HC Deb 23 July 1991 vol 195 cc1098-9

Lords amendment: No. 4, in page 7, line 1, after "authority" insert who have not formed a company in pursuance of section 1 above and

Mr. McLoughlin

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

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to take Lords amendments Nos. 5 and 6.

Mr. McLoughlin

These amendments should be called the Ward amendments because they are the result of the well-constructed case made by my hon. Friend the Member for Poole (Mr. Ward). They mean that, once the Government have looked at a port after the two-year period and have decided not to privatise at that stage, they will not look at that port again for another five years. My hon. Friend argued his case well on Report and I gave him the commitment that we would make this amendment in the other place, and we have done so.

Mr. John Ward (Poole)

It would be churlish not to thank my hon. Friend the Minister for the amendments. He knows that we do not wish the port of Poole to be privatised. The five-year moratorium gives it the opportunity to carry on its business in a sensible businesslike way which will prove, in five or seven years' time, that there is still no need to privatise. My hon. Friend the Minister listened with courtesy to the representations made to him rather noisily in my constituency, and I thank him for that. We obviously did not entirely convince him, but half a cake is better than none and I am grateful to my hon. Friend for what we have.

Ms. Walley

We are glad of some further clarifications on the Secretary of State's powers of compulsion. We are totally against any compulsion. If there is to be privatisation, it must be done voluntarily and on the merits of the argument. We are concerned about the position of Poole trust port, but other ports are in a similar position and do not want these powers compulsorily attached to them. We are therefore glad of that clarification.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 5 and 6 agreed to.

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