Purposes of National Parks

Clause 60 – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 28th June 1995.

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Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble 7:45 pm, 28th June 1995

I beg to move amendment No. 193, in page 81, line 35, leave out 'quiet enjoyment and understanding' and insert 'understanding and enjoyment'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this, it will be convenient to discuss also the following amendments: No. 267, in page 81, line 37, at end insert— '(1A) In paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section "quiet enjoyment" means enjoyment in ways which are not likely to disturb the tranquillity, or otherwise detract from the special qualities, of the areas in question; but no person shall be under a duty to prevent, reduce or restrict noise in any such area by reason only of the reference in that paragraph to the promotion of opportunities for the quiet enjoyment of those areas.".' Government amendments Nos. 194 and 195.

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

I am tempted to congratulate you. Mr. Deputy Speaker, on racing through that lot of amendments. We just about kept up with you, one way or another.

I preface my remarks on this aspect of the Bill by saying that, following the amendment that appeared in another place, which inserted the word "quiet" to give the effect of "quiet enjoyment" of national parks, we spent a considerable amount of time discussing that proposal in Committee. I understand and appreciate the considerable interest that was expressed in another place about the issue. Many views were expressed not only by those with an interest in the national parks but by those who were interested from a legal point of view. The Law Lords and others, for example, argued about whether the issue was well defined by use of the word "quiet".

I must say that I was, initially, sympathetic to the points made, but hon. Members know that some concern was expressed about exactly what "quiet" meant. Many hon. Members will be aware that, although the notional attraction of the word "quiet" in the context of quiet enjoyment of the parks has some appeal, plenty of noisy things go on in those parks, not least industry. I know, for example, that there is quite a lot of quarrying for slate in the constituency of my right hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Jopling). The same applies in other hon. Members' constituencies, and they appreciate that such quarrying occasionally involves the use of explosives and a lot of noise of one form or another.

As I said in Committee, I was most impressed by the problems that were put to me by the Royal Automobile Club. Hon. Members will know that, as a former sports Minister, I am only too well aware of the importance of the main RAC rally, which attracts more people, numerically, in terms of participation and support, than almost any other sporting event in the United Kingdom. The RAC also licenses a number of other rallies around the country, all of which are conducted to a high standard and are much loved and enjoyed by many people.

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

I will give way, but not for a moment.

It is also the case that many people, who understand and appreciate rallying, were concerned about the amendment passed in another place, regardless of politics. That was not a party political point. Representatives of the RAC visited me and said that they were unhappy with the implications of the definition of "quiet enjoyment".

Therefore we went away, as the House and the Committee know, to try to find an amendment that defined "quiet". We had considerable difficulty and, when we approached the Committee with the amendment that I proposed, it was obvious that Members were unhappy with the definition that I came up with. I remember hon. Members expressing that unease for several reasons, as a result of which, and subsequent to which, I received a fair amount of correspondence and many telephone calls and other communications from organisations that were worried, of which I have mentioned but one. Again we went away, as I promised to do in Committee, to find a way of defining "quiet".

The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mrs. Campbell) has been sitting there waiting to intervene, and I want to give her an opportunity to do so.

Photo of Mrs Anne Campbell Mrs Anne Campbell , Cambridge

I want to pick up the arguments that the Minister made earlier about noisy activity, because he must be aware that promoting "quiet enjoyment" is in no way the same thing as banning noisy activity. I do not understand why he used those examples in relation to that amendment, unless he is confused about those two issues.

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

There is no confusion. Many people believe that "quiet" means what they think that it means——to keep noise down——and that the enjoyment of national parks means cutting down noise in one form or another. Enough people were worried about that for me to need to consider carefully whether the amendment that I was then proposing in Committee would solve the problem.

I remind Opposition Members——I am sure that Conservative Members do not need reminding——that a Law Lord said, following the passing of the amendment adding "quiet" to "enjoyment", that that was bad law, that it was capable of misinterpretation or many interpretations and that an amendment was required to define what "quiet" meant. We tried. We considered it carefully, and my officials and Parliamentary Counsel struggled to find ways and means whereby we could assuage the anxieties that were expressed to me by a variety of organisations as well as Conservative colleagues in the House and in another place.

In those circumstances, we tried extremely hard and, before Report, I considered several variations on many amendments. We even nearly reached the stage of tabling one, hut grave anxieties continued to be expressed to me by the motor sports industry. Indeed, my right hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale came to visit me. He wears many hats, one of which is his love of motor sports, as well as representing one national park and living in another.

Photo of Patrick McLoughlin Patrick McLoughlin , West Derbyshire

I wonder whether my right hon. Friend is saying that he wants the legislation to be perfectly clear and not have two meanings.

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

My hon. Friend is unusually succinct and he makes the argument extremely well.

I was demonstrating that we tried extremely hard to find a way of defining "quiet" and, in the final analysis, were unable to do so. It seemed to me that, in the circumstances, the best thing to do was to revert to what was the case when the Bill was presented in another place. That is why the amendment is tabled in the terms in which it is.

I hope that the Bill will be acceptable to all the people who made genuine and strongly felt representations to me about the inability to be sure that "quiet enjoyment" as it presently is in the Bill means what it says, and about what a threat it may pose, if it does, to those people. I do not believe that withdrawing the word "quiet" will cause the anxiety that many Opposition Members may say that it will do. It will certainly revert to the position that pertained before, and I hope that my right hon and hon. Friends will understand that and he able to explain satisfactorily to their constituents what we have tried to do in the amendment.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley , Glanford and Scunthorpe 8:15 pm, 28th June 1995

If the Minister could not find a definition of "quiet enjoyment", he did not try very hard. To try to help him, we have tabled amendment No. 267, which gives a definition of "quiet enjoyment". I suspect that the Minister may well have seen those words before, and he may well have recognised that they meet some of the points that he made in terms of defining what that phrase means.

Although I am sure that Law Lords have their uses, they are not always absolutely right. I know that the Council for the Protection of Rural England has examined the legal definition of "quiet enjoyment" as it applies to such things as tenancy agreements, of which the Minister will be well aware, and that should not be a problem in the way that it is worded in the Bill.

Opposition Members strongly oppose those amendments which remove "quiet enjoyment" from the Bill. One of the keystones of the Edwards committee report, which was widely welcomed and widely consulted, was the implementation of the words "quiet enjoyment" in providing a framework for what national parks should be about.

In January 1992, in their response to the Edwards committee, the Government said: The Government also welcomes the proposed references to quiet enjoyment and understanding as having special relevance to the National Parks. It is interesting that that welcome in 1992 appeared to have cooled by the time that the Bill was presented, and that that definition was put in the Bill only when there was a vote on that issue in another place. It shows that one cannot trust what the Government say in their responses to committees such as that.

