The amendment is straightforward because it seeks to put the names of the candidates back on the regional ballot paper. This situation existed for all National Assembly elections until the last one. I want to go back to the days when I remember the ballot paper saying—noble Lords who were around at the time will remember it, too—Welsh Labour Party: number 1, Rhodri Morgan; number 2, Sue Essex; number 3, Jane Hutt. That seemed to send quite a clear message to send to people who wanted to vote Labour. If they put their mark alongside, they were voting for those people in that order. This would also return us to what goes on in European elections, where the names of the candidates for whom you are voting appear on the ballot paper.

To understand why this amendment is the right amendment at the right time, now, we must try to find out why the names were removed in 2011. I have before me the reply to a letter that I wrote to the Electoral Commission prior to the 2011 National Assembly for Wales elections, and which I received before those elections took place. It outlines the reason why it recommended the names be taken off.

It states:

“After the Assembly elections in 2007, our published election report identified that a number of complaints had been raised by voters about the size of the regional list ballot paper. Voters found it difficult to complete in polling booths and to fold and put into ballot boxes. The ballot paper size was also problematic for printing and counting”.

The commission’s recommendation to resolve this issue was to reduce the number of candidates eligible to stand on the regional list. The letter stated that each party was still able to nominate up to 12 candidates, even though since 2007 candidates had been prohibited from standing for both the regional list and the constituency election.

As we all know, four candidates are elected in each region. The Electoral Commission stated:

“In our view, it would be sufficient that each party could nominate up to six candidates for the regional list. Three of the main political parties in Wales supported our recommendation to reduce the number of candidates nominated, but the other main party did not. The change would also require”—

this is the crucial part—

“amendment to the Government of Wales Act 2006, for which there was no apparent legislative opportunity at the time”.

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I do not know whether it was my party that did not say yes to reducing the number to six. Certainly, nobody asked me about this issue at the time. However, the important consequence was that, as it did not have the time to change the primary legislation and did not have the agreement of the parties, the Electoral Commission decided to follow the alternative route of simply taking off the names of people standing on the regional list for each party.

As many Members of your Lordships’ House will know, on the regional list ballot paper there are not just parties but independent candidates, so part of the reason for the growth of the ballot paper was not just the number of names against parties but the independent candidates—usually only one name. The restriction on ballot papers by the Electoral Commission and by regulations on the size of the fonts and of the ballot papers passed by your Lordships’ House made it impossible for any other change to take place because the Electoral Commission had run out of time.

The letter also states:

“We shall assess the outcome of the change in our statutory report on the election, based on feedback we receive from parties and returning officers”.

There was feedback post the election. I have described the situation that led the Electoral Commission to recommend that change. In its report on what happened afterwards it stated:

“Early on polling day”—

it is almost like the story of the man with the bricks and the ladder—

“there were complaints that regional candidates’ names were not displayed or were displayed inadequately by some Returning Officers”.

There was a rule that you had to put them up somewhere in the polling station. As noble Lords know, many polling stations are in schools, where children’s work is often on the walls and the space where you can put up a list of names may not be apparent. It was certainly not alongside the polling booth or in the polling booth itself but could be anywhere. I went to a polling station where the list was on a steel box. They could not put drawing pins in it, so they had to use tape. The only tape they could find obliterated half the words. They put the list on the outside wall of the property, so people went in and it was then too late to see the names. The Electoral Commission goes on:

“There were also a small number of complaints from postal voters that they did not have access to the names of regional list candidates other than by consulting notices in public places or local authority websites”.

So people who voted by post had no knowledge of the names of the candidates and people in polling stations had no idea where to find the names. You had to be pretty good at hunting around in the polling station to find the names.

The Electoral Commission states:

“We conclude that, following the experience at the elections, the question of whether candidates’ names are included on the regional list ballot paper should be reconsidered. However, before certain relevant matters are resolved … it would be premature to make decisions on the regional ballot paper. We will revisit this issue no later than December 2014”.

That is two months from now.

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I ask noble Lords to consider whether that needs to be done slightly faster. The commission gave its report after the 2011 elections and we have waited a further three years for an answer to this question. Because there was no legislative time available last time, it meant that that change could not be made to reduce the number.

