Part of International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 15th February 2006.

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Photo of Tom Clarke Tom Clarke Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 10:45 am, 15th February 2006

Mr. Hood, I seek a little more success in raising a point of order.

I should like to say how much I agree with the hon. Member for Banbury.We have come to the end of what has been a most impressive sitting that could be a model for many other Bills. However, that did not simply happen this morning, although I am grateful for everything that took place today. I should like to thank a number of people who have made a substantial contribution to our progress thus far.

I thank the staff of the various Departments involved, particularly DFID, for their outstanding commitment. I thank my limited staff for the work that they have done. I also thank Committee members and other hon. Members for the work that they have done and for their support. The spokespersons for all the political parties have been constructive in what they had to say and in helping to develop the Bill. I know that they will allow me to thank my hon. and right hon.   Friends, who have been magnificent in their support. I am very grateful for what they are doing and what they will continue to do until the Bill is, we hope, enacted.

We could not have made this progress without the excellent advice of the Clerks, who are sometimes stern but prove, in the end, to be correct. I know that they, too, would want to join me in thanking Dr. Egan for his excellent contribution in recent months.

I also thank two colleagues who have been helpful and constructive, particularly in today’s proceedings. I referred earlier to the generosity of my hon. Friend the Minister, which whom I was discussing these matters even on Sunday. He was right to reflect in his contribution that although we had not always reached agreement, we managed in the end to get to where we are. I was pleased that our discussion on Sunday took place before the famous rugby match, so he was not aware of the frequency with which red cards were delivered to Scotland. I am grateful for the progress that was made and genuinely grateful for my hon. Friend’s work on the Bill, among all the other work that he has had to do in the House this week.

Finally, Mr. Hood, our proceedings would not have been possible and would not have gone so smoothly had it not been for your chairmanship. You have shown again the good humour, sensitivity and knowledge of procedure that we have always associated with you. I have already mentioned Judith Hart. It is obvious that the Clydesdale constituency makes an enormous contribution to the work of the House, particularly international development, and you have personified that this morning, Mr. Hood.

I end by saying that we have, without a single vote, made good progress, taking on board the views expressed in the House on Second Reading. We have achieved consensus, which reflects well not just on the Committee, but on Parliament. I hope that the consensus, good will and practical approach to progress on international development will be reflected in our proceedings on Report and Third Reading.