HL Deb 13 June 1978 vol 393 cc291-308

Further considered on Report.

8.20 p.m.

The Earl of SELKIRK moved Amendment No. 177: Page 31, line 23, leave out ("the home civil service of the state") and insert ("Her Majesty's Civil Service").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, at the Committee stage I drew attention to the reference in the third line of Clause 65 to: "The home civil service of the state". I venture to draw attention to those words because in the English language the word "state" is ambiguous. In the German language you have a thing called "Reich" and "Land"—they are quite different and no one would confuse them. When Louis XIV said, "L'Etat, c'est moi", he had no doubt what he meant. He was not talking of any provincial Assembly; he was talking of the whole of France. That was perfectly clear. But in English this is not clear. I had a discussion with the noble and learned Lord, Lord McCluskey, on this matter and he agreed to see whether he could not find a more suitable word.

Instead of "The home civil service of the state" I am suggesting "Her Majesty's Home Civil Service". I think this is a more dignified title; it is quite clear what it stands for and I think it is important today that we should not confuse the Government of the whole of Great Britain with what might be a provincial government, with the talk we hear from so many quarters of a federal solution. We should get used to it. The day may come when the State has a distinct meaning from that of the United Kingdom Government. It is for that reason—a not insubstantial reason—that I move that in the third line of Clause 65 instead of "the home civil service of the state" we should use the words: "Her Majesty's Home Civil Service". I think this would be agreeable to the Civil Service itself. They are words of dignity and, I think, equity. I beg to move.

Lord McCLUSKEY

My Lords, the noble Earl, Lord Selkirk, has addressed us tonight partly in a foreign language and I hope I shall be forgiven by the House and others if I reply that, for this purpose, le gouvernement, c'est moi. In that capacity I am happy to accept this Amendment and the related Amendment. I would only add that we are indebted to the noble Earl for improving the language and the elegance of the Bill.

Lord CAMPBELL of CROY

My Lords, may I also add my congratulations to my noble friend. He has done a great deal and studied this Bill most industriously. I am glad that the Government have seen the point of this and been prepared to accept it.

The Earl of SELKIRK moved Amendment No. 177A: Page 31, line 30, leave out ("the home civil service of the state") and insert ("Her Majesty's Civil Service").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, I beg to move.

Lord McCLUSKEY moved Amendment No. 178: Page 31, line 36, at end insert ("respect of").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, may I address myself to Amendment No. 179 at the same time, as they go together. These are both minor technical Amendments to Clause 65(4) and are designed to correct the provisions relating to the remuneration of officers and servants of the Assembly. It would be impossible for the complicated calculations concerning payment of contributions to the Principal Civil Service Superannuation Scheme to be completed within the financial year to which they relate. The payments must therefore be related to the financial year in respect of which they are made, rather than, as the Bill now provides, requiring them to be made within that year. The addition of the words "respect of" in the first Amendment achieves this result.

As it stands, subsection (4) allows the Minister for the Civil Service to calculate the amount due from the Scottish Consolidated Fund in respect of pensions, allowances and gratuities allowable to officers serving the Assembly during the financial year. The second Amendment, No. 179, will enable these calculations to be based not only, as now, on service during the year, but also, as appropriate, on the ending of service (whether on premature retirement or on loss of office for other reasons) and indeed down grading. As I say these are technical Amendments but worth-while. I beg to move.

Lord McCLUSKEY moved Amendment No. 179: Page 32, line 8, after ("service") insert ("their ceasing to serve or their suffering diminution of emoluments").

The noble and learned Lord said: I beg to move.

Lord STRATHCONA and MOUNT ROYAL moved Amendment No. 179B: Page 32, line 23, at end insert ("and shall be made to the full extent of the amount allowed for the purposes of this section in determining the sums paid into the Scottish Consolidated Fund under section 45 of this Act").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 179B takes us back once again into the question of tax raising powers. It is a somewhat complicated matter and, as my noble friend Lord Selkirk pointed out in the Committee Stage, one has to keep referring back to Clause 45 on which we had a substantial debate. When my noble friend moved an Amendment on which he asked a question during the Committee Stage, the noble Lord, Lord Kirkhill, in reply produced a wonderfully delphic answer— The rate support grant is not part of the arrangements for funding the Scottish administration through the block fund. It arises as part of the spending of the block fund. It is thus a miscellaneous matter arising from the devolved matter in Group 5, of Part I of Schedule 10.". With that splendid utterance he launched us into a debate of almost unrelieved confusion, which went on for a considerable time and seemed to get worse rather than better as the evening progressed. I hope I am not about to launch us on the same path this evening.

