Census (Amendment) Bill [Lords] — Particulars in respect of religion may be required — 26 Jul 2000

As amended in the Standing Committee, considered.

I beg to move amendment No. 1, in page 1, line 12, after "religion", insert--

'or for giving a false answer to that question'.

Amend the Census Act 1920 to enable particulars to be required in respect of religion.

Not doing something which statute requires you to do is unlawful.

The Bill in its present form is in my view unconstitutional. Parliament cannot, without flouting constitutional principle, adopt the Bill in its present form.

But if it does, and if the Courts . . . have to recognise it as an Act of Parliament, that will not be the end of the matter. Apart from any possible effect of the Human Rights Act from October onwards, the draft Census Order, when available (prescribing the Census questions, including the religious questions) will be challengeable by judicial review--preferably by challenge to the decision to prescribe the questions, and preferably before any approving resolution of either House of Parliament.

it has been shown that making a question voluntary seriously affects the response not only to the question itself where response bias could devalue the information obtained, but also as regards other questions because people are confused about some questions being voluntary and others being compulsory.--[ Official Report, House of Lords , 27 January 2000; Vol. 608, c. 1717.]

Underneath the question will appear the statement "This question is voluntary".--[ Official Report, Standing Committee D , 5 July 2000; c. 13.]

these matters have been checked.--[ Official Report, Standing Committee D , 5 July 2000; c. 16.]

It would not be lawful to state on the form that the question was voluntary as the Minister proposes (in Standing Committee). As there is no power under the Act, as amended by the Bill in its present form, to include voluntary questions, to provide for such a statement in regulations would be ultra vires, the statement itself on the form would be unlawful and both would therefore be open to challenge by way of judicial review.

Were the Government to persist in describing the questions as voluntary, which we are confident would be ultra vires, it would be laying itself open to an adverse judicial review decision at any time before the census.

The Institute for Jewish Policy Research, in a recent paper on the issue, recommends that Britain should adopt the practice, as in the few other countries where such a question is asked, of making it voluntary. That would certainly remove the main objection to the Bill.

with respect to the forms to be used in the taking of a census.

Are those the correct legal powers that the Minister will use to make those regulations? This important point was raised earlier by the hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Tyrie).

with respect to the forms to be used in the taking of a census.

the Census Act 1920 to enable particulars to be required.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 184, Noes 331.

