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Lord Lamont of Lerwick: I am most grateful to my noble friends Lord Prior, Lord Norton and Lord Pearson, as well as to the noble Lord, Lord Shore. Through their interventions they have demonstrated that, although the amendments in themselves may be modest, a serious and substantial point lies behind them.

The Minister was right to point out that, taken by themselves, the amendments are only "tail-ends" of amendments. What is the point of restricting Commission expenditure in areas where it is limited to £10,000? I can see the force of that argument. However, as I have explained to the Minister, these proposals formed part of a wider group of amendments which attempted to place the same restrictions on the Commission in areas where it could have spent much larger sums of money; namely, areas where donations of up to £500,000 could be given to each association or institution. For that reason, I think

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that the point is a serious one, even if the amendments are narrowly drafted and given that perhaps the drafting is not perfectly correct.

The Minister's comments on jurisdictional limits were startling. He has brought it home to us that even if we put as many caps as possible on different institutions in relation to the referendum--and even if he states categorically that it could not happen--in theory it would be possible for institutions of the European Union completely to bypass laws being put into effect through the Bill. That is something on which we all should reflect.

The Minister went on to say that we should not be paranoid about these matters. He assured the Committee that people would behave with restraint. Although I agree with the Minister that we need to be sensible, no doubt he will be aware that in Germany an investigation is currently under way into state funding from France being used in an alleged infringement of an election being held in Germany. That matter is presently being investigated and litigation may ensue. On occasion, evidence may be brought forward to suggest that such things can and do happen.

The Minister has certainly brought it home to the Committee that the powers vested in this House ultimately can exert very little control over what is done by the Commission and its institutions. As the noble Lord, Lord Shore, pointed out, a tremendous propaganda effort is being made. Indeed, recently I have read a striking book which was written by the noble Lord's son. It gives a great deal of detail on this matter.

This is an extremely important subject, but I certainly do not intend to press the amendment to a Division at this point. However, I may well return to it when we debate the Bill on Report. On that understanding, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 234YW and 235 not moved.]

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 235A:


    Page 71, line 17, at end insert--


("(5) Where--
(a) at any time before the beginning of any referendum period, any expenses within section 106(2)(a) are incurred by or on behalf of an individual or body in respect of any property, services or facilities, but
(b) the property, services or facilities is or are made use of by or on behalf of the individual or body during the referendum period in circumstances such that, had any expenses been incurred in respect of that use during that period, they would by virtue of section 106(2)(a) have constituted referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body during that period,
the appropriate proportion of the expenses mentioned in paragraph (a) shall be treated for the purposes of this section as referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body during that period.

24 Oct 2000 : Column 202


(6) For the purposes of subsection (5) the appropriate proportion of the expenses mentioned in paragraph (a) of that subsection is such proportion of those expenses as is reasonably attributable to the use made of the property, services or facilities as mentioned in paragraph (b).").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 112, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 113 [Special restrictions on referendum expenses by permitted participants]:

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 235B to 235J:


    Page 71, line 27, leave out first ("treasurer") and insert ("responsible person").


    Page 71, line 28, leave out ("any") and insert ("the").


    Page 71, line 37, leave out ("company") and insert ("body").


    Page 71, line 39, leave out ("any") and insert ("the").


    Page 71, line 40, leave out ("company") and insert ("body").


    Page 71, line 42, leave out ("company") and insert ("body").


    Page 71, line 43, leave out from beginning to end of line 3 on page 72.


    Page 72, line 11, at end insert--


("( ) Section 112(5) and (6) shall apply, for the purposes of this section, sections 115 to 118 and Schedule 13, in relation to an individual or body that has become a permitted participant as they apply for the purposes of section 112 in relation to an individual or body that is not a permitted participant.
( ) For the purposes of this section and sections 115 to 118 and Schedule 13, any reference to referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of a permitted participant during the referendum period includes any referendum expenses so incurred at any time before the individual or body became a permitted participant.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 113, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 13 [Limits on referendum expenses by permitted participants]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 235K:


    Page 152, line 18, leave out paragraph 1.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 235L and 237 not moved.]

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 237A:


    Page 152, line 39, leave out ("for an individual, company or unincorporated association") and insert ("in the case of a person or body").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 238 not moved.]

Schedule 13, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 114 [Control of donations to permitted participants]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 238A:


    Page 72, line 14, leave out ("other than registered parties") and insert ("that either are not registered parties or are minor parties").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 114, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 14 [Control of donations to permitted participants]:

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 238B to 239N:


    Page 153, line 33, leave out ("other than registered parties") and insert ("that either are not registered parties or are minor parties").

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    Page 153, line 36, at end insert ("other than a minor party").


    Page 153, line 38, leave out from ("donation") to end of line 39 and insert ("to the permitted participant for the purpose of meeting referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the permitted participant.").


    Page 153, line 40, after ("2") insert (", 2A").


    Page 153, line 40, at end insert--


("( ) In relation to donations received by a permitted participant other than a designated organisation, references to a permissible donor falling within section 49(2) do not include a registered party.
In this sub-paragraph "designated organisation" has the meaning given by section 105(5).").


    Page 153, line 44, at end insert--


("(aa) any sponsorship provided in relation to the permitted participant (as defined by paragraph 2A);").


    Page 154, line 1, leave out from ("by") to ("expenses") in line 2 and insert ("or on behalf of the permitted participant) in paying any referendum").


    Page 154, line 3, leave out ("directly or indirectly by") and insert ("by or on behalf of").


    Page 154, leave out line 9.


    Page 154, line 13, leave out sub-paragraph (2) and insert--


("(2) Where--
(a) any money or other property is transferred to a permitted participant pursuant to any transaction or arrangement involving the provision by or on behalf of the permitted participant of any property, services or facilities or other consideration of monetary value, and
(b) the total value in monetary terms of the consideration so provided by or on behalf of the permitted participant is less than the value of the money or (as the case may be) the market value of the property transferred,
the transfer of the money or property shall (subject to sub-paragraph (2B)) constitute a gift to the permitted participant for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(a).
(2A) In determining--
(a) for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(c), whether any money lent to a permitted participant is so lent otherwise than on commercial terms, or
(b) for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(d), whether any property, services or facilities provided for the use or benefit of a permitted participant is or are so provided otherwise than on such terms,
regard shall be had to the total value in monetary terms of the consideration provided by or on behalf of the permitted participant in respect of the loan or the provision of the property, services or facilities.
(2B) Where (apart from this sub-paragraph) anything would be a donation both by virtue of sub-paragraph (1)(aa) and by virtue of any other provision of this paragraph, sub-paragraph (1)(aa) (together with paragraph 2A) shall apply in relation to it to the exclusion of the other provision of this paragraph.").


    Page 154, line 17, after ("member") insert (", trustee").


    Page 154, line 26, at end insert--


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