§ Mr. David Heath
I beg to move amendment No. 2, in page 10, line 31, leave out from 'nominee' to end of line 32.
Hon. Members who served on the Committee will recognise that the amendment has some similarities to the discussion that we had on clause stand part on what was then clause 24 and is now clause 25. Yesterday, I received a letter from the Secretary of State which attempted to elucidate the reasoning behind the original wording of the Bill. I thought that I might have struck a slightly curious position when I realised that neither the Ministers in Committee nor the civil servants—which was the crucial thing—quite knew why that part of the clause had been put in. I realise now that it was a slightly tortuous formulation.
525 There is still an ambiguity in the Bill which I would like to test with Ministers. If I understand the Secretary of State's letter correctly, clause 25(2)(b), which has the effect of allowing a company to be placed between the Secretary of State and the CDC, is inserted there for one purpose, and one purpose only—to qualify clause 25(4), which deals with associated companies.
If I understand it correctly, where an associated company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the CDC, it qualifies as a company that is wholly owned by the Crown, and therefore qualifies for associated company status. I do not entirely understand why the Bill is drafted as it is, as an ambiguity is introduced. There is a possibility that a future Government could interpolate a company between the Secretary of State and the CDC, and that is acknowledged in the letter to me.
Would not it have been easier to qualify clause 25(4)(b), which refers to a company thatis wholly owned by the Crown"?Why not make it "wholly owned by the Crown or by a company that is wholly owned by the Crown" at that point? Or—perhaps this is an easier way of dealing with it—why not rely on the ordinary understanding of the Companies Act 1985 provision dealing with wholly owned subsidiaries, which provides a perfectly appropriate definition of a wholly owned subsidiary company which could have been interpolated in clause 26 in the definition section? That would have had the effect of allowing a wholly owned subsidiary of the CDC to be treated as an associated company without providing the ambiguity which the Bill provides.
Will the Minister explain why the Bill is drafted as it is? I appreciate that it is difficult to change the Bill at this stage. Had I received the Secretary of State's letter a few days earlier, I might have tabled a slightly different amendment which would have had the same effect, but in a different way. If he does not explain, we will have to rely on the assurances that the Secretary of State gave in Committee and which I would be grateful if the Minister could repeat—that there is no intention on the part of the Government to interpolate a further company between the Secretary of State and the CDC.
§ Mr. Foulkes
First, it is sensible and reasonable for the hon. Gentleman to raise the question, particularly in the terms and manner that he did.
These are tortuous provisions, as are a number of the Bill's provisions. It is not the only such Bill that I have experienced in 20 years. I had the honour earlier tonight of celebrating 20 years in this House. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am grateful to my right hon. and hon. Friends.
If we had had the wisdom of the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) when drafting the Bill, we might have done it differently. It is largely a matter of drafting style and a matter of taste by the parliamentary counsel. We employed a parliamentary counsel who suggested that it should be done in this way. In this case, as in others, he advised us to retain as much flexibility as possible, to cover all eventualities. The hon. Gentleman will remember that in Committee we discussed dealing with a number of eventualities, however unlikely.
While the CDC is technically wholly owned by the Crown, we want to ensure that the rights that extend to it as a pic also extend to companies that are wholly owned 526 by it. I give the hon. Gentleman the absolute assurance and guarantee that we do not intend to put a holding company above the CDC as he feared. We foresee no circumstances in which we would want to do that, but the provision allows the flexibility to cover any eventuality.
For example, at the moment we guarantee a loan from the European investment bank by one of the CDC's subsidiaries, CDC (Euro) Ltd.; the amendment would prevent us from taking similar action in the wholly owned period, notwithstanding clause 10, because the subsidiary could not be an associated company. That is why we included the provision. We might have done it more elegantly and less tortuously with the hon. Gentleman's advice at an earlier stage, but the effect remains.
I hope that in the light of my reasoned explanation, the hon. Gentleman will see fit to withdraw the amendment.
