My Lords, I am very grateful to all who have spoken, with some modification of that as regards the Minister. None the less, I take heart from the guidance he has given on the Government’s aversion to uncertainty in these matters. I think it is possible to look more along the lines that my noble friend Lord Jopling proposed of producing certainty in these matters. It may be useful to consider that in Committee to see whether there is interest on the part of the Government and the House generally in pursuing a Bill which made these matters certain but perhaps took longer to introduce that certainty than this Bill would.
I am interested in what my noble friend said about courtesy titles. I very much hope that he will find the opportunity to encourage change in that direction. It seems to me the right time to make such change. I hope that in giving advice to Her Majesty—or whatever is necessary to bring the matter forward—the Government will not be slow to suggest that this has the general assent of Lords Temporal and Spiritual. They might usefully consider making progress on that. However, for now, I commend the Bill.
Bill read a second time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.