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Lord Morris of Castle Morris: I am sorry to say that I find the Government's reply less than totally satisfactory. Obviously, they are determined to concede absolutely nothing. The noble Baroness, Lady Young, quoted a letter in support from Wandsworth. That is the only letter in support that I have heard until today. Most of us have received hundreds of letters from parents,

17 Jun 1996 : Column 37

governors, LEAs, children, teachers and headteachers who are root and branch against nursery vouchers and all they stand for.

Lord Northbourne: I wonder whether the noble Lord is aware that today I received 26 letters from playschool groups supporting the voucher scheme.

Lord Morris of Castle Morris: I believe that my total is 32 against and therefore on today's play I claim a victory. I may be slightly wrong on that because I have not opened all of them, but this very day I received a pile of nearly 50 letters.

Lord Henley: If the noble Lord has not opened his letters, how does he know which way they are pressing him? The noble Lord ought to be able to answer that question.

Lord Morris of Castle Morris: As I said, there are at least 50 letters there, and I have opened only 32 of them.

However, I should like to clear up a few misconceptions. It is not a wrecking amendment because such an amendment would wreck the Bill. If the amendment were accepted, it would not wreck the Bill; indeed, it would simply delay the operation of one part of it. Therefore, in my submission, it is not a wrecking amendment.

I should like now to take up the point on the 80 per cent. take-up made by the noble Baroness, Lady Young. I should point out that in Kensington and Chelsea there is barely any new provision and the vouchers merely reflect what is already there. In that case, 80 per cent. is not good: it is inefficient. On the other hand, in Norfolk almost all the new provision is by the LEA; in other words, giving the extra money to the LEA directly rather than taking it away, shuffling it around and then pushing it back would have produced an even better expansion.

The noble Lord, Lord Pilkington, pointed out that there would be a 12-month period of evaluation, as indeed did other Members of the Committee. But that is not necessarily so. Indeed, the Minister made it clear--I should like to underline this--that the main scheme could, I believe, start in September 1997 if the amendment were accepted. As I said, the amendment would simply delay the implementation of the arrangements until the evaluation is done to some point after 1st April 1997.

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford: Assuming that the Bill receives Royal Assent in July, I am not sure whether the noble Lord referred to September 1997--I imagine that I may have misheard him--for full implementation. Is that correct?

Lord Morris of Castle Morris: Yes.

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford: But that is a year ahead.

Lord Morris of Castle Morris: Surely it was only going to be April 1997 in the first place.

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford: I may have misunderstood.

Lord Morris of Castle Morris: Perhaps we can discuss the matter at a later point.

17 Jun 1996 : Column 38

I yield to no one in my admiration for the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee with whose members I have had several discussions. They were deeply concerned until The Next Steps pamphlet came out and had been discussed, as I understand it, between themselves and the Minister. In the light of what has been said, I beg the Committee's leave to withdraw Amendment No. 1. However, in doing so, I give notice that I shall move Amendment No. 2 and ask Members of the Committee to express an opinion on it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Morris of Castle Morris moved Amendment No. 2:


Page 1, line 6, after ("may") insert ("by, or in accordance with, an order").

The noble Lord said: I beg to move.

4.53 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 114; Not-Contents, 135.

Division No. 1

CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Baldwin of Bewdley, E.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Birk, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Craigavon, V.
Darcy (de Knayth), B.
David, B.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fisher of Rednal, B.
Gallacher, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Greene of Harrow Weald, L.
Gregson, L.
Grey, E.
Halsbury, E.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Henderson of Brompton, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Hylton, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennet, L.
Kintore, E.
Lockwood, B.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McGregor of Durris, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNair, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Mayhew, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Parry, L.
Peston, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Richard, L.
Ripon, Bp.
Robson of Kiddington, B.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Sainsbury, L.
Seear, B.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Shannon, E.
Shepherd, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Southwell, Bp.
Stallard, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L. [Teller.]
Tordoff, L.
Varley, L.
Wallace of Coslany, L.
Warnock, B.
Weatherill, L.
White, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winston, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Aberdare, L.
Addison, V.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Birdwood, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Braine of Wheatley, L.
Brentford, V.
Bruntisfield, L.
Burnham, L.
Butterfield, L.
Butterworth, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cochrane of Cults, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Cuckney, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Downshire, M.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fraser of Kilmorack, L.
Gage, V.
Gainford, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gray of Contin, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Harlech, L.
Harmsworth, L.
Harrowby, E.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Ilchester, E.
Inglewood, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Kimball, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Leigh, L.
Lindsay, E.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McConnell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
[Lord Chancellor.]
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Macleod of Borve, B.
Manton, L.
Marlesford, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Monson, L.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Mottistone, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Nelson, E.
Newall, L.
Northbourne, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Pender, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Quinton, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Renwick, L.
Romney, E.
St. Davids, V.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Slim, V.
Stewartby, L.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Swansea, L.
Swinfen, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Ullswater, V.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wedgwood, L.
Wynford, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

17 Jun 1996 : Column 40

5.1 p.m.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton moved Amendment No. 3:


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