HL Deb 10 November 1949 vol 165 cc477-630

2.37 p.m.

House again in Committee (according to Order).

[The EARL OF DROGHEDA in the Chair]

Clause 12:

Provision of accommodation, meals, refreshments, camping sites and parking places

12.—(1) A local planning authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or any part of a National Park may make arrangements for securing the provision in their area (whether by the authority or by other persons)

  1. (a) of accommodation, meals and refreshments (including intoxicating liquor);
  2. (b) of camping sites; and
  3. (c) of parking places and means of access thereto and egress therefrom,
and may for the purposes of such arrangements erect such buildings and carry out such work as may appear to them to be necessary or expedient.

EARL DE LA WARR moved to add to subsection (1): provided always that an authority shall not exercise the power conferred by this subsection (other than a power of erecting buildings or carrying out work), to provide accommodation, meals and refreshment, unless it appears to the authority that no other person is able and willing to provide, in a manner in which in the opinion of the authority will be satisfactory, the facility or service for the provision of which the power is exercisable.

The noble Earl said: On behalf of my noble friend the Duke of Rutland, who I regret to say is unable to come to-day owing to indisposition, I beg to move this Amendment. It is a happy Amendment with which to start the day's proceedings, and it seeks merely to restore into the Bill a provision which the Minister himself originally said should be in it. Therefore I do not think there is a great deal for me to say to the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.

This provision was originally Clause 14 when the Bill was introduced in another place. Further discussion of it was promised there, but it was dropped out, and on the Report stage there was no discussion. Its purpose is quite simple: it is designed to secure that when the local planning authorities embark, or consider the question of embarking, on the provision of catering and other facilities in these areas they shall first have to assure themselves that there are not already adequate facilities there. That is not asking a great deal. As your Lordships know, these areas that are likely to be designated are, naturally, holiday areas, where the hotel and catering business already operates to a considerable extent. Nor is it merely a matter of the hotel and catering industry: small farmhouses and cottages are all providing their quota of service. Surely we want to do everything possible in this Bill to encourage those who are already operating services in these districts. How can we expect these interests to make any of the progress that we should like made in improving their facilities if they have hanging over them a Sword of Damocles, in the form of the local authority being able to come in and provide facilities in competition with them? I think the case is so simple and so clear that I ask the noble Lord straightaway to accept this Amendment, thereby restoring the position that the Minister established in his own Bill. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 10, line 44, at end insert the said proviso.—(Earl De La Warr.)

LORD REA

I wish to support this Amendment. It seems to me to be an Amendment which the noble Lord can hardly resist, because it is so modest. As the noble Earl pointed out, the local authority must satisfy themselves that there are not already adequate facilities provided by what one might call private enterprise before they themselves proceed. It seems to me that the phrase in the Amendment: provided always that an authority shall not exercise the power conferred by this subsection…to provide accommodation, meals and refreshment, unless it appears to the authority that no other person is able and willing to provide, in a manner which in the opinion of the authority will be satisfactory,… is so generous that I am surprised that the hotel people, who have a great interest in this matter, have not pressed some of your Lordships to insert something stronger. I suggest that this is a modest and fair Amendment, which I hope the Government will find it possible to accept.

LORD ROCHESTER

I too desire to support the noble Earl in this Amendment, and I can confirm all that the noble Lord, Lord Rea, has just said. It is indeed surprising that the catering interests themselves have not moved. I would remind your Lordships that only the day before yesterday, when we were discussing an Amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Llewellin, on model bylaws for these public parks, I ventured to draw your Lordships' attention to the experiences of the City of London Corporation who, for over seventy years, have been managing Epping Forest and have provided model bylaws which have been their guide in all the open spaces they have since come to control. I would remind your Lordships that no difficulty should arise if the Amendment is accepted. The provision was in the original Bill as introduced in another place and, in the experience of the City of London Corporation, it is clearly unnecessary that this provision should be resisted by the Government. In the case of Epping Forest there are already at least three licensed properties: the Robin Hood, in the Forest; the Kings Oak, at High Beech; and the Royal Forest Hotel, at Chingford. These hotels are not on Epping Forest land; they do not belong to the Epping Forest Committee, as the conservators, who have no licences of their own. I suggest to the Government that it is quite unnecessary that they should take this power. I hope they will not resist this Amendment.