§ Mr. Heath
I am most grateful, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I listened carefully to the Minister. I am of course flattered by what he said about my drafting skills or otherwise. I do not believe that they are exceptional. There is an ambiguity in the clause, but I accept entirely the intention behind the original wording. I therefore beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 9, Noes 265.528
|Division No. 245]||[11.37 pm|
|Blunt, Crispin||Maclean, Rt Hon David|
|Brady, Graham||Russell, Bob (Colchester)|
|Brooke, Rt Hon Peter||Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)|
|Fabricant, Michael||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Leigh, Edward||Mr. Eric Forth and|
|Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)||Mr. Douglas Hogg.|
|Ainger, Nick||Brown, Russell (Dumfries)|
|Alexander, Douglas||Browne, Desmond|
|Allen, Graham||Buck, Ms Karen|
|Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)||Burgon, Colin|
|Atherton, Ms Candy||Butler, Mrs Christine|
|Atkins, Charlotte||Caborn, Rt Hon Richard|
|Austin, John||Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)|
|Barnes, Harry||Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)|
|Barron, Kevin||Campbell-Savours, Dale|
|Bayley, Hugh||Cann, Jamie|
|Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret||Caplin, Ivor|
|Begg, Miss Anne||Casale, Roger|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)||Caton, Martin|
|Benton, Joe||Cawsey, Ian|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)|
|Berry, Roger||Chaytor, David|
|Best, Harold||Clapham, Michael|
|Betts, Clive||Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)|
|Blackman, Liz||Clark, Paul (Gillingham)|
|Boateng, Paul||Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)|
|Bradley, Keith (Withington)||Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)|
|Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)||Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)|
|Bradshaw, Ben||Clelland, David|
|Clwyd, Ann||Illsley, Eric|
|Coaker, Vernon||Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)|
|Coffey, Ms Ann||Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)|
|Cohen, Harry||Jamieson, David|
|Coleman, Iain||Jenkins, Brian|
|Colman, Tony||Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton N)||Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)|
|Cousins, Jim||Jones, Helen (Warrington N)|
|Cox, Tom||Jones, Ms Jenny (Wolverh'ton SW)|
|Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)||Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)|
|Cryer, John (Hornchurch)||Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)|
|Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)||Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jowell, Rt Hon Ms Tessa|
|Darvill, Keith||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald|
|Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)||Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)|
|Davidson, Ian||Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)||Kidney, David|
|Dawson, Hilton||King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)|
|Dean, Mrs Janet||Kumar, Dr Ashok|
|Dismore, Andrew||Ladyman, Dr Stephen|
|Dobbin, Jim||Lawrence, Ms Jackie|
|Donohoe, Brian H||Laxton, Bob|
|Doran, Frank||Lepper, David|
|Dowd, Jim||Leslie, Christopher|
|Drew, David||Levitt, Tom|
|Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)||Linton, Martin|
|Efford, Clive||Livingstone, Ken|
|Ellman, Mrs Louise||Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)|
|Ennis, Jeff||Love, Andrew|
|Etherington, Bill||McAvoy, Thomas|
|Fitzpatrick, Jim||McCabe, Steve|
|Fitzsimons, Lorna||McCafferty, Ms Chris|
|Flint, Caroline||McDonagh, Siobhain|
|Flynn, Paul||Macdonald, Calum|
|Follett, Barbara||McDonnell, John|
|Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)||McKenna, Mrs Rosemary|
|Foster, Michael J (Worcester)||Mackinlay, Andrew|
|Foulkes, George||McNamara, Kevin|
|Fyfe, Maria||McNulty, Tony|
|Gapes, Mike||Mactaggart, Fiona|
|George, Bruce (Walsall S)||Mahon, Mrs Alice|
|Gerrard, Neil||Mallaber, Judy|
|Gibson, Dr Ian||Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)|
|Gilroy, Mrs Linda||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Godman, Dr Norman A||Meale, Alan|
|Godsiff, Roger||Merron, Gillian|
|Goggins, Paul||Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)|
|Gordon, Mrs Eileen||Mitchell, Austin|
|Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)||Moffatt, Laura|
|Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)||Moonie, Dr Lewis|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||Moran, Ms Margaret|
|Grogan, John||Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)|
|Hain, Peter||Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)|
|Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)||Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)|
|Hall, Patrick (Bedford)||Morley, Elliot|
|Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)||Mullin, Chris|
|Hanson, David||Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)|
|Heal, Mrs Sylvia||Naysmith, Dr Doug|
|Healey, John||Norris, Dan|
|Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)||O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)|
|Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)||O'Hara, Eddie|
|Hepburn, Stephen||Olner, Bill|
|Heppell, John||Pendry, Tom|
|Hesford, Stephen||Perham, Ms Linda|
|Hinchliffe, David||Pickthall, Colin|
|Hopkins, Kelvin||Pike, Peter L|
|Howells, Dr Kim||Plaskitt, James|
|Hoyle, Lindsay||Pollard, Kerry|
|Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)||Pond, Chris|
|Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)||Pope, Greg|
|Humble, Mrs Joan||Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)|
|Hurst, Alan||Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)|
|Iddon, Dr Brian||Primarolo, Dawn|
|Prosser, Gwyn||Stringer, Graham|
|Purchase, Ken||Stuart, Ms Gisela|
|Quinn, Lawrie||Sutcliffe, Gerry|
|Radice, Rt Hon Giles||Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Rapson, Syd||Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)|
|Raynsford, Nick||Taylor, David (NW Leics)|
|Roche, Mrs Barbara||Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)|
|Rooney, Terry||Timms, Stephen|
|Roy, Frank||Tipping, Paddy|
|Ruane, Chris||Todd, Mark|
|Ruddock, Joan||Touhig, Don|
|Savidge, Malcolm||Trickett, Jon|
|Sawford, Phil||Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)|
|Sedgemore, Brian||Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)|
|Sheerman, Barry||Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)|
|Short, Rt Hon Clare||Twigg, Derek (Halton)|
|Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)||Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)|
|Singh, Marsha||Vaz, Keith|
|Skinner, Dennis||Vis, Dr Rudi|
|Smith, Angela (Basildon)||Walley, Ms Joan|
|Smith, Miss Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)||Wareing, Robert N|
|Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)||White, Brian|
|Smith, John (Glamorgan)||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Southworth, Ms Helen||Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)|
|Spellar, John||Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)|
|Squire, Ms Rachel||Wise, Audrey|
|Starkey, Dr Phyllis||Wood, Mike|
|Steinberg, Gerry||Worthington, Tony|
|Stevenson, George||Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)|
|Stewart, David (Inverness E)||Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)|
|Stewart, Ian (Eccles)|
|Stinchcombe, Paul||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Stoate, Dr Howard||Mr. Keith Hill and|
|Stott, Roger||Jane Kennedy|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Order for Third Reading read.11.49 pm
§ Clare Short
Ibeg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
The purpose of the Bill is to convert the Commonwealth Development Corporation, which was founded by the great post-war Labour Government in 1949, into a public-private partnership, in order to increase the amounts of private-sector investment going into the poorest countries in the world.
if this were a straight privatisation, the investment pattern would move away from the poorest countries. That is why there has to be a partnership. If the corporation were to remain entirely in the public sector, the quantity of investment would be limited and it would have to be a lender of last resort so that it did not compete unfairly with commercial investment. Our objective is to reduce poverty in the world by assisting the poorest countries to attract beneficial investment and to grow their economies. We sought to entrench the public sector interest in an ethical code and by placing in the Bill a requirement to invest in the poorest countries. Anyone who seeks to invest in the CDC will know what it involves. There is no dependence on the use of powers by any fickle Secretary of State.
Second Reading and the Committee stage provided useful clarification of the Bill's objectives and purposes, and I am grateful for the points made. There has been some conflict—some of it unnecessary—but we all enjoy 529 a bit of that. The Bill is a single stage in advancing the public-private partnership, and we must now restructure the company, create a balance sheet, decide when to take the CDC to the market to maximise the partnership's investment. That would in turn maximise investment in the poorest countries and reduce poverty. I commend the Bill to the House.
§ Mr. Streeter
We support the Commonwealth Development Corporation, which has flourished for 50 years, primarily under Conservative leadership. We certainly support the objective of reducing poverty in the developing world, and we recognise the need to take the CDC into the next millennium in a new way.
We continue to have some reservations about the means that the Government have chosen. We will not be able to judge the Bill's success or failure for many years. We will not know whether the Government obtain a fair price for the investment of the past 50 years. Nor will we know for years whether the new CDC will be able to raise its return on capital invested from 8 per cent, at present to the 18 per cent, that investors must receive. We shall not know for several years whether shareholders will achieve a proper return on their investment without bringing pressure to bear on the board of CDC to shift inch by inch away from its developmental objectives—the vital niche roles of investing in pre-emerging markets, creating jobs and changing lives.
The jury is still out on the Government's Bill. We want it to succeed, but we are taking a step of faith. We have done our best to improve the Bill, but the Government have chosen to turn their back on our wisdom, preferring their own prejudices. I regret that they have done so, and I continue to hold grave reservations.
The job is not yet done. Some big decisions remain to be taken, and the company go to the market at the right time. It must be floated properly, and the best possible advice is necessary. We call on the Government to rise to the challenge of delivering on promises that are important to us and to thousands of people in the developing world who have a right to look to the new CDC for jobs, hope and dignity in the years to come.
