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Lord Glentoran: My Lords, I beg to take issue with the noble and learned Lord that the explanation was a little lengthy; it was extremely lengthy. But perhaps I may say that it was very coherent to those of us who are familiar with the Bill. It covers a large range of issues which we have debated and some which I regret we have been unable to question and challenge more fully.

As regards the issue concerning Amendments Nos. 17A and 26A, I accept that the Government have come a very long way from the original drafting of the Bill in building in safeguards around all the issues of inquiries and those that go with it. Many of the amendments that the noble and learned Lord has been speaking to do, indeed, introduce safeguards to the whole judicial process. However, what worries me particularly, has worried me from the beginning, still worries me and I should like to see on the face of the Bill, concerns,

That, surely, in any democracy must be a sound reason for not disclosing certain information by a Chief Constable.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

3 Apr 2003 : Column 1495


16Clause 18, page 11, line 35, after "information", insert "and documents"

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 16. I have already spoken to this amendment with Amendment No. 4, as your Lordships recall. I beg to move.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 16.—(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


17Page 12, line 3, after "information", insert "is—
(a) information the disclosure of which would be likely to put an individual in danger, or
(b) information which"

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 17. I have already spoken to this amendment with Amendment No. 4. I believe that now is the brief opportunity for the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 17.—(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

[Amendment to Commons Amendment No. 17]

17ALine 3, at end insert—
"(aa) information the disclosure of which would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,"

Lord Glentoran: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 17A as an amendment to Commons Amendment No. 17.

Moved, That the House do agree with Amendment No. 17A, as an amendment to Commons Amendment No. 17.—(Lord Glentoran.)

Lord Rogan: My Lords, there is no need for me to spend too long reiterating the arguments expressed often in this House and in another place. The Government have yet to provide an acceptable justification for the removal of the fourth ground of appeal—Section 59(3)(d) of the 2000 Act. We are concerned that this will not only undermine the operational capacity of the Chief Constable, but the board's requests could torpedo an expensive and lengthy investigation and could be used as a device to disrupt or defeat ongoing investigation. This amendment therefore simply seeks to reinstate this fourth ground of appeal.

Amendments Nos. 18 to 21 are concerned with the establishment of a "special purposes committee". The whole concept of the committee is wrong. The committee will be created to handle sensitive information that should not be before the board in the first place. There is concern about confidentiality. We

3 Apr 2003 : Column 1496

do not want a situation where criminal proceedings could be jeopardised or undermined by the premature disclosure of such information to the board. I therefore support Amendment No. 17A.

Baroness Park of Monmouth: My Lords, I am not perfectly clear. Perhaps we may take a hypothetical case. Supposing that there were present upon the board—as it is evidently hoped that there will be—representatives of Sinn Fein/IRA and there is an ongoing case/investigation/event in which members of that organisation are concerned, would they be, in any way, excluded from participation or would they have to be part of it as members of the committee and, therefore, necessarily, have access which could have serious consequences?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, the answer is that they would not automatically be excluded nor would they automatically be included. It would be a matter for the judgment of the board. I take the noble Baroness's point referring to a continuing investigation and it should not be overlooked. However, there is the safeguard that the board and the Chief Constable may agree the timetable. One has got those safeguards. The Chief Constable will have to come to his decision. I hope that if we are setting up a board it will be on the basis that it is capable of being trusted to carry out public functions. We all want, I hope, Sinn Fein to go on to the board—a number of your Lordships have been urging them to do so for some time on the necessary basis that one can only be a member of such a board if committed absolutely to the rule of law and the right of police investigations.

Therefore, the safeguards are there. I do not gloss over the difficulties. The comfort that I derive is what my honourable friend Jane Kennedy said in another place—namely, that the Chief Constable has been closely involved and has come to the conclusion that he is content. The noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, is right. We have gone a significant way from the moment when the noble Baroness and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mayhew of Twysden, first raised these issues.

Lord Glentoran: My Lords, I wish to test the opinion of the House on Amendment No. 17A.

5 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 17A), as an amendment to Commons Amendment No. 17, shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 65; Not-Contents, 132.

Division No. 3


Anelay of St Johns, B.
Ashcroft, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bridgeman, V.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Glentoran, L.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Laird, L.
Luke, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Plumb, L.
Quinton, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rogan, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selborne, E.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wilcox, B.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Barker, B.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hamwee, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hylton, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lipsey, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mishcon, L.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Ouseley, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
Sawyer, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sewel, L.
Sheldon, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

3 Apr 2003 : Column 1498

On Question, Commons Amendment No. 17 agreed to.

5.10 p.m.


18Page 12, leave out lines 5 to 11.
19Page 12, line 12, leave out "or the committee"
20Page 12, line 20, leave out "or the committee"
21Page 12, line 21, leave out "recipient of the information" and insert "Board"

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 18 to 21 en bloc.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 18 to 21 en bloc.—(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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