HC Deb 16 July 1986 vol 101 cc1107-29 10.28 pm
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mrs. Peggy Fenner)

I beg to move, That the draft Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986, which were laid before this House on 3 July, be approved. These regulations implement the powers in section 16(2) of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985. They have been drafted after extensive consultations with all the interests affected. Hon. Members will know that my Department, on behalf of the six Departments responsible for these regulations, issued a consultative document in November last year. Nearly 1,500 copies were sent out by my officials to interested groups and individuals. They also met many representative organisations. These draft regulations are the combined result of the expressed wishes of Parliament and of those consultations.

I shall now describe the main features of the draft regulations and explain at what date they come into operation.

Draft regulation 3, which comes into operation on 6 October, covers the pesticides to be controlled. Broadly speaking, they are the same as currently covered by the pesticides safety precautions scheme: pesticides used in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food storage, public health and hygiene, wood preservation and masonry treatment. From 1 July 1987, this scope will be expanded to include antifouling paints. This is a major departure and one which I hope will be welcome to all who are concerned for the quality of the marine environment.

Draft regulation 4 prohibits the advertisement, sale, supply, storage and use of pesticides unless the pesticides have been approved under regulation 5 and a consent to the activity concerned has been made under regulation 6 and any condition of the approval and the consent have been complied with. I should like to stress this difference between approvals and consents. Approvals relate to the pesticides themselves. Consents relate to the activities of advertising, selling, using, and so on.

All these prohibitions will come into force on 6 October except for the first on advertising, which will come into force on 1 January 1987. This will allow companies time to modify their advertisements in the ways specified in schedule 1, which I shall explain shortly. Paragraph (5)(b)(i) of this draft regulation will also not come into force until 1 January 1988 and again, I shall explain this when I deal with use of pesticides.

Draft regulation 5, which will come into force on 6 October 1986 provides the essential features for the approval of pesticides. A notable improvement on the old arrangements is the move from the four to a three-phase approval system. This will bring us into line with the majority of registration procedures operating abroad and more importantly will do much more to facilitate enforcement. Another important new feature is the introduction of a system of automatic review of approved products, the intention of which is to ensure that approvals will not be reliant on data which do not meet modern standards.

I am pleased that, thanks in no small part to the cooperation given by the industry, and particularly the National Farmers Union, we have been able to develop a system for encompassing within the approval arrangements what were previously fringe uses of pesticides, not controlled by the pesticides safety precautions scheme. This will be achieved by providing access to the approvals procedure for the growers of so called minor crops so that safe uses of pesticides on these crops, which for reasons of crop liability manufacturers are not able to recommend, may be approved as off-label use.

Draft regulation 6 must be read together with schedules to 4 to the regulations. It is in these parts of the statutory instruments that we have set out as fully as possible the general controls which we wish to impose on activities relating to pesticides. This is in contrast to the approvals system, which will provide the specific controls on each approved pesticide.

Regulation 6(a) and schedule 1 relate to advertisement. As with the prohibition on advertising, this consent and its conditions will come into force on 1 January 1987. So that all users of pesticides are fully informed of any risks associated with their use, manufacturers will be required to state in all advertisements the common names of the pesticidal ingredients and any specific warnings related to human health or the environment which are thought necessary by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides in its assessment.

Draft regulation 6(b) and schedule 2 relate to sale, supply and storage. Ministers' consent to these activities will be given on 6 October and be subject to the general obligation in paragraph 1(1) of schedule 2. Paragraph 1(2) will not apply until 1 January 1987 and this will be specified in the consent.

We propose the introduction of statutory support for standards of pesticide storage and the competence of all those who sell or store pesticides. This proceeds from the recommendation made by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution in 1979 and recognises the considerable work already done by organisations such as the British Agricultural Standards, Inspection Scheme, in achieving high standards through self-regulation. Where possible we have built on these foundations.

Everyone engaged in the storage, sale or supply of professional pesticides will, in future, be obliged to take all reasonable precautions to protect human health and the environment and to be competent for the job they do.

We recognise that the nature and use of agricultural pesticides is perceived as posing a greater potential hazard to people — both as users or consumers — and the environment than other pesticides. The regulations accordingly contain a more detailed prescription, for certification of competence which must be obtained by those who store, sell or supply agricultural pesticides.

Draft regulation 6(c) and schedules 3 and 4 relate to use of pesticides, including aerial application. The consent on use will be made on 6 October and it will be subject to the conditions listed in both schedules 3 and 4. But I must stress that not all these conditions will come into force in October this year.

Paragraph 1 of schedule 3 provides a general obligation on all users of pesticides to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health of human beings, creatures and plants and to safeguard the environment. Paragraph 4 requires all those who use pesticides in the course of their business to be competent and to have received adequate instruction and guidance in the safe, efficient and humane use of pesticides. These general obligations will come into force in October.

Sir Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)

In paragraph 1 there is a requirement that people should take all reasonable precautions. One problem is that over the past 30 years manufacturers have produced all kinds of new pesticides, but the technology whereby the pesticide is dispensed through the spray nozzle has not changed. Are the reasonable precautions to require that the spray nozzles will be improved as well?

Mrs. Fenner

Yes, indeed. If I may develop my explanation, calibration and the availability to consider new techniques will be covered. So there will be a constant updating of new techniques under the regulations.

Mr. John Carlisle (Luton, North)

My hon. Friend referred to persons using pesticides having adequate instruction. Will she confirm that those who will police the regulations will themselves have had sufficient instruction to be able to monitor them? As she will know, there is concern that although there is an obligation on the user to be adequately trained, there is not the same obligation on those who will carry out inspections through the Health and Safety Commission and other bodies. Perhaps my hon. Friend will comment on that.

Mrs. Fenner

We shall see that those operating through ADAS are certificated to the standard that we expect under the regulations.

From 1 January 1988, users will have to comply with the conditions of approval of the particular pesticide they are using, for example, any specified maximum dose rate or minimum time between use and harvest. Paragraphs 5 and 6 require contractors, including aerial sprayers, and persons under the age of 25 on 1 January 1989 who use agricultural pesticides to obtain recognised certificates of competence unless they are working under the direct and personal supervision of a certificate holder. These conditions will not come into force until 1 January 1989. From the same date there will be specific controls on the mixing of two or more pesticides — paragraph 2 of schedule 3—and the use of pesticides with adjuvants— paragraph 3.

I know that there has been some misunderstanding and hence concern about paragraph 3 of schedule 3 to our draft regulations. At present the more responsible adjuvant manufacturers notify their adjuvants to our Harpenden laboratory and they are cleared through the PSPS, including agreement on label recommendations and warnings, as though they were pesticides. Clearly we cannot continue to operate in this way under the regulations because adjuvants do not fall within the definition of pesticides in the Act. However, what we intend to do is continue to evaluate adjuvants notified to us and to publish a list of adjuvants which we have found to be suitable for use with approved pesticides. The conditions of approval of a pesticide referred to in paragraph 3 of schedule 3 will then include something to the effect that this pesticide may only be mixed with adjuvants which appear on the MAFF list and provided the conditions of use on the adjuvant label are complied with.

