HC Deb 11 April 1934 vol 288 cc437-41

I beg to move, in page 3, line 32, to leave out from "1883" to "shall," in line 33, and to insert: both as originally enacted and as applied by Section five of this Act.

This is a drafting Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In line 33, leave out "in its application to," and insert "in the case of a conviction in."—[The Lord Advocate.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

10.33 p.m.


On a point of Order. It was suggested that I should bring up on Clause. 3 the Amendment which stands in my name on the Order Paper in respect of Clause 1:

In page 1, line 15, at the end, to insert: Provided that in any case where a person guilty of illegal trawling offers resistance to any superintendent of the herring fishery or other officer employed in the execution of the Herring Fishery (Scotland) Acts, 1771 to 1890, the court may impose a penalty in excess of that provided in this sub-section.


It was pointed out that the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member could not come up in the form in which it stands on the Order Paper, and I thought that the hon. Member would give me a manuscript Amendment to meet the point.


I did not understand the statement in that form. I did not understand that there was anything said about a manuscript Amendment.


I am sorry that there has been a misunderstanding. It was ruled in regard to the hon. Member's Amendment to Clause 1, referring to the imposition of penalty, that the proper place to raise that question was on Clause 3. I thought I made it clear to the hon. Member that his Amendment in the exact form in which it is worded would not be applicable to Clause 3. but that a manuscript Amendment making it clear that the penalty would be in addition to the penalty in Clause I would be in order. I am sorry if the hon. Member did not get my point, but, if he will raise the matter on the Question, "That the Clause stand part," it can be put right on Report stage.


I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

The whole point is this: Do the Government propose to take the Report stage to-night?

10.36 p.m.


Hon. Members opposite have been very helpful during the course of the Committee stage and also on the Second Reading, and we are very anxious to get the Report stage and Third Reading of the Bill to-night. I can well understand the feeling of the hon. Member in connection with his particular Amendment, because it has been on the Order Paper for some time. May I suggest that he should hand in his manuscript Amendment now so that it can be discussed on the Report stage. There is no wish to shirt discussion, and, in view of the assurance I have given, I hope he will withdraw the Motion.


I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his assurance, and so far as I am concerned it meets my point. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

10.37 p.m.


I do not wish to hinder progress but I do object to taking the Committee stage, Report stage and Third Reading of a Bill of this kind to-night. I know that an agreement between the two Front Benches makes it rather difficult for back bench Members, but I do not think that a Bill of this nature, making great changes which some hon. Members view with grave anxiety, should be passed through all its stages in one night. During the Committee stage a number of Amendments have been made, many concessions have been made, and to take the Report stage now does not give hon. Members any chance of seeing how the Bill reads after the Amendments have been made. I think it is asking far too much, and I protest against taking three stages of a Bill during one evening.

10.38 p.m.


We are all willing to listen to the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) who has a happy habit of taking part in Scottish discussions. We always welcome his intervention, but I would remind him that most of the time has been taken up by back benchers who have put forward their views; and the Government have shown a real eagerness to meet the opinions which have been put forward. I hope, therefore, that he will not take exception to our getting the remaining stages of the Bill.

10.39 p.m.


I hope the hon. Member will not press his point. I do not object to his taking part in Scottish discussions, he is a constituent of mine, but I think his objection would have been more properly raised when it was announced that it was proposed to take all the stages of the Bill this afternoon. Therefore I would like him not to press his point.

10.40 p.m.


In answer to the appeal of one of my representatives in this House I would say that no one at that time knew what the course of events would be, and it is not easy for a back bench Member at the end of Questions to get up and object to a thing when he does not know how it will develop. This is a Bill which affects the livelihood of many. Take Leith alone. There are many people in that town and in other great trawling ports around the country who may be affected by the Bill. We are to be asked to take to-night the Report stage of a Bill which has been greatly amended. Surely that is not a right thing to do. Then on top of that we are to be asked to take the Third Reading. We have not been allowed to have the advice of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown), who knows a lot about this subject. The Government are putting a burden on Members who are trying to follow this very complicated Bill, and it is not right. We have never even heard the hon. Member for South Aberdeen (Sir F. Thomson) who is longing to make a speech. The Bill inflicts vast penalties on men who are already very hard hit.

10.41 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

The Secretary of State for Scotland said one thing which I am sure he did not mean to be taken literally. He said that this is a Scottish Bill, and presumably he meant that it does not affect English interests. I hope he will make it clear that that is not so, because in Grimsby we are certainly vitally interested in the Bill. We are ready to meet the Government on the Bill as they have met us some way, though not as far as we wish to go. Perhaps in another place they may meet us a little further.

Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again," put, and negatived.

Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.