Radiological Protection Bill, 1990: Committee and Final Stages.

Section 1 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 6, between lines 10 and 11, to insert the following definition:

"‘nuclear explosive device' means any nuclear weapon or other explosive device capable of releasing nuclear energy, irrespective of the purpose for which it could be used, whether assembled or unassembled;".

This is a definition of a nuclear explosive device. This is important. It relates also to my own amendments because I am particularly concerned about the importation into this country, which has been clearly placed on the record of this House, of nuclear weapons. It is important, if one wants to inhibit this development, to give a definition of what a nuclear weapon actually is. The definition states:

"nuclear explosive device" means any nuclear weapon or other explosive device capable of releasing nuclear energy, irrespective of the purpose for which it could be used, whether assembled or unassembled.

Because the whole question of nuclear weapons is quite a technical area. I think it is worth looking at what actually is involved in a nuclear arsenal. A nuclear warhead has four principal components: there is the nuclear core, which is a central ball of lethally radioactive plutonium-239, combined with another substance called tritium, which is added to boost the plutonium's explosive power. This is also known as the capsulei, then there is the nuclear tamper. This is completely surrounding the central ball of plutonium and is a shell of second radioactive material, typically uranium-238 and it is known as the casing; the conventional explosive is the third element. There is an outer shell of non-nuclear explosive packed around the tamper as a triggering device. When exploded, it compresses the nuclear material of the tamper and the core into a critical mass, at which point the warhead detonates in a nuclear explosion; finally, there is the arming mechanism, which is an electronic switch which requires insertion of the correct 12-digit code sequence to activate the fuse of the conventional explosive surrounding the nuclear warhead.

There is another matter of concern I would like to draw to the attention of the House. Until the middle 1950s American nuclear warheads were designed in such a way that the core and the tamper, the first and second elements I read into the record of the House, were separated. Since then all warheads produced for the American armed forces have fully integrated design, whether in storage or transit. This means that whether in storage or transit they contain all the components necessary to generate a nuclear detonation. This is very serious and, as I say, it relates very directly to the amendments I have down subsequently and also to the amendments of Senator Brendan Ryan.

I see that my colleague from the Labour Party, Senator Upton, is here. I hope he does not think me very presumptuous for having jumped into the breach and moved his amendment, but I am sure he would be more competent to speak directly to this amendment himself. I will leave it at that, if I may.

I certainly do not feel that Senator Norris was presumptuous. I thank him for jumping into the breach when to some extent I was caught offside. We have put down this amendment because we believe that any Bill which deals with nuclear protection cannot afford to ignore nuclear explosive devices. The effect of nuclear radiation is pretty well the same regardless of how that radiation has been emitted. That is the basic reason for tabling this amendment.

I have considered this. I do not really understand why it has been put down because "nuclear explosive device" is not referred to in any part of the Bill. Therefore it does not arise that there is a need to put in a definition for it. There is a definition of a "nuclear device" already in the text and that would cover the concept of a nuclear explosive device. If I may put it on the record, "nuclear device" is defined to include "any machine or apparatus the operation of which involves the use of a radioactive substance, an irradiating apparatus or a nuclear reactor". I cannot accept the proposed amendment. It is not necessary. There is no need for a definition of this kind because the word "explosive" does not appear in any part of the text.

I intend pushing my amendment. Certainly, the Minister is correct that that phrase does not occur. It is a glaring omission. It is a disgrace that it is not there. Of course it should be. I wonder if the Minister is aware of the dangers to which it is exposing the citizens of this country by his neglect? I would not describe him as being blissful about it, but I think it is negligent. That phrase "nuclear explosive device" is contained in my amendment and in the other amendment, so if the Minister takes the subsequent amendments on board it will be part of the Bill. It is not satisfactory to say blandly — I will not say blissfully, although I note there is a hint of a smile there — that it is not relevant because it is not in the Bill. It is not in the Bill, but it should be; and, if I have my way, it will be.

If the Senator's amendment is accepted by the House we could discuss the matter at the next Stage.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is the amendment being pressed?