Users will not therefore be restricted to using only the adjuvants which appear on the pesticide label but will be free to use any from the MAFF list, provided there is no restriction or contra-indication on the adjuvant label.

Agricultural departments have recently issued a draft code of practice on the agricultural and horticultural use of pesticides for public comment and discussions. Copies were made available, both in this House and in the other place, on Monday. [Interruption.] The code would be made under section 17 of the Act and has as its purpose the provision of practical guidance to agricultural arid horticultural users of pesticides as to how they can comply with the obligations imposed by the regulations. [Interruption.]

Mr. John Carlisle

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is very difficult on this side of the House to hear what my hon. Friend the Minister is saying because of the incessant chatter on the Opposition Benches.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Ernest Armstrong)

Order. I am anxious to hear the debate, too. Conversations should take place outside the Chamber.

Mrs. Fenner

I am obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I know that in Committee hon. Members felt very strongly that as it was an enabling Bill there should be an opportunity to hear about the regulations. I hope that they will be patient while I try fully to cover them.

The draft code will eventually be laid before Parliament for approval, after the content of the draft has been considered and revised in the light of consultation and practical experience.

There have been many discussions on our proposals for controls over users of pesticides since they were published last year. They have met with general agreement and we have, I believe, a package which will raise standards and ensure the progressive establishment of a trained and competent work force. In this we have considered the needs of the industry and chosen a timetable for introduction that will not impose excessive burdens on costs.

There is general agreement that it is important that farmers keep records of pesticide use. Indeed, it is only common sense that for a farmer to use pesticides efficiently he should keep a record of what he has done. Records are also useful in identifying pollution problems. Farmers should not be concerned that in such cases their records would be used against them. On the contrary, if they have acted properly they will have nothing to fear, but their records could provide an indication that the approved conditions of use for a pesticide may need to he reviewed. For these reasons, the need to keep records has been strongly emphasised in the draft code of practice which supports the regulations. It was not thought necessary at this time to make record-keeping a statutory requirement. If, however, a farmer were to use pesticides irresponsibly and he did not keep records, he could be subject to a notice requiring him to keep records in future. Non-compliance with that notice would be an offence.

I can assure the House that if this non-statutory approach is not seen to be working well—if farmers do not keep appropriate records — there will be no hesitation about introducing a statutory requirement.

As I said, the consent on use will also be subject to the conditions set out in schedule 4 on aerial application. These repeat, in the main. the existing requirements already imposed on aerial operators by the Air Navigation Order 1985. They will all come into operation on 6 October this year.

Briefly, no one can apply a pesticide from the air unless he holds an aerial application certificate granted by the Civil Aviation Authority and there are controls on operators relating to the advance notification of operations, the provision of warnings to passers-by, the conditions under which operations may be undertaken, the keeping of safe distances from surrounding property, the avoidance of spray drift and the keeping of records. Advance notification of operations has to be given to the Nature Conservancy Council, water authorities, the Chief Environmental Health Officer, neighbours, hospitals, schools or other institutions and to local beekeepers where there is a local spray warning scheme. Where appropriate, the agreement of the water authority must be obtained. A maximum wind speed for operations is prescribed and ground markers are required where necessary. Pilots of aircraft carrying out spraying operations must maintain a minimum height when flying over occupied buildings, gardens and roads, and they must maintain a mimimum horizontal distance from occupied buildings and their gardens, playgrounds, sports ground or buildings containing livestock and they must contain the pesticide to the land intended to be treated. [Interruption.] The draft code of practice of the agricultural and horticultural use of pesticides will provide guidance on the measurement of wind speed, prevention of spray drift, the advance warning of operations, warning signs to be displayed and the use of human ground markers.

Hon. Members will be aware that paragraph 2(a) of schedule 4, which relates to prior consultations with the Nature Conservancy Council where aerial operations are within three quarters of a nautical mile of a site of special scientific interest, does not quite reflect our intentions because there is an omission. The paragraph refers to section 29(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which relates to a small number of SSSIs where the Secretary of State has made an order. But the remaining SSSIs and national nature reserves are covered by section 28 of the Act. That is an omission and it is our intention to make use of the power granted by regulation 6 (c)(ii) of these regulations to include as a condition of the consent to the use of pesticides for aerial application that prior consultations are also required in relation to SSSIs covered by section 28. Thus [Interruption.] prior consultation with the NCC will be required for all SSSIs and national nature reserves within three quarters of one nautical mile of operations.

Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)

As I recollect matters, there was an undertaking in a consultation paper issued by the Minister's Department that there would be a statutory requirement for consultation in the context of the NCC and sites of special scientific interest. Would it not be possible for the final regulations to be amended to include that in the obvious place rather than at three steps removed in some other way, in accordance with what I understand was the Department's original intention?

Mrs. Fenner

The Department's original intention is also fully covered in the requirement—[Interruption.]referring to section 29(1). We wish to ensure that that level of concentration also applies to those SSSIs and nature reserves covered by section 28 of the Act — [Interruption.] We are not making provision at three steps removed, we will make use of the power granted to us to introduce it in the way that I have described.

One issue that I must mention before I conclude is disclosure of information, which is the subject of draft regulation 8. From both sides of the House and from all quarters there have been increasing and ever-louder calls for greater disclosure of information. The Government have listened and responded. The Act under which the regulations will be made was the first piece of British legislation to be made under any Government which specifically provided for the release of information on pesticides to the public. In regulation 8 we have taken up the power provided in the Act to set out the ground rules for a disclosure of information system that will achieve that fine but essential balance between as much public access to data as possible and the need to protect from exploitation by competitors information which has a genuine and considerable commercial value —[Interruption.]

We already publish, or intend to publish, information on approvals granted, reviews to be carried out and their results, the results of our monitoring work on usage patterns, residue levels and wildlife effects, and the annual reports of the advisory committee. Under regulation 8, we shall make available our detailed evaluations of all the toxicity, environmental, efficacy and other test data on a pesticide as it receives provisional approval. Where a genuine query remains unanswered by the evaluation, we shall grant access to the study reports on which the evaluation is based. Before making available an evaluation, and still more before providing access to study reports, we shall do everything possible to ensure that the inquirer understands that if he publishes without permission or makes commercial use of the data, he will be committing a criminal offence under the Act.

That triple thread—

Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours (Workington)

Triple thread?

Mrs. Fenner

—of published reports, availability of detailed evaluations and access to study reports is a sound and workable procedure which will provide the public with much useful information. The system will place the United Kingdom in the vanguard of authorities that are responding to the appeals for greater openness, and should be welcomed by the noisy Opposition as such.

I commend the draft regulations to the House.

