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Mr. Salmond: The right hon. Gentleman's argument is plainly wrong. In the vote that we have just had, we were supported by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace). It is legitimate for him to support that, given his position. It is clear that many Labour Members were disturbed by the nature of our last debate and the idea of a one-way relationship. It is untrue to suggest that

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it is only from an independence viewpoint that people are detecting a retreat from aspects of powers which it was widely assumed would be given to a Scottish Parliament.

Mr. Dewar: This is where I deeply disagree with the hon. Gentleman. He says that we are retreating from principles that were widely assumed. Anyone who read the White Paper carefully can see that we are delivering exactly on it. I shall not strain your patience, Mr. Martin, by re-fighting the battles of the past couple of hours, in which I was not involved, but it is clear that there are areas that are the responsibility of the Westminster Parliament. Scotland is represented in that Parliament.

Those areas of responsibility will have to watched from a Scottish point of view. They will be watched by Scottish Mps. Westminster Ministers will be accountable to them, as they are to representatives of other parts of the kingdom. Similarly, there are areas of responsibility where we will arm the Scottish Parliament with all the full powers of the Westminster Parliament. It is for those areas that it will be entrusted with responsibility when the Bill reaches the statute book.

Let me move to the theory of clause 28. I may be reaching more difficult ground, but it is in a sense a departure from the neat division to which we have been applying our minds in recent times. That division assumed that, by and large, there would be a reserved area of responsibility and the rest, which would be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

In the area for which the Scottish Parliament is responsible, its writ runs, and it has the right to legislate. However, there will be terms in respect of which, if we had made the boundary absolute and held to it hard, we would have run up against the fact that there were areas of devolved responsibility where legislation would impact on reserved areas.

If we took an inflexible and pedantic view, we could argue that it would not be possible to use the power in the devolved areas, and could legislate on that basis. In so doing--I endorse the word that was fortunately happened on by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Wallace)--we would be trespassing on the reserved areas. That would have created a difficulty that we were anxious to meet.

I do not recommend it for a relaxing Sunday afternoon, but clauses 28 and 33 must be taken together. They are complex, linguistically dense, provisions, but they are designed to ensure that, if a Scottish Parliament legislates properly in devolved areas of responsibility but trespasses on the reserved areas, we can ensure that it can be done, subject to a number of safeguards and definitions. Obviously, we cannot have people riding as if on a border foray of yesteryear into the territory of the other Parliament, but we must deal with the area covering the debatable lands, to continue the historic metaphor, without having a declaration of legislative civil war. That is the story of clauses 28 and 33. I hope that that explanation is helpful.

Amendment No. 171 deals with the common law doctrine of respection. It recognises that legislative provision does not relate to a reserved matter merely because it makes provision for purposes relating to devolved matters that incidentally affect reserved matters. That is the general principle that I have been trying to enunciate for circumstances where there is an incidental

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effect on a reserved matter. As long as there is a steady thrust within the devolved principles and the effect is purely incidental and consequential, it can survive that test.

I think it was either my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow or the hon. Member for Woodspring who raised the point, but, in the same way, we are applying the test that there should be proper cohesion--in other words, not that we are bringing Scots law into line with English law, but that the impact is even and equivalent on both sides of the border as between reserved and devolved powers. That is right and helpful.

What subsection (6) does and why it should not be taken out is that it provides the legislation-- It being Ten o'clock, The Chairman, pursuant to the Order [13 January] and the Resolution [28 January], put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair. Question, That the amendment be made, put and negatived.

The Chairman then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour. Clause 28 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 4

Provisions of the Act not protected from modification

Amendment made: No. 228, in page 58, line 31, at end insert--


'procurators fiscal,'.--[Mr. McFall.]

