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Lord Williams of Mostyn: As my noble friend Lord Davies of Coity indicated, this is not a necessary amendment. Clause 55(1)(b) already allows the assembly to establish whatever committees it sees fit. Subsection (2)(b) removes the requirement for party balance if the committee or sub-committee is solely advisory. One could have a youth advisory committee composed of all members under 26. I believe that it would be a committee with either a vestigial or non-existent membership, if past experience is any indication.

I intended to resist this amendment vigorously until I heard the contribution of the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish. He gave me cause for caution. It was suggested that one could have an assembly of pensioners. I did not say, "Look around". This is one of those wizard schemes, but it is no more than that. Certainly, we do not agree with the co-option of outside members. After all, the noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas, pointed out--he did not complain--that there would be a two-tier membership--although he repudiated that description when the noble Lord, Lord Roberts, put it to him--namely, regional members and constituency members. Now he wants a third tier which is not elected at all. Goodness me! He must have been polluted by the House of Lords.

Lord Elis-Thomas: The reason for the cut-off age of 26 is that that is the age adopted by many of the youth

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organisations that we have discussed. As to the notion of involving young people who are not directly elected, it is important that the assembly should have advisory committees that do not necessarily restrict themselves to assembly members. There is therefore a relationship established between the assembly and outside bodies.

I am particularly concerned that we do not appreciate the extent to which there is serious disaffection about political processes not just among the younger generation but throughout the population. We must find new ways to do so, and not just by having a massive Welsh Office budget to promote the assembly by television advertising, however well it may do it. I have a high regard for the information division of the Welsh Office. I am sure that it will do it very well. In the budget that may be made available for the presentation of the opportunity that the assembly will provide, and the necessary excitement that should be created before the elections, I hope that the Welsh Office will have in mind the need to consult youth organisations to ensure that the youth vote is maximised, and that there will be a high level of participation.

We all referred to the legitimacy of the low poll in its referendum and the small majority. If we have such a low poll in the assembly elections themselves, we do not have legitimacy. Therefore we have to ensure that all sections of the population are involved, particularly those that have a vested interest in the creation and the future of the institutions.

That is not part of any election campaign; it is a serious reflection, unlike the aspersions on my integrity in these matters of the noble Lord, Lord Hooson, which I am sure he will soon withdraw. My concern is the involvement of the young people of Wales in the building of the new kind of post-modern Wales which we are desperately trying to construct. It is not on the old terms of bro' against bro' in which people indulged in the previous debate. Wales is to be a post-modern nation. Within that nation there is a distinction between diversity of gender, diversity of youth, diversity of age, and diversity of life cycle rather than this over-arching notion of community and region which seems to obsess people.

The young people of Wales do not have that view. They form an outward looking internationalist generation. We need to involve them in the construction of the assembly. Having said all that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment, but we may well return to this issue, even in this ageist assembly.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

9 p.m.

Clause 63 [Delegation of functions]:

[Amendments Nos. 171 to 189 not moved.]

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 190:


Page 33, line 9, at end insert ("; and in delegating a function under subsection (5) the Assembly First Secretary may limit or prohibit its further delegation under section 64.").

The noble Lord said: Within this group are my Amendment No. 190 and Amendment No. 190A tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas. My Amendment No. 190 is a drafting amendment. It rectifies an unintended omission in the Bill.

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Clause 63 authorises the assembly itself, its committees and its first secretary to delegate functions. Clause 64 permits delegation of functions to staff. In the case of the assembly or a committee, any exercise of the power to delegate can attach to it a condition of no further delegation to staff; in the case of the assembly first secretary no such ability to restrict onward delegation presently exists. The purpose of the amendment is to place the first secretary in the same position as the assembly or a committee when delegating a function. In other words, if he wishes he can attach a condition of no further delegation to staff. I beg to move.

Lord Elis-Thomas: My concern about this amendment relates again to the issue of where powers reside in relation to the structure of the assembly and its committees, particularly its powers to appoint. We referred to these issues late the other night in terms of the delegation of powers of appointment. My concern is that the powers of appointment may reside with secretaries and may not be for the assembly as a whole as regards public appointments. I hope that the Minister can respond to those issues.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I am not sure whether the noble Lord was speaking to his Amendment No. 190A.

Lord Elis-Thomas: I was.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: I am sorry, I was not clear in my own mind. His Amendment No. 190A puts specific constraints on the powers to delegate. It would exclude delegating powers under Clause 31. In fact the assembly is given no powers to delegate in Clause 31. That clause allows Her Majesty, by Order in Council, to specify public posts in the filling of which the assembly will need to be involved. I take it that the noble Lord intends that when those posts are specified, the assembly should not be permitted to delegate its entitlement to be consulted before a Minister of the Crown makes the appointment. We are back to our old friend: why do we not trust the assembly to exercise its own functions and powers?

The Order in Council might specify appointments to S4C as ones upon which the assembly should be consulted before the appropriate Secretary of State reaches his decision. Surely the assembly might come to a conclusion that it should deal in plenary session, or it might come to the conclusion that it should be delegated to the assembly secretary and subject committee responsible for Welsh language matters. There may be some appointments which rightly should be considered in private. Some matters--relatively few, and the bias should be against privacy--need to be considered privately otherwise good candidates may well not put themselves forward.

The unintended consequence of the noble Lord's amendment would prevent that delegation. I think that my Amendment No. 190 should be supported because it is a tidying up amendment. We do not see the necessity for the constraint that Amendment No. 190A would

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impose upon the assembly's powers to set up committees. I invite the noble Lord to support my amendment and to withdraw his.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 190A not moved.]

Clause 63, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 64 [Exercise of functions by Assembly staff]:

[Amendments Nos. 191 and 192 not moved.]

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 192A:


Page 33, line 22, after ("functions") insert ("of its or his (to such extent as it or he may determine)").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No.193 not moved.]

Clause 64, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 65 agreed to.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish moved Amendment No. 194:


After Clause 65, insert the following new clause--

Scrutiny by House of Commons Committee

(".--(1) The subordinate legislation procedures must include provision for ensuring that, before a draft of a statutory instrument containing Assembly general subordinate legislation is laid before the Assembly, the draft is--
(a) submitted to a committee consisting of all Members of the House of Commons representing constituencies in Wales, and
(b) approved by that committee.
(2) When any draft is submitted to the committee referred to in subsection (1) above, the committee shall report within a reasonable period as to whether it approves the draft.").

The noble Lord said: This new clause enables us to have a debate about the role of the two legislatures, as they will be in the future: the Parliament of the United Kingdom which will deal with primary legislation; and the assembly in Wales which will deal with secondary legislation.

Since I tabled the amendment, we have teased out quite a lot of information. Earlier today we teased out the fact that some pieces of secondary legislation will be joint legislation and will be dealt with by this place without the assembly having any part in them. I shall look at that because it seems to run counter to what I think are the general principles of devolution.


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