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Lord Sewel: I have listened to the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Mackay, and have reflected long and hard upon the wisdom of his case. The noble Lord is concerned about groups of people--that is, those who perhaps have angling holidays at a particular time of the year. I, too, wish also to protect their interests. At this stage of the proceedings and in the spirit of concord and co-operation which has marked our debates today, perhaps I may confirm that the Government are certainly prepared to accept the amendment in principle. I give the Committee an undertaking that I will bring forward suitable amendments on Report because there are some technical difficulties involved.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I am extremely grateful to the Minister for that response. Of course, I appreciate that there will be some technical difficulties; indeed, there were one or two gaps in the draft order which I am afraid I completed in a rather arbitrary fashion.

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Therefore I can appreciate that the Government may want to fill them in a more serious way or with an eye to the dates of the referendums which they know and I do not. I should tell the Minister that I do not actually have any fishing engagements during the first week of August. However, if anyone wants to ask me, I am always free. In this very satisfying way of concluding today's sitting of the Committee, I should add that I am most grateful to the Minister. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The Earl of Balfour moved Amendment No. 44:

Page 2, line 32, leave out subsection (2).

The noble Earl said: I tabled the amendment to give me the opportunity to ask a certain question. The voters' roll is made up in Scotland in October of each year. I have no doubt that the voters' roll will have been brought up to date to some extent for the election in May. However, from what I can gather, the Government's referendum will take place before the voters' roll will be adjusted. I have in mind in particular the last few words contained in Clause 3(2), namely,

    "alterations made after a specified date in a register of electors to be disregarded".

I am concerned about those words and can only hope that not too many people will be disregarded because of that sort of fault. I beg to move.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The noble Earl has raised a point of some interest. As I know that he has difficulties which may prevent him from being here on Monday next, perhaps the better course would be for me to write to him directly in an effort to set his mind at rest.

The Earl of Balfour: I am much obliged to the Minister and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Gould of Potternewton: I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

        House adjourned at thirteen minutes past ten o'clock.

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