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Lord Sewel: It is nearly good news time. Although I start by making the statement that the Government believe that broadcasting and all matters relating to broadcasting should be reserved so that only the UK Parliament can legislate about these matters, I can make clear at this stage that we are going, via slightly different routes, to the same destination. At the end of the day I do not think much will separate us on this.

Of course we realise that the Scottish parliament and Scottish executive should have a role in relation to broadcasting matters. The broadcasting bodies themselves have a vital role to play in the political, social and cultural life of Scotland after devolution. We intend that they should communicate with the Scottish parliament, even though formal accountability will remain at Westminster.

Perhaps I may deal with Amendments Nos. 218 and 220 first. They deal with the reports of the appointments to the BBC and ITC. I start by making a statement of our intentions in respect of the BBC.

The BBC is governed by its Royal Charter which was renewed in 1996. The Government intend for some changes in procedures to be made in relation to appointments and annual reports reflecting the establishment of the Scottish parliament and of the Scottish executive.

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The Royal Charter provides that the board of governors of the BBC shall include a national governor for Scotland, as was remarked upon, selected on the basis of his or her knowledge of the culture, characteristics and affairs of the people of Scotland--perhaps an unfortunate choice of words. It has been custom and practice for the Secretary of State for Scotland to be consulted in advance of this appointment. When the Scottish executive is in place, the appointment of the national governor for Scotland of the BBC will be made after consultation with Scottish Ministers. I hope that that goes most of the way to meeting the intentions of the noble Lord. It virtually replicates the system that exists at the moment.

The Royal Charter provides that the annual report of the BBC shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament. In future, the report will also be presented to the Scottish parliament. This will therefore achieve the same outcome as the noble Lord seeks to achieve through Amendment No. 218, but without fragmenting the legislative competence in relation to broadcasting.

For the Independent Television Commission we intend to make provision through the Executive Devolution Order under Clause 59 to secure that the annual report will be laid before the Scottish parliament. We will similarly provide that the Scottish member of the ITC is appointed only after consultation with Scottish Ministers. The exact details of achieving those proposals in respect of the BBC and ITC are still being worked on, but that is the clear commitment of the Government in terms of policy direction and objectives. Again, I hope that that meets the concerns behind Amendments Nos. 218 and 220.

I turn now to Amendment No. 219 in relation to Gaelic broadcasting. The promotion and funding of Gaelic broadcasting in Scotland is clearly a matter primarily of Scottish interest. As the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, observed, in practice, funding is a matter for the Secretary of State for Scotland, but in line with the usual arm's length approach to broadcasting, the funding of the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee is made through the Independent Television Commission. The function of funding Gaelic broadcasting will be transferred by the Executive Devolution Order under Clause 59 to Scottish Ministers. It will be open to them, subject to the agreement of the Scottish parliament, to vary the annual allocation of funds to the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee.

To take up one of the concerns mentioned earlier, that will not be a matter decided in London; it will be a Scottish decision. I hope on those issues I have been able to satisfy the noble Lord that, in terms of where we want to get to, we are agreed; it is just a slightly different route. I hope that he now feels able to withdraw his amendment.

Viscount Astor: Before the noble Lord, Lord Thomson, replies, perhaps the Minister could answer one point. In terms of the Radio Authority and the ITC, when it comes to handing out licences for the local services, can the Government say what plans they have for ITC and the Radio Authority to take account of local interests in Scotland when handing out those licences?

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Now we have devolution, should not those bodies have a local representation? The ITC has an office in Scotland but the Radio Authority does not. Would not that be a sensible route for the Government to encourage those bodies to take?

Lord Sewel: I believe we dealt with the general matter on another day on the basis of whether broadcasting itself should be reserved or devolved. On the specific point raised by the noble Viscount, the ITC regional offices are not set up because of any statutory requirement. The location activities of those offices are a matter for the internal management of the ITC and will remain so.

Lord Thomson of Monifieth: Perhaps I can help the noble Viscount. I do not know what the Radio Authority presently does, but in my time the hearings of those who were applying for licences took place in the locality where the licence was to operate. That only makes common sense. I am sympathetic to what the noble Viscount said, but these matters can be taken account of by the authorities themselves.

In relation to Amendment No. 218, I am grateful to the Minister for the way he responded. I am reassured by what he says that the purposes of the amendments will be fulfilled in various ways within the Bill. Therefore I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 219 and 220 not moved.]

Lord Selkirk of Douglas moved Amendment No. 221:

Page 82, line 23, leave out ("and sheriffs") and insert (", sheriffs and stipendiary magistrates").

The noble Lord said: This amendment adds stipendiary magistrates to the list of judges whose remuneration is reserved to the United Kingdom Parliament. The remuneration of the Court of Session judges and sheriffs is reserved to the United Kingdom under the Bill. Stipendiary magistrates are omitted from the list.

There is no good reason for omitting them. They frequently operate in the district courts and they have many of the powers of a sheriff sitting in a summary court. For example, they have the same sentencing powers in a summary capacity as a sheriff. They are appointed under the District Courts (Scotland) Act 1975 by the Secretary of State. They could conceivably deal with devolution issues. Their remuneration should be subject to the same parliamentary procedures as other judges.

