HL Deb 25 July 1989 vol 510 cc1310-33

3.11 p.m.

The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sanderson of Bowden)

My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons amendments and reasons be now considered.

Moved, That the Commons amendments and reasons be now considered.—(Lord Sanderson of Bowden.)

Lord Williams of Elvel rose to move, That the debate be adjourned to allow further time to reconsider the Bill following the Government's Statement of 24th July on Magnox nuclear power stations.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Yesterday's Statement marked a significant change in policy by the Government. This afternoon I do not wish to engage in any party political combat. The Bill has reached its final stages now; but I wish to explain to the House in measured terms why I believe that it would be right for the Government to ponder during the Recess on the measures that they announced yesterday and the consequences of those measures.

After all, we now have a new Secretary of State for Energy. We have no Minister in the House because the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, has apparently resigned. So the noble Lord, Lord Sanderson of Bowden, is responding for the Government on the matter. We heard yesterday of this radical change in policy. In introducing my Motion, I wish to explain to your Lordships why I feel genuinely and seriously that there should be a time for reflection and pause before this Bill is sent to Her Majesty for Royal Assent.

First perhaps I may discuss the impact of the measures on the structure of the electricity supply industry as it will emerge. In England and Wales we shall almost certainly now have three generating companies as opposed to two generating companies. Two of those will be privately owned if privatisation goes ahead, namely: National Power and Power Gen. One will be publicly owned and I shall call that publicly owned company Magnox plc, for the purposes of the discussion. In Scotland there will be four generating companies. There will be the privatised South of Scotland Electricity Board. There will be the privatised North of Scotland Hydro Board. There will be the joint venture between the two which will own the AGRs in Scotland. There will be a Scottish Magnox plc which will own Hunterston A, which is a Magnox nuclear power station. So there will be four generating companies in Scotland.

What does this mean in terms of the residuary bodies? Your Lordships might suppose that it is all quite simple, that taking the Magnox. stations out of privatisation will mean that they rest with the CEGB or the South of Scotland Electricity Board which is the owner of Hunterston A. There is no provision in the Bill for the survival of these residuary bodies. Indeed, there is provision in the Bill for these bodies to be wound up. So it seems to me that although this question was not answered successfully from the Government Front Bench yesterday, there have to be two companies which are party to the transfer scheme, both by the Scottish boards and by the CEGB, and the companies would have to own the Magnox stations which are being taken out of the privatisation procedure.

Given that, what then is the impact on the operating of the electricity supply industry? We have discussed at great length—and some of your Lordships might think at inordinate length —the question of the grid and the cost versus the price merit order. I do not wish to go back on those arguments. Nevertheless, it will be quite clear, so far as I can see, that Magnox plc in England and Wales and the one Magnox plc in Scotland, its assets having been written off, will be able to sell into the grid at marginal cost. So the Magnox stations will automatically form the base load for the grid that the nuclear power stations, taken in their totality, form at the moment.

If that is the case, what happens to all the contracts about which we have been hearing so much from the Government? We have heard that the public electricity suppliers will make contracts with individual power stations. There will be a clear determination of capacity by means of contract.

Clearly, if there is to be a Magnox plc in England and Wales and there is to be one Scottish Magnox, everybody will ask for electricity on the marginal cost basis from those Magnox stations. So how will all that work? Is Magnox plc going to charge a mark-up on some sort of discounted cash flow basis in order to recover the costs of decommissioning which the former Secretary of State announced would be borne by the taxpayer rather than the consumer? How will all that work?

The third problem is management. I wish to refer your Lordships to the areas where the present Magnox stations and AGRs operate side by side. That is the case for instance at Sizewell. Sizewell A is a Magnox station; Sizewell B is an AGR or about to be a PWR. Dungeness A is a Magnox station; Dungeness B is an AGR station which, of course, does not work, but I leave that aside. Hinkley Point A is a Magnox; Hinkley Point B is an AGR; and Hinkley Point C, if it is allowed, will be a PWR. Wylfa in Anglesey has a Magnox and will have a PWR.

Let me take Hinkley Point as an example. In case your Lordships have not visited the site, Hinkley Point is contained within a perimeter. There is a Magnox station, there is an AGR station and there will be, if the inquiry permits it, a PWR station side by side. In addition, there is a transmission point within the site perimeter which will be owned by the grid. Imagine the management problems involved in making the Magnox station responsible to one line of management and the AGR station and the PWR station, if it comes, responsible to another line of management. The site manager will decide to shift Mr. So-and-So from here to there and will decide that something different will have to be done because the management responsibility will be quite different.

I now move on to the financial problem. This morning I telephoned a number of people in the City of London to find out what reaction they had to the Government's announcement of yesterday. The universal view that I have received is that it does not change the City's estimate of what the electricity supply industry is worth. In the view of the City, it was worth £13 billion before yesterday and it is worth £13 billion today. As I have said before, I must emphasise that that figure is in contrast to a net asset value of the electricity supply industry of £37 billion. Let us leave that point aside for the moment. The City gives that estimate because it recognises that AGRs (advanced gas cooled reactors) will be in the same position in a few years' time as the Magnox reactors are now. After all, Hunterston B, which is the AGR next door to Hunterston A, which is the Magnox station, is due to be decommissioned in the year 2007. In market terms that is not very far away.

People in the City are saying that in three or four years' time these great nuclear power companies that we are all going to buy in some form or another will have to make provisions of a massive nature in order to start the decommissioning programme of the AGRs. In very net terms and very broad terms we are told on reliable evidence that to decommission a Magnox costs £500 million. We are told by the City that the sale of the electricity supply industry would raise £13 billion. If one multiplies the simple half a billion by the number of Magnoxes that will be in the hands of the taxpayer, and writes off the proceeds against £13 billion—it is a very simple calculation but it is worth doing—one arrives at approximately £7 billion. That is the figure that will come in to the Treasury for all the effort that your Lordships have expended over time on this Bill and for all the disruption that we know will take place in the industry. I hope that the Government will consider that point.

Finally, there is the problem of safety. In the amendments from the Commons that we have before us there is a deviation—I hope I may put it like that—from the amendments passed in your Lordships' House on the question of safety. I shall take Hinkley Point as an example again. Let us consider that we now have three stations. We have the Magnox, the AGR and the PWR, each of which is under different ownership. The safety provisions at Hinkley Point in the event of a civil emergency would have to be run at the end of the day by the people who own the stations in conjunction with the authorities in the region, rather than as an ensemble, which is the case at the moment.

I believe that this is a time for reflection. As I did on Second Reading, I appeal to noble Lords opposite to think about this problem. The Government have changed tack. They may be right or they may be wrong. We always assumed that they would have to change tack. I believe that in order to sell National Power they will have to change tack even further. However, I shall not pursue that point at the moment.

