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Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his response and to other noble Lords for taking part in this short debate. On the method of appointment, I am grateful to the Minister for his clarification. I felt in Committee, perhaps wrongly, that the Government were saying that appointments to the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee should be conducted in the same way as with other bodies. However, I now hear better what he is saying: the Government have not actually made up their mind. I appreciate that the Monetary Policy Committee is important and is different. That is the point I was making when I prayed in aid that it should be appointed in the clearest and most open way. I am grateful to the noble Lord for that.

In relation to Amendment No. 14, which I clearly flagged up as being in my view the more important of the two, the Minister said that the Chancellor cannot be unmindful of the Scottish position. I fully agree that the current Chancellor cannot be unmindful of the Scottish position. However, I do not believe it is written into the constitution of our country that the Chancellor must always come from a Scottish constituency. In the future, therefore, we may well have Chancellors who are not so mindful of the needs of the Scottish position.

As the noble Lord, Lord Peston, said, it should not be difficult to find an economist from Scotland. I presume the noble Lord was referring to Adam Smith when he said that the greatest economist who ever lived was a Scotsman. There is therefore good precedent for that. We could easily find an economist and, as my noble friend Lord Boardman mentioned, Scotland has a significant banking and financial sector--the biggest outside London. It has its own aims and objectives which are extremely important.

Lord Peston: My Lords, perhaps the noble Lord will allow me to intervene, though I am slightly breaking the rules. I did not choose my words carefully when I spoke. I did not mean to imply that it should be an economist. It seems to me that it would be desirable for a Scottish businessman or even a Scottish trade unionist to be on the committee one day.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I was not implying that. I was simply discussing the economist's position. But the noble Lord, Lord Peston, is right.

In the normal run of things, I would be treating this as a probing amendment in order to get the kind of assurances I have had from the Government that, yes, they will take these points into account when

23 Mar 1998 : Column 1007

they come to appoint and so on. However, this time next year my fellow Scots, including myself, thanks to the courtesy of the Government in allowing me a vote, will be electing a parliament for the first time in 300 years and they will have their own government. By the millennium Scotland will be operating on many major issues of policy very much on its own and quite separate from the Houses of Parliament here.

It is a very significant shift in the balance of power in this country. In many ways it is a far bigger shift than the one proposed for Wales, because all legislation regarding Wales will still start here at Westminster. In Scotland, the whole legislative programme, Scottish law, and so on, will be dealt with in Scotland. I see the Lord Advocate in his place. I am sure he can confirm that, except in some narrow reserved fields, most legislation about Scotland will no longer pass through your Lordships' House but will be taken in Scotland. As I said, that will not be the case for Wales and I suspect it will not be the case for Northern Ireland, although we do not know that yet. That is my reason for saying that Scotland--dare I say it to the noble Lord, Lord Newby?--is not the same as Wales and it certainly is not the same as Yorkshire. I do not think that his party north of the Border would thank him for that comparison.

The Government are making a huge change. Perhaps I may quote from an explanation of the change:

    "Scotland is a proud, historic nation in the United Kingdom and the plans we put forward in this White Paper will give it an exciting new role within the United Kingdom".

Those are the words of a certain Mr. Tony Blair in his preface to the White Paper. Clearly, this exciting new role does not include a member on the Monetary Policy Committee; and it is on the decisions of that monetary policy committee that a good deal of the economy of Scotland will rest.

Two or three weeks ago I moved against the Government and got into the good company of the National Union of Students. The temptation to say that I am not happy with the noble Lord's answer and get into the company of the Scottish Trades Union Congress is too great for me to resist. Therefore, I wish to seek the opinion of the House.

The Deputy Speaker (Lord Strabolgi): My Lords, the amendment before the House is Amendment No. 13. I had an idea that the noble Lord wanted to withdraw it.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I beg leave to withdraw Amendment No. 13.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish moved Amendment No. 14:

Page 6, line 8, at end insert--
("( ) Of the four members appointed under subsection (2)(c) one shall be appointed on the advice of the First Minister of the Scottish Executive.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I got carried away with myself and my new tartan guise. I beg to move.

23 Mar 1998 : Column 1008

6.14 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 14) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 93; Not-Contents, 90.

Division No. 2


Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Belstead, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Butterworth, L.
Byford, B.
Cadman, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnock, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chesham, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E. [Teller.]
Cranborne, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dunrossil, V.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Fookes, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Granard, E.
Greenway, L.
Halsbury, E.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Harrowby, E.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Home, E.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Keyes, L.
Kimball, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Lauderdale, E.
Leigh, L.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Newall, L.
Northesk, E.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pender, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rees, L.
Rennell, L.
Renwick, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Seccombe, B.
Sharples, B.
Stewartby, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Sudeley, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wise, L.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Burlison, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Chandos, V.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fitt, L.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Glenamara, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greene of Harrow Weald, L.
Grey, E.
Hardie, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Haskel, L.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Jeffreys, L.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McCarthy, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Razzall, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Macclesfield, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

23 Mar 1998 : Column 1009

6.21 p.m.

Clause 25 [Liability]:

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