HC Deb 13 March 1967 vol 743 cc167-76

Question again proposed, That "now" stand part of the Question.

Mr. Speaker

Now the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor) may make his brief intervention.

Sir C. Taylor

Secondly, because of the power station there, which pumps up a lot of hot water, the water in Shoreham Harbour is full of worm, which is damaging to wooden sailing vessels.

Sir. W. Teeling

I hope that the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North is now satisfied.

To answer some of the things of which he was critical, one of them waste that this was a dangerous part of the town. Well, it is no more dangerous than any other part. All this area can be very rough in winter. We all know that, and everybody's eyes have been open to that all along.

Another thing he was worried about was the fact that graves were to be removed. It is quite true that there is a Quaker graveyard in the Riflebutt Road area. The corporation has promised to remove it completely and to replace the remains of the people in another cemetery at some reasonable distance. This sort of thing happens all over the country now.

The point was raised by two or three hon. Members, including the hon. Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins), about profitability and what amount of profit the corporation would get out of it. The answer is, 25 per cent., it has now been decided, of profit will go to the corporation, after, I think, about the first 10 per cent., and that will enable the corporation, it feels, to benefit the rates by something like £200,000 a year, and that, in itself, to my mind, is the equivalent of an investment.

The hon. Member for Accrington (Mr. Arthur Davidson) wanted to know why places like Riflebutt Road were being removed, and he referred to them as though they were attractive and wonderful spots. I can assure the House that Riflebutt Road is anything but an attractive spot, and as for the gasworks at the end of it—well, it depends what one thinks of gasworks.

As regards luxuries, the fishermen, as I have said, are all very keen about them. Of course, there will be luxury hotels. There must be. How else can we develop this area, unless we tax the ratepayers an impossible amount?

The hon. Member for Harwich (Mr. Ridsdale) talked about £12 million as the all-in cost. Does he realise, do all hon. Members realise, that it will take at least 10 years before the whole thing is through? For the first four years there will be practically nothing noticeable happening at all; during the next six years, yes; and it will be during all that time that we shall be planning the new roads and trying to develop new approaches to Brighton. We have not only at Brighton but at Shoreham for a long time discussed roads, and the possibility of new roads round Brighton to keep traffic out of Brighton, and this will be added on to the plans and schemes being worked out now by the corporation.

I can assure hon. Gentlemen that Brighton Council is most anxious that this Bill should go through. The council is most willing to co-operate with everybody. I do not think that it is really essential to have such tight provisions and directions as are contained in these Instructions which are on the Order Paper. They have been very well aired tonight; everybody knows what is wanted, including the hon. and learned Member himself. These matters can be considered in Committee if we have the Second Reading tonight. I have little doubt that hon. Members will eventually be completely satisfied, and I will do my level best to help to satisfy them for that matter.

Mr. Chapman

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that if the House negatives the Instructions the Committee will be under no obligation to take any notice of them?

Sir W. Teeling

There is possibly no need to bring up the Instructions if we just have a Second Reading. Everybody will know about them, and everybody is extremely keen to do what they can to help.

Mr. Chapman

Give an assurance.

Sir W. Teeling

How can I give an assurance when it is not my company? Nor is it the corporation's company. The corporation has made every promise that it can. In many ways it will be responsible for practically everything that is done. It will get 25 per cent, of the profitability when the scheme develops, and that is quite a bit—equivalent to having quite a number of shares.

I think that hon. Members should give the Bill a Second Reading, as has been requested by practically the whole of the Borough of Brighton and by Members of Parliament from surrounding constituencies—Hastings, Eastbourne, Hove, Chichester and East Grinstead. Practically the whole of Sussex wants it. Why should anybody want to stop us? If a big principle is involved, as has been suggested, Bills can be brought in for other areas if they want to do this. In the meantime, the Bill before us can be well thought out during the Committee stage.

