HC Deb 04 March 1981 vol 1000 cc365-6


Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I beg to move amendment No. 36, in page 34, line 48, at end insert—

'Other statutory functions

.—(1) The functions of the White Fish Authority and the Herring Industry Board under—

  1. (a)section 31(12) of the Harbours Act 1964 (consultation on objection to ship, passenger and goods dues); and
  2. (b)rule 124 of the Fishing Vessels (Safety Provisions) Rules 1975 (appointment of inspectors and surveyors),

(2) In section 31(12)—

  1. (a)for"the White Fish Authority or the Herring Industry Board" there is substituted"the Sea Fish Authority"; and
  2. (b)for"the Authority or as the case may be the Board" there is substituted"the Authority".

In rule 124—

  1. (a)for"the Sea Fish Industry Act 1970" there is substituated"the Fisheries Act 1981"; and
  2. (b)for"the White Fish Authority or the Herring Industry Board" in the first place where those words occur, there is substituted"the Sea Fish Industry Authority" and in the second place where they occur, there is substituted"or the Sea Fish Industry Authority'".

(4) Anything which when this paragraph comes into force is in process of being done under section 31(12) by or in relation to the White Fish Authority or the Herring Industry Board may be continued by or in relation to the Authority; and any appointment under rule 124 made by either of those bodies before this paragraph comes into force shall have effect as if made by the Authority so far as is necessary for continuing its effect.'.

This is one of those horribly lengthy amendments which, were the hour not fairly late, might cause hon. Members to wonder what was meant and press for

'Provision of 1975 Act

Section 2(2) (talking etc. of unclean or immature fish).

Section 3(1) (use of seine or draft nets).

Section 3(2) and (4) (minimum mesh of nets).

Section 5(1) (use of explosives, etc.)

Section 5(4) (possession of equipment for purpose of contravening section 5(1)).

Section I9(2)(a), (4)(a), (6) and (7) (close seasons and close times for various fish).

Section 22(1) (sale etc. of fish at certain times of year).

Section 23(1) (export of fish at certain times of year).

Section 27(a) (unlicensed fishing).

Section 27(b) {possession of equipment with intent to use it for unlicensed fishing).

explanations. In fact, the purpose is fairly simple—to transfer to the new Sea Fish Industry Authority two functions currently exercised by the White Fish Authority and the Herring Industry Board.

The first function arises under the Harbours Act 1964. When objections are raised to the level of harbour charges, there is a statutory procedure for considering them. Among the relevant provisions is a requirement that if the harbour charge under consideration is of concern to the WFA or the HIB, the authority or the board should be consulted before a decison is taken on the charge. It seems appropriate that the new authority should take on the same role.

The second function covered in the amendment arises in this way. At present, the staff of the White Fish Authority or the Herring Industry Board carry out surveys for the Department of Trade. This function is of benefit to the industry, since the surveys are carried out in the course of the authority's or board's inspection work on grant and loan projects. I see the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, Central (Mr. McNamara) smiling. He referred to this point earlier.

The carrying out of this function by inspectors of the HIB and the WFA has meant that the number of inspectors could be kept to a minimum. Thus, financial savings are passed on to the fishermen by means of a reduction in fees for surveys carried out by staff of the authority or the board.

This is obviously a sensible practice, and the amendment will enable the new authority to take it on. The point was overlooked at earlier stages. I hope that, with that brief explanation, the House will accept the amendment.

Mr. McNamara

I have but one observation to make. The Minister has now confirmed the point that we made earlier, that there were other safety matters which were being undertaken, and there was therefore no reason why our amendment should not be accepted.

Amendment agreed to.

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