Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Howell: My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend for informing the House what I knew he would say as a result of discussions; namely, that he could make no progress with us today. One of the reasons put to me privately was that this was part of a manifesto commitment. I have revisited the manifesto. It says

16 Oct 1997 : Column 578

nothing about competition shooting, the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games, and certainly nothing about the disabled games. I have also been informed, quite rightly, that this is a Cabinet decision. I am sure that it is. But I do not believe for a moment that the Cabinet spent any time considering these aspects of the matter. It has given just blanket support to the proposals of the previous government, who also got it wrong. That is why we find ourselves in the present position.

The speech of the noble Lord, Lord Addington, was quite extraordinary. He accused us of trying to do some special pleading or tokenism on behalf of the disabled. Having spent many years here, I have been under the impression that the whole of Parliament has been in favour of giving special consideration to the disabled. Bill after Bill has been passed to protect the rights of the disabled. How on earth does one protect the rights of the disabled unless there is special pleading on their behalf? I do not understand how that would be possible.

Earl Russell: My Lords, perhaps I may try to assist the noble Lord. My noble friend said that noble Lords--myself among others--had spent a great deal of time trying to help disabled people to do things that able-bodied people could do, even if they required special help to do it. This amendment proposes that disabled people should be allowed to do what able-bodied people are not allowed to do.

Lord Howell: My Lords, of course it would enable disabled people to do what able-bodied people are not allowed to do. In the circumstances we are discussing--whether or not they should be allowed to enjoy their sport, which everybody else can do in this country one way or another--the only way in which to help disabled shooters is to adopt this proposal.

No amendment in which I have been involved since entering this House has been more responsibly drawn up. It gives the Secretary of State power to control everything. It provides that registered disabled people who would be able to take advantage of the amendment must be approved by the Secretary of State. Further, the latter half of the amendment provides that they must be subject to two specific and very close conditions. One could not be more responsible than that.

In conclusion, I appreciate the position in which my right honourable friend the Minister finds himself. He said that disabled gun shooters could change to rifles. I have read in the newspapers--whether or not it is true I do not know--a suggestion that there is to be another White Paper on the subject of restricting the use of rifles. If that is so, I hope that my right honourable friend will correct it so that these people can move to another sport for the time being. If that happened that would be the result. Whether or not it is true, I can only tell noble Lords that I have read it.

As far as concerns this amendment, I simply record my sadness and say that, as loyal as I am to my Government, my lifelong attempt to help the disabled in

16 Oct 1997 : Column 579

sport compels me to ask the House to declare its wisdom on this matter.

5.25 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

*Their Lordships divided: Contents, 120; Not-Contents, 101.

Division No. 1


Aberdare, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Annaly, L.
Astor, V.
Attlee, E.
Belstead, L.
Berners, B.
Birdwood, L.
Blatch, B.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brigstocke, B.
Brookes, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burton, L.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Chesham, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Congleton, L.
Cottesloe, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Cranborne, V.
Crawshaw, L.
Cross, V.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Derwent, L.
Dilhorne, V.
Dundee, E.
Foley, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gainsborough, E.
Gisborough, L.
Haddington, E.
Halsbury, E.
Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Harmsworth, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hemphill, L.
Henley, L.
Holderness, L.
Hood, V.
Howe, E.
Howell, L. [Teller.]
Howie of Troon, L.
Hunt of Tanworth, L.
Hylton, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Ilchester, E.
Kilmarnock, L.
Kintore, E.
Leicester, Bp.
Leigh, L.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
McNair, L.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Mersey, V.
Milverton, L.
Molloy, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monson, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L. [Teller.]
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Nathan, L.
Newall, L.
Noel-Buxton, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prentice, L.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Reading, M.
Renton, L.
Romney, E.
Rotherwick, L.
Rowallan, L.
Saint Albans, D.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Saint Oswald, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandwich, E.
Shrewsbury, E.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Sudeley, L.
Swansea, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Tollemache, L.
Vivian, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wharton, B.
Yarborough, E.
Young, B.
Younger of Prestwick, L.
Zouche of Haryngworth, L.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blyth, L.
Borrie, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Calverley, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Chandos, V.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Drogheda, E.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fitt, L.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanworth, V.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L. [Teller.]
Hayman, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lawrence, L.
Leathers, V.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lestor of Eccles, B.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
McCarthy, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McNally, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Nelson, E.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Oxford, Bp.
Paul, L.
Peston, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Richard, L. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Russell, E.
Sandberg, L.
Serota, B.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Wallace of Coslany, L.
Walpole, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.

16 Oct 1997 : Column 580

[*The Tellers for the Contents reported 120 names. The Clerks recorded 119.]

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

5.33 p.m.

Clause 2 [Consequential amendments and repeals]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 3:

Page 2, leave out lines 15 to 21.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is an amendment to which I referred briefly earlier. The amendment, if it meets your Lordships' approval, will have the effect of making the compensation scheme arrangements for small calibre pistols subject to the same affirmative resolution procedure as was applied earlier this year to

16 Oct 1997 : Column 581

the compensation arrangements for large calibre handguns. It will mean that a draft scheme will be laid before both Houses for approval.

Your Lordships will recall that an amendment to that effect was tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, in Committee. I explained--or ventured to--why I considered it to be unnecessary but promised to consider the issue further. The noble Baroness withdrew the amendment on the basis of that undertaking.

The Government have always made it clear that the compensation scheme for small calibre pistols and ancillary equipment would be based on the same principles as those which govern the existing compensation scheme for large calibre handguns, which was brought in by the previous government.

I said that we had given careful consideration to the report of the Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation but disagreed with the committee's conclusion that the compensation scheme should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. The committee came to its conclusion on the basis that the compensation arrangements were controversial. I accept that the banning of small calibre pistols may be controversial, but the payment of compensation for those pistols, on the same model as used for large calibre handguns, is not.

A requirement to seek the approval of both Houses, under the affirmative resolution procedure, of a draft compensation scheme, will inevitably delay the implementation of the provisions of this Bill and will delay the arrival of certainty for those individuals who own small calibre pistols.

We have taken note of the strength of feeling in the House on this issue, not least the views of the Select Committee, which we respect. Because of that, although I remain heretically unconvinced, the Government are prepared to accede to the request to adopt the affirmative resolution procedure. I ask your Lordships to accept the amendment.

I wrote to the noble Baroness several weeks ago to inform her of the Government's proposal, and it is probably better if I inform your Lordships of a possible late amendment. We have received a number of representations for possible exemptions for certain types of slaughtering implements used in abattoirs. They are of .22 inch rimfire calibre. We are considering that issue. If appropriate, and the amendment is within the scope of the Bill, we intend to bring forward a suitable amendment. It may be of assistance to your Lordships to know that at this stage. I beg to move.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page