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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I cannot confirm the exact staffing arrangements in the Senate.

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I do not know how the noble Lord is so accurately informed. But how is that relevant? The noble Lord does not need to answer that question.

Lord Cochrane of Cults: My Lords, perhaps I may answer.

Noble Lords: Order, order!

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I do not intend to give way any more. It is now five minutes past three in the morning. My point was simply this. I believe that the effects of the changes made by the Act will make this House much more independent; that is, less dependent on the patronage of others. I note that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, confirmed that a Conservative government would not seek to move from parity. In those circumstances we have

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a House that is not dominated by one party, preserves the independent element, and has a means of appointing to that independent element that does not depend on the patronage of the Prime Minister.

I believe that the way we are going about things is correct. It will achieve two purposes. First, it will actually achieve movement on this issue, which has not been achieved for over 100 years. Secondly, it will build in the country a consensus for change through the Royal Commission and the Joint Committee. This House would be wrong to seek to thwart the wishes and the need for change.

Lord Carter: My Lords, I beg to move that the debate be adjourned to tomorrow.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

        House adjourned at ten minutes past three o'clock.


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