HC Deb 25 October 1967 vol 751 cc1647-8

Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Graham Page

Clause 10 provides measures for the increase or improvement of marine resources, and the long Title of the Bill describes it, among other things, as a consolidation Bill … authorising measures for the increase or improvement of marine resources. I was curious to know what are "marine resources".

Turning to the table of derivations, Clause 10 is a consolidation of Section 4 of the Sea Fish Industry Act, 1959. It will be seen from Section 4 of that Act that Clause 10 is, word for word, a repeat of subsection (1) of that Section, but that it omits subsection (2). As this is a consolidation Measure I can to that extent query whether Clause 10 is a consolidation of the law contained in Section 4 of the 1959 Act. The important omission, which is contained in Section 4(2) of that Act, is: Any expenses incurred by the Ministers under this section shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament. The Schedule to the Bill repeals Sections 4 to 8 of that Act, and it seems to me that in consolidating the improvements concerning marine resources this consolidation Measure gives Ministers power to spend money on marine resources, but deprives Parliament of control of that money, because it omits Section 4(2) of the 1959 Act. We are told, in the table of derivations, that this power is included in Clause 10, but on the face of it it is not. I hope that the Solicitor-General can give us some explanation of the position. What has happened to Section 4(2) of the 1959 Act?

The Solicitor-General (Sir Arthur Irvine)

My understanding of the point raised by the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) is that the provisions of Section 4(2) of the 1959 Act are contained in Clause 19(1) of this consolidation Measure. I offer that explanation to the hon. Gentleman. I am sure that if he investigates the matter he will find that that is so, and I hope that his anxieties in this respect will, therefore, be put at rest.

Mr. Graham Page

I have now looked at Clause 19, and I find that it includes expenses incurred under Clause 10. There remains my complaint that the Bill does not include any definition of marine resources, but I doubt whether the hon. and learned Gentleman can put that right at this stage.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 11 to 26 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; read the Third time and passed, without Amendment.