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Baroness Byford moved Amendment No. 47:

(1) The Secretary of State shall by order make a scheme for the making of payments to persons refused registration or adversely affected by a refusal to grant registration—
(a) whose employment is materially affected (whether by a reduction in profits or the incurring of losses), or
(b) who are deprived of any services previously provided by hunts and as a result incur and are materially affected by costs, expenses or losses.
(2) The scheme shall, in particular, specify—
(a) the manner in which losses, costs, expenses or reductions in profits may be calculated, and
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(b) the evidence which may be reasonably required to show the losses, costs, expenses or reductions in profits calculated in accordance with this paragraph.
(3) The scheme shall also, in particular—
(a) specify the basis of valuation for determining losses,
(b) specify the amounts of the payments to be made or the basis on which such amounts are to be calculated,
(c) provide for the procedure to be followed (including the time within which claims must be made and the provision of information) in respect of claims under the scheme and for the determination of such claims.
(4) Subsection (5) applies to any dispute as to a person's entitlement to payments under a scheme or the amounts of any such payments which—
(a) has not been resolved within nine months of the day on which the original decision as to entitlement or amounts was notified in writing to the person concerned by the Secretary of State, and
(b) has not been referred by agreement to arbitration.
(5) The dispute shall be referred by the Secretary of State to such appellate body as he deems appropriate by order.
(6) An order under this section shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament."
(7) In this section—
"losses" includes losses of income, housing and losses of capital;
"materially affected" means a reduction in profit or the incurrence of losses, costs or expenses which may be measured by ordinary principles of commercial accountancy.

The noble Baroness said: In moving this amendment, I seek advice from the Minister. As he will well remember, when we debated this Bill previously, I tabled several amendments on compensation. At that stage, we were considering a total ban. Given subsequent events this week, we are not facing a total ban but dealing with an amended and regulated Bill. Therefore, I have tabled this amendment to get from the Minister some clarification of the Government's thinking.

When the matter was debated in another place, the issue of compensation in the event of a total ban was raised. The honourable Member Tony Banks (at col. 1282 of the Official Report) said that he was not unsympathetic towards the idea of compensation. It was recognised clearly, and indeed the Burns report said, that if there were a total ban 700-plus jobs might be lost. There would not be a loss of hounds and kennels alone—people would lose their homes as well.

I have returned to this situation today, dividing the matter into two—with the Minister's indulgence, I hope. I begin with regard to those who will not qualify, even within a registration scheme, which is something that clearly may happen. Last night we spoke in great detail on hare coursing. It may be that some people in other hunts would not qualify even under a registration system. If they do not qualify because of the new conditions laid down by the Bill as amended in this House, if it is accepted by the Commons, are they entitled to any form of compensation?
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The Minister will remember that the Select Committee on Human Rights came to some conclusions on the matter. I turn to a comment that he made in response to comments by my noble friend Lord Astor. He said:

to quote the Minister exactly—

It is a slightly complex issue in that I am asking noble Lords to consider whether it is right that some form of compensation should be due to anyone who in a registered system—if it is approved by the other House—would lose out because of this new legislation.

I ask the Committee to consider the position with regard to fur farmers and pig swill operators. The Committee may wonder why on earth I am referring to them. I do so because both have been put out of business due to government action. The Government decided that some form of compensation was due to fur farmers, and that has been forthcoming. However, pig swill operators, who through no fault of their own had their livelihoods removed from under their feet with no notice at all, were not compensated in any way. Therefore, my question to the Minister at this stage is twofold: first, how do the Government decide whether compensation is due in the first place; and, secondly, having decided that, do they have to consider any form of human rights within their decision, or is it purely a government decision which has no bearing on human rights?

I apologise to the Committee for the slight complexity of the issue. If, for any reason when this Bill goes to another place it does not accept what the Committee has recommended and a total ban is introduced, what will be the position of all those animals, hounds and hunts who will have their livelihoods removed? As I said earlier today, one of the things that worries me enormously is that when this Bill finally leaves this House it will go to another place and Members of another place are not required to consider a word of what has been said in this House. It
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is very important that we get a steer from the Minister. It is in that spirit that I move the amendment. I beg to move.

Lord Graham of Edmonton: My good colleague in the other place, Tony Banks, has been referred to by many noble Lords in a derogatory sense. However, the noble Baroness prayed him in aid of the case that she made regarding compensation and said that he could see some merit in it. That is one of the complexities that she introduced into the issue.

Members of the Committee are aware of my stance on the issue. We have lost the argument in this place. I accept that this House has the right to do what it has done. All of the amendments flow from the fact that a vast majority of noble Lords wish to see hunting continue in some form. I am in a minority in that regard. I say to the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, that I have checked the figures. According to my calculations in the vote last night 51 Labour Peers voted for hunting and 53 voted against. We shall check the figures again and consult on that. I do not resile from the fact that noble Lords on the Labour Benches are more polarised on the issue than noble Lords opposite.

Given that we have lost the argument in this House, it is ludicrous to expect those of us who share my view on these matters to deal with all the amendments, which were tabled to strengthen the vote taken yesterday. It is not on to expect us to engage meaningfully with the amendments that are before us. I read them, I listen to the discussion on most of them, as most of my noble friends are aware, and I appreciate the sincerity with which they are discussed.

Colleagues in another place will listen seriously to the arguments and will reach their own views on compensation. I accept that if a hunt is banned, that is not the end of it. Drag hunting has been referred to more than once. I am not as familiar as Members of the Committee opposite with the manner in which hunting or drag hunting are conducted. I have listened carefully to accounts of the terrible carnage that will be visited upon packs of hounds. However, Members of the Committee opposite know that the lives of those dogs are limited and that in due course, sooner rather than later when they outlive their usefulness to the pack and to the hunt, they will be destroyed, humanely, of course. I do not belittle the fact that if a hunt is faced with a ban, it will have to consider what to do with all its accoutrements and paraphernalia. I take with a pinch of salt accounts of the devastating unemployment that would result from a ban on hunting. I am not familiar with the precise figure that is involved. However, if there is a serious intention to continue hunting, but not of foxes, for the pleasure and sport that that involves, a hunt can convert to drag hunting. Therefore, I cannot see why public money—which is as precious to Members of the Committee on this side of the Chamber as it is to Members opposite—should be set aside for compensation.

The noble Baroness has done the Committee a service in exploring the issues in a perfectly fair manner. It just so happens that I disagree with her largely
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because her arguments are predicated on the basis of hunting being banned. That may well be the ultimate decision of the other place and, I hope, of the electorate at the next election. I try not to speak on every issue. In a normal debate there is something you can get your teeth into but all of these amendments flow from an original premise with which I violently disagree. I rest my case.

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