Let me give a very good example. The Glasgow District Council wished to make a stipendiary magistrate redundant. He took the district council to the Court of Session and it was decided that this was a judicial office and therefore he could not be made redundant by the district council. By that same token stipendiary magistrates should come under the United Kingdom, as do other judges. I beg to move.

The Earl of Balfour: I rise to support my noble friend Lord Selkirk of Douglas. I understand that Glasgow is quite different from the rest of the country.

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I shall also speak to my own Amendment No. 222. At page 80, Head 8, Section 1(f) there appears "the Industrial Tribunals Act 1996". We should consider including the chairman of industrial tribunals at the end of Head 11, Section 1 of the Bill.

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: I can be brief on these two amendments. As to the amendment moved by my noble friend Lord Selkirk of Douglas, I can see that there might be a difficulty in the Government accepting it. Stipendiary magistrates are employees of the local authority and, in that respect, fall into a different category from sheriffs and the other judges mentioned under the section.

Lord Selkirk of Douglas: Does not my noble friend accept from the case I mentioned that stipendiary magistrates cannot be sacked by the local authority and are therefore in a different position from other local authority employees?

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: I am happy to agree with my noble friend on that matter after reading the opinion of Lord Eassie, as he no doubt has done.

When the Minister replies will he say whether the provision that makes such stipendiary magistrates local authority employees might merit some reconsideration in the light of the comments made by my noble friend?

As to the amendment of my noble friend Lord Balfour, it will be interesting to hear from the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate whether such an amendment is necessary.

Lord Thomas of Gresford: Before the noble and learned Lord replies, may I, in a spirit of inquiry, ask why the remuneration of judges is reserved in this way? I note that the appointment and removal of judges is on the basis of recommendations and nominations from the first minister of the Scottish parliament. I understand that the Scottish parliament will pay for those judges. I understand also that they will be administering Scottish law in Scottish courts, so why should the determination of their remuneration be a matter of interest to the Westminster Parliament and not to the Scottish parliament?

11.15 p.m.

The Lord Advocate (Lord Hardie): I appreciate the thinking behind the noble Lord's attempt, through this amendment, to protect the salary level of the stipendiary magistrate. However, I do not agree that the amendment is appropriate.

I accept that stipendiary magistrates in Scotland perform a valuable role in our criminal justice system and it is right that they should be appropriately remunerated for the responsible job which they do. But I fear that this amendment misses the point of the reservation in Schedule 5 in relation to the determination of certain judicial salaries. This may answer the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford. As presently drafted, the Bill ensures that the Scottish

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parliament cannot apply differential salary rates to the Scottish judiciary by comparison with judges occupying similar posts in England.

At present, Scottish judicial salaries are related to English judicial salaries and if it were permitted to interfere with that, that would be an unwarranted interference in judicial independence or might be construed as such. If the parliament decided to reduce the salaries or to remove the differential such that Scottish judges were unfairly treated compared with their English counterparts, that might be construed by some as an attempt by the parliament to interfere with the independence of the judiciary. I suspect that the judiciary in Scotland might not have the same concerns if the parliament took a different view and paid the judiciary in Scotland more handsomely than in England! However, it is appropriate that people occupying equivalent posts in Scotland and in England should have equivalent salaries, which are, in any event, determined by the Top Salaries Review Body, which will still continue to apply to Scotland as well as to England. That is essentially the nub of the matter.

As the noble Lord, Lord Selkirk of Douglas, observed, stipendiary magistrates are created by virtue of purely Scottish legislation--the District Courts (Scotland) Act 1975--and they serve in the uniquely Scottish district court. They should not be confused with the English judicial office of the same name--stipendiary magistrate--whose jurisdiction, powers and terms of appointment are completely different and who therefore, quite appropriately, have their salaries determined in a different way.

As I have said, stipendiary magistrates are appointed directly by the local authority to serve in the district courts. Although the local authority cannot dismiss them, when they are appointed the local authority can determine the appropriate level of salary.

To take up the point raised by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, that appointment fits in with the logic of the stipendiary magistrates working in the district court because the local authority has the responsibility in terms of the same Act for the provision and maintenance of arrangements such as premises and facilities for the district court. All of that ought to be governed by the local authority. This means that the provision of local justice is subsumed neatly into one piece of legislation which, given its nature, will quite appropriately be devolved in full to the Scottish parliament. In these circumstances, it would not be appropriate or necessary to seek to reserve determination of the salary of a stipendiary magistrate to the UK Parliament when responsibility for local authority matters generally is devolved to the Scottish parliament.

I turn to Amendment No. 222. As the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, hinted this amendment is unnecessary. The amendment seeks to reserve to the Westminster Parliament legislative competence in relation to determination of the salary of the Chairman of Industrial Tribunals as for other members of the Scottish judiciary. I understand the sentiment behind the noble Earl's amendment, but it is

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unnecessary because employment matters are reserved under the relevant part of Schedule 5. The noble Earl has already referred to page 80 where under Head 8 employment rights and duties and industrial relations are reserved, in particular the Industrial Tribunals Act 1996 in paragraph (f). The remuneration of chairmen of industrial tribunals is fixed under that Act, so employment is specifically reserved. Accordingly, it is unnecessary to duplicate that under Head 11 as the noble Earl suggests. With that explanation, I hope that the noble Lord will withdraw his amendment.

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