HL Deb 24 July 1996 vol 574 cc1381-93

3.3 p.m.

The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne)

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

When I moved the Motion suspending Standing Orders last Thursday, I indicated that I hoped that agreement through the usual channels might be reached to proceed with the remaining stages of the Statutory Instruments (Production and Sale) Bill before the Summer Recess.

At that time, I undertook that, in the event that such agreement could not be reached, we would not invite the House to proceed further with the Bill without providing a further opportunity for your Lordships to decide how this House would wish to proceed.

It is with the greatest regret that I must report to your Lordships that there is no usual channels agreement. Therefore, I hope your Lordships will agree that in keeping with the assurance which I gave last week, I am inviting your Lordships to decide whether or not this House is content to proceed today with the Third Reading of the Bill.

As my noble friend Lord Howe explained on Second Reading and again yesterday, there are pressing and substantive reasons why the Bill should be enacted before the House adjourns for the Summer Recess. As your Lordships know, the Bill seeks to rectify a defect in the arrangements for the printing of statutory instruments which could give rise to possible technical defences in proceedings for breaches of such legislation. If the Bill is not passed, the Government are advised that there is a very real risk of the courts being obstructed by needless and contrived argument as to the validity and evidential status of printed copies of instruments. That legal advice shows clearly that there could even be a possibility of defendants being acquitted on that technicality alone.

At the very least, if challenged, statutory instruments would need to be proved specifically in court. That would represent a serious obstacle to the efficient administration of justice throughout the Summer Recess and until the Bill was enacted. I am sure that your Lordships will agree that it really would not be very responsible of this House to allow that risk to persist longer than is strictly necessary unless there were compelling reasons to do so.

I fear that noble Lords opposite have not, either in the earlier proceedings on the Bill or in discussions through the usual channels, put forward any cogent argument relating to the provisions of the Bill as to why the House should not proceed in this way. They appear to wish to delay the Bill on one ground alone: simply because it seems to them that if they manage to do so they will hold up implementation of a government policy on which this Bill has absolutely no bearing whatever.

I have endeavoured—and there is clearly a severe deficiency in my capacities in that regard—to explain to noble Lords opposite that that is so. Indeed, they persist in the erroneous belief that without this legislation being passed the privatisation of HMSO cannot be completed. That is actually not true. As I have said, the Bill has no bearing on that privatisation. It merely addresses a legislative defect which, now it has come to light, I submit to your Lordships it would be wholly irresponsible not to rectify because of the potentially damaging consequences for the administration of justice. Therefore, failure to pass the Bill would result in quite significant additional costs in the printing of statutory instruments which might in due course result in a higher cover price. I know that that is something which noble Lords on all sides of the House would regret.

I understand that noble Lords opposite feel a sense of outrage about this development or the way in which events have developed. I should like to say with the greatest sincerity at my command that I regret deeply that that is so. I hope that noble Lords opposite will accept that I have entirely fulfilled the obligations which I felt I was under and, indeed, have done my best to give advance warning to the leaders of the two main opposition parties about my intentions.

I hope that they will recognise that in another place the entire proceedings on the Bill took less than two hours. In the Second Reading debate in your Lordships' House, only two noble Lords spoke other than my noble friend. In Committee yesterday only two amendments were tabled and one of those was not moved. I am not surprised about that because I am sure that your Lordships will agree with me that it is not the habit of this House or, indeed, the parties opposite to encourage the Government to continue to break the law. Therefore, as Leader of your Lordships' House, and in spite of being fully aware of the absolute need to preserve cordial co-operation between the usual channels, without which it is difficult for this House to proceed in the way that it traditionally has, I must ask your Lordships with the greatest regret to consider conducting and proceeding with business on which there is no agreement through the usual channels.

I hope that the House will feel that the considerations which I have outlined with as much clarity as I am able will lead the House to judge that it is right to proceed with the Third Reading of this Bill. I hope that your Lordships will agree with me and agree that the Bill should be read today a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time.—(Viscount Cranborne.)

Lord Richard

My Lords, I rise to oppose the suggestion that the House should now proceed with Third Reading of this Bill; not only that, but I propose to divide the House on the issue. The noble Viscount the Leader of the House is absolutely right, there is a deep sense of outrage on this side of the House in relation to the way in which the Government have behaved in the matter.

