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Baroness Miller of Hendon: My Lords, I know the Minister has said that he believes that he, I and the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, are seeking to achieve the same thing. We believe that articles of association are all very well, but they are not as good as having a provision on the face of the Bill. That would be far better.

The Minister may have called it an internal document of some kind. My explanation came in a brown envelope. It is the second draft of the National Audit Office report on the German takeover. If the final printed and published report contains the assertion that,

11 Jul 2000 : Column 183

I believe that the Minister may have to eat some words. So much for the Government's pledge for freedom of information. In the circumstances I must seek the opinion of the House.

6.1 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 9) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 103; Not-Contents, 190.

Division No. 3


Alton of Liverpool, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Barber, L.
Biffen, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coe, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Haslam, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Higgins, L.
Holderness, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kelvedon, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McConnell, L.
Macfarlane of Bearsden, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Marlesford, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Norfolk, D.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Pike, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selsdon, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Weatherill, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Wolfson, L.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dearing, L.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Geraint, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Healey, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Jacobs, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McCarthy, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Molloy, L.
Monson, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Razzall, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Russell, E.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sewel, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turnberg, L.
Uddin, B.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

11 Jul 2000 : Column 185

6.12 p.m.

Clause 75 [Dissolution of the Post Office]:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville moved Amendment No. 10:

    Page 47, line 18, at end insert ("or an order made under this Act").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is a small amendment aimed at ensuring that the Post Office is not dissolved while there are any outstanding issues relating to the old Post Office. The transfer provisions in Clause 62 ensure that all the property, rights and liabilities of the current Post Office corporation transfer to the Post Office company on the appointed day. There should thus be no outstanding issues, apart from the vesting of foreign property rights (which may not be transferred simply by the UK statute) as provided for in Schedule 3.

However, there may be transitional issues that we may need to lay on the Post Office under the powers provided in Clause 129. An example could relate to the way in which the final accounts of the Post Office are drawn up, in accordance with Clause 73(1)(b). We may need to make a transitional order to determine the handling of this. We would not want the Post Office to be dissolved until duties under such an order had been discharged. The amendment would require the Secretary of State to be satisfied that everything had been completed before making the dissolution order. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 105 [Application of customs and excise enactments to certain postal packets]:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville moved Amendment No. 11:

    Page 63, line 35, leave out ("any other") and insert ("a").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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