LORD WINSTER

I should like to say a few words on this Amendment as it affects the Lake District. Hotel accommodation there happens to be very good, and in many parts it is adequate, but the more important point is that the tourist traffic is of great importance to the farmers in that district. There was general agreement the other night that the farmers in the Lake District have a pretty hard struggle to make both ends meet. Undoubtedly, an important factor in their budget is the providing of accommodation and refreshment for visitors. We should be very careful before we give encouragement to local authorities to set up their own accommodation for visitors, thereby competing with the farmers and possibly depriving them of an important part of their income.

LORD CHORLEY

I should have been glad to start to-day, if possible, by accepting the Amendment of the noble Earl, but I am afraid I cannot do so. Before I deal with the arguments which he put forward, I should like to make two points. In the first place, I think he did not—no doubt quite unintentionally—give the words of the Amendment their proper meaning. They do not deal with existing facilities, but consider the position where it appears to the authority that no other person is able and willing to provide…facility or service. That is concerned not only with places where there are existing inns or farmhouses, but also with places where there are no facilities at all but where it is argued that somebody might be prepared to come in—which is, with respect, rather a different kettle of fish.

The noble Earl also rather suggested—again, no doubt, without intending to cast any reflection upon the Minister—that no opportunity was given in another place for discussion of this problem. I understand, however, that what happened there was that when the Question was put, whoever had undertaken to speak about it was not ready or did not hear, with the result that on technical grounds the discussion did not take place. It was not a question of the Minister not being prepared to have a discussion. Then Lord Rochester told us, from his own experience, about arrangements which had proved quite satisfactory in the metropolitan area, and more particularly in Epping Forest. I suggest, however, that what might be quite satisfactory in Epping Forest has little relationship to the situation in Snowdonia, in the Lake District, at the Roman Wall or in some other wild and rather inaccessible place where you may have to travel for many miles before you find an inn or even farmhouse accommodation where refreshment is available. It is quite true that as the Bill was first introduced it contained a provision of this kind; but it went much further than my right honourable friend had intended.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

Who drafted the Bill? Did he not draft it?

LORD CHORLEY

It sometimes happens that the words chosen go rather further than is intended.

LORD LLEWELLIN

The noble Lord will forgive me, but the Minister's name must have been on the back of the Bill.

LORD CHORLEY

The Minister's name was, of course, on the back of the Bill. What the Minister is particularly anxious to secure is that the local planning authority shall be able in a good case to assist voluntary organisations which over the past years have been doing particularly good work in the way of providing accommodation in many of these rather out of the way parts of England, where undoubtedly there has been great difficulty in obtaining accommodation. Many of your Lordships will be familiar with the work which has been done by such organisations as the Youth Hostels Association. Under this clause it will be possible to make a capital Brant to an organisation of that kind in order to assist it to provide accommodation. But, if this Amendment were accepted, that might very well be ruled out. My right honourable friend is most anxious that the existing accommodation shall be fully used. I suggest that there is not the remotest chance that the local authority will wish to add redundant accommodation in parts of the country in which there is already satisfactory provision. But in cases where the local facilities are not satisfactory, it is most important that the local planning authority should be in a position to provide the necessary facilities, either directly or by assistance granted to one of the voluntary organisations to which I have already referred.

A little further down on the Marshalled List the Committee will see another Amendment in the names of the same noble Lords who arc proposing this Amendment, and under which it would not he possible for the local planning authority to provide accommodation in cases where they would be likely to make a loss. If both these Amendments were accepted, the result would be that it would be impossible for the local planning authority to provide accommodation of this kind unless they could be sure that they would break even, a conclusion it would he impossible to arrive at by way of forecast. It is essential that the local planning authority should have these powers. In my submission it is most unlikely, except in a most unusual case, that they would provide accommodation which would not pay for itself. The result of these Amendments would be to drive them out of the market altogether. My right honourable friend takes the view that in a proper case there is no reason why there should not be fair competition. Where there are already sufficient existing facilities it seems most unlikely, indeed, quite unbelievable, that the local authority, which, after all, represents the interests of the local people, should wish to provide accommodation. In these circumstances, I am afraid we cannot accept this Amendment.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