On 26 May 1995, the Secretary of State for the Environment, speaking to the national park authorities conference in Keswick, said that he was optimistic that the phrase "quiet enjoyment" would remain in the Bill with a positive definition. As we have seen, no positive definition has been forthcoming, and what there was, was withdrawn by the Minister in Committee. It shows that, when it comes to it, one cannot trust what the Government say, and many people will have taken note of that during the passage of the Bill.

We strongly protest that those amendments were tabled only two working days before Report, giving very little time for response by the many organisations which have a legitimate interest in the national parks and that part of the Bill.

In Committee, as the Minister outlined in moving the amendments, he claimed that the problem was definition. In Committee, we had a considerable discussion about that, with all sorts of what I can only describe as nonsense about what those words "quiet enjoyment" would prohibit. We heard that they would prevent chain saws being used in forestry; we even heard that they would prevent camouflaged soldiers popping out of bushes, on the grounds that that might interfere with people's enjoyment. The person who mentioned that did not say what enjoyment that activity might interrupt. We have also heard about the RAC rally and other motor sports and the worries of people who take part in those.

Of course those people are right to have worries. They are right to explore what that phrase means. However, there is no reason why the Minister could not provide ministerial guidance to the national parks about the implementation of the legislation. Events such as rallies, which can be intrusive on occasions, have been managed successfully by organisations such as the Countryside Commission, and by the National Trust, which has written to express its grave concern about that withdrawal.

The National Trust has said that it understands that "quiet enjoyment" does not preclude certain activities taking place, but should be taken to mean that national parks should not have the statutory duty of promoting those activities. Indeed, the trust, while emphasising quiet and unobtrusive enjoyment on its properties, accommodates and manages intrusive activities as well where appropriate. Having said that, however, it recommends that activities that are inappropriate to the purpose of national parks should be subject to some form of restriction.

That appears a reasonable and responsible approach to the issue. I see no reason why the Government cannot accept that and deal with it in terms of that guidance. As has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mrs. Campbell), it was made clear in Committee that the words "promoting quiet enjoyment" would not give the national park authorities any new or extra powers to go out and stop any activity. They would only have to work within the existing laws and powers that they have at present. There is nothing new about that.

Although we believe that guidance can be provided without a statutory definition, we have offered the Government an amendment, using a definition that we know was originally proposed in another place.

It is a tragedy that the Government are trying to break the cross-party consensus that welcomed the Edwards report. We remind the Government that the Dower report—which set up the framework for national parks in 1945—said: Those who come to National Parks should be such as wish to enjoy and cherish the beauty and quietude of unspoilt country and to take their recreation, active or passive, in ways that do not impair the beauty or quietude, nor spoil the enjoyment of them by others". The Edwards committee adopted those admirable and important principles in its report and in the concept of promoting quiet enjoyment which remains on the face of the Bill.

In a hot and noisy House of Commons, with a pervading atmosphere of fevered speculation about the Conservative party leadership election, I would have thought that protecting precious quiet areas would be attractive to the Government. Instead, the Government ignore consensus, go back on their word and offend millions who live and work in national parks and millions more who support organisations such as the National Trust and the Council for the Protection of Rural England, and the countryside and conservation bodies—including the Government's own statutory adviser, the Countryside Commission—and refuse to protect those precious principles.

If the Government cannot accept our amendments, we will oppose their amendments and hope that the other place takes note of the debate and attempts to replace the measures in the Bill so as to protect the principle of quiet enjoyment. It has a right and a responsibility to do that, and the vast majority of people in the country expect it to be done.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Carlisle Mr Kenneth Carlisle , Lincoln

This is an important amendment. There has been considerable debate about the issue and about the meaning of the word "quiet" during the Committee stage and even before that. I understand the Government's predicament. What is important is not necessarily the words in the Bill, but what happens in the national parks. We must consider how we will preserve for the future the quality of national parks and the traditional activities that take place within them.

We all know that rallies have been held in national parks and that grouse shooting certainly goes on in some parks, which helps to maintain the habitat of the moorland. I have been informed by the National Trust that it organises certain pre-arranged noisy activities which it feels it is able to manage in the national park environment. The Government face a genuine problem because it may be argued that none of those activities could be described as "quiet", even though they have been held in national parks for a long time.

We must decide how to retain the quality of national parks while allowing traditional activities to continue. It is extremely difficult to define the word "quiet" in those circumstances, so perhaps we should look for another solution. We should not be hidebound by that word, but we must look for some way of preserving the quiet atmosphere in national parks.

The National Trust has suggested that traditional activities—although they may be noisy—should be accepted and that new activities that are very obtrusive should be excluded. My hon. Friend does not necessarily need to defend those traditional activities, but he must address how to control the really obtrusive and intolerable activities which destroy the quality of national parks and which prevent people from enjoying the parks. There must be some means of doing that. Therefore, when he replies to the debate, I ask my hon. Friend to explain how he plans to stop the truly intolerable activities that destroy the special qualities of our valued national parks.

Photo of Mr Andrew Bennett Mr Andrew Bennett , Denton and Reddish

I am disappointed at the way in which the Government appear to be backing away from the issue. Everyone recognises that many noisy activities take place in the countryside, and I do not think that anyone who has been promoting the clause wants to stop them occurring. Some natural phenomena are pretty noisy. If one is a short distance from a waterfall, one can hardly hear oneself think. When lambs are separated from the ewes in the late summer, the noise of the animals calling to each other can be very loud indeed. A whole series of traditional customs, such as morris dancing, are noisy activities.

None of the organisations that support the insertion of the clause in the Bill objects to such activities. Those groups are not trying to get at motor sports or water-skiing. They make it absolutely clear that they recognise that such activities have gone on in many areas for a long time and that they do not want them to stop as a result of the legislation. They wish to emphasise the role and duty of national parks; they are concerned with promotion.

I hope that the Government will examine the issue again. When the legislation goes back to the House of Lords, I hope that the Government will not spend so much time worrying about defining "quiet", but will instead put more emphasis on the word "promote". According to my interpretation of the clause, national parks have a duty to encourage those activities which may be conducted quietly in the countryside. The national parks should promote, encourage and facilitate those activities. They should certainly not ban them. The Government can get out of the present difficulty by putting the emphasis on defining "promoting and encouraging" activities.

It will be very sad if the Government drop the clause. Some organisations are worried that certain activities may be banned rather than promoted, and there is a danger that, if the clause is excluded from the Bill, some people will ask the national parks to encourage noisy and disruptive activities. That would be a disastrous message to send to the community.

I plead with the Government, even at this late stage, to try to solve the problem. They should put the emphasis not on trying to define "quiet"—I understand the problems in that regard—but on defining the word "promote", which is what most people are concerned about. A primary duty of national parks should be encouraging the development of quiet enjoyment rather than being concerned with banning this or that. I do not believe that banning activities will work; we must achieve our aim through persuasion.

