HL Deb 04 July 1922 vol 51 cc247-8

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Bill be read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(The Earl of Ancaster.)


My Lords, I want to pay a tribute to the Joint Committee which has had this Bill under consideration and which has sent to this House such a clear Report as to its new provisions. I also want to say to the Government that this Bill is overdue. The subject has been mentioned on more than one occasion in the King's Speech in past sessions, and this Consolidation Bill is exactly what the people of this country want. It states in plain language the provisions of the law without any reference whatsoever. From 18G1 up to the present there have been nineteen different Statutes, and for the administrative bodies in this country to understand all of them is an impossibility. Now we have a Bill, quite clear in its language, which will enable administrative bodies to deal with matters relating to salmon and freshwater fisheries; and we shall know what the law is.

The law has been amended in certain particulars. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries have had the advantage— I think it is an advantage—of a large number of individuals interested in the subject meeting together to consider the proposals of the Government. This Bill is the result of what I may call a compromise arrangement. It is an agreed Bill. The traders of this country recognise it is desirable that there should be no fresh pollution of the rivers and estuaries of this country which can be avoided at a small cost, and they are prepared, through their representatives on the Association for the Protection of British Industries, to say that they approve of the Bill as it has passed your Lordships' House. On the other hand; those who are interested in fisheries realise that the interests of traders must be supreme, that traders must carry on their industries, and, if necessary, pollute even the rivers and estuaries in and around this country. Where pollution can be dealt with at no great cost both traders and those interested in fisheries are determined that it shall not occur in the future, and that so far as it is possible and practicable it shall be improved wherever possible.

I rise to urge the Government not to allow this Bill to be slaughtered during the current session. At this period of the year it often happens that even a Bill which is generally approved is stopped in another place if the Government do not insist upon its being passed into law. I have often seen measures withdrawn at the end of the session, although there is very little, controversy in connection with their provisions, and I press the noble Earl in charge of the Bill to do his utmost to see that, possibly with a few Amendments to be inserted in another place, this Bill shall pass into law during the present session.

On Question, Bill read 3a: privilege Amendment made; Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.