Lord Swinfen: My Lords, I wonder whether my noble friend can help me. I think that I heard him say that the cost of a by-election in Wales is £7 million but that it is very much greater elsewhere—I have a feeling that he gave a figure of either £12 million or £20 million. I do not understand why there is this difference. Can we not learn something from Wales, so that costs can be brought down elsewhere?
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, can the Minister tell the House at what age the United Nations considers that a child ceases to be a child?
Lord Swinfen: Is my noble friend aware that I run—
Lord Swinfen: I quite understand that the Bill will apply to British ships in British waters and elsewhere in the world, but what is the position with foreign-flagged ships that happen to be in British waters when the homosexual act takes place? Their foreign laws may not apply in the same way that ours do.
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, I spoke briefly on this in Committee and I will not weary your Lordships by repeating what I said then. I shall say simply that I support the amendment, and if there is a Division I will vote in favour of it.
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, I am a complete layman in these matters. When the noble Lord, Lord Winston, responds, can he tell the Committee what in his view is a “high probability”? What does he mean by that? Also how long is “shortly after” a birth? Would that be hours, days, weeks or years?
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, I, too, support these amendments. They appear to be drafted in favour of the person who has made the planning application, but let us not forget that council officers also need family holidays, and they may not be there to consider the application and to give it the proper consideration that it requires—or not all of them, or not the relevant individual. So this amendment,...
Lord Swinfen: Before my noble friend sits down, what is the difficulty? Surely all the planning authority has to do is to stick a red marker on the planning application that says, “One extra day is allowed”. It is a matter of practicality and a bit of common sense.
Lord Swinfen: The noble Baroness is moving in the right direction, but as I read her Bill it would cover the Ministry of Defence, civil servants working for that ministry, members of the Armed Forces, the Treasury, Ministers in the Treasury and anyone involved in the manufacture and supply of arms for our own forces. I am sure that that is not her actual intention, and I am not a lawyer although I am...
Lord Swinfen: I am most grateful to the noble Baroness for saying that she will have a look at this point, and I look forward to hearing what she decides on it at a later stage.
Lord Swinfen: I am quite happy for the noble Baroness to answer my query when we come to the second group. I shall wait patiently to hear what she has to say.
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, I know that I do not hear very well, but I did not hear the noble Baroness, Lady Jolly, answer the points I made on the first amendment, although I heard her say on that one that she would respond to them when taking Amendment 3. I gather that we are now on that amendment and I look forward to hearing from her.
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, I apologise for speaking, as I did not have the opportunity to take part at Second Reading. I am a little puzzled by the meaning of new Section 4A(2) proposed in Clause 1. As I read it, it would mean that members of the Ministry of Defence, civil servants, members of the Armed Forces and the Treasury and various Ministers, “involved in the financing, transportation, freight...
Lord Swinfen: Will my noble friend look at the practicality of the matter, which has been so well explained?
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, what if we were to leave out the last part of the amendment, “against force or the threat of force”? I wonder about cybersecurity—which is new to most of us. You do not need weapons to threaten a nation today: it can all be done in the ether. I think that this amendment might be a lot better if those last few words were deleted.
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, conductors normally get out of the train to make certain it is safe to close the doors before the train goes on. Will drivers be getting out of the train to perform that task?
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, I am not a farmer. However, I like to think that I am a countryman. I live in an old farmhouse surrounded by someone else’s farm. It is farmed not by him but by a contractor. What I am about to say may be specific for that reason rather than applying generally throughout the country. I understand that there are now far fewer mixed farms than there were 30, 40 or 50 years ago. A...
Lord Swinfen: My Lords—
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, the noble Lord has told us what is—or, rather, what is not—being done at sea to protect our borders. What is being done on land to intercept illegal entry via our beaches and unmanned airfields in various places in the country?
Lord Swinfen: My Lords, I support the amendment in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Andrews. I have been in this House since 1977. During that time, the number of Members on the mobile Bench has increased considerably. When I entered the House, I think there was one, possibly two. That is an example of what is happening in the wider world around us, where you see more and more people using wheelchairs....