10.52 pm
Mr. Brynmor John (Pontypridd)

I was extremely disturbed by the Minister's speech, particularly because the Standing Committee that considered the Food and Environment Protection Bill of 1985 debated matters without strict party differences to try to produce the best legislation that it could. It was one of those rare Bills. Therefore, it is sickening for me to have to observe that the Committee was misguided and misled by the Government in those debates, and that we wasted our time on matters in which the Government have no serious interest and to which they are not deeply committed.

The Opposition will oppose the regulations. They do not deserve the approval of the House, and we shall try to ensure that they do not obtain it. That is not because we do not believe in effective pesticide regulations, but because these regulations will not be effective —[Interruption.] The Minister complained about noise. I should be grateful if she would obey her own strictures.

Some of our objections overlap in practice, but I shall set out the broad groups of objection. The first is the way in which the regulations were framed. The second is the probity of Ministers in introducing them in this form. The third is the obvious ways in which the regulations weaken existing protection, and the fourth is the fact that they omit matters that the discussion documents said would be included.

First, may I deal with the form of the regulations. In our debates in Committee, hon. Members on both sides pointed out the excessively general nature of the Bill's provisions. We were told that we should not worry, because the Bill was not an appropriate vehicle—to coin civil servants' jargon. We were told to wait for the detailed regulations; that would be the time to debate the matter and all our detailed queries would be answered. Here they are before us, but they do not include those or any other details. They are almost as general as the Act itself and just about as vague. Now, apparently. we have to wait for advertisements which are to be placed in the London Gazette and the Edinburgh Gazette, not to see what they propose for specific pesticides, as the consultative document said, but for the general controls themselves.

The Minister skirted over her part in Committee, particularly the ministerial assurances which she gave. For example, on 2 April, in columns 178–79 of Hansard, we were told that the details we then wanted to discuss were unsuitable for the Committee but that we would have plenty of time to do that when the regulations came along.

The regulations are no more precise than the Act itself and we have to wait for a further stage, not secondary legislation, but tertiary legislation, legislation by advertisement, not for, I repeat, one pesticide, but for general conditions for all pesticides, such as training in its use. Not only were we misled in Committee, but the regulations are now being framed in such a form — by adverts advertising them in the London Gazette and the Edinburgh Gazette—which will mean that many details of pesticide use will never be debated in the House, nor will they ever be subject to the scrutiny of the House.

Given the national interest in this subject, that is a disgrace. We are told, and I am sure the Minister w ill say the same, that that is just a matter of judgment and of differing views between the parties. But even granting the differing views upon their nature, it is impossible upon the working of the regulations to tell what sort of controls we shall end up with.

It is true that the schedule gives us some sketchy details of what the conditions might comprise, but it is equally true that they might not comprise them, because, as I read it, the Minister is under no statutory obligation to include all the points in the schedule in the final conditions which are imposed.

At the same time, by an ingenious piece of drafting, other points which are not in the schedule at the moment can be included in the advertisement. So what use are the regulations? I suggest that they are no use at all except to enable the Government to claim that they are observing the proprieties while keeping Parliament firmly shut out on the substance of the debate. In what may sound a harsh judgment, particularly of the Parliamentary Secretary, I said that I believed that ministerial probity was involved. I have already given one instance when we were assured that details would be debated on the regulations rather than on the Bill. Now we know that that is not so.

Let me give some other instances. On 16 April, as part of the same Committee stage, when discussing labelling and pesticide containers, we were told by the Minister that the regulations would contain details on those subjects. Indeed, she gave an absolute assurance that labels would be dealt with in the regulations. Neither matter is even mentioned in the regulations. What price ministerial assurances now?

But even more serious is the question of enforcement. We all know—we recognised it when we debated this—that enforcement was the key to the effectiveness of the regulations. We also know from the Institution of Professional Civil Servants that routine inspections of family farms, as opposed to farms which employ labour, can now be expected only every 30 years. I repeat—30 years. It was always anticipated that without additional inspectors enforcement of the regulations would be ineffective.

On 26 June on Report, the Minister assured us that there will be 12 additional inspectors."—[Official Report, 26 June 1985; Vol. 81, c. 959.] We now know, from the evidence of the Health and Safety Executive to the Select Committee on Agriculture, that there will not be any additional inspectors. This catalogue makes me wonder what ministerial assurances on this Bill are worth. Such a cavalier attitude does not do the Ministry any credit, and that alone merits our dividing the House.

I shall now consider the weakness of the regulations compared with what we were promised would happen. Chief among them, although the hon. Lady did not mention it in her long comments on aerial spraying is the gross weakening of the protection afforded to sites of special scientific interest. The Committee was anxious about aerial spraying but was somewhat mollified when we were told not to be too worried as regulations and statutory control would replace the air navigation orders. Those orders require notification of a proposal to spray aerially within three quarters of a nautical mile of an SSSI. We were astounded to learn that, in the regulations, that provision is limited to SSSIs which are the subject of a section 29 order, which is appropriately made against an awkward landowner. I can illustrate how exceptional such orders are by saying that fewer then 20—I believe that it is fewer then 15 — such orders have been made, although there are 5,000 SSSIs.

Despite the hon. Lady's protestations, as the regulations stand, protection is being removed from the overwhelming majority of SSSIs. All that they have is a promise, the keeping of which is not debatable in the House, to use an advertisement. She may be trying to create a run on the London Gazette, but she is certainly not creating a flood of hon. Members coming into the Chamber to debate the regulations. This is the right place in which to debate them. If, as the hon. Lady said, she meant to include all sites to which section 28 applies, it is a sad commentary of the extensive consultation which she said that she did and on the extensive adoption of the suggestions that she got the wrong section in the regulations.

The regulations are materially defective. They should be taken away, given back to the draftsmen and brought back in a more acceptable form. Anybody would have thought that this was a joke or a mistake. If this is not a mistake, it will be a shameful betrayal of thousands of farmers who are deeply concerned about the environment.

That is but one example of how control is being weakened. Another concerns the provision of training. We all agree that it is vital, when handling a toxic substance such as a pesticide, to be properly trained. That was common ground in Committee. Our assent was therefore strained to breaking point when the regulations became known. They provide that only people who will be under 25 in 1989 will have to be trained before they can apply pesticides. With normal retirement dates, that means that it will be 40 years before everyone who handles pesticides will be covered by the regulations. I have heard of phased introduction, but that it taking it to absurd lengths. A qualified work force is important.

I shall now consider the omissions. The Committee favoured most strongly the minimum of pesticides being applied with the maximum accuracy. There was agreement about that.

I understand that discussions on these regulations have featured a procedure of parallel approvement whereby adjuvents for example, would be approved separately and brought into effect with pesticides. One example of adjuvents is vegetable oil, which not only makes lower quantities of pesticide more effective, but cuts the risk of spray drift. I remember spending many happy hours in Committee on the problem of spray drift.

