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Lord Lucas: My Lords, it is a great pity we are not in Committee because I then would have been able to chew in to that load of blather the noble Lord has been given to read. He referred to cost implications for public authorities but that is clearly covered in Clause 11 which gives them an exemption under those circumstances. He talked as if I sought to amend existing statutory obligations, which of course I am not. I merely seek to provide an additional statutory right, or rather not extinguish a statutory right which is about to be extinguished by Clause 20. I am talking about information which would be available in the form that people wanted it were it not for Clause 20 of the Bill. All I am doing is reducing to some extent the impact of Clause 20.

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I do not consider that the Government's response to the amendment is in any way satisfactory. I also understand that there is little hope of my achieving any change in what the Government have said, not even any discussion with regard to putting something in the code of practice. It seems to me desirable that the Liberal Democrats, who have put so much effort in to getting their names on so many amendments, to their own glory, should also be asked to put their names on the Division List against improvements to the Bill and against the extension of the Internet age with regard to the Bill. I wish to test the opinion of the House.

7.24 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 32) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 51; Not-Contents, 132.

Division No. 3


Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fookes, B.
Glentoran, L.
Goschen, V.
Hanningfield, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lucas, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mancroft, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Montrose, D.
Moynihan, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selsdon, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skidelsky, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Vivian, L.
Young, B.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bath and Wells, Bp.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskins, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McCarthy, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Mitchell, L.
Monson, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Orme, L.
Palmer, L.
Parry, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Razzall, L.
Rennard, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Sandberg, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Shepherd, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turnberg, L.
Uddin, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

14 Nov 2000 : Column 205

7.34 p.m.

[Amendment No. 33 not moved.]

Clause 22 [Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters]:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 34:

    Page 14, line 1, at end insert--

("( ) the Tribunal established under section 65 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000,").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, Clause 22(3) lists bodies dealing with security matters. Under subsections (1) and (2), information supplied to a public authority by or relating to these bodies is exempt.

14 Nov 2000 : Column 206

Amendment No. 34 seeks to add the tribunal established under Section 65 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to that list. It is a technical amendment which maintains the completeness of the Bill. I beg to move.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I do not feel that this is a technical amendment. The bodies already listed in this part of the Bill--the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Headquarters--are all part of the security services. But in some aspects this tribunal deals with security services. It deals with the police. The noble Lord, Lord Bassam, will remember what the tribunal deals with. It deals with complaints by ordinary members of the public or by companies about the ways in which the powers under the RIP Act are applied. Anything to do with the security services will be caught by the current wording of Clause 22. But a certain amount of business done by the tribunal under the RIP Act has nothing to do with the security services--putting it at its furthest, it is a police matter--but in the way in which the various organs of the Government and state are authorised to act under the RIP Act, it impinges considerably on the general freedom of ordinary citizens.

The amendment has no place whatsoever in the Bill. To the extent that the provision is necessary, it is already covered. To the extent that it is unnecessary, it is iniquitous. The Government should rethink what they seek to do.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I have a great deal of sympathy with my noble friend Lord Lucas. The amendment appears to be another catch-all by the Government. The tribunal will hear complaints regarding decryption notices and the like, which lead us back to the RIP Act. Some people were concerned about the way in which the Act impinged on the freedom of the individual. The Minister has not explained why this provision is necessary given that many of the organisations listed in paragraphs (a) to (f) are already covered by the Bill. It seems surprising that the RIP legislation should be brought into this Bill.

There is doubt, although not perhaps in Ministers' minds, about the legality of the RIP Act in relation to European Commission rules. I understand that that matter is still being discussed. If something happened there--the Government will tell me that it will not happen because they are sure that the legislation is all right--would that cause problems with this Bill?

This seems a terrific blanket exemption given to the tribunal which exists, as I recall the RIP Act, to protect the individual against the kind of encroachment that the state can make on us by the use of the Internet. Many of us are uncomfortable about the snooping ability of many people. To discover that we cannot find out anything about it when the matter goes to a tribunal is an issue that has properly to be argued by Government and not slipped in before we go to dinner.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, that is a little unfair. First, the timing was agreed by the Front

14 Nov 2000 : Column 207

Bench. Secondly, the amendment in effect includes in the list the tribunal that will replace tribunals already referred to in the list in Clause 22(3). The purpose of the tribunal is to deal with all complaints against the intelligence agencies, complaints regarding the use of the powers in Section 17 of the RIP Act, exclusion of material from legal proceedings, and any other proceedings allocated to it by the Secretary of State. I am advised that those are the sorts of things dealt with already by the tribunals identified in Clause 22 which it will replace. So although it is perfectly legitimate to raise these issues, this is in effect a technical amendment because it identifies the name and status of the new tribunal dealing with the issues dealt with by the other tribunals.

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