Yesterday there was a change of tack. I believe that noble Lords opposite would say that that is fine but that we should at least have a period of reflection to think about how all this is going to work out in practice before barging ahead with the Bill and submitting it to Her Majesty for Royal Assent. We are, after all, dealing with nuclear power stations; we are not dealing with tiddly-winks. Nuclear power stations are vital, dangerous and important assets. I believe that noble Lords opposite should join with me in inviting the Government to postpone this discussion until the autumn, by which time we hope that they will have worked out their policy rather more thoroughly than they have to date.

Moved, That the debate be adjourned to allow further time to reconsider the Bill, following the Government's Statement of 24th July on Magnox nuclear power stations. —(Lord Williams of Elvel.)

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Aberdare)

My Lords, the original Question was that the Commons' amendments and reasons be now considered, since when it has been moved by the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, that the debate be adjourned for the reasons set out on the Order Paper. The Question I now therefore have to put is that the Motion for the adjournment of the debate be agreed to.

The Earl of Halsbury

My Lords, I rise to support the Motion of the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, with a feeling of great sadness which I believe will be echoed on all Benches in your Lordships' House. I refer to the ordeal which the noble Baroness was put through yesterday afternoon. In effect she was asked to negotiate a U-turn on behalf of a right honourable friend in another place, who skipped it, being translated to transport. It was quite wrong to subject her to that.

I remind your Lordships that at a very early stage in Committee on the Bill the noble Lords, Lord Williams of Elvel, Lord Ezra, Lord Peyton—I am glad to see them in their places—and I proposed an amendment which was rejected by the Government. Yesterday the noble Baroness was asked to eat her words. That is absolutely wrong. I think she has been treated very badly. Although she is not in her place today, I hope she will read my remarks in Hansard tomorrow.

I entirely endorse what the noble Lord, Lord Williams, has said. We have been told that there were calculations and miscalculations. They should be published so that they can be studied by Members of your Lordships' House and by honourable Members in another place. Practically speaking, what they propose is about two-thirds of what I proposed in my 'amendment, which could have been passed and none of this need have occurred.

We find that these calculations and miscalculations—I am referring to what I remember of the speech of the noble Baroness yesterday—have come to light only in the past couple of months or so. This is disgraceful. The CEGB publishes annual accounts. British Nuclear Fuels Limited publishes annual accounts and works at a profit. We are told that reprocessing spent fuel is too expensive, but why do the Japanese send spent fuel to this country for reprocessing at a profit to BNFL? If BNFL can make a profit on it and the Japanese can make economic electricity out of it, why cannot the CEGB?

Only those who, like myself, have been close to the in-fighting between the CEGB, the Treasury and the authorities in the City have any idea of what has been going on. The disposal of spent fuel, for instance by cold storage or dry storage as it is called, is merely putting the burden of reprocessing on to our grandchildren. That should not be done; it should be paid for out of current costs. I want to see the figures, the calculations and the miscalculations so that, as the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, has said, we can study them at leisure and then find out whether the Government have made a pig's breakfast of the Bill.

3.30 p.m.

Lord Peyton of Yeovil

My Lords. I have never concealed my dislike of the Bill. I very much share the feelings expressed by the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, about the amendment which he moved at Committee stage and which I, among others, supported. It seems surprising, even though welcome, that the Government should have listened to those arguments, which have gained nothing in cogency since, and proved wholly deaf to them then yet they have now given way on two-thirds of the point. I do not want to dwell on the subject, but reflecting upon it from this side of your Lordships' House I get no pleasure from it.

At the same time I question whether your Lordships would be wise to accept the Motion moved by the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, in that I do not see what could possibly be gained by it. We should be holding on to the Bill—not the whole body of the Bill so that the whole issue could be aired, but we should be holding on to it by the tip of its tail. That would not put us in any privileged or influential position. Therefore I find myself unable to support the Motion, though I believe that the noble Lord was perfectly right and justified to air the points, and he has done so with great eloquence.

If there was one factor which might have persuaded me, out of pig-headedness and irritation, to vote for the Motion it was the words used by my right honourable friend who was the Secretary of State until yesterday when he referred to one of your Lordships' amendments as a dog's breakfast amendment. That comment could be made very easily about many amendments that are moved in your Lordships' House and in another place. I understood that it has always been the case that governments, taking note of the principle, are free to redraft amendments in a more acceptable form. However, when that kind of epithet is used by a Minister who is himself responsible for a Bill which shows him to be no mere dabbler in canine nutrition himself but in fact to be providing meals for a twelvemonth for a whole host of doggies, I find myself slightly upset. The amendment which was moved and which had very widespread support in your Lordships' House was not an unreasonable one. In my view it is still rather better than what my right honourable friend that former Secretary of State has put in its place.

Despite that I feel for the reasons that I have given that it would be wrong —really wrong to accept the Motion. As I have said, I do not like the Bill at all. However, to prolong further the uncertainty as to what will happen eventually to the Bill until we get back here in October would gain nobody anything at all. I cannot see that it would gain anybody anything on party political grounds. From the point of view of the industry, the sooner it is free of the legislative argument and free to get on with a job which I believe to be quite impossible or to involve extremes of difficulty, the better the interests of the nation as a whole will be served. Uncertainty, which would be the fruit of the noble Lord's Motion, is the factor most to be feared at this stage.

Lord Ezra

My Lords, I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, was quite right to raise the issue at this stage, late though it be. Those of us who heard the Statement yesterday on the Magnox stations were amazed to say the least. That this major change had been made at such a late stage passes beyond reasonable belief and understanding.

Two points came out of the short discussion that we had after the Statement was read out by the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper (whose absence we regret). The first was to wonder how this had happened at the last minute. It was my noble friend Lady Seear who raised that point, and I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, also raised it. Secondly, noble Lords asked, as I did, if the Magnox stations are to be taken out of the privatisation, why not the whole of the nuclear arrangement? As the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, has so clearly stated, this is an integrated operation. The Magnox plants, the AGRs and the PWRs when they come into operation will all operate cheek by jowl. They will all have the same infrastructure. They will have the same general personnel. To have two companies in ownership of parts of an integrated operation would be very difficult.

I hope very much that when the noble Lord, Lord Sanderson, replies he will cover all the points raised by the noble Lord, Lord Williams, in order to explain to us how this extraordinary rearrangement will work in practice.

Lord Renton

My Lords, what we really have to decide on this Motion of the noble Lord, Lord Williams, is whether we should proceed this afternoon with the consideration of the Commons answers to our many amendments. We submitted hundreds of amendments for another place to consider and they have made very few changes in them. However, the principal point is that the Statement made yesterday about the Magnox stations does not affect the issues that are before us this afternoon on those Commons answers.

Lord Williams of Elvel

My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lord for allowing me to intervene. If he would look at the Commons amendments on nuclear safety, which I mentioned particularly—

Lord Renton

Which numbers?