This is a very important matter. The reality is that aeroplanes are flying across the country and to the best of our information they contain nuclear explosive devices. Yet we have a Bill here which seeks to protect the public from radiation and there is no reference made to this reality. The whole emphasis and the whole burden of our thinking processes seems to be ignore that, to pretend that somehow it does not exist, because people have taken a clever option, as it were, and refuse to confirm or to deny whether planes and ships which contain these weapons are in our territory.

I cannot possibly accept an amendment which seeks to define something which is not mentioned in the Bill.

Could I ask for some guidance on that technically, because perhaps the Minister is genuinely trying to be helpful. I do not think there is much point in wasting time. I certainly do not wish to waste the Minister's time or anybody else's but would it be correct to say that this can be kind of retroactively implemented in the Bill if we are successful with the amendment? We will press it because it would be absurd to attempt to control something which is completely undefined. Therefore, in order for my later amendment to operate with any degree of success or rationality or logic there would have to be some definition. Can I get some guidance? Can it be put in subsequently if there is not such a move, because I will be putting evidence on the record of the House that quite a considerable number of nuclear explosive devices are brought into this country and have been brought into this country? The record is perfectly clear. Everybody knows this, everybody accepts it and some of us are worried about it.

As I say, the amendment proposes giving a definition of something that is not actually contained in the text. As I have indicated already, there is a definition of a nuclear device and it covers the intent of the amendment which seeks to put in a definition of a nuclear explosive device. I cannot accept the amendment. I do not see any need for it. If Senator Norris wishes to discuss the matter in greater detail, it can be done if the House accepts his amendment, which would include the word "explosive". But, as we have not reached that point yet in the discussion, it is unnecessary and, as he said himself, possibly a waste of time.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 2 agreed to.
Sections 3 to 29, inclusive, agreed to.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Amendments Nos. 2 and 3 are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 21, between lines 44 and 45, to insert the following new subsection:

"(9) The Minister shall by order regulate the entry into Irish territorial waters of any foreign State ship, submarine, or hovercraft, and the passage through Irish airspace of any foreign State aircraft by requiring, prior to any grant of permission for such entry or passage, the production of a certificate from the relevant foreign State authority that the ship, submarine, hovercraft, or aircraft in question does not carry any nuclear explosive device."

This amendment is very straightforward. It seeks to make certain that ships and planes do not carry nuclear weapons into Irish territory. It is as simple as that. To make sure that that does not happen this amendment seeks to make it necessary that a certificate will be produced by the appropriate authority to the effect that no nuclear weapons are on board these crafts. The reason for this amendment is the great concern which exists because of the reality that aircraft flying over and ships visiting our territory do carry nuclear weapons. These seems to be very strong circumstantial evidence to support that.

There is also fairly clear evidence that this happens on a wide scale throughout the world. I have in my possession a report from the National Defence Research Establishment produced in Sweden which clearly acknowledges that this type of thing takes place in Sweden. This report was produced by a defence research establishment—in other words, very much the other side of the case I would be arguing for and very much the other conflicting point of view from that put forward by organisations such as Greenpeace. When organisations such as the National Defence Research Establishment in Sweden are prepared to acknowledge that vessels and aircraft flying through the territory of other countries carry weapons we can take it as fairly certain that that is happening. If that is the reality, it is highly undesirable and we need to take appropriate precautions to ensure that this cannot happen. Therefore, we are proposing that be done by way of the production of a certificate.

I am opposing this amendment on the basis that the Bill is not the appropriate medium, given its primary aims of establishing the institute, providing for radiation protection measures and giving effect to international conventions. The question is more pertinent to the diplomatic arena, the area of international relations and the responsibilities of the Department of Foreign Affairs. I am satisfied that our existing legislation and policy in this area are fully adequate to cover Ireland's concern with regard to nuclear weapons.

The following points should be borne in mind. The permission of the Department of Foreign Affairs is required for visits to Irish ports by foreign naval vessels. Permission for a visit will normally be granted provided that the visit does not form part of a naval exercise and the vessel is not carrying nuclear weapons. Thus it has been Government policy over the last two decades not to permit nuclear weapons to enter Irish ports and the Government are not aware of any reason to doubt that our policy in this area is not being respected.

