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Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 2 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 2A.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 2 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 2A.--(Baroness Jay of Paddington.)

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, I shall be brief. I have studied the debates on this matter in another place. It is a simple amendment and it would have been so easy for the Government to accept it. I am amazed that they did not. Yet the Government made another meal of it. I just wonder whether the noble Baroness will consider further in due course the arguments which the Government put forward yesterday. Is there any chance that in the same offer as she made to my noble friend Lord Ferrers she will consider whether this would be an appropriate subject to return to in the new Session?

Lord Clifford of Chudleigh: My Lords, before the noble Baroness speaks, perhaps I may make one specific point--

Noble Lords: Order!

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): My Lords, there is some discussion going on to which I am not privy. When one of your Lordships is on his feet, it is not for the occupant of the Woolsack to intervene.

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, I believe the position is that the noble Lord on the Woolsack should put the Question.

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, I am grateful for that very proper intervention from Her Majesty's Government's Front Bench. The Question is that this House do not insist on their--

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I think that a noble Lord was trying to make an observation and it would be appropriate if he were to be allowed to make the observation as opposed to being shut up by the Front Bench opposite.

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, I do not see any other noble Lord on his feet--

Lord Clifford of Chudleigh: My Lords, I am most grateful to the two noble Lords who have spoken. I am wholeheartedly in favour of this new amendment as a postscript to Clause 2, especially having read the

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reason given by Her Majesty's Government for disagreeing to our Amendment No. 4; that was:


    XBecause it is unnecessary to protect further the position of the Septennial Act 1715".

I shall not need the microphones because--

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, I hesitate to intervene again but I do think there is some confusion. I agree that the procedure is a little complex. One has to have a GCSE in double negatives to understand the procedure. But I believe--and I would seek the support of the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition on this point--that we are on the Question that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 2 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 2A, and not the later amendments or any new amendments.

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, the Question is that the House do not insist--

Lord Clifford of Chudleigh: My Lords, perhaps I may--

Noble Lords: Order!

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, for the sake of guidance to the House, I should perhaps indicate, because I believe that there is a slight misunderstanding, that I put the Question for the first time before the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, rose. Indeed, I paused before he did so in order to see whether it was appropriate for me to collect the voices. I think that that guidance might be appropriate.

The Question is, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 2 to which the Commons have disagreed. As many as are of that opinion shall say XContent"; to the contrary XNot-Content". I think the XContents" have it. Clear the Bar.

Lord Carter: My Lords, there seems to be an almost total misunderstanding of what is going on. We have debated the first group, on the Motion of the noble Lord, Lord Stanley of Alderley, relating to his proposed amendment, which he withdrew. The House can now only formally accept the Motion on Lords Amendment No. 2. There is no procedure on which the House can divide against it. I see Members all round the House nodding. We must now formally accept the Motion, which relates to Lords Amendment No. 2. We then move on to that which relates to Lords Amendment No. 4.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords--

Noble Lords: Order!

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, perhaps I may remind the Government Chief Whip that the occupant of the Woolsack has put the Question, and I think that the Question should indeed be put.

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, it is for the occupant of the Woolsack to collect the voices after

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putting the Question. However, in view of what has happened, for the convenience of your Lordships, I shall put the Question again.

The Question is, That the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 2 to which the Commons have disagreed. As many as are of that opinion shall say XContent"; to the contrary, XNot-Content". I think the Contents have it. The Contents have it.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

LORDS AMENDMENT

4 After Clause 2, insert the following new clause--


    VOTING RIGHTS OF LIFE PEERS; EXTENSION OF DURATION OF PARLIAMENT.


    (X. In respect of any proceedings in the House of Lords on a Bill providing for the maximum duration of Parliament to be extended beyond five years, no peer appointed to the House of Lords under the Life Peerages Act 1958 during the course of that Parliament shall be entitled to vote on such proceedings.").

COMMONS REASON


    The Commons disagreed to this amendment for the following reason--


4ABecause it is unnecessary to protect further the position of the Septennial Act 1715.

The Attorney-General (Lord Williams of Mostyn): My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 4 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 4A.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 4 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 4A.--(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

LORDS AMENDMENT

13In the Title, line 4, after ("Commons;") insert (Xto establish an Appointments Commission with functions in relation to the conferment of life peerages under the Life Peerages Act 1958;").
COMMONS REASON


    The Commons disagreed to this amendment for the following reason--


13ABecause it is not appropriate to make statutory provision for an Appointments Commission.

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 13 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 13A.

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, the Question is that--

The Earl of Erroll: My Lords--

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, the Motion having been moved, I must put the Question. The noble Earl will forgive me, I am sure.

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The Question is, that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 13 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 13A.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 13 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 13A.--(Baroness Jay of Paddington.)

The Earl of Erroll: My Lords, I rise to speak because of the confusion that has just arisen. As a Cross-Bencher, I am fed up with Front Bench on either side steam-rollering matters. My noble friend on the Cross Benches attempted to speak to Lords Amendment No. 4. Mistakenly, he spoke to Lords Amendment No. 2. The real challenge then came, and when the Motion on Lords Amendment No. 4 was moved, we were steam-rollered. Was there a chance to leap up and speak? No. I am afraid the problem is that the Government are trying to railroad matters through and are not observing the proper procedures.

Fortunately, the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers, spoke up on our behalf; whether noble Lords agree with his remarks is another matter. If we are to move into a new era, with a new Chamber and new House, we might at least have some independence of thought and mind and the Government should not railroad matters through--

Baroness Jay of Paddington: My Lords--

The Earl of Erroll: You guillotined me last time so I do not dare let you get up.

Noble Lords: Order! Order!

The Earl of Erroll: My Lords, the noble Baroness the Leader of the House guillotined me on Third Reading. It has normally been a courtesy in this House, if a Peer had managed to get a sentence out, to stand up and say, XPerhaps we should allow the noble Lord to finish". Instead, the Question was called. So I have now learnt the danger--since the noble Lord, Lord Marsh, advised me that I should not give way in future. We seem to have new customs coming into the House. I shall now shut up and sit down. I shall merely say: for goodness' sake, let us not forget that we were a courteous House. We used to listen to people. Five minutes now is not going to change history.

On the previous Motion, I should have said that the only reason the Commons had to fear that amendment was the possible intention at the back of someone's mind that they might want to prolong the life of Parliament. Otherwise, why did they fear the proposal? There are many other things like that which should be said in our last moments before the only independent voice disappears. With that, I shall sit down.

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