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The Earl of Balfour: I introduced Amendment No. 102 as a milder amendment than those in the name of my noble friend Lord Mackay, in the respect that, had there been only two political parties, at least both presiding officers should not be of the same political allegiance. I very much felt that, as we are to have a proportional representation system, the amendment would make the process more democratic. It is taken to some extent from Clause 52 of the Wales Bill.

While I am on my feet, I wish to say this. The interpretation clause, Clause 112, states on page 53 of the Bill:


However, there does not appear to me to be anything in the Bill to prevent a committee of the parliament other than the executive committee from electing a sub-committee of members all of the same political party. In that respect, will Ministers look at Clause 55 of the Welsh Bill? It covers the point I make. The Welsh Bill goes on to deal with committees and sub-committees and so on but we, with our usual Scottish canniness, have cut that out and put the provision very sensibly in the interpretation clause to cover committees and sub-committees. We need to make certain that the sub-committee members do not come from the same party. That would be a serious mistake.

Baroness Linklater: I wish to add my support for the amendment proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish. I should add in passing that I give my support also for using the title of "speaker" as opposed to "presiding officer".

Of the two amendments, the first is slightly confusing in the wording,


    "No two of the Presiding Officers",

and two deputies. I do not know how many people are involved. The principle of having people of two separate parties is important and consistent with the new and inclusive approach to the Scottish parliament that we envisage. So we on these Benches entirely approve and believe that it is highly desirable.

There is another point to be made in connection with that to which the noble Baroness, Lady Ramsay, alluded earlier in a different connection. It will take time to

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establish traditions in the new parliament. One of the most important points that should be established from the outset is the independence of the speaker, presiding officer or whatever he or she will be called. One thing that would help to endorse and underline such independence is spreading the membership of parties between the speaker and one or other of the deputies. For those reasons, it is important that we try to do something along those lines.

The Earl of Mar and Kellie: I believe that the amendments will be helpful because they will share out the experience and workload. That is relevant in a parliament where majorities will be extremely narrow and there will be no spare people to take on those roles.

Lord Sewel: Let us be expansive, inclusive and all the other nice traits. There is no difference between us on the need to ensure that there is a balance of party representation among the presiding officer and his deputies. It is most likely to be a 50-50 ball in terms of whether one lets the parliament itself get there on the guidance of the steering committee or whether the provision is put on the face of the Bill. There are good arguments in both directions. I am happy to consider it further over the Recess and see which way it goes. I make no commitment but I am happy to take it away and think about it a little more. It is virtually a 50-50 ball.

On the point made by the noble Earl, Lord Balfour, paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 3 makes it clear that the standing orders shall provide that, in appointing members to committees and sub-committees, the parliament shall have regard to the balance of parties. That quite specifically deals with the point that the noble Lord raised. On that basis, I hope that he can withdraw his amendment.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I am grateful to the Minister for his attitude to this amendment. If he comes to a decision on this matter over the Recess, it would be helpful if he could let us know by letter. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 98 to 102 not moved.]

Clause 18 agreed to.

12 midnight

Clause 19 [Clerk of the Parliament]:

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon moved Amendment No. 103:


Page 9, line 30, leave out ("Corporate Body") and insert ("Estait").

The noble and learned Lord said: In view of the lateness of the hour, I shall speak briefly to Amendments Nos. 103 to 116.

Members of the Committee will appreciate that Clause 20 of the Bill makes it clear that a corporate body is required to oversee the administration of the new parliament and to represent it in legal affairs. Unlike the Welsh assembly, the Scottish parliament will

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not be a body corporate in its own right. The amendments seek to change the rather inelegant and unedifying name given to the corporate body in the Bill of the Scottish parliamentary corporate body.

I have already achieved a measure of success with these amendments. When they were sought to be tabled in another place, the Table Office would not accept them on the basis that they sought to use a word which was not part of the English language, despite the fact that that word appears in a number of Acts of the old Scottish Parliament which are still the law of this land and fall within the term "public general statutes".

It seems to me that a more boring and colourless name could not have been chosen than that of Scottish parliamentary corporate body. It hardly trips off the tongue and it seemed to me that a more imaginative name could be found. I suggest one alternative which will strike a chord with some Members of the Committee and I hope that it strikes a chord with the Minister who is to reply. I beg to move.

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: I am sure that Members of the Committee opposite will not be surprised when I say that I do not see why the Government should accept these amendments. We have consistently made it clear that we see the parliament as modern, forward looking, accessible and relevant to today's generation of people living in Scotland. It therefore seems inappropriate to look back in time for old titles associated with a quite different parliament a long time ago. It is also extremely unlikely that the term proposed will mean an awful lot to many people nowadays.

It has been argued that "corporate body" had a Victorian ring to it and that "Estait" is more appropriate for this new body, as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, said. Quite frankly, I find it difficult to comprehend that argument given that "Estait" is an even more old-fashioned, pre-Union term to which few people today would relate. I am certain that the general public and prospective parliamentarians of the Scottish parliament would find the title of the body more in line with what is in the Bill.

The Scottish parliamentary corporate body will essentially look after the housekeeping and administration of the Scottish parliament and its functions will be wide and varied, ranging from representing the parliament in legal matters to the organisation of the provision of services such as cleaning services. As the corporate body of the parliament the use of the title "corporation" is appropriate and is a term which will be understood by those dealing with the corporation. On the other hand, "Estait" is neither appropriate nor easily understood in this context.

"Estait" is an historical term formerly used in connection with the pre-Union parliament. It actually referred to the constituents of that parliament--the clergy, nobility and the burgesses--not its administrative functions. Therefore it is not appropriate for this body. Arguably, there is a closer analogy to the

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members of the Scottish parliament. The amendments therefore are misconceived and undesirable and I ask the noble Lord to withdraw them.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: Will the noble Baroness say which focus group picked "Corporate Body" as a user friendly term?

Lord Mackay of Drumadoon: Once again I am very disappointed. I am not the only one. Despite the smile on his face, I think the Government Chief Whip is extremely disappointed at the lack of progress that has been made.

My amendment is criticised for introducing a term which the people of Scotland will not understand. I am sure the noble Baroness was in her place the other night when neither the Lord Advocate nor myself understood the discussion about corporations aggregate and corporations sole. I cannot believe that a layman in Scotland will fully understand what is meant by the term Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.

The amendment was tabled in good faith, albeit with a slight touch of humour, to suggest a more imaginative approach. The Scottish parliament is to look forward. Equally it is to have regard to the history of Scotland. Notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, I hoped for a slightly more encouraging response. We will not vote at this time of night on this issue. I shall not be surprised if someone on these Benches returns to the issue on Report, when the Government Chief Whip will again be disappointed at the lack of progress being made. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave withdrawn.

Clause 19 agreed to.

Clause 20 [Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body]:

[Amendments Nos. 104 to 116 not moved.]

Clause 20 agreed to.

Schedule 2 [Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body]:


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