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Baroness Park of Monmouth: My Lords, before the noble and learned Lord sits down, we are talking about the police board.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, I would remind noble Lords that we are on Report. The

8 Nov 2000 : Column 1667

Minister had replied when the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mayhew, stood up to make his intervention. Noble Lords should not speak after the Minister has replied.

Baroness Park of Monmouth: My Lords, may I continue? How is it possible to equate the statements that, for example, Mr Gerry Adams and Mr Martin McGuinness have made that they are committed to non-violence with the fact that when the bodies were recently supposed to be being returned by the IRA, Gerry Adams, leader of the West Belfast Brigade, went round and told the people who might be getting the bodies back that they must receive them quietly and bury them quietly?

Whatever those people have said in political terms, they are surely not fit to be in charge of the police and legal proceedings of the country, particularly since Gerry Adams has said that he does not recognise British justice. I can see that as a member of the Assembly he may have a valuable contribution to make. But that is surely absolutely different from being responsible for the policing of the country.

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): My Lords, it would be helpful for the purposes of debate, and I hope it would be helpful for the noble Baroness, if I were to repeat what it says in the Companion about Report. It says that only the mover of an amendment or the Lord in charge of the Bill should speak after the Minister on Report, except for short questions of elucidation to the Minister or where the Minister speaks early in order to assist the House in debate.

The noble Lord, Lord Lamont, seems to have a problem with that. Perhaps he would like to rise and make his point.

Lord Lamont of Lerwick: My Lords, this is an extremely serious matter. My noble friend is very well-informed and should be allowed to make her point.

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, the noble Baroness, who is very well-informed and has made many serious and sensible contributions to the debate, has made her point. I am reminding the House about procedure.

Lord Glentoran: My Lords, if the noble Baroness the Leader of the House will forgive me, I believe that that little intervention rather lowered the tone of the debate that we have been having.

I have been asked by the noble and learned Lord to withdraw the amendment. I listened to what was said by the noble Viscount, Lord Brookeborough, my noble and learned friend Lord Mayhew and other noble Lords who have had great experience of Northern Ireland. How many noble Lords on the government side of the House are thinking through this for themselves?

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I understand parliamentary democracy. But I ask you all, when you go home tonight, to think about the truths that you have heard about the happenings in our country. And then I ask you to ask yourselves privately, with peace of mind, whether you would like to have one of those released terrorists in charge of your police force.

I do not believe that the removal clauses are strong enough. But they are certainly better than the provisions in relation to disqualification. I shall seek to test the opinion of the House on Amendment No. 76.

[Amendment No. 75 not moved.]

11 p.m.

Lord Rogan moved Amendment No. 75A:

    Schedule 1, page 46, line 43, at end insert--

("(v) a Minister in the Government of Ireland;
(vi) a Junior Minister in the Government of Ireland;
(vii) a chairman or deputy chairman of--
(a) a committee of the Dail Eireann (House of Representatives of Ireland);
(b) a committee of the Seanad Eireann (Senate of Ireland); or
(c) a joint committee of the Oireachtas (National Parliament of Ireland").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 75A stems from the Disqualifications Bill Committee stage on Monday 6th November. During that debate it was established that, via the Disqualifications Bill, a Minister of the Government of Ireland could sit on the Northern Ireland Assembly. By virtue of their being a member of the Assembly they would have the possibility of receiving a party selection for the police board via the operation of the d'Hondt system. Yet Ministers and junior Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive are expressly excluded from being on the police board. This simple amendment aims to address that anomaly. I beg to move.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, the effect of Amendment No. 75A is to add to the list of offices which, if held, would disqualify the postholder from appointment to the board. It was raised on Monday night when we discussed the Disqualifications Bill. I can assure the noble Lord that we will look at this issue and talk to him about it before reaching the issue on Report in the Disqualification Bill. In the light of that, I ask him to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Rogan: My Lords, in the light of those remarks, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Glentoran moved Amendment No. 76:

    Schedule 1, page 46, line 49, at end insert--

("(d) he has at any time been convicted of a scheduled offence under the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973, the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978, the Northern Ireland (Emergency

8 Nov 2000 : Column 1669

Provisions) Act 1991, the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1996 or Part VII of the Terrorism Act 2000;
(e) he has at any time been convicted in Northern Ireland or elsewhere of any offence and has had passed on him a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not);
(f) the political party of which he is a member is linked to any organisation which has failed to begin the decommissioning of arms and explosives in a manner verified by the Commission referred to in section 7 of the Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act 1997;
(g) he is not committed to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means; or
(h) the political party of which he is a member is linked to an organisation that has failed to satisfy any of the four factors set out in section 3(9)(a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move.

11.3 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 76) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 33; Not-Contents, 116.

Division No. 4


Attlee, E.
Blatch, B.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brookeborough, V.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Cooke of Islandreagh, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dundee, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Glentoran, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Kirkham, L.
Laird, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monson, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Rogan, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Vivian, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Birt, L.
Blackstone, B.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greengross, B.
Grenfell, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Parekh, L.
Peston, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Russell, E.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Sheppard of Liverpool, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Wakefield, Bp.
Warner, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Dartington, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

8 Nov 2000 : Column 1670

11.13 p.m.

Lord Rogan moved Amendment No. 77:

    Schedule 1, page 49, line 28, leave out sub-paragraphs (1) to (4).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 77, I should like to speak also to Amendment No. 78. These amendments are of a pragmatic nature. Together, they would remove the detailed provisions that dictate the procedure for calling a meeting to discuss the possibility of initiating an inquiry. Surely, the details should be related to the meeting at which the decision to initiate an inquiry is taken. The current elaborate procedures in the Bill are totally impractical and place an unnecessary fetter on the ability of the board to call for reports and inquiries. It is the power to call for reports and inquiries which enables the board to hold others to account and thus creates transparency in policing.

I suggest that a safeguard is already provided, in that a substantial number of board members must approve an inquiry before it is initiated. What is the value of that unnecessary and bureaucratic red tape? I urge noble Lords to embrace a pragmatic approach to the procedures by adopting the two amendments and creating a situation in which it is feasible for the board, where necessary, to call for that report or inquiry. I beg to move.

8 Nov 2000 : Column 1671

11.15 p.m.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My Lords, Amendments Nos. 77 and 78 seek to remove the provision requiring the chairman of the board to notify members of a meeting to consider a request for an inquiry. The noble Lord, Lord Smith of Clifton, and the noble Baroness, Lady Harris of Richmond, tabled similar amendments in Committee.

The Government's view is that the provisions in the Bill, Schedule 1, paragraph 18, which are based on arrangements already in place in local government legislation in Northern Ireland--the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972--are unexceptional. The use of the inquiry power itself would only arise in grave or exceptional circumstances. It seems to the Government that a mechanism should be in place to ensure that all members are aware of meetings to discuss such important issues.

The noble Lord, Lord Rogan, referred to the safeguards that are in place at a subsequent meeting at which a decision would be taken as to whether or not to proceed with the inquiry. We believe it is important that all members of the board should be aware of a meeting that is to discuss that possibility. Therefore, I ask the noble Lord, Lord Rogan, not to press the amendment.

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