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Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: My Lords, from these Benches I must say that the procedure has been a nightmare today—complicated to a degree and undermining for those noble Lords who actually want to understand what is going on and have an input. I hope that we never have to go through a procedure as complicated as this again and I suspect the staff of the House and the Clerks feel the same.

I believe that the vote is now simply about the commencement date. We have voted on the other issues and it is what those in the countryside would wish us to be voting on. Earlier in the passage of this Bill, we heard pleas about animal welfare, the welfare of people involved in hunting, the welfare of the countryside as a whole and countryside management issues. We have heard, indeed, impassioned pleas about the red deer herd on Exmoor.

6.15 p.m.

For all those reasons, I believe that 18 months' adjustment is absolutely essential. Given the passion of their earlier speeches, it is unbelievable that some noble Lords are really pressing for a ban to be brought in by February. Therefore, we should support the Motion proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Whitty. Besides that, I emphasise for noble Lords who, I believe, have a firm commitment to the democratic process, that the electorate have a right to have a view on the matter. We should support the idea of commencement being delayed, and we shall be supporting the Motion of the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, for those reasons.

Lord Burnham: My Lords, before the noble Baroness sits down, she says "we"—

A noble Lord: She has sat down.

Lord Whitty: My Lords—

Lord Livsey of Talgarth: My Lords, I speak on a matter of conscience. I do not agree with what has been stated from the Front Bench, and it is my perfect right to do so, as this is a free vote. I believe that the consequence of voting for an 18 months' delay will be a ban. That is just a fact.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I do have to repeat, particularly in the light of the noble Lord's comments,

18 Nov 2004 : Column 1650

that this is not the vote that will decide whether or not there is a ban. The fact that the House has repeatedly taken one view, and that the House of Commons has taken its view, has determined, in effect, that the House of Commons will prevail and that the ban will occur. The only issue on which this House is voting tonight—and it can be a heroic gesture or principled gesture, if noble Lords wish—is whether hunting ends earlier or later.

The principled stand of my noble friend and many others is respected. It may at times have appeared that we did not respect each other in this argument in the course of this debate—but that stand is respected, and is no doubt appreciated among the hunting fraternity and among many who do not agree with the hunting fraternity. But there comes a point when a principled stand must also be practical for the people for whom that stand was taken to defend. Can noble Lords really go back and tell the hunting fraternity that they have deliberately voted on the one issue that it remains to them to determine—to vote to end hunting earlier rather than late, without a period of adjustment, rather than with one, and without allowing for a democratic choice of the whole of the British people rather than allowing for one? That is the point at which principle no longer exists and party tactics begin to enter.

There is one choice before noble Lords tonight: early end of hunting or later end of hunting. There will be a ban. The noble Lord, Lord Livsey, is wrong, because once the Bill leaves this House in the form my noble friend suggests, it will go back to the Commons and straight in to the Parliament Act procedures. That is the constitutional position. There is one choice: February 2005 or July 2006. That is the choice for noble Lords. I do have respect for other people's views in this matter, but now we are on course for a final decision.

Viscount Bledisloe: My Lords, the Minister says that the choice is only over the date. Surely the other important choice is whether the Bill is enacted under the Parliament Act, with all the challenges that could be made to that, or whether the Bill is enacted consensually, in which case the Parliament Act challenge would entirely go. The Minister must not pretend that we are talking only about time.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, that is now a matter for the constitutional process; it is not a matter for this House, for the noble Viscount or for myself. I have explained what the constitutional position is, but there is still a choice in relation to the timing.

Baroness Mallalieu: My Lords, I am not aware that the noble Lord has consulted the Council of Hunting Associations. I did so this morning and it made it very clear that it wanted nothing of 18 months. The noble Lord's proposal is designed to help the Government over the pre-election period, and it is designed to try to persuade this House not to put the other in the position of having to use the Parliament Act with all the legal challenge that they know is likely to follow. The choice is a simple one: do we throw away our principles or do

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we vote to support this grubby little banning Bill? I hope that the House will continue to act in the principled way that it has throughout.

6.20 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 153; Not-Contents, 114.

Division No. 3


Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Arran, E.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Blackwell, L.
Blatch, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Brennan, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carrington, L.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chadlington, L.
Chorley, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donaldson of Lymington, L.
Donoughue, L.
D'Souza, B.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Golding, B.
Goschen, V.
Greenway, L.
Hanningfield, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hogg, B.
Hooper, B.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Inge, L.
Inglewood, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jopling, L.
Kalms, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lawson of Blaby, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Listowel, E.
Liverpool, E.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
McAlpine of West Green, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mallalieu, B. [Teller]
Mancroft, L. [Teller]
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monson, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Moser, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Noakes, B.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Palumbo, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Parkinson, L.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plumb, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rooker, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Saatchi, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandwich, E.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon, V.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Tebbit, L.
Tenby, V.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vincent of Coleshill, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walker of Worcester, L.
Walpole, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Wright of Richmond, L.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alliance, L.
Amos, B. (Lord President of the Council)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Billingham, B.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Carter, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Dykes, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Falkender, B.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L. [Teller]
Filkin, L.
Gale, B. [Teller]
Garden, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Giddens, L.
Gilbert, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Greaves, L.
Grocott, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, 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.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
Layard, L.
Leitch, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
McNally, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Neuberger, B.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Pendry, L.
Radice, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Roper, L.
Rosser, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sewel, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sheldon, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Snape, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thornton, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Worcester, Bp.
Young of Norwood Green, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

18 Nov 2004 : Column 1653

6.32 p.m.

On Question, Motion, as amended, agreed to.

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