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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, it would be quite impertinent of me to attempt to analyse the motivation of noble Lords opposite in putting their questions. With regard to my noble friend's questions about distribution and consultation, in the White Paper there is quite extensive coverage of the requirement to ensure that the geographical distribution of lottery receipts is in accordance with need and the recognition that there should be far more people, including local people--why not councillors as well?--involved in the way in which funds are distributed. There will also be a serious attempt to make sure that the hurdles that have to be cleared before a person can put forward a lottery fund application are as low as possible.

Lord Crickhowell: My Lords, will the noble Lord, who is a civilised man, refrain from the too-common current practice of amending and distorting the English language by always assuming that "elitism" is a word that describes something that is unsatisfactory and to be avoided? It can simply mean excellence in the arts, culture and history and those matters which the lottery ought to be supporting.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I acknowledge the noble Lord's correct representation of dictionary definitions. He will notice that when I used the word "elitism", I was not describing my own reaction, but the public reaction to some of the awards that have been made.

Lord Archer of Weston-Super-Mare: My Lords, is the Minister able to acknowledge that Camelot, who set

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up the National Lottery, has been praised worldwide for the competent way in which it did so? Will he also acknowledge that the sums raised were far higher than expected? We on this side of the House will have every right to be angry if the contract is given to someone claiming to make no profit and at the end of the day the sums fall considerably lower than they are at the moment through sheer inefficiency. I hope that the Minister will not allow the contract to go to someone on those grounds alone. Camelot should be respected for its amazing achievements in launching the lottery.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, not only do I acknowledge the first two points made by the noble Lord, but I also acknowledged them in advance. In other words, I made those points in my speech. I acknowledged that the lottery is successful and that Camelot deserves a considerable part of the credit for that. It is an efficient operation.

That is not to say that it cannot be improved by an operator who is judged by those best qualified to judge--in this case the director general of Oflot--as being that which is most conducive to maximise the revenue for good causes. That is the fine criterion with which we shall be concerned. That may or may not mean a not-for-profit operator. The objective of maximising the return for good causes is consistent with the noble Lord's wish to have an efficient and effective lottery.

Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Bill

6.3 p.m.

Consideration of amendments on Report resumed on Clause 1.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish moved Amendment No. 5:

Page 1, line 7, at end insert ("in accordance with proposals set out in a White Paper to be laid before Parliament before this Act is brought into force").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 5 I shall speak also to Amendment No. 15, which involves Wales, and Amendments Nos. 37 to 39, which insert certain words into both the Welsh and Scottish question.

With these amendments we return to the question of the White Paper and a pre-legislative referendum and to exactly what the relationship will be between the White Paper and the subsequent Bill: in other words, will people get what they vote for? If I decide to vote against, or, unlikely as it may be, for, the proposition in the ballot paper on 11th September, I shall do so on the basis of the White Paper. To what extent will changes be allowed? Will there be changes that take us beyond the boundary of the approval given to the White Paper so that the Government feel obliged to have a second referendum after the Bill has passed through both Houses of Parliament? The converse may also be true. Will the Government simply ignore any changes made to the Bill and say, "You have signed up to the broad detail and that is it. We are not going to ask you again"?

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Amendments Nos. 5 and 15 were originally tabled by me last week in order to make sure that the White Paper was laid before Parliament before next Tuesday, when we have the Third Reading of the Bill. Those amendments are no longer needed. I understand that the White Paper is to be produced tomorrow for Wales and on Thursday for Scotland.

Having said that, and at the risk of being reprimanded by the Liberal Democrats (or even in the hope of being reprimanded by them), perhaps I may introduce today's news item. The Scotsman newspaper seems to be intent on publishing the White Paper on Wednesday. If the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, is to respond, perhaps he will tell me if there is any truth in that remark. If there is, I presume that the Government will try to bring forward the publication of the White Paper to tomorrow. I would understand if they did that.

I suffered a little over 18 years, as a Minister for part of that time, from leaks. I know how difficult leaks can be for governments. I hope that the party opposite does not complain too much about leaks because it was pretty good at cultivating them and scouring the wastepaper baskets before it came to office. Perhaps it will take a little time before I overcome my reservations about using leaks and fall to the same temptations as did noble Lords opposite and their right honourable friends.

