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Lord Roberts of Conwy: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord for his reply. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 42 [Different exercise of functions by Assembly]:

[Amendment No. 58 not moved.]

Clause 43 [Construction of references to Ministers and departments]:

[Amendment No. 59 not moved.]

Clause 44 [Parliamentary procedures for subordinate legislation]:

[Amendment No. 60 not moved.]

Clause 45 [Laying of reports and statements]:

[Amendment No. 61 not moved.]

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 62:

Page 25, line 30, leave out ("subsection (1)") and insert ("this section--
(a) references to a report or statement include any other document (except one containing subordinate legislation) in the case of which any enactment makes provision for laying before Parliament or either House of Parliament, and

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 62 is intended to widen the ambit of Clause 45. It is simply intended to make it quite plain that reference to reports or statements includes any other document contained in an enactment required to be laid before Parliament.

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At present, reports and statements must be laid before the assembly where they are currently required in an enactment to be laid before Parliament. However, there are other types of document which are frequently required to be laid before Parliament--for example, the order-making power in Section 57(7) of the Land Drainage Act 1991, requires the Secretary of State to lay before Parliament,

    "particulars of the matter in respect of which the appeal was made and of the reasons for his order".

It is arguable--and doubtless, therefore, would be argued--that these documents are not covered by the present clause. The amendment has been brought forward to make plain what is intended in Clause 45 so that other forms of document are included within the terms "report" and "statement". I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 63 and 64 not moved.]

Clause 46 [Regulation of procedure]:

Lord Elis-Thomas moved Amendment No. 65:

Page 26, line 8, leave out subsection (6) and insert--
("(6) The Assembly shall establish a procedure committee which may from time to time consider any proposals for revision of its standing orders or other procedures and report to the Assembly.
(7) Any revision in procedure may be implemented by a simple majority of members supporting the motion.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment constitutes a new initiative--although rather late in the day--in relation to procedure. I move it with some delight after the statement made by my noble and learned friend the Solicitor-General on an earlier amendment about the compelling need for flexibility. I believe that the whole area of standing orders and procedure needs to be revisited.

On what must have been my tenth reading of the Bill I realised that in another place, and particularly in this House, we have generally benefited--or not benefited, according to one's point of view--from being a relatively self-regulating Chamber whose procedures are capable of reform within the Chamber itself. We are creating a devolved assembly which will be bound hand and two-thirds foot to the standing orders as set down by commissioners, as described in the Bill--and accepted by the assembly upon the advice of commissioners and the recommendation of the Secretary of State in the opening session--and subject to a two-thirds majority for revision. Even at this late hour I believe we should explore why this is the case and why under the Bill the assembly is not trusted with the ability to regulate itself in the area of its standing orders by the device of a procedure committee. As I said, I believe this issue is worth exploring. I await with bated breath, of course, the Minister's response. I beg to move.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, as has been indicated, Clause 46 provides in subsection (6) for standing orders to be amendable only by a two-thirds majority. I dare say the assembly will want a procedure committee. I believe that that is a matter for the assembly to decide in due course. As I say, it is quite likely that it will want to have such a committee. The

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proposed new subsection(7) in the noble Lord's amendment raises a quite different point. We believe that standing orders should be amended only by a two-thirds majority. We think that is important. We do not believe that standing orders should be the plaything of a party with only a bare majority in the assembly. The provision in the Bill therefore is deliberately intended as a protection for the interests of minority parties. It ought to produce stability. It ought to mean that standing orders can be changed only on a two-thirds basis. As I said, there is likely to be a procedure committee. That is a matter for the assembly. It is not a case of not trusting the assembly; it is a case of implementing safeguards of a well-known kind to protect minority interests and to prevent the dominance of a bare majority.