Lord Williams of Elvel

The Commons amendment to Clause 92 and our new clause in Lords Amendment No. 9. The noble Lord will see that those relate directly to nuclear safety. That is one of the points—possibly the major point—that I raised in my speech.

A noble Lord

My Lords—

Lord Renton

My Lords, I gave way to the noble Lord and I shall now try to answer the point that he raised. He referred to an amendment with which the Commons disagreed. The reason they give for disagreement is that: the aim of this amendment is adequately secured by existing legislation". Nothing in the Magnox Statement yesterday alters that proposition.

There are two other factors, among others, which ought to govern our decision on this Motion to adjourn. I shall stick to those which are of closest relevance. The first is, as was said in the course of the Statement yesterday in both Houses, that the Statement does not require any amendment of the Bill. I am glad to see the noble Lord nodding his head in agreement.

The other point is whether the Statement alters the financial arrangements which are proposed by the Government and which are envisaged already to some extent in the Bill in Schedule 12. There again there is no reason for adjournment. It was stated yesterday in the course of the Statement that in the autumn the Government will lay a draft order increasing—very considerably, I agree—the amount which will need to be paid now that the full facts about the failure in the past of the accounting procedures on the Magnox stations have come to light. That will be the opportunity for the noble Lord to develop, deploy and put before your Lordships the financial considerations which the Government themselves will have to attempt to justify to each House of Parliament when that draft order comes before us. So, strictly speaking, there is no case whatever for the adjournment, as my noble friend Lord Peyton has already made clear, although he is opposed to the Bill.

I must confess that I am in favour of the Bill. I do not accept that there has been a U-turn. The difference is a difference of degree, although quite a considerable one. It was contemplated from the start of the development of nuclear energy in this country that accounting would be a difficult matter, fraught with uncertainties. That has become increasingly the case as the difficulty of disposing of the Magnox fuel has been experienced along with the uncertain length of life of the Magnox stations and now the enormous—let us face up to it, it is enormous—cost of decommissioning them.

The noble Lord said that he would not make a party point. He made a good Third Reading speech which interested me very much. I shall make a point in favour of the Government.

Noble Lords


Lord Renton

My Lords, it is another point in favour of the Government. Whether it is a party point is a matter of opinion. The point that I shall make is this: thank goodness we have a Government who are candid and honest enough—

Noble Lords


Lord Renton

My Lords, when facts have been brought to light, the Government have come to both Houses of Parliament as soon as they could, having required the accountants concerned in the industry to go more deeply into matters. As a result we are now faced with the Statement that we were given yesterday. The Government deserve to be commended on the way in which they have handled the matter. It is far better that we should get on with the implementation of the Bill and not have an adjournment of consideration of the Commons' responses which would delay Royal Assent.

Lord Bonham-Carter

My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, does he agree that, with his undoubted gift for paradox, he should commend the Government even more on their extraordinary financial and business competence?

Lord Renton

My Lords, with great respect to the noble Lord, the problem that has arisen is an old problem which relates to the past. Strictly speaking, from the outset—and all governments of the last 30 years are to blame for not having insisted upon it—the future cost of disposing of the fuel and of decommissioning the power stations should have been borne to a much greater extent by consumers from time to time. That was not done. And that is where the trouble lies. All parties that have been in power are to blame for that.

The Earl of Halsbury

My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down perhaps he will answer one question. We hear of miscalculations in the last two months. How many more miscalculations may come to light in the next two months?

Lord Renton

My Lords, I cannot answer that question.

3.45 p.m.

Lord Kennet

My Lords, I endorse what has been said in favour of the Motion by the noble Lords, Lord Williams of Elvel and Lord Ezra, and by the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, from the Cross Benches. So far, the discussion has been mostly about whether it is a good or bad thing to retain the Magnox stations in public ownership. I should like to emphasise the other side of the equation.

Here we have a Bill which has completed its progress through Parliament. It is a Bill of immense length—150 pages. It has been most fully discussed in both Houses. At the very last moment, we find that this is not a Bill to put into effect the sale of the entire generating capacity of this country—or virtually the entire generating capacity—to the private sector, but to put on sale to the private sector only the greater part of the generating capacity of this country.

It is not a flotation for which a just and fair price of £13 billion is any longer expected. It is another flotation from which the liabilities of the Magnox stations have been removed to the tune of £4.5 billion. The assets of all the other stations have been left. It is a change which could not possibly be described by anyone in his right mind as a minor adjustment.

We in this House were told and the House of Commons was told yesterday that the change does not necessitate any alteration to the Bill. I base my support for the resolution of the noble Lord, Lord Williams, on the fact that it is simply not right for a government to assert that and for the Bill to pass into law within 24 hours. The right course must be to give us time to read all the 150 pages once more to see whether in our opinion—because it is the opinion of each individual among us which makes the law —this is still the right Bill to achieve the purpose, as changed.

The fact that we on this side of the House did not agree with the original purpose is neither here nor there. A Bill was adopted by a majority to achieve that purpose. The purpose is now changed by 40 per cent. of the total value to the tune of £4.5 billion. The purpose is now changed and we are told that the Bill does not need to be changed. What is against giving us time to read and make up our own minds as is customary in democratic assemblies?

Lord Stoddart of Swindon

My Lords, yesterday's announcement came like a bolt from the blue. The House was shocked by the announcement, bearing in mind that the opportunity had been given some time before that announcement for the Government to give a proper reply to amendments that were moved from this side of the House by the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, which would have sought to put the nuclear matter right. But no such arguments were then adduced. Yesterday we were faced with the proposition that, because of the huge costs associated with the Magnox power stations which were apparently not known before, they should be excluded from the sale. We must consider whether that information has been available over a long period of time and has been concealed from Parliament and the public. That must be the case because, over a long period of time, arguments have been adduced in favour of nuclear power which show that the Magnox stations were viable and, in relation to the cost of electricity produced, were competitive by comparison with coal-fired stations. It now appears that that was never so.

If that is the case, how are we to know that the figures that have been produced over a long period in relation to the AGRs are not equally false? Over the past few years those figures have been produced to Parliament, the Select Committee on Energy and the public to convince the House, the other place and the public that the pressurised water reactor is a superior reactor to the advanced gas cooled reactor.

How are we to know whether the information given is correct? Indeed, how are we to know whether any information given about nuclear power is correct? That is a very good reason why there should be a further period of time to enable the Government and other sources to try to get at the truth about the costs not only of Magnox (because there may be further mistakes about that) but also of the AGR stations.

The noble Lord, Lord Renton, sought to reassure the House that if we did not have this delay it would not matter because there would be an order and when that order came forward we should be able to discuss it. The implication was that we should be able to do something about it. But, as noble Lords know, orders are not amendable. Therefore, if we wish to make any amendment to an order that has been brought forward from the other place, we shall be specifically precluded from proposing such a move.