The entry of foreign military aircraft into Irish airspace, and landings of such aircraft in the State, are already covered under existing legislation. The strict controls which exist under the Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order, 1952, provide that no foreign military aircraft shall fly over Ireland unless at the express invitation, or with the express permission, of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In addition, any aircraft involved must comply with any stipulations as the Minister may make. Information such as identification numbers and aircraft types must be provided. In seeking permission it is also necessary to state whether the aircraft comply with certain conditions, the most important of which are that they are unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or intelligence gathering equipment and do not form part of any military exercise or military operation. Again, therefore, it is Government policy not to permit nuclear weapons to enter our airspace. Ireland is not a member of any military alliance and thus remains free from any commitment, in particular, to admit nuclear weapons that such membership might entail.

Foreign Governments are aware of our policy on ships' visits and overflights and are reminded of this policy on a regular basis. The Government are not aware that any nuclear weapons have been brought into the State in vessels or aircraft, nor are circumstances envisaged under which this is likely to occur. Public safety is not endangered, nor is long established opposition to these weapons being abused, threatened, tested or in any way misunderstood.

Senator Upton and Senator Norris earlier made reference to various apparent incidents. Has the Minister any details of representations from individuals or organisations in relation to the overflying of the country or the entry into our ports of any vessels carrying nuclear devices or nuclear weapons? Have investigations taken place by the Department and have any of these been substantiated? We would be particularly concerned if this was going on and was condoned, on a nod and a wink basis by either the Minister's Department or the Department of Foreign Affairs. Can the Minister tell the House if the incidents which have been reported have been fully investigated and can he give the outcome of those investigations? Can he assure the House that, as he has stated, there have been no intrusions either in our airspace or, more particularly, by vessels calling to our ports.

As I explained in the Dáil — and it is obvious that a number of Senators have read the Dáil exchanges on this matter — this is appropriately a matter for the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Deputies chose to put questions to me in the Dáil which are not appropriate for me to answer. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is available to answer these questions and has answered questions of this nature in the past, as the record of the House shows. If, like some Deputies, Senators have serious concerns about this matter, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, being the appropriate Minister is available to answer any questions they wish to raise in regard to these matters. It is not a matter that the Department of Energy deals with specifically.

This Bill is about radiological protection. Therefore, it has to cover protection from foreign vessels in Irish ports which carry nuclear weapons. It is good to hear the Minister's reassurances that this does not happen; although I think, if I heard him correctly, that what he said was that there was not evidence of this, as distinct from it being impossible that it ever happened. The Minister was talking in terms fof the evidence not being there, or that he did not have the evidence, as distinct from it being a fact that it never happened. I would certainly be interested to hear whether or not the Minister can state categorically that never has there been a vessel in Irish waters which carried nuclear weapons.

One way or another, the public in Ireland are now very concerned about this possiblity; and it is a very small matter to ask that people coming into Irish waters, the owners of boats, planes and so on, provide a certificate to the effect that the vessels do not carry nuclear weapons. That is a simple matter. It has to be very relevant to any Bill which seeks to protect people from radiation. If there is an accident with these vessels there will be very serious consequences, which will have tremendous ramifications in terms of our capacity to protect ourselves from nuclear radiation.

I have a similar amendment. Will I move that separately?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Yes. We can discuss them together.

May we take No. 4 also, because all these matters are related?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

It comes under a different section. Amendments Nos. 2 and 3 may be discussed together. They are under this section.

It is the practice to discuss a number of amendments together, even though they propose to change different sections. If they are dealing with the same matter, surely we can discuss the lot together, then take them separately when they are being put to the House.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is that agreed? Agreed. We will discuss amendments Nos. 2, 3 and 4 together.

On the basis of the Order of Business this morning, may I clarify the situation so that there will be no misunderstanding later on. On the Order of Business it was decided that all Stages would be taken today but there would be some flexibility in timing. I suggest that we conclude this Bill at 6.15 p.m. tonight.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is that agreed?

It is not at all flexible. Fifteen minutes is a very short time in this type of politics.

I move that 6.15 p.m. would be an appropriate time to finish all Stages here tonight.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is it agreed that we conclude all Stages by 6.15 p.m.? Agreed.

The three are being taken together.

An extra few minutes would probably see us out.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

We are taking the three together so we will discuss the three together. Is it agreed? Agreed. The amendments were late going in so that is why they were not printed.

