HC Deb 29 April 1958 vol 587 cc324-5

10.0 p.m.

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move. in page 10, line 34, to leave out from "Where" to "it" in line 37 and to insert: in the case of any area of sea, tidal water or shore used or to be used for defence purposes by one of the following Ministers, that is to say, a Secretary of State, the Admiralty or the Minister of Supply, being an area lying wholly or partly within the limits of the territorial waters of the United Kingdom". We have sought to meet the anxieties of hon. Members opposite in Committee about this Clause as it stood, voiced in particular by the hon. and learned Member for Newport (Sir F. Soskice). The old rule was that the area of sea over which one could make byelaws in this context was in a sense anchored to the land. It was anchored because it had to abut on the land or be subject to artillery practice from the land.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman and other hon. Members did not like the idea that we should be free, on the text of the Bill, to make byelaws over an entirely remote area of the ocean, and what we have done to seek to meet their anxiety is to provide, in this Amendment, that the area should be anchored to the land in the sense that it will have to lie wholly or partly within the limits of the territorial waters of the United Kingdom.

Sir F. Soskice

Again, I rise only for the purpose of thanking the right hon. and learned Gentleman very cordially for the thought he has given to the point that I, in particular. urged during the Committee hearing. He has entirely met my point, and has obviously gone to a considerable amount of trouble to achieve that purpose. I thank him very sincerely for the result of his meditations.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In line 39, leave out "that purpose" and insert "those purposes".—[The Solicitor-General.]