Lord Renton

My Lords, perhaps the noble Lord will permit me to intervene. The order, as was mentioned yesterday, will be subject to affirmative resolution of each House.

Lord Stoddart of Swindon

My Lords, it may very well be that the order will be an affirmative order. But, as the noble Lord, Lord Renton, knows, whether it is an affirmative or a negative order, it is unamendable. No order is amendable. Therefore, this House will not be able to have any influence at all. It is in the tradition of this House and convention of this House that we cannot amend. Nor indeed can the other place. Nor do we vote against amendments brought forward and agreed by the other place. That is the convention of this House. At least, so I have always been told. I have wished to vote against orders only to be told by my Front Bench that it is against the convention of the House. I always obeyed it. I cannot imagine that we should suddenly break the convention of decades and reverse the position in this instance.

Those are reasons which, in my view, give support to the amendment of my noble friend Lord Williams. I hope that the House will give itself and the Government a break by supporting it.

Baroness Gardner of Parkes

My Lords, I wish to oppose the Motion. It was most interesting to hear it so beautifully introduced by the noble Lord, Lord Williams. However, I remain totally unconvinced that there is any justice in the proposal to adjourn this debate for further consideration.

There was very thorough debate of the Bill during its passage through the House. The statement about the Magnox power stations is a red herring. The fact that the matter has been brought to Parliament so promptly means that there has been no attempt to conceal it from us. I am glad to speak immediately after the noble Lord, Lord Stoddart. He made clear his belief that there was something sinister about the fact that it had only appeared at the last moment. I do not go along with that at all.

Within the industry people have known that there was an expense associated with Magnox stations. However, until this stage, when one is developing separate accounting systems in each section and examining specific parts of the industry, it is quite possible that the exact amount has not been known.

The noble Lord, Lord Stoddard, made the point that we have been deceived into thinking that nuclear power is inexpensive and said that costs have been hidden from us. I do not accept that view either, because up to the present nuclear power has been comparatively inexpensive. It is the decommissioning costs that are the very heavy costs, and they are for the future.

Lord Stoddart of Swindon

My Lords, perhaps the noble Baroness will allow me to intervene. The point that I was making was that over a very long period of time various authorities, including the Select Committee on Energy of the other place, of which I was a member, repeatedly asked for correct information. Reference was repeatedly made to decommissioning costs. Despite that we were repeatedly told that the Magnox power stations, and indeed the AGRs at a later stage, were very competitive with coal.

That is my point. Now it has been proved that the laymen on the committee were right all the way along and that the CEGB was wrong.

Baroness Gardner of Parkes

My Lords, I am interested in that remark of the noble Lord. I believe that he is overlooking the fact that the industry has been one whole huge industry. It has not been sectionalised in the way that he suggests so that people would have known the exact costs. I do not think that the costs have clearly been known until this stage. However, as indicated already, this would not affect the Bill. No change is required in the Bill. That is a highly relevant point.

As your Lordships know, I serve on the London Electricity Board. I have told the House before that I shall soon be out of a job and therefore spending more time in this Chamber worrying noble Lords. I shall have more spare time. At least I know that I am there until the time of the changeover. Let us consider, however, the employees of the electricity industry. They have been working very hard and have taken great trouble to prepare papers, accounts and documents, and to institute procedures. So many things are happening which affect those who are working in the electricity industry at all levels.

As my noble friend Lord Peyton said, to create a degree of uncertainty by setting this Bill aside and looking at it again will make people wonder where their future lies. That would be very negative, in fact destructive. It would be quite unfair to those who work within the industry.

The spadework has been done. The Bill should proceed without this kind of delay which, no matter what words are attached to it from the other side—

Baroness Seear

My Lords, the people in the industry are the people who produced the wrong figures, are they not?

Baroness Gardner of Parkes

My Lords, I shall not comment on that point, I do not know who produced the figures—whether they came from the department or the industry. The noble Lord, Lord Williams, referred to the management problem and commented upon how complicated a structure would emerge. Certainly it will be complicated; it is complicated enough in the present state of the industry. I believe that the industry is quite capable of coping with the changes.

It was most alarmist to bring up the safety issue. The standards of safety, I believe, are very high. We all hope and pray that never again, anywhere in the world, will there be another disaster such as Chernobyl. I believe that in this country we are taking every reasonable safety precaution. That element was introduced into the noble Lord's speech, I believe, in order to give an alarmist touch.

The noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, thought that it would not be fair to my noble friend Lady Hooper should this matter not be looked into carefully. He expressed sympathy with the difficult time that she had had yesterday afternoon. I too should like to pay tribute to my noble friend. The greatest tribute to her would be to pass the Bill. She has worked very hard, has answered all questions, in fact has dealt impeccably with the matter. This kind of delaying tactic shows no appreciation of the work that she has done, I speak with every courtesy to the noble Earl who suggested that course.

I believe that when all points are considered it will be realised that there is no reason whatever to delay the Bill and that the Motion on the Order Paper today is simply a straightforward delaying tactic. There will be many items to be sorted out. I believe that it can be done after the Bill receives Royal Assent. I do not support the adjournment Motion. I oppose it and ask the House to do so.

4 p.m.

Lord Tordoff

My Lords, with regard to the last remark of the noble Baroness, it was not those on this side of the House who removed the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, from the Front Bench.

Perhaps I may ask for clarification on a matter in regard to this draft order and its approval. In repeating the Statement from the Commons yesterday, the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, said at col. 1149 of Hansard: This order will be subject to affirmative resolution and will give the House a full opportunity to debate our detailed proposals". I presume that that is the matter to which the noble Lord, Lord Renton, referred a few moments ago.

However, we have to bear in mind that it was a repeat of a Statement that had been made in the Commons. I refer noble Lords to Schedule 12, paragraph 4 (2), of the Bill, which states: No order shall be made under this paragraph unless a draft of the order has been approved by a resolution of the House of Commons". We have no ability to deal with that order. It will not come before your Lordships' House.

The Earl of Lauderdale

My Lords, that point was raised yesterday. The noble Baroness said that there will also be an opportunity to debate the matter in this House later.

Viscount Hanworth

My Lords, I have three remarks to make and I can make them in three minutes. First, many of us would consider that the Bill had been rushed through and had been ill considered. The fact that at this eleventh hour the Government find that it will cost more to decommission the Magnox reactors is hardly surprising. We never knew what it was going to cost. It is ridiculous to make this a major new idea of splitting up the responsibilities and creating what is in effect a new company just because of this discrepancy.

For ages we have been saying that it is absolute folly not to have a separate, govern ment-controlled company to take the nuclear reactors. There are many reasons for that. The nuclear stations are not popular. Yet this Government, in my own personal opinion, rightly consider that we should go on with a major nuclear capability.

