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Lord Thomson of Monifieth: My Lords, it might be for the convenience of the House and might help the Minister were I to say that in the light of the procedural situation described initially I shall not move my Motion in due course.

Lord Sewel: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord. That will help me to abbreviate my comments. I regret that I am detaining the House, but I had a number of lengthy and detailed interventions at the beginning of my speech. I am sure that the House would wish me to cover in full the points that have been made.

I want now to turn to the problem of cost. It would cost approaching £2 million a year to meet the fees of all fourth year students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Scottish courses. But, as I have said, that in itself would create an anomaly and would no doubt lead to mounting pressure on the Government to meet the fees for all UK students on the fourth year of degree courses at institutions throughout the UK, because once one makes the point that the fourth year is covered automatically for all students in Scotland, regardless of where they have come from or what they have done before, it is, in all fairness, impossible to say that we will not do the same for students attending courses at English universities. That seems to follow inevitably. Throughout the course of the Bill, I have heard no argument that those who support the position taken by the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, will draw the line there and will not argue for that extension.

If that extension takes place, which I believe is inevitable, it will cost 10 times as much--in the region of £27 million a year, and possibly quite a lot more. Such an exemption would benefit the well off since only they would be required to contribute towards tuition fees. I repeat that it would do nothing to benefit those most in need of assistance. In practice, a subsidy of £20 million or so for better off families would mean £27 million less in public funding for universities and colleges.

I accept that there are Members opposite who started to go down that path for understandable reasons of equity. I believe that when noble Lords properly understand the situation--students come to Scottish universities from different school environments and traditions, having reached different stages--it is clear the Government's proposals answer the test of equity. The Opposition's proposals raise the anomaly as regards people attending four year courses in English, Welsh and Northern Irish universities. If they propose that the

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new anomaly they have created should be resolved, an extra £27 million will be taken out of the resources of the universities and colleges. Is that what they want? I think not; I hope not.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his first intervention. The noble Lord indicated that if Amendment No. 64D were carried by your Lordships, Amendment No. 123A would be accepted by the Government. I am grateful for that.

As regards his second intervention, I hope that Scotland do a good deal better in a few minutes than the noble Lord has done in defending the Scottish goals. He seemed to spend most of his time passing the ball back which, as some noble Lords will know, is a dangerous occupation in football.

I do not wish to take too long, but I shall make a few points. I find it far from the reality of Scottish education when I hear that in Scottish schools there is only one year after the statutory leaving date. The noble Lord, Lord Dearing, repeated that. I do not know where the Minister and noble Lord get their information. It is 20 years since I taught at Oban High School as principal teacher of mathematics. The vast majority of my pupils stayed on for two years after the statutory leaving date. They gained Highers and the certificate of six years study which was every bit as good as A-levels. They went into the first year of universities. I worry that our education policy has been based on a totally fallacious view of Scottish school education.

The Minister did not answer the other point. What about the Republic of Ireland, Italy or France? Do all those pupils leave at 17? Do they only have five years of schooling? Of course not. They leave at 18-plus. The noble Lord failed to mention Europe. I am not surprised. He made no attempt, for example, to reply to the noble Earl, Lord Russell. I am not surprised. The noble Earl asked me many questions in my time and sometimes they were difficult. The question tonight was clearly so difficult that the Minister did not even try to convince the noble Earl that government policy is not contradictory to European law.

The essential unfairness is lost, it would appear, on the noble Lord, Lord Davies. It would be bad enough if it involved only England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But it involves the Republic of Ireland with students from Northern Ireland. I gave the example of Italy, and the rest of the European Union. That is the other anomaly that the Government have not addressed.

The Minister referred to students in Northern Ireland: no one is having his or her fourth year paid at Queen's University, Belfast. That is the point: no one is. I should complain if Northern Irish students were having their fourth year paid and no one else was. That is the point: the Minister seems to have lost it altogether.

I do not believe that the Government have made their case. I believe that noble Lords would be reasonable and correct, and defending not only the Scottish tradition but also the interests of those students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who wish to go to Scotland for their education, if they voted with me this evening.

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I can do no better than to leave your Lordships with the words of Mr. Dennis Canavan--a man who will not find it easy to be bracketed in the same group as your Lordships, both life and hereditary, and especially the latter. Mr. Canavan said that he appealed to the Government to see reason; it is a plea for justice. That is the plea I make. I ask the House to agree to Amendment No. 64D in lieu of Commons Amendment No. 64.

7.15 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 64D) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 212; Not-Contents, 89.

Division No. 2


Aberdare, L.
Ackner, L.
Addington, L.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Ashbourne, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Balfour, E.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Beloff, L.
Berners, B.
Bethell, L.
Biddulph, L.
Biffen, L.
Birdwood, L.
Blackburn, Bp.
Blackwell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Blyth, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Braine of Wheatley, L.
Bramall, L.
Brentford, V.
Bridgeman, V.
Broadbridge, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Bruntisfield, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller.]
Butterworth, L.
Byford, B.
Cadman, L.
Calverley, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carnarvon, E.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Chesham, L.
Clancarty, E.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Cranborne, V.
Crathorne, L.
Cross, V.
Cumberlege, B.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dartmouth, E.
Davidson, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dholakia, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Falkland, V.
Fookes, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gisborough, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Grimston of Westbury, L.
Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Hampton, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Hardwicke, E.
Harmsworth, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hereford, Bp.
Higgins, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Home, E.
Hooper, B.
Hope of Craighead, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Inchyra, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jacobs, L.
Jopling, L.
Kenyon, L.
Killearn, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Kinnoull, E.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Lawrence, L.
Leigh, L.
Limerick, E.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Long, V.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Ludford, B.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McConnell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Macleod of Borve, B.
McNair, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Meston, L.
Middleton, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Munster, E.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Norrie, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton, L.
Ogmore, L.
Onslow of Woking, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pender, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Rennell, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Renwick, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Rowallan, L.
Russell, E.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Sharples, B.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stair, E.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Swinton, E.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thurso, V.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trenchard, V.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Vestey, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Westbury, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Wilson of Tillyorn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.
Wise, L.
Wynford, L.


Acton, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Burlison, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dearing, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gallacher, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Hanworth, V.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Islwyn, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Levy, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Mallalieu, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Sewel, L.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Simpson of Dunkeld, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Macclesfield, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

23 Jun 1998 : Column 193

7.27 p.m.



Clause 19, page 15, line 12, at end insert--

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