The obvious answer is to reduce the number of names on the ballot paper to six, which was the Electoral Commission’s recommendation. I am not actually wedded to six, but it seems a reasonable number, because there are only four places available. Even if a party won all four places, there would still be two left in case the first two fell under a bus halfway through the election period. It is unlikely that, during an election campaign, four candidates would die and no people would be left to fill up the names on the list. We have to make that change according to the number of spaces that there would be on a ballot paper, to make it less unwieldy. That is the only argument that I have heard, as explained by the Electoral Commission, for making the change and removing the names.

It is a fundamental right of people, when they place their mark on a ballot paper, to know the names of the people for whom they are voting. These are the people who will represent them on an equal status. The noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas, has said to us on many occasions that those who are elected by the regional list system are of equal status to those who are elected from the constituency. Therefore, it is important that people should know the names of those for whom they are voting and the order in which they are elected.

It is not our favourite system; in our party, we would not want to say that. But we are approaching the time when the chance to make this change is fast running out. If there is to be a change to primary legislation and, following that change to primary legislation, secondary legislation has to come to provide the appropriate rules for the election in 2016, it would require a piece of primary legislation to be placed before Parliament in the first four months of a new Government. I know that many noble Lords will think that for this very purpose that is not a very likely procedure. This Bill is the right one in which to make that simple change to the line that appeared in the Government of Wales Act 1998 as well as the 2006 Act:

“The list must not include more than twelve persons (but may include only one)”.

Lord Wigley: I am following the noble Lord’s argument with a lot of interest and considerable sympathy, but would he and his party not go one stage further by having an open list and allowing electors to determine the order in which people fill those slots?

Lord German: I would indeed. As I say, this is such an urgent matter to change and to change the electoral system to make that happen might be a step too far. I might be told, in exactly the same way as the noble Lord has been told many times this afternoon, that this is not the right time or place or Bill. But because there is only one chance to do this, this Bill is the right place and it is the right time. I hope that my noble

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friend and the rest of the Government will see the wisdom of this action and give people the right to see who they are voting for on their ballot paper.

9.30 pm

Lord Thomas of Gresford (LD): My Lords, I strongly support my noble friend Lord German and will speak to Amendments 15 and 16. Before I do so, I share a reflection. The noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas, was talking about his six year-old granddaughter, and I was reminded that when my granddaughter, Pip, was elected to a school council, my wife, my noble friend Lady Walmsley, commented—rather caustically, I thought—that she was the first member of the Thomas family ever to win an election. That was unfair.

I turn to Amendments 15 and 16. The system of election aimed at proportionality throws up a number of difficulties. In particular, it makes the election of a regional list candidate almost capricious. An example is the noble Lord, Lord Bourne, who served with distinction as a regional list Member as leader of his party—and I see that he has almost left the Chamber at the thought. He lost his seat not because his party did badly but because they did far too well and won a Montgomeryshire seat from us. Consequently, he ceased to be a regional list Member. It is clearly unfair that a person should be required to give up a public position, or even employment, simply to stand as a candidate in an election. There is not only the individual to consider; the pool of those willing and able to undertake public duties is not so large in Wales as to make it in the public interest to impose such a restriction.

The legal position is further complicated by an apparent conflict between the provisions of the Government of Wales Act 2006, which deals with disqualification, and the National Assembly for Wales (Representation of the People) Order 2007, which deals with aspects of electoral law. According to the 2007 order, a candidate should not be part of, or a member of, any organisations included on long lists set out in the 2006 Act and the relevant disqualification order made under it. The Act, however, refers to the disqualification as relating to “being an Assembly Member”, and not to being a candidate. These provisions are subject to the power of the Assembly under Sections 17(3) and (4) of the Government of Wales Act to resolve to disregard the disqualification of any person,

“if it appears to the Assembly … that the ground has been removed, and … that it is proper so to resolve”.

