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Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 225:


Page 71, line 26, leave out subsection (9).

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 17 [Audit etc. of Welsh public bodies]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendments Nos. 226 and 227:


Page 163, line 6, after ("all") insert ("or most").
Page 163, line 9, leave out ("in respect only") and insert ("only or mainly in respect").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

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Clause 147 [Environment Agency]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 228:


Page 74, leave out lines 24 and 25 and insert ("or to").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 151 [Power to amend enactments]:

Lord Roberts of Conwy moved Amendment No. 229:


Page 75, line 42, at end insert (", provided that they are made before the second ordinary election of the Assembly.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is one of 12 Henry VIII clauses in the Bill. In paragraph 8 of its report on the Bill the Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee stated:


    "The Committee noted that this is, as far as it is aware, the first Bill to contain provisions which in effect define Henry VIII provisions in order to make them subject to affirmative procedure".
The committee went on to say in paragraph 9:


    "The Committee considered the Welsh Office's justification for all the powers and saw no need to draw the special attention of the House to any of them".

That is a very favourable report. Nevertheless, these powers are extensive and there are more in the Bill than in any other Bill considered by the committee. Although they are all subject to the affirmative procedure, we believe that their exercise should be time limited if possible. We therefore propose that the powers exercisable under Clause 151 should be confined to the first four years of the assembly's life; that is, in between the first two elections. The powers should not be necessary after the second election. That is certainly our view and I hope the Government will agree. I beg to move.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I understand the point behind the noble Lord's observations, but the purpose of Clause 151 is simply to allow minor technical corrections to other statutes to be made in consequence of the Bill without the need for fresh primary legislation. The noble Lord has, as always, extremely fairly cited the view of the Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee. It is of some significance that the committee did not have any concerns itself.

The Bill has a wide scope and it obviously has a potentially large impact on the rest of the statute book. We hope that we have provided for all such changes on the face of the Bill. We may have overlooked some. I would certainly hope that all such further changes should have been identified by 2003, but we cannot be sure. We think it is prudent that we should not have a time limit on this power.

Perhaps I may stress this point because I think it may be of some assistance to the noble Lord. The power as it stands applies only to legislation passed before or in the same Session as this Bill. Therefore, there is no question of trying to use this power to modify new legislation in the longer term. It only relates to existing statutes or legislation passed within this Session. We

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believe that it is prudent to retain the power. Even in the review, for instance, that the noble Lord, Lord Rotherwick, made today, he rightly touched on many statutes. It is a possibility that there is a clause or subsection lurking somewhere which we have not found and which may not have been ferreted out by the year 2003. Therefore, on the basis of prudence, we believe that it is right to leave this clause unamended.

Lord Roberts of Conwy: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. As he will agree, it is an astonishingly powerful clause. When he says that it applies only to current or past enactments, I would have thought that that was power enough for any Cardinal Wolsey who may be about. However, having listened to his comments, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 230:


Page 75, line 42, at end insert--
("( ) An Order in Council under section 22 may include any provision that may be included in an order under subsection (1).").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment relates to the ability to enable an Order in Council under Clause 22 to include any provision that may be included in an order under Clause 151. As drafted, Clause 22(3) enables an Order in Council to include any appropriate consequential, incidental, supplementary or transitional provisions, amendments or repeals of enactments. But that only allows amendment or repeal of enactments in relation to powers transferred by the Order in Council.

This amendment would enable such an Order in Council to include other amendments or repeals of enactments which may be appropriate in consequence of the Bill generally. This is a sensible step which will enable a single set of enactments to be covered in just one instrument under Clause 22 rather than have some under that clause and some under Clause 151. That does not extend to the overall scope of order-making powers or reduce the amount of parliamentary scrutiny. It simply allows greater flexibility. It avoids burdening your Lordships and another place with multiple items of subordinate legislation. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 153 [Transitional provisions etc.]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 230A:


Page 76, line 4, at end insert--

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("( ) If section 107 comes into force before the Human Rights Act 1998 has come into force (or come fully into force), that section shall have effect until the time when that Act is fully in force as it will have effect after that time.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 154 [Orders and directions]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendments Nos. 231 and 231A:


Page 76, line 11, leave out ("or 144(8)") and insert (", 144(8) or 155(1A)").
Page 76, line 24, at end insert (" 106(1B), 108(7A),").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 155 [Interpretation]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendments Nos. 231B to 234:


Page 76, leave out lines 43 and 44.
Page 77, line 6, at end insert ("and
"Wales" includes the sea adjacent to Wales out as far as the seaward boundary of the territorial sea.").
Page 77, line 7, at end insert--
("(1A) The Secretary of State may by order determine, or make provision for determining, for the purposes of the definition of "Wales" any boundary between--
(a) the parts of the sea which are to be treated as adjacent to Wales, and
(b) those which are not,
and may make different determinations or provision for different purposes; and an Order in Council under section 22 may include any provision that may be included in an order under this subsection.").
Page 77, line 8, leave out from ("year"") to end of line 14 and insert ("means the twelve months ending with 31st March; and the first financial year of the Assembly is the financial year ending with the 31st March following the day of the first ordinary election.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 156 [Defined expressions]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendments Nos. 234A to 238:


Page 77, line 33, column 2, leave out (" 155(1)") and insert (" 107(5)").
Page 77, line 42, column 1, leave out ("(in relation to the Assembly)").
Page 77, line 43, at end insert--
("first financial year of the Assembly section 155(2)")

Page 77, line 45, column 1, at end insert ("with an executive role").
Page 78, line 13, at end insert--
("Wales section 155(1) and (1A)")

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Competition Bill [H.L.]

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

        House adjourned at twenty-seven minutes before eleven o'clock.

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