HC Deb 01 May 1962 vol 658 cc936-8

9.30 p.m.

Mr. Soames

I beg to move, in page 22, line 44 to leave out "authorising the doing of anything" and to insert: may authorise the dredging, fishing for or taking of shellfish". This Amendment is not entirely dissimilar from the last. It is designed to remove the possibility of a wrong impression being given of the meaning which the Clause is intended to have Clause 25 deals with the powers of the grantees of regulated fisheries to restrict the number of persons who may be given licences to fish in the area of the fishery. Subsection (2) refers to the fact that persons may be prohibited from dredging, fishing for or taking shellfish within the limits of the fishery, while in subsection (4) there is a reference to the fact that the number of licences may be controlled by the grantees of the fishery who may also determine the kind of fishing which the licence may allow.

Since it is clear that licences can be concerned only with the activities to which subsection (2) refers, that is, with fishing for shell fish and nothing else, it was not felt necessary to repeat the words of subsection (2) but merely to refer to the doing of anything". leaving it to be understood by the reader that all that could be authorised was fishing for shell fish.

But that seems to have been a mistake, because the discussion in Committee showed that the more careless reader might think that that would authorise the issue of licences for any purpose whatsoever. We wish to remove the possibility of any such suggestion being made by replacing the words about the doing of anything by others which repeat the words in subsection (2) and so make it abundantly clear that licences may be concerned only with the rights to fish for shell fish.

Mr. Peart

I am sure that the Minister is right and I will only say that in Committee we argued that there should be more precision. The Minister has read an excellent brief which seems to be a lot of "gobbledy gook", a certain amount of legal abracadabra, and I hope that he has been properly advised. I wish that we had the Solicitor-General here to advise us. In Committee we regretted that we did not have the advice of the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General at some of our deliberations. We did have their advice later. I am sure that the Minister has been advised by his own legal department, and because the Amendment aims at more precision we shall support it.

Amendment agreed to.