Further, if it is alleged that an Assembly Member is disqualified, costly High Court proceedings can be involved. It is well known that two regional list Lib Dem Members fell foul of these provisions in the 2011 election. One was a member of the Care Council for Wales, and he admitted that he had not read the 2010 order that contained a long list of public bodies. After anxious consideration, the Welsh Liberal Democrats decided to withdraw the motion that they had lodged with the Assembly to lift his disqualification, and the number two on the list took his place. The other was a member of the Valuation Tribunal for Wales. The Assembly Standards Commissioner, Gerard Elias QC, said that that Member had done,

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“everything that he could have reasonably been expected to do in ensuring that he was not a disqualified person for the purpose of nomination or election”.

He had followed the Welsh language advice from the Electoral Commission, which had referred him to regulations on proscribed bodies from the 2006 order, which had been replaced by a new order in 2010. It was correct in English but wrong in Welsh. The Electoral Commission apologised for its error. The motion that was filed to disregard the disqualification was passed with some Labour opposition, which will not be forgotten because anecdotal evidence suggests that a number of non-elected Labour candidates would have failed the test themselves. The noble Lord, Lord Wigley, at the time wrote in the Daily Post very wise words, as usual:

“There is a saying that ‘Rules are for the guidance of wise people and the obedience of fools’ … The fiasco of blocking two Liberal Democrats … surely falls into this category”.

He said that the principle of disqualification should be reviewed by the Electoral Commission and added that it,

“should only apply for deliberate conflicts of interest”.

At the same time, a UKIP MEP put a complaint into the police about corrupt practices against that sitting Member. The complaint was duly investigated by the police and no further proceedings ensued.

Arising out of this controversy, the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, at the invitation of the First Minister, considered the issue under the chairmanship of David Melding the Deputy Presiding Officer, took evidence and obtained the legal opinion of the Counsel General. The Welsh Government’s attitude, as filed with the committee, was summarised in a memorandum attached to the report. In particular, it stated:

“The disqualifications are long and complex, and individuals may inadvertently fall foul (as two did in 2011) of apparently unjustified disqualifications … The complex nature of some of the disqualifications may require prospective candidates to seek legal advice in order to determine whether they are caught by the particular disqualification”.

The Welsh Government also said:

“However, we see the current requirements as a clear disincentive to candidates because a person must resign their post or employment in order to stand as a candidate and, if unsuccessful in that election, reinstatement would depend on the terms and conditions of employment that apply ... It is our view that the current structures for excluding persons from Assembly membership do not properly reflect their raison d’être. The disqualifications purport to prevent AMs from holding offices or employments deemed to interfere with the proper fulfilment with their duties. But it is our view that the rules pertaining to disqualifications are increasingly unfit for purpose to the point that, in some instances, they pose a disincentive to potential candidates and thus fall foul of the logic of empowering democratic participation”.

I may have said rude things about the Welsh Government in the past but I agree with every sentence that is expressed there.

The committee’s report, published in the middle of July 2014, made a number of recommendations which these amendments are designed to reflect. In particular, the committee felt that the disqualifications should be spelt out without reference to the legislation dealing with Westminster elections, hence the drafting of proposed new subsection (2) in Amendment 15. Since I have been asked why the various judicial offices are named,

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it is because as currently drafted the Government of Wales Act 2006 refers to disqualifications of the judicial officers mentioned in the schedule to the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975, which cover, for example, the judges of the Court of Session in Scotland and judges of Northern Ireland. One would not expect them to be applying to be candidates to the Welsh Assembly in any event. As the committee recommended, I have spelt out those judicial offices in the amendment.

Lord Elystan-Morgan (CB): May I make a very small, pettifogging legal point? As I understand it, there is no such judicial animal as a county court judge, and there has not been one since 1971. A circuit judge has practically all the powers of a High Court judge as the noble Lord knows, and those apply both to civil and to criminal matters. I think that I am right in saying that there has been no county court judge since that time.

Lord Thomas of Gresford: I am very grateful for that assistance from the noble Lord, because I wondered why it would be in the 1975 Act as a disqualification for standing for Parliament. Since this is Committee stage, amendments can always be made on Report to correct that. The nub of the matter is in proposed new subsection (5) in Amendment 15. This adds two additional subsections to Section 16 of the Government of Wales Act 2006. The committee put forward two ways of dealing with the issue: by requiring Assembly Members to resign a disqualifying office before taking the oath or affirmation of allegiance; or by deeming that an Assembly Member had resigned a disqualifying post at the moment that he was elected. It recommended the former course. It also suggested that the Law Commission might consider these issues as part of a wider review across all UK legislatures.

