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Commencement

Volume 79: debated on Friday 17 May 1985

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I beg to move amendment No. 81, in page 3, line 15, leave out 'England and Wales only' and insert 'the United Kingdom'.

The amendment simply corrects a mistake, and normally I would move such an amendment formally, but since this might be the last occasion on which the House, probably to its relief, will hear from me this morning, I should like to make a few extra comments.

I want to thank the House for its patience this morning. I pay tribute to my fellow sponsors. I should like to thank Mr. Des Wilson of the Freedom of Information Campaign, and Mr. Ron Bailey and his team, who have assisted me many times in the last few months.

I thank the local authority associations, which have had to respond promptly to my urgent requests. I have met their representatives many times to try to clarify the legislation, which they recognise to be important. All of them have been constructive in their approach. They have sought to understand the thrust and sense of the Bill and have given it their full support.

I do not intend to summarise the purposes of the Bill, because that would be an abuse, but it is an attempt to spread more information—

Order. I allowed the hon. Gentleman a little latitude, recognising that he would want to thank those who have assisted him, but he must avoid turning the debate on this amendment into a Third Reading debate.

I should not dream of doing that, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and I respond immediately to your well-merited correction. I hope hon. Members feel that they have done a good day's work. I hope, too, that the legislation will be a tribute to the House and a starting point for other measures of a similar nature.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made:

No. 82, in page 3, line 15, leave out 'England and'.

No. 83, in page 3, line 15, leave out 'and Wales'.— [Mr. Squire.]