§ Mr. Hay
I beg to move, in page 5, to leave out lines 1 to 5 and to insert:(e) to store within Great Britain goods which have been or are to be carried by the Railways Board, and, so far as any premises provided for the purposes of that or any other part of their business are not required for those purposes, to use them to provide facilities for the storage of other goods.
§ Mr. Speaker
I think that it would be for the general convenience if we were to discuss this Amendment with the following Amendments. to Clause 9, in page 9, line 24, to leave out from "store" to the end of line 27. and in line 30. at the end to insert:and, so far as any premises provided for the purposes of that or any other part of their business are not required for those purposes, to use them to provide facilities for the storage of other goods";and to Clause 10, in page 10, to leave out lines 32 to 39 and to insert:(f) to store goods which have been or are to be carried on any of the inland waterways 305 owned or managed by the Authority, or which have been or are to be loaded or unloaded in or carried through any of the harbours owned or managed by them, and, so far as any premises provided for the purposes of that or any other part of their business are not required for those purposes, to use them to provide facilities for the storage of other goods.
§ Mr. Hay
The purpose of these Amendments is to empower the Railways Board, the Docks Board, and the Inland Waterways Authority to store goods, first, for the purpose of their business, and, secondly, for other purposes, but only in premises surplus to their operational needs and in premises which they have provided for the purpose of their business.
The first Amendment covers the Railways Board, the second and third Amendments cover the Docks Board, and the last Amendment the Inland Waterways Authority. The effect of the Amendments is to widen the powers of the three boards concerned so as to enable them to store goods for the purposes that I have described. We had in Standing Committee a useful discussion about this and I undertook, in answer to a request from the Opposition and the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire, West (Mr. Steele) to look into this matter again.
These Amendments substantially widen the field for the storage of goods by the boards. We have been prepared to agree to this believing that to use excess or surplus storage capacity in this way would not take the boards far outside their "set task", which, hon. Members will remember, was a phrase which I had almost continuously to use in Committee. I think that we have reached the right compromise on this and I hope that it will be a compromise acceptable to the House.
§ Mr. Steele
For this little mercy we are very grateful. We had a long and arduous battle in Committee and we did not get very much at all. We took up many columns of the OFFICIAL REPORT in dealing with this point. Had the hon. Gentleman given more attention to what we were saying in Committee rather than having looked at this and all our Amendments from the point of view of finding arguments to ensure that our Amendments would not be accepted, I think that we would have saved a lot 306 of time. We are very grateful indeed that the Minister has seen the light, and we accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.