I support the resolution because the Government ought to think again. They ought to think more widely than just of the difficulty that they have with the Magnox reactors. It is ridiculous to continue talking about that as a major problem when they ought to think about the separate, company for nuclear reactors.

The Earl of Lauderdale

My Lords, having interrupted the noble Lord, Lord Tordoff, I beg the leave of the House to say a few words more. I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, made a series of very cogent points. I frankly agreed with them. But when it comes to deciding whether we should further delay the Bill—delay the dog's breakfast further—I do not go along with that, because, as my noble friend Lord Peyton pointed out, it merely means further uncertainty for an anguished industry.

There are two lessons to be learnt here. I hope that the new Secretary of State will go through this afternoon's Hansard with very great care and take seriously what is said in this House. For years we have tried to warn the Government first, that energy policy is not to be trivialised, and, secondly, that this Bill was a bad Bill, ill thought out, following a White Paper that was ill thought out, and at points almost unintelligible. We had unintelligible defences of points during Committee and at other stages of the Bill. We were not well treated.

So this is a prime opportunity to underline for the incoming Secretary of State why we wish him the best of British luck. He will certainly need it. Will he please consider our views and take on board this very simple point? The Bill looks as if it may be coming apart at the seams. I am not saying that it has, but it may be. It needs very careful examination. I do not believe that any good purpose is served at this stage by trying to delay it further.

I found the arguments of the noble Lord, Lord Williams, very serious and very real, especially with regard to the muddle about management where nuclear safety issues may arise. It is a subject that we debated considerably in the House. Had we had a Division early enough in the afternoon we would indeed have won our amendment. I beg the Secretary of State in another place to take very seriously indeed what has been said this afternoon.

Lord Hatch of Lusby

My Lords, I must take issue with the noble Lord, Lord Renton, when he says that the Government are to be congratulated and denies that there has been a U-turn. I am sorry that the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, is not on the Front Bench. I wish her every happiness in undertaking whatever may succeed her task here.

However, yesterday she told us that it was only within the last two months that these figures had appeared. If the noble Lord, Lord Renton, is congratulating the Government, what is he congratulating them on? Is it on their competence? It would appear that even before this Bill was drafted no proper audit of the costs in the nuclear side of the industry had been calculated. Is that a matter for congratulation to the Government?

I remind the House—and I wish that I could remind the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper—that during the Report stage of this Bill I asked her the specific question: were the Government taking into account all the costs involved, including the costs of decommissioning, when they gave their figures for the different sectors of the nuclear industry? I listed a number of costs, including decommissioning. The answer was, yes.

If the answer was yes just a few weeks ago, and only yesterday were the Government able to say that they had been wrong, I suggest that the real charge against the Government on this as on so many other matters is that they will not listen. They have been told time without number, not only from this side of the House but from all sides during the progress of this Bill, that the cost of nuclear energy—whether it be through the Magnox, the AGRs or the PWRs—was far higher than they were making out.

Lastly, in supporting my noble friend Lord Williams of Elvel nobody has yet answered the most important question that he raised: the effect on safety in the nuclear industry of the Statement that was made yesterday. If we are to have three different types of nuclear reactor under different management and there is an accident—and nobody in this House will say that there cannot be an accident—the provision for meeting the risks of that accident will be divided by three. That means they they will be multiplied many times over. That is the essential point that people in this country are considering. They are beginning to oppose the Government on their nuclear energy policy. That issue raised by my noble friend is far more important than all the financial considerations. It is more important to the people of this country. It is more important to the people in Sizewell, Wylfa and Hinkley.

Yesterday, late in the progress of this Bill, the Government said that they were changing the whole thrust of the nuclear aspect of the Bill. We have been debating this Bill on an inaccurate prospectus. We have been debating it on the supposition that the words in the Bill and the speeches of the Ministers were going to be carried through. That situation has now changed. Parliament should postpone its consideration of the Bill. The Government have a responsiblity to give Parliament more than a last-minute change in policy. They should take this Bill back for the next two months and come back, having costed—accurately this time—the real cost of all forms of nuclear energy and the real dangers of splitting up the nuclear installations.

Every part of this House supported the amendments that were carried. The Government were then warned that what they said yesterday was likely to happen. Therefore, the least that the Government can do is to take this back for the next two months and come back to this House with an accurate, honest and fair forecast of what they intend to do in the new circumstances which they have been forced to admit are an essential part of their new policy. It is time that the Government recognised that they were wrong. They should come back in the autumn and give us the opportunity of debating reality instead of the fantasy under which we have so far been debating.

4.15 p.m.

Lord Sanderson of Bowden

My Lords, we have had a very long debate and I make no apology for the fact that I at least have listened very closely to what everyone has said. I should like to start by running over some of the points made in the Statement yesterday because this is an important debate, as most noble Lords who have spoken have admitted.

Our preparations for privatisation have made clear that the cost of reprocessing and waste treatment of spent Magnox fuel will be a great deal higher than that which has been charged in electricity prices and shown in the accounts of the generators. Most of those costs relate to past generation. Future customers will be bearing the full cost of the electricity that they consume. It would not be right to burden them also with costs arising from the past.

The energies of the companies should be directed towards ensuring that their existing stations are run efficiently and at lowest cost. To allow them to focus on the future, the Government have decided that the assets and liabilities relating to the Magnox stations should remain under government control.

The advanced gas-cooled reactor stations will be assigned to National Power and the Scottish Nuclear Company and will be privatised. National Power will continue to construct Sizewell B. Subject to obtaining the necessary planning approvals and consents, and satisfactory contractual arrangements, it intends to construct and operate three more PWRs.

As the noble Lord, Lord Renton, and other noble Lords have said, no changes to the Bill are necessary. The Government are most concerned that nothing is done to jeopardise the future of the employees concerned and will therefore discuss the implementation of the proposals with all the parties concerned, including the trade unions. The Government will ensure that the necessary resources are available to maintain the present high standards of safety and environmental protection.

On the basis of the presently planned life, the last Magnox station will have closed by the year 2002. Thereafter, commercial nuclear power generation will be wholly in the private sector, where it should be in our view and where it will flourish.

The noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, suggested that the Government should look again at their decision to privatise nuclear power. The Government have done what the noble Lord suggested to a point. Privatisation has brought new figures to light and we have moved rapidly—and I mean rapidly—to deal with the issue. A decision has been taken not to pass on the problems of the past to customers in the future. I do not know why the noble Lord is not applauding the Government for at least taking this step.