Perhaps the Minister will tell us whether the story is true and if the White Paper is indeed going to be leaked. If it is to be leaked by the Scotsman newspaper, who leaked it may be an interesting question. Is it a deliberate attempt by the Government to do a little bit of softening up? Is it like last week's little diversion in relation to where the assembly or parliament should sit? Rather than concentrating on the issues in the White Paper, we end up concentrating on the peripherals; for example, who leaked it? Is it a true leak? Find the mole, or something like that. I have little doubt that that could be quite good sport, and the noble Baroness, Lady Ramsay of Cartvale, may well be able to help the Government in their mole hunting. However, if it is true, have the Government done it deliberately? Perhaps I can have some advice in that regard.

I had hoped to say very little about Amendments Nos. 5 and 15. The object of including them on the Marshalled List has been achieved. But the other amendment, with its four different appearances, is a serious one. It pins the Government down, as did my last amendment, to what they are committing themselves to and what the Scottish and Welsh public are committing themselves to in the vote. Are the Government committing themselves to the detail that will be contained in the White Paper? We have been told that the White Paper will be detailed. Is that what we are committing ourselves to?

If there is variation in that detail, either because this place or another place makes amendments, or because the Government, when they study the matter in greater detail, discover that some things are not possible and will have to be changed, what will the position be at the end of the Bill's passage through both Houses? Will the

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approval--I presume it will be approval, otherwise the Bills will not move ahead--be taken as approval in such a general way that, even if the White Paper is amended, the Government will still pray in aid the two votes--one in Scotland and one in Wales--as giving them justification to carry on?

I hope that the noble Lord can address the issue of the detail in the White Paper and how firmly committed the Government are to sticking to it. If they or Parliament, or a combination of the two, decide to make major changes, or even minor but significant changes, how will the Government see the situation? Will they decide, as they ought to have done all along, to hold a post-legislative referendum; or will they continue, regardless of the changes and regardless of the breaches that have occurred, with the proposition? I beg to move.

Lord Crickhowell: My Lords, I listened carefully to what my noble friend said. It is important that we have further definition of the phrase that appears in the schedule,

    "to consult people in Wales on the Government's proposals for a Welsh Assembly".

We need to know exactly to what proposals they are referring.

I thought that my noble friend was rather generous in his remarks about the publication, and the timing of the publication, of the White Papers. It seems to me that if it was possible for the Government to publish the White Papers for Wales and Scotland this week, it might have been courteous to Parliament to have ensured that they were published today so that they were available for the whole of the Report stage of the Bill. I understand that the Welsh White Paper is to be published tomorrow--at least the press in Wales seems to be under that impression. I hope that it will not be produced outside this House and kept from those of us who are here to debate the Report stage this afternoon. I hope that the noble Lord will be able to assure us that when we come here tomorrow copies will be available in the Printed Paper Office so that we can be as well informed about what is in the White Paper as the Scotsman appears to be already as the result of leaks. That seems to be the very least we can ask for.

I shall return to the question of what is in the White Paper on later amendments. However, two comments appearing in the South Wales press prompt me to add something to what has already been said. We are told in the press that the White Paper is to be made widely available in Wales. We are told that a cheap copy, or a cheaper than normal copy--at £3--will be available at distribution points so that it can be easily bought by the people of Wales. We are also told that there will be a telephone hotline so that people can obtain information about what is in the White Paper. With all this information being provided, I think that the Welsh people should know whether what they are voting for is only what is in the White Paper and not something that might be significantly different.

I am also prompted to carry the argument a little further by a report that appeared extensively in the Welsh press over the weekend that, when the

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Prime Minister visited South Wales last week, he proceeded to inform the people of Caerphilly on two separate occasions that one of the advantages of voting for the assembly in Wales would be that decisions,

    "about schools, hospitals and law and order in Wales can be taken here by the people of Wales".

On another occasion he referred to control of the police. That simply may have been ignorance by the Prime Minister about what is going to appear in the White Paper which is being published this week. It is extraordinary that the Prime Minister should go to answer public questioning in Wales and not know what is in his Government's White Paper, but I suppose it may mean that there will be a sudden change in what the Government intend to do and that they will suddenly transfer responsibility for the police and law and order.

The very fact that the Prime Minister can go to Wales and make such a substantial announcement of the intent of government, even if it was incorrect on this occasion, suggests that there may be fairly good reasons for us confining the freedom of government to act in the future by a specific reference to the White Paper; so that the people of Wales when they vote will broadly know what they are voting about and that we shall not suddenly be told when we come back with the Scotland and Wales Bill, or the Wales Bill if there are to be separate Bills, that we have to vote for anything they like to put into the Bill because the people of Wales have voted for an assembly and we are not allowed to argue about the detail. We must have some definition and, at the very least, some clear statement from the noble Lord about what the Government's intentions are.

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