Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Howie of Troon: My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, will he clear my mind of the confusion in which I find myself, which I admit happens from time to time? I thought he said that general purpose clauses were unusual. He may well be right. However, he said that there was a general purpose clause in the Arbitration Bill, which completed its passage in this House and is now in another place. The Arbitration Bill reappears in Part II of this Bill, albeit in another context from the one with which we are dealing here. It occurs to me that if general purpose clauses are appropriate in the Arbitration Bill, which appears later in this Bill, why is it not appropriate to insert a general purpose clause at this stage of the Bill?

I may be totally wrong and the Minister may be able to clear up the confusion with which my mind is clouded. If it is, I should be greatly pleased if he would uncloud it.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I acknowledge my ability to confuse the noble Lord. Indeed, at a previous stage of the Bill I remember confusing his gender! I hope I have not gone so far this time.

The difference is surely that some Bills benefit from purpose clauses and others do not. Our general experience is that the numbers that do are quite few and far between. So far as this particular part of the Bill is concerned, we set out the purposes relevant to each individual section of the part, but we see no room for a purpose clause for the part as a whole.

Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, I am grateful to noble Lords who spoke to this amendment. The noble Lord, Lord Lucas, said that he had mistaken my noble friend's gender in a previous discussion. He also mistook my noble friend's name in a letter that he very kindly wrote to me. So I am not sure whether my noble friend Lord Howie speaks as a male, a female or a member of some curious body that I know not of--

Lord Howie of Troon: My Lords, I wonder if I might help my noble friend. I have been a Member of this House, give or take a day or two, for 18 years. I know that the noble Lord is much more recent than I am. I daresay I am an antiquity--less so than some, but an antiquity of a sort. At an earlier stage of the Bill, he accused me of being the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee. To a point, I was quite pleased about that, though it caused me a certain amount of further confusion. His satellites, or whatever the word is, in Whitehall sent me a letter in which they called me "Will Troon". I thought that very gracious. The "Will" bit was obviously meant to be kindly; and the "Troon" bit was part of my origin. All I can say is that if I am confused, the noble Lord is confused as well.

Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, perhaps I may continue my wind-up on this amendment. I am grateful

18 Apr 1996 : Column 802

to my noble friend for his admission. I hope very much that the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, will not feel offended by my noble friend's remark.

The noble Lord, Lord Lucas, in responding, said that basically the Government agree with all this. I do not think that the noble Lord, Lord Elton, had read the text of the amendment. If I had said, "require a local housing authority", then I agree with the noble Lord that I should have been introducing what was fundamentally a wrecking amendment. I am not doing so. I am trying to set a framework.

That leads me to the point made by the noble Viscount, Lord Ullswater. I have every trust in local authorities. That is not my problem; it is a problem that the Government have. They have no trust in local authorities at all--witness all the machinations of the revenue support grant, SSA and so on. I have trust in local authorities.

Nevertheless, I believe that there must be--I use the noble Lord's words--some over-arching principle in relation to renovation grants for private housing up and down the land. The amendment is only enabling, but it gives a guide to local housing authorities as to what they could or should be doing.

So far as resources are concerned, the noble Lord, Lord Ezra, is right. When we come to the subject of efficiency grants we shall no doubt discuss the question of resources again. The point about paragraph (c) is that we are interested in getting private interests involved in this business, as indeed the Government are. I have no problem with that.

As for the purpose clause, as my noble friend Lord Howie--in whatever identity he chooses to present himself--pointed out, there are circumstances where a purpose clause is desirable.

Fundamentally, this is a question of political difference between noble Lords opposite and ourselves. The only way to solve political difference is to ask the opinion of the House.

4.15 p.m.

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

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 89; Not-Contents, 145.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Broadbridge, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Diamond, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Fisher of Rednal, B.
Fitt, L.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B. [Teller.]
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Listowel, E.
Lockwood, B.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McCarthy, L.
McGregor of Durris, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McNair, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Richard, L.
Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Sainsbury, L.
Seear, B.
Serota, B.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple of Stowe, E.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thurso, V.
Tope, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Whaddon, L.
White, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Winston, L.


Aberdare, L.
Acton, L.
Addison, V.
Ailesbury, M.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Blake, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Blyth, L.
Boardman, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Braine of Wheatley, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Butterworth, L.
Cadman, L.
Caldecote, V.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnock, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Clanwilliam, E.
Coleridge, L.
Courtown, E.
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Cuckney, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Davidson, V.
De Freyne, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Downshire, M.
Eden of Winton, L.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Feldman, L.
Finsberg, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Fraser of Kilmorack, L.
Gainford, L.
Goschen, V.
Granard, E.
Greenway, L.
Hacking, L.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L.
Halsbury, E.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Harlech, L.
Harvington, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hothfield, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Ilchester, E.
Inchcape, E.
Inglewood, L.
Ironside, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
McConnell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Marlesford, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Montrose, D.
Mottistone, L.
Moyne, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Nelson, E.
Newall, L.
Noel-Buxton, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Orkney, E.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Pender, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prentice, L.
Pym, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Renwick, L.
Richardson, L.
Rodney, L.
Romney, E.
St. Davids, V.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Savile, L.
Seccombe, B.
Shannon, E.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Sudeley, L.
Swansea, L.
Swinfen, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trumpington, B.
Ullswater, V.
Vivian, L.
Westbury, L.
Wilcox, B.
Wise, L.
Young, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

18 Apr 1996 : Column 804

4.24 p.m.

Clause 1 [Grants for improvements and repairs, &c.]:

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page