The noble Viscount has enunciated this afternoon a novel constitutional doctrine; namely, that the usual channels work. They should work and, indeed, he is in favour of them working, except of course when he comes to the conclusion that the Opposition's argument in relation to a Bill, and the way in which they are approaching it, is not one which the Government think appropriate.

If we are in a rush in relation to the Bill, it is because the Government did not introduce it early enough. Indeed, I might have a word to say in that respect. I see several nods of heads on the other side. We were told last night that this point arose as long ago as the middle of last April. If we are running against the time limit now in view of the House being in Recess as from tomorrow, it is not the responsibility of the Opposition; it is the responsibility of the Government. There is no obligation whatever on the part of an opposition to assist the Government to get their business through.

I have to point out to the House that not only has there been no agreement through the usual channels to truncate the timetable specified in the Companion to the Standing Orders, in particular as regards the time needed between the Report stage and Third Reading, but also it is now being done not just without the agreement of the Opposition but specifically against our wishes. I hope that the House will accept that I am not one who usually indulges in great procedural wrangles simply for the sake of so doing. However, I have to tell the House that not only are the Opposition outraged about this, but I personally do not think that this is the way in which governments ought to behave in this House.

Perhaps I may remind the House of a little of the background involved. On Thursday last the Lord Privy Seal moved a Motion. The Motion was that Standing Order 38 and Standing Order 44 should be suspended until the House rose for the Summer Recess. Let us just consider what was said in that Motion. The noble Viscount said: I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. The Motion is to make it easier to arrange a number of items of business which have usual channels' agreement. At this stage in the Session, I am advised that it has not been unusual for the House to agree to such a Motion which allows for greater flexibility in the arrangement of the Order Paper and the consideration of leg islation".—[Official Report, 18/7/96; col. 1001.] That is true. If it is agreed between the usual channels, it is indeed a most sensible Motion to move. However, at that point, I rose to my feet and said: I do not wish to detain the House long on this Motion; nor do I wish to move a formal amendment to it. But the Leader of the House will know that going through the House at the moment is a Bill called the Statutory Instruments (Production and Sale) Bill. He will also know that … the Opposition … are not prepared to see the proper time limits on that Bill truncated in the way set out in the Motion. Therefore, … while I do not wish to amend the Motion formally, I wish to have the expressed consent and acceptance of the Leader of the House to the fact that discussions on the Statutory Instruments (Production and Sale) Bill are continuing within the usual channels. If they are successful, no more will be heard from me. But if they are not successful, it will be necessary for the Leader of the House to come back to the House in relation to that particular Bill and ask for a Motion in like terms to the one which he is moving now". Well, we are still waiting for a Motion to truncate the time limits on this Bill. However, the noble Viscount has not put down a Motion to that effect this afternoon; what he has done, presumably, is to use the Motion that he passed last week in order to sweep it up in that all-purpose piece of legislation.

Following that exchange of last week, we agreed to take the Committee stage of the Bill yesterday; and, indeed, we did so. We also accepted that the Report stage should be taken formally thereafter in accordance with the terms of the Companion to the Standing Orders. We could have objected to that course of action but we did not do so. At 6.30 yesterday evening it emerged via the noble Earl, Lord Howe (who is the Minister in the House in charge of the Bill), that the Leader of the House intended to move that the Bill be now read a third time immediately after Question Time today. Understandably, there was a strong reaction on the Floor of the House last night as a result of that information.

In view of the history of the matter I have to tell the noble Viscount the Leader of the House—and I pick my words carefully—that, regrettably, we shall have to read the fine print of what he tells us with somewhat greater care than we thought necessary in the past.

However, quite apart from that, the affair raises some serious issues. The Government say that the Bill is nothing to do with privatisation. I do not happen to believe that. There is no point in the Leader of the House saying that he does not believe that our arguments have any validity. We are perfectly entitled to press those arguments. Indeed, I justified that during the Second Reading of the Bill only the other day. If it has nothing to do with privatisation, what is the rush? The Government say—and the noble Earl, Lord Howe, said it last night—that they can manage perfectly well without the Bill, although that may cause some inconvenience. Again, I ask, why the rush? We know that this legal problem became known in April of this year. If it was so urgent, why was the Bill not introduced at that time?