We are dealing here with the question of the tax-raising powers of the Assembly to which we addressed ourselves yesterday. Everybody, even including the Government, agreed that it was desirable in principle that the Assembly should have tax-raising powers. Perhaps that is about as far as we went in agreeing on the matter. But my noble friend Lord Home in particular made the point simply and effectively. In many ways I think it is a pity that the noble Lord, Lord Vaizey, did not persist with his Amendment which would have given direct tax-raising powers to the Assembly, in spite of the quite admitted objections which the noble and learned Lord, Lord McCluskey, pointed out.

At the Committee Stage a number of noble Lords pointed out that the Assembly could acquire tax-raising powers at one remove, as it were, by sequestrating the rate support grant after it had been incorporated into the block grant. I think most of us feel that this would be an improper procedure. If the Assembly is to have tax-raising powers these powers should be overt, clear cut and manifest, and not by some devious under-the-counter device. This Amendment addresses itself, to the principle, any way, of discouraging the Assembly from resorting to some kind of device in order to achieve a tax-raising function. Of course we are dealing with quite a large sum of money. My understanding is that the rate support grant in Scotland could be of the order of £1,000 million annually. It is with some temerity that I launch into the question of local authority finance, about which I have had no experience, although I was fully aware that the noble Lord, Lord Kirkhill, had experience of it. Therefore, I hope that I put a lot of my remarks in an interrogative manner to the noble and learned Lord, and I trust that he will correct me if I am wrong. But there was a great deal of confusion at the Committee stage.

My understanding is that the local authorities approach the Assembly with their suggestion of what the rate support grant should look like. The Assembly then decides in what manner it will pass on that request to the Secretary of State and, presumably, through him to the Treasury. Once that is agreed, the rate support grant is incorporated into the block grant, which is to be fed into the Assembly through the Scottish Consoli- dated Fund, if I have the right expression. Presumably, at this juncture, the Secretary of State could influence the size of the rate support grant if he thought that it was either unduly large or unduly small; and, of course, in the latter case, in particular, it could be important if a local authority was of the same political complexion as the Westminster Government, and the Assembly was of a different political complexion. So that, presumably, the Secretary of State could refuse to pay, if he regarded as unreasonable the request that was made to him for a rate support grant.

This, in turn, raises a number of questions. First, presumably, the Assembly would have the right to pay more in rate support grant to the local authorities under its control than, in fact, had been put into the block grant by the Secretary of State, from the Treasury. I do not know if I am right about this, but I should be interested to know whether I am. Secondly, presumably, it will be made known what the level and amount of the rate support grant is to be, and indeed is proposed to be, during the period of discussion of the level of the rate support grant. This takes us back to the other question which we discussed the other day, about the figures that were to be used in supporting the order for the rate support grant.

In turn, these two questions raise another question. If the local authorities are not satisfied with the way in which the Assembly is handling their approach to the Westminster Government for the rate support grant, do they have any form of appeal? Do they have any chance to go directly to the Secretary of State, to represent their dissatisfaction, one way or the other, with the way in which the rate support grant element of the block grant has been fixed? Once the rate support grant has got into the block grant, I do not think there is any question in anybody's mind that the Assembly has a very large measure of discretion in how it hands it on to the local authorities.

If the language of this Amendment is defective, then, by all means, let us have another go at it later. But I should like to make it quite plain that this Amendment is net intended in arty way to tie the hands of the Assembly, as regards its freedom of action about the distribution in detail of the rate support grant, as between one local authority and another. All we want to make sure is that the amount allocated to the rate support grant is passed on. So that there is no question of interfering with the authority of the Assembly, and it has the right to starve an individual local authority if that, in its wisdom, is what it decides to do.

There is one other question which I hope we can get out of the way, because the noble Earl, Lord Selkirk, and the noble Lord, Lord Kirkhill, got into very serious difficulty on the question of the specific elements of the rate support grant. My understanding that remains is that there are certain elements in the rate support grant which are positively allocated—not just earmarked—over which the Assembly could exercise very little control indeed. Again, these are outwith what my Amendment is concerned with. What we are trying to do by this Amendment is to prevent the Assembly from collaring the money, or, if you like, conning the Westminster Government into putting it into the block grant, and then tucking it away in a fund that may be useful later; or, alternatively, sequestrating it and using it for some purpose other than the rate support grant, which seems to me to he basically an improper procedure.