The approval procedure is not part of the regulations. We are not told that it will be produced in some amorphous form, which I cannot pretend to understand from the Minister's explanation, and will somehow be all right. The omission of the provision about adjuvents from the regulations has led the United Kingdom Agricultural Supply Trade Association, the Agricultural Engineers Association and companies involved to believe that pesticide manufacturers have been given an effective veto on what substances may be used with their pesticides and what means of application, such as controlled droplet application, can be used. If that is so, and it seems that it is, I believe it to be contrary to public policy.

It is true that we got another absolute assurance from the Minister that such techniques would be neither explicitly nor implicitly banned. I shall want a great deal of convincing, of the vagueness of the Minister's speech tonight, before I believe that this is not another example of a broken promise given to the Committee.

Again, head 8 of the possible heads of proposals mentions a list of all approved pesticides. It is similar to one currently to be found by farmers and other people in agriculture to be very useful. It is a booklet in which one can find all the approved pesticides. However, although it was in the heads of proposals under the consultation procedure, it is nowhere to be found in this regulation. Also, there are no references to include the training of advisers, which was in the consultation procedure, or the regulation of storage and the transportation of pesticides.

This is a typically slipshod effort at legislating by a know-nothing and care-nothing Department. The gaps and deficiencies in the regulations mean that they should be withdrawn and redrafted. Of course, we know that that will not happen because the Government pay no heed to advice they get from concerned people. We shall vote against these regulations, not because we are against pesticide control, but because this attempt falls so short of pesticide control that it devalues the subject and insults the feeling of genuine concern of many thousands of people.

11.7 pm

Sir John Farr (Harborough)

I do not share the disappointment of the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) over what my hon. Friend has said. I was on the Standing Committee with the hon. Gentleman and a number of other Members in the Chamber and, as I understood it, one of the main things that the Minister said in the long debates we had was that she would tighten up on aerial spraying. In schedule 4 we have quite a detailed, and, to my view, satisfactory calendar of events which any aerial operator has to follow in the future. I would say that schedule 4 is well worth a try.

I do not share the bogus disappointment which the hon. Member for Pontypridd has, in a typical way, expressed from the Opposition Front Bench. We were promised by the Minister, I distinctly remember, that we would get regulations. We have only one hour and a half on this. The Whips have already been round asking us to speak for two minutes or less. We were promised a whole flow of regulations. I regard this as the first of a family. I think that the hon. Member for Pontypridd will not be disappointed when the Minister says that this is the first of the regulations which will flow from the mass of work that we all shared in Committee. As such he should not be so churlish as to speak about it in the way that he has.

I recognise that it is impossible in a debate lasting one and a half hours to include all the undertakings that my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary gave in Committee. I recall, however, that during our debates on aerial spraying, during which the hon. Member for Pontypridd talked about spray drift, my hon. Friend said that she recognised that some products could change their character completely within a few months. It is unfortunate that we have nothing in the regulations about products that can change substantially in character after 12 months and become either dangerous or harmless, or have an entirely different effect from that which they had originally. I hope that a statement to that effect will be included in the next set of regulations to come forward.

There was quite a substantial debate on that issue in Committee, and if my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary refers to the Hansard reports of the proceedings, if she has time to do so, she will find that she undertook to consider the issue.

As the hon. Member for Pontypridd has said, the Committee which considered the Bill, as it then was, was a good one in that we tried to confine ourselves to issues of common sense. We discussed carefully misleading advertisements of products that are quite effective in dealing with a certain problem but which have harmful by-effects. We had long debates about a product called Kestrel, to which the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) drew attention. It is a German chemical which has dangerous effects on wildlife. General anxiety was expressed by Members on both sides of the Committee about the need to tighten up on regulations that apply to misleading advertisements and the provision of inadequate warnings. I would hope that we have before us the first of a family of regulations that will flow from my hon. Friend the Minister.

Schedule 3 sets out eight sensible conditions subject to which consent to the use of pesticides may be given. There is reference to proper training. The third condition states: No person shall use a pesticide in conjunction with an adjuvant except in accordance with the conditions". There is reference also to a person's training, which is so important. An omission, which I hope will be put right, is a requirement that should be placed upon machinery manufacturers. It should be possible for all spray operators to gain access to spraying controls without leaving their closed tractor cab. That is something that is recognised by good tractor manufacturers and suppliers which offer sealed safety cabs. The controls are placed inside the cab, but only because the manufacturers think that that is a good idea. In fact, it is essential to the comfort, health and safety of the operator that they are. He should not have to leave his cab when he wants to turn the sprayer off and risk inhaling outside air which could be contaminated. I would ask my hon. Friend the Minister to take a greater interest in practicalities and introduce a requirement, in conjunction with machinery and tractor manufacturers, that at an early date all new tractors must have all spraying controls inside a sealed cab so as to protect the operator by making it unnecessary to leave the cab and risk inhaling outside air in what could be a temporarily polluted environment.

In expressing disappointment yet great hope and confidence in my hon. Friend the Minister — she has never let me down over many years — I welcome the regulations.

11.14 pm
Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)

I have less hope and confidence than the hon. Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr). My hon. Friend the Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Livsey) has pointed out to me that it is significant that whereas the Liberal and Labour parties have agricultural and environmental spokesmen in the Chamber, no Minister from the Department of the Environment is present on the Front Bench. [Interruption.] There is only an Agriculture Minister. There is nobody from the Department of the Environment. [Interruption.] The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry, the hon. Member for Medway (Mrs. Fenner), have been present. If the Government are to make a commitment to reconcile, properly, the interests of agriculture and the environment, it might be just about possible for one Minister from the six at the Department of the Environment to manage to be present for an hour and a half at the end of an evening.

Sir Eldon Griffiths

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Hughes

No. I will not give way.

Sir Eldon Griffiths

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. This is a very short debate. Perhaps we can return to the regulations under consideration.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Hughes

No. I am not giving way.

Mr. Jeremy Hanley (Richmond and Barnes)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and Morden (Mrs. Rumbold), was present until about two or three minutes ago when she left the Chamber. It is grossly unfair that an hon. Member should refuse to give way when he has made an attack of that sort.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It may be unfair, but it is not a matter for me. Let us get on with the debate.

Mr. Hughes

When the legislation went through the House it was clear that regulations were to be expected, and my hon. Friend the Member for Ceredigion and Pembroke, North (Mr. Howells) and I said that the sooner we got them, the better. We now have the regulations, and that is to be welcomed, because the Bill was without substance until they came before the House. If the Government were truly minded to honour the commitments made in Committee, on Report and on Third Reading, the ideal way to proceed would be to introduce their proposals and, in the light of a debate in the House, to take them away, improve them and bring them back in a generally acceptable form. The fact that they have not done so is to be regretted.

As the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) made clear, there is concern that whereas in the draft consultation document it was clearly anticipated that the Government would deal with sites of special scientific interest, somehow — the Minister said "by mistake"—they were omitted. I cannot believe that with a whole Department of Civil Servants such a substantial mistake can be made on a matter coming before the House. It must give some cause for suspicion that the Government have no real commitment, unless in the reply the Government can say that all the SSSIs will be protected as they anticipated in the MAFF consultation paper of November 1985.