Thank you, andmea culpa. The Minister said the Government were not aware of this. I would have to say that the level of awareness of the Government is pretty low because virtually anybody who is interested in the area is keenly aware——

Aware of what?

Aware of the fact that nuclear weapons are brought into this country.

Have you got specific evidence of that?

Yes, I have. I placed some of it on the record of the House this morning. There was a report inThe Irish Times which confirmed this from United Nations sources. I can give you facts and figures. In July 1983 the destroyer USS Scott equipped with harpoon missiles visited Cobh and returned to Cobh in July 1984. I can give you a detailed list. I can place on the record as many of these instances as you want and declare that they were checked before they left United States territorial waters and confirmed and certified as having nuclear weapons on board. The Minister is not going to tell me that they jettisoned them in mid-Atlantic.

I am disappointed to hear the Senator suggesting that that kind of circumstantial evidence is sufficient to come to a definite conclusion. That is the type of thinking that got the British authorities into difficulties with the Birmingham Six and other cases. I am surprised at Senator Norris suggesting that he has evidence which is purely circumstantial.

I do not think it circumstantial at all. The Minister is taking a very cavalier attitude towards this evidence, remarkably unlike that of the Government of Sweden or New Zealand. This evidence was quite sufficient for them but apparently the Irish Government feel otherwise. This is a line that is being parroted. I was reading in the report the very words that the Minister came out with. The Irish Government says it "is not aware of any reason to doubt that [Irish policy] is not being respected". However, in the case of naval exercises, all but three of the US navy ship visits to Ireland in the 1980s occurred as part of the ships being deployed to major naval exercises in the North Atlantic. This can be checked out and is a matter of record. Moreover, in three of those cases — in 1983, 1988 and 1989 — the visit to Ireland was the only visit to foreign port conducted by the particular ship during its participation in the exercise. Could the Minister tell me how when the ship is engaged in an exercise and doing nothing else except being engaged in a military exercise if, by chance, it comes into an Irish port, it suddenly is not part of that exercise? I do not understand the reasoning there.

Could I ask the Senator to give the title and the source of the report, he is quoting from which is normal practice in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Certainly. I would be very happy to do that. No discourtesy was intended because I mentioned this during the discussions in the afternoon.

If what the Senator is quoting from is a document calledUS Navy Warships in Irish Ports, we have already dealt with that in a Dáil debate.

It is, but not satisfactorily.

The Senator is raising the same thing again which has already been dealt with satisfactorily.

I do not think so.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

For the purpose of the record, would the Senator put on record what document he is quoting from.

It isUS Navy Warships in Irish Ports, 1980-1990 —their nuclear weapons and naval operations by Hans M. Kristensen. Interestingly, the Minister is not challenging any of the substance of what is in the report. He has not produced a scintilla of evidence that it is not true.

The Senator is making the allegation so he has to produce the evidence.

If the bomb goes up the evidence will not matter.

The evidence is perfectly clear.

That is a facile remark.

They will all return to their component molecules.

May I just say that this evidence was substantiated by a separate Swedish report that confirmed in essence precisely what is going on here. Specific detailed information was released under the Freedom of Information Act in the United States of America. It has been made available here. It is published and there is not a slightest shadow of doubt but that nuclear weapons come in here. The policy of the United States — and I am not attacking or blaming the United States, they are guiltless while we are the guilty party in this — is to neither confirm nor deny their presence. Is the Minister actually telling us that no nuclear weapons have come into this State?

Can I deal with a point which was raised in the Dáil and the Minister might have an argument about the question of right of innocent passage. I do not believe he is right and I am quite convinced that this could be challenged internationally because of the nature of the weapons involved. However, the reason for my amendment is that it is slightly different in wording to the one proposed by Senator Brendan Ryan and it says:

The Minister shall by order regulate the entry into Irish ports, harbours, internal waters or air space.

