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Page 18, line 10, leave out ', in subsection (3), the words "the carcase of," and'.

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 2 to 15.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 2 to 15.--(The Earl of Lindsay.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

European Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) Order 1996

11.10 p.m.

The Earl of Lindsay rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 25th June be approved [25th Report from the Joint Committee].

The noble Earl said: My Lords, this order will give effect to the final recommendations contained in the report of the Boundary Commission for Scotland following its review of European parliamentary constituencies.

The order has been considered by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. If it is approved by this House and another place, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland will submit it to Her Majesty in Council. The new European constituencies will come into effect at the next European

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general election, in June 1999. In the meantime, should any European by-election be held, this will take place on the basis of the existing European constituencies.

The commission has undertaken this European review as a result of Parliament approving new parliamentary constituencies in Scotland which take effect at the next general election. This is a statutory requirement as the building blocks for the European constituencies are the UK parliamentary constituencies.

I take this opportunity to thank the commission for the efficient and expeditious manner in which this review was undertaken. Lord Davidson, who chaired the commission so effectively, recently announced his retirement, so I also take this opportunity to wish him well. I commend the order to the House.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 25th June be approved [25th Report from the Joint Committee].--(The Earl of Lindsay.)

The Earl of Mar and Kellie: My Lords, briefly, I want to make the complaint that the opportunity does not seem to have been taken to introduce proportional representation into the Scottish European elections.

I understand that the United Kingdom is the only country within the European Union not to have done that so far. One of the home countries, Northern Ireland,

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has already done so. My complaint is that the provision was not extended to Scotland. The opportunity was missed.

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, the opportunity was quite deliberately missed in that this country has a long tradition of a certain electoral system. This party and this Government intend to maintain that tradition.

The noble Lord and his fellow Liberal Democrats may be wondering why their constitutional proposals for Scotland are becoming increasingly divisive and unpopular. It may well be related to the fact that nearly one-half of the proposed assembly by which they would have Scotland ruled in Edinburgh--a single-chamber government, I remind the House--will be composed of people who have not been directly elected. That causes some discomfort to those of us who acknowledge the strength of the traditional way of government in this country.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Damages Bill [H.L.]

Returned from the Commons agreed to with amendments and with a privilege amendment. Commons amendments ordered to be printed.

Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Bill [H.L.]

Returned from the Commons agreed to with amendments. Commons amendments ordered to be printed.

        House adjourned at thirteen minutes past eleven o'clock.


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