More importantly—and this is the substance of what I have to say to the House—why are the Government now prepared to tear up the good relations that enable this House to function properly? I can recall no previous example of the Government behaving in such a way; nor can any of my more senior colleagues whose memories go back further than mine; nor, indeed, can any of the Clerks who conducted some research into the point. This is an unprecedented display of government high-handedness and it is totally unacceptable to the Opposition. It is perfectly in line with the Government's attitude towards the Recruitment and Assessment Services, which we shall be debating tomorrow. I must stress that they will have to pay the price for this in due course.

Last night the Government Chief Whip said: It has been clear since last week that the Bill did not form part of the usual channels arrangements".—[Official Report, 23/7/96; col. 1363.] That is a novel doctrine. As I understand it, Bills are now, apparently, to be part of the usual channels' agreement unless and until the Government find that they cannot get their way within those channels and, thereafter, they will get their way in any event. What is this new doctrine of Bills being outside the usual channels about? Are we to have a sort of special starred section on the Order Paper of normal Bills which fall within the usual channels, and then a special section for Bills which do not fall within the usual channels so that the Government can then decide on their timetabling? Indeed, are we to tear up the Companion to the Standing Orders to that extent? I sincerely hope not.

I propose, therefore, to ask the Opinion of the House on the Motion that the Bill be now read a third time. I accept that this is a rare event, but it is one which has been forced upon us by the Government's action and the unprecedented behaviour of the Lord Privy Seal. No doubt the Government will get their majority; indeed, I am sure that the Whips have been active in that respect. Interestingly enough, last night at 7.30 p.m., on a dead day in the House, it just so happened that there were 101 Conservative Peers littered around the building who all turned up to vote.

Similarly, I have no doubt that the Government will ram the Motion through and that the troops will loyally go into the Lobby and force through the Third Reading of the Bill today. It is yet one more example of this House being used as a political football by a Conservative Administration. Now they have even got to the stage when they are bending the rules to secure the passage of a Bill that they say they do not really need in defiance of the timetable set out in the Standing Orders in a way for which there is no precedent; and, indeed, in total disregard of the normal procedures and the usual channels. It is quite disgraceful and they should be ashamed of themselves.

Lord Jenkins of Hillhead

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Richard, feels great anger at the way in which the Government are riding rough-shod over the Opposition and over the normal conventions of this House. I in no way dissent from the noble Lord in that respect; indeed, I endorse what he said. However, I feel one emotion which is perhaps even stronger than anger—namely, that of surprise. I feel almost astonishment at the "unwisdom", if their own arguments are accepted, for such extraordinarily small stakes which is being displayed by the Government.

As is well known, there is at present a shadow of uncertainty over the future of your Lordships' House as at present constituted. The desire of the present Government—and no doubt many of their supporters—is to resist change. In those circumstances, I should have thought that tactical prudence alone would have suggested a period of restraint, of keeping the hereditary cavalry as far away as possible from the field of battle and of showing that your Lordships' House is a very special place where we work by mutual accommodation and consideration, where arguments count as least as much as Whips and where time is given for reflection. Yet we have seen, and are seeing, in the splurge of this final fortnight, the reverse of that.

I cannot really understand what dementia has come over this tottering government. I cannot decide whether the noble Viscount the Lord Privy Seal, whose leadership has at times shown a sure touch, is an enthusiastic agent or a reluctant messenger of this foolishness. In any event, it is a sad end. This hot July will, I believe, be looked back on as the weeks of unwisdom for which a heavy price may be paid.

Lord Harmar-Nicholls

My Lords, I do not know what the fuss is about. I am all for the usual channels easing the business of the House through its normal stages. It is a useful practice when it can be agreed. But what does the practice mean when one examines it? It means that a problem of the House is handed over to Members of the three Front Benches. That is what "the usual channels" boils down to. If the Members of the three Front Benches cannot agree, for good or bad reasons, then the usual channels procedure will not work. What is wrong with the whole House making the decision that has to be made?

My noble friend gave reasons for wanting to follow this procedure. I was not impressed with the reasons why the noble Lord, Lord Richard, did not wish to agree on this occasion. But he is entitled to do so. I see no special merit in coming to this House and always handing over decisions to Members of the three Front Benches who sometimes hold views diametrically opposed to what I think are the best interests of the country.

