Freedom of Information Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:15 pm on 14th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Norton of Louth Lord Norton of Louth Conservative 11:15 pm, 14th November 2000

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that answer. I had anticipated more or less everything. However, I was not quite certain that the final sentence would be as it was. I take his point that the issue is finely balanced; it could go the other way. I was suggesting a prompt to the Minister.

I take the point that it is necessary to consult the commissioner. It may be necessary and sufficient to consult the commissioner. In some cases it may be necessary but not sufficient to do so. I thought it appropriate to put on the face of the Bill that prompt to the Secretary of State to make sure that some other consultation may be desirable.

I put forward the amendment to be helpful. I realise that the issue is not at the heart of the Bill. If I were to test the opinion of the House I am sure that I should receive overwhelming support. However, given the time of night I do not think that that is necessary. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.