Lord Elis-Thomas: My Lords, I am grateful for the Minister's response. I give him an absolute assurance that were I or members of my party part of a bare majority we would not make procedure a plaything. I certainly accept his indication that there will be a procedure committee. That is a positive step. I appreciate that the two-thirds majority forms part of the inclusivity strategy of the Government. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 53 [Assembly First Secretary and Assembly Secretaries]:

Lord Roberts of Conwy moved Amendment No. 66:

Page 27, leave out line 29 and insert ("Pennaeth").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, there is clearly something to be said for trying to devise a Welsh title for the chief executive officer of the assembly. After all, most countries that have a parliament or an assembly of the kind proposed for Wales and have their own language have appropriate native titles, some of which we have heard in the course of our debates in your Lordships' House. The Norwegian Storting, or parliament, has been mentioned; so has the Irish Taoiseach, the equivalent of the Welsh Tywysog, or "prince", the title usually given to the Prince of Wales. I depend upon the noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas, for the interpretation of Taoiseach. There were not many takers for my suggestion of "Premier" or "Pen Weinidog" for the first secretary when I suggested it in Committee. I hope there will be more enthusiasm for my new suggestion of "Pennaeth", meaning "chief" or "chieftain", but not in any old-fashioned sense. It is an apposite, modern and valid word for the post of first secretary.

I would remind the House that the Welsh titles for various bodies have caught on--Cadw, Welsh historic monuments, Tai Cymru, housing for Wales. I should be very sorry indeed to see this opportunity missed of giving a Welsh title to the first secretary of the Welsh assembly, Cynnlliad. I beg to move.

Lord Elis-Thomas: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, will forgive me for being completely belligerent on this issue. I have spent most of my political life trying to convert my own party into a

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bilingual organisation. Thank goodness, and thanks to the Secretary of State, we shall soon have before us a Bill of registration of political parties which will make this legal.

The noble Lord, Lord Roberts of Conwy, as it were, sold his own hospital pass when he used the words "native" and "chieftain" in relation to these titles, and when he referred to Taoiseach and its use in these contexts.

Far be it from me to criticise the Government of Ireland or our colleagues on the Irish Language Board, but I think they would be the first to accept that the Government of Ireland is not an entirely bilingual organisation and that the use of Irish language forms has more to do with a certain nationalistic fetishm relating to linguistic issues. We are not about that in Wales. We are a bilingual nation, and we have created a bilingual institution in the national assembly by law. We shall come to some of these issues later in our debates on the Bill. The notion of having a chieftain may relate to our earlier debate. If Mr. Ron Davies is to be both Secretary of State and first secretary, he should perhaps indeed be a chieftain--if not a Chieftain tank!

The serious point is that I am entirely opposed to monolingual nomenclatures for what are, and have to be, absolutely clearly identifiable and intelligible descriptions for jobs. Language is about efficacious translation of equality and flexibility. I want everyone world-wide who understands the English language to know that a first secretary of a national assembly for Wales is just that, not some native kitsch.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I do not want to become enmeshed in the merits or otherwise of a particular word. However, I doubt that this is the right word; or indeed that it is right or desirable to have a Welsh only title.

Noble Lords will be aware that Clause 47 provides for equal treatment of English and Welsh in the assembly's business. I fear that there is a danger that adopting a Welsh only title for the assembly's leading figure would contravene the spirit, if not the letter, of the clause.

Amendment No. 67, which is different, would allow the standing orders to prescribe an alternative title to Assembly first secretary. I am sure noble Lords will be surprised to hear that this is one matter--perhaps the only one--which I do not think should be left to standing orders or to the assembly. Such provision would allow the assembly to be headed by a prime minister, a president, or something even grander and more unlikely. As the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour, pointed out in Committee, this would introduce a real risk of misleading the electorate as to the status of the assembly and its place within the Union.

However, I do not think we should delay too long on this matter. Popular usage eventually formulates its own titles. My right honourable friend the Prime Minister is very rarely referred to as the First Lord of the Admiralty, and my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary is not often called the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Anything provided in the Bill will, I am sure, be transformed by the same

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process into something more friendly to popular parlance--although I do not presume to guess what it might be. "Assembly first secretary" may not appeal to the noble Lord, Lord Roberts. However, I regret that he has not found a better alternative. I hope, therefore, that he will withdraw his amendment.

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