There is no need for this fuss. If the House has to make the decision, let it do so. There is nothing wrong with that; and that is what we should do.

Lord Richard

My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, perhaps I may put this point to him. He is from time to time a fair minded man. He states that if the usual channels cannot agree then the usual channels cannot agree. I accept that. But if they cannot agree should we not abide by what the Companion to the Standing Orders says? Is that not what should happen in those circumstances? The timetable in the Companion should be stuck to in the absence of agreement.

Lord Harmar-Nicholls

My Lords, that shows how stodgy the noble Lord is. If one can guarantee that all circumstances through every age will be identical, then one can have a book which lays down what one should do. But things change.

I am saying that if a decision is the responsibility of the House, let the House take up its responsibility. It is a pity that Members of the three Front Benches are so awkward within themselves that they cannot sometimes ease something through.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire

My Lords, this morning I was reading some British constitutional history. I began with Dicey, who remarked that constitutional conventions are the constitutional morality of the United Kingdom. The Companion of this House is not to be torn up and thrown away quite so easily if this is indeed an unimportant matter.

I then turned to Ivor Jennings—I had not noted this before—who remarks that there is no basis in the British constitution for resisting a Conservative Government when they wish to act in an authoritarian fashion and can command a majority in both Houses.

I noted last night the admission by the noble Earl, Lord Howe, that he was advised that the defect in the statute was discovered around mid-April—some three months ago. The noble Viscount the Leader of the House tells us that we cannot wait another three months before the matter is rectified. I checked this morning. The background notes which the Office of Public Service kindly provided for the Bill states: The potential problem was first discovered as part of a search into HMSO's statutory functions", while options for its future were being evaluated, prior to last year's announcement that it was to be privatised". That is some time before September 1995. In other words, this has been known to the Government for at least nine months and probably more.

We are told that the Government now wish to rush the matter through, having had an entire Session during which they could have brought it to the House. If that is the case, the arguments for disregarding the Companion and our constitutional conventions simply do not exist.

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, I have a vested interest in this matter as a member of your Lordships' representation on the Joint Committee for Statutory Instruments. The noble Lord, Lord Jenkins, rather made my blood boil when he described my noble friend the Leader of the House as acting in a high handed manner for small stakes. As a member of that committee, I do not find these stakes small. It is quite clear to me that the Opposition are labouring under a misapprehension. Indeed, the noble Lord, Lord Richard, confirmed as much last night. He described the Bill as one, which we are told has nothing to do with the privatisation of HMSO". He continued: I have never believed that. I believe it even less tonight".— [Official Report, col. 1364; 23/7/96.] The noble Lord also referred to that today. There can be no doubt that the illegality of statutory instruments whose printing has been contracted out would never have been discovered had not the decision to privatise HMSO been made; and, therefore, there was a need to find out exactly what HMSO does and how it operates.

I am sure that my noble friend the Leader of the House will tell us exactly what the timetable for that was, but I have no doubt in reconciling what we have just heard: that the investigation was started in September and the result as regards this illegality was not discovered until April.

However, to be fair to the noble Lord, Lord Richard, he has a point. But now I must part company with him. This Bill does not privatise the Stationery Office. It stands or falls on its own. Now that the illegality has been discovered, it must be dealt with, and quickly. For the future that is easy. All we have to do is to legislate to allow HMSO to contract out statutory instruments putting their vires beyond doubt. The Bill does just that.

But how do we deal with the very doubtful vires of those thousands of SIs which have been contracted out for printing over the past 30 years? This Bill validates them all retrospectively. I should have thought that it was a rather neat solution.

Noble Lords


Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, it is a neat solution. What is the alternative? During the course of the two debates, last night and now, we have heard no alternative. Are we to reprint the whole wretched lot, stacks of them a mile high? Are they to be the property of the small piece of HMSO which remains in the public sector? No alternative has been offered.

Do we really want those statutory instruments to be open to challenge in the courts? They could be challenged at any time. The noble Lord, Lord Richard, is a lawyer. He surely cannot want that. There is urgency. The challenge could come next week, next month, next year or in 10 years' time. The Government are absolutely right in seeking to remove the danger as soon as humanly possible. If this matter comes to a vote, they will have mine.