The Minister has no defence by recourse to the question of the right of innocent passage in that, because I am talking about entry into the ports, the international waters and the harbours. It is vital that we are protected here. These ships visit regularly; they visit the Alexandra Basin, are tied up in the heart of a centre of population and everybody knows they carry nuclear weapons, unless we are to disbelieve the American records. I have made it perfectly clear that the manuals of some of those ships show clearly that the ships are part of a military exercise. In some cases the only port they visited was Dublin, so how can the Minister say they are not part of a military exercise? The records demonstrate with great clarity and detail precisely what kind of weapons are involved and they gave details of the United States certification.

There is a great deal of disinformation. I wish we had the time to put it on the record. It appears we are so unconcerned about the threat posed by these ships that we are prepared to take only 15 minutes to debate this matter. The Minister knows the report. In 1982 there was the USSComte de Grasse visited Cork and it contained the ASROC system. The nuclear weapons inspections recorded in the United States of America military shows it was inspected on 3-5 December 1980 by NTPI, 3-4 June 1982, 17-20 December 1984, 25-28 February 1985, 30 July to 1 August 1986 and in January 1988. This is all American military information. The Americans are confirming that they have been inspected and certified and it is a matter of public record in the United States that they have been certified as carrying nuclear weapons. There is not time to go through every single ship but there is page after page of this information. Is the Minister saying that the Americans, for some obscure reason, are telling lies and pretending to have atom bombs on board their ships merely to frighten us? I do not follow that reasoning.

I sympathise with the Minister because he seems to feel this is more appropriate to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I will certainly take up his suggestion that the Minister for Foreign Affairs be required to answer for this, because he has a lot to answer for on this matter. Here the Minister has indicated that the blame lies at the door of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I would not be living up to my obligations as a public representative who has been placed in possession of this information if I did not press this matter. I would be very grateful if the Minister would indicate if he is satisfied with the redrafting of this amendment to remove the question of the right of innocent passage and if he is convinced by the information I have placed on the record of the House that American ships come in that are part of military exercises and that, verifiably, they contain nuclear weapons.

Can the Minister indicate whether his Department or the Department of Foreign Affairs have investigated the various matters mentioned by Senator Norris and can he give an assurance to this House that either Department will have the matter investigated?

I could not allow pass the cheap shot from over there that we on this side of the House had no concern for this Bill. It is quite ironic that the people who put down amendments are not even here tonight to move them.

Yes we are and the Senator is not permitted to refer to the absence of a Member.

To say we have no concern is totally out of order. We have concern in so far as the Minister and all of us want this Bill to be passed so that we can get on with our part in the prevention of nuclear accidents in our airspace or in our territorial waters.

You want to pass the Bill because you have to sign the international protocol. In this legislation that is the real issue.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Senator did not mention anybody's name.

In case anybody would lend any credence to what Senator Norris has been saying, the matter he has raised here was debated in the other House in great detail. The report Senator Norris referred to, the one concerning US navy warships in Irish ports, has been closely examined by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The study is detailed and extensive. However, when it was scrutinised carefully by the Department of Foreign Affairs, they found that it does not present any evidence that there had been nuclear weapons on board vessels visiting Swedish ports, which was the allegation in the report.

The report also contains points that are unclear, and there are omissions, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. It is clear that a Government could not act on the basis of assumptions and circumstantial indications which is the basis for the argument Senator Norris is making. I am surprised that a man of the Senator's standing would seek to give the impression that something so serious was happening, to imply that the Government were treating it lightly and were turning a blind eye to it. I do not accept that. No evidence of any kind has been presented to him either through that report or from any other source.

Mention was made of having certification for entry into the ports here. If we were to require certification from international shipping entering our ports or harbours, we would be going much further than the controls imposed by other Governments. The Senator seems to like to quote the case of New Zealand. I want to make it clear that even in the case of New Zealand the Prime Minister there is required to satisfy himself that a ship visiting a port in that country is not carrying a nuclear explosive device. The New Zealand Government, quoted by Senator Norris, do not require certification. Even if we were to demand such a certificate it should not be forgotten that naval ships enjoy sovereign immunity and are exempt under international law from inspection and search by host governments. Therefore, it is impossible to verify such certification so it would not improve the situation that Senator Norris is decrying. The Government believe that the best way this problem should be dealt with is through nuclear disarmament. This is the policy the Government will follow and which they have been pursuing and promoting at every international forum.

