HC Deb 17 December 1968 vol 775 cc1330-2

Lords Amendment No. 2: In page 15, line 37, at end insert: (2A) Any reference to boats in the Herring Industry Act 1935, the Herring Industry Act 1944 or the White Fish and Herring Industries Act 1948 shall be construed as a reference to vessels."

Mr. Hoy

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harry Gourlay)

I suggest that it might be convenient for the House to consider at the same time Amendments No. 3 to No. 14.

Mr. Hoy

That is convenient, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and I am grateful that hon. Gentlemen opposite also agree to that course.

These Amendments are either drafting and are needed to tidy up the Bill or have the sole purpose of assisting in the preparation of a consolidation Measure which we all hope to see shortly. With that simple explanation, I shall be available to answer any questions that hon. Members may ask on the subject.

Mr. Anthony Stodart (Edinburgh, West)

I seek the Minister's guidance on two points. The first concerns Schedule 1, Amendment No. 3 which proposes that … for the word 'approval' there shall be substituted the word 'connivance'". What is the subtle difference? Perhaps it is the same as the difference between renown and notoriety. Approval is something which has an air of virtue about it while connivance is perhaps something which carries a distinct flavour of guilt.

Secondly, we read, in the same Amendment, that … the definition of 'boat' shall cease to have effect. According to the Herring Industry Act, 1935 'Boat' means a vessel which is constructed or adapted for use in herring fishing or in the herring fishing service or which is for the time being so used". Can the Minister explain why this definition is no longer in use?

Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, North)

The statement by my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary that at last we are to have some form of consolidation in the very tortuous world of Acts dealing with the fishing industry will be welcomed by anybody who has had to try to find his way through the Acts dealing with the industry. When shall we have the joy of consolidating?

Mr. Hoy

I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) for those words. I cannot put a date to it. He can rest assured that we shall consolidate as soon as possible.

In answer to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (Mr. Stodart), it makes it an offence not merely to have approved of the commission of an offence under the Act by a body corporate, but to have consented to or connived at any such commission. "Connivance" is used here in the sense of tacitly permitting or overlooking.

As to "boats" and "vessels", the Acts of 1935, 1944 and 1948 relating to the herring industry refer to boats as a term defined in the 1935 Act as a vessel which is constructed or adapted for use in herring fishing or in the herring fishing service or which is for the time being so used". Later Acts refer to "vessels" without definition, leaving it to the context to make it clear that only vessels engaged in the herring industry are concerned. The use of "vessels" in this way has proved satisfactory, and it is now proposed to substitute "vessels" for "boats" in the earlier Acts and to repeal the definition of "boat". This is a verbal change which will make a consolidated Statute much shorter and simpler.

Question put and agreed to.

Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to [One with Special Entry].