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Lord Crickhowell: I have a great deal of sympathy with my noble friend's amendment, but I believe that the issue is restricted solely to the question of numbers. In addition, I agree with almost everything that the noble Lord, Lord Borrie, said on the subject. I simply want an assurance from the Minister arising from what was said in discussion on the previous amendment with regard to going through the public procedures and so on. Of course, I understand that and I do not disagree with it. But I want an assurance that it will be normal practice for the Secretary of State to consult the chairman before making appointments.

I believe that to do otherwise and to act simply on the nominations that come through the public appointments procedure without first having a clear consultation with the Secretary of State would be a great mistake. Therefore, I want to have an assurance that, as is normal in relation to the appointment to any board in a sensible organisation, proper consultation will take place between the Secretary of State and the chairman.

Lord Gordon of Strathblane: I venture to suggest that it is best that the Bill remains silent on these matters. After all, there are risks. A chairman may be rather weak and the Secretary of State may want to bolster the board by making appointments which the chairman may not like. I quite take the point about "good appointmentship"--a very nice phrase--and I believe and hope that good practice will prevail. However, it is not always best to put in statute that the chairman must be consulted first.

Lord Thomson of Monifieth: The noble Lords, Lord Borrie, Lord Crickhowell and, indeed, Lord Gordon, all speak with a good deal of experience of this type of situation. Indeed, in a modest way, I do myself. I simply want to say that I agree with all three of them, and I hope that the Minister will agree with them, too.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I believe that I can give the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, the assurance that he wants, as, indeed, I hope that I gave him in relation to the previous group of amendments. I have already said that the appointment of non-executive members of Ofcom will be made by the Secretary of State and will follow the normal Nolan procedures for public appointments. It is a usual part of that process for the

29 Oct 2001 : Column 1219

board of an organisation to advise on the types of skills and experience that it may require and on the role specification for vacancies. However, there is no need to place that in legislation in the way proposed.

I can certainly give the assurance that the Secretary of State will consult the chair. However, I am well aware of the difficulties to which the noble Lord, Lord Thomson, and others have referred. I have just been reading in yesterday's Sunday Times the extracts from the autobiography of the noble Lord, Lord Hussey. I believe that on certain occasions he would not have wished to consult some of those who worked for him before making or "unmaking" other appointments. Frankly, I believe that it is better that the matter is left off the face of the Bill.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I am intrigued by the closing words of the Minister. First, perhaps I may refer to a comment made by the noble Lord, Lord Borrie, and assure him that I am talking about consultation of the members. I do not intend that they should determine the outcome. Perhaps the noble Lord misunderstood my intent, which is simply that they should be consulted. Such consultation is carried out in relation to other major organisations and it works very well.

The Minister said that the issue should not be on the face of the Bill. He said that we should not worry because, of course, good practice will be followed and the chair will be consulted. The chair may, indeed, be either very weak or very strong and may not be the proper person who, alone, should be consulted.

I believe that the amendment goes to the root of whether or not the fledging Ofcom will be taken seriously and will be the independent body which can properly give advice to the Government. Perhaps because of my personal experience earlier this year with regard to other legislation, I have a jaundiced view as to whether or not proper consultation will take place unless it is set out on the face of the Bill. Therefore, I wish to test the opinion of the House.

6.4 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 6) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 71; Not-Contents, 148.

Division No. 1


Alton of Liverpool, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brigstocke, B.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Elton, L.
Fookes, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Hanham, B.
Henley, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Liverpool, E.
Luke, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Marlesford, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Rees, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Sharples, B.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Warnock, B.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Alli, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Barker, B.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Boothroyd, B.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chan, L.
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Geraint, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greaves, L.
Grocott, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Ouseley, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Razzall, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sheldon, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Skidelsky, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tomlinson, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

29 Oct 2001 : Column 1221

6.16 p.m.

[Amendment No. 7 not moved.]

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