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Lord Williams of Mostyn: Perhaps I may deal with those points without discourtesy. Amendment No. 26 is not included in this grouping. For appropriate reasons, it has been tabled separately and we shall debate it in due course.

13 Nov 2000 : Column 78

Although I am a confirmed and baptised member of the Church in Wales, I am always happy to accept guidance from a sister Church. The right reverend Prelate is quite right: one cannot found criminal law on the basis of intent. However, I believe that once upon a time, in ancient China, there was an offence called the "possession of dangerous thoughts".

Baroness Blatch: I am grateful for this important debate. Certainly, given the tone of the noble and learned Lord's reply, mutual concerns have been expressed on this issue.

Perhaps I may deal first with the word "normally". I am concerned that a young person is afforded protection only if they are accommodated and cared for in an institution. If they happen to be farmed out temporarily, then they will lose the protection. The intention behind the use of the word "normally" was to ensure that if a young person is normally resident in one home, but for the purposes of the offence happened to be sent off--as in the case of the incidents in Wales--to a paedophile ring operating in a bungalow, then they will still receive the protection of the law. If the noble and learned Lord can point out in what way this is the wrong word to use, then I shall be prepared not to press those two amendments, although I believe that that would leave in place a rather rigid interpretation of the protection; namely, that someone must at all times be accommodated and cared for within one institution.

We shall not oppose the abuse of trust clause as it stands. Our wish and intention is to improve and to strengthen it. The noble and learned Lord referred to the Bryn Alyn cases. However, I should point out that many of the abusers mentioned in the Waterhouse report were convicted of an "age of consent" offence--buggery and/or gross indecency. The protection as regards gross indecency will be removed under the present Bill if the Government accept that buggery should remain at 18. However, the advantage of an age of consent offence is that the prosecutor has to prove only that the action took place; thus there is no need to consider whether consent was or was not withheld.

The noble and learned Lord has argued that a review is currently being undertaken. It will consult until next spring and it may be that further legislation will be required. However, I do not think that anything in these amendments would preclude further strengthening of the Bill. Indeed, we would welcome that. We hope that a further Bill will be announced in the forthcoming gracious Speech.

If consent is not an issue, then an offence will have been committed. I believe that these are young people who are in a very vulnerable position. We know that the kind of people who abuse children can be extremely manipulative and do manage to find their way into positions as mentors, advisers and care workers. Given the importance of these amendments, and the fact that they would not preclude any further legislation to strengthen the law in this area, I wish to test the opinion of the Committee.

13 Nov 2000 : Column 79

7.7 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 17) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 139; Not-Contents, 124.

Division No. 2


Ackner, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Arran, E.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Barber, L.
Bell, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B. [Teller]
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brightman, L.
Brigstocke, B.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Chadlington, L.
Chelmsford, Bp.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Cranborne, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fitt, L.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hanson, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Haslam, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Holderness, L.
Home, E.
Inglewood, L.
Islwyn, L.
Jellicoe, E.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laird, L.
Liverpool, E.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mancroft, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Nickson, L.
Noakes, B.
Norfolk, D.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Orme, L.
Palmer, L.
Palumbo, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Parkinson, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Prentice, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selsdon, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Simon, V.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Sterling of Plaistow, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Tombs, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakefield, Bp.
Wakeham, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wilcox, B.
Wolfson, L.
Young, B.


Addington, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bath and Wells, Bp.
Birmingham, Bp.
Birt, L.
Blackstone, B.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Burlison, L.
Burns, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dholakia, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Geraint, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grabiner, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hattersley, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B. [Teller]
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Jacobs, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jeger, B.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lincoln, Bp.
Lipsey, L.
Listowel, E.
Lockwood, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Manchester, Bp.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Northbourne, L.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Patel, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Portsmouth, Bp.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Razzall, L.
Rennard, L.
Richardson of Calow, B.
Roper, L.
Russell, E. [Teller]
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Serota, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skidelsky, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warnock, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchester, Bp.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

13 Nov 2000 : Column 81

7.17 p.m.

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 18:

    Page 3, line 19, at end insert--

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