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Mr. McNamara: I cannot go into the Lobby with the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) because I am still confused. I am confused about what happened this afternoon. I am confused by what seemed to be given with one hand and taken away with the other. In fact, if there were a third hand, it would have been snatched away even further. I may be confused because of my age—I therefore have a vested interest in the Bill—but I am certain that my hon. Friend the Minister is not at one with the interpretation that the archbishop gave to his conversations and correspondence with my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor. I asked him whether the legislation in the other House would reflect Archbishop Smith's understanding as contained in his letter to the Lord Chancellor. He said that that depends on the amendments and on the lawyers, but he could not say yes.

When my right hon. Friend the Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) asked my hon. Friend the Minister whether the legislation would encompass the spirit if not the letter of new clauses 1 and 2, he answered in the affirmative—he said the same in his winding-up speech—but new clause 2 specifically contains the provision about nutrition and hydration. My hon. Friend the Minister seemed throughout the
14 Dec 2004 : Column 1635
debate to be hung up on Bland. Rightly or wrongly, as the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr. Duncan Smith) said, we may have lost the argument on Bland, but for the purposes of our argument today, Bland was out of the window.

All the amendments specifically gave to the courts the right to decide the situation when people are in a permanent vegetative state, so that was outside the argument, but my hon. Friend the Minister spent a lot of his time discussing that issue, as though it were being attacked, when, in fact, none of the amendments was attacking that issue. So we came to the question in Archbishop Smith's letter. His interpretation was that acts of omission in relation to nutrition and hydration would be included in the new legislation in another place, and we have not had a specific reply to that.

I said earlier that I would give the Government the benefit of the doubt on these matters, and I am still prepared to do so on Third Reading by not voting against the Bill, but my hon. Friend the Minister and the Lord Chancellor should bear it in mind that—whatever was agreed between the meeting of the parliamentary Labour party on Monday and meetings between the Lord Chancellor, the Prime Minister and other interested parties last night and undertakings given to Archbishop Smith—there is still an enormous question mark about what was and what was not agreed. Some of the things that my hon. Friend the Minister has said seem to be at variance with what Archbishop Smith seemed to suggest was said in his agreement with the Lord Chancellor. For that reason, I shall again abstain.

6.58 pm

Mr. Duncan Smith: I shall be brief; I do not have a lot of choice in the matter. May I simply say this evening that I am not convinced by what took place at the Dispatch Box during the debates on new clauses 1 and 2? I accept fully that the Minister's colleagues would have wanted to believe the best. That is the case in all parties—we want to believe the best of Governments and Ministers of our own party and accept them at face value—but I am reminded of the expression, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." I did not find a bird in the hand at the end of the debate; what I found were promises.

With respect, the Minister has had weeks and weeks to come up with this. I recall that on the Hunting Bill the Government said that this place must make decisions and that the other place up the Corridor was not worthy of being relied on to make decisions. Tonight the Minister comes to the Dispatch Box and tells us, "Actually, we will do all the decision making in the other place because this place is not worthy of making decisions." I simply say to everyone in the House tonight that I cannot support the Bill as it stands right now.

It being Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
14 Dec 2004 : Column 1636

The House divided: Ayes 354, Noes 118.

Division No. 17
[7 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allan, Richard
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Arbuthnot, rh James
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh A. J.
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Bercow, John
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Burstow, Paul
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Cairns, David
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chidgey, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Corston, rh Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curry, rh David
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Doughty, Sue
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Farrelly, Paul
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Heath, David
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith (Streatham)
Holmes, Paul
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, rh John
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, rh Alan (Hull W)
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keetch, Paul
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Kennedy, rh Jane (Wavertree)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, David
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, rh Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, rh John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
Mackay, rh Andrew
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moore, Michael
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Ottaway, Richard
Owen, Albert
Page, Richard
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Rendel, David
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Short, rh Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, rh Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Tyrie, Andrew
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James (Glasgow Baillieston)
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Jim Murphy and
Jim Fitzpatrick


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Ancram, rh Michael
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Battle, rh John
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Beresford, Sir Paul
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, David
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Colman, Tony
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Crausby, David
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Drew, David (Stroud)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Galloway, George
Garnier, Edward
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Gummer, rh John
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hunter, Andrew
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Jenkin, Bernard
Kilfoyle, Peter
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lilley, rh Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackinlay, Andrew
Malins, Humfrey
Mallon, Seamus
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
Moss, Malcolm
Mudie, George
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Pollard, Kerry
Pugh, Dr. John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Dame Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruffley, David
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Streeter, Gary
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Trend, Michael
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Watkinson, Angela
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)

Tellers for the Noes:

Miss Ann Widdecombe and
Ann Winterton

Question accordingly agreed to.

14 Dec 2004 : Column 1639

Bill read the Third time, and passed.

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