New Clause 5 - Consultation by the National Assembly for Wales

Part of Children's Commissioner for Wales Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:00 pm on 30th January 2001.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales 6:00 pm, 30th January 2001

Further to that point of order, Mr. Wells. I had intended to wait until you put the Question before making my remarks, but as the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire has raised his point of order, I shall do so now.

This is the 18th Bill on which I have had the pleasure of serving during my time in the House, Mr. Well but it is the first time I have ever gone through a Bill without voting, which is an indication of the cross-party support for the Bill and for the Government's proposals. I understand that the Whip, my hon. Friend the Member for Islwyn (Mr. Touhig), has been through two Bills without voting. Obviously, he brings an air of consensus to Committee proceedings, unlike previous Whips I have served under. I confess that when I was a Whip, I enjoyed forcing points on an issue, just to make a point.

I thank you, Mr. Wells, for your efforts in the sittings that you have chaired, and your colleague, Mr. Jones, who as well as being your co-Chairman is my constituency next-door-neighbour. I should also like to place on record my thanks to the Clerk, to parliamentary counsel, to my colleagues from the police for sitting through the Committee on numerous occasions and helping us during our proceedings, to the Hansard reporters, to officials from the Wales Office who are present today and those from the National Assembly who are on secondment to the Wales Office, and to the Doorkeepers for the service they have provided.

I also thank hon. Members on both sides of the Committee for their support and constructive comments. From the Opposition Benches, the hon. Members for North Dorset and for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) have been constructive in their comments, as have the hon. Members for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Llwyd) and for Brecon and Radnorshire. Not least, I thank my hon. Friends, both those who have offered constructive contributions and those who have indulged the Committee with their silence, for their fulsome and wholesome support at all times. It is a pleasure to know that many hon. Members are so keen on Government proposals that they do not need to reinforce their feelings with words, but can instead rely on the Minister to represent the Government's interests.

I also thank the many children's groups who have been involved in lobbying the Committee. It is right and proper that we explore the issues that they have raised. Finally, I pay tribute to National Assembly for its committee work, and to Jane Hutt, the Minister with responsibility for health and children's affairs in the National Assembly.

I am confident that, although it has not been amended in Committee, we have a Bill that will go to another place with the benefit of constructive criticism and Government explanations. In due course, when the Bill has been through Report stage and Third Reading, we shall have legislation of which the House and the National Assembly can be proud.