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Richard SpringWest SuffolkConaye
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Ann WiddecombeMaidstone and The WealdConaye
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Ms Helen ClarkPeterboroughLabno
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David ClellandTyne BridgeLab (minister)no
Ann ClwydCynon ValleyLab (minister)no
Vernon CoakerGedlingLabno
Ann CoffeyStockportLab (minister)no
Harry CohenLeyton and WansteadLabno
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Mr Tony ColmanPutneyLabno
Michael ConnartyFalkirk EastLab (minister)no
Yvette CooperPontefract and CastlefordLab (minister)no
Mr Robin CorbettBirmingham, ErdingtonLab (minister)no
Ms Jean CorstonBristol EastLabno
Jim CousinsNewcastle upon Tyne CentralLabno
Mr Tom CoxTootingLabno
Professor Ross CranstonDudley NorthLab (minister)no
David CrausbyBolton North EastLab (minister)no
John CryerHornchurchLab (minister)no
Jim CunninghamCoventry SouthLab (minister)no
Claire Curtis-ThomasCrosbyLabno
Mr Tam DalyellLinlithgowLabno
Mr Keith DarvillUpminsterLabno
Mrs Valerie DaveyBristol WestLabno
Mr Denzil DaviesLlanelliLabno
Mr Terry DavisBirmingham, Hodge HillLabno
Janet DeanBurtonLabno
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Andrew DismoreHendonLabno
Jim DobbinHeywood and MiddletonLabno
Frank DoranAberdeen CentralLabno
Jim DowdLewisham WestLab (minister)no
David DrewStroudLab (minister)no
Ms Julia DrownSouth SwindonLabno
Angela EagleWallaseyLab (minister)no
Maria EagleLiverpool, GarstonLabno
Mr Huw EdwardsMonmouthLabno
Clive EffordElthamLab (minister)no
Louise EllmanLiverpool, RiversideLab (minister)no
Jeff EnnisBarnsley East and MexboroughLabno
Frank FieldBirkenheadLabno
Jim FitzpatrickPoplar and Canning TownLabno
Ms Lorna FitzsimonsRochdaleLabno
Caroline FlintDon ValleyLabno
Paul FlynnNewport WestLabno
Barbara FollettStevenageLabno
Mr Derek FosterBishop AucklandLab (minister)no
Michael FosterWorcesterLabno
Michael Jabez FosterHastings and RyeLabno
Mr George FoulkesCarrick, Cumnock and Doon ValleyLab (minister)no
Bruce GeorgeWalsall SouthLabno
Neil GerrardWalthamstowLabno
Ian GibsonNorwich NorthLabno
Linda GilroyPlymouth, SuttonLabno
Dr Norman GodmanGreenock and InverclydeLabno
Roger GodsiffBirmingham, Sparkbrook and Small HeathLabno
Paul GogginsWythenshawe and Sale EastLabno
Mrs Llin GoldingNewcastle-under-LymeLab (minister)no
Mrs Eileen GordonRomfordLabno
Ms Jane GriffithsReading EastLabno
Nigel GriffithsEdinburgh SouthLabno
Mr Win GriffithsBridgendLabno
John GroganSelbyLab (minister)no
Mr John GunnellMorley and RothwellLabno
Mike HallWeaver ValeLab (minister)no
Patrick HallBedfordLabno
Fabian HamiltonLeeds North EastLab (minister)no
Sylvia HealHalesowen and Rowley Regiswhilst Labno
John HealeyWentworthLabno
Mr Ivan HendersonHarwichLabno
Stephen HepburnJarrowLab (minister)no
Stephen HesfordWirral WestLabno
Patricia HewittLeicester WestLab (minister)no
Keith HillStreathamLab (minister)no
Mr David HinchliffeWakefieldLabno
Geoff HoonAshfieldLab (minister)no
Phil HopeCorbyLabno
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLabno
Mr Alan HowarthNewport EastLab (minister)no
George HowarthKnowsley North and Sefton EastLab (minister)no
Kim HowellsPontypriddLab (minister)no
Lindsay HoyleChorleyLab (minister)no
Mr Kevin HughesDoncaster NorthLab (minister)tellno
Joan HumbleBlackpool North and FleetwoodLabno
Mr Alan HurstBraintreeLabno
John HuttonBarrow and FurnessLab (minister)no
Brian IddonBolton South EastLabno
Eric IllsleyBarnsley CentralLabno
Adam IngramEast KilbrideLab (minister)no
Glenda JacksonHampstead and HighgateLabno
Mrs Helen JacksonSheffield, HillsboroughLabno
Mr David JamiesonPlymouth, DevonportLab (minister)no
Brian JenkinsTamworthLabno
Alan JohnsonKingston upon Hull West and HessleLab (minister)no
Miss Melanie JohnsonWelwyn HatfieldLab (minister)no
Mr Barry JonesAlyn and DeesideLabno
Fiona JonesNewarkLabno
Helen JonesWarrington NorthLab (minister)no
Ms Jenny JonesWolverhampton South WestLabno
Mr Jon Owen JonesCardiff CentralLabno
Lynne JonesBirmingham, Selly OakLabno
Martyn JonesClwyd SouthLabno
Tessa JowellDulwich and West NorwoodLab (minister)no
Gerald KaufmanManchester, GortonLab (minister)no
Sally KeebleNorthampton NorthLabno
Alan KeenFeltham and HestonLabno
Ann KeenBrentford and IsleworthLabno
Ruth KellyBolton WestLabno
