HC Deb 02 March 1976 vol 906 cc1221-2

As amended (in the Standing Committee), further considered.

Mr. Hugh D. Brown

The amendment should help to allay some of the fears which certain of my hon. Friends have conveyed to me on behalf of others. There is no more to it than that.

Mr. Dalyell

Concerning those fears, I have transmitted questions to my hon. Friend from my constituents, Mr. John Morrison, Secretary of the Blackridge Angling Club, and Mr. Henry Meikle, of the Almond Angling Club, both of whom are concerned about the problem of hotels officially advertising fishing rights to those who may want two or three days' fishing but who do not wish to stay at the hotels. The fear is that the hotels will keep all the fishing to themselves and not make it available. This fear has been raised on previous occasions. Is it covered by this amendment?

Sir John Gilmour

Presumably this is another Golden Lion clause. If a protection order is asked for with a view to improving the fishing, it is bound to lead to more fishing being available to people other than the owner.

The provision in the amendment that I question most is subsection (4A) which says: The Secretary of State may at any time require an owner or occupier of a right of a fishing for freshwate fish in a prescribed area to furnish him with information regarding the implementation in that area of proposals". I find it difficult to understand the sort of information for which the Secretary of State is looking, and I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman could give us more information about what he thinks the Secretary of State will ask.

Mr. Hugh D. Brown

That depends on whether anyone makes a complaint. An individual or some of the individuals to whom my hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) referred might complain that part of the proposals submitted to the Secretary of State seeking a protection order had not been carried out or had not been complied with or that there was some suspicion that there was not the increased access intended by the proposals. I think that it is a quite reasonable proposition.

Incidentally, I object to all this free plugging for the Golden Lion Hotel. This is a very reasonable amendment. It was represented to me in Committee that there should be some kind of follow-up providing some indication that the Secretary of State could ask for information before he considered making a decision to revoke an order. The amendment, therefore, represents the injection of a bit more democracy into the procedure.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 15 in page 2, line 36, leave out: 'the proposals referred to in subsection (2)(a) above' and insert 'proposals'.

No. 16 in page 3, fine 15, at end insert— '(9) In subsections (1), (2)(b), (4A) and (5) above "proposals" means proposals as originally submitted to the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, as modified under subsection (3) above.'.—[Mr. Hugh D. Brown.]

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