Kicking the issue into the long grass of the Law Commission is unnecessary. Devolution, as we have heard today, has not and almost certainly will not follow precisely the same pattern across the UK, and any short-term attempt to reach conformity is otiose. Such a course might delay changes welcomed by all sides beyond the 2016 election. The parliamentary processes here are surely robust enough to choose the proper mechanism. Amendment 15 suggests neither of the two methods proposed by the committee but follows the drafting of Clause 3 of this Bill, which deals with disqualification of persons elected to the House of Commons. It introduces an eight-day period following the election within which the Assembly Member can resign the post that would otherwise disqualify him.

The committee also accepted the advice of the Counsel General in relation to the power of the Assembly to disregard the disqualification. Your Lordships will recall that that was the process followed in relation to the Liberal Democrat Members. Paragraph 89 of the committee’s report states that Mr Bush thought that the ability of Assembly Members to relieve somebody of a disqualification was a “very unsound procedure”. Mr Bush added that,

“looking at it from general principles, if you have a clear and understandable list of disqualifications that are well publicised in advance and give people the opportunity to think carefully about them before they take the oath of allegiance, the rationale and the

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practical reason for having that power to disapply the disqualification seems to me to cease. Then, all of the arguments are in favour of getting rid of it, because, undoubtedly, it is constitutionally a very strange procedure indeed”.

I agree. Consequently, my second amendment would remove the power of the Assembly to lift the disqualification if it exists.

I appreciate that further amendments to the Bill and to the relevant order may be necessary if my amendment is successful, but I think that at Committee stage that suffices.

Baroness Morgan of Ely: Perhaps I may make a couple of quick points but, first, I think it is appropriate for us to raise spirits this evening by mentioning that Wales is in the lead by two goals to one against Cyprus in the European qualifiers.

Returning to the amendment, it is important for us to look at the pros and cons of politically restricted positions. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, for drawing our attention to this issue, which is worthy of consideration. It is worth asking whether we should distinguish between people who stand for election and people who win a position. That is something that we should consider. I shall give an example. Somebody from a ministerial advisory group would have to stand down from their position on the advisory group, effectively losing a job, but that is the kind of person whom we should be encouraging to go into the Assembly—people with real expertise and special knowledge in certain areas.

I want to touch on a couple of little points. On the list of people ineligible to stand, there was mention of the Regular Forces. I presume that that excludes members of the Territorial Army. The noble Lord, Lord Elystan-Morgan, was being picky, so I shall also be picky. Regarding members of “any police force”, I wonder whether special constables are considered to be part of the police force. If so, someone such as David Davies MP, who is a special constable, would not be allowed to stand. Some of us might think that that was quite a good idea but the principle is worth looking at.

Lord Thomas of Gresford: I believe that the territorials and special police are not disqualified.

Baroness Randerson: My Lords, I have been very interested in the debate on these amendments. Amendment 13 in the name of my noble friend Lord German would reduce to six the number of candidates on the regional list at an Assembly election and ensure that the names appeared on the ballot paper. The Government of Wales Act 2006 provides that a political party may put up no more than 12 candidates. As my noble friend explained, until the 2011 Assembly election the names of all regional candidates appeared. However, in its report on the 2007 Assembly election, the Electoral Commission noted that returning officers were becoming increasingly concerned with the size of ballot papers due to having to list up to 12 candidates. As a result, no names of regional candidates were displayed in 2011.

I sympathise with the noble Lord’s concerns, which were widely shared across parties at the time. Because of this, following the election, the Electoral Commission

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committed to consulting on the issue of including names on regional ballot papers once more with a view to providing a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Wales. This consultation is currently under way and is due to report before the end of the year. I concur with my noble friend that it is perhaps surprising that it has slipped so late in this electoral cycle. Once the commission has reported, however, the Wales Office will, together with the Welsh Government, political parties and electoral administrators in Wales, consider the recommendations for inclusion in the conduct order for the next Assembly elections in 2016. That order will, of course, be subject to the approval of both Houses of Parliament.

