HC Deb 18 April 1962 vol 658 cc575-6
Mr. Hay

I beg to move, in page 64, line 34, after "waterway", to insert: or part of an inland waterway which was not".

Mr. Speaker

I imagine that it will be convenient to discuss with this Amendment the next two Amendments, in line 35 and line 41.

Mr. Hay

I gave the sort of explanation that I ought to give on this Amendment, which relates to the moratorium on actions against the Inland Waterways Authority, I should be bound to go beyond seven o'clock, at which time the Third Reading of the Bill is due to start.

I think that the words of the Amendment are self-explanatory. They are intended to deal with the situation which would otherwise arise where the right of navigation against which the moratorium is intended to operate could be applied to a very small vessel instead of to a very large one. What we have in mind is that the Inland Waterways Authority should be protected against actions claiming the right to navigate on canals as a result of an attempt to navigate by a very small craft such as a canoe. If the Amendment were not made, the Authority would be obliged to restore canals to navigation by very large vessels indeed.

That is briefly the effect of this and the other two Amendments. I am sorry that I must give the House an extremely brief explanation. It is one which I am sure does not commend itself to the House, but I must, none the less, commend the Amendment to the House.

Amendment agreed to.

It being Seven o'clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Questions on Amendments, moved by a member of the Government, of which notice had been given, to the remaining part of the Bill.

Further Amendments made: In page 64, line 35, leave out from beginning to "time" in line 39, and insert "at any".

In line 41, at end insert: ; and, in any proceedings against the Commission or the Inland Waterways Authority which are brought for that purpose before the end of the year nineteen hundred and sixty-seven as respects an inland waterway or part of an inland waterway which was to any degree navigable in the said period of six months, the defendants shall not be required to secure its maintenance in a condition which is, in matters affecting navigation, better than it was in at any time in that period, but if there has been any deterioration since the end of that period the court may, if satisfied that it is in the interests of navigation, require the defendants to secure its maintenance in the condition in which it was at any time in the said period".

In page 65, line 11, at end insert: Provided that this subsection shall not prevent the court from awarding any sum in respect of defects in the inland waterway if it is shown that it was without any of those defects at some time in the period of six months ending on the second day of November, nineteen hundred and sixty-one.

In page 66, line 7, at beginning insert: This section shall not affect section eighteen of the British Transport Commission Act, 1956 (which imposes certain liabilities as respects the Kennet Waterways), but".

In line 7, leave out from "of" to "and" in line 8 and insert "that Act". —[Mr. Marples.]