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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, so beguiling is the amendment that the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers, has broadly repeated the same speech that he made in Committee for those among your Lordships who missed it on the first occasion. The Companion suggests that arguments fully deployed in Committee of the Whole House should not be repeated at length on Report.

In answer to a previous amendment on Report, I made the point that it seems sensible, if we continue to be called the House of Lords, that we continue exactly as before. My noble friend Lady Jay of Paddington has authorised me to tell the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers, that she will be writing in a personal capacity to the noble Lord, Lord Wakeham, to put her own suggestion to him. In the meantime, the sensible course is to continue as before. I urge the noble Earl to withdraw his amendment for the second time.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, the noble and learned Lord is in a bellicose mood. He is always telling one to stop making speeches, that they have been made before and that they must not be repeated. Of course I made the same speech as I made before because, rather like the noble and learned Lord when he comes to answer, he says the same thing as he tends to think that he is right. The reason I said what I said is that I altered the amendment. I altered the amendment to make it even more gracious to the noble Baroness. I thought that your Lordships might therefore not know the complete reasoning behind the amendment.

I was surprised that the noble Baroness put up her junior to speak, if I may so describe the noble and learned Lord, although not in an offensive way. The noble and learned Lord knows perfectly well that in his profession a junior is very senior and is a capable and able person. The noble and learned Lord is very senior, very capable and very able. The fact is that I moved the amendment in order to try to help the noble Baroness to get through what she obviously wants.

Perhaps I may be allowed to say it again: that the Government think that what the noble Baroness wrote was a whole lot of "All my eye and Betty Martin". The noble Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, was not certain quite what that meant as it was Latin. I looked it up in Fowler's Dictionary of English Prose. "All my eye and Betty Martin" is all nonsense, bosh and rubbish. I suppose that that is what the Government think of the views of the noble Baroness, Lady Jay.

I think that the noble Baroness was right over this. I come back to the same point. The reason people will come here in the future when they will not be paid, when they will receive only a small amount of expenses and when they will have to be here the whole day is that they will be able to call themselves "Lord" and their wives will be called "Lady". I think that is a bad reason. Therefore, I fear that we must have a vote on the amendment in order to test the opinion of the House. I

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think it would be quite fun to see all the noble Lords go through the Lobby to call themselves "Lord" and to see which way the noble Baroness goes. I beg to move.

6.38 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 51) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 66; Not-Contents, 153.

Division No. 3


Ailsa, M.
Amherst of Hackney, L.
Annaly, L.
Banbury of Southam, L.
Bathurst, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Blyth, L.
Boardman, L.
Cadman, L.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Clinton, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Effingham, E.
Ellenborough, L.
Ferrers, E. [Teller.]
Fisher, L.
Fookes, B.
Gisborough, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray, L.
Hankey, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Hawke, L.
Hooper, B.
Iddesleigh, E.
Inchcape, E.
Jeffreys, L.
Jopling, L.
Kenyon, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Kintore, E.
Kitchener, E.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Knutsford, V.
Liverpool, E.
Mancroft, L.
Monckton of Brenchley, V.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mountgarret, V.
Moyne, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Nelson, E.
Nelson of Stafford, L.
Newall, L.
Noel-Buxton, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Shrewsbury, E.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Strathcarron, L.
Teviot, L.
Torrington, V.
Trefgarne, L. [Teller.]
Tryon, L.
Vivian, L.
Warnock, B.
Wise, L.
Wynford, L.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Carew, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cobbold, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Diamond, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Dunleath, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Exmouth, V.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gilbert, L.
Glanusk, L.
Glasgow, E.
Glenamara, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hacking, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanworth, V.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Jacobs, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Jeger, B.
Judd, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Ludford, B.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McNally, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Newby, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Nichol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Orme, L.
Paul, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Russell, E.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strange, B.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thornton, B.
Thurso, V.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Warner, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winston, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

30 Jun 1999 : Column 335

6.48 p.m.

Lord Kingsland moved Amendment No. 52:

After Clause 3, insert the following new clause--


(" . The maximum number of persons entitled to receive a writ of summons to the House of Lords and to sit and vote in that House is 659.").

The noble Lord said: I hope that this amendment will go with the grain of government thinking. It has been joined with Amendment No. 55, in the name of my noble friend Lord Caithness. The only thing that

30 Jun 1999 : Column 336

distinguishes the two amendments is the numbers: my amendment has a maximum of 659 and the maximum number in the amendment of my noble friend is 830.

The principles behind the amendment are twofold. The first relates to the specific number and the second to the notion of an overall limit.

So far as concerns the specific number, it does not take a great brain to recognise that the figure of 659 was drawn from the number of Members currently in another place. I readily admit, however, that the recent list of life Peers makes that figure no longer realistic.

There are, as I understand it--or were, before the announcement in June--499 life Peers, and 26 Bishops. If we add to that the 92 so-called Weatherill Peers and the new list of 38, which derives from the list of 33 working Peers and the five life Peers whose names appeared in the Honours List, we arrive at a figure of 655.

Clearly, a margin of manoeuvre of four is inadequate when it is considered that the Government have the principle of overall parity between themselves and the Official Opposition in mind, and will have to appoint between 30 and 40 life Peers to match the 92 Weatherill Peers. I see the noble Baroness the Lord Privy Seal nodding. So it is clear from the figures that we are talking about a cap of somewhere between 700 and 725, or perhaps a slightly higher figure, to allow both for the principle of parity which the noble Baroness has explained to the House on several occasions, and to give the Government an overall margin to make a modest number of new life Peers.

I readily accept, therefore, that the specific number in my amendment is inappropriate and, for that reason alone, shall not move it this evening. However, I urge upon the Government in general, and the noble Baroness the Lord Privy Seal in particular--I give way to the noble Lord.

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