It is exactly because we have come back to the House so promptly to explain the problems as they emerged, and how we intend to deal with them, that today we do not have detailed proposals in every area. It would have been quite wrong for the Government to rush to produce detailed proposals before the trade unions had been fully consulted about the consequences of this decision. Around 4,500 people—not a small number of people in the context of jobs in this country—currently work at the Magnox stations. It would have been irresponsible of the Government to make decisions which could affect their pension rights, their ability to benefit from the flotations and their career prospects. The Labour Opposition may laugh, but, quite honestly, we on this side of the House believe that employees have rights. The Government are determined to ensure that nothing is done to jeopardise those rights and they do not intend to be railroaded into making premature decisions which might prevent that.

The noble Lord, Lord Tordoff, intervened to ask about a debate. I should like to answer the noble Lord now, as my noble friend Lord Lauderdale mentioned. I confirm that the House will have an opportunity to debate the detailed arrangements of our proposals, and that a date will be agreed through the usual channels.

Lord Kennet

My Lords, an opportunity to debate is one thing, but will the proposals be laid before the House in a form requiring the approval of the House before they come into effect?

Lord Sanderson of Bowden

My Lords, the noble Lord may recall that money affairs are dealt with in another place. I have promised, as my noble friend Lady Hooper has promised, that a debate will be held in this House at a suitable moment, arranged through the usual channels.

I should like to repeat that it was only as a result of the intense scrutiny which privatisation has required that these figures have come to light at all. They have always been there and would probably have remained hidden had it not been for the Government's proposals. I cannot accept that the Government have in any way tried to deceive the House. These higher costs have only come to light over the last couple of months. Some time was required for them to be analysed and for decisions based on them to be taken. I assure noble Lords that this has been done with the greatest possible promptness.

Having made that decision, although it required no amendments to the Bill, the Government thought it right to announce the decision to Parliament. They did not have to do so; They could have kept the decision secret until the autumn. However, the Government decided that this issue must not be fudged. What is more, the announcement was not made in an underhand way; it was made by formal Statement to both Houses of Parliament. The Opposition was warned of this fact in advance.

I totally reject the claim that the Government have tried to hide this issue in any way. We have been exemplary in revealing the problem at the earliest possible stage and fully disclosing our proposals to both Houses. I also reject any suggestion that the Bill needs to be withdrawn. We believe that the Bill is a good one and that it will achieve the results which is was intended to achieve. The decision to keep Magnox stations in the public sector will make privatisation more successful.

In reply to the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, about the City, perhaps I may say that the noble Lord may like to note that our advice is that this policy significantly improves the potential value of the privatisation of national power.

The Bill is designed to achieve the complete reorganisation of an industry and the introduction of competition, wherever possible, before privatisation. This Bill has therefore been the parliamentary foundation on which a vast number of people in the industry have devoted a great deal of time and effort to reorganise their industry and bring in the forces of the market. They realise the benefits which privatisation will bring to customers, to employees and to the nation and they have been working to achieve those benefits. We would not wish to put this at risk. It is essential for our overall timetable for carrying out the reorganisation an d privatisation of the industry that we obtain Royal Assent to the Electricity Bill by Thursday, and we must therefore agree a sensible allocation of time for the remaining consideration of your Lordships' amendments.

The Electricity Bill has already been examined in great detail by this House. Nobody knows better than the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, that 57 hours, spread over a total of 12 days, have been devoted to it. I reject the charge of the noble Viscount, Lord Hanworth, that this Bill has been rushed through. It is therefore simply incredible to say that the Bill has not been fully examined. Indeed, the Government have listened carefully and sympathetically to very many reasonable amendments put forward from all sides of the Chamber. At least 24 amendments have been accepted by the Government.

The approach we have proposed for the Magnox stations will ensure that the costs of the past be dealt with and the future of nuclear power safeguarded in the private sector. As was made clear yesterday, a large amount of work now needs to be done for the new successor company to be in place in time. But we are still confident that privatisation can be completed in the lifetime of this Parliament. However, this can only be achieved if there is no further delay to the Bill. I must repeat, our proposals for Magnox are fully consistent with the Bill as it stands. They require no amendment or further resolutions. We made clear yesterday what we intend; and there was a debate on those proposals. There can therefore be absolutely no justification whatsoever for any further delay.

Moreover, the Government have said that we shall return to Parliament to lay an order in the autumn to increase the interim £1,000 million limit on grants to £2,500 million. Parliament will therefore have a further opportunity to debate the Government's proposals in full at a later stage. I have already said to the noble Lord, Lord Tordoff, what we intend should happen in this House. The noble Lords, Lord Williams of Elvel, Lord Hatch, and my noble friend Lord Renton particularly mentioned nuclear safety. It is a subject that is extremely important in any industry at any time, particularly in the nuclear field. The nuclear safety amendments are not relevant.

Our case is that ownership is not relevant to the nuclear safety regime. That deals with the safe generation of the stations whoever owns them. This measure will not lead to any reduction in the high standards of safety to which the Magnox stations currently operate. Only last week these standards were praised by an independent team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency who conducted a three-week detailed review of operational safety at Oldbury power station.

We shall be discussing details of the new arrangements with the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to ensure that it is completely satisfied with what is proposed. We shall also ensure that the new company has access to the resources which are needed to meet its obligations under the licence. The noble Lord, Lord Hatch of Lusby, should note that my noble friend Lady Hooper made clear in her statement on safety that the new proposed arrangements will have to satisfy the Independent Installations Inspectorate. We shall return to that matter at a later stage this afternoon.

The noble Lord, Lord Williams, asked me about split sites. The Bill has been designed to deal with this problem. This House passed amendments to deal with leased assets on such sites. He also asked about AGRs and whether they will be in the same position in a few years' time. The performance of the AGRs has improved markedly. This can be expected to continue. We have no reason to doubt that. We believe that they have a long and successful future ahead of them. The higher costs are almost all as the result of Magnox spent fuel. PWR fuel and AGR fuel, if dry stored, does not need to be reprocessed.

The noble Lord, Lord Kennet, asked whether the purpose of the Bill is changed. The answer to that is no. The Long Title states, to provide for the vesting of the property, rights and liabilities of the Electricity Boards … in companies nominated by the Secretary of State". The Bill enables the Secretary of State to dispose of these companies: it does not require him so to do. The noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, asked me whether Magnox plc will sell cheap and subsidised power. I presume he meant electricity. The answer is no. It will sell power at a cost related to price as previously envisaged. The noble Lord, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, said that the Government have claimed that nuclear power is cheaper. I do not know whether the noble Lord was here on every single occasion, though I know he was present a great deal of the time. The Government have never claimed during the passage of this Bill that nuclear power is cheaper that fossil fuel.

Lord Stoddart of Swindon

My Lords, I believe that when the Minister studies Hansard he will find that I said that the CEGB—not the Government—has tried to convince us that nuclear energy is cheaper.