§ Mr. Wells
The Select Committee on International Development issued two reports on the Bill, setting out detailed considerations that face the House. We are experimenting, and the Commonwealth Development Corporation will move into a different world to that in which it operated before the Bill came before us. It is not only a matter of enabling the CDC to borrow in the private sector, an objective aimed at by the Department for International Development, its predecessor the Overseas Development Administration and the CDC itself. Because of Treasury mumbo jumbo, borrowing by the CDC is part of the public sector borrowing requirement and has been deemed to be Government borrowing. If the CDC wanted to borrow for good reason to invest overseas in good, productive assets, it was prevented from doing so, and we wanted to free it from that.
The Secretary of State and the Minister have explained that that is not the motivation for transforming the CDC. The Select Committee report accurately reflected what they said. A different CDC has been set before the House, which will begin to function in a new way.
530 Some things will change radically as a result of the Bill. I do not think that there is any difference between us on how they will change. The CDC will have to look for a much higher return on equity, so it will not be able to undertake some of things that it has traditionally undertaken, such as initial infrastructural development. It will not be able to undertake to plant a forest in Swaziland, which for 25 years earned no money, but was transformed into a viable, vibrant business in paper production and other wood products.
The Department should replicate that activity but in a different way. It should set up a fund that works with the CDC and uses grant money from the Department to undertake infrastructural green-field site developments alongside the CDC, which it now cannot do. The Department could get the CDC to manage such developments in the initial stages. An example would be a farm producing avocado pears. We do not get them in the Tea Room at eight o'clock in the morning, when you normally have tea, Mr. Deputy Speaker. A farmer must wait seven years before a tree produces an avocado pear. For that seven-year period, it may be sensible for the Department to invest in the avocado pear farm, have it managed by CDC and then let CDC buy it or have it transferred—I would suggest buy it—when it comes to fruition. It could then take it into the commercial world. That is a serious consideration if we are to get the initial development that the CDC would not otherwise be able to undertake.
There will have to be a closer relationship between the Department's grant money and initial pump-priming development—which the Department is interested in—and the commercial and private sector. The Bill will separate the two functions, and make each directly accountable.
The Department will have to consider whether it will give additional loans to the CDC during the period from which it will be formed into a public limited liability company, with all the shares owned by the Government. As I understand the current Treasury rules, the CDC will not be permitted to borrow from the private sector. To develop the CDC—I know that this is in the Government's mind—we want more of its activity in the private sector to be in the least developed countries. I am glad to see in the Department's estimates a provision for lending the CDC up to £1 million, if I interpret the annual report and the estimates for the next three years correctly. I urge the Government to put aside some money to inject additional capital into the CDC when required during the period from which it will become a public limited liability company and before the shares are sold off in the future.
My next point relates to the sale of the shares when the track record of the CDC has been established. At present, the CDC's annual report reveals that, this year, it made a loss for the first time in many years. It has traditionally made a return on capital of 7 per cent., falling to 6 per cent. It will need to build up its track record to between about 16 and 18 per cent. That requires a huge change in investment—in the direction of investment and in the type of people conducting business in the CDC. Those people will need to find investments and put deals together so as to make that sort of money in some of the least developed and most poverty-stricken countries of the world. Like the Secretary of State, I am convinced that it can be done—it must be done.
531 The Secretary of State has often said that she sees the measure as a catalyst that will pull in other private sector investment to the least developed countries. If we achieve that, that will be hugely beneficial to those countries. However, after we have established a record of good investment and returns, we shall have to sell the shares to private sector investors safely in order to undertake that catalytic role. If we do that, it will release more funds that will—I hope—return to the Department for International Development to be used for pump-priming investment in the least developed countries.
I can see how that would enable the Government's proposals to work. The balance sheet structure will be crucial; that relates to the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Devon (Mr. Streeter) about selling off the CDC for a fraction of its real value. If we are to avoid doing that, we must get the track record right. We must then sell the corporation to extremely discerning investors, who want an ethical investment in the least developed countries. I suggest that they would be looking for a supra-normal return because they are taking extra risks. However, that does not mean that the countries in which they invest will be exploited—rather it will encourage other people to invest there.
If the CDC can pull of that kind of track record, it will make a huge contribution towards the solution of a problem that we have never been able to solve: how to get private sector investment into the least developed and poorest countries of the world. It will take some time to do so—perhaps between three and five years. On the other hand, there is the possibility of selling earlier. There are attractions in doing so, but it would mean that we should have to sell the value of the CDC at a discount. I am sure that the Secretary of State and those who succeed her will make a judgment as to that. However, there would be value in taking the course that I have desrcibed, because private investment could be attracted, not only in shares, but in the ability to raise private capital in the private market. That is a huge prize to be grasped at the right moment. We do not have to obtain the maximum value for the shares in the CDC, if we can find a way to expand it earlier than we might otherwise have done, hence achieving the objectives set out in the Bill.