9.45 pm

I recognise that this does not deal with the issue of the maximum of six candidates. I am sure that my noble friend will understand that this is an issue with which there will have to be discussion with the Assembly and across political parties. I remind the House that earlier this evening noble Lords said how important it was to consult the Assembly. I am certainly not brave enough to ignore that in respect of a significant change such as reducing the number of candidates on the list to six.

I now turn to Amendments 15 and 16, tabled by my noble friend Lord Thomas, which would implement the recommendations made by the National Assembly for Wales’s Constitution and Legislative Affairs Committee in its report in July this year. Noble Lords will no doubt agree that there should be restrictions on who can stand for election to legislatures. The noble Baroness, Lady Morgan, gave some examples just now. There are some positions—such as police officer, a member of the judiciary or Armed Forces—where independence is crucial. In these cases, simply standing for election would undermine confidence in the candidates’ role.

However, as my noble friend noted in his speech, another category exists of those who are disqualified for membership of the Assembly and other legislatures. These are people who work for bodies which receive grants from the Welsh Government and whose organisation might be accountable to the Assembly or Welsh Government Ministers. I looked today at the disqualification order of 2010. In Part 1, it lists 67 different bodies—many of which I have to confess I was not aware of—the members of which are disqualified. In addition, there are 46 disqualifying offices. The issues of the complexity of this order are a significant part of this problem.

Under existing legislation, as noble Lords have noticed, both groups are similarly disqualified from being members of the legislature. When they are nominated to stand for election, every candidate must sign a nomination paper, which states to the best of their knowledge that they are not disqualified from being an Assembly Member. This means, as has been noted, that somebody who appears 12th on their party’s regional list, with no realistic chance of being elected, must still resign from any disqualifying office. I understand the impact that this has on the pool of potential candidates. These are often the most experienced candidates; because they have that experience they

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have been appointed to these bodies. Many noble Lords will find this a perverse situation, which is a view I understand.

As my noble friend said, the Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee made a comprehensive set of recommendations, which it believes could remedy this situation and most of them are included in my noble friend’s new clause. It suggests that the potentially disqualified candidates should instead divest themselves of that disqualifying office within eight days of having been elected. It is a seemingly elegant yet simple solution to the issue. I realise that noble Lords find this to be a very unsatisfactory set of arrangements and, however much I might sympathise personally with the intent behind this amendment, we need time to consider the committee’s report.

It is worth noting that the Welsh Government have not yet responded to that report. Indeed, it was passed to the Secretary of State for Wales only last month. It is also worth nothing that the situation described is not unique to Wales. It also occurs in relation to the Scottish Parliament. It is important that it is considered in their circumstances as well.

Displaying the list of names on the ballot paper would be a relatively straightforward situation and a straightforward thing to do. Reducing candidate numbers to six would require consultation. The Electoral Commission will complete its report soon. There will be thorough consideration of the report and a full discussion with political parties to ensure that we respond to the issues that have been raised. On the disqualification report, once the Welsh Government have responded and the Secretary of State has had the opportunity to discuss these issues with the Welsh Government we will be able to move forward.

In short, I can undertake to consider these issues and to do more work on the issues raised. We undertake to discuss with the Welsh Government their response to the Assembly committee’s report. We undertake to work with them to ensure a rigorous re-examination of the next Assembly disqualification order, which would specify which offices would mean that officeholders are disqualified from being an Assembly Member. The order will be published in the summer of 2015 and our re-examination will ensure that only those offices for which there is a strong case for inclusion are listed in the order.

We also undertake to ensure that the issues raised following the Electoral Commission’s report on displaying names on ballot papers will be fully considered. We will ensure that appropriate action is taken. Having said that, I invite my noble friend to withdraw his amendment.