Jane KennedyLiverpool, WavertreeLab (minister)no
Piara S KhabraEaling, SouthallLabno
David KidneyStaffordLabno
Ashok KumarMiddlesbrough South and East ClevelandLabno
Stephen LadymanSouth ThanetLabno
Mrs Jackie LawrencePreseli PembrokeshireLabno
Bob LaxtonDerby NorthLabno
David LepperBrighton, PavilionLabno
Chris LeslieShipleyLabno
Tom LevittHigh PeakLabno
Ivan LewisBury SouthLabno
Mr Terry LewisWorsleyLabno
Mrs Helen LiddellAirdrie and ShottsLab (minister)no
Martin LintonBatterseaLabno
Tony LloydManchester CentralLabno
Mr David LockWyre ForestLab (minister)no
Andrew LoveEdmontonLab (minister)no
Mr Calum MacDonaldNa h-Eileanan an IarLabno
Andrew MacKinlayThurrockLabno
Denis MacShaneRotherhamLabno
Fiona MactaggartSloughLabno
Mrs Alice MahonHalifaxLabno
Judy MallaberAmber ValleyLabno
Gordon MarsdenBlackpool SouthLab (minister)no
David MarshallGlasgow ShettlestonLabno
Dr Jim MarshallLeicester SouthLabno
Eric MartlewCarlisleLabno
Mr John MaxtonGlasgow CathcartLab (minister)no
John McAllionDundee EastLabno
Thomas McAvoyGlasgow RutherglenLab (minister)no
Steve McCabeBirmingham, Hall GreenLab (minister)no
Chris McCaffertyCalder ValleyLabno
Siobhain McDonaghMitcham and MordenLabno
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLab (minister)no
Anne McGuireStirlingLab (minister)no
Shona McIsaacCleethorpesLabno
Rosemary McKennaCumbernauld and KilsythLabno
Mr Kevin McNamaraKingston upon Hull NorthLabno
Tony McNultyHarrow EastLab (minister)no
Mr Tony McWalterHemel HempsteadLabno
Mr John McWilliamBlaydonLabno
Michael MeacherOldham West and RoytonLab (minister)no
Alan MealeMansfieldLab (minister)no
Gillian MerronLincolnLabno
Alun MichaelCardiff South and PenarthLabno
Mr Bill MichieSheffield, HeeleyLabno
Andrew MillerEllesmere Port and NestonLabno
Austin MitchellGreat GrimsbyLab (minister)no
Dr Lewis MoonieKirkcaldyLab (minister)no
Margaret MoranLuton SouthLabno
Julie MorganCardiff NorthLabno
Mr Rhodri MorganCardiff WestLabno
Elliot MorleyScunthorpeLab (minister)no
Ms Estelle MorrisBirmingham, YardleyLab (minister)no
Sir John MorrisAberavonLabno
Kali MountfordColne ValleyLabno
George MudieLeeds EastLabno
Denis MurphyWansbeckLabno
Jim MurphyEast RenfrewshireLab (minister)no
Paul MurphyTorfaenLab (minister)no
Doug NaysmithBristol North WestLabno
Dan NorrisWansdykeLabno
Bill OlnerNuneatonLabno
Mrs Diana OrganForest of DeanLabno
Sandra OsborneAyrLabno
Ian PearsonDudley SouthLabno
Mr Tom PendryStalybridge and HydeLabno
Ms Linda PerhamIlford NorthLabno
Mr Colin PickthallWest LancashireLabno
Mr Peter PikeBurnleyLabno
James PlaskittWarwick and LeamingtonLabno
Mr Kerry PollardSt AlbansLabno
Mr Chris PondGraveshamLabno
Greg PopeHyndburnLab (minister)no
Steve PoundEaling NorthLab (minister)no
Mr Raymond PowellOgmoreLabno
Bridget PrenticeLewisham EastLabno
Gordon PrenticePendleLabno
Dawn PrimaroloBristol SouthLab (minister)no
Gwyn ProsserDoverLabno
Ken PurchaseWolverhampton North EastLabno
Ms Joyce QuinGateshead East and Washington WestLab (minister)no
Mr Lawrie QuinnScarborough and WhitbyLabno
Mr Giles RadiceNorth DurhamLab (minister)no
Bill RammellHarlowLabno
Mr Syd RapsonPortsmouth NorthLabno
Nick RaynsfordGreenwich and WoolwichLab (minister)no
John ReidHamilton North and BellshillLab (minister)no
Geoffrey RobinsonCoventry North WestLabno
Mrs Barbara RocheHornsey and Wood GreenLab (minister)no
Mr Allan RogersRhonddaLabno
Mr Jeff RookerBirmingham, Perry BarrLab (minister)no
Terry RooneyBradford NorthLabno
Mr Ernie RossDundee WestLabno
Mr Ted RowlandsMerthyr Tydfil and RhymneyLab (minister)no
Frank RoyMotherwell and WishawLabno
Chris RuaneVale of ClwydLab (minister)no
Joan RuddockLewisham, DeptfordLabno
Christine RussellCity of ChesterLabno
Joan RyanEnfield NorthLabno
Martin SalterReading WestLabno
Mohammad SarwarGlasgow GovanLabno
Mr Malcolm SavidgeAberdeen NorthLabno
Mr Phil SawfordKetteringLabno
Mr Brian SedgemoreHackney South and ShoreditchLabno
Mr Robert SheldonAshton-under-LyneLab (minister)no
Ms Debra ShipleyStourbridgeLabno
Alan SimpsonNottingham SouthLabno
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLab (minister)no
Andrew SmithOxford EastLab (minister)no
Angela SmithBasildonLabno
Mr Chris SmithIslington South and FinsburyLab (minister)no
Geraldine SmithMorecambe and LunesdaleLabno
Jacqui SmithRedditchLab (minister)no
John SmithVale of GlamorganLabno
Mr Llew SmithBlaenau GwentLabno
Mr Clive SoleyEaling, Acton and Shepherd's BushLab (minister)no