9.37 p.m.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker (Derby, South)

I venture for a few moments to explain how and why I shall vote. As the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Sir W. Teeling) is aware, I am a Brighton addict. I have paid visits to Brighton, regular and often, short and long, for many years since my childhood—before the hon. Member was born. I know the coast eastwards to Dover and westwards to Newhaven and have walked the country back as far as Lewes, Chelwood Gate and Forest Row.

I believe that, whether or not I still want to go there, I am now compelled to go there by the fact that Brighton is one of only three seaside resorts that can accommodate the annual conference of the Labour Party. One thing about which I feel quite certain is that if the plan goes through I shall never of my free volition want to go to Brighton again. I am profoundly doubtful whether the theatrical attractions of the Labour Party conferences will take me there again.

1 believe that the same would be true of many of the foreign visitors who go to Brighton now. I have an American friend who had three days in Britain this year. He planned one day in Oxford and one in Brighton. He wanted to see the Georgian front and squares, the Pavilion and all the other treasures of the past. If this monstrous £15 million scheme goes through, with its casino and all the rest, I believe that a precious national heritage will be destroyed.

I venture one word about yachtsmen. My hon. Friend the Member for Lough-borough (Mr. Cronin) spoke with his usual persuasive skill. He wants more facilities for yachtsmen. So do I—more harbours, more places where they can go when the are overtaken by foul weather. I share the view of my hon. Friends who think that it is most unfortunate—I will not say a scandal—that the Minister who is responsible for sport has not been given more money in the Estimates this year to provide just such facilities as these.

I am all for sporting facilities of every kind. I have never sailed in the English Channel. My yachting experience is confined to the Canadian Great Lakes and to the Thames Estuary. The hon. Member for Harwich (Mr. Ridsdale) gave the right answer. This site is not the right place for a yachting refuge. Let there be such a refuge certainly, and let it be at Brighton, but let it be for the main purpose proposed in the Bill. People have spoken about the precedent which the Bill might create. It is true to say that the very company promoting the Bill is inciting other seaside resorts to put up similar schemes. I have been told this, and I believe it to be true.

I end my brief intervention, Mr. Speaker, with thanks to you, by saying that I believe that far too much of our coastline for far too many years has been "peace-havened" into unplanned squalor. If the Bill is passed it will be a giant stride along the road upon which we have already travelled too far. I shall vote against the Bill and I most ardently hope that it will fail.

9.41 p.m.

Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)

I do not want to detain the House for long and, if it had not been for the intervention of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, South (Mr. Philip Noel-Baker), I would not have intervened at all. I do not understand the right hon. Gentleman's reaction to this. I am not a Member for Brighton; I come from a long way from Brighton, but if one looks at the growth of the ordinary amenities, and the activities of the population of the country, this sort of activity is an absolute necessity if people are to enjoy themselves in future.

I have looked at this plan of the operation, and although I might not particularly like it—I would like to live on an unspoiled piece of coastline—it seems to be something which is inevitable if people are to have the facilities which they desire.

Mr. Hector Hughes rose

Mr. Speaker

Order. Interventions prolong speeches and I think that the House is anxious to come to a decision.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does the hon. Gentleman not realise that the picture at which he is looking is pure fiction? It is fantastic imagination, and is not really a plan of the proposed harbour.

Sir D. Glover

I am very glad that the hon. and learned Member has intervened, because the other thing that I would like to say is that we in this House are returned to represent our constituents. The one thing that I deplore about this debate is the fact that the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hector Hughes), the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman), and various other hon. Members who have no personal constituency interests in this matter, have used their own private interests to try to stop this Bill receiving a Second Reading, purely for their own—[HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."]

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman must withdraw. He cannot charge

hon. Members with taking a point of view in a debate because of their private interests.

Sir D. Glover

I willingly accept your rebuke, Mr. Speaker, and I withdraw. I would ask the hon. Members to tell us what other reason they have for taking the attitude that they have—

Mr. Chapman

Absolutely disgraceful.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) is making exactly the same offensive point in an indirect way. He must withdraw.