I believe that many people who are involved in noisy sports should look at ways of doing them more quietly. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) may laugh, but quieter boats have been developed for water skiing. It is in everyone's interest to look for ways to reduce noise levels. However, I do not believe that our efforts should lead to bans because bans do not work. Enjoyment of the countryside depends on people's willingness to obey the law, and if too many activities are banned, people will simply do them illegally. They will be forced to enjoy their activity in another area and the problem will simply be transferred.

I plead with the Government to try to sort out the problem and to put the emphasis on defining "promote" rather than "quiet". They must encourage the national parks to find ways to allow people to continue to enjoy activities in the countryside without causing noise and upsetting others.

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale 8:30 pm, 28th June 1995

The hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) does not believe that many of the people who are keen for the words "quiet enjoyment" to remain in the Bill want to put a stop on activities about which concerns have been expressed. He may be right, but people engaged in quarrying, farming, shooting and other activities are concerned about the zealot who may use those words in the courts for exactly the opposite purpose, to stop such activities.

Some years ago, one of my constituents moved to a secluded dale because he wanted quiet, and he objected to local farmers whistling up sheep dogs. That constituent caused great irritation with his complaints. That is the sort of thing that can happen when a total zealot is involved.

The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) does not believe that the Government have tried hard to find a way of avoiding removal of the words "quiet enjoyment". Because of my anxiety about those two words on behalf of my constituents, I know for a fact that the hon. Gentleman is wrong. My right hon. Friend the Minister tried exceptionally hard to keep those words in the Bill. I am convinced that it is impossible to devise a way of retaining them while protecting historic and traditional activities from the zealot. I can give that assurance because of discussions with my right hon. Friend, when he was kind enough to explain that he tried extremely hard.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley , Glanford and Scunthorpe

We do not support zealotry or the extremes that the right hon. Gentleman mentions. Amendment No. 267 states: no person shall be under a duty to prevent, reduce or restrict noise in any such area by reason only of the reference in that paragraph to the promotion of opportunities for the quiet enjoyment of those areas. Does not that meet the right hon. Gentleman's requirements?

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale

I am not a lawyer, but the lawyers for a number of organisations have said that they have been unable to find similar wording that fits the Bill. I have reluctantly reached the conclusion that the Government have done the right thing. I am totally opposed to idiots who make unnecessary noise in national parks. I declared on Second Reading my interest as having the honour to be president of the Auto Cycle Union, the governing body of all motor cycle sport. I am totally opposed to idiots who ride or drive around national parks making a vast amount of noise. Their activities totally infuriate me. Most such individuals are not taking part in organised activities. I have always encouraged the Auto Cycle Union to take the strongest measures against anyone who makes unnecessary noise.

Photo of Peter Atkinson Peter Atkinson , Hexham

I have seen three sets of counsel's opinion from different organisations, and I also recall the words of Lord Justice Akner in the other place. They all said that the Government's intention was potentially flawed and that zealots could have exploited such wording. I confirm that my right hon. Friend the Minister worked extremely hard to include the words in question but that legal opinion was against him.

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale

My hon. Friend's intervention is extremely telling. I am anxious that the zealot could get at a number of activities such as quarrying and agriculture. The National Farmers Union states: We therefore consider that the Government has taken the correct decision to invite the House to restore the Bill to its original wording of 'promoting … understanding and enjoyment' by means of amendments 193–195, and would urge their acceptance. The Country Landowners Association takes a similar view: Clarification is still needed that the power in the Bill to promote 'quiet enjoyment' does not constitute a new power to control or ban current or other acceptable activities.

Photo of Patrick McLoughlin Patrick McLoughlin , West Derbyshire

Does my right hon. Friend agree that new activities are to be seen in national parks and the grounds of stately homes? National parks are not fossilised and frozen in history but develop. They Offer activities such as open air concerts and firework displays, which may not have taken place in the past but are popular today. If the words "quiet enjoyment" were in the Bill, such events could be in danger.

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for drawing attention to other activities, some of which affect employment. There has just been a long inquiry into the Lake District planning board's proposal to impose a 10 mph speed limit on Lake Windemere—the only lake left in the district where power boats are allowed. We have reached the stage where a sensible management arrangement can be agreed, which would allow water sports to continue by controlling zoning, noise, timing, competence, insurance and, above all, by providing adequate policing and licensing.

I fear that many hundreds of jobs on Lake Windemere in my constituency would be in jeopardy if the words "quiet enjoyment" remained in the Bill and somebody could argue that all moves towards a management agreement were voided. That would be a huge waste of time and immensely unfair to the hundreds of my constituents who depend for their livelihoods on water sports.

Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger , Pembroke

Is the right hon. Gentleman trying to convince the House that Lake District board members would undo all their work in establishing excellent arrangements for Lake Windemere and risk hundreds of jobs'? Is he suggesting that members of the park authority would consider such action?

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale

That is precisely what they did. They agreed, against the advice of the board's officials, to impose a 10 mph limit on the lake, without making any studies of the number of jobs involved. That was one of the most irresponsible decisions taken by the Lake District planning board in the 31 years that I have been a Member of Parliament.

I refer the House to another example, involving Swaledale in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague). I know that dale well, and a significant part of its economy depends on grouse shooting. It has to pay keepers and has the expense of finding people to take part in shoots. Without the revenue from foreigners and others who come to shoot, it would have been impossible for Lord Peel to carry out his wonderful work over the years in conserving the grouse. Without that activity and revenue, that species would have been under much greater pressure than it is at present.

It would be easy for our friend the zealot to go to court and say, "How can anybody begin to argue that grouse shooting is not an infringement of quiet enjoyment?" We would have been taking a great risk if we had not made sure that the legislation offered proper protection against the zealot. I applaud my right hon. Friend's courage in agreeing that the words "quiet enjoyment" are best left out of the Bill.

Photo of Martin Smyth Martin Smyth , Belfast South

I am a little bit puzzled about the idea of promoting quiet sports and quiet enjoyment. Is it suggested that one must be rowdy to enjoy even a quiet activity? Are we not on the wrong side of the argument when we speak about promoting quiet enjoyment?

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale

Of course it does not follow that quiet enjoyment and quiet activities go hand in hand. Some activities are quiet and some are not. Thousands of people come to my constituency to walk and enjoy the incomparable scenery: others come to do other things. I do not see why legislation should exclude from national parks activities that may be noisy. The hon. Member for Denton and Reddish said, and I wrote it down, that some activities are noisy. But it is not the business of the House to ban them and put them out of existence. I congratulate the Government on their amendments, which have my full support.