Schedule 4, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 29

Reserved Matters


Amendments made: No. 229, in page 14, line 35, leave out 'Subordinate legislation may' and insert
'Her Majesty may by Order in Council'.
No. 230, in page 14, line 36, leave out
'the person making the legislation'
and insert 'She'.
No. 231, in page 14, line 37, leave out 'subordinate legislation' and insert 'Order'.--[Mr. McFall.]

29 Jan 1998 : Column 608


Clause 29, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clauses 30 to 40 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
It being after Ten o'clock, The Chairman left the Chair to report progress and ask leave to sit again.
To report progress and ask leave to sit again.--[Mr. McFall.]
Committee report progress; to sit again tomorrow.

Mr. Dalyell: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I think that your predecessors in the Chair, the Chairman of Ways and Means and the Second Deputy Chairman, would agree that, in the past five or so hours, there has been no time wasting or filibustering by any hon. Member on either side of the House, and that all the discussion was relevant and serious.

In the circumstances, surely it is deeply unsatisfactory--I shall not use the word "travesty" or anything of that kind--that crucial clauses of this constitutional Bill, covering matters such as changes to the list of reserved powers, scrutiny of Bills in relation to legislative competence and, for heaven's sake, the power of Secretary of State to intervene, have gone undiscussed in the House of Commons. That cannot be right.

I do not doubt for a moment that the business managers produced the schedule in good faith. However, I doubt that they anticipated that there would be a statement of 55 minutes by the Prime Minister on the events of 1972, in addition to business questions. I suppose that I am asking, is there no possibility of injury time of some kind if this happens again? I realise that these clauses have been overtaken, but none of us can be proud of the fact that the House of Commons has not looked at crucial clauses on a constitutional issue.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The occupant of the Chair is in the hands of the House in these matters, because Committee stages are programmed. It is therefore up to the Committee to use the time wisely. I do have some sympathy with what the hon. Gentleman has to say, because he may recall that, last night, I made the point that, if people spent a certain amount of time on one set of amendments or clauses, other matters would be neglected--but these are matters for the Committee, and I am sure that the Committee has heard what the hon. Gentleman has had to say.

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Fireworks Bill [Money]

Queen's recommendation having been signified--

Motion made, and Question proposed:



(1) the payment out of money provided by Parliament of--
(a) any expenses incurred by a Minister of the Crown or government department in consequence of any provision of the Act, and
(b) any increase attributable to the Act in the sums payable out of money so provided under any other Act, and
(2) the making of payments into the Consolidated Fund.--[Mr. McFall.]

10.6 pm

Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst): I hope that it will by no means be controversial if I say that money resolutions attaching to private Members' Bills if anything deserve more consideration than those attaching to Government or public Bills; that is because of their origin and contents. I hope that we shall be treated to an explanation of the implications of the money resolution before us, and of those that we are to discuss later tonight. I say that especially with regard to the Fireworks Bill, because several elements in the Bill would give rise to expenditure about which the House should be told before we are asked to proceed further with these measures.

For example, clause 5 refers to prohibition of the supply, purchase and possession of fireworks of a specified description. I assume, although I confess that I am not acquainted with the details of the Bill, that that provision refers to functions of the type usually carried out by a trading standards officer--I can think of no one else who would perform them. Immediately, there is the clear implication that the number of trading standards officers would need to be increased to implement that part of the Bill.

The Bill also refers to prohibiting persons who are not satisfactorily trained or experienced in the use of fireworks, and are not covered by accident insurance, from purchasing or possessing fireworks. That also causes us to consider who would be in a position to police the Bill. It may indeed be the police, if not trading standards officers.

Clause 7 mentions licensed premises. The implication is that, if fireworks can be supplied or used only in licensed premises, someone, somewhere, must be policing--in the broadest sense of the word--the premises that are to be used.

Throughout the Bill runs the assumption that its rather tight regulatory provisions will be policed--I know not whether by trading standards officers, as I have suggested, or by Customs and Excise officers. If that is the case, and depending on the extent to which it is the case, the Bill clearly has substantial spending implications.


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