Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Smith of Clifton moved Amendment No. 16:

"After section 30A of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (c. 47) there is inserted—
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 30A, under exceptional circumstances the Secretary of State may by direction temporarily exclude a Minister or junior Minister.
(2) An exclusion under subsection (1) shall only remain in effect until either—
(a) a report from the Commission has been made; or
(b) the Assembly has considered a resolution under 30(1) or (2); or
(c) a period of two weeks has elapsed.
(3) In subsection (1) "exceptional circumstances" include where—
(a) there is insufficient time for the Commission to make a report; and
(b) there is insufficient time for the Assembly to consider a resolution under section 30(1) or (2).
(4) A direction made under this section shall be in writing and shall be laid before Parliament after the direction is given.""

The noble Lord said: For the reasons I have given at Second Reading and earlier today in this debate, I intend to press the amendment to a Division. As I see it, the Bill is, very appropriately, a 50:50 Bill that gives comfort to the Unionist community and the nationalist community. We on these Benches believe that there is a lacuna in the sense that there could be

15 Sept 2003 : Column 681

exceptional circumstances that call upon the Secretary of State to act; hence my amendment to that effect. I beg to move.

4.10 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 16) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 129; Not-Contents, 117.

Division No. 2


Addington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Blatch, B.
Blood, B.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Cockfield, L.
Cooke of Islandreagh, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cuckney, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Fearn, L.
Fitt, L.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Ludford, B.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Marlesford, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Methuen, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Naseby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Onslow, E.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Plumb, L.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Redesdale, L.
Rennard, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Russell, E.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Smith of Clifton, L. [Teller]
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stewartby, L.
Swinfen, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Ullswater, V.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walmsley, B.
Wigoder, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.


Acton, L.
Amos, B.
Ampthill, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harrison, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hylton, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Islwyn, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Marsh, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Orme, L.
Palmer, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Rooker, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stern, B.
Strabolgi, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Warnock, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord President of the Council)
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

15 Sept 2003 : Column 682

4.21 p.m.

Clause 6 [Reduction of remuneration]:

15 Sept 2003 : Column 683

[Amendments Nos. 17 to 19 not moved.]

Lord Glentoran moved Amendment No. 20:

    Page 7, line 45, at end insert—

"( ) Before exercising the power under this section, the Secretary of State shall take full account of the recommendations of the Monitoring Commission."

The noble Lord said: I hope that Amendment No. 20 is self-explanatory and that the Government might think it worth noting. I beg to move.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Of course this is unexpected and has brought tears to everyone's eyes. If I may—if it is convenient to noble Lords, in particular the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran—I shall take a view on this and be in a position to express an opinion on Report, which is not very long away. So if the noble Lord will not press it on this occasion, I undertake to give it consideration within the next hour or so.

Lord Glentoran: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 21 to 23 not moved.]

Clause 6 agreed to.

Clause 7 [Reduction of financial assistance]:

[Amendments Nos. 24 to 28 not moved.]

Clause 7 agreed to.

Clause 8 agreed to.

Clause 9 [Secretary of State's directions: procedure etc]:

[Amendment No. 29 not moved.]

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved, as a manuscript amendment, Amendment No. 29A:

    After Clause 9, insert the following new clause—

"Secretary of State's duty to prepare reports
(1) The Secretary of State shall report on the operation of—
(a) the agreement mentioned in section 1(1), and
(b) so much of this Act as amends the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (c. 47).
(2) The first report under this section shall be in respect of the period of twelve months beginning with the passing of this Act.
(3) Subsequent reports under this section shall be in respect of the period of twelve months beginning with the end of the previous reporting period.
(4) Each report under this section shall be prepared as soon as practicable after the end of the period to which it relates.
(5) A report under this section shall include any additional information which the Secretary of State thinks it appropriate for the report to include.
(6) The Secretary of State shall—
(a) lay a copy of each report under this section before each House of Parliament, and
(b) publish each such report in such manner as he thinks fit."

The noble and learned Lord said: I hope that it has been convenient to the Committee for me to deal with this in this way. I am speaking, if I may, to Amendments Nos. 29A and 31, which derive originally from what was originally numbered Amendment No.

15 Sept 2003 : Column 684

30 in the names of the noble Lords, Lord Smith of Clifton and Lord Glentoran. To summarise very briefly but I think fairly, they wished to have a biannual report—which caused some difficulty; some noble Lords thought that that was once every two years while some of us thought that it was once every six months. However, as they say, I have always been in the position of wanting to accommodate reasonable requests.

What we agreed, if this is to the Committee's satisfaction, is as follows. There were drafting deficiencies in the original amendment. Accordingly, having discussed it with the two noble Lords this morning, I undertook to have a perfected amendment, Amendment No. 29A, which deals with the Secretary of State's duty to prepare reports. The first report,

    "shall be in respect of the period of twelve months beginning with the passing of this Act . . . Subsequent reports . . . shall be in respect of the period of twelve months beginning with the end of the previous reporting period".

There is a duty in subsection (4) to prepare each report,

    "as soon as practicable after the end of the period",

and the Secretary of State is obliged to,

    "lay a copy of each report under this section before each House of Parliament",

and to,

    "publish . . . in such manner as he thinks fit".

Amendment No. 31 would essentially ensure that the reporting arrangements would cease, of course, with any order to cease the effect of the Secretary of State's new powers in the Northern Ireland Act 1998. So in respect of Amendment No. 29A, I beg to move.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page