Title

Gangmasters (Licensing) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 28th April 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Amendment made: No. 9, in

title, line 1, leave out from 'of' to 'and' in line 2 and insert

'activities involving the supply or use of workers in connection with agricultural work, the gathering of wild creatures and wild plants, the harvesting of fish from fish farms, and certain processing and packaging;'.—[Jim Sheridan.]

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

On a point of order, Mr. Illsley, I think that this is the appropriate stage to thank you for the enormous good humour and efficiency with which you have dispatched the business of this Committee. I am sure that it required all your undoubted talents to achieve that outcome.

We could not have reached this point without the willingness of my hon. Friend the Member for West Renfrewshire to engage with such a wide range of

interested parties outside this place and with hon. Members across the House. The time spent preparing for today's proceedings has been well spent. It has involved the Transport and General Workers Union, the National Farmers Union, a wide range of other organisations and hon. Members from each of the three main parties. It has also involved my officials in discussions that were slightly innovative, even for DEFRA, which is used to talking to all sorts of people in all sorts of places. I place on record my thanks to them for their willingness to be open in those discussions. That is what has made it so fruitful. As an exercise in co-operation, we can all congratulate ourselves.

The issues that have been raised by Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Members have been entirely legitimate. They are complex issues and we will not seek to brush them aside. They will be in our minds as we design the secondary legislation and establish the agency. I wanted to put that on record because it has been a unique process, not only because you were able to dispatch so much business in a few seconds, Mr. Illsley. I pass our thanks, as ever, to the Clerk, Hansard and the security officials, who have managed to keep order in this Committee Room while we have worked our way through these issues.

Photo of Eric Illsley Eric Illsley Labour, Barnsley Central

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman, and I am sure that all members of the Committee appreciate what he has said. I would like to echo his comments about the police, Hansard and the Clerk to the Committee, who has prepared a very accurate, if not entirely clear brief for the Chairman. I congratulate the hon. Member for West Renfrewshire on bringing the Bill forward.

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

Committee rose at twenty-five minutes past Five o'clock.