HC Deb 22 April 1983 vol 41 cc534-5
Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I beg to move amendment No. 19, in page 8, leave out lines 14 to 20.

The amendment removes a provision which we believe to be unnecessary. As the Bill is drafted, clause 6 provides for a new section 12(3) (b) to be inserted into the Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967. This applies the power to make orders prohibiting the depositing or taking of shellfish to Crown interests in waters or land in Scotland.

The time that my hon. Friend the Member for Bute and North Ayrshire (Mr. Corrie) had for the preparation of the Bill was a little limited. At the time, it was thought that if orders prohibiting the taking of shellfish were to apply to oysters and mussels in Scotland, where the right to take them belongs to the Crown but may be granted to others, it would be necessary to have a specific Crown application to that effect.

Following inquiries and after a further study of the matter, it appears that orders under section 12 of the 1967 Act, including orders made under the amendment being made by the Bill, can be made to include land or oyster or mussel beds belonging to the Crown without the need for a specific application clause.

I appreciate the assiduity of my hon. Friend the Member for Bute and North Ayrshire in drafting the Bill so carefully, but I have to advise him that in this case he has been a little too careful and has extended the Bill more widely than is necessary. This provision duplicates powers that we have already. I hope that he will accept from me that where powers are clear already, it would be unfortunate to put them in twice. I believe in economy of legislation. I hope that in that sense my hon. Friend will find the amendment acceptable.

Mr. Corrie

I thank my right hon. Friend for that explanation. I admit that I was wondering why this provision was being deleted from the Bill. What my right hon. Friend has just said clarifies the position not only for me but for others who will read our proceedings on the Bill. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for moving the amendment and for explaining the position.

Amendment agreed to.

Back to
Forward to