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Lord Peyton of Yeovil: My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, the confidence that the Bill has imposed in the Secretary of State, and which the Minister has repeated today, has convinced me by a pretty narrow margin that I had better support my noble friend's amendment after all, despite the fact that it gives unnecessary encouragement to a Secretary of State to tamper in matters of which he knows very little.

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I hear what the noble Lord has said, but he indicated in fairly principled terms why the amendment was not acceptable to him. I am sorry that my perspective on the amendment differs from his. I had hoped that, had there been any further action on the amendment today, he might have joined us in the Division Lobbies. But as I am confident that the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, will withdraw his amendment, that issue may not arise.

Viscount Astor: My Lords, I must offer the Minister my commiserations. It must be sad for him to realise that he had perhaps persuaded one Member of your Lordships' House to support his argument but then suddenly to find that his argument has had the opposite effect. Never mind.

I shall deal with the Minister's two technical objections. His last point was that the amendment had no link to the high-level specification. That is not a valid excuse because it can be put in as part of the strategy. You cannot say at one point that the inclusion of "rolling-stock" or "infrastructure" in proposed new subsection (7E) is too prescriptive but then object in the next minute that the high-level specification has not been included.

The Minister is right that proposed new subsection (7E) includes a list of various things. The amendment refers to such strategies as the Secretary of State,

That does not imply a fragmented strategy; it just says that, as part of a strategy, there must be some reference to those aspects. The Minister then said, rather tellingly, that most, if not all, will be addressed. That is a classic get-out clause, is it not? We run the risk that policy for community railways, for example, could easily not be addressed. Those are the two technical arguments.

I shall now deal with the principle. I am grateful for the support of the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, who tabled this amendment originally in Committee, for which I must give him due credit, and the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley. The Minister failed to address the
4 Apr 2005 : Column 495
Scottish comparison—Scottish Ministers will have to publish a strategy. It is not surprising that he did not deal with that because it does not help his argument.

The Minister brought up the aviation point. It is quite simple: the aviation industry is taxed, not subsidised, by £4 billion a year.

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, the Scottish position is not quite as the noble Viscount says. The Bill does not lay a duty upon Scottish Ministers; it creates a power that they may exercise, whereas the amendment is drafted in terms of a duty.

Viscount Astor: My Lords, I accept what the Minister says, but the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Ministers have indicated that they will take up that power as a duty.

The other point related to the Secretary of State and his responsibilities. Let us be clear: if my noble friend Lord Peyton produced an amendment that said that no Secretary of State would be encouraged "to fiddle about", to use his words, I am sure that we would all support that fiddling amendment. We are all against Secretaries of State doing that on their own policies or on anything else.

The Bill has brought Network Rail directly under the control of the Secretary of State. He is responsible for funding; he is taking control. If he takes control and accepts that responsibility, he must come before Parliament and there must be a duty. That duty ought to be in the Bill because the industry needs to know. It is no good saying that it will just be done by the specification report and what the department publishes annually; the industry needs to know the long-term plans. It is a long-term industry whose funding requirements are long term.

The final point that persuaded me to test the opinion of the House was the Minister's remark that the amendment was unnecessary, because we all know that when Ministers say that, the amendment is indeed very necessary.

4.28 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 120; Not-Contents, 136.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Alliance, L.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Biffen, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Buscombe, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Cobbold, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Crickhowell, L.
De Mauley, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Eccles, V.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fearn, L.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Fowler, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glasgow, E.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greengross, B.
Hanham, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Listowel, E.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar, C.
Mar and Kellie, E. [Teller]
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Naseby, L.
Newby, L.
Northbourne, L.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stern, B.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Tugendhat, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vallance of Tummel, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walpole, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Windlesham, L.


Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Amos, B. (Lord President of the Council)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Billingham, B.
Blood, B.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B. [Teller]
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Giddens, L.
Gilbert, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Griffiths of Burry Port, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, 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.
Joffe, L.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Leitch, L.
Lipsey, L.
McDonagh, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Maxton, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Monson, L.
Morgan, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
Ouseley, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Radice, L.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rogan, L.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Sewel, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

4 Apr 2005 : Column 497
4.38 p.m.

Schedule 4 [Reviews by ORR of access charges and licence conditions]:

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