Mr George Stevenson: I share that concern, as does every hon. Member. I apologise to members of the public for their discomfort and the fact that they cannot get into the Room. I am advised that after today we shall return to Committee Room 14 and stay there. I shall be looking for volunteers to man the barricades when we are in there. Again, I offer my profound and profuse apologies.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. There is far too much conversation going on, particularly on the Government side of the Committee.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. I have a small announcement to make, and it may be convenient to do it now. I remind right hon. and hon. Members, and indeed members of the public, that, fortunately or otherwise, we shall be in Committee Room 11 this afternoon. It being twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order. Adjourned till...
Mr George Stevenson: Order. I should make it clear that in my judgment we have had an excellent debate, which has gone on for more than two hours. I realise that the issue is very important, but in calling James Gray to give his reaction I will not require repetition because we need to continue with the Committee's business.Hon. Members rightly want to engage with the debate, but I do not want to hear repetition.
Mr George Stevenson: We have spent nearly two hours and 20 minutes on this important group of amendments. In my judgment, that is sufficient for the debate. Question put, That the amendment be made:— The Committee divided: Ayes 10, Noes 20.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. This has been an excellent debate and I am sure that hon. Members want to keep it on that course.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. I repeat that the debate has been excellent. I am sure that right hon. and hon. Members will want to ensure that we continue with it. Alun Michael rose—
Mr George Stevenson: I did not hear the word ''misleading''. If that word has been used, that is not unusual in debate. I am sure that no hon. Member would deliberately mislead this Committee or the House. The point was being made that in previous contributions, lack of evidence was cited time and again. The Minister is seeking to provide that evidence, or at least his interpretation of it.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. I know that the hon. Gentleman is coming to the end of his speech to which I have listened with great interest. However, impugning the integrity of vegetarians will not help the debate.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. I am struggling to identify the hon. Gentleman's point on the schedule and the amendments.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. I should make one thing clear to members of the Committee. I have interpreted the schedule to mean that it would not outlaw or stop the practices that it covers, but registration would have to be applied for. I am prepared to accept that hon. Members are entitled to express their views on the effect of that registration process, and I believe that that is what is being done here.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. The hon. Gentleman is drifting into a speech. His hon. Friend has got the point.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. Any hon. Member may refer to documents that are pertinent to the amendment.
Mr George Stevenson: Order. The hon. Gentleman is right. It is discourteous to interrupt as some hon. Members are while the hon. Gentleman is making his speech.
Mr George Stevenson: First, I must advise colleagues that there is an error in the marshalling of the amendments on the printed amendment paper. We will begin on page 427 with amendment No. 212 and continue to amendment No. 342 on page 430. Having arrived there—no doubt exhausted—we will then go back to the first page and deal with amendments Nos. 347, 295 and 351. Once we have done that, I shall put the...
Mr George Stevenson: The hon. Gentleman need not worry about that. My Dad told me ''Never worry. Get concerned.'' I think I am getting concerned. I am told that that is not a problem. We need to look at the amendment paper, not the selection list.
Mr George Stevenson: We begin on page 427 with amendment No. 212. Then we shall make our way through the amendments to amendment No. 342 on page 430. Once we have reached that juncture, we shall go back to the first page and deal with amendments Nos. 347, 295 and 351. I knew I should not have done this.
Mr George Stevenson: We shall do it according to the Chairman's selection list.
Mr George Stevenson: Some amendments will have to be called formally. I apologise to the Committee. I am assured—you can take my assurance that I am assured—and I hope that I can offer further assurance that I understand why I am assured and that everything is in order, subject to the amendments that I have announced.
Mr George Stevenson: Yes.