Lord Sanderson of Bowden

My Lords, I apologise to the noble Lord. I shall look at Hansard. If what he has said is the case, then I apologise to him. I thought he had said that it was the Government who had so stated. The non-fossil obligation and levy were created specifically because nuclear energy is more expensive. The noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, said that there was no provision for residuary bodies to continue. That is not relevant. The assets of the existing bodies will be transferred to successor companies. The residuary bodies are simply there to tidy up anything that cannot be dealt with in the schemes.

This has been a long and I hope detailed answer to the very relevant questions that have been asked. If an adjournment is approved, it will stop the Bill in its tracks. I feel that this is quite an extraordinary development at this stage and therefore I urge your Lordships to reject the Motion.

The Earl of Halsbury

My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, I should like him to answer one question. Will these arcane accountancy procedures that have been hidden and held under wraps for so long be published in due course?

Lord Sanderson of Bowden

My Lords, all information relating to the figures of companies has to be considered and evaluated. That is what the Government have done. What we shall now seek to do in the course of the debates that will take place both in your Lordships' House and in another place is to try to ensure that the whole relevant financial situation is duly considered and acted on.

4.30 p.m.

Lord Williams of Elvel

My Lords, I am most grateful to all noble Lords who have taken part in this debate. At the outset of winding up I wish to express my own personal appreciation of the work that the noble Baroness, Lady Hooper, did from the Government Front Bench during the course of our discussions on the Bill. I am sorry that she is not in her place today. I should have offered my appreciation when I moved the Motion. I am most grateful to the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, for drawing my attention to the role that was played by the noble Baroness. I certainly wish her well.

In The Merchant of Venice Portia says to Bassanio, I pray you, tarry": The passage continues: "Beshrew your eyes". That may be perhaps rather indelicate in the light of the current situation. I believe it was the noble Lord, Lord Peyton, who raised the central issue of this debate; namely, whether an adjournment would be beneficial to the industry and the nation. I wish to comment on the points that various noble Lords have made on that issue.

During the course of our debates both in Committee and on Report we have consistently been told by Government spokesmen that the Bill should be taken in conjuction with the draft licences and arguably the draft contracts. On Report the noble Lord, Lord Peyton, said that we could not possibly continue to debate a certain point because the document on how the grid will operate was not available. It is fundamental to the consideration of the Bill that we should have the subsidiary documents. I accept that they are not parliamentary documents—they may be in the Library or elsewhere—but they are fundamental to the consideration of the Bill.

The fact that I am asking for an adjournment so that these matters can be properly resolved does not necessarily mean that I am asking for the Bill to be modified. As the noble Lords, Lord Sanderson and Lord Renton, rightly pointed out, the Bill does not need to be modified in order to accomplish the Government's present design. Nevertheless, the licences and the contracts must be modified. I take issue with the noble Lord, Lord Sanderson, because I believe that the way in which the grid operates must be modified.

He made an interesting point in saying that the Magnox stations will continue to feed electricity into the grid on a cost-plus basis. That is exactly what they do at the moment—it is marginal cost. Does the noble Lord wish to intervene?

Lord Peyton of Yeovil

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord. As he was good enough to mention my name, I should like to ask him a question. In the present circumstances, with the time being as it is, how does he expect anyone to benefit from delaying the Bill? It would mean the postponement for two or three months of any effective action. Whether or not one likes the Bill, injecting such damaging uncertainty can serve no one's good. I ask the noble Lord to address himself to that point.

Lord Williams of Elvel

My Lords, I am addressing myself to that point. I believe that the Government must consider the consequential arrangements which result from their Statement of yesterday. I believe that the whole contractual situation must be revised when there is a publicly-owned Magnox plc. I believe that the licences must be revised when there is a publicly-owned Magnox plc. I believe that the grid must begin to operate in a slightly different manner because there will be a publicly-owned company which will feed electricity into the grid at marginal cost.

All those matters affect the arrangements which we have discussed during the 57 hours that the Bill has been before your Lordships' House. There will be no flotation in August; there will be no flotation in September. I am saying that in October we can come back and the new Minister responsible can consider the matters, and present the House with the new subsidiary document.

As regards the subject of nuclear safety, the noble Baroness, Lady Gardner of Parkes, thought that I was introducing either a red herring, a pig's breakfast or a dog's breakfast—I am not sure because I cannot read my notes. Perhaps other noble Lords were introducing one or another. I firmly share the view held by my noble friend Lord Hatch of Lusby that one cannot joke about nuclear safety or take the matter other than wholly seriously.

When we separate the Magnox stations from the AGRs, I believe that there is a question mark about how in safety terms it will be managed. I cannot say to the noble Baroness that it is a real problem. I can say that there is what I believe to be a real problem; but we shall know only when there is a major incident. I prefer that there should not be a major incident so I should like to warn the Government in advance that I believe that there is a difficulty—

Baroness Gardner of Parkes

My Lords, perhaps the noble Lord will allow me to intervene as he has mentioned my name. Why does he believe that the present high safety standards will not be maintained and that the Government and the Department of Energy will not ensure that they are maintained, whoever are the owners of the Magnox stations?

Lord Williams of Elvel

My Lords, I refer the noble Baroness to the arrangements that have been made at Hinkley Point. I do not want to go into great detail because I have already done so. The arrangements involve co-operation between the management of the site and the services outside; the local authority, ambulance services, police and so forth. If there is an incident, one person is responsible; that is the site manager. However, if there is a Magnox and AGR station side-by-side under different management and ownership there will be two managers. Where there are two managers I believe that there is liable to be confusion. I hope that that answers the noble Baroness.

The noble Lord, Lord Sanderson, repeated the arguments which were put forward yesterday in the Statement. He said that in 2002 the last Magnox station will be decommissioned. I say that in 2007 the first AGR station will be decommissioned. Therefore, five years later all the problems that are associated with the Magnox decommissioning will be associated with the AGR decommissioning. So what have the Government solved?

The noble Lord said that we should not pay for the problems of the past. But of course AGRs are a problem of the past. Some of them may be built in the future, but Dungeness B is a problem of the past because we know that it does not work. 'That problem of the past will be loaded on to National Power. If the THORP installation at BNFL does not work in reprocessing AGR fuel we shall be told by the noble Lord, Lord Marshall of Goring, that there will be a serious hold up in the programme of AGRs. As with all such matters, the chances are that there will be cost overrun; costs up 16 per cent., and so on.

I was absolutely fascinated to hear the noble Lord, Lord Sanderson, say that the Government are concerned about the rights of employees, and that all the trade unions were consulted before the Government did anything. I have heard differently in this House, particularly in relation to the dock labour scheme.

Nevertheless, we now know that the higher costs have come to light in the past two months. My noble friend Lord Stoddart suggested that that was deliberate concealment. I do not go so far as to say that; I say that it is probable incompetence. Either it is concealment or it is incompetence because the costs have been known. Everyone has known that there will be a decommissioning of a Magnox because Berkeley is now being decommissioned.

