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Before Clause 91, insert the following new clause--

Veto on changes to Scottish time zones or summer time

(" .--(1) No provision that would or might alter--
(a) the time zone applicable in Scotland, or
(b) the application of the Summer Time Act 1972 to Scotland,
shall have effect unless a draft of the provision has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, the Parliament.
(2) In this section "provision" includes--
(a) primary legislation, and
(b) subordinate legislation (including subordinate legislation to bring into force primary legislation).").

The noble Lady said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 39 I should also like to speak to Amendment No. 77 which is consequential. Many of your Lordships will remember that at Report stage last Tuesday I moved an amendment to Schedule 5 to give the Scottish parliament control over time zones and the subject matter of the Summer Time legislation. Some of your Lordships will also remember that while the amendment attracted a lot of sympathy, it did not attract any support, so I withdrew it. However, I said that I would act on a suggestion made by the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, that the issue should be left to the United Kingdom Parliament, perhaps with an armlock from the Scottish parliament. I acted on his suggestion and this amendment is designed to give the Scottish parliament that armour.

I do not propose to rehearse again the arguments against Summer Time in winter for Scotland. I am sure that most of your Lordships already know them by heart having heard them again less than a week ago, although I shall be happy to rehearse them again if any noble Lord wishes me so to do.

I hope that the amendments will find greater favour with the Government than did my previous amendment. I beg to move.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, the noble Lady is making valiant efforts on behalf of her fellow Scots to ensure that a change in the arrangements for Summer Time is not brought about in a way that Scots do not wish. I do not know whether the noble Lady will agree with me, but the amendment does not prevent the Westminster Parliament keeping Summer Time in England and Wales throughout the year but excluding Scotland. If the Westminster Parliament agreed to that, it would happen and Scotland would still have to follow suit if it did not want a different time zone. I am not sure how the amendment cures the problem. I hope that I am wrong. The noble Lady is trying extremely hard. I agree that the people in Scotland do not yet want that

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change. I find an increasing number in the farming community coming round to it, but it has not happened yet. I am sure the noble Lady is right to try to protect us.

Lord Forbes: My Lords, I find difficulty with Amendment No. 77 which refers to Scotland having a veto. A veto means conflict; and conflict is the one thing we want to avoid between Westminster and Edinburgh.

Lord Howie of Troon: My Lords, I have been voting happily all day in support of my noble friends on the Front Bench and my Government. However, on this occasion I sincerely hope that the Government will accept the amendment proposed by the noble Lady, Lady Saltoun of Abernethy. One of my reasons for supporting her is that, being a veto, it prevents conflict rather than suggesting it. I realise that that is a Jesuitical argument, but none the less I quite like it.

The amendment takes up the suggestion made by the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, of putting an armlock on the English-dominated Parliament. I do not wish to go into the arguments in favour or against Central European Time. We have discussed them over and over again in this House in the past five years. I have spoken on the subject at least six or seven times. I no longer listen to my speeches; I do not think that anyone else does! The arguments have been trailed over and again. What appears to be advantageous in the south-eastern part of England, especially to those who are strongly devoted to Europe, as many of us are, would be disadvantageous to Scotland. More especially, it would be disadvantageous to the construction industry in Scotland.

The only argument in favour of Central European Time which had any merit was that it might reduce slightly the number of road casualties in the evening. Against that one has to balance a salient statistic; namely, that during the previous three-year experiment in the late 1960s and early 1970s while the number of casualties on the roads were reduced slightly, due to the change in time and vagaries of the weather, and so on, injuries in the construction industry increased by a third. Against the safety on the roads, which is valuable, of course, one balances the increased dangers to the construction industry. I think that the armlock should be applied. I sincerely hope that my noble friend on the Front Bench will support the amendment.

Lord Monson: My Lords, time and again over the years I have found myself in agreement over time zones with the noble Lord, Lord Howie of Troon. Quite often it has been the two of us against the rest. On the last occasion the noble Lord, Lord Lang--he was in his place earlier--made it three. I agree again wholeheartedly with the noble Lord, and accordingly with my noble friend Lady Saltoun. I think that the amendment represents a sensible compromise.

Lord Mackie of Benshie: My Lords, I cannot agree with the noble Lady's proposals. I do not agree with the noble Lord, Lord Howie of Troon, who occasionally talks good sense but sometimes strays a little.

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It is an ingenious amendment. I detect that the master hand of the great intriguer is at work in advising on these matters. I believe that this is a bad amendment because it is a veto on 60 million people by the people of Scotland. That cannot be right. If the English nation and parts of the Scottish nation wished to change to Summer Time, surely we in Scotland in all justice could not veto that.

It is more logical for Scotland to have control of its own Summer or Winter Time and the change in hours because then it would inconvenience only the Scots if they insisted on keeping the old time. The arguments for a level time--whether it be Summer Time all the year round or the status quo--throughout Britain are absolutely irrefutable. There must be the same time-zone throughout Britain.

The amendment gives rise to total injustice to people in the deep south and it does no particular good for the people of Scotland.

Reverting to the question of Summer and Winter Time, there is no doubt that the argument about children walking to school in the dark and the danger that involves no longer applies. Hardly a child in Scotland walks to school these days; they are all driven there by parents or take the school bus.

8 p.m.

Lord Howie of Troon: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for giving way. I am grateful for his earlier kind words; he and I are old friends. He says that children are driven to school. However, he will have noticed the Government's proposals for an integrated transport system, with my right honourable friend Mr. Prescott trying to encourage people to walk and cycle rather than to be driven to school. He thinks that that is a great mistake.

Lord Mackie of Benshie: My Lords, I do not believe that the Government, foolish though they may be, intend that to apply to five, six and seven year-olds. The figures show that there are far more accidents at night than in the dark in the morning. In the morning people are far more cautious than at night when they are tired. I cannot support the amendment. It produces an injustice to England which is greater than any injustice to Scotland.

Lord Chesham: My Lords, as a total Sassenach, I hesitate to intervene. I support the noble Lady's amendment because I believe that the Scottish parliament, if we have to have one--and it appears that we have to have one--should make the decision. However, having lived in Australia, with its north/south time-zones, I wish to issue a word of warning. Enormous problems were created. East/west time-zones are understandable but north/south are not. A child leaving home at 8.30 in the morning arrives at school over the border at eight o'clock. She leaves at four o'clock and arrives home at half-past five. As regards homework and so forth, that makes no sense. The same difficulties apply applies to business men.

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I support the amendment and the proposal that the decision should not be made by Westminster. However, I issue a word of warning that it makes no sense at all.

The Earl of Kintore: My Lords, at col. 246 of the Official Report of 3rd November the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, suggested to my noble friend that she might bring back a suitable amendment at Third Reading. On that evening, the noble Lord, Lord Sewel, by his arm movements--unless he was merely cuffing his noble and learned friend the Lord Advocate--appeared to me positively to welcome the proposal. A suitable amendment has been proposed and it would be churlish for the Government to reject it.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, we have learnt one thing; that the Liberal Democrats agree with British Summer Time all year round. That will probably be news to people in the north of Scotland and in Orkney and Shetland, but never mind.

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