HC Deb 15 April 1937 vol 322 cc1284-5

(1) Where,—

  1. (a) a local or harbour authority in whom a marine work to which Part III of this Act applies is vested are desirous of undertaking the construction, reconstruction, extension or improvement of any works, machinery or conveniences ancillary to, or in connection with the marine work; or
  2. (b) a local authority are desirous of undertaking the construction, reconstruction, extension or improvement of a marine work within any of the following counties, namely, the counties of Argyll, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Caithness, Orkney and Zetland, or within any burgh situate therein,
and in either case it is shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State that the cost of the necessary operations will not exceed five thousand pounds, the Secretary of State may authorise such authority to undertake the same, subject to and in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Second Schedule to this Act.

(2) Any works constructed under the foregoing Sub-section which are ancillary to or in connection with a marine work shall, for the purposes of this Act or of any other Act relating to the marine work, be deemed to be part thereof.—[The Lord Advocate.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

8.56 p.m.

The Lord Advocate

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

Hon. Members will remember that in Committee the discussion centred on Clause 7 of the Bill which had for its purpose the provision of a cheap and short method of authorising the construction of minor works. The discussion centred upon the question as to whether this shorter method should be confined in its operation to the Highland counties which were set out in the Clause. As a result of that discussion my right hon. Friend and I undertook to see whether we could extend this cheaper and more expeditious procedure. The result is the new Clause. The first part of the Clause, paragraph (a) will be universal throughout Scotland, and any local or harbour authority anywhere can undertake work which is ancillary to or in connection with marine works. The second part of the Clause we propose to confine to the Highland counties. The power may be utilised not only for works which are ancillary to or in connection with marine works but for any works connected with the construction or improvement of marine works. We have recast Clause 7 in this form, with a further extension of the monetary limit from £3,000 to £5,000.

We have gone as far as it is practicable to go in the direction which the Committee desired and have made this cheap and shorter procedure as wide as possible. We do not consider it possible to allow entirely new works to be constructed outside the Highland counties under this procedure, for the simple reason that in the Lowlands, in the Firth of Forth and in the Firth of Clyde there are conflicting interests which inevitably require to receive consideration of a more formal character than would be possible under this shorter procedure. It is thought that the appropriate procedure in such cases is by Provisional Order procedure. We have moved this new Clause instead of moving a number of small Amendments to the original Clause 7, and we have incorporated the best of the suggestions which were put forward in Committee. It now provides the greatest common measure of expedition and economy it is possible to achieve.

Mr. Kennedy

I have no desire to disturb the unanimity of our proceedings on Scottish affairs, and in view of the explanation given by the Lord Advocate as to how the new Clause will affect harbour authorities I do not propose to move the Amendment I moved in Committee, and which I withdrew on the understanding that the matter would be reconsidered.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.