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The First Deputy Chairman: Order. That has nothing to do with the amendment.

Mr. Evans: What disappoints me is the fact that the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) is here to participate in the debate--

Mr. Wigley: He is a Welsh Member.

Mr. Evans: Funnily enough I am too, although I do not represent a Welsh constituency.

Mr. Gareth Thomas (Clwyd, West): Since the hon. Gentleman seems incapable of making his point, I shall make it for him. His amendment would delete the word "National" in relation to Wales. Does not that reflect the fact that the Conservative party is incapable of recognising that Wales is a nation and should be

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recognised as such? The Tories fail to recognise the fact that various nations make up the United Kingdom, which is a unitary state.

Mr. Evans: I shall come in a moment to what the White Paper called the assembly, but I want first to deal with the Liberal Democrats' amendments--

Mr. Donald Anderson: Is the hon. Gentleman saying that Wales is not a nation?

Mr. Evans: That is not what is behind our amendment. I want later to refer to the White Paper the Government published and sent out to people's homes during the referendum campaign.

The Liberal Democrats' amendments are more subtle than their new clauses, the contents of which border on self-delusion. The Liberal Democrats want to call the assembly a senedd--[Interruption.] I hope that the Secretary of State will listen, because I am discussing the name of the assembly, which the Government have changed since the time of the referendum. They now want to call it the National Assembly for Wales. I hope that the Secretary of State does not mind our discussing the final name of the assembly in Committee. I understand that he is grappling with the problems of where to site the assembly. Meanwhile, we are talking about what to call it. The Liberal Democrats want to call it a senedd, which is the Welsh word for Parliament.

Mr. Davies: I must explain the cause of my mirth to the hon. Gentleman. Does he not feel that it is presumptuous for him to be dealing with the points that the Liberal Democrats will presumably argue when they have not yet had the opportunity to do so?

Mr. Evans: No, I know no shame. I have learnt that from watching how the Secretary of State behaves both inside and outside the Chamber; I have had a good master.

It would be a mistake to call the Welsh assembly a senedd because that is the Welsh word for Parliament and it will be anything other than a Parliament. It is premature and naive to go down that road because that would only be playing the names game. We do not believe in deluding the Welsh people or anyone else and it would be an insult to call it a senedd.

Mr. Dafis: The hon. Gentleman should understand that Welsh words were not coined to translate English words--or, indeed, French words, which is what Parliament is. The Welsh word senedd is derived from the Latin word senate and has its own meaning. There is no reason why it should be seen as a translation of an English word.

Mr. Evans: I am glad of that clarification. That is lesson in Welsh number one. I am sure that we will have many more during the passage of the Bill. I understand that senedd does not mean a talking shop or an assembly. The senedd was always deemed to be the body that would be there if Wales went down the independence route and thus had its own Parliament. When my right hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Sir E. Heath)

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came to Wales in the 1970s, he was welcomed by some Welsh nationalist demonstrators calling for "Senedd i Gymru", or "A Parliament for Wales". I am sure that the meaning has not changed that much in the intervening period.

Mr. John Smith (Vale of Glamorgan): On a point of order, Mr. Martin. We have been sitting here for some time waiting for the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) to refer to the amendments tabled by the Conservative party. We have not yet heard one reason why "Welsh Assembly" should replace the name in the Bill. Can we please hear why it should?

The First Deputy Chairman: The hon. Gentleman has been speaking to amendments in the group. It makes no difference to me whether he is speaking to his own amendment, as long as the audit is one of the group before the Committee.

Mr. Evans: Thank you for your welcome protection, Mr. Martin. It is nice to see the hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Mr. Smith) revisiting the House to make his contribution. He should refer to the Government's White Paper--[Interruption.] It is important because, first, it talks about

to which amendment No. 10 refers. Then, referring to remarks made in the House it states:

    "The referendum offers the people of Wales a new beginning, alongside other successful economic regions"--

not economic nations, but regions. We must look at the way in which the Secretary of State refers to Wales, because he signed that foreword.

What is important is how the Welsh people refer to the assembly once it is set up. Will they call it the National Assembly for Wales, or the National Assembly of Wales? Will they call it the senedd or the Welsh assembly? I shall try to introduce a little common sense into what at times is a desert of national thinking. The Welsh people will, I suggest, call it the Welsh assembly. It is a little like Cardiff Arms park. It is all very well taking it down, turning it round and rebuilding it and then trying to call it the millennium stadium, or something bordering on that, but what will the people of Wales call that rugby stadium? Will they call it Cardiff Arms park? I suspect that that is exactly what they will do--or, perhaps, new Cardiff Arms park, rather like calling the Labour party new Labour.

4.45 pm

Mr. Donald Anderson: The hon. Gentleman is becoming increasingly out of touch with Wales. He seems to be unaware of our great Welsh gift for abbreviation. Hence, the crematorium is the crem and my leisure centre is the lesh. It will certainly not be called the Welsh assembly. It will be the assembly.

Mr. Evans: I am delighted that the hon. Member finished off his comparison. After crematorium became crem, I thought that assembly might become something completely different [Laughter.] Thank you, I am here all week folks.

I hope that we will get some common sense. There is no reason why it should not be called the Welsh assembly. I understand that there may well be a legal problem with

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translating "Welsh assembly" into Welsh as someone may have the copyright to the Welsh version--one cannot have a copyright to the English version of the Welsh assembly. Perhaps the Secretary of State has more information about that and can enlighten us if that is why it is not being called the Welsh assembly. At least the people of Wales and the people of Cardiff, although they voted no, will refer to it as the Welsh assembly, irrespective of whether it is sited in Cardiff, Swansea, north Wales or somewhere else.

Another amendment in the group refers to tax-raising or tax-varying powers for the assembly. That brings us back to the subject of whether we are to have an assembly or a Parliament. The people of Wales did not vote for tax-varying powers. They saw what they were offered in the White Paper. They were not offered the parliamentary version, but they certainly would not have gone down that route. I do not believe that they would have gone down the route of tax-varying powers either.

Today, I was speaking with some of the farmers who are lobbying Parliament about farm incomes, which have dropped 50 per cent. in a short time. They face one of the bleakest crises ever. Some of them may be listening to our debate and others will no doubt read about it avidly tomorrow in the newspapers. It is appalling for us to be talking about burdening them with extra taxes when their incomes have fallen. This is one reason why the Government never suggested tax-raising powers for Wales--because the assembly will not be the same as the Scottish Parliament. Judging from some of the amendments, however, that Parliament is what some hon. Members want to mimic. It has primary legislative and tax-varying powers, but the Welsh assembly has none of that. We are witnessing moves to give the assembly something that the Welsh people did not vote for, by stealth and without the endorsement of the Welsh people.

I fear for the Severn bridge if we go down that route and if a 3 per cent. tax-varying power is given to a Welsh assembly. Taxes would go only one way--up. I cannot envisage that they would go down if the Welsh assembly were given that power, particularly given the Barnett formula. Many taxpayers in England would have something to say if they thought that their money was subsidising one part of the United Kingdom where people's taxes were going down.

Mr. Richard Livsey (Brecon and Radnorshire): May I draw the hon. Gentleman's attention to the fact that the former Member for Conwy said at the time of the referendum vote and the win for the yes campaign that he thought that the Government's proposals did not have enough teeth and that tax-varying powers would be a great advantage? Indeed, the attraction of a reduction in tax is that it would make Wales a tax haven.

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