It may be said that this Amendment would he an attempt to undermine the authority of the Assembly, and would be inviting local authorities to by-pass the Assembly by negotiating directly with the Secretary of State. Again, this is not the intention behind the Amendment, and I do not see why there is any reason to think that local authorities would attempt to cut the Assembly out of the negotiating chain in this way. The Assembly would still he able to force local authorities to put up their own rates, by squeezing them with the amount of rate support grant which it was prepared to allocate to them. This, again, loops us back and, perhaps, points up the reason why I ask the noble and learned Lord whether or not local authorities either individually, or collectively through their association, will be able to appeal about the way in which the rate support grant is fixed.

I do not pretend that this Amendment is, by any means, the only way of dealing with this problem. I suggest that it is a possible way, provided that the Government and the House feel that, in principle, this is a desirable thing to do. If they do not like the device that we are suggesting in this Amendment, then obviously it will be possible to agree some other form of words at the final stage of this Bill. My Lords, I beg to move.

8.38 p.m.

The Earl of SELKIRK

My Lords, my noble friend, Lord Strathcona has raised a very important point here, and I believe that it would help local authorities a great deal if the Government were able to explain a little more fully what is really intended. I am almost certainly wrong in my appreciation of the situation, but I have tried to follow it up. I understand that there will be one figure for the block grant. That will be composed of estimates drawn up by local authorities, health authorities and education authorities, and they will he put together. They will be submitted to the Secretary of State who, I take it, will have the arguments, in part or in whole, with the Treasury. Then the grant of £ million comes through, and it is entirely within the discretion of the Assembly itself how that money is allocated.

It is very nice to say that the Assembly will be sensible; we always end up there. It is said that there will be a lot of common sense and everyone will he perfectly sensible. But, to be quite frank, law is made for both the stupid and the sensible. One has to recognise that in this great world in which we live there are people who are stupid as well as people who are sensible. I want to know what happens now. One may take it that the local authorities know perfectly well what their claim has been. Whether or not they will in detail see how the block grant is made up. I do not know, but I am fairly sure that they will have a keen idea of how it is made up: they will not have much doubt about it.

The allocation comes on the other side. Apart from other things, there is to be an allocation to local authorities. There will be local authority devolved matters which will be entirely the responsibility of the Assembly. There will be reserved matters which will also be the responsibility of the Assembly. Then there will be what are Row called scheduled matters which, so far as I can see, will be the responsibility of the Secretary of State. I do not know whether or not I have got this right, but I understand this to be the case.

So far as the Secretary of State is concerned, most of the scheduled authorities will have specific grants. I understand. from what was said earlier today, that the Assembly will also be able to make specific grants to local authorities, although in general the rule will be that local authorities are quite free to spend their money as they like.

My point is this. Will the Assembly he in a position to say, "We don't like the people who live there, so we shall not give them a grant"? Will the Assembly be quite free to do that, or are we depending upon the common sense and the reasonable point of view of the Assembly? Will the Assembly be quite free to say, "We shan't give any money at all to this district"? That is the picture which I have in my mind, and I think we ought to know the answer. I am not making any accusations against anybody. However, I am saying that I understand that the Assembly will be perfectly free completely to cut somebody off like that.

I ask this question because I believe that the local authorities are not very well informed about this point. If the Government are able to elucidate the way in which this money is to be allocated, which will be very important indeed and which will result in a great deal of discussion and possibly acrimony in some places, it will help towards the good government of Scotland. Therefore I have ventured to pat these questions to the Government.

Lord HYLTON

My Lords, when the noble and learned Lord comes to reply, it would be very helpful if he could give some estimate, although I realise that probably it cannot be very precise, of the proportion of the block grant that will be represented by rate support grant money.

Lord GRAY

My Lords, I share the concern of my noble friends regarding this matter. If it is accurate that the rate support grant is to be contained within the block grant and if, as I am led to assume, the rate support grant total will have been arrived at in response to a case for support made individually and collectively by the local authorities, if it is possible for any of this money to be withheld by the Assembly, surely monies voted by Parliament will not then be applied to the purposes for which they were voted? If this is the case, I think that it raises a very serious issue. I do not know whether I have got this right, but if I have I should be interested to hear what the noble and learned Lord has to say about it.

My noble friend Lord Selkirk referred to possible causes of acrimony between the local authorities and the Assembly arising from this matter. When we speculate on that possibility, it is important to remember the size of, for instance, the Strathclyde region and the sum of money that would be involved in their rate support grant compared with the total sum that is involved in the block grant and the rate support element of that block grant.