Earl Russell

My Lords, I have listened with a great deal of care and interest to the noble Viscount the Lord Privy Seal. I think he understands that for many centuries, practically since the beginning of printing, a document bearing statutory force has been recognised by the mark of the King's printer. If this Government have been so careless of the majesty of the state that they have allowed purportedly statutory instruments to appear in print without that mark, I do not see why they should ask the Opposition to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. It is a little like the behaviour of the young lady who once took her boyfriend to Johannesburg Zoo, threw her glove into the lions' den and said to him, "Go and fetch it". I am glad to say that the gentleman went to fetch it, came out unscathed, handed it to her and bowed deeply, and never spoke to her again.

I can understand the Government's problem. However, there are many different kinds of statutory instruments creating many different types of reaction around the House. I do not understand why we should be asked immediately, by retrospective legislation, which is not to be used lightly, wantonly or unadvisedly, to validate the lot. The noble Lord, Lord Skelmersdale, asked whether we are expected to reprint the whole lot. The principle on which I brought up my children is that you clear up your own mess. I commend that principle to the Government.

Lord Dixon-Smith

My Lords, I rise on a small point since I had not expected to intervene in the discussion. I thought that I had listened to the debate and I understood that the fault commenced 30 years ago. My arithmetic takes that back to 1966, when presumably the Opposition were responsible for initiating the procedures which we are now trying to rectify.

3.30 p.m.

Viscount Cranborne

My Lords, perhaps I may deal with the points made one by one. As my noble friend Lord Dixon-Smith made clear, there appears to have been an oversight by more than one government. The 1946 Act is the operative instrument, as I understand it, and I am glad that the noble Lord, Lord Richard, confirms that. I shall come to the timing later.

I say to the noble Earl, Lord Russell, that previous governments of both main political complexions—although not the noble Earl's, for obvious reasons—seem to have failed to discover the illegality until a bit late in the day. However, at least we discovered it, and we intend to do something about it and to clear up our own mess. In order to do so, once we have drawn attention to the matter and it is in the public domain, it is wise for us not to leave an opportunity for others vexatiously to take advantage of the fact that the Government have been breaking the law.

The noble Lord, Lord Richard, said that he did not agree with us that the problem had nothing to do with privatisation. By implication, therefore, he disagrees with the legal advice that the Government have received. With the greatest respect to him, as always in addressing him either in private or across the Floor of the House, I must say that he has not given the House one single reason why he disagrees with that assertion. My noble friend Lord Skelmersdale put it very well and I do not think that I can add anything.

The noble Lords, Lord Richard and Lord Wallace of Saltaire, drew attention to the timing. The briefing note to which the noble Lord, Lord Wallace, and yesterday the noble Lord, Lord McNally, drew attention was billed as a quotation from an OPS briefing note. I have a photocopy of that note. When I investigated what was recorded in the Official Report as having been said by the noble Lord, Lord McNally, my clear advice was that the briefing note concerned was not issued by the OPS, although the piece of paper says so. It is a note put together by the Commons Library, based on conversations with the OPS and probably others over the past months. I welcome the opportunity to try to put the record straight on the matter of timing.

Lord McNally

What on earth does that mean, my Lords? It does not make the matter clearer. Is the noble Viscount saying that our timing of September discovery or earlier was wrong? It is the nit-picking and avoiding of the main issues that fuel suspicion on this side as to what is happening.

Viscount Cranborne

My Lords, I shall come to the matter of timing, if the noble Lord will allow me. I am sure I shall fail to satisfy him, as I have failed too often in the past, but I shall do my best. The noble Lords, Lord McNally, Lord Wallace and Lord Richard, are quite right that on 15th April this year the Government finally received advice which revealed the nature and extent of the problem. Immediately Ministers sought further advice and consulted as to the best way of dealing with the problem. A number of noble Lords have had extremely lengthy and distinguished ministerial careers. Therefore, I do not need to explain to this audience that even emergency legislation takes time to agree and prepare, though in this instance the Bill is hardly lengthy. If noble Lords opposite dredge their memories, it will not surprise them that nevertheless it was not until 19th June that further advice and consultation led to a decision that primary legislation was the only fully satisfactory means of addressing the matter. My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster announced on that date in another place, immediately the decision was taken, that a Bill would be introduced forthwith. The statement was repeated in your Lordships' House in a Written Answer (at col. WA. 32 of the Official Report for 19th June).