Helen SouthworthWarrington SouthLabno
Rachel SquireDunfermline WestLabno
Phyllis StarkeyMilton Keynes South WestLabno
Mr Gerry SteinbergCity of DurhamLabno
Mr George StevensonStoke-on-Trent SouthLabno
Mr David StewartInverness East, Nairn and LochaberLabno
Ian StewartEcclesLabno
Mr Paul StinchcombeWellingboroughLabno
Howard StoateDartfordLabno
Gavin StrangEdinburgh East and MusselburghLabno
Jack StrawBlackburnLab (minister)no
Graham StringerManchester, BlackleyLab (minister)no
Gisela StuartBirmingham, EdgbastonLab (minister)no
Gerry SutcliffeBradford SouthLab (minister)no
Mrs Ann TaylorDewsburyLab (minister)no
Dari TaylorStockton SouthLabno
David TaylorNorth West LeicestershireLabno
Mr Peter Temple-MorrisLeominsterwhilst Labno
Mr Gareth ThomasClwyd WestLabno
Gareth ThomasHarrow WestLab (minister)no
Stephen TimmsEast HamLab (minister)no
Paddy TippingSherwoodLab (minister)no
Mark ToddSouth DerbyshireLabno
Don TouhigIslwynLab (minister)no
Jon TrickettHemsworthLabno
Mr Dennis TurnerWolverhampton South EastLab (minister)no
Dr George TurnerNorth West NorfolkLabno
Neil TurnerWiganLabno
Derek TwiggHaltonLabno
Stephen TwiggEnfield, SouthgateLab (minister)no
Mr Bill TynanHamilton SouthLabno
Rudi VisFinchley and Golders GreenLabno
Claire WardWatfordLabno
Robert WareingLiverpool, West DerbyLabno
Dave WattsSt Helens NorthLab (minister)no
Alan WhiteheadSouthampton, TestLabno
Malcolm WicksCroydon NorthLab (minister)no
Dr Alan WilliamsCarmarthen East and DinefwrLabno
Alan WilliamsSwansea WestLabno
Betty WilliamsConwyLabno
Mr Brian WilsonCunninghame NorthLab (minister)no
Rosie WintertonDoncaster CentralLabno
Mike WoodBatley and SpenLabno
Shaun WoodwardWitneywhilst Labno
Phil WoolasOldham East and SaddleworthLabno
Mr Tony WorthingtonClydebank and MilngavieLabno
Anthony D WrightGreat YarmouthLabno
Tony WrightCannock ChaseLabno
Derek WyattSittingbourne and SheppeyLabno
Mr Richard AllanSheffield, HallamLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Paddy AshdownYeovilLDem (front bench)aye
Mrs Jackie BallardTauntonLDemaye
Alan BeithBerwick-upon-TweedLDem (front bench)aye
Tom BrakeCarshalton and WallingtonLDem (front bench)aye
Dr Peter BrandIsle of WightLDemaye
Colin BreedSouth East CornwallLDemaye
Malcolm BruceGordonLDem (front bench)aye
Mr John BurnettTorridge and West DevonLDemaye
Paul BurstowSutton and CheamLDem (front bench)aye
Menzies CampbellNorth East FifeLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Brian CotterWeston-Super-MareLDem (front bench)aye
Edward DaveyKingston and SurbitonLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Ronnie FearnSouthportLDem (front bench)aye
Don FosterBathLDem (front bench)aye
Andrew GeorgeSt IvesLDem (front bench)aye
Sandra GidleyRomseyLDemaye
Donald GorrieEdinburgh WestLDemaye
Mike HancockPortsmouth SouthLDem (front bench)aye
Evan HarrisOxford West and AbingdonLDemaye
Nick HarveyNorth DevonLDem (front bench)aye
David HeathSomerton and FromeLDem (front bench)aye
Simon HughesNorth Southwark and BermondseyLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Nigel JonesCheltenhamLDem (front bench)aye
Paul KeetchHerefordLDemaye
Charles KennedyRoss, Skye and Inverness WestLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Archy KirkwoodRoxburgh and BerwickshireLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Richard LivseyBrecon and RadnorshireLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Robert MaclennanCaithness, Sutherland and Easter RossLDemaye
Mrs Ray MichieArgyll and ButeLDemaye
Michael MooreTweeddale, Ettrick and LauderdaleLDem (front bench)aye
Mark OatenWinchesterLDemaye
Lembit ÖpikMontgomeryshireLDemaye
Mr David RendelNewburyLDemaye
Bob RussellColchesterLDem (front bench)aye
Adrian SandersTorbayLDem (front bench)aye
Robert SmithWest Aberdeenshire and KincardineLDem (front bench)aye
Andrew StunellHazel GroveLDem (front bench)aye
Matthew TaylorTruro and St AustellLDemaye
Dr Jenny TongeRichmond ParkLDemaye
Mr Paul TylerNorth CornwallLDem (front bench)aye
Steve WebbNorthavonLDem (front bench)aye
Phil WillisHarrogate and KnaresboroughLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Ieuan Wyn JonesYnys MônPCaye
Mr Simon ThomasCeredigionPCaye
Mr Dafydd WigleyCaernarfonPCaye
Mr Roy BeggsEast AntrimUUPaye
John TaylorStrangfordUUPaye
Mr William ThompsonWest TyroneUUPaye

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