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Lord Mayhew of Twysden: My Lords, I know that your Lordships wish to get on. I feel obliged to detain your Lordships only for a few minutes out of deference--if I can put it like that--to the speech that we have just heard from the noble Baroness the Lord Privy Seal. I rather hope that it is a speech without precedent from a Leader of the House because I found it rather surprising to be charged with being a johnny-come-lately in this issue when, as I thought I had tried to explain, I had raised this issue at the earliest opportunity in Committee on 27th April. For the noble Baroness then to say that I did not come back to it on Report was frankly wrong. I have the Report stage here. I know how unpopular it is to quote--

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, I obviously was not clear in what I was saying. Of course I realise that the noble and learned Lord has been involved in this matter. However, many of his colleagues were not present. I said that the Opposition Front Bench amendment which was moved in Committee was not returned to on Report.

Lord Mayhew of Twysden: My Lords, I hear what the noble Baroness says. I am grateful for her interruption. The point is whether this is a device--as has been alleged by the noble Baroness and her predecessor as Leader of the House--to delay this Bill, not to say to sabotage it, or whether it has been

27 Jul 1999 : Column 1415

from the outset expressed as a genuine attempt to secure clarity. As she has referred to the Report stage, I wish to point out that I stated, in relation to applying for a Writ,

    "It is common ground that until one has gone through that procedure one cannot fulfil one's duty to attend, speak and vote in this House. If one cannot fulfil the duties of a Member of the House of Lords there must, surely, be a sensible argument, to put it no higher, that one is not a Member".--[Official Report, 15/6/99; cols. 218-219.]

I believe that the noble Baroness may perhaps have done her cause better justice had she not made those aspersions. In my case--I speak for no others--this represents a genuine attempt to attain clarity in legislation where, if the present uncertainty is maintained, it will fall to the private expense, risk and stress of individual noble Lords to put it right in their own instance. Why is this made necessary? Why is this forced upon us? I venture to say that it is done only out of the most extraordinary commitment to language which could perfectly easily be changed if the Government only replicated the language of their own manifesto.

The noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, said that the members of the committee were to have an interest in this matter. I feel that that is hardly a becoming point. He said--seriously, I thought--that the matter should be left to the courts. I suppose that is an argument that one might expect a lawyer to advance. But how much better to get the matter cleared up now in time for Third Reading, which need not be held up, than to put on the statute book something which is uncertain. The rest of the argument makes itself.

The noble Lord, Lord Annan, said that I was a charming saboteur. I hope that I have dealt with that point. This has nothing whatever to do, incidentally, with the Weatherill amendment. The noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, asked three questions. I think that the courts would be extremely unwilling at any stage to have anything to do with this. The noble and learned Lord the Lord Chief Justice said a few months ago in the Select Committee for Privileges, of which I have the honour to be a member, that the courts would do well to preserve a decent reticence in matters parliamentary and that it ought to be a reciprocal reticence. I believe that that is the answer. This is not a hypothetical question. I do not know whether or not the committee can refuse to deal with it. I hope that it would not.

I turn to the noble Earl, Lord Russell. I thank him for the kind remarks that he made about me at the outset. I was waiting with increasing tension for the "However" clause--and in due course it came, in that familiar style which must make him such a fascinating lecturer and so fearsome and terrifying a tutor. Unfortunately--and very uncharacteristically--he proceeded upon a wrong premise. I am not arguing that there should be a discretion as to whether a member of the hereditary Peerage should be entitled to a Writ; I am arguing that until one actually applies for and answers a Writ, turns up here and goes through all the business, one is not entitled to be a

27 Jul 1999 : Column 1416

Member of the House of Lords. That is the point. The question is really: what is the position of a Peer who does not answer?

The Motion has been described as frivolous, irresponsible, revolutionary, without precedent and so on. One bears all those epithets with as much philosophy as one can. Having listened with gratitude to everyone who has spoken, I put the issue in this way: if there may be a doubt as to what the clauses mean and what the Bill does, surely it is better to have that doubt allayed now. The time has come to seek the opinion of the House. I believe the matter should be referred to the Committee for Privileges.

4.30 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Motion shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 353; Not-Contents, 203.