The Secretary of State has chosen to produce a unique taxation arrangement for the CDC. I have always argued that the CDC should never have had to pay British taxes—I made that point in Committee. The CDC was a vehicle for investment in overseas development. Many of the countries in which it invested did not make a tax charge on the CDC; it seemed immoral that the British Treasury should exact tax. In some cases, the CDC was paying more tax than it was returning in capital and interest to the Treasury. That was stupid because matters then had to be reversed through investment by the Department for International Development.
With this unique taxation arrangement, the CDC avoids going offshore. Of course, its competitors operate offshore; they invest offshore and raise their money offshore, and there is absolutely no reason why they should not do so. The Secretary of State has set her face against that solution and produced a unique taxation arrangement that puts the CDC on an equal footing with its commercial competitors.
532 This is, however, a strange arrangement, and I know that my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Devon objects to it, as demonstrated by some of the amendments and new clauses that he tabled in Committee and on Report. The situation is as broad as it is long and it does not make any difference in the end which arrangement is used. The Bill is psychologically and philosophically in line with the Secretary of State's thinking and the arrangement makes no difference to what we are trying to achieve.
This is a huge step along a path that we have not yet trodden, and it will be an interesting experiment. If it works, we will all value it highly and commend it.
§ 12.6 am
§ Dr. Tonge
I thank the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Wells) for his contribution to what has been an extraordinarily acrimonious debate on a well-intentioned Bill. It has been interesting to hear the official Opposition defending God, on the one hand, in their new clause on investment policy, and mammon, on the other hand, in their new clause on share pricing. I suspect that it is yet another example of the increasing schizophrenic tendencies within the Tory party.
The Liberal Democrats welcome the Bill. There is the potential for more investment in developing countries. Foreign investment is already the largest source of financial flows to the third world and it is increasing rapidly. However, as hon. Members have pointed out, we need the right kind of investment.
On Second Reading, the Secretary of State said:We hope…that the new CDC will encourage by example much larger flows of foreign investment into the least-developed and poorest economies, by proving that such investment can be safe and profitable."—[Official Report, 24 May 1999; Vol. 332, c. 38.]She also said that the Governmentexpect the CDC to operate as an exemplary social, environmental and ethical business. That approach is reflected in its business principles and policies, which cover social, environmental, health and safety matters and business ethics, as well as a statement of the general principles by which the CDC will conduct its business."—[Official Report, 24 May 1999; Vol. 332, c. 43.]That is agreed.
During the various stages of consideration of the Bill, I have tried to express my fears and reservations, particularly on the business principles and ethics of the new CDC. They are absolutely crucial because they replace the additionality test of the old CDC structure.
I turn briefly to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's guidelines for multinationals. They have been in place for 20 years and are now under review. They have not had a substantial impact. Some say that things are getting better, but not by very much. Those guidelines could be valuable, and the CDC business principles could be even more valuable in setting an example to other big companies operating in the world.
As I have said before, many multinationals that subsrcibe to the OECD guidelines produce wonderfully glossy brochures. However, I have here a dossier of complaints entitled, "Problems caused by Multinationals". It refers to labour rights and standards, communities and their environment, consumer protection, national Governments' development strategies, effects on local employment, threats to infant or indigenous industries and 533 more. It mentions all the usual multinationals. We have all heard of them, and I shall not go through the list of names because it is late. That is the result of business principles and ethical guidelines to which multinationals subsrcibe in glossy brochures, but in name only, as all hon. Members know only too well.
The CDC must not let standards slip. It is clear from the countries that I have visited in a limited way in the past two years, and from Government officials that we have consulted, that they want investment and development. Regrettably, they often dismiss environmental and labour standards and sustainability as they are so desperate for growth in their economies. So it will be up to the CDC to make sure that things are done properly.
The Liberal Democrats support the policy if the Government guarantee that it will not result in less money going to the aid budget and that the business principles and investment policies will really work. In three or four years' time, I do not want to be asking parliamentary questions about labour standards or the destruction of the environment in some country where the CDC is operating. That is why I have had reservations about the Bill, but I wish it well.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Bill read the Third time, and passed, with amendments.