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Mr. Ancram: I understand the urgency with which the Secretary of State will bring forward the White Paper. It might be helpful if he were to consider attaching a draft Bill to it so that we could see all the details. I understand that that is something that the Government are considering doing in relation to certain White Papers and it might be useful on this occasion.

I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of York (Miss McIntosh) on an excellent maiden speech. I am delighted that even if the Conservative party has no Scottish Members of Parliament we now have as many Scottish advocates as the Labour party and more than any other party. It was an excellent speech and we look forward to hearing many more from her.

4 Jun 1997 : Column 436

The Conservative party is in a difficult position because we agree with the principle that there should be a multi-option question, where three relevant questions should be posed. As my hon. Friend the Member for South Staffordshire (Sir P. Cormack) said, however, we have an amendment which goes much further than that and suggests that an order of preference should be built into that multi-option question. I do not often find myself agreeing with the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion), but I do agree that to decide such constitutional matters on second or third preference is fairly dangerous.

We support the principle because at present the Bill contains two questions--whether there should be a Scottish Parliament or not. Those who vote for a Scottish Parliament could do so for two very different reasons. The Government will campaign and vote for it because, as they have often said, they believe that it will buttress the Union. Nationalists in Scotland have made it clear that they will vote for it because they think that it will lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom. There are thus two completely different and opposite reasons for voting for the same option. That is a dangerous basis on which to say that there is a mandate to take this matter forward and then to take legislation forward.

I clearly remember that after the last referendum we had arguments which lasted for a long time, which were rehearsed yesterday in the House, about non-voters and whether they should be taken as yes voters or no voters and what that meant in terms of the outcome. The idea that there could be a yes vote for a Scottish Parliament which could be based on the views of those who wish to maintain a United Kingdom and those who wish to break it up is a dangerous precedent.

It is for that reason that I say that we would have supported the amendments tabled in the names of my hon. Friends the Members for South Staffordshire and for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin). Both had amendments which clearly would have enabled the Scottish people to decide between three options--independence, a devolved Parliament in Scotland, or the status quo. Those are the real questions that should be asked, but as they are not available to us in the amendment on which we are about to vote, the Opposition spokesmen will abstain.

Mr. Salmond: We have had an interesting debate, constrained by the time available, but none the less a number of important points have been made. I, too, congratulate the hon. Member for Vale of York (Miss McIntosh) on her maiden speech. She said that we must not think that she would replace all four of her predecessors. Having known her four predecessors and having listened to her excellent maiden speech, I am sure that she has a good chance of effectively replacing all four of her predecessors and we look forward to more contributions from her.

I was interested to hear the right hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram) announce to the House that in principle Conservatives are in favour of the amendments and a multi-option referendum. That comes as a surprise to some of us. We have been waiting for the past 18 years to see some sign of that. None the less, we must accept that this is something of a breakthrough. It is the first indication during the past four weeks that Conservative Front-Bench Members have listened to the Scottish

4 Jun 1997 : Column 437

electorate's verdict. We now have it on the record that, in principle, the Conservative party is in favour of a multi-option referendum.

It is rather weak to say that things should have been done differently. Preferential voting is widely used internationally. It is not confusing or difficult. There are, if necessary, other ways to do it. Newfoundland had two referendums in successive weeks. The French managed to find their way through a similar arrangement and elect a Government. If there are at least three positions, it is only fair to put them on the ballot paper. I welcome the Conservative party's conversion in principle, but I regret that that principle does not seem to want to take Conservative Members into the Lobby in a few minutes' time.

The Secretary of State for Scotland criticises me for using international examples. He also criticised my hon. Friend the Member for Perth (Ms Cunningham). Given that he once told me that he did not obtain a passport until the age of 50, I regard my international examples as important and relevant to the debate.

The Secretary of State said that we spoke on open-deck buses. I do not remember speaking with the Secretary of State on open-deck buses, but I do remember speaking with the Minister of State on an open-deck bus in front of 25,000 people in the Meadows in 1992, articulating the case for this sort of referendum in Scotland. I see the Minister nodding assent.

The Secretary of State has given a number of reasons why what might have been relevant in 1992 is not relevant in 1997. The basic change is that in 1992 the Labour party was in opposition and in 1997 it is in government. The right hon. Member for Devizes is in a similar position.

If our proposal is right in principle--if it is right to put forward all the constitutional options to the people of Scotland--surely the amendments, which are clear, are worth supporting in the Lobby. I share many of the sentiments expressed by the hon. Member for South Staffordshire (Sir P. Cormack). If he examines amendments Nos. 72 to 77--all six are necessary in order to rearrange the ballot paper--I think that he will then find that the options are being put forward in a perfectly fair and reasonable way.