The noble Lord said that taking Magnox reactors out of privatisation will significantly improve the valuation regarding the market. That appears to be the most naive statement of the year. Of course it will improve. If the taxpayer puts up £0.5 billion for every Magnox which is decommissioned, certainly the value will be improved. It may take it from nothing to £13 billion, which is where it now stands. It does not stand much higher, so the taxpayer will support it.

The arguments against putting the matter on ice for a couple of months are not convincing. I should like to see the Government study a little further the results of their actions yesterday. I should like to see them look at the contractual and licence situations and at all kinds of difficulties which may occur in the management of nuclear safety and civil emergencies, despite what noble Lords have said.

I have spoken long enough in winding up. I regret that the noble Lord has taken such a view, and that he does not agree with my suggestion of postponing the discussion on the Commons amendments. Nevertheless, I must recognise that the Government are the Government, and that by a majority in another place they have support for pursuing the matter and obtaining Royal Assent before the Recess. Therefore, it is with a certain amount of reluctance that I beg leave to withdraw my Motion.

Noble Lords

No, no!

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Nugent of Guildford)

My Lords, is it your Lordships' pleasure that the Motion be withdrawn?

4.40 p.m.

On Question, Whether the Motion for the adjournment of the debate shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 110; Not-Contents, 148.

Addington, L. Kirkhill, L.
Ailesbury, M. Lawrence, L.
Airedale, L. Leatherland, L.
Alport, L. Lloyd of Kilgerran, L.
Amherst, E. Lockwood, B.
Ardwick, L. Longford, E.
Attlee, E. Macaulay of Bragar, L.
Aylestone, L. McGregor of Durris, L.
Banks, L. McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Barnett, L. Mackie of Benshie, L.
Blease, L. McNair, L.
Bonham-Carter, L. Masham of Ilton, B.
Bottomley, L. Mason of Barnsley, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L. Meston, L.
Bruce of Donington, L. Milner of Leeds, L.
Burton of Coventry, B. Molloy, L.
Campbell of Eskan, L. Monson, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L Nicol, B.
Phillips, B.
Carter, L. Pitt of Hampstead, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L. Porritt, L.
Darcy (de Knayth), B. Raglan, L.
Dean of Beswick, L. Rea, L.
Dormand of Easington, L. Reilly, L.
Ennals, L. Rochester, L.
Ewart-Biggs, B. Ross of Newport, L.
Ezra, L. Rugby, L.
Fisher of Rednal. B. Sainsbury, L.
Gallacher, L. Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Galpern, L. Scanlon, L.
Gladwyn, L. Seear, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L. Sefton of Garston, L.
Grey, E. Serota, B.
Grimond, L. Shaughnessy, L.
Halsbury, E. Shepherd, L.
Hampton, L. Simon, V.
Hanworth, V. Soper, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L. Stallard, L.
Hatch of Lusby, L. Stedman, B.
Hayter, L. Stoddart of Swindon, L [Teller.]
Henniker, L.
Hirshfield, L. Strabolgi, L.
Houghton of Sowerby, L. Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Hunt, L. Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Hunter of Newington, L. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Hylton, L. Tordoff, L. [Teller.]
Hylton-Foster, B. Turner of Camden, B.
Jay, L. Underhill, L.
Jeger, B. Wallace of Coslany, L.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L. Walston, L.
Kagan, L. Whaddon, L.
Kearton, L. White, B.
Kennet, L. Wigoder, L.
Kilbracken, L. Williams of Elvel, L.
Kilmarnock, L. Willis, L.
Kinloss, Ly. Winstanley, L.
Airey of Abingdon, B. Campbell of Alloway, L.
Aldington, L. Campbell of Croy, L.
Annaly, L. Carnegy of Lour, B.
Arran, E. Carnock, L.
Auckland, L. Carr of Hadley, L.
Balfour, E. Chelmer, L.
Barber, L. Chorley, L.
Bauer, L. Cockfield, L.
Beloff, L. Coleraine, L.
Belstead, L. Colnbrook, L.
Biddulph, L. Constantine of Stanmore, L
Birdwood, L. Craigavon, V.
Blake, L. Crickhowell, L.
Blatch, B. Cullen of Ashbourne, L.
Borthwick, L. Davidson, V. [Teller.]
Boyd-Carpenter, L. Denham, L. [Teller.]
Brabazon of Tara, L. Donegall, M.
Bruce-Gardyne, L. Donoughmore, E.
Butterworth, L. Dundee, E.
Caithness, E. Eden of Winton, L.
Effingham, E. Monk Bretton, L.
Elibank, L. Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Ellenborough, L. Morris, L.
Elliot of Harwood, B. Mottistone, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L. Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Elton, L. Moyne, L.
Erroll of Hale, L. Munster, E.
Ferrers, E. Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Forester, L. Nelson, E.
Fortescue, E. Nelson of Stafford, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L. Newall, L.
Fraser of Kilmorack, L. Norfolk, D.
Gainford, L. Nugent of Guildford, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B. Orkney, E.
Goold, L. Orr-Ewing, L.
Grantchester, L. Oxfuird, V.
Greenway, L. Penrhyn, L.
Haig, E. Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Hanson, L. Pym, L.
Henderson of Brompton, L. Quinton, L.
Henley, L. Reigate, L.
Hesketh, L. Renton, L.
Hives, L. Richardson, L.
Home of the Hirsel, L. Rippon of Hexham, L.
Hood, V. Romney, E.
Hooper, B. St. Davids, V.
Ingrow, L. Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L. Seebohm, L.
Johnston of Rockport, L. Shannon, E.
Joseph, L. Sharples, B.
Kaberry of Adel, L. Sherfield, L.
Keyes, L. Skelmersdale, L.
Kimball, L. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Kinnoull, E. Stodart of Leaston, L.
Kitchener, E. Strathcarron, L.
Knutsford, V. Strathspey, L.
Lauderdale, E. Sudeley, L.
Layton, L. Swinfen, L.
Lloyd of Hampstead, L. Taylor of Hadfield, L.
Long, V. Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Lothian, M. Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L. Torphichen, L.
Luke, L. Torrington, V.
McFadzean, L. Trafford, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. Tranmire, L.
Macleod of Borve, B. Trefgarne, L.
Mancroft, L. Trumpington, B.
Margadale, L. Ullswater, V.
Marley, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V. Wedgwood, L.
Maude of Stratford-upon-Avon, L. Whitelaw, V.
Windlesham, L.
Merrivale, L. Wynford, L.
Middleton, L. Young, B.
Milverton, L.

Resolved in the negative, and Motion disagreed to accordingly.

4.48 p.m.

Motion, That the Commons amendments and reasons be now considered, agreed to.


[References are to HL Bill 35 as first printed by the Lords. The Commons reasons and amendments are printed in italics.]