HC Deb 18 July 1963 vol 681 cc855-6
Mr. R. J. Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)

I beg to move, in page 55, line 32, at the end to insert: (e) the extent to which, in the case of abstraction of inland water, any land on a holding far the benefit of which the abstractor has a licence for spray irrigation may suffer from flooding or water logging as a result of conditions in the inland water from which the abstraction is made. In the absence of my hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn (Mr. Bullard) I advocate the Amendment to the House. Its purpose will be apparent. It is possible to combine spray irrigation with the abatement of a nuisance—surface flooding or waterlogging—and although spray irrigation has been made the exception to the rule from the point of view of charging for agricultural use, it seems that this should be an exception to the exception to the rule because where spray irrigation is being used as a means of abating a nuisance without in any way interfering with anyone else's rights or benefits—

Commander Pursey

On a point of order. Is it in order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, for an hon. Member who has not got his name down to an Amendment to move it?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir William Anstruther-Gray)

It is in order for another hon. Member to move an Amendment on his hon. Friend's behalf.

Mr. F. Blackburn (Stalybridge and Hyde)

Further to that point of order. Am I right in thinking, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that it would be in order on the Committee stage but not on the Report stage?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I do not want to cross swords with the hon. Member, but I believe it to be in order on the Report stage, except when it is the moving of a new Clause. In this case I believe it to be in order.

Mr. Blackburn

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I myself was stopped by a previous Speaker from moving an Amendment to which I had not put down my name.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I think that I had better restrict my Ruling to what I myself have to deal with.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Notwithstanding that interesting procedural discussion, hon. Members opposite may find themselves in sympathy with the Amendment since, as I am endeavouring to point out,' it concerns the case where a farmer confers a benefit on himself without in any way interfering with anyone else's rights or benefits. Since this sort of case could arise in parts of the country or under abnormal conditions, we would be advised to write it into the Bill here and now. I commend the Amendment to the House and commend my hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn for having tabled it.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

I do not think I need go over all the arguments raised by the Amendment because they were gone into quite thoroughly in Committee. The important point to remember is that the farmer who has land which has been flooded—presumably during a period of heavy rain—at that moment will not wish to do any spraying. If he impounds the water on that land by some method he may do so without charge or licence and he may then use that water to his own benefit for spraying purposes later. In that case he is in the clear.

On the other hand, should he clear his land of water and, say, place the water back into the river and then later in the year, when there is a scarcity of water, desire to use it, he cannot expect to be relieved of charges which he would otherwise be compelled to pay for abstraction in time of scarcity. If the question of damage to property arises he has an opportunity, under Section 34 of the Land Drainage Act, to take his case to the board and claim compensation. Having considered the matter and what was said in Committee, I urge my hon. Friend to withdraw the Amendment.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

In which case, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.