§ 40. Mr. Wigley
asked the Lord President of the Council if he will now indicate approximately when the Government hope to hold the referenda on devolution in Wales and Scotland.
§ Mr. John Smith
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Evans).
§ Mr. Wigley
Will the Minister give an assurance that, if the Scotland Bill and the Wales Bill are on the statute book before the end of this Session, before the Session ends he will have announced the date of the referendums?
§ Mr. Smith
As the hon. Lady knows, we are considering that matter and seeking to make the best we can of the unfortunate decision arrived at by the House. On the subject of people making up their minds, I wish that the hon. Lady would explain to the people of Scotland why she continually votes against the Government on motions of confidence when only this Government can ensure that there is devolution.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Can my right hon. Friend clarify his phrase "seeking to make the best…of the unfortunate decision"?
§ Mr. Smith
My hon. Friend will get an opportunity to consider it further. What I intended to convey and what my words clearly conveyed, was that we are trying to make sense out of a decision which, on the face of it, causes some difficulty. My hon. Friend should not be too conspiratorial. There is quite an innocent explanation for the phrase, and he must not think that every word must be read as if it carried some Levantine intent.