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Mr. Blair : The Secretary of State well knows that I asked what the standards would consist of. I asked him a

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specific question and perhaps he will now answer it. Will the regulator be able to require public electricity suppliers to provide incentives for consumers to use energy more efficiently?

Mr. Parkinson : The reason for the "may" is that the director general, after consultation, will draw up codes of practice which will set performance standards. After consultation, bearing in mind the duty that Parliament has placed on him, the prime duty to promote energy efficiency--

Mr. Jimmy Dunnachie (Glasgow, Pollok) : Answer the question.

Mr. Parkinson : I am answering the question, but the hon. Gentleman has not listened to any of the debate and would not recognise a correct answer if I gave one, as I am.

The Bill contains a power and a duty and the revised licence condition defines how that duty will be carried out. The director general will set performance standards and enforce them and he can penalise companies that do not implement them.

The new clause considerably strengthens the energy provisions in the Bill, and I hope that my hon. Friends will remember that, although we have had a wonderful day of bad-mouthing our country, we have a very good record of energy efficiency. Although Opposition Members have come late to it, we have been pursuing it in a very determined way for a long time, and the new clause will continue that good work effectively.

Mr. James Wallace (Orkney and Shetland) rose --

Madam Deputy Speaker (Miss Betty Boothroyd) : Mr. Wallace.

Mr. Frank Haynes (Ashfield) : On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) has not been present for the whole of the debate. May I put it to you that it is not fair that at this stage he should be called to make a speech? We have had a contribution from the Liberal Bench.

Madam Deputy Speaker : The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) is a Member of the House and I called him to speak.

Mr. Wallace : What I have to say will probably not occupy much more than the time it took the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) to make that point of order.

The Secretary of State said that his proposed new clause would strengthen the Bill. That is nonsense. It may represent a strengthening of the measure as it went to the other place, but it has returned from there as an adequate piece of legislation which will have teeth. Our amendment No. (iii) is designed to give teeth to the toothless proposal that the Government have made.

Mr. Salmond rose --

Mr. Wallace : I give way to the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Stern : On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. If the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) had been here to listen to the debate, he

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would know that the comments that he is now making have been made at least five times. Does he really have to waste the time of the House?

Madam Deputy Speaker : Order. I repeat, the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland is a Member of the House. When he rises, he is entitled to be called.

Mr. Salmond : Did the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace) notice that the Secretary of State's reply was as silent on the Scottish issues which he was specifically asked to address as the Minister of State, Scottish Office has been silent virtually throughout the debates on this legislation?

Mr. Wallace : Although I may not have been present for the whole of the debate, I had the misfortune to hear the speech of the hon. Member for Bristol, North-West (Mr. Stern). I also heard the valid questions that the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) addressed to the Secretary of State but to which he did not get a reply. That is why we shall divide the House on our amendment No. (iii).

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment :--

The House divided : Ayes 310, Noes 216.

Division No. 312] [7.09 pm


Adley, Robert

Alexander, Richard

Alison, Rt Hon Michael

Allason, Rupert

Amess, David

Amos, Alan

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)

Ashby, David

Aspinwall, Jack

Atkins, Robert

Atkinson, David

Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)

Baldry, Tony

Banks, Robert (Harrogate)

Batiste, Spencer

Bellingham, Henry

Bendall, Vivian

Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)

Bevan, David Gilroy

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Body, Sir Richard

Bonsor, Sir Nicholas

Boscawen, Hon Robert

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Mrs Virginia

Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)

Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)

Bowis, John

Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes

Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard

Brandon-Bravo, Martin

Brazier, Julian

Bright, Graham

Brooke, Rt Hon Peter

Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)

Browne, John (Winchester)

Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)

Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick

Buck, Sir Antony

Budgen, Nicholas

Burns, Simon

Burt, Alistair

Butcher, John

Butterfill, John

Carlisle, John, (Luton N)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Carttiss, Michael

Cash, William

Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda

Chapman, Sydney

Chope, Christopher

Churchill, Mr

Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)

Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)

Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)

Colvin, Michael

Conway, Derek

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Cope, Rt Hon John

Cormack, Patrick

Couchman, James

Cran, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina

Curry, David

Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Devlin, Tim

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dover, Den

Dunn, Bob

Durant, Tony

Dykes, Hugh

Eggar, Tim

Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)

Evennett, David

Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas

Fallon, Michael

Farr, Sir John

Favell, Tony

Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)

Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey

Fishburn, John Dudley

Fookes, Dame Janet

Forman, Nigel

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forth, Eric

Fowler, Rt Hon Norman

Fox, Sir Marcus

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