Photo of Mrs Anne Campbell Mrs Anne Campbell , Cambridge

There is considerable interest in this issue in all parts of the House and passions have been aroused as a result. By trying to remove the words "quiet enjoyment" from the clause the Government are sending the worst possible message to the outside world about their intentions. The Bill was amended in the Lords, where the words "quiet enjoyment" were introduced. There was a long debate in Committee on the issue, during which the Minister defended the use of those words. Government vacillation at this stage will give rise to total bewilderment among people outside about what exactly is going on.

In Committee, the Minister gave an undertaking to clarify the meaning of "quiet enjoyment". As my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) said, when the Secretary of State addressed the national parks conference only a month ago in May, he confirmed the Government's commitment to the promotion of quiet enjoyment. He said he was optimistic that a solution could be found to enable the words to remain in the Bill.

I can understand the Government changing tack when they change Prime Minister, which is what they may do in the next few weeks, but to change tack when there is no change of Prime Minister or Secretary of State is totally peculiar. Many people will find it strange.

We are debating not just physical recreation but spiritual refreshment and renewal in national parks. That needs peace and quiet, and the reason it has aroused such passion is that, for many of us who lead turbulent and busy lives, going to national parks and being able to enjoy a quiet activity is appreciated and valued. National parks are about promoting activities that cause no lasting environmental damage and do not intrude on the quiet enjoyment of others.

The examples quoted by hon. Members of people objecting to perfectly reasonable activities could surely be circumvented by a reasonable definition of quiet enjoyment. There must be ways to define what a reasonable person would regard as quiet activity. The examples quoted in Committee of groups of noisy ramblers laughing and shouting would not be seen as objectionable by a reasonable person. Someone who objects to a farmer whistling to his dogs is not a reasonable person. Such examples are spurious, and do not present a true picture of what the majority of people want.

8.45 pm

As I said in an intervention, the promotion of quiet enjoyment is not equivalent to a ban on any activity in national parks. The speeches of some hon. Members have supposed that the words "quiet enjoyment" would give rise to a ban on activities that people find enjoyable and which do not cause undue disturbance to others. It is important that the words "promotion" and "regulation" should not be confused in the way that they are being confused by Conservative Members. We are not debating a ban on field sports or on shooting, although I would certainly vote to ban fox hunting, hare coursing and deer stalking if I had the opportunity to do so. However, in this debate I am not being given that opportunity.

Photo of Peter Ainsworth Peter Ainsworth , East Surrey

The hon. Lady will know from our discussions in Committee that I have a great deal of sympathy for her case. However, in her support for noisy and cackling groups of cagouled ramblers and in her pseud townie approach to Wordsworthian countryside epics, she is undermining the case that she tries to make.

Photo of Mrs Anne Campbell Mrs Anne Campbell , Cambridge

I was born and brought up in the middle of the Yorkshire Pennines. I spent much of my youth there and did not leave until I went to university. Therefore, I am not a townie by upbringing or habit. I spend a great deal of my time in the country and I appreciate and enjoy it as much as anybody else. The hon. Gentleman's criticism is totally unjustified.

Photo of Glenda Jackson Glenda Jackson , Hampstead and Highgate

Does my hon. Friend agree that many townies value national parks and support their existence? For many townies a national park is the only open space where they can get the fresh air and quiet enjoyment to which, I would have thought, they are entitled.

Photo of Mrs Anne Campbell Mrs Anne Campbell , Cambridge

My hon. Friend makes an extremely valuable point. I should not have allowed myself to be deflected by the hon. Member for Surrey, East (Mr. Ainsworth) whose argument is often produced by those who favour field sports. Their case is that the only people who can possibly oppose them are those who were born and brought up in towns. That is obviously false and I am glad that my hon. Friend has given me the chance to make that clear.

The promotion of quiet enjoyment does not give national parks authorities any new powers to control noisy activities, much as some people would like to do that. It simply provides a context for the management of national parks in circumstances where conflicts between different types of recreation arise. We must see that in context.

The Labour party accepts that the present wording in clause 60 may not be ideal, but there would have been enormous value in inserting a definition that gave some precision to the words "quiet enjoyment". I find it difficult to believe that the parliamentary counsel and lawyers could not come up with something that would have been viewed as reasonable by a large percentage of the population.

The removal of the word "quiet" at this stage represents the worst of all possible outcomes. The Government are seen not only to be vacillating on the issue, but to be presenting a message to the outside world that they have abandoned the promotion of quiet enjoyment. That will be far more unpopular than they realise.

Photo of John Greenway John Greenway , Ryedale

I shall endeavour to be brief. My right hon. Friend the Minister has faced a difficulty in trying to deal with the complex issue of the phrase "quiet enjoyment", and all those of us who represent national parks—most of the North York Moors national park is in my constituency—have had the same problem. We have had to try and balance the interests of people who genuinely want to promote more quietness and tranquillity in national parks with those of people who, also reasonably, have concerns about the word "quiet" and about the legal advice that has been given on the general court interpretation of the phrase "quiet enjoyment". It is important that, on issues of this sort, we try to strike a balance of fairness between clearly conflicting arguments.

Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

On the legal interpretation of the words "quiet enjoyment", is my hon. Friend aware of Lord Ackner's words in the other place? He said that "quiet enjoyment" in legal terms means something different. It means physical interference between landlords and tenants. This place would be passing bad, unclear law if it were to include the words "quiet enjoyment" in this context, which means something totally different in legal parlance.

Photo of John Greenway John Greenway , Ryedale

We have discussed that in this debate but my hon. Friend makes his point firmly and strongly. I do not think that there is any need for me to add to it.

I want to concentrate on what the Bill will say if the Government's amendment is passed. We are in danger of thinking that what will be left on the face of the Bill will be worthless. On the contrary, the first point to make is that understanding and enjoyment, as opposed to quiet enjoyment and understanding, and the promotion of opportunities for those things are not exclusive, but complementary to the requirements for conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage. When we take those two things together, we have a formidable tool for the national park committees, not just to ensure tranquillity generally and conservation of national park countryside, landscape, and wildlife, but to promote understanding.

There is insufficient understanding of the working life of people in national parks. That is certainly the case in my constituency in north Yorkshire. Their working life is not understood. I say to the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mrs. Campbell) that, when people talk about banning fox-hunting, they do not understand that, for example, the Saltersgate and Farndale hunts probably go out only two or three times a year and on foot, and that they involve not the rich, landed gentry sitting on horses and enjoying a big social event, but working people.

Eventually, when we come to readdress all this in the fulness of time, we will perhaps look back and think that we spent far too much time worrying about the word "quiet" and not enough time attending to the role of the national parks in promoting understanding of the life and cultural heritage of the park. I want the Government to encourage people to do that more. When it comes to having to come down on one side or the other in this conflicting argument, in my book the people who work and live in the park are the people of whom we have to take the most notice. They generally have grave misgivings about the word "quiet".