8.45 p.m.

Lord McCLUSKEY

My Lords, I believe that this Amendment rests upon a misunderstanding of the financial proposal contained in the Bill. The block fund, to be paid over to the Scottish Consolidated Fund under Clause 45, to which the noble Lord drew attention, will be designed to cover that part of devolved public expenditure which falls to be met by the Scottish Administration but after allowance is made for contributions to devolved spending from other sources, such as local rates. Accordingly, certain assumptions as to such contributions will have to be made at the time when the block fund is negotiated and settled.

May I remind noble Lords of the terms of paragraph 84 of the Government's White Paper, Devolution: Financing the Devolved Services, Cmnd. 6890. Speaking in this context of Scotland and Wales, it reads: In assessing the assumed contribution from rates, the Government will need to decide whether it is fair, compared with the expected level of rate income in England and allowing for any special circumstances. It will then be for the devolved Administrations, in further discussions with their own local authority associations, to determine what assumptions should actually be made about rates in the statutory settlement of rate support grant". I believe that that passage expresses the nub of the matter.

In deriving the amount of the block fund from the United Kingdom estimates of total public expenditure, the Government will have to make assumptions about the contribution of local rates and about the amounts local authorities will borrow for capital expenditure. These were sources of income to which we drew attention at the Committee stage. It can then be worked out what their remaining expenditure will be and what will be the requirement, on certain further assumptions, for rate support.

But these assumptions do not commit the Scottish Administration or, indeed, the Scottish local authorities. They must get together and work out a rate support grant settlement in accordance with the procedures of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1966. That is required by Clause 66 and made possible, as the noble Lord, Lord Kirkhill, mentioned on the previous occasion, by the devolution of powers ensured by Schedule 10, principally by Group 5 in Part I of the Schedule.

On this basis, therefore, there will be no sum within the block fund which can be unequivocally identified as an embryo rate support grant, just as there will be no sum earmarked for any other devolved matter. That is indeed what a block fund means.

It would be difficult, would it not, for the Government, even if they wanted to do so, to work out the precise rate support grant? The Government will have no direct concern with education in Scotland, roads, social work, services, planning, water or other important local government services. They will have no means of conducting the kind of dialogue with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities which is required by this legislation—the 1966 Act—as a preliminary to the fixing of the grant. It would be quite improper for the Government, when they settle the block fund, to pre-empt all the discussions which should take place between the Scottish Administration, on the one hand, and the Convention, on the other, by laying down a rate support grant figure which must be applied, regardless of the course that these discussions may take.

So against that background I would seek to reject the idea that, somehow or other, the Scottish Administration will be out to do down the local authorities and raid the rate support grant element of the block fund for purposes of its own. Indeed, as noble Lords pointed out in the course of these debates, the Assembly will certainly include—and some suggested that it would even be dominated by—people with experience of local government. Whether or not that he so, it is surely clear that the extent to which the work of the Assembly and the Scottish Administration will coalesce with that of local government is likely to create a close working relationship between them and a ready understanding on the part of the Scottish Administration of the problems of local authorities. Furthermore, it must be remembered that there will be a fairly close coincidence between the Assembly's constituents and the local ratepayers; and that, too, should lead to understanding and proper relations between the Administration, on the one side, and the local authorities, on the other.

We appreciate the thought behind this Amendment. We appreciate that the noble Lords who are moving it are anxious to ensure good relations between the devolved Administration and local government, and that they are equally anxious to ensure that there should be no improper handling of these funds. But for the reasons I have suggested we think that they are unnecessarily anxious and concerned. In any event, as I have explained, the Amendment is not really compatible with the system of devolution provided for in the Bill. I certainly have to acknowledge that in a kind of theoretical way the raiding of the rate support grant is a possibility, and I have to concede that it is quite possible that sums larger than those made available to the Administration in respect of rate support grant may in fact be made available to local authorities by way of rate support grant. There is room for what the noble Lord, Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, described as a measure of discretion, and I acknowledge that.

Mention was made of specific grants. We discussed this subject earlier today, as the noble Earl has reminded us. Specific grants form no part of the rate support grant, which is a block grant. Specific grants will be paid to individual local authorities by the Secretary of State in respect of scheduled functions—as they now are—or by the Scottish Administration as the case may be, depending upon whether the function concerned is a Schedule 15 function or not. On the other hand the rate support grant is a grant not relating to specific expenditures but paid in support of local revenues—that is to say, in relief of rates, as I have said—and it is distributed among local authorities by formula not necessarily directly corresponding to their expenditure on particular matters.

