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Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale moved Amendment No. 23:

Page 18, line 45, after second ("the") insert ("Parliamentary").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this is a drafting amendment to ensure drafting consistency in the Bill. It makes it clear that "the corporation" referred to in

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Clause 40 is the Scottish parliamentary corporate body. As provided for by Clause 21(1), the SPCB is referred to throughout the Bill as "the Parliamentary corporation". The amendment brings the reference in Clause 40 into line with that. I beg to move,

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 24 not moved.]

Clause 44 [The Scottish Executive]:

Lord Sewel moved Amendment No. 25:

Page 20, line 5, at end insert--
("(3) A person who holds a Ministerial office may not be appointed a member of the Scottish Executive; and if a member of the Scottish Executive is appointed to a Ministerial office he shall cease to hold office as a member of the Scottish Executive.
(4) In subsection (3), references to a member of the Scottish Executive include a junior Scottish Minister and "Ministerial office" has the same meaning as in section 2 of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, on Report we accepted noble Lords' valid concerns that it would be inappropriate for a person to hold office as a Minister of the Crown and as a member of the Scottish executive. We agreed to come back at Third Reading with amendments which would prevent that. This is exactly what the amendment does. I beg to move.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I warmly welcome this government amendment. It has been quite a long haul to persuade the Government of its merits. I re-read the defences of the Government's position which were put forward by the noble Baroness, Lady Ramsay, at Committee stage. I will spare her blushes by not repeating any of the defences.

This is a sensible proposition. We have argued it through the Welsh and the Scottish Bills. We have received absolutely no agreement from the Government on the Welsh Bill and in some ways they have got themselves into a real jam, simply because they did not accept our amendment. If they had done so, their political problems in Wales would perhaps not be on the same scale as they are today. However, that is an aside. Why should I intrude on a private grief? I shall not even say that I have some sympathy with Mr. Rhodri Morgan. I hope that he has not allowed himself to be beaten into submission. The amendment we are now discussing would have made the position in Wales much clearer.

However, be that as it may, we have made progress with the Scottish Ministers who are clearly more enlightened and more open to argument than are our Celtic cousins who are looking after the Welsh Bill. This is sensible. Mr. Donald Dewar rightly recognised that at the beginning when for a few hours he thought he might manage to be the Secretary of State for Scotland and the First Minister or Prime Minister for Scotland. He quickly saw that that was an impossible position and made it clear that he would not contemplate it. He was absolutely right and the Government are right. I am grateful to them for accepting our argument and warmly welcome the amendment.

Lord Crickhowell: My Lords, I join in congratulating the Minister on moving such a sensible

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amendment. I was astonished when I saw it on the Marshalled List in the light of the arguments that were advanced, day after day, in the various stages of the Welsh Bill, as to why we should not have a similar amendment. Initially I was ridiculed and told that the point I was making was absurd and that the whole thing was totally unnecessary.

When this House backed me and we sent our amendment to the Commons, the tone of the Government changed because they had discovered that quite a lot of their people in the other place thought that the proposition that there should be a dual mandate was pretty unsatisfactory. The Minister in another place conceded a large part of the case.

Nevertheless, when pressed by Mr. Dafydd Wigley to have a clear-cut amendment, the Government refused and referred to the need for transitional arrangements during the handover period, while the orders were being made. They argued that there might be future occasions on which it would be desirable to have a dual mandate and that therefore it would be quite wrong not to have scope for it; that the flexibility was needed. However, apparently now in the Scottish Bill flexibility is not needed. I am not sure why it should be needed in the case of the Welsh Bill and not in the case of the Scottish Bill, but there we are.

I take the opportunity to comment in the light of events taking place, I believe, this very afternoon in Wales, where decisions are being taken about the form of election to be held for the leadership of the Labour Party in the assembly in Wales. I remind noble Lords of the firm commitments that were given in both Houses as to what would happen in Wales. We did not succeed in getting a statutory prohibition written in, as is now the case in Scotland. But we received the undertaking that the dual mandate would only be held for a short transitional period. On the specific authority of the then Secretary of State for Wales, who on that occasion was sitting on the steps of the Throne, the Minister who replied to the House, the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, said that he would be surprised and disappointed if the period of the dual mandate extended to as much as 12 months.

I hope that those specific undertakings, on the basis of which I withdrew the amendment, will not now be overlooked, that Ministers will hold to their promises, particularly in the light of the amendment that has now been moved for Scotland, and that there will be no question of a dual mandate being held by the present Secretary of State or indeed anyone else in Wales.

Lord Sewel: My Lords, as would be expected, I welcome the welcome that the amendment has received. For the sake of accuracy, perhaps I may point out that it is not so much the blushes of the noble Baroness, Lady Ramsay of Cartvale, that should be spared but my own. I plead that I was trying to look after the future employment prospects of the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, when advancing those arguments. Perhaps I may say to the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, that I almost came close to reconsidering my position on this amendment the further he advanced his case. The point we are making is that Scotland is Scotland and

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Wales is Wales. Scotland will have a parliament with primary legislative responsibility. That is fundamentally different from the Welsh Assembly, which has only secondary legislative powers. On that basis, I commend the amendment to the House.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 52 [Exercise of Functions]:

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale moved Amendment No. 26:

Page 23, line 17, leave out ("Subsections (3) and (4) do") and insert ("Subsection (4) does").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, Amendment No. 26 is a drafting amendment to Clause 52 to remove an unnecessary reference to Clause 52(3) in Clause 52(5). Clause 52(3) provides that statutory functions of the Scottish Ministers shall be exercisable by any member of the Scottish executive. Clause 52(5) currently provides that subsection (3) does not apply in relation to the exercise of functions conferred on the First Minister alone and to the Lord Advocate's retained functions. However, as these functions would not be functions of the Scottish Ministers, it is unnecessary to provide that Clause 52(3) does not apply. Accordingly, the amendment deletes the reference to Clause 52(3). I beg to move.

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: My Lords, the noble Baroness will be delighted to hear that on this occasion I fully accept her explanation that it is a technical amendment. I have to say that, before she spoke, I did not think that it was, but I am now quite persuaded that it is. I do not oppose the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 53 [General transfer of functions]:

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale moved Amendment No. 27:

Page 24, line 5, at end insert--
("( ) This section and section 54 are modified by Part III of Schedule 4.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I am tempted to say that this is yet another drafting amendment. The amendment makes it clear that Clauses 53 and 54, which transfer to the Scottish Ministers those ministerial functions which are exercisable within devolved competence, are modified by Part III of Schedule 4. I could give a good deal more detail if it were asked for. However, in the circumstances, I commend the amendment to the House. I beg to move.

Lord Renton: My Lords, we shall not contest the amendment but I have to express surprise about the use of the word "modified". It is a fairly new word to be used in the statute book. Indeed, I do not remember it being used until this Session. In the course of time the word will no doubt be given a particular meaning and effect, but I hope that the Government will resist using it as much as they can. I do not think it is a good expression to use. "Modify" generally means "reduce". That is not what is intended here. It is intended to say:

    "This section and section 54 are to be considered in the light of Part III of Schedule 4".

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I hope that I am not out of order in saying that we should in future be very careful about the use of the word "modify".

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