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Lord Crickhowell: My Lords, I am much obliged. Can the noble Lord explain why he thinks that one could be a Minister--that is, both a Member of the House of Commons and a Minister in the UK Government--and also a member of the executive of the assembly? The noble Lord did not find it necessary to vote for my amendment; indeed, he sat in his place. It seems to me that the argument that he has put forward is a compelling one for supporting my amendment.

Lord Thomas of Gresford: My Lords, the noble Lord will also have noticed that we did not vote for the Government. The distinction between our amendment and that of the noble Lord is that we can see the value in the early days, during the setting up of the assembly, in having experienced politicians play their part in that assembly business and thereby creating, through their experience, a new method of operation which will carry on into the future. We do not want to see individuals in Wales becoming--if I may say this in this House--"barons" in particular areas; in other words, taking over the political life of an area at all levels.

The noble Lord referred to Northern Ireland and to the immense contribution of individuals there. However, I sometimes wonder whether it might not be better, in the interests of Northern Ireland, if power were spread among individuals; that is to say, if other people, as well as those well-known leaders who are forever hitting the newspaper headlines, had powers and responsibilities to fulfil at the different levels of government envisaged in Northern Ireland. That is essentially the argument that we are putting forward.

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It is said that no man can serve two masters. But here it is envisaged that a man or woman can perhaps serve three masters. Given today's political climate, it is not possible for an individual to fulfil the responsibilities of a Member of Parliament, a member of the assembly and, indeed, a member of a unitary authority, unless he is a person of the most exceptional ability with the most exceptional support from the people below him. It is not a matter entirely for parties; indeed, we think that it is a matter for legislation.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I must congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, on the way that he marshalled both his arguments and his troops on the previous amendment. I therefore congratulate him on his present victory. However, I am quite troubled. The noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas, has been described as an "autumnal radical", and now I am basking in the spring of the approval of both the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, and the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish. I wonder what I have done to deserve that.

Lord Thomas of Gresford: My Lords, is the Minister aware that the "autumnal" Peer was seen jogging in St. James's Park this morning in shorts and a T-shirt?

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, not a pretty sight I am sure. I have always found that joggers are normally of the elderly tendency.

The noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell, is, of course, an example of the "sea-green incorruptible". He put his logic to one proposition, which he persuaded your Lordships to support, but now says that this position is quite different. It is, it seems to me. There is no answer to the question put by my noble friend Lord Mishcon. The mere fact that one sits in this House unelected does not make the duties any more or less onerous than they are just along the corridor in another place where Members have been elected. Indeed, perhaps we will discover later this evening that our duties are a good deal more onerous than elsewhere. I give way to the noble Lord.

Lord Hooson: My Lords, surely the difference is the fact that we do not have a mandate here. Members of the House of Commons have a mandate as, indeed, do Members of the European Parliament.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: No, my Lords. With respect, that is not a good argument. The noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, said that we do not want a part-time assembly. But, mandate or not, I suggest that most of your Lordships who congregated here both this afternoon and this evening actually work a good deal harder than many people who have been elected, whether in another place or elsewhere.

The amendment would mean that a Member of Parliament, an MEP or even a member of a local unitary authority could not serve in the assembly after the first four-year period. The noble Lord, Lord Thomas, said

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that it had to be a full-time job. However, I echo the remarks made by the noble Lord, Lord Crickhowell: namely, what happens after those difficult first four years? There is an internal inconsistency which I spy with my little eye. There is no reason at all why the electorate should not make a choice if they wish--and this is most important. No one can take upon themselves the mantle of being an assembly member; he or she has to be elected. If the voters wish to vote for an MEP or a Member of Parliament--for example, someone of the quality of John Hume or Seamus Mallon--why should they not be able to do so if their immediate political circumstances and desires would be reflected by that outcome? The amendment is unduly prescriptive. There is no sense in limiting this to four years. Therefore, I invite noble Lords to reject the amendment.

Lord Hooson: My Lords, I made it clear in my introductory remarks that I did not really intend to press the matter to a vote. However, I thought that it was a matter which ought to be debated. I am sure that it will be debated more and more, both in this country and in Europe generally, in the years to come. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 14 [Effect of disqualification]:

[Amendment No. 24 not moved.]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 25:


Page 9, line 45, leave out ("any proceedings of") and insert ("anything done by").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 16 [Salaries and allowances]:

Lord Simon of Glaisdale moved Amendment No. 26:


Page 11, line 3, leave out subsection (4).

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, this amendment is grouped with Amendment No. 27, which raises much the same point. Exhilarated, almost intoxicated, by the acceptance by the noble and learned Lord the Solicitor-General of an amendment that I did not move, I hasten now with confidence to move an amendment designed to get rid of yet another unnecessary provision. That provision is to be found on page 11 of the Bill in Clause 16(4), and says:


    "A determination or direction under this section may provide for different allowances for different cases".

Subsection (1) of the clause states that the assembly shall pay to its members,


    "salaries at such levels--


    (a) as the Assembly from time to time determines".
Subsection (3) provides that:


    "A determination or direction under this section may provide--


    (a) for higher levels of salaries to be paid to Assembly members holding any of the offices specified in Part III".
In other words, one receives a higher salary if one is in an executive position in the assembly; in effect, a member of the Cabinet system within the assembly. All that is entirely sensible and reasonable.

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However, subsection (4) of the clause says:


    "A determination or direction under this section may provide for different allowances for different cases".
The "different cases" of those who have executive responsibility in the assembly have already been dealt with. Therefore, what does this subsection do? In fact, it is one of those provisions which pops up on the computer in the office of parliamentary draftsmen, in one form or another. If this provision were omitted, it would make not the smallest difference. In any case, does anyone really suppose that the same determination or direction must make the same allowances for different cases? That being so, we can get rid of a provision that merely swells this statute. I hope that will get rid of a similar provision which occurs in almost every Bill that comes before your Lordships.

The second amendment relates to a similar provision with regard to pensions, not allowances. Clause 18(3) states,


    "Different provision may be made under this section for different cases".
Of course they may. Why should the same provision be made for all the different cases? It is absolutely unnecessary to state this. I beg to move.

7 p.m.

Viscount Bledisloe: My Lords, it seems to me that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Simon, has made for this amendment an even more powerful case than he made earlier. Indeed any provision where you could not make different allowances for different cases would surely need express legislation the other way. If you could make only one allowance for different cases, you would have to award the same expenses allowance for the man who has travelled five miles as for the man who has travelled 50. Not only is this unnecessary but it is totally fatuous. The sooner it is removed from the Government computer, the better.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I have some sympathy with the noble and learned Lord the Solicitor-General because on a number of occasions the noble and learned Lord, Lord Simon of Glaisdale, chided me about unnecessary provisions in some of the legislation for which I was responsible. Having had to respond to a debate on writing legislation in layman's terms, so to speak, I have much sympathy with what the noble and learned Lord and the noble Viscount have just said. Far be it from me to add much in the way of legal points to the points that have been made by the other two speakers. However, as an ordinary reader of legislation, as it were, it is subsections such as Clause 16(4) and Clause 18(3) that make the eyes glaze over. One wonders if, as a mere layman, one has missed something entirely. The noble and learned Lord makes a good case for omitting these provisions from the Bill.


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