§ Nothing in this Act contained shall enable any local authority or other person to injuriously affect—
- (1) The irrigation of lands in a rural district, or the supply of water used for such irrigation;
- (2) The supply of water required for the purposes of any waterworks established by or under the provisions of any Act of Parliament, or of the compensation water required to be given by the owners of such waterworks, unless the local authority shall have previously obtained the consent of such owners;
- (3) The navigation on or use of any river, canal, dock, harbour, lock, reservoir, or basin in respect of which any persons are by virtue of any Act of Parliament entitled to take tolls or dues, or the supply of water to the same, or any bridges crossing the same, or any towing-path thereon:
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN moved, after "injuriously affect" to insert as a sub-section:—
(1) Any existing supply of water required for domestic, agricultural or commercial purposes.
* LORD BALFOUR
said, that he hoped the Amendment would not be accepted. The words were too wide and were contrary to the Act of 1867, which had worked perfectly well for 30 years. The Amendment might be so construed as to defeat altogether the provision of the Bill for taking water; as it could be made out that almost any water was required for agricultural, domestic or commercial purposes. The very object 1540 of these clauses and of the Act of 1867 was to provide a machinery by which water might be taken subject to proper compensation. If the Amendment were accepted there would be a risk of absolutely defeating the whole provisions of the clause.
THE EARL OF CAMPERDOWN
pointed out that a great many draftsmen and lawyers had spoken of the Act of 1867 with much disrespect; and the mere accident that difficulties had not arisen under the Act did not make the drafting any better. He was willing to alter the words of the Amendment to any extent, and to make it refer only to water at present supplied to houses, or at present used for agricultural or commercial purposes. It would be very hard if water which was now used by private persons for private purposes were liable to be taken from them. Compensation in such cases might be very difficult. He should not press the Amendment to a Division, if the noble Lord opposed it.
* LORD BALFOUR
said, that he regarded the Amendment as striking at the value of the clause altogether.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ *LORD BALFOUR moved, "That the Privilege Amendments be agreed to."
§ Motion agreed to; Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.