It is not clear whether the regulations, especially those relating to training, also apply to independent advisers and consultants. Clearly, they apply to the industry, but at various stages of the principal legislation the anxiety was expressed that the controls related to agricultural pesticides, but not to non-agricultural pesticides and those using them in a different context, as advisers and consultants. If the Minister's Parliamentary Private Secretary reappears, I would be grateful if the Minister could be given an answer to that question.

It is not clear whether the scope of the regulations extends beyond the agricultural sector. It was intended that it should. I hope that the Minister can give an undertaking that the regulations cover all use of pesticides by whomsoever it may be, and are not limited to one sector.

There is concern among the trade associations that they were not adequately consulted. I hope that the Minister has taken note of that concern — people were led to believe that they would have a more substantial period of consultation.

The hon. Member for Pontypridd made a comment that I would endorse—that simply and scientifically it is wrong to suggest, as is done in schedule 3, paragraph (2), that one can include both tank mixes and adjuvants in the same context in the regulations. That is not the way in which the industry deals with the matter, and it would have been far better to have separated them.

I wish briefly to make two final points. The Minister said little about resources for enforcement. If we agree that there should be regulations, and that they should be made soon after the Act, it is clear that they are no good unless people are available to enforce them. The one without the other is of no use to anyone. The Minister did not make any substantial commitment to that in her speech.

Secondly, it must be apparent to everyone that with the method that the Government have now chosen, the crucial stage will lie with the granting or withholding of licences. We are putting back the day and the way in which the law becomes effective. My hon. Friend the Member for Ceredigion and Pembroke, North, who served on the Committee, and my hon. Friend for Brecon and Radnor, who speaks for my party on agricultural matters, clearly want regulations. My concern is that the Government did not take into account what we and other hon. Members said in Committee. Perhaps more important they did not honour all the things that they said they would before they brought the regulations to the House.

11.21 pm
Sir Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)

This matter greatly concerns my part of East Anglia, where aerial spraying is common and the use of pesticides essential to our farming industry. Last night I spoke on an environmental matter that touched upon East Anglia, and ended up with a result quite different from the one that I had hoped to achieve. However, tonight we are fortunate enough to have present two members of the Whip's Office who will at least ensure that, whoever wins the argument, we will win the vote.

I was impressed by the arguments of the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John). His views, although perhaps overstated, coincided with much of the advice that I have received. It was while I was in the Department of the Environment as a junior Minister that the Royal Commission on environmental pollution was established. As one of its founding fathers, I have always regarded it with the utmost seriousness. When I read its 1979 report, which dealt with aerial spraying, I thought that the time had come to deal with that matter.

The Opposition spokesman was a little grudging in his remarks, because at least the Government have tackled the problem that their predecessors did not. It is a matter for congratulation that this Government have at least done something about pesticides, while Opposition Members have talked about it but achieved nothing. That having been said, I must say that I am not happy with — [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes), who has already made his speech, wants to intervene. I must tell him pointedly that he is badly dressed, badly informed and bad-mannered. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment was here, listened to the two Front Benches, excused herself, as must happen in this Chamber from time to time, and is almost certainly going to return. It was wrong of the hon. Gentleman quite typically to asperse her—especially as he is, I repeat, bad-mannered, badly informed and badly dressed.

I come now to the matter on which I find myself in considerable agreement with the Opposition. I have been advised by those involved in CDA — controlled droplet application — sprays in my constituency that these regulations are defective in some parts. When one of my constituents wrote to me and complained about the regulations and claimed that they would destroy his company, I said that I needed more evidence than that of an interested party. He obtained for me the advice of a gentleman, Mr. R. J. Makepeace, who is an expert in the field. I shall not go into his details in view of the shortage of time. Mr. Makepeace said: When I read this"— paragraph 3 of schedule 3— this confirmed my worst suspicions that this Act would … give a charter for the major international agrochem manufacturers to restrict development and special applications of adjuvants in the United Kingdom. On reading schedule 3 I immediately came to the conclusion that one could not use an adjuvant, except in accordance with the conditions of the approval given in relation to that pesticide and, as already stated by the minister the pesticide would, in fact, be a label from a manufacturer. If, therefore, that label did not care to mention an adjuvant then none could be used with it. This is particularly bad when one looks at a product such as Betanal E"— he then mentioned the manufacturer, which was a non-British-owned company— where they make no recommendations for any adjuvant at all, not even their own adjuvant oil, and yet this market would not exist without adjuvants and indeed the British Sugar Corporation recommend every post-emergent herbicide be used with an adjuvant. The schedule does not deal with that. When I brought that to the attention of my hon. Friend, she courteously and diligently considered the matter. She wrote to me on 16 July. I need not read all the letter, because she used the same words tonight. The essence of what she said was: Clearly we cannot continue to operate in this way under the regulations because adjuvants do not fall within the definition of pesticides in the Act. Then came the immortal words: However, what we intend to do is to continue to evaluate adjuvants notified to us and to publish a list of adjuvants which we have found to be suitable for use with approved pesticides. That is something that she intends to do. Yet, she is asking the House to approve it. It is not a question of what she intends to do. I want to know what she has done so far.

She continued: The conditions of approval of a pesticide referred to in paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 will then include"— I ask the House to mark the words— something to the effect that this pesticide may only be used with adjuvants which appear on the MAFF list. What on earth does one mean by coming to the House of Commons and talking about "something to the effect"? We are asked to pass specific regulations that must be enforced and obeyed by everyone in the country. Yet, what we are offered is that some time in future the Ministry will work out something to the effect that this pesticide may only be used with adjuvants which appear on the MAFF list. What MAFF list? There is no MAFF list in front of us tonight. It will be concocted some time in future.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the care and diligence with which she has considered the problem. The assurances she has given will go a long way to satisfying some of my constituents. I congratulate her on having tackled the problem of pesticides and on having done something that has not been done before. However, the vagueness of her letter and her speech tonight does not give me a great deal of confidence that the Ministry is tackling the problem with the rigorous, intellectual care that is required in such a matter.

The country cares that pesticides should be brought under effective control—and no group of people more than the agriculture industry. The better farmer is deeply concerned. But he must have something better than words saying that at some uncertain point in the future, something to the effect will be produced on a list that is not before us. That is not good legislation. It is not good enough for the House.

11.29 pm
Miss Joan Maynard (Sheffield, Brightside)

The regulations, which are being laid before Parliament in accordance with the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985, do not even address all the issues identified in the consultative document. Will the matters not addressed in the regulations be addressed in future regulations? This is a matter for concern. We will not know the full extent of the protection likely to be afforded until all the regulations have been laid before Parliament. We can have no faith in that approach, given the Government's stated intention not to provide 12 more inspectors, as promised in the consultative document.

How many other matters will be conveniently left unaddressed? The regulations are controlled and run by the wrong agency — the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. It would have been better if the Department of the Environment had been in control. I believe that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has been influenced far too much by the powerful farming lobby, which has a direct interest in the use of pesticides. I wonder how much the agro-chemical industry has influenced the Ministry.

