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The Earl of Courtown: My Lords, I agree with the point made by my noble friend. As I said earlier, the Government have given a clear undertaking to consult all interested parties on the circular. All the issues covered by the amendments will be addressed in the guidance. Given those assurances, I hope that the noble Lord will agree not to press his amendment.

Lord Meston: My Lords, I am both reassured and grateful. I have qualified most of the provisions within the amendment with the expression, "except in an emergency". The only point that I should like to add is that I hope the guidance will recognise that there must be very few emergencies so great as to preclude some warning to the licence holder of the concerns of the police and some warning, even if it is a matter of a few minutes or a few hours, of the imminent meeting of the relevant licensing authority. As I said, I am reassured, and on that basis I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 3 [Consequential provision for special hours certificates]:

Baroness Anelay of St Johns moved Amendment No. 17:


Page 5, line 37, leave out from ("of") to second ("reinstated") in line 42 and insert ("--
(a) an application for the renewal of a licence being refused under paragraph 6A(2) of Schedule 1 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 or

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paragraph 2A(2) of Schedule 12 to the London Government Act 1963, or
(b) a licence being revoked under paragraph 11A(2) or 12(5) of Schedule 1 or paragraph 9A(2) or 10(4A) of Schedule 12,
the certificate shall be reinstated if the licence is subsequently renewed under paragraph 17 of Schedule 1 or paragraph 19 of Schedule 12 or if the licence is subsequently").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I recognise that we need to look again at the provisions for safeguarding the special hours certificates in the event of a local authority accepting representations against revocation or a successful appeal in the courts. I suggest that my amendment now covers both those eventualities. However, I am not sure that the amendment tabled in the name of the noble Lord would quite fulfil that purpose. I also question whether the reference in that amendment to the circumstance of a licence transfer is appropriate as refusal to transfer an entertainments licence does not in itself mean that the licence comes to an end. In those circumstances, I hope that the noble Lord will accept that my amendment deals adequately with the issue and that he will agree not to press his amendment. I beg to move.

Lord Meston: My Lords, I can assure the House that drafting Amendment No. 18 was a painful process. However, I am quite prepared to accept that Amendment No. 17 is much better.

The Earl of Courtown: My Lords, further consideration has been given to ensure that club owners whose representations or appeals are successful would not be disadvantaged if they then had to wait while their application for a special hours certificate was being processed. My noble friend's amendment gives further safeguards and is supported by the Government.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 18 not moved.]

Clause 4 [Short title, commencement and extent]:

Lord Meston moved Amendment No. 19:


Page 6, line 4, after ("appoint") insert ("after the issue by the Secretary of State of guidance under sections (Guidance by the Secretary of State").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the amendment simply seeks to provide that the legislation shall not come into force until the issue by the Secretary of State of the guidance which has already been provided for within the body of the Bill as it now stands amended. I hope that it is consistent with an indication given at an earlier stage by the Government. On that basis, I beg to move.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, my comments on this amendment refer back to what I said

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when responding to Amendment No. 16. For the reasons that I expressed then, I hope that the noble Lord will see fit to withdraw the amendment.

The Earl of Courtown: My Lords, I concur with my noble friend. I also spoke to the amendment when responding to Amendment No. 16.

Lord Meston: My Lords, I am, therefore, hopeful that the spirit of the amendment will be observed. On that understanding, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Then, Standing Order No. 44 having been suspended (pursuant to Resolution of 18th March), Bill read a third time.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill do now pass.

Given the amount of business yet to pass through this House tonight, I hope that noble Lords will understand if I cut short the usual courtesies in expressing my thanks to all noble Lords who have taken part in the proceedings on the Bill from Second Reading onwards. I am most grateful to all those who have underlined their commitment to the principles behind the legislation.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.--(Baroness Anelay of St Johns.)

Baroness Masham of Ilton: My Lords, I should like to congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay of St Johns, for the sterling work that she has undertaken during the passage of the Bill in your Lordships' House. There have been some concessions to the Bill, so I hope that the public entertainment industry will do all that it can to eliminate drug use at premises where many young people go to enjoy themselves.

As I said at Second Reading, I hope that the health and safety regulations will be put in place as soon as possible. That should be done before the hot summer. It should not be too difficult as Scotland already has them. It really is inhuman to turn off the water so that desperately thirsty young people who have been dancing for long periods are forced to buy expensive bottles of drink. The country was alerted to the very difficult problems of the drug culture by the Daily Express campaign last week. I hope this Bill will send a positive message to clubs and local authorities that they have to take this matter seriously.

Lord Gladwin of Clee: My Lords, I wish briefly from these Benches to congratulate my noble friend-- I must be careful about this--Lady Anelay of St Johns--on carrying through this Bill which I think has been described as a small Bill. However, it is an important weapon in the fight against drugs dealing and drugs misuse in this country. I warmly congratulate the noble Baroness on the work that she has done. I also thank the noble Earl, Lord Courtown, for his co-operation and help as this Bill has proceeded.

Lord Meston: My Lords, I, too, warmly congratulate the noble Baroness on her conduct of this Bill through

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your Lordships' House. It was important that this Bill had some scrutiny in your Lordships' House, particularly as it received only a Second Reading in another place. That has enabled us to look at this Bill and to improve it somewhat. It is perhaps fortunate that most of the improvements were foreshadowed by debates which we were able to have at a more leisurely pace than during the accelerated procedures of recent days. I thank the noble Baroness and the Minister for their responsiveness to the suggestions which have been made at various stages. I certainly hope that this Bill achieves all that it sets out to achieve.

The Earl of Courtown: My Lords, I shall speak briefly. I can probably agree with everything that has been said, in particular as regards my admiration for my noble friend and the way she has handled the Bill. It has not been an easy process. When I came to this House I presented a Private Member's Bill before I joined the Front Bench. The noble Lord, Lord Meston, smiles. That Bill was debated and it went to Committee stage. As the noble Lord, Lord Gladwin, has said, this Bill is an important weapon and we wish it well.

On Question, Bill passed, and returned to the Commons with amendments.

Police and Firemen's Pensions Bill

Brought from the Commons; read a first time, and to be printed.

Contract (Scotland) Bill

8.32 p.m.

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: My Lords, I understand that no amendments have been set down to this Bill and that no noble Lord has indicated a wish to move a manuscript amendment or to speak in Committee. Therefore, unless any noble Lord objects, I beg to move that the order of commitment be discharged.

Moved, That the order of commitment be discharged.--(Lord Mackay of Drumadoon.)

Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove: My Lords, the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate will realise that because of the unnatural nature of our Sitting tonight we have not really had any time to receive anything from our normal sources in Scotland in terms of an examination of the Bill. However, we trust in the good faith of the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate and we have no comments to make on the Bill as it stands.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Then, Standing Order No. 44 having been suspended (pursuant to Resolution of 18th March):

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time. This Bill is the result of careful work by the Scottish Law

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Commission whose proposals for the reform of the three bad rules of contract law received virtually unanimous approval. This is a technical provision but it nevertheless removes the risk of injustice and confusion. I hope that it is accepted as being a valuable and much needed reform. I strongly commend it to the House.

Bill read a third time, and passed.


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