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The Earl of Onslow: My Lords, I, too, was not going to take part in this. However, I am worried and curious about this amendment, which is in danger of being a catch all amendment. It is rather like that wonderful old phrase in the Army,

It seems that almost anything, with a certain amount of imagination, can be described as terrorism. I completely understand the difficulty which everybody is in. Terrorism has to be defined. We all recognise it when we see it but, if we are not careful, the definition will be too wide. Perhaps I may leave that view with the Minister. It is a dilemma in which I find myself.

Lord Bach: My Lords, I am extremely grateful to noble Lords, as are the Government, for the assistance we have had in attempting to get right this difficult definition. As has been said, it clearly is not an easy task and there are dangers both ways in attempting to do so.

Some noble Lords gave almost unqualified support to our new definition. We are grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Cope of Berkeley, for what he said both on behalf of himself and of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, who was good enough to correspond with my noble friend yesterday and say that he was satisfied with the new Clause 1. That is an important consideration for noble Lords, if one bears in mind the expertise and experience of the noble and learned Lord in this field.

The Government are comforted by the fact that noble Lords around the House feel that this is an improvement--perhaps even a big improvement--on the stab we made at it in the original Bill that came to this House.

A number of questions have been asked which I shall do my best to answer. The noble Lord, Lord Monson, asked about hunger strikers or the terrorist risking blowing himself up. That point was also made by the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont. We do not believe that that would be covered. It would not, by reason only that such a person endangered his own life, fall within what we believe is the obvious sense of subsection (1A)(c). That person would also have to put the public at risk.

The noble Lord, Lord Hylton, asked a question about recent events which we were all sorry to hear caused him such inconvenience last weekend. The

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answer to his question as to whether we believe that was linked with terrorism is no. The recent events are apparently considered to be related to that famous animal, "The love bug", which the House knows about. There was no direct connection because there was not believed to be a terrorist motivation. However, considerable thought has been given to the reality of the difficulties last weekend.

The noble Baroness, Lady Park, asked a question about banishing families. A threat of violence may well be involved, coupled with a political motivation. We believe that banishing is caught by the provisions. I hope that that goes some way to satisfying her concern.

The noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, asked about matters close to home. We are aware of a campaign being conducted by animal rights supporters against Huntingdon Life Sciences Company and the criminal activities of a small minority directed at the employees and shareholders. As the noble Baroness will understand, this is an operational matter for the police. They, together with the courts, have the full support of the Government in dealing with those responsible for criminal acts.

Whether that is covered by this definition depends on the nature of the attack. If serious violence was used, the public was put at fear and the motivation was religious, political or ideological, I can tell the noble Baroness that it could be caught by the provisions set out in Clause 1 of the Bill.

I turn to the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, and his concern about the definition of the word "serious" connected with the word "violence". It seems to us that this is not a real problem. The noble Lord, Lord Avebury, is surrounded by noble Lords who have no doubt summed up to juries on the meaning of grievous bodily harm, a phrase used in the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. If I remember rightly, judges will sum up grievous bodily harm as meaning really serious bodily harm. There seems to be no difficulty with the courts defining grievous bodily harm, although it is almost lost in the mists of antiquity. I do not believe there will be any problem in sorting out serious violence from what is not serious violence. Magistrates and juries do it every day of their lives.

Perhaps I may reflect on the second point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, and write to him.

We have had a fairly brief debate on this important issue. The Government are grateful for the support they have received. We know that this is not necessarily the end of the story. However, we believe that we have gone a long way towards satisfying the House.

3.45 p.m.

Lord Monson: My Lords, before the Minister sits down perhaps I may raise one point. We are all grateful to the Minister for his lengthy and considered reply. However, would he not agree that a hunger strike is a threat of action designed to influence the Government which endangers a person's life? The Minister has not had much time to consider this point,

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which was raised by the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley, and myself. I wonder whether he would agree to look at it again between now and Third Reading and possibly come back to us at that point.

Lord Bach: My Lords, of course we will.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, perhaps I may ask for clarification. I thank him for the detailed answer he gave about the staff of Huntingdon Life Sciences Company. As I understand it, the Minister said that where serious violence or the threat of serious violence caused distress to the public, it would be caught by the measures contained in Amendment No. 1. Can the Minister tell us whether, for the purposes of Clause 1, members of staff are members of the public?

Lord Bach: My Lords, I hope I was careful in the phrase I used. "If serious violence was used and the public was put at fear" was the expression I used. That includes members of staff. But it must be remembered that the motivation of those who put people at fear and use serious violence must be either religious, political or ideological.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 2 not moved.]

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 3 and 4:

    Page 1, line 13, leave out ("subsection (1)") and insert ("this section").

    Page 1, line 18, at end insert (", and

(d) "the government" means the government of the United Kingdom, of a Part of the United Kingdom or of a country other than the United Kingdom.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 5 not moved.]

Clause 3 [Proscription]:

Lord Glentoran moved Amendment No. 6:

    Page 2, line 25, at end insert--

("(6) In exercising his powers to proscribe organisations under subsection (3), the Secretary of State must take into account the activities of any organisation engaging in terrorist activities (as defined in this Act) in countries other than the United Kingdom.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, we have just had an interesting debate. But one point worries me in relation to this Bill, which I strongly support. The Bill has evolved from our experience of dealing with local terrorism during the past 30 years, both through legislation and sophisticated intelligence. But the world of terrorism has expanded and become equally sophisticated. In fact, the danger from terrorism today to this nation is considerably more than it was 30 years ago.

As I understand it, this Bill is an attempt to further assist the authorities in preventing terrorism and protecting the people of this country from terrorist atrocities. I do not want to see two classes of terrorism in the Bill. But I want to ensure that there is adequate cover to deal with, and be ready for, the international terrorist.

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I hope that the Minister will say that Amendment No. 6 is already covered in the Bill. But I should like to be reassured that in the proscribing of organisations in Schedule 2 there is a bounden duty on the Secretary of State of the day to take note of terrorist organisations which are known throughout the world, which are active in other parts of the world, and which are occasionally listed by other governments, and to make the necessary decisions in the light of that serious appraisal. I beg to move.

Lord Molyneaux of Killead: My Lords, I support the amendment. If we expect other countries to co-operate fully in the elimination of terrorism worldwide, we in the United Kingdom must transmit to foreign governments and foreign courts that we are clear-headed about the control of terrorism in our own territory and reassure them that we will co-operate with them in their efforts to eliminate it.

Lord Hylton: My Lords, it occurs to me that this amendment may not be entirely necessary. I say that because this country ratified a whole number of international covenants attempting to deal with international terrorism. Also, it would be impossible for the Secretary of State to list every organisation which has been involved in terrorism at some time or other and in some part of the world or another. The situation changes frequently and the list would quickly become out of date. That is my view.

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