Commons Amendment

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:45 pm on 13th November 2003.

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Photo of Baroness Byford Baroness Byford Conservative 7:45 pm, 13th November 2003

My Lords, I thank both the noble Baroness, Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer, and my noble friend Lady O'Cathain. I particularly thank my noble friend Lady O'Cathain because she explained in great detail why she considers this amendment to be important.

I listened with care to what the Minister said but I am afraid that he has not convinced me either way. I believe that I quote him correctly. We shall have to wait until we read Hansard tomorrow before we can be sure, but I think that he implied that the Secretary of State should not have powers to override other people who have responsibilities. I believe that the Secretary of State should be able to do that. Ultimately, someone must be able to do so.

The Minister said that his feelings about where the clause appeared in the Bill were "marginal" but that he was not so concerned about that matter. However, I believe that the Secretary of State should have the power to dictate other aspects of responsibility in the Bill. I am not very happy with the answer that I have been given and I believe I should seek the opinion of the House.