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Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, I did not say that. I said that we would need to wait and see what he does, and in the light of that we would all be able to decide the appropriate way forward.

Lord Higgins: My Lords, we have had all the arguments and it is now appropriate, as the Conservative Party has done, to take a decision on the matter. Regardless of what is said by Mr Turner, who is not an elected Member of Parliament or a Member of this House, it will not be decisive. I understand that the noble Baroness accepts that.

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, I hope that the noble Lord will forgive me for interrupting a second time. I sought to make the point that there is no automaticity here. I would not wish it to be thought that there is any automaticity between what Mr Turner recommends and what the Government do. All I am saying is that it would be unreasonable to expect the Government to move in advance of a major report which will look at the implications not only of longevity, but also across the field at other issues such as compulsion. Given that that is in the offing over the course of the next year, it is wise to have that as a part of our background concern.

Lord Higgins: My Lords, there may be other areas which have not previously been investigated in any depth where Turner can make helpful suggestions. But few issues have been investigated in as great a depth as this and therefore I do not think that it is a reasonable argument.

In view of the fact that the noble Baroness has given us no indication of the cost, I wish to test the opinion of the House.

1.34 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 359E) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 96; Not-Contents, 119.

Division No. 2


Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alliance, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Blackwell, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Caithness, E.
Chadlington, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Cox, B.
Craigavon, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
D'Souza, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Feldman, L.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Glenarthur, L.
Greaves, L.
Hamwee, B.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Home, E.
Hooper, B.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe, E.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jacobs, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lawson of Blaby, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monson, L.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Neuberger, B.
Newby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L. [Teller]
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Rennard, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L. [Teller]
Skidelsky, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Stewartby, L.
Swinfen, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tordoff, L.
Waddington, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Willoughby de Broke, L.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Amos, B. (Lord President of the Council)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Chandos, V.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Giddens, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Laming, L.
Layard, L.
Leitch, L.
Lipsey, L.
Listowel, E.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Palmer, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prosser, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Sewel, L.
Simon, V.
Snape, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Tanlaw, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Tenby, V.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

18 Nov 2004 : Column 1644

1.44 p.m.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Lord Grocott: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure.

Perhaps I need to give a little explanation. As the House knows, the Commons are in the process of considering the Hunting Bill. After that, they will consider the amendment to the Civil Contingencies Bill which we have sent back. So two Bills are still in play. Thanks to that most recent splendid victory, one of the Bills is now awaiting Royal Assent.

The position is simply that we cannot be precise about when we shall consider the Hunting Bill because the House of Commons cannot be precise about when it will be sending it to us. However, it is unlikely to be before 4.30 p.m. I shall adjourn the House awaiting messages from the Commons—words to that effect will appear on the annunciator—but please watch the annunciator. One should never repeat a gag, but it might be worth it this time: this really is the last day—I hope.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 1.46 to 6 p.m.]

Hunting Bill

A message was brought from the Commons, That they insist on their disagreement with your Lordships in the amendments on which your Lordships insisted, and disagree to the amendments made by your

18 Nov 2004 : Column 1645

Lordships in lieu of Lords amendments disagreed to but have made an amendment in lieu to which they desire the agreement of your Lordships.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons amendments be considered forthwith.

Moved, That the Commons amendments be considered forthwith.—(Lord Whitty.)

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, perhaps before we proceed I can crave the indulgence of the House and record my extreme concern about today's procedures. Like many others in the House, I have been baffled how we are still pushing this matter to and fro between the Houses. This House has repeatedly made clear its support for the compromise of registered hunting; against that, the other place has insisted on a ban. There is a clear double insistence on the main issue in the Bill.

In such circumstances, a normal Bill would have been lost, although in this instance the Parliament Acts could have been used to force it into law. Now we have this proposition back before us again. This has been made possible by the Commons packaging all Lords' amendments together and altering only one. I am told that this could go on indefinitely until, no doubt, it is hoped that your Lordships will give up and the Government can get a hunting ban without the use of the Parliament Act. Such a system enables and rewards government inflexibility.

This procedure was unprecedented until May when, by mistake, the Government lost their Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill. In order to help bail them out we agreed, exceptionally, to accept this procedure on one amendment on that one Bill. I said at the time that,

    "this is an exceptional agreement . . . I know of no direct precedent for it. And, for the record, I must say firmly that it must form absolutely no precedent for the future".—[Official Report, 11/5/04; col. 153.]

The noble Baroness the Leader of the House said on the same occasion:

    "It is obviously undesirable that this situation should have arisen at all. I am sure that we all wish to ensure that it does not do so again".—[Official Report, 11/5/04; col. 152.]

It is extraordinary that we find ourselves in exactly the same position again.

The Leader of the House published a statement on 21 July reflecting discussions between the authorities of both Houses. It stated that,

    "the Clerk of the Parliaments will invite the Lords Procedure Committee to consider changes to the practice of the House, to allow more flexibility in dealing with Commons amendments which have been packaged".

The Procedure Committee has not considered this, neither has the House. This procedure is novel; it has never been debated by the House nor agreed by it. In the light of what has happened today I very much hope that the Procedure Committee will look at the matter urgently and make whatever recommendations are necessary to protect the power of this House.

18 Nov 2004 : Column 1646

However, under the provisional arrangements, I am advised that the procedure we are faced with is just in order. I ask the House to accept that—but this one more time only. Let me be blunt—and I am sure that I speak for many Peers on all sides of the House and on all sides of the argument—if this House maintains its position now, as I hope it will, and if the other House seeks to return the package yet again, we should at that stage decline to discuss it further if a Motion to do so is laid.

I hope that my speaking at this stage will not introduce a wide-ranging debate on the procedural question now. The Procedure Committee must consider the issue urgently and report to the House at the earliest possible opportunity.

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