The only real complaint that I have had about anything going on in North York Moors national park—if we put low-flying RAF jets to one side—is a serious problem. I know that my right hon. Friend the Minister has also struggled to try to do something about it. It involves the mess and damage caused by four-wheel drive vehicles. When we have finished with this legislation, we need to get the national park committees to obtain legal opinion on whether the new provision will enable us to do something about such vehicles. Frankly, the mess that they are making on some of the bridleways in the North York Moors national park, and, I dare say, elsewhere, in no way conserves or enhances natural beauty.

Photo of Matthew Taylor Matthew Taylor Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment)

The gap between the two sides of the House is narrower than it appears. For the most part, everyone is struggling to achieve broadly the same ends and the debate is around the best way to do that. On the comments of the hon. Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) about the development of four-wheel drive vehicles, that seems to go to the heart of how I interpret the clause. The proposal is not about addressing the traditions in the countryside and things that have gone on over many years. Those would not change, because to change them would be a reversal, not a promotion of new activity. We understand that the proposal goes to the heart of the promotion of new activities.

There is a constant process—through new technologies, modernisation, mechanisation, the increasing wealth of individuals and their ability to buy four-wheel drive vehicles and the rest of it—of moving into uses of national parks and other parts of the countryside that did not exist before and that, unfortunately, are often noisy. The argument for quiet enjoyment goes to the heart of how we see the future development of the national parks in terms of the competing demands that are on them, and in terms of which competing demands the national parks should seek to promote.

I do not believe that the hon. Gentleman or any other Conservative Member disagrees with that concern or that approach, but the disagreement comes down to how we deal with the amendment. In that respect, hon. Members and the Minister must understand that there is real concern among those who have promoted and supported the phrase "quiet enjoyment" that, until the past couple of days, Ministers seemed to be supporting those words, and accepting the amendments made in the other place, but now, at this late stage, have reversed that position after lobbying from some Back-Bench Conservative Members and others and a number of organisations. It seems that they are backing away more because of the politics than because of practicalities. No doubt we could argue all night about whether that is true, but that is our perception.

I believe that it should not be too hard to define, if not the term "quiet", at least the term "promotion" and what that means in terms of existing activities, and so on, both for the guidance issued by Ministers and the Bill. That is what the Labour amendment has sought to do.

Any rural Member understands the problems that can arise from the actions of those who have been described as the zealots. I understand that. One of the most appalling cases that I have seen in recent years was that of Corky the cockerel, which, extraordinarily, the courts decided against. Surely anybody in the countryside should expect those sort of noises in the early morning. In fact, these days one is more likely to suffer from the noise of large tractors. Nevertheless, that is an example of how matters can be pursued in the courts, and I understand that concern.

9 pm

In practice, it is unlikely that there would be many such vexatious cases, and I do not believe that the courts would be sympathetic to that. In any case, Ministers hold matters in their own hands. Through definitions in the Bill and in guidance, they can give courts a clear position on that.

There is a certain irony in the debate. Only yesterday, we were debating the cost-benefit clauses. The Opposition were arguing that that issue was not susceptible to proper definition, but Ministers were arguing that they believed that, in practice, such matters would not be taken to the courts and that, in any case, they could clarify the position in guidance. I disagreed with them last night, but I believe that this issue is susceptible of the sort of guidance and definition for which Ministers argued in yesterday's debate.

The nub of this issue and the reason it raises such concern and attention is that it deals with the future direction of national parks and the choices that have to be made. Ultimately, real decisions are made about the sort of activities that should go on in national parks. Those decisions often involve making a judgment about jobs and economic development for those within the community as well as the nature of the traditional environment and practices within a national park. They also involve making a judgment about destruction of the environment, including noise pollution and the need to respect and respond to the traditions of the community and new developments.

This debate is about showing the broad direction in which we want development to go. From the start, the national parks have been built around the peaceful enjoyment of the traditional qualities of the countryside and respect for the environment. I believe that the words "quiet enjoyment" are about that vision of the future for the national parks. Without arguing that Ministers are oblivious to that, I wish to tell them simply that I believe that they are wrong on this occasion. They failed to argue the case properly, and they should stick with their previous support for the amendment passed in the other place.

Photo of Mr Peter Griffiths Mr Peter Griffiths , Portsmouth North

When moving the amendment, my right hon. Friend the Minister drew attention to the fact that public perceptions of this part of the Bill have changed during the time that it has been under discussion. When the phrase "quiet enjoyment" was introduced into the Bill in the other place, I received a good many representations from constituents. I should add that all my constituents and I are townies, and that therefore we have a special interest in the qualities of the national parks because that is where we go for recreation and enjoyment. At first, the representations were all in favour of the new words because they have a simple charm about them. The trouble is, it is because they are so simple that I believe that they are misleading.

The word "quiet" is an easy word, but it can mean different things to almost every individual. If somebody hears a noise and shouts, "Be quiet," he means not that one should carry on with quiet enjoyment of one's activity but that one should stop and be silent.

The national parks are quite noisy places. All sorts of activities are taking place. People live there and some make their living there; there are roads passing through them on which there is heavy traffic; aircraft fly overhead and, although we may not necessarily approve of it, military activities take place.

All those things are happening there, so the parks are noisy places. When we get away from the noise into areas where there is less sound, the sounds made by individuals carry long distances. For example, whistling to a dog can be intrusive in a quiet area. I am not sure whether it is possible to have the quiet morris dancing that the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) mentioned. It is clear that whether an activity is irritating simply because it is noisy depends on the part of the national park in which it takes place.

The amendment would not simply take out the word "quiet" before the word "enjoyment". This is not a clash between enjoyment and quiet enjoyment: those who want quiet enjoyment are not arguing against those who want noisy enjoyment. Instead, amendment No. 193, wisely I believe, puts before any question of enjoyment, whether quiet or noisy, the word "understanding". That is the priority.

People who go into the national parks, for whatever purpose, should understand what the parks are there for. They should understand the activities that take place there before they start the enjoyment.

Photo of Mr Peter Griffiths Mr Peter Griffiths , Portsmouth North

Let me finish this point first.

One obvious example comes to mind. Parties of schoolchildren go into the national parks, and they may do so to watch noisy farming activities or to watch birds; but when they have finished and go to the picnic area, if they are anything like all the schoolchildren I have ever known, they make a noise.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley , Glanford and Scunthorpe

The hon. Gentleman is saying that the argument is about the definition of understanding. What is his definition of the word "understanding" in that context?

