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Extension Of Categories Of Persons About Whom It Is Unlawful To Collect Information

Volume 114: debated on Wednesday 8 April 1987

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9.30 pm

I beg to move amendment No. 10, in page 5, line 6, leave out from beginning to first 'any' in line 11 and insert

(b) after paragraph (d) there shall be added "; and (e)'.

With this we may take the following amendments: No. 11, in page 5, line 6, leave out `paragraphs' and insert 'paragraph:.

No. 12, in page 5, leave out line 7.

No. 13, in page 5, line 5, leave out from beginning to `and' in line 10.

I note that the Government amendment is paralleled by the amendment tabled by the official Opposition and the Official Unionists.

When clause 8 was discussed in Committee, the two members of the Committee most closely concerned were the right hon. Member for South Down (Mr. Powell) and the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon). Both selflessly and passionately rejected the proposal that section 22(2) of the 1978 Act should be extended so that elected representatives in Northern Ireland were afforded a protection not shared by their constituents. In the light of their reaction, the Government have reconsidered the clause and decided that the only extension should be to include former members of the categories already listed in section 22(2), namely, the security forces, the prison service, the judiciary and officers of the court.

I rise only to say that I endorse all that the Minister has just said. In the circumstances I do not propose to move our amendment.

This is one of the many matters in which a degree of unanimity, which perhaps surprised members of the Committee, was achieved as a result of our discussions. It remains for me to add only that, having further consulted my colleagues, I found them fully in agreement with the line that I took in Committee. We therefore welcome the Government amendment.

Amendment agreed to.