Clearly, then, I have to oppose the amendments. I could not possibly include them in the Bill for the reasons I have stated. I would have to take into account the ramifications of such an amendment, if I were to accept it. It would have grave implications for the State if it were to be accepted in the manner in which the Senator is proposing.

May I put on the record what Admiral Laroque, a Senior Admiral of the United States navy had to say on this matter? It is an interesting quotation: "My experience has been that any ship capable of carrying nuclear weapons carries nuclear weapons, they do not offload them when they go into foreign ports". I was charmed by the Minister's attack. He is such a gentle and delicate person. It was the mildest attack I have ever experienced. In terms of discrediting the report, it did not go very far. It was rather like what was said in another place about an attack being compared with being mauled by a dead sheep. That was exactly the sensation I experienced when the Minister was attempting to impugn the information in the report.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I must point out to Senator Norris that we are running out of time.

I am not aggressive, I do not attack people. I am disappointed that the Senator would suggest that I should be doing such a thing.

It shows a very nice nature.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is amendment No. 2 being pressed?

Yes, it is such a serious matter. I am disappointed that we do not have more time because it would be useful to go through all the information. There are certificates that these things carry nuclear weapons. We have the evidence. What evidence would convince the Minister?

Factual evidence.

Then we could be into a definition of what are the facts.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I am asking Senator Norris for his co-operation. Is amendment No. 2 being pressed?

I am disappointed that the Senator is opposing the Bill. All these important conventions which come into operation to assist the member countries cannot be brought into operation until Ireland passes this Bill. I would ask Senators to bear that in mind if they are thinking of opposing this important Bill which is designed to help the community here as well as other member countries who will subscribe to these conventions in the event of a nuclear disaster.

We have no objection to the sentiments expressed by the Minister. My concern is that when we do a job we do the best job possible and that we provide assurance for the public who are very seriously concerned about the reality that nuclear weapons are coming into Irish territory.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is the amendment being pressed?

Since Senator Norris is pressing his amendment, we are prepared to withdraw amendment No. 2.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I will be pressing my amendment up to a point. I move amendment No. 3:

In page 21, between lines 44 and 45, to insert the following new subsection:

"(9) The Minister shall by order regulate the entry into Irish ports, harbours, internal waters or airspace of any foreign State ship, submarine, or hovercraft, and the passage through Irish airspace of any foreign State aircraft by requiring, prior to any grant of permission for such entry or passage, the production of a certificate from the relevant foreign State authority that the ship, submarine, hovercraft, or aircraft in question does not carry any nuclear explosive device.".

I would be grateful if the Minister would bring back to Government the concern that has been widely expressed.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I must point out to Senator Norris that amendment No. 3 has been discussed already. It is a question of whether the amendment is being pressed.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Section 30 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 21, before section 31, to insert the following new section:

"31 (1) It shall not be lawful for—

(a) any vessel to enter the ports, harbours or internal waters of the State while carrying nuclear weapons,

(b) any aircraft to fly over or land in the State while carrying nuclear weapons.

(2) (a) No foreign naval vessel shall be given permission to enter ports, harbours or internal waters of the State unless the relevant foreign government has provided to the Minister for Foreign Affairs a written statement certifying that the vessel is not carrying nuclear weapons.

(b) No foreign military aircraft shall be given permission to fly over or land in the State unless the relevant foreign government has provided to the Minister for Foreign Affairs a written statement certifying that the aircraft is not carrying nuclear weapons.

(3) It shall not be lawful for—

(a) any foreign naval vessel to enter ports, harbours or internal waters of the State,

(b) any foreign military aircraft to fly over or land in the State,

unless the written statement specified in subsection (2) has been received by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

(4) (a) A person convicted of an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years.

(b) A person convicted of an offence under subsection (3) shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than 2 years or to a fine of not more than £10,000, or both.".

Amendment put and declared lost.
Question, "That section 31 stand part of the Bill", put and declared carried.

As it is 6.15 p.m. I am putting the question: "That Committee Stage is hereby completed, the Bill is reported to the House without amendment, Report Stage is hereby completed and the Bill is hereby passed".

Question put and agreed to.

When is it proposed to sit again?

It is proposed to sit at noon tomorrow, 3 May 1991.