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Lord Hardie: My Lords, I understand that. Perhaps I may explain to the noble and learned Lord that other provisions in Clause 129 enabling an Order in Council to deal with transitional and transitory provisions will achieve the objective of enabling the registers to continue to operate broadly, as now. However, in considering these matters it was noted that provisions relating to the National Loans Fund could not be included in that general transitional provision or general Order in Council because there is apparently an agreement with the Public Accounts Committee that there must be specific provisions in primary legislation dealing with the loans fund. That is why the provision is brought forward. I apologise that that matter was not picked up before this stage. I hope that with that explanation noble Lords will accept the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Hardie moved Amendments Nos. 29 to 31:

Page 31, line 35, at end insert--
("(4A) Subsection (4B) applies to any amount outstanding immediately before the commencement of this subsection in respect of the principal of the sum treated by virtue of section 2(3) of the Government Trading Funds Act 1973 as issued to the Registers of Scotland Executive Agency Trading Fund on the day on which the order establishing that fund came into force ("the issue date").
(4B) The Secretary of State may, with the agreement of the Treasury, by order provide--
(a) for the amount to be treated as an advance made by him to the Scottish Ministers on the issue date, and
(b) for the advance to be repaid to him at such times and by such methods, and for interest on the advance to be paid to him at such rates and at such times, as were determined by the Treasury under section 2B(3) of that Act in respect of the sum referred to in subsection (4A).").
Page 31, line 36, after ("(4)") insert ("or (4B)").
Page 31, line 38, after ("(4)") insert ("or (4B)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 79 [Supplemental powers to modify enactments]:

Lord Sewel moved Amendment No. 32:

Page 38, leave out lines 7 and 8.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with Amendment No. 32 I speak also to Amendments Nos. 47, 48 and 57.

Government Amendment No. 48 amends the definition of "enactment" provided by Clause 126 to make it explicit that it includes future Acts of Parliament and subordinate legislation made under such Acts. This definition will apply throughout the Bill. It allows Amendments Nos. 32 and 57 to remove existing provisions which apply only for the purposes of Clause 79 and paragraph 2(5) of Schedule 4 and which are now redundant.

Government Amendment No. 47 is the so-called disappearing amendment. It replicates Amendment No. 204A which was omitted at Report stage because of

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a printing error on the Marshalled List. Fortunately for everyone the error was spotted by the noble Earl, Lord Balfour. I am very much in his debt for spotting it and alerting us to it. This makes amends for that. I beg to move.

The Earl of Balfour: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his kind remarks. It is always a pleasure to be of help sometimes.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I am sure we are all grateful to my noble friend Lord Balfour for the way in which he scrutinises legislation to make sure that the Government do not make mistakes. Perhaps I may revert back to the last debate. I am sure that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Simon of Glaisdale, will be happy to note that five lines have been taken out of the Bill and three lines added, with a net loss of two lines. I suppose progress is made slowly.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Mar and Kellie moved Amendment No. 33:

Before Clause 86, insert the following new clause--

Review of impact of this Act on Parliament

(" .--(1) The Secretary of State shall review the impact of this Act on the functions, powers and composition of each House of Parliament and shall report thereon at such intervals as he considers appropriate.
(2) Any report under subsection (1) shall be laid before each House of Parliament.").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, I return to the subject of Scottish representation in both Houses of Parliament after devolution. Superficially what is different is that this time I have managed to bring forward a substantive amendment. For that I give thanks to the Public Bill Office and to the wisdom, or perhaps the desperation, of the staff.

The amendment places a duty on the Secretary of State to review the performance after devolution of MPs and Peers from Scotland. It is true that there will be less Scottish legislation processed by this Parliament. Paradoxically, it is also true that this United Kingdom Parliament will make laws for Scotland and will modify the Scots law within the context of reserved powers legislation. In view of the imminent changes to the membership of both Houses, I believe that a watching and reporting brief will be necessary and useful.

In another place it seems likely that the number of Scots MPs will be reduced to around 58. I believe that we can expect these MPs to be regular attenders. In this House the number of Scots attending will soon be drastically reduced by the anticipated peerage Bill. The number of life Peers domiciled in Scotland is around 40. For many reasons it cannot be envisaged that they will all attend the House regularly. I believe that insufficient Scots will be domiciled Peers who will attend regularly and scrutinise Scots legislation.

I do not defend the hereditary Peerage. But I wish to assert that Peers from Scotland have attended this House by statute since 1707. Articles 22 and 23 of the Union Acts laid down the statutory principle of Scottish

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representation in this House. The Union Acts were amended in 1963 by the removal of the restriction to 16 imposed on the Peerage of Scotland by the treaty. Curiously, the two historic subsidiary Acts which deal with elections to both Houses seem still to be on the statute book despite amendments in 1963.

I choose to make the same error as my historic predecessors in trying to regard the Act of Union as a part of a written constitution. Therefore the historic principle of Peers from Scotland being a statutorily guaranteed element in this House requires us to put in place a system of monitoring and remedy in view of the substantial and welcome changes that are being made at this time. I beg to move.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, the noble Earl makes an interesting point. But I do not know whether the amendment is the right way to confront it.

In his reply, can the Lord Advocate tell us what we shall and shall not be discussing in this House in relation to Scotland? Is there a boundary to what the House of Lords will be able to discuss? It is a matter of considerable concern in Scotland to those people who interest themselves in what is going on as regards the House of Lords. It will be interesting if the noble and learned Lord can give an answer. I do not think that we have had one during the passage of the Bill.

Lord Hardie: My Lords, perhaps I may deal with the point raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour. My noble friend Lord Sewel dealt with the issue in some detail on Report. I refer the noble Baroness to the proceedings in Hansard. I shall write to the noble Baroness to give her the column number in Hansard at which a detailed answer was given as to precisely which issues may be dealt with here.

I agree with the noble Baroness that the noble Earl's amendment is interesting. However, I regret that it is not one that the Government can accept. The amendment explores what effect devolution will have on both Houses of the Westminster Parliament. The issue is already being considered by the Procedure Committee of another place. That committee is conducting an inquiry into the procedural consequences of devolution. If I understand the noble Earl's amendment correctly, he is proposing that role for the Secretary of State.

The remit of the Procedure Committee is to consider what changes are necessary as a consequence of devolution legislation not just in respect of this Bill but the Government of Wales Act and the Northern Ireland Act, too. As I am sure your Lordships are aware, the committee is considering issues such as whether it is possible to lay down clear principles as to the House's relationship with the Scottish parliament and Welsh and Irish assemblies. Consideration is also being given to the future of the Scottish Select Committee and the Scottish Grand Committee. The Government hope shortly to submit their evidence to the Procedure Committee. They will address the consequences of devolution to the Scottish parliament, the Welsh assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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The Government remain of the view that it is best to allow this Parliament to consider for itself the consequences of devolution. They do not believe that it would be appropriate for the Secretary of State to carry out such a review. Indeed, we should not look in isolation at the affect of any one piece of devolved legislation.

The point raised by the noble Earl in relation to the number of Scottish Peers working in this House is not a matter for this Bill, as I explained previously. The Bill makes no changes to the composition of procedures of your Lordships' House and I invite the noble Earl to withdraw the amendment.

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