Lord German: I thank my noble friend for the response to Amendment 13. There is one thing that worries me about waiting. In the report that followed the 2011 Assembly elections, the Electoral Commission states:

“We will seek further views and make any necessary recommendations to the Secretary of State”,

which should be,

“no later than December 2014”—

just two months away. It further states that “any necessary recommendations” should be,

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“in sufficient time for a decision not later than one year before the Assembly election in 2016. That would allow any change to the ballot paper to be prescribed in legislation at least six months before the 2016 election”,

which means December of next year. Therefore the order of which my noble friend spoke would have to be placed sometime around December or earlier next year. However, if the Electoral Commission were to also propose that there needed to be a change in primary legislation, then that change needs to be made in this Bill. I encourage my noble friend to have a word with the Electoral Commission and ask if it is going to make a recommendation in two months’ time about changes to primary legislation that ought to be done more swiftly than the end of this year, in order that the Government can give effect to those changes, even if they were not quite in the same format I have prescribed here—which is simply going on the Electoral Commission’s previous advice. I hope that the appropriate rocket will be sent in that direction by my noble friend so that we will not be left with a situation next year of perhaps waiting again for a further five years while the Electoral Commission have once again stopped the ball rolling in the right direction. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment 13 withdrawn.

Amendment 14 not moved.

Clause 2 agreed.

Clause 3 agreed.

Amendment 15

Tabled by Lord Thomas of Gresford

15: After Clause 3, insert the following new Clause—

“Other disqualifications from membership of Assembly

(1) Section 16 of GOWA 2006 (disqualification from being an Assembly member) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1), for paragraphs (a) to (e), substitute—

“(a) holds any of the following judicial offices—

Judge of the Supreme Court;

Judge of the High Court or the Court of Appeal;

Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court;

Circuit Judge;

County Court Judge;

District Judge (Magistrates’ Court);

Chief or other Social Security Commissioner;

Adjudicator to Her Majesty’s Land Registry;

(b) is employed by the civil service of the Crown, whether in an established capacity or not, and whether for the whole or part of his time;

(c) is a member of any of the regular armed forces of the Crown;

(d) is a member of any police force;

(e) is a member of the legislature of any country or territory outside the Commonwealth (other than Ireland);

(f) holds any of the offices for the time being designated by Order in Council as offices disqualifying persons from being Assembly members; or

(g) is employed as a member of the staff of the Assembly.”

(3) Omit subsections (2) and (3).

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(4) In subsection (4), after “member”, omit from “for” to the end.

(5) After subsection (6) insert—

“( ) A person shall not be disqualified from standing as a candidate for the position of Assembly member by reason of his holding any office designated by an Order in Council under subsection (1)(f).

( ) A person returned at an election as an Assembly member is not disqualified under subsection (1)(f) at any time in the period of 8 days beginning with the day the person is so returned.””

Lord Thomas of Gresford: I endorse everything that my noble friend Lord German said in relation to his amendment. I hope that the same speed would attach to the proposals that I have made.

Amendment 15 not moved.

Amendments 16 to 18A not moved.

Amendment 18B

Moved by Lord Elystan-Morgan

18B: After Clause 3, insert the following new Clause—

“Welsh Parliament (Senedd Cymru)

The National Assembly for Wales (Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) shall henceforth be known as the Welsh Parliament (Senedd Cymru).”

Lord Elystan-Morgan: My Lords, it is late at night. The amendment I move would have been tendered in a most tentative and humble way, which is the way that I allow the House at any time to consider anything from my direction. At the moment the name of the Assembly is the National Assembly for Wales, Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru. “Assembly” is the sort of term that you can use to describe a whole range of different bodies, some of them very distinguished, some of them less so. It is all-embracing. I doubt very much whether the ordinary citizen is greatly affected or impressed by it. One can say that the title of the Northern Ireland body is again “Assembly”. However, without raising controversial matters at this late hour, one is well appreciative of the circumstances in which that body came into being. A line was drawn by Lloyd George on a map—actually a right angle. According to his memoirs, he thought that it created a wholly unviable entity. He suggested that he did not want to give the impression that it was a parliament. It does not say in so many words that that is why the title “Assembly” was chosen, but it seems reasonable to infer that that may well have been the case.

10 pm

My amendment suggests that the Welsh Assembly should be called the Welsh Parliament. But it is not that easy. The word for “parliament” in Welsh is “senedd”. The word for “senate” in Welsh is “senedd”. “Senedd” is not a basically Welsh word; it derives from the Latin, much the same as in “senex”—an old man. It is an assembly of elders. “Synod” in an ecclesiastical context is the same.

