How do you find the transcript in Hansard of a debate for a particular Act? I would like to find the official record of the debate for the Freedom of Information Act 2000 . I attempted to use the online tool but it seems I would need to read every page for every debate over at least a 12 month period to find it.
There is a website for searching the Official Report of debates in Parliament (Hansard). In particular, there is an index of bills which have been mentioned in Parliament, including an entry for references to the Freedom of Information Bill (and other bills of that name).
This covers everything except debates in Commons Public Bill Committees, which have their own index page.
It reveals that the bill's passage through Parliament looked like this:
- First reading: HC Deb 18 November 1999 vol 339 c124
- Second reading: HC Deb 07 December 1999 vol 340 cc714-98
- Committee stage: 21 Dec 99 - 10 Feb 20
- Report stage (1st day): HC Deb 04 April 2000 vol 347 cc830-909
- Report stage (2nd day) & third reading: HC Deb 05 April 2000 vol 347 cc981-1123
- First reading: HL Deb 06 April 2000 vol 611 c1490
- Second reading: HL Deb 20 April 2000 vol 612 cc823-93
- Committee stage (1st day): HL Deb 17 October 2000 vol 617 cc883-954
- Committee stage (2nd day): HL Deb 19 October 2000 vol 617 cc1208-300
- Committee stage (3rd day): HL Deb 24 October 2000 vol 618 cc273-316
- Committee stage (4th day): HL Deb 25 October 2000 vol 618 cc407-76
- Report stage: HL Deb 14 November 2000 vol 619 cc134-58
- Third reading: HL Deb 22 November 2000 vol 619 cc817-52
UPDATE: Having researched this answer by using the aforementioned index of bills, it turns out that there is an easier way: the Act's entry on legislation.gov.uk already has a complete list (albeit without links)!
UPDATE 2: The Bills before Parliament website has information on every bill (and act) going back to 2002, including links to all debates, and the versions of the bill as it proceeded through Parliament, along with amendments and other documents related to the bill.