Clause 27 — Assembly Commission
Orders of the Day — Government of Wales Bill — [1st Allotted Day]
Lembit Ípik (Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Affairs; Montgomeryshire, Liberal Democrat)
It is almost as weak as being offered an assurance from someone who does not have the jurisdiction to make such commitments.
As the hon. Gentleman says, as I have suggested myself and as those on the Opposition Front Bench have pointed out, these arguments have not been advanced plausibly. The Minister falls back on hearsay assurances from individuals who are not qualified to give those assurances. The only hope that these debates would carry water or weight is the assumption that the verbiage of the debates would be the more powerful than the interpretation by any future Administration of the law itself. That is no way to frame legislation. That, by the Government's own admission, will have to carry us through well into the 21st century, when it comes to Welsh devolution.
For that reason, I feel that I have to put amendment No. 32 to the vote. It will be a matter of shame if the Government still feel obliged to oppose such a common-sense proposal. If Mrs. Gillan chooses to press amendment No. 3 to a separate vote, my colleagues and I will have no alternative but to support it.