HC Deb 01 May 1962 vol 658 cc928-9

Amendment made: In page 10, line 36, leave out "those limits" and insert "the limits of those territorial waters".—[Mr. Vane.]

Mr. Vane

I beg to move, in page 11, line 41, after "shall" to insert: in the case of a contravention committed after the passing of this Act". It may be convenient to take with this Amendment three other Government Amendments, in page 14, line 10, in page 16, line 26, and in page 30, line 43.

These four Amendments all refer to one particular point which I think will commend itself to all hon. Members. It makes sure that there shall be no retrospection with regard to anyone incurring certain penalties for certain offences under this Bill. I do not think anybody will reproach me if I do not make a long speech on the Amendments.

The first deals with forfeiture of fish caught by a person while contravening a licensing requirement. It needs two Amendments to effect the purpose we all want, and there must also be an Amendment to a Schedule. The second Amendment deals with Clause 13 which enable fines to be imposed instead of forfeiture of fish in cases of breaches of orders restricting fishing. The third is to Clause 16, which increases the maximum amount of fines which can be imposed on foreign vessels fishing within British territorial waters. The Bill has not in it words precisely saying that any offences committed before the passing of the Bill shall not be liable to incur these penalties. I think that it would be the wish of hon. Members on both sides of the House if we made sure about that point.

Mr. Peart

For the Opposition I would say that we welcome these Amendments and in no way oppose them. We regard them as necessary. As the Minister has rightly said, this is to prevent any person who may have incurred a penalty under the Bill from being penalised retrospectively. We think that this is reasonable. The Amendments cover the three main points the hon. Gentleman has dealt with, including forfeiture of fish, and fines. I hope that the Amendments will go through quickly, and so the hon. Gentleman need not apologise for making a brief speech. Brevity will be welcomed.

Amendment agreed to.