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The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Lyell): The Question is that Clause 23 shall stand part of the Bill. As many as are of that opinion say Content.

Lord Ewing of Kirkford: We cannot vote in this Committee.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees: It was read out at an earlier stage. I go through the Committee stage clause by clause. It is just the same as any other Committee stage. By convention, as I am sure the noble Lord will be aware, there are no Divisions. There are facilities but I go through the Bill clause by clause, amendment by amendment, and accordingly I put the

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Question that Clause 23 stand part of the Bill. It will stand part of the Bill. I understand that that is the will of the Committee.

Lord Ewing of Kirkford: We are under a difficulty now. If when we come to Report stage we are told that the Committee decided that Clause 23 should stand part of the Bill, does that mean that we cannot return to this matter at that time? I have to say that if the Lord Chairman's ruling earlier today had been in line with what the noble Lord the Deputy Chairman has just said, we could have voted now on this. My understanding is that all through this Committee's proceedings no votes have been taken or recorded. So can we return to this or can we not? Because if we cannot return to it, we want to vote on it now.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: We were told at the outset of the Committee stage that there would be no votes, and because of that we can return to absolutely anything. We always go through every clause and we accept every clause at Committee stage, so that fits in entirely with what was agreed.

Lord Addington: What we are doing here, as I understand it, is merely discussing everything, but the form of the discussion is the form we take for a normal Committee stage. It has been accepted that we will allow everything to go through in an unamended form. Am I correct? Is that in effect what the noble Lord the Deputy Chairman is saying about this--that we are going through the clauses, and it is a case of agreeing to disagree without committing ourselves to any discussion made here; and it is merely a convention and a matter of words to keep us progressing through the Bill as is normally done inside the Chamber? If that is it, it covers everybody's concerns.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees: I am sure the noble Lord was here at the commencement of proceedings this afternoon, when the Lord Chairman proposed to the Committee a document that I have before me. I will not go through it again, but I hope that I may clear up any problems with the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael--that this Committee goes through each stage of the Bill just as if we were in Committee elsewhere in the House, and that is what I have done today. I understand that there may be further discussions on Report but that will be a matter for the whole House, which will receive the report of this Committee.

The Earl of Lindsay: This may be a convenient moment for the Committee to adjourn until tomorrow.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees: The Committee stands adjourned until tomorrow at 3.30 p.m.

Committee adjourned at seven minutes past seven o'clock.

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