Photo of Mr Peter Griffiths Mr Peter Griffiths , Portsmouth North

The word "understanding" is simpler to define than the word "quiet". The word "understanding" represents a recognition of the needs of the people who go into a park and of the activities that take place there. The activities there must be understood, and so must the needs of the visitors. Those are quite straightforward requirements, and that is what the Government seek to provide—an opportunity for people outside to understand what goes on, and an opportunity for people within the parks to help to provide understanding and to receive understanding. They need that. They need their livestock to he protected.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley , Glanford and Scunthorpe

The other way round, surely.

Photo of Mr Peter Griffiths Mr Peter Griffiths , Portsmouth North

If the hon. Gentleman would listen, he might learn.

It is essential that understanding precedes enjoyment. Enjoyment will involve varying noise levels. What is required is sensible management of the parks, which already exists, with powers to control activities that take place within the boundaries of the parks.

To start with, I was most impressed by my constituents' representations in favour of "quiet enjoyment", but then I started to receive representations from those who use the parks regularly, who pointed out that they take part in all kinds of activities. That includes not only motor sport but model aircraft flying—a nuisance unless it is properly controlled, but if it is properly organised it is an activity that interests young and old, and obviously people can participate in that activity in a national park.

Tonight, we shall not simply take the word "quiet" away from the word "enjoyment" but put in the "understanding" that has to precede enjoyment. That will allow people to enjoy a park and not to abuse it, because they understand the requirements of the area.

Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger , Pembroke

As we come towards the end of our consideration of this very large Bill, it is rather unfortunate that the standard of debate has plunged abysmally in the past half hour. What we have heard from Conservative Members has been a load of drivel. What they have been saying is basically spurious scaremongering.

At one stage, the Government were willing to introduce an amendment that put back in the words "quiet enjoyment", yet they now seek to remove them. Which side are they on? Do they support the original intention to include the words "quiet enjoyment" or do they now support their removal? A letter that I received from the national park officer of Pembrokeshire Coast national park, dated 23 June, says: I have just learnt of the latest Government amendment, tabled, I gather a minute before midnight, to remove the words 'quiet enjoyment' from the second National Park purpose and revert to the original wording. To say this is a bombshell at this late stage following all the Government assurances and discussions is an understatement. Like a number of recent changes of direction, I am not sufficiently close to Westminster to know where this has come from, but it does represent a major reversal and a breach of assurances we have previously been given. The writer is referring specifically to the assurances given to the national parks.

Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger , Pembroke

The Minister intervenes from a sedentary position. I point out to him that my hon. Friend the Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) has already referred to the fact that the Secretary of State gave assurances to the national parks conference on this very issue. It is no wonder that the national park officer from Pembrokeshire writes in those terms.

The letter continues: As legislation on National Park matters is by the very nature of their priority infrequent, we are anxious that the Environment Bill should not create problems, but should rather learn from past experiences and resolve them. The recent debates over what type of enjoyment we should positively promote (and this in no way prevents…other forms of enjoyment taking place, or necessarily infers that we have to stop noisy activities) was I thought accepted on all sides. Those are the words of a Pembrokeshire Coast national park officer and they reflect the grave disappointment that the professionals working in the national parks, who have been promoting enjoyment and understanding for many years, feel as a result of the Government's treatment of them. The Government have promised one thing one month, have changed it the next and then changed it again.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) said, the issue is not quiet enjoyment but the promotion element. Conservative Members seem to believe that there will be a noise Gestapo tramping the moors, cliffs, paths and byways of our national parks, carrying sound meters and shutting people down. That is utter nonsense and Conservative Members know that.

My national park has within it the Castlemartin tank range which regularly blasts away throughout the summer, spring and autumn. It is not the British Army but the German army that is firing there. That does not cause a problem other than to the odd person who, understandably, complains. We have quarries within Pembrokeshire Coast national park which, again, blast away as and when. Nobody proposes that we should shut down the quarries.

I was interested in the comments by the right hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Jopling) about what had happened on Lake Windermere. Within Pembrokeshire Coast national park, we have the Cleddau waterway; both banks of it are national park. We had problems there and the national park, with the port authority, set up, after a great deal of consultation with boat owners and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, a series of byelaws which were accepted. That took a year or so of consultation, but it worked. In certain areas of that waterway, which is much used for water sports, jet bikes and water-skiing are banned. In other areas, there is a 5 mph limit.

It is possible to have quiet enjoyment yet still have what some would term noisy activities. It just takes sensible consultation. One often has to be patient but, in the end, everybody comes round and knows what is going on—as long as it is properly policed, as the right hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale said. It can be done. There is no threat to the tourism industry if proper byelaws are properly arrived at through proper consultation and are properly policed.

Amendment No. 267 is not new. The wording is basically copied from a previous amendment in another place. Bearing in mind that several Conservative Members have referred to counsel's opinion in relation to "quiet enjoyment", I would like the Minister to tell us whether those words have been subjected to counsel's opinion.

Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger , Pembroke 9:15 pm, 28th June 1995

I would still be interested to hear what counsel's opinion was on the matter, because the amendment, rather than trying to define "quiet enjoyment", sets limits and should assuage the fears of Conservative Members about a noise Gestapo tramping around shutting down farms, quarries and the tourism industry in the national parks. If the Government accept amendment No. 267, they will restore their relationship with the professionals who do such a wonderful job in our national parks promoting enjoyment and understanding.

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

I had intended when I started my remarks this evening to say that, until now, we have had rather a good debate on a vexed subject which, by demonstrating the controversy across the Floor of the House, illustrates the concern about the words involved. I am tempted to say that we have made a lot of noise about "quiet enjoyment".

I want to clarify one or two points. The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) and several other Opposition Members—not least the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Ainger)—suggested that we had accepted the principle of "quiet enjoyment", period. That was not the case. I said in Committee that we would like to be able to accept the principle of quiet enjoyment if it could be defined acceptably. The problem all along has been that we have not been able to define it acceptably.

The chief difference between the Government and the Opposition is that my right hon. and hon. Friends represent the people who live and work in national parks—[HON. MEMBERS: "What about Pembrokeshire?"] Let me finish. Hon. Members should not jump down a Minister's throat before he has had a chance to finish his remarks.

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

They are indeed excited. My point is that, representing the people who live and work in the English national park constituencies, my right hon. and hon. Friends speak with great authority.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Jopling), who, I am very sorry to say, is retiring at the next election, has represented Westmorland and the Lake district with considerable acumen and skill over many years, and speaks wearing the two hats to which I referred earlier. He has knowledge of the park through agriculture and land management and also through his interest in matters relating to motor sport. In a telling contribution to the debate, he was able to explain the problems as he sees them and as he has experienced them through his constituents. That is important.

Several others of my hon. Friends made similar points; my hon. Friend the Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) also made that point when speaking about those who live and work in the park. That is crucial.