The scope of the regulations is too narrow, as outlined in regulation 3, and the exemptions in regulation 3(2) are too wide—the worst of both worlds. Regulation 4 deals with prohibitions, but there is no mention of procedures to be adopted to ensure compliance with the regulations. I believe that regulation 4 should give details of proper sampling procedures, record-keeping, and so on and the roles of the following: the Health and Safety Executive, the public analyst and the environmental health officers.

Regulation 4, which deals with information, lays down no appeals procedure when a member of the public is refused access to information. The body that makes the decision relating to pesticide clearance should not have the power of veto. There must be a formal independent appeals procedure which can be invoked when there has been a refusal to provide raw data on request.

Regulation 8(3) states: A copy of an evaluation or study report may be furnished by the Ministers on payment of such reasonable fees as the Ministers, with the consent of the Treasury, may determine from time to time. I am worried about three aspects. First, the regulation states that the Ministers "may", not "will". Secondly, it refers to the payment of "such reasonable fees". The word "reasonable" could have different meanings for different people. Thirdly, the regulation refers to the "consent of the Treasury".

This is in sharp contrast to section 18 of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985, which deals with fees which "may" be payable by industry. I believe that regulation 8(3) is at best ambiguous and at worst biased against the public and in favour of industry. One side should not be obliged to pay while the other "may" have to pay.

Aerial spraying is one of the most contentious issues, yet there is no requirement under the regulations to notify the Health and Safety Executive of aerial spraying activity. Notice must be given to the chief environmental health officer for the district in which it is intended to apply pesticides. The Health and Safety Executive is the body responsible for human health and safety under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974, yet it is specifically excluded from the notification requirements of schedule 4 to the regulations. Is this another example of deregulation or a thinly disguised attempt to reduce the Health and Safety Executive's responsibilities under the Food and Envionment Protection Act to justify the refusal to provide the 12 additional inspectors originally promised?

Whatever the reasons, the exclusion of the Health and Safety Executive is wholly unacceptable. Let us look at records — again, an important matter. There is no mention of record keeping in the regulations except under schedule 4(5), dealing with aerial spraying. I believe that records must be kept in respect of all pesticide users. They need to include the following details: the length of operation, the date of first use, ill effects, suspected or confirmed, medical attention received or sought, nature of application equipment, protective clothing supplied or used. To have any real value, those records need to be kept for at least 20 years. The three-year period for record-keeping in respect of aerial spraying is far too short. That, too, should be a minimum of 20 years, as for all other records.

Let us look at the review procedure. The regulations make no reference to a review procedure in connection with pesticide approval. Pesticides should be reviewed every five years, and sooner when there is knowledge of potential or actual risks and hazards. On container design, storage and disposal, the consultative document refers to a code of practice relating to those issues. The full extent of the code is not identified, however, and no mention is made of container design. Those issues are too important to be relegated to an undetermined future code of practice, and must form part of and be covered by the regulations.

The original consultative document referred to the need to secure safe, sufficient and humane methods of controlling pests". No such reference is made in the regulations. Such a reference must be included in the preamble. In short, the regulations, to put it mildly, leave much to be desired. That is why we shall vote against them.

11.36 pm
Mr. John Carlisle (Luton, North)

I hope that the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) will forgive me if I do not take up some of the various points that she made.

The behaviour of Opposition Members, with the honourable exceptions of the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) and for South Shields (Dr. Clark), was appalling while my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary was making her speech. This is a serious debate, which affects many people, both in and outside the industry. It was appalling that some Opposition Members, particularly the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours), who has returned to the Chamber, considered that it was a matter for such levity. We spent many hours in Committee on this important subject. Perhaps it befits the Labour party that it considered it a matter for laughter and light-heartedness.

I followed with interest the remarks of the hon. Member for Pontypridd. He will know that I have much sympathy with what he said. Conservative Members admired the way in which he conducted the debate in Committee, but he will understand that I cannot go fully down the road of the extravagant language that he used in his criticism of the regulations. He is right in that there are certain deficiencies, and he is also right that there are certain matters left unsaid and perhaps certain questions unanswered. I agree with him that there must be concern that these long-awaited regulations are perhaps a disappointment to some of us.

However, I think that most hon. Members and certainly the industry and farmers will welcome the regulations. As my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) said, at least this Government have had the courage to bring them before the House in response to a certain amount of public pressure as well as pressure within the agriculture industry itself. For that, we should be grateful.

I should like to put three small points to my hon. Friend the Minister, on matters where there is still some concern in the industry. The first is to do with schedule 3 (2) and (3), which have already been mentioned. I should like to refer to mixing the adjuvants. If the regulations are enforced strictly according to the law it will restrict many farmers in the mixes that they can put into their own tanks. As my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds rightly said, if they have to keep rigidly to the manufacturers' recommendations, with certain chemicals, it will be far more costly for the farmers to use them.

One is concerned that adjuvants do not appear in the pesticide regulations. I can understand why they do not. The cost to the farming industry could be considerable, and in many cases, certain geographical and climatic conditions may mean that farmers should be able to mix and use the strengths of chemical according to their judgment at a particular time. The rigidity of these regulations would tend to restrict that. There is great concern in the industry on this matter, and any way in which my hon. Friend can look at it again, or make some further remark on it, would be welcome.

I understand that liquid fertilisers are to be considered within this part of the regulations, but they were not mentioned in Committee, and it seems as though that has been slipped in. Again, perhaps my hon. Friend can say something about that.

I mentioned my second point in an intervention in my hon. Friend's speech. It is about the advisers and inspectors. I share the concern of the hon. Member for Pontypridd about the reduced number of inspectors that has been proposed. Far be it from any Conservative Member to approve more bureaucrats, but in this case concern was expressed to members of the Select Committee when we were at Rothamsted recently that the regulations might come in without enforcement because of lack of personnel.

I am more worried that the regulations insist, possibly rightly, that those who use chemicals, and those directly involved, should have some form of training. My hon. Friend will know that in our discussions on Second Reading concern was expressed that the British agricultural standards inspection scheme, of which I know that she and my right hon. Friend the Minister are admirers, was not written into the legislation. The industry can understand how it was impossible to put that in. If strict training procedures are put on those who use the chemicals, surely, similar training must be imposed on those who inspect and have the job of making sure that the regulations are carried out. As far as I can see, there is nothing in the regulations about that.

My third point of concern is about access to information. My hon. Friend was right to express some surprise at the opposition to this measure that has come from the Opposition Benches, and particularly from the Liberal spokesman, the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes). I am sorry that the spokesman for the SDP is not here, but that is a matter for him, and perhaps for the Liberal party. There is concern that the greater access to information could have a damaging effect on the future of chemicals, and could put some chemicals at risk as some manufacturers find that certain information is made restricted if access to information is given.

