year.

I urge the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the amendment.

Mr. Hammond: I have heard the Minister's comments. I am disappointed that, even with the assistance of his substantial resources, he has been unable to come up with an example of why he might need the power. I am reluctant to give Secretaries of State wide powers to act by order in any case, but when the combined resources of the Department of Trade and Industry and parliamentary draftsmen, despite

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racking their brains over the weekend, cannot come up with a single example, it suggests that the Minister is gold-plating the facilities available.

I suggest strongly that we should impose the example test as a minimum requirement. If even the Minister cannot think of the weirdest and most outlandish example of when he might need to use the power, it is probably a power that he should not have. I am sure that my noble Friends in the other place will have noted the Minister's inability to provide a single example and will want to see whether his noble Friend, given a couple of months' notice, will have come up with something. In the meantime, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 38 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 4 agreed to.

Clauses 39 to 41 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Ian Pearson (Dudley, South): Despite the ritualised protests from the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge about the timetable motion, we have given the Bill detailed and thorough consideration. We have proceeded at a measured pace and agreed an amendment to clause 34 and the basis of a later amendment. We have done some good work.

Further consideration adjourned.—[Mr. Pearson.]

        Adjourned accordingly at one minute to Seven o'clock till Tuesday 8 January 2002 at half-past Four o'clock.

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The following Members attended the Committee:
Benton, Mr. Joe (Chairman)
Cotter, Brian
Hammond, Mr.
Hendry, Mr.
Hughes, Mr. Kevin
Humble, Mrs.
Johnson, Alan
Jones, Helen
Lamb, Norman
Laxton, Mr.

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Lloyd, Mr.
Marris, Rob
Osborne, Mr. George
Pearson, Mr.
Prisk, Mr.
Simmonds, Mr.
Smith, Geraldine
Tami, Mark
Williams, Mrs. Betty

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