Results 1–20 of 364 for speaker:Viscount Goschen

Roads Maintenance: Funding (8 May 2000)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, for the benefit of the House, can the Minister clarify the Government's position with regard to congestion charging schemes as a means of paying for increased road maintenance, such as has been proposed, I understand, within central London?

House of Lords (10 May 2000)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, I thought that the opening remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Peston, clearly illustrated an independent-minded, thought-provoking and loyal Back-Bencher--indeed, to use the term of the noble Lord, Lord Harrison, a "real person". I hope the noble Lord considers that there are more than one or two real people in this House--perhaps even some who do not find the need, as the noble Lord,...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: Before the Minister responds, can he advise the Committee whether the other references in the Bill to the "Minister for the Civil Service" still stand and are still valid? Can the Minister explain to the Committee whether that is a known statutory position, unlike the term "Secretary of State" which is well understood in legislation? Have there been precedents where the office of Minister for...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: Perhaps the Minister would be good enough to address the specific points that I made about the position of the Minister for the Civil Service.

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: With the greatest respect to the Minister, there are other places in the Bill--for example, line 12 on page 77--where there is reference to the Minister for the Civil Service. I do not believe that that reference is covered by the amendment.

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: With the greatest respect, there appears to be some confusion. The Minister has said that the references will be changed, but clearly there are some references that are not addressed by the amendment. Does the Minister consider that those references should be changed by further amendments, or does he believe that the references to the Minister for the Civil Service are now correct?

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: Further to the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Monson, and my noble friend Lady Oppenheim-Barnes, does the Minister believe it is appropriate that some definition of time performance should be included on the face of the Bill? Does he believe that guidance should be given to the commission on this matter? I agree with the point already made that merely to specify frequency of collection...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: Perhaps I may add my support to the points made by my noble friend Lady Miller. Clearly, the guarantee of two standards of postal services and two tariffs is extremely helpful both to businesses and private individuals. Does the Minister feel that the wording of Clause 4(1)(b) is conducive towards permitting this? The Bill states: "in accordance with a public tariff". Should that not be, "in...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: I quite accept the noble Lord's clarification of the word "tariff". I am sure it is defined somewhere in law. If it does allow for separate pricing, I am very pleased to hear that. I entirely accept the noble Lord's assurance. However, does he believe that simply stating that there is an understanding that the first and second-class post will continue is good enough? The Bill is extremely...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: The Minister cannot pray in aid the fact that he is putting into effect European Union legislation and that there should be no more and no less. During our debate on Amendment No. 5 he conceded that he had deviated from that course when it had suited him and felt it appropriate. Why not in these circumstances? We are not talking about a "not before 7.30" provision or some more trifling point....

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: Perhaps I may follow on from the comments of my noble friend Lady Miller and press the Minister to explain to the House how he would justify the figure of 20 kilograms. My noble friend put forward a powerful argument against having a band between 10 and 20 kilograms. There may well be equally powerful arguments for why that should not be so. However, there is an important issue here about the...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: I heard what the Minister said about remitting the issue to the commission, but perhaps he could clarify the following point. Should the commission decide, for example, to reduce the weight from 350 grams to 150 grams, can the noble Lord explain by what means that could take legal effect?

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: I agree with my noble friend Lord Lucas that there is some very vague drafting contained within this clause. However, having said that, the Government or the draftsmen have clearly gone to considerable lengths to try to include every eventuality with a number of derogations. As to the points addressed by the amendments, I hope that the Minister will be able to give my noble friend Lady Miller...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: I rise to support the amendment moved so ably by the noble Lord, Lord Howie. As ever, I was entirely swayed by his arguments. He is right that this is a modest but important amendment. It is difficult to understand how it could actually be argued against. There can be only two arguments. One is that it is bad to collect comparative information, so it should not be done, or it is a waste of...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: I have listened carefully to the reasoned arguments of the noble Lord about why the commission needs to be able to apply this provision to a wide range of people. However, the Minister focused on the issue of operators whom the commission might suspect of operating illegally and thus contravening a number of the provisions he mentioned. But the drafting of the clause is extremely wide: "The...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: I support the words uttered by my noble friend Lord Skelmersdale. There certainly will be such divisions--and I see the noble Earl, Lord Mar and Kellie, looking at me and waiting for me to use the wrong term. I shall not give him that satisfaction. If we are going to divide the procedure and set up even more committees of the council, England should be given the same basis of "shall" rather...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: I wish to ask a quick question before we proceed further. Because the committees for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland come under the heading of "shall" and those that come within England, be it one or more committees, come under "may", can the Minister provide a strong explanation as to why there definitely "shall" be such committees for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but there only...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: I hate to take up the time of the Committee and to be boring on this matter, but should it not be "shall"; that is, we should have one or the other? The Minister said that it should not be "shall" because we have not yet made up our minds whether there should be one committee or a sub-division of a number of committees for England. However, by his argument, there should be at least one committee.

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: Before the noble Baroness puts her intentions regarding her amendments to the Committee, perhaps the Minister can help me on an entirely related point. My noble friend has correctly highlighted the issue of transparency in terms of providing information on any deals that may be done by the Post Office. Essentially, we are talking about a privatisation, possibly of a piece of the Post Office,...

Postal Services Bill (8 Jun 2000)

Viscount Goschen: Am I mistaken, therefore, in understanding that the Bill permits the disposal of specific assets of the Post Office, not necessarily those involved in a share swap; in other words, that the payment may be in cash rather than equity?


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