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Lord Stoddart of Swindon: I support the amendments tabled by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman. When I was elected to the House of Commons, after being a member of a local authority, I can remember how bemused I was by parliamentary procedure and parliamentary Bills and amendments. It seems to me that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman, is absolutely right that legislation is for the people. If legislation is for the people, then the people ought to be able to read the legislation in one go, not in several goes, as he outlined. Therefore, I hope that my noble and learned friend will give very serious consideration to what has been said. I shall be interested to hear his reply.

Baroness Blatch: I rise briefly to support the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman. Having spent a good deal of the past three years doing my own research, I would welcome this provision in many other Acts of Parliament. I find the cross-referencing of one piece of legislation with another an absolute minefield. As well as people outside, some of us here would benefit greatly from the suggestion of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman, and I hope that the advice is followed.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I always believe everything that your Lordships tell me! I am thinking of having a T-shirt printed: "I have always been attracted to Keeling schedules--Earl Russell". I think some eyebrows shot up a little around the House when he said that.

As always, of course, what the noble and learned Lord has said commands enormous attention in your Lordships' House. It may be--I hope he will not think that I am being presumptuous--that his suggestion would fall more usefully to be considered when the outcome of the comprehensive review of the sexual legislation ought to bring about a major rewriting of the whole law on sexual offences.

He asked, with his usual charm and courtesy, whether or not we might have a meeting. I would certainly welcome that. Perhaps his suggestion, which seems to all of us to be of great value, may well be

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deployed on a subsequent occasion because, of course, this Bill deals with only a limited number of sexual offences. However, I am most obliged not only for his suggestions but for the most helpful tone in which he deployed his submissions.

Lord Brightman: I entirely agree with what the noble and learned Lord, the Attorney-General, said. It occurred to me that this could be dealt with by means of a consolidation Bill. However, that means that there would have to be a First Reading and a Second Reading here, followed by a joint consolidation committee of the two Houses, which would take quite

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a long time. Your Lordships may feel that, if it can be done, it would be quicker to have a Keeling schedule in this Bill rather than wait for a consolidation. I am very grateful to those of your Lordships who have spoken but, in the circumstances, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 7 agreed to.

[Amendment No. 46 not moved.]

House resumed: Bill reported with amendments.

        House adjourned at ten minutes before eleven o'clock.

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