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Baroness Jay of Paddington: They are ex officio Members, but precisely not life Peers nor representatives of any particular body. I thought that the noble Lord might be raising the question of the ex officio membership of the Bishops' Bench which, in itself, is another area where we might have this discussion.

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However, having dealt with that somewhat extensively on an earlier amendment, Amendment No. 72--indeed, it seems very much earlier now--in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Stanley of Alderley, I thought that I would not return to the issue. I am sure that the noble Lord will be grateful for that fact.

However, perhaps we can consider further the question of ex officio membership of people who had a leading role in their organisation and who might be released to take up a temporary position as a life Peer in this House. I think that one could look at it from the perspective of the institution itself as well from that of the individual. We could have a situation where we had such a statutory requirement to provide a Member for this House from a senior executive body, such as the chairman, or whoever it may be. But would an institution then, rightly, be annoyed that someone elected or chosen to work for the interests of the organisation per se was being distracted by his duties in your Lordships' House? For example, could bodies which control "relevant" offices actually decline to have them included in this list? Indeed, where would we get to at that point?

We would need to think through all these questions very carefully before we embarked upon such a proposal and before we took on the concept of functional constituencies, whether derived from ideas put forward by the noble Earl or, indeed, from groups like Charter 88. If the noble Lord, Lord Trefgarne, rises to say that this is not a relevant consideration for this Bill, I would have to say that I broadly agree with him. This Bill does not seek to make any changes to the terms and conditions of service of life Peers. For that reason alone, I do not feel particularly seduced by the amendment.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: Before my noble friend rises to reply, perhaps I could ask him to deal with one problem which I see in these two amendments; namely, that the best do not always float to the top of whatever their interest or association happens to be. My own experience in this matter concerns, acutely, Lloyd's of London, but I can also think of the Stock Exchange and, generally, most of the trade bodies and associations that come to mind. Indeed, one might even mention the universities. Of course, I would have to exclude the Armed Forces from this question.

Very often, it seems that those who represent the interests which my noble friend promotes are not necessarily in touch with the up-to-date feelings of those whom they represent. I say that because the best often tend to stay doing their job--for example, making money, teaching, being a good doctor, or whatever. So one really would not want your Lordships' House to be flooded or even strongly influenced by those who knew how to climb the particular club tree, and so on, but who were not really representative of the best of the trade or interest that they purported to represent.

The Earl of Onslow: I am not capable of changing human nature or the way that human affairs work and how people climb "trees". I hope I shall not be seduced by the noble Baroness, Lady Jay, as I might get a certain amount of stick for that!

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The point I think I was trying to make is that I want a peculiarly broad appointment of new Peers into the new Chamber. I accept the arguments produced by my noble friend Lord Cranborne up to a point because I would say that the peerage power started to go about 400 years after he suggested, but that is a historical argument in which we amateur historians can get involved later. However, we did certainly--and have historically--represent power. It seems to me that all the powers in the land are not necessarily economic. That seems to me a totally Marxist argument. There are intellectual powers and there are spiritual powers. As has been said, one has only to see how powers wane. Twenty or 30 years ago, Harold Macmillan could say that the two things you do not take on are the Brigade of Guards and the mineworkers' union. The Brigade of Guards still exists but the mineworkers' union does not. Fifty or 60 years ago, shipbuilding, heavy engineering and coal were the great powers and influences in the land. Therefore, I take the point strongly made by my noble friend Lord Cranborne; namely, that powers change now much more rapidly than they ever have.

Earl Ferrers: If I may interrupt my noble friend, I think there was a third person that one should not take on--and that was the Pope and he too is still with us.

The Earl of Onslow: What is it that Macaulay says about the Pope in an essay about New Zealanders under a bridge? I cannot remember the quote which is absolutely majestic, but I accept my noble friend's addition to the list.

I shall, of course, withdraw this amendment. One of the reasons I shall withdraw it is because I simply could not define the list either of interests or of ex officio Members that it should contain. All I hope to do is to ensure that the Government make their appointments procedure as transparent as possible and explain why they have recommended to the sovereign someone for inclusion in your Lordships' House. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 90 and 91 not moved.]

Lord Northbrook moved Amendment No. 92:

After Clause 2, insert the following new clause--


(" .--(1) A member of the Welsh Assembly is disqualified for sitting and voting in the House of Lords.
(2) Where an individual is disqualified under this section, the disqualification ceases on the day he ceases to be a member of the Welsh Assembly.
(3) No writ of summons shall be issued to a person who is for the time being disqualified under this section.")

The noble Lord said: My Amendments Nos. 92 and 93 were originally coupled with amendments in the name of my noble friend Lord Ferrers, but knowing that I did not have the same humour and rhetoric, I detached them. I am glad to say that my spectacles are still intact!

In moving Amendment No. 92, I should like also to speak to Amendment No. 93 in my name. My amendments are not deliberate acts of bias against the

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Welsh, or the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn. They essentially follow Amendments Nos. 84 and 85 in the name of my noble friend Lord Ferrers, which, as already stated, seek to disqualify Members of the Scottish Parliament from sitting and voting in the House of Lords, as well as persons entitled to vote in Scottish parliamentary elections. The principle of my amendments is the same except that they apply to Wales.

Amendment No. 92, as has already been stated, seeks to correct the anomaly by which a Peer may sit and vote in two separate parliamentary bodies within the same nation. That seems to me too great an extension of the democratic principle. I should be interested to know whether there are any other nations where it is possible to sit in two parliaments or assemblies at the same time. Of course, my Amendment No. 92 does not preclude those hereditary Peers who are excluded (because they do not qualify as one of the 92 Peers in the Weatherill amendment) from sitting and voting in the Welsh Assembly.

It is not my scope here to contrast the functions, powers and responsibilities of the Welsh Assembly with those of the House of Lords; nor do I plan to go through the areas mentioned in the Act which are subject to the executive powers of the Assembly. However, I should like to make a new point. There could emerge a conflict of interest when a Peer sits and votes in both Wales and London. He might find himself promoting legislation or seeking financial aid for Wales which would impact unfavourably on, or with unfavourable financial consequences for, the rest of the United Kingdom.

As The Financial Times said in an editorial only yesterday, there is a need,

    "for preserving a constitutional balance between the newly devolved government of Scotland and Wales and the House of Lords".

It is immediately apparent that that balance may be disturbed when there is a potential conflict of interest. In order, I hope, to give a clear example of how such a conflict might arise, I set out the following scenario. A major government contract is to be awarded and tenders are received from companies both in Wales and in the rest of the United Kingdom. The tender, say, from a Welsh company proves to be more expensive than those from other parts of the country but the contract will give employment to workers in an unemployment black area. A Peer involved in the matter at the Welsh Assembly department who also happens to be in the same department in the House of Lords could therefore find himself with a conflict of interests. Should he, wearing his Welsh Assembly hat, recommend the Welsh tender, or should he back one of the other bids which gives better value for money for the taxpayer? It could be a very difficult decision. Amendment No. 92 seeks to avoid that type of situation by not allowing Peers to sit in the Welsh Assembly and the House of Lords at the same time.

Amendment No. 93 seeks to disqualify those Peers who are entitled to vote in Welsh Assembly elections from sitting and voting in the House of Lords. As

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English Peers are unable to vote for their own assembly, it seems unfair that Welsh and Scottish Peers should have the advantage of double voting rights. I am sure that by the time the Government have finished their constitutional reforms there will be an English assembly. If the Minister were to give me that assurance I would reconsider my position on the amendment. I beg to move.

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