16 Jul 2004 : Column 1641

House of Commons

Friday 16 July 2004

The House met at half-past Nine o'clock


The First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means took the Chair as Deputy Speaker, pursuant to the Standing Order.

[Sylvia Heal in the Chair]

Mr. Julian Brazier (Canterbury) (Con) rose—


Cod Crusaders

9.34 am

Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): The hon. Member for Canterbury (Mr. Brazier) should know that everything comes to those who wait.

I am delighted to present the petition of the Cod Crusaders community campaign and particularly the organisers of the national and international petition that is circulating in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the material allegations of which concern the iniquities of the common fisheries policy and the disgraceful failure of the Government to allow time for debate, discussion and decision on the Fisheries Jurisdiction Bill, in my name and before the House, and similar Bills in the names of other hon. Members.

The petition reads:

16 Jul 2004 : Column 1642

Morag Ritchie from the Cod Crusaders community campaign signed the petition.

To lie upon the Table.

Mr. Brazier: I beg to move, That the House do sit in private.

Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 163 (Motion to sit in private):—

The House proceeded to a Division.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal): I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.

The House having divided: Ayes 0, Noes 34.

Division No. 229
[9.36 am


Tellers for the Ayes:

Dr. Julian Lewis and
Mr. Eric Forth


Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Barnes, Harry
Bell, Sir Stuart
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Coaker, Vernon
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Evans, Nigel
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Gardiner, Barry
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Jamieson, David
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Mactaggart, Fiona
Michael, rh Alun
Mountford, Kali
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Paterson, Owen
Prosser, Gwyn
Quinn, Lawrie
Randall, John
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Salmond, Alex
Shaw, Jonathan
Skinner, Dennis
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Walter, Robert
Williams, Roger (Brecon)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. John Burnett and
Sir George Young

It appearing on the report of the Division that fewer than 40 Members had taken part in the Division, Madam Deputy Speaker declared that the Question was not decided in the affirmative.

16 Jul 2004 : Column 1642

16 Jul 2004 : Column 1643

Orders of the Day

Promotion of Volunteering Bill

As amended in the Standing Committee, considered.

Mr. Andrew Dismore (Hendon) (Lab): On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am sure that you will have noticed that the promoter's new clause 29, together with a couple of consequential amendments, effectively completely changes the Bill that was considered on Second Reading and in Committee. It would be far more appropriate if the Bill were recommitted to Standing Committee for reconsideration. As the hon. Member who is in charge of the Bill will have priority in this matter, I wonder whether you have had any requests from the hon. Member for Canterbury (Mr. Brazier) for the Bill to be recommitted so that it can be properly considered in the light of his completely changing its original format.

Mr. Julian Brazier (Canterbury) (Con): Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The reason why I have made no submission of the sort to which the hon. Gentleman refers is that the changes that we are proposing seek simply to remove all the controversial aspects of the Bill, so that we can present it in a form that we thought might be fully acceptable in all parts of the House.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal): I am authorised by Mr. Speaker to decline to accept any motion to recommit the Bill.

New Clause 29

Declaration as to Extent of Liability in Negligence

'(1)   In respect of volunteering and voluntary organisations there is no liability in negligence for something that might not be avoided by taking reasonable care or exercising reasonable skill.

(2)   The cases to which subsection (1) applies include, for example, cases where liability in negligence is alleged to arise in connection with recreational, sporting, play or other activities as a result of something that is an inherent risk of the activity concerned.

(3)   Where persons suffering harm (and the parents of minors suffering harm) have knowingly accepted that there were risks involved, the court shall take account of that fact.

(4)   In this section "negligence" means the breach—

(a)   of any obligation, arising from the express or implied terms of a contract, to take reasonable care or exercise reasonable skill in the performance of the contract;

(b)   of any common law duty to take reasonable care or exercise reasonable skill (but not any stricter duty);

(c)   of the common duty of care imposed by the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 or the duty imposed by the Occupiers' Liability Act 1984.

(5)   The Secretary of State shall by regulations prescribe the meaning of "volunteering" and "voluntary organisations" in this section.

(6)   Regulations under subsection (5) shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.'.—[Mr. Brazier.]

Brought up, and read the First time.
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9.54 am

Mr. Brazier: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Madam Deputy Speaker : With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: New clause 3—Non-application to fatal accidents—

   'This Act shall not apply to civil proceedings in court for negligence or breach of statutory duty in respect of fatal accidents.'.

New clause 6—Role of expert evidence—

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