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Lord Carter: There has been agreement that we will get as far as we can on Thursday, and if we need any time in the spill-over we have allowed a day for this in the first week back. I believe that that should be enough. I cannot give the undertaking regarding the truncation of intervals because that is up to the usual channels. As I said, we have allowed a day should we need it. We realise that we are in fact short of time on this Committee stage because of all the other pressures on

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our time. We have allowed an extra day during the first week back, which I believe is the first Tuesday, when we should be able to finish the Committee stage.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: Before the Motion is put, perhaps I may express my gratitude to the noble Lord, Lord Carter, for his indication that we will have a day in the spill-over. That will actually make up for the number of half days we have lost. I am most grateful to him.

Lord Carter: I should point out that it may well be that the day allocated will be quite a long day, but we will finish the Committee stage on that day.

Lord Steel of Aikwood: I am sorry to press the noble Lord on the matter, but my concern is not that we go into the spill-over with the Committee stage; my concern is that, if we had finished before the Recess, that would have provided the quarantine period between the Committee and Report stages which is normal. If we do have this day on our return, which I also welcome, there will necessarily be a gap in the short spill-over before we can even start the Report stage. That is very worrying.

Lord Carter: There will be time when we get back. Because of the exigencies of the spill-over due to the time that we need for the Northern Ireland Bill we can, with the agreement of the usual channels, fit this Bill in. If everyone agrees on the Report stage, and so on, we will be able to get the Bill through on time.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

Northern Ireland (Sentences) Bill

Returned from the Commons with the amendments agreed to.

Tamar Bridge Bill

Returned from the Commons with the amendments agreed to.

Crime and Disorder Bill [H.L.]

Returned from the Commons with the amendments to which the Lords had disagreed not insisted on.

National Minimum Wage Bill

Returned from the Commons with certain amendments agreed to with a consequential amendment to the Bill and with the remaining amendments disagreed to with reasons for such disagreement; the amendment and reasons ordered to be printed.

        House adjourned at thirteen minutes past one o'clock.

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