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Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: My Lords, I supported this amendment in Grand Committee and continue to do so. I believe that if the Opposition were to propose such wording, the Government would say, quite rightly, "This amendment is far too loose. We can't have this sort of wording on the face of the Bill". In the light of that, I offer the noble Baroness, Lady Byford, my continued strong support.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, in a moment I shall move government Amendment No. 57 in this group. Noble Lords will recall that it was the subject of some procedural discussion in Grand Committee. I apologised to the Grand Committee that the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee had not had the opportunity to consider the amendment before we tabled it on that occasion. The committee has now had a chance to consider the amendment and has approved it.

22 Mar 2004 : Column 501

Amendment No. 57 does not indicate any change of policy but simply makes clear that the powers set out in Clause 32 to modify the provisions extend to both the strategy and the annual work plans, which are covered by Clauses 11 and 12.

The noble Baroness asked why we need this power in relation to Clause 11 of the Bill. The answer is that, although the detail that would be modified is in Schedule 2, Clause 11 introduces Schedule 2. Therefore, in order to provide for delegated powers, which I know the noble Baroness objects to almost in principle, we must mention Clause 11 as well. However, it does not mean that the powers could completely change the whole of Clause 11 as it relates to this provision.

Perhaps I may refer to the government amendment. I know that the noble Baroness is not keen on affirmative resolutions, but such resolutions provide a substantial parliamentary power in allowing some flexibility. At the same time, they provide Parliament with a means of control over the Executive. This provision relates mainly to the NDA's strategy. The Bill sets out in some detail in Schedule 2 the issues which must be covered by the NDA strategy, and that level of detail reflects our determination to provide a framework for the strategy over time.

However, as my noble friend Lord Davies said in respect of another amendment, here we are legislating for a function carried out by the NDA which will last for decades and, indeed, on occasion for at least a century. Over time, the situation is bound to change in ways of which we cannot easily conceive. Therefore, it is sensible to provide flexibility to make amendments in respect of issues where the strategy and annual plan would need to cover a change in circumstances.

In a sense, Amendment No. 57 would make good a gap in the original draft of the plan. The Bill already makes such a provision in respect of the annual plan in Clause 31(1)(c) but not in relation to the NDA's strategy. However, the intention was that the flexibility would apply to both. Before the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin, rises to say that this is muddled legislating, perhaps I may explain the logic behind it. During the course of revising the NDA provisions for introduction as part of the Energy Bill, the clause covering the strategy was divided into two but the consequential change required in Clause 32 was missed.

I apologise for that oversight, but the intention had already been made clear in the White Paper and subsequently. Therefore, I hope it will be recognised that the need to provide some flexibility in the content of the strategy and the annual plan and the provisions relating to parliamentary scrutiny through the affirmative resolution is appropriate. Indeed, it is also true that in future we shall have an additional procedure in relation to the Select Committee on the merits of statutory instruments. That may be of some comfort to the noble Baroness in any future application of this amendment. I hope that I have explained why the noble Baroness's amendment is not necessary and why, in a moment, I shall wish to move my amendment.

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Baroness Byford: My Lords, I thank the Minister. He did not answer my first point when I quoted what was said in Grand Committee. We are dealing not with the constitution but with the strategy. If that is the case, why was it a slip of the tongue when the noble Lord referred to the "constitution" when he was responding to questions of the "strategy"? I am not enormously happy with what he said and I wish to test the opinion of the House.

5.7 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 56) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 110; Not-Contents, 127.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Arran, E.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brigstocke, B.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Coe, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craigavon, V.
Dahrendorf, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Falkland, V.
Fearn, L.
Fookes, B.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laird, L.
Lawson of Blaby, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Ludford, B.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Renton, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Russell, E.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Swinfen, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Trumpington, B.
Ullswater, V.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walmsley, B.
Wilcox, B.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. (Lord Presidentof the Council)
Andrews, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhatia, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blood, B.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Carter, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Goudie, B.
Grantchester, L.
Greengross, B.
Gregson, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Listowel, E.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mar, C.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Orme, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rogan, L.
Rooker, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sheldon, L.
Sheppard of Liverpool, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strange, B.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thornton, B.
Triesman, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warnock, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
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.

22 Mar 2004 : Column 503

22 Mar 2004 : Column 504

5.17 p.m.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 57:

    Page 29, line 38, leave out "section 11" and insert "sections 11 and 12"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have spoken to this amendment in the course of the previous discussion. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 38 [Recovery of property from private ownership]:

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