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Lord McNally: My Lords, I can certainly echo the Minister in regard to the thoroughness of the debate.

20 Oct 1998 : Column 1368

I thank him for his unfailing courtesy in dealing with the issues that have arisen. I do not intend to delay the House long on the matter.

There are a couple of "tidying up" points. The noble Lord, Lord Haskel, made a curious intervention. I know the noble Lord to be one of the kindest men in this House; therefore I am sure that he was not suggesting that what I have been doing in relation to the Bill is in any way connected to the way in which I earn my living working for a PR company. Since entering this House, I have voluntarily given a quarterly record of what I do in PR to the Register of Members' Interests. When it was last examined by an investigative journalist, he said that it was the most thorough entry in the House. I challenge any Member to look at it. My interests in this matter go back 30 years. I know that it was a debating point, as was mine to the noble Baroness, Lady Oppenheim-Barnes. I never believed Woodrow Wyatt when he was alive, so why should I believe him now that he is dead? With the noble and learned Lord, Lord Fraser, I know that the Front Bench has arrived at its conclusions in the way that Front Benches always do--from the highest of principles.

I had hoped that the Minister, having heard the noble Lords, Lord Borrie, Lord Desai and Lord Judd, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, might have merely echoed Peel at the end of the debates on the Corn Laws. He tore up his speech and said, "You must answer them, for I cannot." Instead, the Minister insisted on sticking to his brief, Tetra Pak and all. We had the old chestnut rolled out that the amendment is unworkable. What the Minister means is that his department does not want to make it work, which is different.

We have a difference of opinion. The Minister believes that by bringing this European jurisprudence into our law, it will provide sufficient teeth to this legislation to offer protection for our newspaper industry. I do not. I also share with the noble Lord, Lord Judd, the concerns that are coming down the track to us. Some massive problems have to be addressed in relation to the concentration of media power and how it influences our democracy.

I have no illusions that this one amendment will meet all those fears. However, it would send out a very strong signal. Yesterday, in The Times, William Rees-Mogg wrote:

    "Debates in the Lords do not count for much; they scarcely travel to the other end of the Palace of Westminster, let alone to the country at large".
If your Lordships support this amendment, your voice will carry to the other end of this palace and to the country at large. It will say that this House is a bastion against this vested interest and an over-powerful executive. I ask the House to agree to my amendment in lieu of Commons Amendment No. 7. I wish to divide the House.

6.46 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment in lieu of Commons Amendment No. 7 shall be agreed to?

20 Oct 1998 : Column 1369

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 87; Not-Contents, 116.

Division No. 2


Ackner, L.
Addington, L.
Ampthill, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Bethell, L.
Biddulph, L.
Borrie, L.
Brightman, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle, E.
Clancarty, E.
Clement-Jones, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Elton, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Fookes, B.
Freyberg, L.
Geddes, L.
Geraint, L.
Glasgow, E.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Grey, E.
Haddington, E.
Hamwee, B.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Inchyra, L.
Jacobs, L.
Jopling, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Kirkwood, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lawrence, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Ludford, B.
McNair, L.
McNally, L. [Teller.]
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Meston, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Milverton, L.
Mountevans, L.
Moyne, L.
Newby, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Ogmore, L.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Razzall, L. [Teller.]
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rowallan, L.
Russell, E.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Salisbury, Bp.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shaughnessy, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thurso, V.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Torrington, V.
Trenchard, V.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.


Ailesbury, M.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bell, L.
Berkeley, L.
Berners, B.
Blackstone, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Burlison, L.
Burns, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Crawley, B.
Cuckney, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Diamond, L.
Dixon, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gallacher, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Grimston of Westbury, L.
Hacking, L.
Hardie, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Islwyn, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Jeffreys, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kintore, E.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
O'Cathain, B.
Orme, L.
Paul, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Shannon, E.
Shepherd, L.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Warner, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Winston, L.
Wynford, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

20 Oct 1998 : Column 1370

6.54 p.m.

Lord Simon of Highbury: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 7.

On Question, Motion agreed to.



Clause 25, page 13, line 2, leave out ("does not infringe") and insert ("has not infringed").

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 8.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 8.--(Lord McIntosh of Haringey.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

20 Oct 1998 : Column 1371



Clause 27, page 13, line 38, after ("document") insert (", or to provide him with specified information,").

Lord Simon of Highbury: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 9, with which is grouped Amendments Nos. 11 to 15, 27, 42 and 43 and 100 to 102.

These amendments are necessary to fill a gap in the investigation provisions of the Bill as currently drafted. The current provisions are largely focused on allowing the director to require the production of documents and explanations of those documents. While "documents" are very widely defined (in Clause 59) to include information "recorded in any form", there are circumstances where it would be essential for the director to be able to require the production of information which is not in such a form but which has to be compiled for the purpose. This may happen in the context of an investigation of a dominant undertaking; for example, where under the Bill as currently drafted, the director would not be able to require the undertaking concerned to produce, say, its sales by volume unless a document containing this information already existed; instead he might have to identify and require individual receipts. Information on market shares might not be compiled systematically by an undertaking in recorded form. It could, however, be compiled, by using the knowledge and experience of the undertaking's sales manager, and this amendment would enable the director to obtain that information, which would otherwise be denied to him.

Similarly, there may be a need for information which is in recorded form to be produced in a different recorded form; for example, the information contained in a large number of individual invoices to be produced, as an overall statement of sales by volume. The power would therefore allow information to be required to be compiled or created to meet the request.

The Bill's powers to investigate suspected infringements of the prohibitions enable the director to require the production of "forecasts". The investigation powers in the Fair Trading Act 1973 had been taken to extend to forecasts. However, the Bill mentions forecasts specifically and the Fair Trading Act provisions do not. This has raised a concern that the inference may be drawn that the 1973 Act does not cover forecasts. Amendments No. 42 and 43 and 100 to 102 are necessary, in tidying up terms, to avoid that inference being drawn. They also deal with the investigation powers in the Competition Act 1980 which will continue to apply for those provisions that are not being repealed.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No.9.--(Lord Simon of Highbury.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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