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Baroness Walmsley: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his response. I am sure that we all understand the sincerity of his commitment to the protection of vulnerable children. That is in absolutely no doubt, and we are at one on that. We differ only about the best way to achieve it. I thank all noble Lords who supported my amendment, in particular the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Worcester, who was so articulate about the matter.

I am not asking for rights alone. Your Lordships will notice from Amendment No. 5A that we have left in practical, measurable outcomes. They also appear in the clause about co-operation to improve well-being. That is well and good, but we believe that it is important to put that in the context of the rights of children.

I am puzzled about why the Government are so against putting the word "rights" into the Bill. Do the Government plan to legislate to remove the power and duty to promote children's rights from the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Children's Commissioners to make them as good as, they believe, the new Children's Commissioner will be? That would be the logical consequence of what the Minister said tonight.

To the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, I say that there is nothing rhetorical about rights. It is a practical matter. He said that the commissioner would have to judge whether a particular case needed to be looked into. The commissioner will have to make judgments every day of his or her working life, and we must trust him or her to do it.
10 Nov 2004 : Column 959

The noble Baroness, Lady Massey of Darwen, said that the commissioner must have regard to the UNCRC. "Have regard" is not the same thing as having a duty and obligation to promote and safeguard children's rights. That is important.

To the noble Lord, Lord Laming, I say, with the greatest respect, that, of course, children are covered by human rights legislation, but he will know as well as I do that children's rights, as enshrined in the UNCRC, are different because children are different. Therefore, I wish to test the opinion of the House.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1A) shall be agreed to?

*Their Lordships divided: Contents, 105; Not-Contents, 117.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Chadlington, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dykes, L.
Emerton, B.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Fookes, B.
Freyberg, L.
Garden, L.
Garel-Jones, L.
Greaves, L.
Greenway, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Henley, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hylton, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jacobs, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Listowel, E.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Moynihan, L.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Patten, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Razzall, L.
Rennard, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L. [Teller]
Russell-Johnston, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shrewsbury, E.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strange, B.
Swinfen, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Trenchard, V.
Ullswater, V.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Worcester, Bp.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Amos, B. (Lord President of the Council)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blood, B.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Denham, L.
Desai, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goudie, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jones, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laird, L.
Laming, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Paul, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prashar, B.
Prosser, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rogan, L.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Simon, V.
Snape, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Tenby, V.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.
[* The Tellers for the Contents reported 105 votes. The Clerks recorded 104 names.]

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

10 Nov 2004 : Column 960

On Question, Motion agreed to.
10 Nov 2004 : Column 961

7.7 p.m.


2 Clause 2, page 1, line 11, leave out "rights,"

Lord Filkin: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 2.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 2.—(Lord Filkin.)

[Amendment No. 2A not moved.]

On Question, Motion agreed to.


3 Clause 2, page 1, line 12, leave out "rights,"

Lord Filkin: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 3.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 3.—(Lord Filkin.)

[Amendment No. 3A not moved.]

On Question, Motion agreed to.


4 Clause 2, page 1, line 14, leave out paragraphs (c) and (d) and insert—
"(c) consider or research the operation of complaints procedures so far as relating to children;
(d) consider or research any other matter relating to the interests of children;
(e) publish a report on any matter considered or researched by him under this section."

Lord Filkin: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 4.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 4.—(Lord Filkin.)

[Amendment No. 4A not moved.]

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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