I see as the crux of the debate the fact that the Government do not seem to have realised that they are offering a multi-option referendum. In their two questions, they are offering a multi-option referendum between the status quo, a Parliament with tax-varying powers and a Parliament without tax-varying powers. The difficulty with their multi-option referendum is that they offer the wrong options--the status quo has been widely discredited and a Parliament with no tax-varying powers is not supported by any substantial body of opinion.

Would it not be fairer, more democratic and infinitely more satisfactory if the House were to find within itself the wisdom, just for once, to give Scots a genuine right of self-determination--the right to determine our future by making available to us all the constitutional options facing the nation? It cannot be said by any hon. Member that there is not significant support in Scotland for the concept and the objective of an independent country.

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That option, therefore, should be on the ballot paper, along with all the other constitutional options.

It being Six o'clock, The Chairman put the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that hour.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 45, Noes 405.

Division No. 11
[6 pm


Bercow, John
Blunt, Crispin
Chope, Christopher
Clark, Rt Hon Alan (Kensington)
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cunningham, Ms Roseanna
Dafis, Cynog
Day, Stephen
Duncan Smith, Iain
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Forth, Eric
Gale, Roger
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick
Gill, Christopher
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Greenway, John
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Jenkin, Bernard (N Essex)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Loughton, Tim
Mates, Michael
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Salmond, Alex
Sayeed, Jonathan
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Spring, Richard
Swayne, Desmond
Swinney, John
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Tredinnick, David
Waterson, Nigel
Whittingdale, John
Wigley, Dafydd
Wilkinson, John
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Elfyn Llwyd and
Mr. Andrew Welsh.


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Allan, Richard (Shef'ld Hallam)
Allen, Graham (Nottingham N)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Ros'dale)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Ms Charlotte
Austin, John
Baker, Norman
Ballard, Mrs Jackie
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne (Aberd'n S)
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Mrs Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Robert
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brake, Thomas
Brand, Dr Peter
Breed, Colin
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Rt Hon Gordon
(Dunfermline E)
Brown, Rt Hon Nick
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond (Kilmarnock)
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burstow, Paul
Butler, Christine
Byers, Stephen
Cable, Dr Vincent
Caborn, Richard
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Menzies (NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Canavan, Dennis
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chidgey, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
(Hammersmith & Fulham)
Colman, Anthony (Putney)
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Ms Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Corston, Ms Jean
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John
Curtis-Thomas, Ms Clare
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davies, Rt Hon Ron (Caerphilly)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Ms Janet
Denham, John
Dewar, Rt Hon Donald
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Ms Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Ms Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Fearn, Ronnie
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Ms Lorna
Flint, Ms Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Ms Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael John (Worcester)
Galbraith, Sam
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew (St Ives)
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Graham, Thomas
Grant, Bernie
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Grogan, John
Gunnell, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Harvey, Nick
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Heath, David (Somerton)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate
Home Robertson, John
Hood, Jimmy
Hoon, Geoffrey
Hope, Philip
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley
(Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Adam
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampst'd)
Jackson, Mrs Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian (Tamworth)
Johnson, Ms Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Jones, Ms Fiona (Newark)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Mrs Ann (Brentford)
Keetch, Paul
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Charles
(Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Miss Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kingham, Tessa
Kirkwood, Archy
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lawrence, Ms Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Livingstone, Ken
Livsey, Richard
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lock, David
Love, Andy
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Ian (Makerfield)
McDonagh, Ms Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Ms Shona
McKenna, Ms Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McLeish, Henry
Maclennan, Robert
McMaster, Gordon
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Ms Judy
Marek, Dr John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Merchant, Piers
Merron, Ms Gillian
Milburn, Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moore, Michael
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Mountford, Ms Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Dennis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Mrs Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pendry, Tom
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, Ms Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Radice, Giles
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
Rendel, David
Robertson, Rt Hon George
(Hamilton S)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Rogers, Allan
Rooker, Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Ms Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Ms Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stott, Roger
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Mrs Gisela (Edgbaston)
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Matthew
(Truro & St Austell)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Touhig, Don
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tyler, Paul
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Wallace, James
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
Webb, Steven
White, Brian
Whitehead, Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Dr Alan W
(E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Willis, Phil
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Wright, Tony (Gt Yarmouth)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Jon Owen Jones and
Ms Bridget Prentice.

Question accordingly negatived.

4 Jun 1997 : Column 441

It being quarter past Six o'clock, The Chairman put the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that hour.

Question put, That the clause stand part of the Bill:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 360, Noes 66.

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