If I am asked whether I could, with my hand on my heart, justify absolutely why it should be “senedd” in relation to “parliament” or “senedd” in relation to

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“senate”, I would find it rather difficult. I am conscious of a Bill drafted by the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, and proposed by the late Lord Hooson in 1967. The reference in that was to “senate”. The Bill proposed by Mr SO Davies in or about 1953 referred to “senate”. I think that a person who sat for one of the Denbigh seats, the old ironmaster whose name escapes me for the moment, had a Bill in about 1900 and that was for a senate.

The man in the street appreciates the term “senedd parliament”. “Parliament” means something that is suggestive of home rule and of a body that operates within a certain set of well established rules. With the new concept of home rule engendered within the turmoil of the past few weeks in Scotland, this may well be the appropriate time to raise the issue, whether the Government agree or not, and for the matter to be debated maturely and fully. I beg to move.

Lord Thomas of Gresford: My Lords, I support the noble Lord, Lord Elystan-Morgan, on this. Clearly the sons of Denbighshire had it right in that the forgotten ironmaster, possibly Wilkinson, was responsible for “Senedd”. Certainly, I used the phrase and Lord Hooson used the phrase. It is the appropriate title for a Welsh Assembly/Parliament—but I prefer to call it the Senedd.

Lord Wigley: My Lords, many of us campaigned for a Parliament for Wales for many years and in that context, obviously, the ambitions for a legislative body that has full competence, including tax raising and tax varying, fits with the concept of a Parliament.

The one point that I would make—and undoubtedly the noble Lord, Lord Elystan-Morgan, has thought about it—is that the building in Cardiff is now known as a Senedd, which makes it even more complex, with the differential between the Senedd building and the Cynulliad Cenedlaethol or National Assembly that is within it. We are of course aware that in France the National Assembly is the primary body. Therefore, my feeling is that whereas I have total sympathy with what my noble friend is aiming at, perhaps this, like so many other issues, is one that in the first place the National Assembly itself and its Members should decide on.

Changes have been made, as has been referred to earlier today, with regard to moving from the First Secretary to the First Minister and from secretaries to Ministers; something that was picked up by custom and practice in the first place and then became accepted. I hope that if there is to be a move in this direction it is by the initiative of the Members of the National

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Assembly itself. What is most important—I am sure that the noble Lord would agree—is the powers and functions that that body has to serve the people of Wales.

Baroness Randerson: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Elystan-Morgan, for his amendment, which seeks to change the name of the National Assembly for Wales to the Welsh Parliament. Clause 4 of the Bill does amend the statutory title of the Welsh Assembly Government to Welsh Government. Since law-making powers were devolved to the Assembly in 2011, the Government have almost universally been referred to simply as the Welsh Government. Our clause reflects that reality. The same is not the case for the National Assembly for Wales, which is still commonly known as the National Assembly, the Welsh Assembly or the Assembly.

My view is that, once the Assembly has the powers of a Parliament, it should be called one. At the moment that is not the case. It is, however, worth pointing out that there are several national legislatures called assemblies. There is the Assemblée Nationale in France, the Quebec Assembly and the South African Assembly. So there is a swap-over in the use of the words.

Honourable Members will be aware that the Silk commission recommended that if the Assembly wishes to change its name to the Welsh Parliament, this should be respected. The noble Lord’s amendment goes further than Silk by simply changing the name of the Assembly in primary legislation—crucially, as the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, has said, without the Assembly itself what it feels about the issue. I think it is essential that such a change should not take place without consulting the Assembly. I therefore urge the noble Lord to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Elystan-Morgan: My Lords, I certainly shall withdraw my amendment. There is, however, an irrefutable logic in this situation. Where the name of the building is a Senedd, a person who is a member will be asked, “What are you doing down there in the Bay?” and he will say, “Rwy’n Aelod o’r Senedd”—“I am a Member of the Parliament”—and yet the name “Parliament” is not to be used formally. Anyway, this is a debate for another day, and I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 18B withdrawn.

Clauses 4 and 5 agreed.

House resumed.

House adjourned at 10.07 pm.