I now come to what I found the most distressing part of what the noble Lord, Lord Richard, said. I do not wish to take up his accusations in too great detail. In no way do they undermine the regard that I have for him, certainly not from my point of view. I am sorry that he diagnosed the events of the past week in the way that he did. I hope he will take that remark in the spirit in which it is proffered.

When, last Thursday, I moved the Motion to suspend Standing Orders, I indicated that I hoped that the agreement of the usual channels might be forthcoming. The noble Lord, Lord Richard, remembered that. I hoped that there would be agreement to proceed with the remaining stages of the Bill before the Summer Recess. I undertook that in the event that such agreement could not be reached, we would not invite the House to proceed with the Bill without providing a further opportunity for the House to consider how it wished to proceed. I stand by that assurance. It is why I myself came forward to move the Third Reading of the Bill today.

As the noble Lord, Lord Richard, rightly pointed out, it is within the practice of the House for the Report on a Bill which has not been amended in Committee to be received forthwith: in other words, immediately after the Committee stage, as provided in the Companion to the Standing Orders on page 128. As the noble Lord accepted, If the bill is reported without amendment, the Lord in charge of the bill may move forthwith: 'That this Report be now received'. If this is agreed to, the next stage is the Third Reading". I am glad that the noble Lord, Lord Richard, accepts that that procedure does not require suspension of Standing Orders and it is therefore not outside the terms of the assurance which I gave the House.

The noble Lord implied that I had broken the terms of the undertaking I gave to the House. As your Lordships would expect me to do, I took careful advice as to the proper form for me to come back to the House in order to redeem the promise that I gave to the House and to the noble Lord, Lord Richard. The advice that I received was unequivocally clear. There is no Business Motion that can be moved, as the noble Lord, Lord Richard, spotted, predictably and at once. There was no intent to mislead about that, which is why I gave the undertaking I did in the subsequent exchange. The Motion to suspend Standing Orders which I moved at that time theoretically included the suspension of Standing Orders as it affected the Bill. I have been advised that nothing is proposed that would require the suspension of any Standing Orders, no Motion is available to us.

In order to try to meet the assurance that I gave to the House, within the rules of the House, I come to the House to give your Lordships an opportunity to decide whether noble Lords wish to proceed further with the Bill. That is why I am extremely happy for the House to decide. If the noble Lord, Lord Richard, wishes to push the matter to a Division, I shall regret it, but it is entirely within his right.

If there is a breakdown between the usual channels, that is something I regret. But as my noble friend Lord Harmar-Nicholls made clear, the normal channels are a matter of convenience which we try our best to make work. Indeed, this House could not function unless they were in good working order as a matter of practical possibility. On what I am glad to say are the very rare occasions when we are unable to come to an agreement, surely it is only right, as my noble friend pointed out, that the House itself as a whole should decide. That is what the House will do this afternoon. I know that all sides will abide by the decision of the House.

I should be superhuman if I did not try to respond to the implied challenge of the noble Lord, Lord Jenkins. I merely observe that it is significant that when, over the asylum Bill amendment or any other matter, members of the Opposition feel that the Government have ridden roughshod over their most deeply held convictions, they feel that this House should overturn the wishes of the elected Chamber; and when the Government accede to the wishes of the elected Chamber, they feel, clearly, that the only solution is to reform this House. I merely leave in your Lordships' minds the suggestion that there is perhaps a marginal inconsistency in that point of view. I commend the Bill to the House.

3.41 p.m.