Photo of Mrs Helen Jackson Mrs Helen Jackson , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. Does he not understand that a national park is a national park because it is beautiful and because visitors want to go there? It is for them that we tabled the amendment. The visitors who go to the park have an extremely important place to enjoy and in which to play.

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

Well, there it is—it has leaked out. The Labour party is interested only in those who visit and "recreate" in the national parks. The difference between Labour and us is that we are concerned about the jobs and livelihoods of people who live and work in the parks as well as about their recreational concerns and activities. Much has been made of amendment No. 267 which, as Opposition Members were right to say, was first tabled in another place. It had to be withdrawn because there was no consensus across the party divide or among those seeking to define "quiet" on what the amendment meant.

The point that my right hon. and hon. Friends and I have been trying to make is that we believed that the proposal originally predicated by adding the word "quiet" attracted notionally, as my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, North (Mr. Griffiths) said, but that, when it came to it, the people who live and work in and understand the parks said that they did not think the definition was right. They asked whether we could redefine the concept. We tried, and one of the reasons that we tabled Government amendment No. 193 so late was that we were trying, right up until the very last minute, to find a definition of "quiet" that would prove acceptable.

I should have preferred not to have such a long debate on a matter that was relatively uncontroversial in Committee and on which there was a degree of consensus. We tried hard to find a new definition but could not do so, and I was determined not to ignore the views of organisations such as the Royal Automobile Club and the National Farmers Union or of the people who live and work in the parks and the country landowners.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale mentioned Earl Peel, who has done signal work. Anyone who knows anything about the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds will know how he protected Swaledale and introduced some birds back into the area. He has made a great contribution, but he was one of their lordships who expressed great concern about the definition of "quiet" because of what it would have done to his conservancy.

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his view is shared by the Rural Development Commission and the Central Council of Physical Recreation?

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

Indeed, I cannot forbear to take note of the Central Council of Physical Recreation in view of my former incarnation. Both organisations expressed sensible views.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley , Glanford and Scunthorpe

I am sure that the Minister will accept that many people who live and work in national parks support this form of wording, but will he get to the crux of the matter and confirm, for the benefit of the House, that the wording of the Bill gives national park authorities no new powers or rights and that the existing laws will remain? Despite all the talk about legal opinion and going to lawyers, there is no difference between what the wording of the Bill allows and what people may or may not do now.

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

In essence, the hon. Gentleman is right, but we are concerned about the fact that there are potentially some people or organisations that would choose to go to law because they want to prevent those who live and work in the national parks doing certain things. I am sorry, but I am not prepared to accept that, and nor are my right hon. and hon. Friends. I emphasise again that there was originally consensus about what was attempted, but the concept was not capable of precise definition in a way that would have proved acceptable to some of the organisations that my colleagues and I mentioned.

We have had an interesting debate, but I do not think that we can logically proceed much further.

Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger , Pembroke

Will the Minister accept that the wording of amendment No. 267 would prevent the zealots, or whatever one calls them, from asking the park authorities to prosecute individuals?

Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble

There are some frightfully clever and very important people in another place, across the political divide, who are experts in constitutional law and who understand about land owning and its management, as well as living in and understanding the national parks. Their view was that this amendment, which the Opposition have taken over, did not adequately define what "quiet" meant.

To return to my final point, the word "quiet" is not capable of a definition that is acceptable to people who live and work in the park and to some of the organisations that represent them. That is why, even at the last minute, I tabled this amendment, and I know that my right hon. and hon. Friends will support me.

Question put. That the amendment be made:

The House divided Ayes 266, Noes 221.