We all appreciate that the public must be made aware of what is going on. The work of the Select Committee at the moment is on the effects of pesticides on human health. The hon. Member for Brightside is on that Committee as well, and will understand that we must try to allay public anxiety. If the regulations restrict research and development by manufacturers because too much information is to be made available, so that others can take that information and use it to their advantage it may restrict development in this sector.

In general, Conservative Members will support the regulations. We are a little surprised that the Opposition have chosen to vote against them, but I appreciate the strong feelings and the large amount of work that they, and in particular the hon. Member for Pontypridd, have done. Neither the industry nor the farming community are afraid of regulation of their activities. This may be an early step, with more to come. However, it allays fears and gives the lie to those who say that the Government are not interested in the effect of chemicals on human health. For that reason, I shall support the Government, and wish my hon. Friend well in the implementation of the regulations.

11.44 pm
Dr. David Clark (South Shields)

The Committee on the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 was one of the most constructive and thoughtful Committees on which I have served. Constructive points were put forward from all sides and we thought that the Minister had taken note of them. Time after time we were told that the Department would try to accommodate the points in the regulations. Therefore, I am bitterly disappointed to see the form of the regulations. They are most inadequate, as my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) has spelt out in a devastating fashion. I hope that the Minister has listened to the tone of her hon. Friends' speeches. Although they may join her in the Division Lobby, I detected their deep concern. Almost all hon. Members who have spoken feel that the regulations are not up to par.

In the short time at my disposal I want to touch on three matters. The hon. Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) made a pertinent point which needs clarifying. Are these the only regulations that the Government foresee bringing before us arising out of the Food and Environment Protection Act, or is the hon. Gentleman correct in assuming that other regulations will follow in the near future? We need a definitive statement on that point tonight. The hon. Member for Harborough will no doubt be listening for that answer.

Several hon. Members turned to enforcement. If the regulations are to be effective in protecting human health, agricultural workers and the environment, we need proper enforcement. I hope the Minister has heard the word from both sides of the House and the deep disappointment about the way in which she has reneged on her promise at the Report stage in this House in June to appoint 12 additional inspectors.

May I draw to the Minister's attention the evidence of the Health and Safety Executive to the Select Committee on Agriculture: It has not proved possible to allocate extra resources to HSE for the fresh tasks imposed by the regulations, under the FEP Act, within the constraints applying generally to civil service manpower. There are also limits to the speed with which inspectors can be recruited fully trained and experienced. How, therefore, can the Minister assure the House that the work of enforcement under the regulations can be done effectively when already the Health and Safety Executive says that it has insufficient staff to do the job?

On the environment, as the Minister knows, the system of sites of special scientific interest covers only a small proportion of our environment. As the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) and I know, those areas are very restricted. Restrictions have been imposed because of the high scientific quality and rarity of the areas. Under the present regulations, before these come into operation, every one of the SSSIs is protected from aerial spraying. It is not good enough for the Minister to say to the House tonight, "We have made a mistake. Only 15 of the 4,500 are now protected. But do not worry. We will put it right by an advertisement in the Edinburgh Gazette and the London Gazette." The experience of the Government under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 has been that enforcement notices have been inadequate. The problem was only rectified by the Wildlife and Countryside (Amendment) Act 1985, which I introduced as a private Member's Bill in the last Parliament. Therefore, how can we have confidence that the Government can protect the 4,500 SSSIs simply by means of an advertisement in the two capital gazettes?

I hope we have shown that the regulations are a great disappointment. They represent a breach of faith amongst those hon. Members who spent many hours constructively in Committee. The Minister has admitted that the regulations are inadequate and contain great gaps. They are not good enough to be brought before the House. Furthermore, in some instances they weaken the protection from the use of pesticides that is provided for the general public and the environment. I hope that the Minister will reconsider the regulations.

11.50 pm
Mrs. Fenner

The hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) suggested that the Government had not paid enough heed. We paid enough heed by introducing these regulations. It has been pointed out by several of my hon. Friends that previous Governments did not do so. It was a travesty for the hon. Gentleman to say what he did.

The hon. Gentleman questioned the form that the regulations take. The regulations are more detailed than the Act. They contain a list of the pesticides that will be covered by the regulations. They also deal with the treatment of anti-fouling paints and aerial spraying and control over the sale, supply, storage, advertising and use of pesticides.

The hon. Gentleman must accept that in principle Ministers should be able to add other controls as circumstances change. In law, those changes must follow the intentions of the enabling legislation. He does not have to wait for the consents to see what they contain. The schedules contain all the conditions that will be included in the consents, apart from the one exception to which I referred. I say again that we intend to take powers under section 28 to ensure that it applies to all sites of special scientific interest. That is in addition to the consent. I have already fully explained what will be added. All the conditions that are contained in the schedules will be included in the consents.

A number of hon. Members have referred to enforcement. Apart from the agricultural inspectorate, trading standards officers will look after the sale of pesticides, environmental health officers will enforce conditions relating to use on premises not visited by the Health and Safety Executive, the agricultural departments will investigate wildlife incidents and crop damage, and the railways inspectorate, among others, will also be involved. Enforcement will be shared between them.

Recruitment to the agricultural inspectorate is in progress. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment has been unable to divert the envisaged additional resources, because of other demands. However, the Health and Safety Commission has assured the Government that the inspectorate will be able to meet its responsibilities.

Mr. John

The hon. Lady must have had the same pap served up to her as a brief when she gave her promise on Report. Why did she promise to recruit 12 additional inspectors to carry out a wide range of extra duties if she had no intention of fulfilling that promise?

Mrs. Fenner

Again that Js a travesty. That was the number of additional inspectors that the inspectorate assured us would be necessary. Recruitment for that number will continue, but the Health and Safety Executive has assured us that it has sufficient inspectors with which to enforce its responsibilities.

A number of hon. Members referred in particular to adjuvants. I take seriously the charge that the Government have been slipshod over their treatment of adjuvants. They are not pesticides. Therefore, they do not feature in the regulations. I accept the point that was made about the wording. There will be a reference to a list. I have explained that we have been testing adjuvants as though they were pesticides. We will continue to test them and produce a list of acceptable adjuvants, but I cannot give the exact wording that will be involved. However, we will state that a particular pesticide may be used with adjuvant from the list.

My hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) questioned the stability of formulation. I can assure him that that will be one of the properties evaluated before a product is approved. We would not approve a product which deteriorated too rapidly. We also require labels to contain guidance on the storage conditions appropriate to maintain the qualities of a pesticide. The code of practice for distributors and users will contain guidance on stock controls.

I was sorry that the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) needed to comment on the temporary absence from the Chamber of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment. He will see that she has returned. It was especially ungracious of the hon. Member to comment in that way as we all know that hon. Members move in and out of the Chamber during debates. My hon. Friend listened with great care to the opening speeches.

