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Mr. Alan Williams (Swansea, West): How can my hon. Friend reconcile his argument that we are putting a specific proposal to the people of Wales with his argument that the Assembly might subsequently evolve? If he believes that it may evolve, why does not he give the Welsh public the option of choosing an evolved form?

Mr. Hain: I believe that my right hon. Friend, whom I respect as a colleague in the West Glamorgan area and for his role in Parliament in the Welsh group, is confusing two points. We shall outline in the White Paper our policy for a Welsh Assembly; that is what will be voted on. That is what will be legislated for in Parliament thereafter. I am simply making the obvious point that one cannot bind future Parliaments and that a future Welsh Assembly may be able to evolve in future. There is nothing contradictory in inviting the people of Wales to vote on the policy set out in the White Paper.

4 Jun 1997 : Column 466

I see that the shadow Secretary of State for Wales has finally turned up to the debate, very late in the day.

Mr. Ron Davies: He is canvassing.

Mr. Hain: He is canvassing, is he, for extra votes? That displays the typical arrogance that the Tories have shown in the past few days for the mandate that we have received from the people of Wales, and which they definitely have not received. Indeed, the real opposition in Wales to the Government is sitting on the Liberal Democrat and nationalist Benches, because there is no opposition in Wales on the Tory Benches.

I pay tribute to the Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru Members who have spoken. I especially appreciate the constructive spirit in which the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Mr. Livsey) made his contribution, especially bearing it in mind that his grandmother is from Alltwen. She comes from very good stock, as it is in the Neath constituency.

I hope that we can move forward together to get a massive yes vote in Wales for an elected Assembly in Wales, because Wales must not be left behind in a movement for democracy that is being unleashed throughout Britain. We have this historic opportunity to modernise our system of government, to bring power to the people of Wales and to decentralise decision making.

The referendum and the Bill--in defeating the amendment, we shall carry through the Bill--will give us the opportunity to take forward the battle for democracy and get rid of 18 years of degenerate, corrupt Tory rule in Wales and strike forward on a new path of democratic devolution in Wales.

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones: I join the congratulations to the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. Caton) on his excellent maiden speech. I was proud of the fact that he mentioned the village of Garnswllt, where I was brought up and educated, so I am sure that he will be looking after the residents of Garnswllt very well, like his predecessor, Gareth Wardell.

The Minister made heavy weather of technical arguments against more than one question. I find it rather strange--I put it no higher than that--that the people of Scotland are mature and grown up enough to consider that they might have to vote on two questions, but somehow the people of Wales are not that mature--that it would be too complicated for the people of Wales to have more than one question, but not too complicated for the people of Scotland.

I also find it strange that the Minister should say that the people of Wales cannot be bothered with tax-raising Parliament, yet the people of Scotland can be. What is the difference? He seems to me to be making very heavy weather of it. I understand that he wants to advance the proposals made by the Labour party, and he is entitled to do so; the Government have a mandate on that.

The Minister told the Committee--a point that I did not fully appreciate--that the people of Wales decisively rejected Plaid Cymru at the general election. They rejected the Conservatives decisively, yet the Conservative position is maintained on the ballot paper. The status quo is there. The Conservative option is being voted on. What is the problem in putting the option suggested by the Liberal Democrat party or Plaid Cymru?

4 Jun 1997 : Column 467

I find it strange that the Government cannot make the connection there, in the spirit of inclusive politics, to bring people together.

The amendment does not tie the Government's hands by committing them to a multi-option referendum but enshrines the principle of options. The Government can consider what options might be appropriate, after consulting the people. There is no hard and fast reason why the referendum should be multi-option.

The Minister said that a multi-option referendum would be different from the kind of question to be put to the people of Scotland. There was an opportunity, which the Government did not take, to debate questions similar to those being put to Scotland. The amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Wrexham (Dr. Marek) provided that opportunity, but it was denied because of the guillotine.

I ask the Government to recognise that there are strong feelings across all parties in Wales that we should consider all options. In order to gauge the strength of feeling in the Committee, we shall divide the Committee on the amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 20, Noes 330.

Division No. 13
[7.59 pm


AYES


Brand, Dr Peter
Brazier, Julian
Chope, Christopher
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cunningham, Ms Roseanna
(Perth)
Dafis, Cynog
Duncan Smith, Iain
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Hancock, Mike
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Lidington, David
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Paterson, Owen
St Aubyn, Nick
Salmond, Alex
Swinney, John
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Tyrie, Andrew
Welsh, Andrew

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Elfyn Llwyd and
Mr. Dafydd Wigley.


NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Ros'dale)
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Ms Charlotte
Austin, John
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne (Aberd'n S)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Mrs Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Robert
Blunkett, Rt Hon David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Rt Hon Nick
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond (Kilmarnock)
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Christine
Byers, Stephen
Caborn, Richard
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Canavan, Dennis
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Church, Ms Judith
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
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Ms Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Corston, Ms Jean
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
(Copeland)
Curtis-Thomas, Ms Clare
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Rt Hon Ron (Caerphilly)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Ms Janet
Denham, John
Dewar, Rt Hon Donald
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Ms Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Ms Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fitzsimons, Ms Lorna
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Ms Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael John (Worcester)
Galbraith, Sam
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
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)
Hanson, David
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hinchliffe, David
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)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Adam
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampst'd)
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, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Miss Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kingham, Tessa
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
Livingstone, Ken
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lock, David
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Ian (Makerfield)
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Ms Shona
McKenna, Ms Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McLeish, Henry
McMaster, Gordon
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Ms Judy
Marek, Dr John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meale, Alan
Merron, Ms Gillian
Milburn, Alan
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
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
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Mrs Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pendry, Tom
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, Ms Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Radice, Giles
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robertson, Rt Hon George
(Hamilton S)
Rogers, Allan
Rooker, Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salter, Martin
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)
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)
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
(Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Dr Alan W
(E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Wright, Tony (Gt Yarmouth)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. Graham Allen and
Jane Kennedy.

Question accordingly negatived.

4 Jun 1997 : Column 469

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.


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