Lords Amendment No. 110

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 22nd July 2002.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith Lord Goldsmith Attorney General, Law Officers' Department, Attorney General (Law Officers) 6:00 pm, 22nd July 2002

I do not, my Lords; I am being perfectly frank with the noble Lord, Lord Tebbit. I suggest that we should draw a line under the reasons why a properly constituted committee of another place reached the conclusion that it did. It has assigned its reasons. I entirely understand and appreciate that your Lordships' House regards this as a matter of discourtesy. I have indicated that people will have to look carefully at what has been said.

However, the point before noble Lords is that, having debated the matter fully on other occasions, another place was of the view that Part 5 was an important part of the effort to produce a system that would prevent the proceeds of crime fuelling further crime in this country; that it was necessary to approach that by way of the new civil recovery process; and that it was necessary to prevent the corrosive effect of the proceeds of crime, as the noble Lord, Lord Kingsland, described it, from continuing drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, bank robbery and serious organised crime. It is an important part. Everybody has accepted, with few exceptions—the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, was one of them—that Part 5 involves the right approach. Lords Amendment No. 110 would produce an exception—a huge exception—and would make this part of the Bill unworkable.

I have done the best that I can to deal with what is, from my point of view, a difficulty. The fact remains that the other place knew what the Bill was about and debated it at length. I have no reason to think that the Reasons Committee would not fully have understood what the will of the House was in relation to this particular exception. In those circumstances, I therefore invite noble Lords to accept the alternative amendment—the amendment in lieu proposed by the Government—and not to insist on Amendment No. 110.