I can tell the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey that the regulations cover the sale, supply, storage, use and advertisements of all pesticides even when used for non-agricultural purposes. He made a general point that he believed that consultations were inadequate. The document was issued in November and we issued almost 1,500 copies of the consultation document. We received about 125 written submissions and we held 25 detailed discussions with representative organisations. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman can assert that that constitutes inadequate consultation. We have not had responses to that effect.

The hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Miss Maynard) made several points. Reference to the safe, efficient and humane control of pests is not contained in the regulations because that is already written into the enabling Act. Hon. Members have mentioned many of the points covered in the consultative document which do not appear in the regulations. The reason is that the consultative document described the legislative and administrative arrangements which will operate.

The hon. Member for Brightside referred to the five-year reviews detailed in the consultative document. However, it is not appropriate to review every five years, because during that time many pesticides are still in active development and therefore constantly being re-evaluated. One of the important reasons for farmers to keep records is that they might show that there needed to be an additional review. The review system is set up to review every pesticide every 10 years and it can take ad hoc decisions to review pesticides for a specific reason. I hope that the hon. Member for Brightside will be reassured.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 219, Noes 128.

Division No. 264] [11.58 pm
Alexander, Richard Burt, Alistair
Amess, David Butcher, John
Ancram, Michael Butterfill, John
Ashby, David Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Carlisle, John (Luton N)
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E) Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y) Carttiss, Michael
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Baldry, Tony Chapman, Sydney
Batiste, Spencer Chope, Christopher
Bendall, Vivian Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th S'n)
Best, Keith Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe,
Blackburn, John Colvin, Michael
Boscawen, Hon Robert Conway, Derek
Bottomley, Peter Coombs, Simon
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Cope, John
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Couchman, James
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Cranborne, Viscount
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Crouch, David
Bright, Graham Currie, Mrs Edwina
Brinton, Tim Dorrell, Stephen
Brooke, Hon Peter Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Dover, Den
Bruinvels, Peter Dunn, Robert
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Durant, Tony
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) Marlow, Antony
Eggar, Tim Mather, Carol
Eyre, Sir Reginald Maude, Hon Francis
Fairbairn, Nicholas Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Fallon, Michael Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Farr, Sir John Merchant, Piers
Favell, Anthony Meyer, Sir Anthony
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Forman, Nigel Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Mitchell, David (Hants NW)
Forth, Eric Moore, Rt Hon John
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)
Fox, Sir Marcus Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)
Franks, Cecil Neale, Gerrard
Fraser, Peter (Angus East) Needham, Richard
Freeman, Roger Newton, Tony
Galley, Roy Nicholls, Patrick
Garel-Jones, Tristan Norris, Steven
Gow, Ian Onslow, Cranley
Greenway, Harry Osborn, Sir John
Gregory, Conal Ottaway, Richard
Griffiths, Sir Eldon Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N) Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Ground, Patrick Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abgdn)
Gummer, Rt Hon John S Pollock, Alexander
Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom) Porter, Barry
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Portillo, Michael
Hampson, Dr Keith Powell, William (Corby)
Hanley, Jeremy Rhodes James, Robert
Hargreaves, Kenneth Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Harris, David Robinson, P. (Belfast E)
Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael Roe, Mrs Marion
Hawkins, Sir Paul (N'folk SW) Rowe, Andrew
Hayes, J. Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Barney Ryder, Richard
Hayward, Robert Sackville, Hon Thomas
Heathcoat-Amory, David Sayeed, Jonathan
Henderson, Barry Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Hickmet, Richard Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hind, Kenneth Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hirst, Michael Shersby, Michael
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Sims, Roger
Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling) Skeet, Sir Trevor
Holt, Richard Soames, Hon Nicholas
Howard, Michael Speed, Keith
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A) Spencer, Derek
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock) Spicer, Jim (Dorset W)
Howells, Geraint Stanbrook, Ivor
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Stanley, Rt Hon John
Jackson, Robert Stern, Michael
Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Jessel, Toby Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Jones, Robert (Herts W) Stokes, John
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Sumberg, David
Key, Robert Taylor, John (Solihull)
King, Rt Hon Tom Terlezki, Stefan
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Knowles, Michael Thorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Knox, David Thurnham, Peter
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Tracey, Richard
Lang, Ian Trippier, David
Lawler, Geoffrey Twinn, Dr Ian
Lawrence, Ivan Viggers, Peter
Lee, John (Pendle) Waddington, David
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Waldegrave, Hon William
Lester, Jim Walden, George
Lilley, Peter Waller, Gary
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant) Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Warren, Kenneth
Lord, Michael Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Lyell, Nicholas Wheeler, John
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Whitfield, John
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute) Whitney, Raymond
McLoughlin, Patrick Wiggin, Jerry
Madel, David Wilkinson, John
Major, John Winterton, Mrs Ann
Malone, Gerald Winterton, Nicholas
Wolfson, Mark Younger, Rt Hon George
Wood, Timothy
Woodcock, Michael Tellers for the Ayes:
Yeo, Tim Mr. Michael Neubert and
Young, Sir George (Acton) Mr. Tim Sainsbury.
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Ashton, Joe John, Brynmor
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Lamond, James
Barnett, Guy Leadbitter, Ted
Barron, Kevin Leighton, Ronald
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Bell, Stuart Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Litherland, Robert
Bermingham, Gerald Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Blair, Anthony Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Boyes, Roland Loyden, Edward
Bray, Dr Jeremy McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E) McGuire, Michael
Brown, Hugh D. (Proven) McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) McKelvey, William
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N) Madden, Max
Buchan, Norman Marek, Dr John
Caborn, Richard Martin, Michael
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Maxton, John
Campbell-Savours, Dale Maynard, Miss Joan
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Michie. William
Clarke, Thomas Mikardo, Ian
Clay, Robert Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Clelland, David Gordon Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S) Nellist, David
Cohen, Harry O'Brien, William
Conlan, Bernard O'Neill, Martin
Cook, Frank (Stockton North) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) Parry, Robert
Corbett, Robin Patchett, Terry
Corbyn, Jeremy Pendry, Tom
Craigen, J. M. Pike, Peter
Crowther, Stan Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Prescott, John
Dalyell, Tam Randall, Stuart
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Raynsford, Nick
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l) Redmond, Martin
Deakins, Eric Richardson, Ms Jo
Dewar, Donald Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Dormand, Jack Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Dubs, Alfred Robertson, George
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Eadie, Alex Rogers, Allan
Eastham, Ken Rooker, J. W.
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
Ewing, Harry Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Fatchett, Derek Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Faulds, Andrew Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Skinner, Dennis
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn) Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'ds E)
Fisher, Mark Soley, Clive
Flannery, Martin Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Straw, Jack
Foster, Derek Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Foulkes, George Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
George, Bruce Welsh, Michael
Godman, Dr Norman Wigley, Dafydd
Hamilton, James (M'well N) Williams, Rt Hon A.
Hardy, Peter Wilson, Gordon
Harman, Ms Harriet Winnick, David
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall) Tellers for the Noes:
Home Robertson, John Mr. Don Dixon and
Hoyle, Douglas Mr. Chris Smith.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the draft Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986, which were laid before this House on 3rd July, be approved.