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Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank: My Lords, there is no great point in pursuing the final remarks of the noble and learned Lord in relation to the circumstances in which he did not respond on this matter; that is now part of history. I had hitherto believed that he took the closest interest in matters of detail. I know from experience that he is extremely good at replying to letters. If he looks back to the Hansard to which we have both referred, he will discover that I gave him the opportunity over the dinner hour to reflect on what I had said so that he could tell the House the outcome of his thoughts when the House reconvened. However, we all make mistakes and fall short from time to time and I would not hold that against a Member of this House.

The noble Viscount, Lord Cranborne, said that there was a distinction between election to a party or organisation or to a parliament, though he did not make clear precisely what that distinction was except in the most routine and obvious way. However, I remind the noble Viscount that during a period in which he was in government, the United Kingdom chose to elect its representatives to the European Parliament by the first-past-the-post method, while most of the other members of the European Union elected Members by proportional representation.

I am not saying what is right or wrong. I shall be happy to give way to the noble Viscount if I am wrong about the issue and if he can point to an occasion when he spoke out against that arrangement, but if he is not disposed to contradict my understanding on those points, I shall continue.

Viscount Cranborne: My Lords, I will be corrected by the noble Lord, but can he say whether all the countries which elected Members of the European Parliament by proportional representation used the same method of proportional representation? I would infinitely prefer that they were all elected by the first-past-the-post system. It would be much more sensible. I have always made clear that that is my view.

Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank: My Lords, the noble Viscount has always made it clear that he prefers the first-past-the-post method. But what is absolutely plain is that the government of which he was a distinguished member--this applies also to the noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish--were not only happy with, but were intent on maintaining, a first-past-the-post system of election to the European Parliament where all our partners took a totally different view.

Viscount Cranborne: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for giving way. I was seeking information. Do all the other members use the same method of proportional representation?

Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank: My Lords, I did not say that. My point--I shall not repeat it more than a

22 Jun 1999 : Column 812

third time--is that the government of which the noble Viscount was a member were happy to maintain a quite different method of election, knowingly, from that of our partners in the Community. Nor am I aware that he protested about any differences between the methods of election used by other members of the European Union.

It is true, as the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor said, that at one stage we thought of an amendment which might require all groups to elect their members by STV. But that was an unreasonable proposition. We saw it to be unreasonable and decided, on the contrary, that we would prefer every group to choose for itself.

The noble Lord, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish, asked what methods might be available. It would be for every group to choose. I would not want to anticipate what my noble friends might prefer. But whatever may be the case, I do not believe that it would be an unnecessary and unreasonable burden on the Clerk of Parliaments to proceed with one different system from those used by other groups. That is not an argument which stands up.

The Lord Chancellor said that this was a matter for the Procedure Committee and that he would confidently predict what would emerge. He may be right. But that is a matter, first, for the Procedure Committee to decide and, secondly, for your Lordships' House. In the meantime, though it may well be that your Lordships are not immediately attracted by the amendment, I intend to press for the opinion of the House.

4.55 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 21B) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 54; Not-Contents, 335.

Division No. 1

CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Avebury, L.
Bath, M.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
Dholakia, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Gage, V.
Geraint, L.
Goodhart, L. [Teller.]
Grey, E.
Hampton, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hutchinson of Lullington, L.
Jacobs, L.
Kirkwood, L.
Leathers, V.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Ludford, B.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNair, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mountgarret, V.
Newby, L. [Teller.]
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Ogmore, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell, E.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Swansea, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thurso, V.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Wigoder, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Aberdare, L.
Ackner, L.
Acton, L.
Addison, V.
Ahmed, L.
Ailesbury, M.
Aldenham, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Amherst of Hackney, L.
Amos, B.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Annaly, L.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Arlington, B.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Bach, L.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Baldwin of Bewdley, E.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bathurst, E.
Bearsted, V.
Bell, L.
Belstead, L.
Berkeley, L.
Berners, B.
Blackstone, B.
Blatch, B.
Blease, L.
Bledisloe, V.
Blyth, L.
Borrie, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bragg, L.
Brentford, V.
Bridgeman, V.
Bridges, L.
Brightman, L.
Bristol, Bp.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Bruntisfield, L.
Burlison, L.
Burnham, L.
Burns, L.
Buscombe, B.
Butterworth, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carew, L.
Carnarvon, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Chalfont, L.
Chandos, V.
Chorley, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Clitheroe, L.
Cobbold, L.
Cochrane of Cults, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Coleridge, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Cranborne, V.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
David, B.
Davidson, V.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
De L'Isle, V.
Denham, L.
Derwent, L.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Dixon, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donegall, M.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Dudley, E.
Dundonald, E.
Dunrossil, V.
Eccles, V.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Exmouth, V.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fisher, L.
Foley, L.
Fookes, B.
Forbes, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gainford, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gladwyn, L.
Glanusk, L.
Glenamara, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goschen, V.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Gray, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hacking, L.
Hanningfield, L.
Hanworth, V.
Hardie, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Haskel, L.
Haslam, L.
Hawke, L.
Hayman, B.
Hesketh, L.
Higgins, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Holderness, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooper, B.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hylton, L.
Inchyra, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Islwyn, L.
Jakobovits, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Jeffreys, L.
Jeger, B.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Jopling, L.
Judd, L.
Kelvedon, L.
Kennet, L.
Kenyon, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Kinnoull, E.
Kintore, E.
Kitchener, E.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Knollys, V.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Long, V.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Lucas, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Malmesbury, E.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
May, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Milverton, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monkswell, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Montrose, D.
Moran, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Mountevans, L.
Moyne, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Nelson of Stafford, L.
Newall, L.
Nicol, B.
Noel-Buxton, L.
Norrie, L.
Northbourne, L.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
O'Neill of Bengarve, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Orme, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patel, L.
Paul, L.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Perth, E.
Peston, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Radnor, E.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Romney, E.
Rotherwick, L.
Runciman of Doxford, V.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. Davids, V.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Savile, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selsdon, L.
Sempill, L.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Shaughnessy, L.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Simpson of Dunkeld, L.
Slim, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Somerset, D.
Stair, E.
Stallard, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Sudeley, L.
Suffolk and Berkshire, E.
Swinfen, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Tenby, V.
Teynham, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thornton, B.
Thurlow, L.
Tomlinson, L.
Townshend, M.
Trefgarne, L.
Trenchard, V.
Trumpington, B.
Tryon, L.
Tugendhat, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Varley, L.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Warner, L.
Waterford, M.
Weatherill, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Westbury, L.
Whitty, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Wolfson, L.
Wynford, L.
Young, B.
Young of Dartington, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.
Younger of Leckie, V.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

22 Jun 1999 : Column 815

5.10 p.m.

Lord Carter: My Lords, before we proceed with the rest of the Report stage, I have been asked by a number of your Lordships to remind noble Lords of the rules for speaking on Report. On Report, no noble Lord may speak more than once to an amendment, except the mover of the amendment in reply; or a noble Lord who has obtained the leave of the House, which may only be granted to a noble Lord to explain himself on some material point of his speech, no new matter being introduced, or to a Minister of the Crown.

Only the mover of an amendment speaks after the Minister on Report, save for short questions for elucidation to the Minister before he sits down; except that, where the Minister wishes to speak early, this does not prevent subsequent debate. Arguments which have been fully deployed in Committee of the Whole House should not be repeated at length on Report.


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