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Baroness Noakes: My Lords, I am extremely disappointed with the Minister's response. He referred to burdens on the FRRP and on the Takeover Panel—but we are talking about protecting the confidentiality of information. It may be that these bodies have obtained the information because the organisations or individuals are under investigation in some way, but that does not authorise onward circulation of that information. We are very clear about this. I do not believe that the HMRC Act is completely sui generis; it is there for the purpose of putting in controls. Indeed, we debated those controls very extensively during the passage of that Act, which I had the privilege of taking through with the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General only last year. I am not satisfied with the Minister's response. I beg leave to test the opinion of the House.

6.57 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 272) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 123; Not-Contents, 117.

Division No. 2


Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Barker, B.
Blaker, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Courtown, E.
Craigavon, V.
Crickhowell, L.
De Mauley, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Freeman, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goschen, V.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hamilton of Epsom, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Kilclooney, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkham, L.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McAlpine of West Green, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McNally, L.
Marlesford, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Moynihan, L.
Newby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbrook, L.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Quinton, L.
Rawlings, B.
Razzall, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L. [Teller]
Roper, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selsdon, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tonge, B.
Tordoff, L.
Trenchard, V.
Ullswater, V.
Vallance of Tummel, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Wilson of Dinton, L.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Adams of Craigielea, B.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President.]
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bilston, L.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davidson of Glen Clova, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Foster of Bishop Auckland, L.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Gale, B.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, 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 Newport, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kerr of Kinlochard, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Mitchell, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
O'Neill of Clackmannan, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rogan, L.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Simon, V.
Soley, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

10 May 2006 : Column 976
7.07 pm

Baroness Noakes moved Amendment No. 273:

"( ) It does not apply to the disclosure of information which has been—
(a) authorised by the person authorised under section 440;
(b) satisfies one or more of subsections (3) to (6) of this section; and
(c) is considered by the person authorised under section 440 to be in the public interest."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Noakes moved Amendment No. 274:

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 274, I shall speak to the other amendments in the group as well. As with the previous groups, I shall be dealing with similar issues that arise in connection with the FRRP in Part 15 and the Takeover Panel in Part 22.

The scheme of disclosure for both bodies is that disclosure may be made to specified bodies or for specified purposes. In Clause 444, information may be disclosed to six named bodies under subsection (3) or for a much larger number of specified purposes, some of which overlap, set out in subsection (4).

In Part 22, Clause 630(3) allows disclosure to the 12 persons listed in Part 1 of Schedule 2 or for the 70 specified purposes in Part 2 of that schedule. Amendment No. 274 would delete subsection (3) of Clause 444 so that disclosure of the FRRP's information must be for a specified purpose, as set out in subsection (4). It seems to us that the persons listed in subsection (3) are adequately covered by subsection (4) and that no diminution of disclosure would be involved.

Amendment No. 454 is very similar in that it would amend Clause 630 so that disclosure of Takeover Panel information may be made only for the listed purposes set out in Part 2 of Schedule 2 and not to the persons listed in Part 1. Amendment No. 453 is a further possible approach which would require the disclosure to be made to one of the 12 persons only if it satisfied one of the 70 specified purposes. We will not be moving Amendment No. 452.

The Minister will note that the disclosure route adopted by Amendments Nos. 274 and 454 are not intended to be unduly restrictive since they give way to the longer lists of permitted disclosures in either case. Will the noble Lord explain why the Government feel
10 May 2006 : Column 977
they need disclosure by person and by purpose because we cannot see any value in the current drafting? Indeed, we are concerned that any disclosure of confidential information could be made to the specified persons regardless of whether that disclosure relates to the appropriate functions of those persons.

Will the Minister also comment on the different approaches taken to disclosure by the FRRP and the Takeover Panel or, rather, this Bill in relation to the FRRP and the Takeover Panel? It is evident that a different drafting hand is at work, but the differences go beyond language and structure of clauses. It appears that the Takeover Panel has far greater disclosure opportunities than the FRRP. Let me take one example: item 60 in Part 2 of Schedule 2 allows disclosure by the Takeover Panel,

We think that that is rather important, and a good reason for the disclosure of information, but we cannot see why the FRRP cannot do so. Will the Minister explain that?

We debated the disclosure gateways in Grand Committee, but we have not yet heard a coherent account of the way in which they should operate. We do not understand the overlap between persons and purposes; we do not understand why different approaches apply in different parts of the Bill. We are fairly sure that the Bill needs to be amended. This group of amendments provides some possibilities, though I am sure that there are others. I beg to move.

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