On Question, Whether the Bill shall be now read a third time?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 152;

Division No. 1
Aberdare, L. Grimston of Westbury, L.
Ackner, L. Hailsham of Saint Marylebone
Ailesbury, M. Halsbury, E.
Ailsa, M. Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Aldington, L. Harding of Petherton, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E. Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V. Hayter, L.
Ampthill, L. Headfort, M.
Ashbourne, L. Henley, L.
Astor of Hever, L. Hooper, B.
Belhaven and Stenton, L. Hothfield, L.
Beloff, L. Howe, E.
Blatch, B. Howe of Aberavon, L.
Boardman, L. Hylton-Foster, B.
Bowness, L. Ironside, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L. Johnston of Rockport, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L. Kimball, L.
Braine of Wheatley, L. Kings Norton, L.
Bridges, L. Kintore, E.
Brightman, L. Knollys, V.
Broadbridge, L. Lauderdale, E.
Brougham and Vaux, L. Layton, L.
Bruntisfield, L. Leigh, L.
Burnham, L. Lindsay, E.
Butterworth, L. Long, V.
Cadman, L. Lucas, L.
Caldecote, V. Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Campbell of Croy, L. Lyell, L.
Camegy of Lour, B. Macclesfield, E.
Chalfont, L. McColl of Dulwich, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B. MacFarlane of Bearsden, L.
Chesham, L. [Teller.] Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Clanwilliam, E. Mackay of Clashfem, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cockfield, L. Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Courtown, E. Macleod of Borve, B.
Cranbome, V. [Lord Privy Seal.] Merrivale, L.
Crathorne, L. Mersey, V.
Crickhoweil, L. Miller of Hendon, B.
Cromer, E. Milverton, L.
Cross, V. Mountevans, L.
Cuckney, L. Moyne, L.
Cullen of Ashboume, L. Munster, E.
Cumberlege, B. Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Davidson, V. Newall,L.
De L'Isle, V. Noel-Buxton, L.
Dean of Harptree, L. Northesk, E.
Denton of Wakefield, B. O'Cathain, B.
Dixon-Smith, L. Orkney, E.
Ellenborough, L. Orr-Ewing, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L. Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Elton, L. Pender, L.
Eme, E. Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Exmouth, V. Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Ferrers, E. Pym, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L. Rankeillour, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B. Rathcavan, L.
Geddes, L. Rawlings, B.
Gisborough, L. Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Glenarthur, L. Renwick, L.
Goschen, V. Robertson of Oakridge, L.
Gray of Contin, L. Roskill, L.
Greenhill of Harrow, L. St. Davids, V.
Greenway, L. Saint Oswald, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly. Sudeley, L.
Savile, L. Terrington, L.
Seccombe, B. Teynham,L.
Shaw of Northstead, L. Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L. Torphichen, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L. Trumpington, B.
Skelmersdale, L. Ullswater, V.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L. Vivian, L.
Wedgwood, L.
Stockton, E. Westbury, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L. Whitelaw, V.
Strathcarron, L. Wilcox, B.
Strathclyde, L.[Teller.] Wynford, L.
Addington, L. Jeger, B.
Ashley of Stoke, L. Jenkins of Hillhead, L
Avebury, L. Jenkins of Putney, L.
Barnett, L. Judd, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Lovell-Davis, L.
Berkeley, L. McNair, L.
Birk, B. McNally, L.
Blackstone, B. Marsh, L.
Blease, L. Mayhew, L.
Blyth, L. Meston, L.
Borrie, L. Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Bruce of Donington, L. Nicol, B.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L. Ogmore, L.
Carter, L. Peston, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Rea, L.
Clinton-Davis, L. Redesdale, L.
Dahrendorf, L. Richard, L.
David, B. Rochester, L.
Dean of Beswick, L. Roll of Ipsden, L.
Desai, L. Russell, E.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Sainsbury, L.
Donoughue, L. Seear, B.
Dormand of Easington, L. Sewel, L.
Eatwell, L. Shepherd, L.
Falkland, V. Simon, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B. Stallard, L.
Fisher of Rednal, B. Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Fitt, L. Strabolgi, L.
Gallacher, L. Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L. Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Glenamara, L. Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.] Tordoff, L.
Grantchester, L. Turner of Camden, B.
Grenfell, L. Wallace of Coslany, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L. [Teller.] Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Haskel, L. Wharton, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B. White, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B. Wigoder, L.
Hooson, L. Williams of Crosby, B.
Howie of Troon, L. Williams of Elvel, L.
Hughes, L. Williams of Mostyn, L.
Ilchester, E. Winchilsea and Nottingham, E

Resolved in the affirmative, and Motion agreed to accordingly.

3.51 p.m.

Earl Howe

My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill do now pass.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Earl Howe.)

On Question, Bill passed.