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Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, perhaps I may explain to the noble Lord, Lord Rodgers, that it was certainly not my intention to disappoint the 30,000 architects who unfortunately have been deprived of the proceedings this evening. Perhaps I may also support him in his view about extra time, now that the Government have failed to keep a House and therefore we have to proceed, subject to the view of the Government Chief Whip, on the next convenient business day, which will be Monday anyway because we are due to take the Bill further in Committee on that day. I was devoutly hoping to get to the end of Part III this evening and hear the views of representatives of architects and others. Unfortunately, we have been unable to achieve that. Therefore, I hope very much that the Government Chief Whip will be accommodating in allowing us a little extra time so that 30,000 architects, who are hanging on every word of the noble Lord, Lord Rodgers, and others in the House, will not be disappointed by a shortage of time.
Lord Howie of Troon : My Lords, I support the noble Lord, Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank, in his appeal that the Report stage be delayed a little. My reason for saying that is that if it were delayed it would give the noble Earl the opportunity to let us have some idea of the results of the consultations which he told us he was already having on the famous scheme. I am sure that, with a little delay, he will be able to give us some guidance on how these consultations are going and what consequences they may have.
Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, it is a rarity for us to debate the Motion for the adjournment. However, we are suffering under what I might call "unusual circumstances" this evening because there were insufficient noble Lords in the House for a quorum and therefore we are rising somewhat earlier than we originally intended. Nevertheless, I am grateful to all noble Lords who have taken part in this small debate. I well understand the frustration that some may feel that we have not managed to go a little further with the Bill to meet our intended target.
I hope that the House will not be surprised if I do not go into any great detail about Clause 111. That is not because I am not deeply interested in it, but because those who were in the House will know that I was not present for the initial debate, which I know my noble friend Lord Ferrers dealt with in a most expert manner, aided by his and my noble friend Lord Lucas.
I have a sense of dejo vu. In 1988 or 1989, when I was dealing with the Companies Bill before your Lordships' House as a very junior Whip, against the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, precisely the same thing happened and the House was counted out. It became in my mind what I shall now call "The Williams Gambit". Of course, now, as Government Chief Whip, I should have been prepared for this. I sense that I owe the House
I can confirm that we shall re-start this Bill at the place we left off on the undecided Clause 111, and we shall do so on Monday, although I am reminded that the rule is not strictly that it should be on the next sitting day, but at a subsequent sitting. However, as the House knows, we shall deal with this Bill on the next sitting day, which is next Monday.
I join with the noble Lord, Lord Williams, in saying to the noble Lord, Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank, that no offence was intended, and I hope that none has been caused, to the 30,000 architects who are waiting to listen
I do not believe that any great damage has been done this evening. This Bill has been carefully thought through, planned for some time, and, in the hands of my noble friends when it returns on Monday for the Committee stage, I am sure that the Government will put their case as expertly as they have tonight. With a little extra support I hope that we shall be able to complete the Bill in good time so that we can deal with the final stages of the Education (Student Loans) Bill. I hope that we can now adjourn.
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