Sir D. Glover

I willingly withdraw completely. I support the activities of the Minister responsible for sport, who has taken a very imaginative attitude to the development of sporting activities in this country. We have to face the fact that we are living in a changing society, and that many things will happen which will not be to the liking of conservative people. More and more people will want to take part in sporting and social activities, and they will inevitably need more land and more space than they have had hitherto. In this proposal, the Brighton Corporation has provided all the safeguards one could reasonably require. I hope that the House will look to the future and give the Bill a Second Reading.

Question put, That "now" stand part of the Question:

The House divided: Ayes 99, Noes 42.

Division No. 290.] AYES 19.45 p.m.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Lestor, Miss Joan
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Ford, Ben Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Fraser, John (Norwood) Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Loughlin, Charles
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Glover, Sir Douglas Loveys, W. H.
Bidwell, Sydney Good hew, Victor Luard, Evan
Bishop, E. S. Gower, Raymond MacArthur, Ian
Blackburn, F. Grant, Anthony McCann, John
Blaker, Peter Hamilton, James (Bothwell) MacColl, James
Booth, Albert Hay, John McNamara, J. Kevin
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hazell, Bert Maddan, Martin
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Heffer, Eric S. Manuel, Archie
Bullus, Sir Eric Hill, J. E. B. Mawby, Ray
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hunt, John Miller, Dr. M. S.
Cronin, John Hunter, Adam Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Monro, Hector
Dalyell, Tam Janner, Sir Barnett Murton, Oscar
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Jeger, George (Goole) Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Doig, Peter Jones, Dan (Burnley) Oakes, Gordon
Doughty, Charles Jopling, Michael O'Malley, Brian
Edelman, Maurice Judd, Frank Onslow, Cranley
Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne. N.) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Orme, Stanley
Errington, Sir Eric Kirk, Peter Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Eyre, Reginald Kitson, Timothy Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Farr, John Lawson, George Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Fisher, Nigel Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Pardoe, John
Peel, John Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Webster, David
Perry. Ernest G. (Battersea, S.) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Reynolds, G. W. Temple, John M. Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.) Tinn, James Winnick, David
Sinclair, Sir George Wall, Patrick Yates, Victor
Smith, John Ward, Dame Irene
Snow, Julian Watkins, David (Consett) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. Weatherill, Bernard Mr. Dennis Hobden and
Sir William Teeling.
Archer, Peter Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Ridsdale, Julian
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Kerby, Capt. Henry Roebuck, Roy
Chapman, Donald Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Coleman, Donald Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Carmock) Spriggs, Leslie
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Lubbock, Eric Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire, W.) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Moonman, Eric Thorpe, Jeremy
Driberg, Tom Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Wellbeloved, James
Ellis, John Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Morris, John (Aberavon) Wilkins, W. A.
Galpern, Sir Myer Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Hannan, William Parker, John (Dagenham) Winterbottom, R. E.
Hooley, Frank Pavitt, Laurence
Hooson, Emlyn Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Howie, W. Randall, Harry Mr. Hector Hughes and
Mr. Arthur Davidson.

Bill read a Second time.

Motion made, and Question put, That it be an Instruction to the Committee to which the Bill may be committed to leave out all provisions for compulsory acquisition of lands and easements until the Corporation

of Brighton has produced to the Committee adequate plans for the areas directly or indirectly affected by the proposed township, so as to preserve their natural and architectural amenities.—[Mr. Chapman.]

The House divided: Ayes 46, Noes 77.

