HC Deb 29 March 1972 vol 834 cc802-3

Lords Amendment No. 5: In page 5, line 25, after "of" insert "not more than".

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Eldon Griffiths)

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

Mr. John Silkin (Deptford)

The point of the Amendment is very clear. One obviously cannot have a fixed fine—that is not something we normally have in our law—but I hope that when the permanent legislation comes along the Government will consider a maximum fine far greater than £400. It seems to me that the deliberate deposit of, for example, cyanide drums merits even on summary conviction a fine a great deal more than is provided in the Bill.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

I note what the right hon. Gentleman says. As he rightly points out, the purpose of the Amendment is to avoid laying a fixed fine on the magistrates' court. The right hon. Gentleman will be the first to appreciate that there could be circumstances in which it would be quite wrong to impose a large fine, as, for instance, where the offence was really no more than a slip of the pen. However, I take the point, and I am sure that my right hon. Friend will recognise the need for what the right hon. Gentleman suggests.

Question put and agreed to.

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