I would seek to draw a parallel between that system and the system which I believe now obtains when local authorities in effect make out a case for a sum of money in the name of rate support grant. They may attribute part of that claim to a particular service for which they are responsible and another part of their claim to another service for which they are responsible, but once the sum is actually determined and once they have received payments of money from that sum they are free to spend it as they properly determine, within the area of their discretion. I do not think that in essence it is any different from what is proposed here.

I was also asked a specific question by the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, and wonder whether I may seek to answer it in a very general way. As I understand it, from the latest figures upon which we have been working—as I explained recently our figures related to 1975 and 1976 and I do not want to be precise about a particular figure but I speak in general terms—it is thought that in the block fund negotiations the discussions which will bear upon rate support grant will lead to a determination by the Secretary of State to pay over about one-half of the sum which ultimately forms the block fund. So the proper answer to the question, shortly, is about one-half, but I do not seek to be exact about that figure. It is just a general estimate. At this stage I do not think I can add anything further, but if I have left any noble Lord unsatisfied perhaps that could be indicated and if it were possible to rectify it by writing I would seek to do it in that way.

Lord DRUMALBYN

My Lords, I should like to ask a question about the "one-half". Was it not generally the case that the rate support grant in total reached about 60 per cent. of the total available revenue? Is it now to be reduced, or by saying "one-half" did the noble and learned Lord mean that it was a payment in two halves from Exchequer sources, one half in advance and one-half later on? If find this very confusing. The noble and learned Lord also referred to the Schedule 15 functions: can he indicate which of those has a direct percentage of the cost or direct grant paid in respect of it and which of them will be in a kind of ancillary block grant coming on to the functions of the Secretary of State and other Ministers? I do not quite understand the position here.

Lord McCLUSKEY

My Lords, with leave, I will just reply to the noble Lord. The clause to which I wish to direct attention is Clause 45, which is the lead clause here. It is the clause which provides that the Secretary of State shall make payment into the Scottish Consolidated Fund of certain sums. It is thought that about one-half of those sums in any one period of twelve months will be sums which are arrived at directly from a consideration of rate support grant requirements. I spoke about Schedule 15, I hope fairly precisely, a little earlier today. By and large Schedule 15 relates to functions of local authorities which are likely to be the subject of specific grant. The main one, of course, is police, to which I have already drawn attention.

If I may amplify my answer in relation to the proportion of the block fund which consists of rate support grant, I am advised that one-half of the block fund is likely to be handed over to local authorities in the form of rate support grant. What proportion of local authority expenditure that will amount to is a different question and will be at the discretion of the Scottish Executive.

Lord STRATHCONA and MOUNT ROYAL

My Lords, the noble and learned Lord has tried very hard and has been very fair, and if he has not completely satisfied us it is probably because of a lack of understanding on our part. I accept that right at the beginning. I think I got one useful clarification out of this: it seems to me that the specific grants are allocated early on and it is the balance of the expenditure which is one of the inputs into assessing what is required in the form of rate support grant. So to that extent I think I am a little further forward than I was. I believe that was part of the trouble that the noble Earl, Lord Selkirk, and I got into at the Committee stage. So that is a step forward.

I am not wholly certain that the noble and learned Lord is completely right about this euphoric picture of the identity of understanding between the local authorities and the Assembly. Clearly that is what we should all wish to see. One of the things that would concern us slightly there, but is not in point of fact an issue to which this Amendment is directed (and I admit it), is the generality of local authorities as represented by the Convention. One would certainly hope that, but of course there is within that the possibility of unhappiness for individual authorities who feel that they have been discriminated against. Glasgow is the obvious one which may or may not receive special treatment because it is a highly special case—the Strathclyde region. I do not think that the noble and learned Lord said▀×and I should be happy if he could interrupt me—whether there was any possibility of the local authorities having any kind of appeal about the level of rate support grant.

Lord McCLUSKEY

My Lords, I will respond to that invitation because I should have replied to that point. The answer is that there is no access by the local authorities to the Secretary of State in respect of this matter. Of course, in respect of specific grant, Where the specific grant is made by the Secretary of State, that is a different question.

Lord STRATHCONA and MOUNT ROYAL

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord. Indeed, I would deduce that from the answer to another question and indeed the general point that he was making about this Amendment, when he said—slightly to my surprise—that it was very difficult to identify as such the rate support grant element in the make-up of the block grant. As I said earlier, this takes us back to the whole question of the way in which the rate support grant will be assembled. It slightly surprises me, but I should like to read with care what the noble and learned Lord has said, no doubt speaking from a highly authoritative brief, about the question of the identity of the rate support grant. One would have thought that, during the negotiations, one of the points that the Assembly would be making to the Secretary of State is, "We shall need a certain amount of money and one element of it, about which we are telling you, Secretary of State, is the money we shall require for the rate support grant. And here is the bit which we are asking for from you for the rate support grant element". The noble Lord is telling us it is not identifiable. If he is right, clearly what we are suggesting in this Amendment is really technically impossible, even if it might be politically or administratively desirable. I feel enlightened. I am quite sure that, in the light of what the noble Lord has said, it would be unrealistic to press this Amendment. I hope that those who understand these matters better than I do will be satisfied with the answers the noble Lord has given, and that we shall not have to pester him again and pursue the matter at Third Reading. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Earl Cathcart)

Amendment 179A.

Earl FERRERS

Not moved.

Lord McCLUSKEY

My Lords, I think there has been a mistake. I think the noble Earl meant to move this Amendment.

Earl FERRERS moved Amendment No. 179A: Page 32, line 29, leave out ("reserved") and insert ("scheduled").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, the noble and learned Lord is quite right. I got my tongue twisted. I meant to say I beg to move on behalf of my noble friend.

Lord McCLUSKEY

My Lords, I am deeply indebted to the noble Earl for moving this Amendment in his characteristically forceful way, and I am happy to accept it.

Clause 67 [Public bodies]:

Lord McCLUSKEY moved Amendment No. 180:

Page 33, line 12, at end insert— ("(dd) providing, in the case of a body listed in Part II of Schedule 13 to is Act, for the application of section 49 of this Act;").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 180. The purpose of this brief Amendment is to fill a lacuna in the provisions which may be made by order under Clause 67 relating to a body listed in Part II of Schedule 13. An order under the Clause will be made, as noble Lords will see, if a Scottish Secretary requests it and after consultation with the body concerned. It will normally transfer to the Scottish Secretary certain ministerial powers in relation to the body in order to enable him to carry out more effectively his responsibilities in relation to the devolved matters concerned. Such powers may include powers to authorise borrowing for capital expenditure in Scotland, in which case it is important that the borrowing of the body should be embraced by the control arrangements set out in Clause 49. The Amendment will allow the Clause 67 order to add the body to those already specified in Clause 49. I beg to move.

Schedule 13 [Public bodies]:

Lord McCLUSKEY moved Amendment No. 181: Page 81, leave out lines 7 and 8.

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, this Amendment, like many others I have already spoken to, is consequential upon the decision in Committee to remove aerodromes from the devolved matters in Part I of Schedule 10. I think it is fairly plain what the Amendment achieves. I beg to move.

Lord McCLUSKEY moved Amendment No. 182: Page 81, leave out lines 9 and 10.

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 182. This Amendment is designed to remove the British Waterways Board, and the related Amendment, which is No. 186, the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council, from the list of public bodies in respect of which orders may be made under Clause 67. The Amendments are consequential on the deletion of inland waterways from Group 15 in Part I of Schedule 10. Your Lordships will recall that that was done in Committee against Government advice. In this case, as in others I have spoken to of a similar character, the Government make this tidying-up Amendment without prejudice to their ultimate position in regard to the substantive Amendment made in Committee. I beg to move.

Lord McCLUSKEY moved Amendment No. 183: Page 81, leave out lines 11 and 12.

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 183 is, I believe, the last of these Amendments, but it is certainly one of them and it relates to the removal of aerodromes. It is purely a tidying up Amendment. I beg to move.

Lord WIGG moved Amendment No. 184: Page 81, leave out lines 17 and 18.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 184, which is consequential upon the acceptance by your Lordships of Amendment No. 114, which I moved last evening. I beg to move.

Lord WIGG moved Amendment No. 185: Page 81, leave out lines 23 to 26.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, what I said in relation to Amendment No. 184 also applies to No. 185. It is consequential upon the acceptance of Amendment No. 114. I beg to move.

Lord McCLUSKEY moved Amendment No. 186: Page 81, leave out lines 29 and 30.

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 186. I spoke to this Amendment when dealing with Amendment No. 182. I beg to move.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL

My Lords, I beg to move that further consideration on Report be now adjourned.