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Lord Davies of Oldham: I am very conscious of the fact that what the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin of Roding, said was right: we have started a major debate. We thought that it would be more limited but, clearly, it is a major debate. I am mindful of the time, so, if the Committee will forgive me for not anticipating the

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situation more accurately, it would be better if my noble friend moved the adjournment of the Committee.

Earl Attlee: On the basis that we can re-start with the amendment?

Lord Davies of Oldham: Of course.

Lord Jenkin of Roding: I do not want to weary the Committee, but one of the amendments that we might have come to but was not in the grouping is government Amendment No. 72. It will extend the Henry VIII clause to give the Government the power to modify Clause 12 by order. That has not been put before the Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform. Having drawn their attention to the matter, will Ministers do anything about it? It will be difficult to debate the clause if it has not yet been examined by the Committee, unless it has decided that it does not need to do so.

Lord Whitty: I thank the noble Lord for raising the issue and bringing it to our attention. It was mistakenly not drawn to the Select Committee's attention earlier. In fact the amendment to Clause 32 is a minor, consequential amendment to correct an oversight from the division during the course of the drafting of what was originally Clause 11 into what are now Clauses 11 and 12.

Contrary to the noble Lord's implication, there is no change in policy. A memorandum to the Select Committee sets out clearly the powers in Clause 32 to

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modify the provisions in Chapter 1. We have contacted the Committee to explain the effect of that and why it has arisen. The chairman agreed that there is no need to call a meeting of the Committee to consider the amendment, so that need not delay us.

It is unfortunate and I apologise to the Committee, but in the light of the explanation that I have passed to the Select Committee, it is unlikely that it will want to comment substantively on the amendment.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: I am a member of that Committee. Do I understand the Minister to say that the amendment has not been before it?

Lord Whitty: No, we contacted the chairman and he has accepted our explanation. The Committee can return to it, but he says that in his judgment there is no need for us to delay consideration until the Committee meets. That is his judgment, on which the Committee will be able to take a view, but because the amendment is consequent on how the Bill has been drafted rather than a new matter, his view is that we do not need to delay its consideration.

Lord Triesman: This may be a convenient moment at which to adjourn the Committee until Thursday.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Baroness Fookes): The Committee stands adjourned until Thursday at 3.15 p.m.

        The Committee adjourned at twenty-two minutes before eight o'clock.

Written Statements

Tuesday 20 January 2004

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Planning Service: Costs and Fees

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has today published The Planning Service: Costs and Fees. This is a report prepared by Arup Economics and Planning into the way in which the powers in Clause 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill might be used. Using the report, we are considering the nature and scope of any fees and charges that might be prescribed by the Secretary of State under that clause. The objective is to ensure the proper resourcing of planning services so that they can deliver for business and communities. We will bring forward full proposals for public consultation in the summer.

Copies of the report are available in the Libraries of both Houses and on the website of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister at–control/documents/contentservertemplate/odpm–index.hcst?n=2445&l=2.

Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001: Part 4 Powers

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): My right honourable friend the Home Secretary is today laying before Parliament a draft order to continue the powers of detention in the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCS) for a further 12 months. It will be debated, by this House and in another place, by early March.

The public emergency which necessitated the introduction of these powers—and which arises principally as a result of the threat of international terrorism posed by foreign nationals—still exists. Where terrorism is concerned, our paramount responsibility is to ensure public safety and national security. Where a foreign national is suspected of terrorism of the sort which led to September 11 2001 and is considered to be a threat to national security but

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cannot currently be removed—and for whom a criminal prosecution is not an option—we believe that it is necessary and proportionate to provide for extended detention, pending removal. The person would be free to leave the United Kingdom if he wished to do so.

The draft Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 (Continuance in Force of Sections 21–23) Order 2003 provides for the continuation of the immigration powers under Part 4 of the 2001 Act to certify, and to detain pending removal, suspected international terrorists, subject to safeguards. The continuation is from 14 March 2004 until 13 March 2005.

To date, 16 people have been certified and detained under the powers contained in Part 4 of the ATCS Act. Two of these have chosen to leave the United Kingdom as the detainees are free to do at any time. One further individual has been certified but is currently detained under other powers.

The Home Secretary's decisions to certify and detain these individuals were made on the basis of detailed and compelling evidence. All those certified have appealed to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) including the two who left the United Kingdom. SIAC has rejected the appeals against certification made by the first 10 ATCS detainees, which were heard between May and July last year. The determinations for a further two cases that have been heard have not yet been handed down.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission is a superior court of record. It has the power to overturn the certificates which the Home Secretary has issued in respect of those detained.

The detention powers in Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act are a cornerstone of the UK's anti-terrorism measures. It is essential that we are able to take firm, swift action against those who threaten the safety of this country.

We will be looking carefully at the conclusions and recommendations of the report of Lord Newton and his committee, which was laid before the House on 18 December 2003, together with the reports of Lord Carlile, the second of which will be laid before the House shortly. We will be reporting to the House when we come to debate Lord Newton's report and the renewal powers, and I look forward to a full and vigorous debate. None the less, we continue to believe that the Part 4 powers are a necessary and proportionate response to the current threat.

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