Division No. 183][9.24 pm
AYES
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln)
Aitken, Rt Hon JonathanCarrington, Matthew
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)Carttiss, Michael
Allason, Rupert (Torbay)Cash, William
Amess, DavidChannon, Rt Hon Paul
Arbuthnot, JamesChapman, Sydney
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Ashby, DavidClarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif)
Atkins, Rt Hon RobertClifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)Coe, Sebastian
Baker, Rt Hon Kenneth (Mole V)Colvin, Michael
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset)Congdon, David
Baldry, TonyConway, Derek
Banks, Matthew (Southport)Cormack, Sir Patrick
Bates, MichaelCouchman, James
Batiste, SpencerCran, James
Bellingham, HenryCurry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Bendall, VivianDavies, Quentin (Stamford)
Beresford, Sir PaulDavis, David (Boothferry)
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnDay, Stephen
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDeva, Nirj Joseph
Booth, HartleyDevlin, Tim
Boswell, TimDicks, Terry
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Bottomley, Rt Hon VirginiaDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bowis, JohnDover, Den
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir RhodesDuncan, Alan
Brandreth, GylesDuncan-Smith, Iain
Brazier, JulianDunn, Bob
Bright, Sir GrahamDykes, Hugh
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterEggar, Rt Hon Tim
Brown, M (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)Elletson, Harold
Browning, Mrs AngelaEvans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Budgen, NicholasEvans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Burt, AlistairEvans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Butcher, JohnEvans, Roger (Monmouth)
Butler, PeterEvennett, David
Butterfill, JohnFaber, David
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomery)Fishburn, Dudley
Carlisle, John (Luton North)Forman, Nigel
Forsyth, Rt Hon Michael (Stirling)Madel, Sir David
Forth, EricMaitland, Lady Olga
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)Major, Rt Hon John
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)Mans, Keith
Freeman, Rt Hon RogerMarlow, Tony
French, DouglasMarshall, John (Hendon S)
Gale, RogerMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gallie, PhilMawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Gardiner, Sir GeorgeMellor, Rt Hon David
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon TristanMerchant, Piers
Garnier, EdwardMills, Iain
Gillan, CherylMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMoate, Sir Roger
Gorman, Mrs TeresaMonro, Sir Hector
Grant, Sir A (SW Cambs)Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Needham, Rt Hon Richard
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Nelson, Anthony
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)Neubert, Sir Michael
Gummer, Rt Hon John SelwynNewton, Rt Hon Tony
Hague, WilliamNicholls, Patrick
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir ArchibaldNicholson, David (Taunton)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hampson, Dr KeithNorris, Steve
Hanley, Rt Hon JeremyOnslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hannam, Sir JohnOppenheim, Phillip
Hargreaves, AndrewOttaway, Richard
Haselhurst, Sir AlanPage, Richard
Hawkins, NickPatnick, Sir Irvine
Hawksley, WarrenPatten, Rt Hon John
Hayes, JerryPattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Heald, OliverPawsey, James
Heath, Rt Hon Sir EdwardPickles, Eric
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidPorter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hendry, CharlesPorter, David (Waveney)
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir TerencePowell, William (Corby)
Hill, James (Southampton Test)Redwood, Rt Hon John
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Horam, JohnRichards, Rod
Hordem, Rt Hon Sir PeterRiddick, Graham
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelRobathan, Andrew
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Hunter, AndrewRowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Jack, MichaelRumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Jenkin, BernardSackville, Tom
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreySainsbury, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr)Shaw, David (Dover)
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelShephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineShepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Key, RobertShersby, Sir Michael
Knapman, RogerSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)Soames, Nicholas
Knight, Greg (Derby N)Spencer, Sir Derek
Knox, Sir DavidSpicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Kynoch, George (Kincardine)Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Lait, Mrs JacquiSpink, Dr Robert
Lamont, Rt Hon NormanSpring, Richard
Lang, Rt Hon IanSproat, Iain
Legg, BarrySquire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Leigh, EdwardStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Lennox-Boyd, Sir MarkSteen, Anthony
Lidington, DavidStephen, Michael
Lightbown, DavidStern, Michael
Lilley, Rt Hon PeterStewart, Allan
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)Streeter, Gary
Lord, MichaelSumberg, David
Luff, PeterSweeney, Walter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir NicholasSykes, John
MacKay, AndrewTapsell, Sir Peter
Maclean, Rt Hon DavidTaylor, Ian (Esher)
McLoughlin, PatrickTaylor, John M (Solihull)
McNair-Wilson, Sir PatrickTaylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Temple-Morris, PeterWatts, John
Thomason, RoyWells, Bowen
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)Whitney, Ray
Thornton, Sir MalcolmWhittingdale, John
Thumham, PeterWiddecombe, Ann
Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)Wilkinson, John
Tredinnick, DavidWilletts, David
Trend, MichaelWilshire, David
Trotter, NevilleWinterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Twinn, Dr IanWinterton, Nicholas (Macc'fld)
Vaughan, Sir GerardWolfson, Mark
Viggers, PeterWood, Timothy
Waldegrave, Rt Hon WilliamYeo, Tim
Walden, GeorgeYoung, Rt Hon Sir George
Waller, Gary
Ward, JohnTellers for the Ayes:
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)Mr. Timothy Kirkhope and
Waterson, NigelMr. Simon Burns.
NOES
Abbott, Ms DianeDixon, Don
Adams, Mrs IreneDobson, Frank
Ainger, NickDonohoe, Brian H
Allen, GrahamDowd, Jim
Alton, DavidEagle, Ms Angela
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)Eastham, Ken
Armstrong, HilaryEtherington, Bill
Ashdown, Rt Hon PaddyEvans, John (St Helens N)
Ashton, JoeFatchett, Derek
Austin-Walker, JohnField, Frank (Birkenhead)
Barnes, HarryFisher, Mark
Barron, KevinFlynn, Paul
Battle, JohnForsythe, Clifford (S Antrim)
Bayley, HughFoster, Rt Hon Derek
Beckett, Rt Hon MargaretFoster, Don (Bath)
Beggs, RoyFoulkes, George
Bennett, Andrew FFraser, John
Benton, JoeFyfe, Maria
Bermingham, GeraldGalbraith, Sam
Berry, RogerGalloway, George
Betts, CliveGapes, Mike
Boateng, PaulGarrett, John
Bray, Dr JeremyGeorge, Bruce
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)Gerrard, Neil
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)Godman, Dr Norman A
Burden, RichardGodsiff, Roger
Byers, StephenGolding, Mrs Llin
Callaghan, JimGordon, Mildred
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)Graham, Thomas
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Campbell-Savours, D NGrocott, Bruce
Cann, JamieGunnell, John
Chidgey, DavidHain, Peter
Chisholm, MalcolmHarman, Ms Harriet
Church, JudithHattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Clapham, MichaelHenderson, Doug
Clark, Dr David (South Shields)Heppell, John
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Hinchliffe, David
Clelland, DavidHodge, Margaret
Clwyd, Mrs AnnHoey, Kate
Coffey, AnnHogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Cohen, HarryHome Robertson, John
Connarty, MichaelHood, Jimmy
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)Hoon, Geoffrey
Cook, Robin (Livingston)Howarth, George (Knowsley North)
Corbett, RobinHowells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Cousins, JimHoyle, Doug
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Dafis, CynogHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)Hutton, John
Denham, JohnIllsley, Eric
Dewar, DonaldJackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Jamieson, DavidPrescott, Rt Hon John
Janner, GrevillePrimarola, Dawn
Jones, leuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)Purchase, Ken
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)Quin, Ms Joyce
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)Radice, Giles
Jowell, TessaRandall, Stuart
Keen, AlanRaynsford, Nick
Khabra, Piara SReid, Dr John
Kilfoyle, PeterRendel, David
Kirkwood, ArchyRobertson, George (Hamilton)
Lestor, Joan (Eccles)Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)
Lewis, TerryRoche, Mrs Barbara
Liddell, Mrs HelenRooker, Jeff
Livingstone, KenRooney, Terry
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Llwyd, ElfynRoss, William (E Londonderry)
Loyden, EddieRowlands, Ted
Lynne, Ms LizRuddock, Joan
McAllion, JohnSedgemore, Brian
McAvoy, ThomasSheerman, Barry
Macdonald, CalumSheldon, Rt Hon Robert
McFall, JohnShore, Rt Hon Peter
McKelvey, WilliamShort, Clare
Mackinlay, AndrewSimpson, Alan
McMaster, GordonSkinner, Dennis
MacShane, DenisSmith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
McWilliam, JohnSmyth, The Reverend Martin
Mahon, AliceSoley, Clive
Marek, Dr JohnSpearing, Nigel
Marshall, David (Shettleston)Spellar, John
Martin, Michael J (Springburn)Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Meacher, MichaelStrang, Dr. Gavin
Meale, AlanStraw, Jack
Michael, AlunTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Milburn, AlanTimms, Stephen
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)Tipping, Paddy
Moonie, Dr LewisTouhig, Don
Morgan, RhodriTurner, Dennis
Morley, ElliotTyler, Paul
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)Vaz, Keith
Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Mowlam, MarjorieWallace, James
Mudie, GeorgeWalley, Joan
Mullin, ChrisWardell, Gareth (Gower)
Murphy, PaulWareing, Robert N
O'Brien, Mike (N W'kshire)Wicks, Malcolm
O'Brien, William (Normanton)Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
O'Hara, EdwardWilliams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Olner, BillWilson, Brian
O'Neill, MartinWise, Audrey
Orme, Rt Hon StanleyWorthington, Tony
Parry, RobertWright, Dr Tony
Pearson, IanYoung, David (Bolton SE)
Pike, Peter LTellers for the Noes:
Powell, Ray (Ogmore)Mr. Jon Owen Jones and
Prentice, Bridget (Lew'm E)Mr. Robert Ainsworth.

Question accordingly agreed to.