Division No. 1


Aberdare, L.
Addison, V.
Ailesbury, M.
Ailsa, M.
Aldenham, L.
Aldington, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Annaly, L.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Arlington, B.
Arran, E.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Balfour of Inchrye, L.
Banbury of Southam, L.
Barber, L.
Barnard, L.
Bathurst, E.
Bearsted, V.
Beaverbrook, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Bell, L.
Bellwin, L.
Belstead, L.
Berners, B.
Bethell, L.
Biddulph, L.
Biffen, L.
Birdwood, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Boston, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Braybrooke, L.
Brentford, V.
Bridgeman, V.
Brookeborough, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Bruntisfield, L.
Buccleuch and Queensberry, D.
Buchan, E.
Burnham, L. [Teller.]
Burton, L.
Buscombe, B.
Butterworth, L.
Buxton of Alsa, L.
Byford, B.
Cadman, L.
Caithness, E.
Caldecote, V.
Calverley, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carew, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chalfont, L.
Chesham, L.
Chilver, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Clinton, L.
Cobbold, L.
Cockfield, L.
Coleraine, L.
Coleridge, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cooke of Islandreagh, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Cork and Orrery, E.
Coventry, E.
Cowdrey of Tonbridge, L.
Cowley, E.
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Cranborne, V.
Cranbrook, E.
Crathorne, L.
Crawshaw, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cross, V.
Cunliffe, L.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Davidson, V.
De Freyne, L.
De L'Isle, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Deedes, L.
Denbigh, E.
Denham, L.
Denman, L.
Derwent, L.
Devonport, V.
Digby, L.
Dilhorne, V.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donegall, M.
Donoughmore, E.
Downshire, M.
Dulverton, L.
Dundee, E.
Dundonald, E.
Dunleath, L.
Dunrossil, V.
Eccles, V.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elibank, L.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elton, L.
Erne, E.
Erroll, E.
Exmouth, V.
Fairfax of Cameron, L.
Falmouth, V.
Feldman, L.
Feversham, L.
Fisher, L.
Fookes, B.
Forbes, L.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Forte, L.
Gage, V.
Gainford, L.
Gainsborough, E.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Gisborough, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gormanston, V.
Grantley, L.
Gray, L.
Greenway, L.
Gretton, L.
Grey, E.
Halifax, E.
Hambro, L.
Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Hanham, B
Hanningfield, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Harlech, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Harrowby, E.
Hawke, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hayter, L.
Hemphill, L.
Henley, L. [Teller.]
Higgins, L.
Hindlip, L.
Hogg, B.
Holderness, L.
Hollenden, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Home, E.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Huntly, M.
Iddesleigh, E.
Ilchester, E.
Inchcape, E.
Inchyra, L.
Ironside, L.
Iveagh, E.
James of Holland Park, B.
Jeffreys, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kelvedon, L.
Kenilworth, L.
Killanin, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Kinnoull, E.
Kintore, E.
Kitchener, E.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Knollys, V.
Knutsford, V.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Lawrence, L.
Layton, L.
Leathers, V.
Leigh, L.
Limerick, E.
Lindsay, E.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Listowel, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Lytton, E.
McAlpine of West Green, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McConnell, L.
MacFarlane of Bearsden, L.
McFarlane of Llandaff, B.
McGowan, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackintosh of Halifax, V.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Macpherson of Drumochter, L.
Malmesbury, E.
Mancroft, L.
Manton, L.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
May, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Middleton, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monk Bretton, L.
Monson, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Montrose, D.
Moore of Lower Marsh, L.
Morris, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mountgarret, V.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Moynihan, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Napier of Magda~la, L.
Naseby, L.
Nelson, E.
Nelson of Stafford, L.
Newall, L.
Noel-Buxton, L.
Norfolk, D.
Norrie, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton, L.
Norton of Louth, L.
Nunburnholme, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow of Woking, L.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Pender, L.
Phillimore, L.
Pike, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Polwarth, L.
Prentice, L.
Pym, L.
Quinton, L.
Radnor, E.
Rathcavan, L.
Reay, L.
Rennell, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Romney, E.
Rotherwick, L.
Rowallan, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Saatchi, L.
Saint Albans, D.
St. Davids, V.
St. Germans, E.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Saint Oswald, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandys, L.
Savile, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Selsdon, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stockton, E.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Strathmore and Kinghorne, E.
Sudeley, L.
Suffield, L.
Swansea, L.
Swinfen, L.
Swinton, E.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Teviot, L.
Teynham, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Torphichen, L.
Townshend, M.
Trefgarne, L.
Trenchard, V.
Verulam, E.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Waterford, M.
Wedgwood, L.
Weir, V.
Westbury, L.
Wigram, L.
Wilcox, B.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Willoughby de Eresby, B.
Windlesham, L.
Woolton, E.
Wrenbury, L.
Wynford, L.
Yarborough, E.
Young, B.
Younger of Leckie, V.
Zouche of Haryngworth, L.


Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allen of Abbeydale, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Baldwin of Bewdley, E.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bath and Wells, Bp.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Bridges, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Burns, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carnarvon, E.
Carrick, E.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Christopher, L.
Clancarty, E.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Crawley, B.
Croham, L.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Diamond, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Effingham, E.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Geraint, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gladwyn, L.
Glanusk, L.
Glenamara, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hacking, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hussey of North Bradley, L.
Hylton, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Islwyn, L.
Jacobs, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Kirkwood, L.
Laming, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Ludford, B.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNair, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Quirk, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L
Richard, L.
Ripon, Bp.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Russell, E.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shaughnessy, L.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stallard, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thornton, B.
Thurlow, L.
Thurso, V.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warnock, B.
Warwick of Undercliff, B.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whitty, L.
Wilberforce, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Winston, L.
Wright of Richmond, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and Motion agreed to accordingly.

27 Jul 1999 : Column 1420

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