§ Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
§ 1.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Costain
I am advised that the Coal Merchants' Federation is worried about the powers contained in this Clause. The Federation thinks that, as drafted, the Bill would enable the Minister to require any local authority in any part of the country to undertake a programme of smoke control. If it failed to do so voluntarily, this power could be used, though it is unlikely to be so used, to force authorities in whose area there was no real pollution problem to undertake a programme of smoke control.
Because this might well complicate the supply of smokeless fuels in areas where they were more urgently required, the Federation has asked me to press the sponsors of the Bill for some assurance that the powers would be used only in extreme cases where an authority resolutely refused to take action in a case where there was a definite pollution problem.
§ Mr. Maxwell
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising this point. As far as I am aware, that is the intention. I wounder whether my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary has anything to add. If he has not, I am certain that a careful note will be taken of this point raised by the Federation.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.815
§ Clauses 7 and 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill.