HC Deb 13 January 1971 vol 809 cc203-17

Order for Third Reading read.—[Queen's Consent, on behalf of the Crown, signified]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

10.22 p.m.

Mr. Mason

This is now a changed Bill and a much more substantial one. To the House at large, and especially to this side of the House, it is a more acceptable Bill than was the original one. I believe this is the first Bill positively to tackle pollution in any form. It happens that this is one of the worst forms of pollution—oil pollution of the seas and the effects on our coastal waters and coastlines, with the consequent poisoning of our beaches and of marine and bird life. Oil spillages can have disastrous effects.

This Bill marks another great step forward towards the ultimate goal of not allowing any oil discharges into the sea whatsoever. Having moved from wholesale dumping into the oceans when no one cared about pollution—and, indeed, were mainly ignorant of all its consequences—we have been gradually step by step, or Bill by Bill, zoning the oceans of the world and determining where oil could be dumped and in what amounts, until now, when by this Bill we are establishing, first, that there will be no discharges of oil up to 50 miles from the coastline, and, secondly, only a scientifically assessed, legally allowable thin slick release which has no permanent adverse or pollutionary effects can be released elsewhere. No doubt there will come a time when a Bill will ban even that.

The necessity by law to make ships carry an oil record book—an oil movements ledger, if one likes—which must be submitted for inspection to show every movement of oil—loading, transfers and discharges—helps to tighten the noose around the guilty oil polluters. The Committee's wise Amendment to allow fines of up to £50,000 will help considerably. The big oil companies will not mind since they are aware of the dangers, and some of them are especially aware of their own image.

At this stage a word of praise is due to the Shell Oil Company for devising the "load-on-top" technique in dealing with tank washings; and also to B.P. for devising its new technique of containing oil spillages. Both are to be applauded for their endeavours and should be encouraged to maintain these interests in defeating the menace of oil pollution.

Finally, we all hope that this Bill will help every maritime nation and everyone else who is treating oil pollution seriously to trap the fly-by-night oil slickers, those who do not use the "load-on-top" methods but clean by night, form these oil slicks and vanish in daylight. This Bill has our blessing. It emerged initially when I was at the Board of Trade. I only hope that every maritime nation will now follow our lead, especially making the fines high and penalising the polluters of the sea.

10.26 p.m.

Mr. Laurance Reed (Bolton, East)

I understand that it is the custom for maiden speakers to pay a tribute to those whom they have displaced. The representative before me of the constituency of Bolton, East was Mr. Robert Howarth, well known, I think, for his contribution in the field of aviation and also for his sustained campaign to have crash barriers erected down the middle of motorways. Here it might be a little premature for me to pay my obsequies to Mr. Howarth, because I am certain that, with the ability that he has, he will quickly find his way back to this place—though not, I suggest, for Bolton, East.

I have been prompted to speak by a desire to proclaim a vested interest in this matter. This interest is not peculiar to me, nor to those I represent here because it is the vested interest we all have in the well-being of the environment which sustains us. The oceans, after all, cover 70 per cent. of the earth's surface and they are critical to maintaining the world's environment, contributing to the oxygen-carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphere, affecting global climate and constituting the source of the world's hydrological cycle. The oceans are also economically valuable, providing a variety of food, energy and mineral resources.

Britain, herself, in addition to protein food, takes from the sea, or the territory beneath it 70 per cent. of her natural gas, 10 per cent. of her coal, 10 per cent. of her sand and gravel and most of her bromine and magnesium requirements—worth £200 million—yet they are only a fraction of the wealth which we might generate from the sea in future, provided that we learn to exploit these off-shore assets in a way which will leave the self-regenerative powers of the oceans substantially intact.

In this Bill, we have been concerned with just one aspect of ocean management; namely, how to put an end to an abuse by traditional users of the marine environment, those who use it as a medium of transportation—an abuse which, if left unchecked, could seriously impair these self-regenerative powers, and consequently diminish the value of the sea as a productive resource.

I am very gratified that my hon. Friend should have accepted the Amendment moved in Committee. I am chiefly gratified because I am one of those who are supposed to have rebelled against the Government. But it was never a question of voting against anyone, only of voting for something. Each one of us believed that what we were doing was right. My own views were simply that to charge a £50,000 fine instead of a £5,000 fine would constitute a greater deterrent to this offence. I also felt that £50,000 was more closely related to the gravity of the offence.

We must remember that we have had legislation on this question since the 1920s. I am afraid that the problem is not getting any better. Every year coastal authorities report an increasing number of oil slicks around our shores. In the first six months of 1969 the coastguard service reported 111 oil slicks. In the first six months of 1970 that total had risen to 193.

Accepting that there were new and better procedures for locating them and allowing for some of the reports to have been duplicated—and accepting that some of the slicks were the results of accidents, with which we are not concerned in this Bill—one is bound to wonder how many slicks were not sighted.

I have with me the Report of the Lancashire and Western Joint Sea Fisheries Committee for the first six months of 1970. Bolton, East, my constituency, is a member of this Committee, which is responsible for supervising fishery conservation inside our territorial waters along about 440 miles of the Lancashire and North Wales coastline.

In one month of 1970, it is reported—and this is by no means the worst affected area—this happened: on 3rd March there was a one-mile oil slick about seven and a half miles west of the Bar Light vessel and on 4th March an aircraft reported a slick 20 miles west of—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The rules relating to the Third Reading of a Bill are quite strict in that speeches must be relevant to the Measure.

Mr. Reed

I appreciate that, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and it is necessary to demonstrate the gravity of the situation that has arisen in regard to oil pollution. We cannot test the adequacy of the Measure without observing the nature and extent of the damage caused by oil pollution in the sea. That is my submission and I hope you will accept it.

The Report to which I referred shows that between 19th and 23rd March the same area was hit by further pollution, there being one slick five miles off Formby, with other slicks affecting Crosby and Southport. I am not sure, but I believe you are about to call me to order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Suffice to say that there were a large number of oil slicks sighted and that they were by no means small. One was four miles long and 400 yards wide.

We must put this problem of deliberate oil discharge into the sea against the background of an increasing volume of oil reaching the sea accidentally. We have heard a great deal about accidents and collisions involving tankers and tanker groundings. Do hon. Members know that 70 countries are now exploring for oil on their continental shelves? Do they know that 22 of them have found commercial oil deposits, that 17 per cent. of the world's oil production comes from offshore areas and that by 1980 that figure will be 40 per cent. of total world production?

Around our own continental shelf territory, apart from the oil province that we have found in the northern sector of the North Sea, there are great possibilities of finding additional oil resources to the north-west of the Orkney's, the Minches, St. George's Channel, Rockall Bank, and the Western Approaches, and even if we are lucky enough to avoid a blow-out, as happened at Santa Barbara in California, there is still danger from undersea pipelines and under-sea storage tanks.

It is of the greatest importance, in these circumstances, that we put an end to the deliberate discharge of oil, precisely because it is avoidable. In so far as a large fine is a greater deterrent than a small one, that was a good reason for the Government accepting the Amendment to which I referred and, therefore, for welcoming the Bill as amended.

But that is not the only reason for welcoming the changes which we brought about in the Bill in Committee. There is also the question of relating any kind of penalty to the gravity of the offence. What I have heard tonight leads me to suppose that my right hon. Friend and my hon. Friends have not fully appreciated exactly what is at stake and what is involved in this matter. Perhaps I may be allowed to state swiftly four types of hurt, harm, injury and loss caused by oil pollution of the sea.

First of all, obviously, there is the threat to or loss of amenity value and the consequent threat to the tourist industry. We use our coastline for fishing, swimming, sun bathing, diving: obviously oil slicks present a threat to the full enjoyment of these pleasures which millions enjoy.

Secondly, there is the risk to public health. Cancerous growths have been found on various varieties of shellfish and also on certain varieties of free swimming fish such as Dover sole, and it is believed, although it is not known for certain, that the cause is oil and oily waters in the sea. Recent research in the United States has shown that hydrocarbons of the kind that can cause cancer in man are concentrated in certain varieties of oyster and mollusc in polluted waters, and though no one has yet shown that cancer in humans results directly from the consumption of carcinogens in sea food, public health officials in the United States do not discount this possibility.

Thirdly, there is the direct economic loss to the fishing industry. We know something of the damage that is done to marine life inside the coastal area generally by oil pollution or by the cleanup operations. The French have attempted to express this in money terms. They calculated the "biomass"—the total volume of vegetable and living matter—along a 50 kilometre stretch of their coast to a depth of 15 metres. They put it at a certain sum, and to that they added one year's interest or yield. They calculated that the "Torrey Canyon's" oil had destroyed 10 per cent. of this 'biological capital', and that the total loss on this stretch of coast was £80,000.

Outside the coastal zone it is popularly believed that oil does not do much damage, but that is a fallacy. To begin with, oil is lethal to the eggs and larvae of fish and it just so happens that a number of economically important fisheries begin their life in the top five centimetres of the ocean. After a time the oil is emulsified, either by the action taken to disperse it or by normal wave action. It then ceases to be a mere surface layer and becomes an integral part of the aqueous environment. Here it can become lethal to adult fish, and to benthic organisms, and to zooplankton and phytoplankton which are the basis of primary production in the sea.

These are only its lethal effect. There are also many sub-lethal effects that cause loss to inshore fishermen. The growth, the reproduction and the quality of fish can all be affected. Fish, being itinerant creatures, have a habit of pushing into cleaner waters when their normal habitat is fouled, and it can be a serious and permanent loss to fishermen if, as a result of repeated oil spills in the sea, the fish are induced to change their migratory patterns.

Fish can also be tainted, and that reduces their market value assuming they can be sold when in that state at all. It has been shown that the oily discharge from an outboard motor is sufficient to pollute all fish within 1 acre-foot of the motor.

Fourthly, there is the long-term contamination of the marine environment itself. It was these long-term effects which were singled out for special emphasis at the Conference on Marine Pollution held last December by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. We know that certain substances that reach the sea which are either harmless or relatively so can be made harmful or highly toxic as a result of either the chemistry of the sea itself or through biological concentration in the food chain. We had cases of this—D.D.T., polychlorinated biphenyls and, more recently—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I must once again refer the hon. Gentleman to the subject in the Bill as it is before us now.

Mr. Reed

I am coming to that, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because I was about to say that the poisons in oil include carcinogens, which are cancer-producing agents, and they can be biologically accumulated through the food chain in the same way. What I am trying to impress upon the House is that, if the House is to make an asessment of what is done in the Bill, it is essential to understand exactly what oil does in the marine environment and the total effect it has. I submit that this is entirely relevant to what I am saying.

Oil can also damage marine ecosystems, because sea animals use the chemistry of the sea to transmit and receive information and messages, and they use these channels to select their habitats, their food, their mating partners, and even to detect their enemies. Very minute quantities of oil can impair—can block—these communication channels and, consequently, cause major biological disruptions. Phytoplankton in the upper surface of the sea depend upon sunlight to form organic compounds both from water and carbon dioxide. This is the process of photosynthesis. It fuels the entire biological life cycle in the oceans. Yet in some parts of the sea there is as much as 500 litres of oil to every square kilometre. "Atlantis II", a U.S. oceanographic vessel, recently discovered that in the Sargasso Sea there are now more tarry oil lumps than plant life in the upper surface layers. This would be sufficient seriously to reduce the amount of solar radiation that penetrates the upper surface layers and consequently to impair the entire photo-synthetic process.

It is very difficult to say what effect all this has had on the productivity of the oceans, but it is perhaps relevant to draw the attention of the House to the observations of a distinguished marine biologist internationally renowned who has spent a lifetime exploring underwater. He says: We can say from the evidence we have that the intensity of life in all the seas of the world has declined by between 30 per cent. and 50 per cent. in the past 20 years. These comments bear on fixed fauna, on vegetation, plankton, shell fish, edible and non-edible fish, coral and all marine life. This is Jacques Cousteau, who is no charlatan. He does not attribute all this to pollution by oil, but makes it clear that it has played its part. The evidence of Thor Heyerdahl, who crossed the Atlantic literally in a sea of oils, is evidence which simply confirms a far more general phenomenon; because, as he remained on the surface, all that he saw was the oil. Had he been able to compare by plunging repeatedly under his boat, he would have been able to note that the actual transparency of the seas was being reduced. I, too, have seen something of the reduction in transparency in the high seas in various deep sea dives I have made.

In these circumstances, I put it to the House that the Bill as amended is surely substantially better than the one presented to us originally by the Government; because is anybody seriously going to tell me that a £5,000 maximum fine for this offence was adequate for those who deliberately, for those who consciously, for those who by choice and not of necessity, for those who wantonly, damage the marine environment, with its threat to the livelihood of inshore fishermen, with its risks to public health, with its defilement of amenity value, and even with its long-term contamination of the sea?

I will end as I began, by reminding hon. Members of the vested interest we all have in the wellbeing of the environment that sustains us. Apart from ourselves, we also have an obligation to future generations, to leave them with our natural resources not impoverished and exhausted but preserved and so far as possible augmented. The oceans offer us the hope that we can fulfil that responsibility provided we take adequate steps to safeguard the life and health of the marginal seas around this Island. The Bill is a useful beginning, but I emphasise that it is only a beginning.

I thank the House for its indulgence at this late hour.

10.45 p.m.

Mr. James Johnson

It is always a pleasure for an elder Member to congratulate a maiden speaker. The hon. Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Laurance Reed) beat a good man. His fluent and lucid speech underlines his worth, and perhaps explains his being where he is now. Speaking as a geographer, I am delighted to welcome the hon. Gentleman and pay tribute to a good oceanographer. I believe that he is that and that he is an acquisition to the House, particularly in debates like this. I am not uttering a time-worn cliché when I say most sincerely that I and all of us who heard him tonight will listen to him again with much pleasure, particularly on this subject.

As a Humberside Member I thank the Minister for his kindness and courtesy in Committee and to us on Humberside. He paid us a visit, when he blessed and dedicated the mother ship which is of enormous value to the fishing fleet in my constituency.

I also want to thank him for what he has done in setting up the emergency measures in the Humber for oil slicks that may develop. The proposal for these originally came from Goole, whose Member, Mr. George Jeger, was a dedicated colleague of ours. We all deplore his passing. I was happy to attempt to do something for my former colleague and for Goole in this matter. The Minister has done more than perhaps he knew at the time, and I thank him for what he did.

We are all happy tonight and speed the Bill on its way. I hope that the Minister will not mind our saying that it is a good Labour Bill. It would have been a good Labour Act but for something that happened on 18th June. We appreciate the Minister's aplomb, modesty, cheerfulness and willing acceptance of the fortunes of war upstairs in Committee.

I apologise to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for what I did earlier, when I tried to thank the wooden horse opposite that was so helpful in a collective capacity, not for us to gain some kudos in the Committee but to gain for us all the collective benefit of making sure that we had a deterrent for the villains who cast filth and pollution into the oceans. We are happy to have the £50,000 penalty, and I shall not mention the Amendment which spoke of £100,000. We have made an enormous step forward.

This is in some ways a modest Bill. The Minister said that it was the beginning of bigger things. I think that he has another Bill on his mind. I do not know how big it is, but I hope that it becomes bigger and bigger as the months go by. I mean this as a compliment: the hon. Gentleman is a modest man and his behaviour upstairs with this modest Bill endeared him to us. Let us hope that he is less modest in future and has a much less modest Bill to help us in our fight against these villians and pirates on the high seas.

10.50 p.m.

Mr. Wyn Roberts (Conway)

It us unusual to rise with some trepidation after a maiden speaker. Nevertheless I do so following the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Laurance Reed). His assurance on the subject of oceanography was astonishing, and I am sure that we all look forward to hearing him again.

I welcome the Bill on behalf of the thousands of seaside holidaymakers and especially those who contribute so much to the prosperity of my constituency. With its increased penalties, it is an indication that the Government are really in earnest in their concern with this aspect of our environment. We can only hope that the Government will be equally successful in their pursuit of all who trangress the provisions of this valuable Bill. Here, as we have heard, lies the rub. It is not easy to detect those responsible for oil discharges and one can only urge the Government to make an all-out effort to ensure that the intention behind the Bill, which is to give as much protection as possible to our shores, is fully realised by every possible means within their power.

Certain provisions apply only to ships registered in the United Kingdom. We would wish that they applied to all vessels using British ports. One knows that there are difficulties, but I hope that the Government will study ways and means of extending the application of the Measure, or a similar Measure, to ships of other nations.

Many people on our North Wales coast have recently been alarmed by the prospect of an oil terminal off the Anglesey coast, and they will be glad to know that the Bill covers that kind of operation and possible oil discharges from it. We have understood that one alternative to having such a terminal is to have cargoes transferred to smaller vessels off our shores, with all the risks attendant upon such operations. Indeed, a great deal of this kind of transferring has been going on in Liverpool Bay recently, apparently successfully and without discharges into the sea.

Nevertheless, there has been occasional pollution of our beaches in the area. But we cannot be sure of its source. The Bill rightly tries to tackle the problem of the source aboard ship. More has to be done—and I have detected the feeling in the House—to trace back pollution from the beaches, whenever it appears. We have heard—and I can confirm it myself—that it is now possible to identify individual cargoes of oil by their chemical composition, to fingerprint each cargo, as it were, and one hopes that before long it will be possible to trace every discharge that occurs to the ship that caused it, so that we shall not be entirely dependent on the evidence of oil records maintained by the ships' masters.

The Bill, to sum up, is an earnest of the Government's concern about oil pollution and the Government are to be congratulated upon it. It is limited in its scope to ships registered with the United Kingdom. Let us hope that it will be an example to other countries. It will be difficult, we know, to implement the Bill effectively but I urge the Government to use all the scientific techniques available to trace pollution to its sources and to prosecute those responsible for oil discharges. I echo what has been said—that the Bill is a good beginning to reform. Let us hope that it is not an end.

10.55 p.m.

Mr. John Wilkinson (Bradford, West)

I rise, again with trepidation at a late hour, but gladly, first to welcome the Bill and, secondly, humbly to congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Laurance Reed). If the speeches of other hon. Members were half as enlightening as his, what a magnificent Chamber this would be! It is rare to find a speech seemingly so short because it was so enlightening and educational.

I should like to welcome the Bill particularly on behalf of the ornithological public whom the Bill will especially benefit. I refer to the problem of oil pollution as it has affected the sea bird population around our coasts and more especially the sea bird population in the Irish Sea. My hon. Friend the Member for Conway (Mr. Wyn Roberts) has referred to the possibility of the development of an oil terminal on Anglesey. We already have evidence of what occurs with the development of the oil terminal at Milford Haven.

I believe that the severe penalties that the Minister has so wisely, after Amendment, sought to impose will help to alleviate the problem, and the problem is severe. The statistics of the populations of the auk family of sea birds, that is, the little auk, the black and white guillemot, the gannet, the razorbill and puffin, show the most catastrophic decline in numbers, particularly in the last five years and especially in the Irish Sea.

It has been noted that last summer there was an overall decline of 47 per cent. in the number of guillemots which should have returned to their nesting places in the Irish Sea. I am not suggesting that this is due entirely to oil pollution, but it was certainly a contributory factor. Likewise, there has been a decline of 27 per cent. in the number of razorbills and an 18 per cent. decline in both combined in the colonies to the north, that is, further from the oil terminals.

This is a problem of the utmost seriousness. The information from which these statistics have been gained comes, ironically enough, from the "Torrey Canyon" Appeal contribution to the Wild Life Fund and the R.S.P.B. and it is significant that money subscribed by the public in response to a disaster as cataclysmic as the "Torrey Canyon" should have gone to analysing the problem.

We have been promised new legislation and that promise is welcome. The Bill is an earnest of the Government's intent in this matter. Much more work must be done in locating and detecting oil slicks. Secondly, more work must be done in clearing up the menace, not only in areas where amenities are affected, holiday areas for example, but areas where wild life is directly concerned and for which there is no provision under present legislation.

I wholeheartedly welcome the Bill. It has been a pleasure to work in a small way with the Minister and to be associated with hon. Members as expert as my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, East. It has been particularly salutary that places as far apart as Bolton, East and Bradford, West, on either side of the land-locked Pennines should take an interest in this admirable Bill.

10.58 p.m.

Mr. Anthony Grant

My first task is the very pleasant duty of offering my warm congratulations to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Laurance Reed) on his maiden speech. I must say that I was rather surprised when he said that it was to be a maiden speech, because we recall his addressing us with remarkable fluency and confidence in Standing Committee. I envied the skill with which he addressed the House on this first occasion and on the way in which he positively dazzled us with science. It is clear that he will be a formidable debater in future. The best that I can wish him is that I hope that he will be as happy in this House as I have always been.

This has been an interesting, useful and helpful debate, as all debates on the Bill have been. I should like to express my appreciation for the welcome that it has received from both sides of the House. During the Second Reading hon. and right hon. Members opposite claimed that the Bill was theirs. I am glad to acknowledge the part played by the previous Administration in preparing and introducing the Bill. This is a happy degree of unanimity which, I have no doubt, will not always be reflected in my activities.

The degree of interest aroused by the Bill reflects the strength of feeling about oil pollution, as about other threats to the environment. Examples of oil pollution have been in the public eye while the Bill has been before the House and in our debates and elsewhere proposals have been made for measures to combat the threat to our beaches and seas. Not all ideas are practical but I welcome the thought that has been given to the problem. My Department is giving a great deal of thought to finding the best ways of making rapid and effective progress in an area fraught with complexity. We will look carefully at any idea put forward.

Our debates have been wide-ranging and they have provided plenty of food for thought, but the object of the Bill is limited. It deals only with one aspect of the pollution problem. I should like to reiterate the importance which the Government attach to it and to its speedy passage into law. Its central purpose is to enable us to accept and bring into force the amendments, adopted in October, 1969, to the 1954 Convention. These amendments will make a great improvement. As it stands, the Convention has been useful, but serious weaknesses were apparent. In some respects it is more a statement of good intention than a practical means of control. With amendments it should become a realistic and effective Measure and this is something for which Britain can claim credit because the amendments resulted from a British initiative. The proposals we made resulted from fruitful collaboration between Government and industry, and I am confident that they take full account of the practical aspects of the operation of ships. They will give us a control which the industry can comply with, using modern techniques, which the Government can enforce, and which is capable of putting a stop to the nuisance caused by deliberate discharges of oily wastes.

I have stressed that the purpose of the Bill is limited. Other means are necessary to deal with other aspects of oil pollution such as the threat of accidents to large tankers, and we are advancing on a number of fronts at once in this respect. One of these concerns the important question of civil liability for compensation. I repeat the assurance which I gave in Committee, that we shall shortly be introducing a Bill which will give us the powers needed to ratify the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969. It will substantially improve the position of the claimant who has suffered damage as a result of an oil pollution incident or incurred expense in cleaning up the spillage of oil. This will be another step along what I regard as the right road.

Our next task, on which we are already working, will be to make the necessary regulations to bring the various parts of the Bill into force. Some of these, such as the Sections dealing with penalties and the defences available to those charged with offences, can be brought into effect as soon as the Bill is on the Statute Book. We shall lose no time in doing this. Others, particularly those which apply the amended Convention to British ships, will require more time. There will need to be discussions with the shipping industry and other interests on the details. We must give careful thought to the instructions to be issued to my Department's surveyors who will have the task of enforcing the revised provisions. A new manual for masters of ships will have to be published by the time the Regulations come into force. I hope that all this work will be completed in time to bring the Regulations into force before the end of the year.

But good law and diligent enforcement are not in themselves adequate to beat the menace of oil pollution. However good our detection arrangements, the fly-by-night oil slickers—if I may borrow the colourful phrase coined by the right hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason)—will still find ways to evade the law and escape detection. I believe that these are in a minority and that their number will decline both as a result of the amended Convention and through the pressure of public opinion—that pressure of public opinion which, as we know from the Standing Committee, sometimes had a certain traumatic effect upon myself.

But, at the end of the day, the complete avoidance of oil pollution, barring accidents, cannot be achieved without the full and willing co-operation of the owners, officers and crew of every vessel. We shall continue our efforts, both nationally and internationally, to bring home to all concerned with the operation of ships that pollution of the sea by oil is one threat to man's environment which, with reasonable care and a determination to follow the best operating procedures at all times, can and must be eliminated.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.