Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 7th October 2002.

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Photo of Lord Peyton of Yeovil Lord Peyton of Yeovil Conservative 6:45 pm, 7th October 2002

I start by expressing my warm agreement with almost everything that my noble friend said. After all, it is my habit to agree always with the Front Bench and with the greatest respect. I believe that I have done so consistently today.

I always find that there is something objectionable in the phrase "As the Minister thinks" in any Bill by any government. I am not suggesting for a moment that Ministers do not think from time to time, but I at least ask the Government to take note of the possibility that every now and again Ministers do not think all that deeply or, alternatively, that they get it wrong. I find there is something offensive in the suggestion that because a Minister thinks something, action should follow accordingly. I do not accept that point of view.

In fact, I prefer my noble friend's amendment to the one I have tabled, but mine has the virtue of simplicity, brevity and of being easily understood. In this context and in this arena I realise that, far from those being virtues, they are cardinal defects and give my amendment absolutely no chance of being accepted by the noble Lord opposite.