Clause 16 – in the House of Commons at 11:45 pm on 4 February 1998.

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Photo of Adam Ingram Adam Ingram Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office 11:45, 4 February 1998

I beg to move amendment No. 23, in page 10, line 27, leave out 'or other'.

It gives me pleasure to move the amendment, because it reflects the important contribution made in Committee by the hon. Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Grieve), who I had hoped would be present when we reached this amendment.

The amendment will ensure that the definition of a band in the Bill will cover only those gathered for the purpose of playing musical instruments. It will exclude the mysterious reference to "other instruments" in the Bill as drafted, which reflects existing legislation. We had some fun in Committee suggesting what "other instruments" that were not musical instruments might mean in relation to a band. We spoke about dustbin lids and skiffle bands, and it was suggested that the spoons and perhaps bones would fall into that category. We thought of many examples, but rather than trying to find justification for the phrase, I have decided to delete it.

My attention was drawn to the anomaly in the Bill, which has been in existing legislation for some time, but good draftsmanship demands that it should be removed. That is the reason for amendment No. 23.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 24, in page 10, line 38, at end insert— '"protest meeting" means an open—air public meeting (within the meaning of the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987)—

  1. (a) which is, or is to be, held—
    1. (i) at a place which is on or in the vicinity of the route or proposed route of a public procession; and
    2. (ii) at or about the same time as the procession is being or is to be held; and
  2. (b) the purpose (or one of the purposes) of which is to demonstrate opposition to the holding of that procession on that route or proposed route;'

No. 25, in page 11, line 2, at end insert— '(1A) For the purposes of this Act a protest meeting is "related" to a public procession if the purpose (or one of the purposes) of the meeting is to demonstrate opposition to the holding of that procession on its route or proposed route.'.—[Mr. Ingram.]