Division No. 291.] AYES [9.54 p.m.
Albu, Austen Hooson, Emlyn Roebuck, Roy
Archer, Peter Howie, W. Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Booth, Albert Hoy, James Spriggs, Leslie
Coleman, Donald Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Cronin, John Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Watkins, David (Consett)
Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire, W.) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Wellbeloved, James
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) McBride, Neil Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Driberg, Tom Miller, Dr. M. S. Wilkins, W. A.
Ellis, John Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Morrison, John (Aberavon) Winterbottom, R. E.
Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)
Galpern, Sir Myer Parker, John (Dagenham) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hannan, William Pavitt, Laurence Mr. Donald Chapman and
Hazell, Bert Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) Mr. Arthur Davidson.
Hooley, Frank Randall, Harry
Aliason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Gower, Raymond MacArthur, Ian
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Grant, Anthony MacColl, James
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) McNamara, J. Kevin
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hay, John Maddan, Martin
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Heffer, Eric S. Manuel, Archie
Bidwell, Sydney Higgins, Terence L. Mawby, Ray
Blackburn, F. Hill, J. E. B. Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Blaker, Peter Hunt, John Monro, Hector
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hunter, Adam Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Murton, Oscar
Dalyell, Tam Janner, Sir Barnett Nabarro, Sir Gerald
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Jeger, George (Goole) Onslow, Cranley
Doig, Peter Jopling, Michael Orme, Stanley
Doughty, Charles Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Eyre, Reginald Kirk, Peter Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Farr, John Kitson, Timothy Pardoe, John
Fisher, Nigel Lawson, George Peel, John
Fraser, John (Norwood) Lestor, Miss Joan Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Reynolds, G. W.
Glover, Sir Douglas Loughlin, Charles Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Goodhew, Victor Loveys, W. H. Sinclair, Sir George
Smith, John Wall, Patrick Yates, Victor
Snow, Julian Weatherill, Bernard
Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. Webster, David TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.) Mr. Dennis Hobden and
Temple, John M. Winnick, David Sir William Teeling.

Motion made, and Question put,

That it be an Instruction to the Committee to which the Bill may be committed that before finding the preamble of the Bill proved they satisfy themselves that the Corporation of Brighton has become a shareholder in the company promoting the project, and has

acquired the right (if it believes the public interest so requires) to become majority shareholder at any future date.—[Mr. Arthur Davidson.]

The House divided: Ayes 49, Noes 68.

Division No. 292.] AYES [10.3 p.m.
Albu, Austen Hoy, James Parker, John (Dagenham)
Archer, Peter Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pavitt, Laurence
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Booth, Albert Judd, Frank Randall, Harry
Coleman, Donald Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Reynolds, G. W.
Cronin, John Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Roebuck, Roy
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Lestor, Miss Joan Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Driberg, Tom Loughlin, Charles Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Ellis, John Luard, Evan Watkins, David (Consett)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Wellbeloved, James
Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich) McBride, Neil Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Galpern, Sir Myer McNamara, J. Kevin Wilkins, W. A.
Gourlay, Harry Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Hannan, William Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Heffer, Eric S. Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hooley, Frank Morris, John (Aberavon) Mr. Donald Chapman and
Hooson, Emlyn Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.) Mr. Arthur Davidson.
Howle, W. Orme, Stanley
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Gower, Raymond Onslow, Cranley
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Grant, Anthony Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hay, John Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Blackburn, F. Higgins, Terence L. Pardoe, John
Blaker, Peter Hill, J. E. B. Peel, John
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hunt, John Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hunter, Adam Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire,, S.)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Sinclair, Sir George
Dalyell, Tam Janner, Sir Barnett Smith, John
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Jeger, George (Goole) Snow, Julian
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Jopling, Michael Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Doig, Peter King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Doughty, Charles Kirk, Peter Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Kitson, Timothy Temple, John M.
Errington, Sir Erie Lawson, George Thorpe, Jeremy
Eyre, Reginald Loveys, W. H. Wall, Patrick
Farr, John Mac Arthur, Ian Weatherill, Bernard
Fisher, Nigel MacColl, James Webster, David
Fraser, John (Norwood) Maddan, Martin Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Mawby, Ray Yates, Victor
Glover, Sir Douglas Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Goodhew, Victor Monro, Hector TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Nabarro, Sir Gerald Mr. Dennis Hobden and
Sir William Teeling.