All 1 Debates between Baroness Flather and Lord Marlesford

Wed 24th Oct 2018
Ivory Bill
Lords Chamber

Report stage (Hansard): House of Lords

Ivory Bill

Debate between Baroness Flather and Lord Marlesford
Report stage (Hansard): House of Lords
Wednesday 24th October 2018

(5 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Ivory Act 2018 View all Ivory Act 2018 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 119-R-I Marshalled list for Report (PDF) - (22 Oct 2018)
Baroness Flather Portrait Baroness Flather (CB)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, the more difficult it is to register, the more difficult it is to decide what needs to be registered and the more difficult it will be to maintain the register. You cannot watch everybody doing everything. It is very important that matters are simple and can be taken on board by everybody. When I was 12 years old, my father had my portrait miniature painted on ivory. I hope it will not be caught by the Bill.

Lord Marlesford Portrait Lord Marlesford (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I agree with the Bill and its intentions, but it has failed the test of proportionality in many respects. I would not have supported my noble friend Lord Cormack’s amendment, because I thought it was too wide, but I support Amendment 24, in the name of my noble friend Lord Inglewood, on the need for de minimis registration. To introduce bureaucracy of that sort is quite crazy. Some of us have been fighting for years to prevent intrusion into people’s houses. I am glad to say that that has been reduced with the help of the Law Lords and happens much less now.

However, something like this is absurd. I remind your Lordships that in 1966, when there was a Labour Government and an economic crisis—they went together at that time—they introduced a statutory instrument requiring anybody who owned more than three gold coins to hand them in, but it was tokenism. People did not do it, of course. I remember various questions being asked about how many convictions there had been, and how many coins had been handed in. The answer was none.

Unenforceable law is bad law and we really must not encourage it. Some of the provisions of the Bill are so OTT that we must stand up to them, particularly as they have nothing intrinsically to do with the Bill. I support my noble friend Lord Inglewood’s amendment.