Until we come to it on a later Amendment, I need not deal with the curious but no doubt sincere admission made by the Minister that it would be unreasonable, if not impossible, to expect State trading establishments in the catering business to carry on otherwise than at a loss. But we note that important admission for further consideration when it becomes more appropriate to the debate. I must say that if the speech to which we have just listened was the best defence that could be put up against this clause, which was in the original Bill, the Minister in another place was singularly fortunate in not having to rise to his feet to defend its omission. I have never heard a more arid, jejune defence put up to any proposal. Why should State trading be brought by a side wind into this Bill, which is commended to us as a Bill which we ought to support in order to make these national parks a success, and which, as we have been told by the Minister over and over again, depend for their success upon the good will of everybody in the district?

LORD CHORLEY

With respect to the noble Viscount, there is no question of State trading being provided for by the clause.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

Then what is a local authority?

LORD CHORLEY

It is not a State trading concern; it is a municipal authority.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

We are to draw this distinction! Let me tell the noble Lord frankly that I take equal exception to this kind of subsidised, unnecessary, uneconomic competition, and particularly in what is supposed to be a non-controversial Bill. I take exception to it whether it is carried on by Mr. Silkin's Department or whether it is carried on by some subsidiary local authority, no doubt prodded on and stimulated, if not directed, by the Minister, to engage in these activities. I should not be at all surprised if somewhere in the ninety-six clauses of this Bill we find power given to the Minister to give directions. I know the form so well—directions either of a general or a specific character. But why should this power be given here if the hotels are available? Hotels are having a very difficult time, particularly in country districts. I am not going to criticise the Catering Order now, but everybody knows how difficult it has made things; and everybody knows that these hotels depend entirely on seasonal traffic in order to carry on.

Then the noble Lord said that if the hotel accommodation as it exists at present is adequate, the State or the municipal authority would not come in with its subsidised competition. The Committee will observe that no encouragement is given to the hotels to develop accommodation to meet the needs and the requirements of tourists who are coming to these national parks. Oh, no! I suppose that is because it is private enterprise and we must shut down upon any such development. How very consistent that is with the appeal to us to produce a little more and to give a little better service! Here the hotels are to be penalised if they try and meet the requirements that develop with the situation.

The Committee will observe that the criticism of this matter is not confined to one side of the House; all three Parties are joining against it. I quite agree with Lord Winster in his observations about farmhouses and the little cottages—often a cottage kept by a widow woman. In the days before Mr. Strachey imposed his austerity upon us, the best meal one could get was the good meat tea. We used to get ham and eggs. We did not only "bury them with ham" in Yorkshire. On all our walks we could always be perfectly certain of going into any local pub and getting a first-class tea of ham and eggs, and if there was not a pub there it was ten to one that at any house one stopped in the dales or the fells, so long as people were allowed to keep a few chickens—and they cannot do that now—we could get a good meal. We would knock on the door and say: "Mistress, can you give me a dish of tea?", and she would do so. That was how things went on. It provided a social service and an agreeable intercourse: I should have thought that was exactly the kind of thing one would wish to encourage when bringing the townsman into the country—to get the townsman and the countryman to mix on these agreeable terms.

Then the noble Lord says, "But if I accept your Amendment, then the out-of-the-way places where the weary traveller cannot get anything to eat and drink will not be catered for." That is not so at all. Perhaps he will take the trouble to read the Amendment—I call it "the Amendment" because it appears on the Marshalled List as such, but the words are identical with the words that the Minister put into the Bill. We are told that the Minister, who presumably takes some trouble in presenting Bills to the House, let this come into an early clause. It is Clause 12 (it was Clause 14), and he had not to read very far to come upon this passage. It was not an unimportant passage, but we are told that it slipped the Minister's notice. Really, that is the first time I have ever heard an excuse like that advanced! in any Government in which I have served, if I had put up the excuse to my Prime Minister that a clause of fundamental importance had slipped my notice, I am sure he would have said, "Your misbehaviour has not slipped mine," and I do not think I should have continued very long in office.

The provision which we are now seeking to put back does not preclude the local authority from acting in cases where there is no accommodation, or where no accommodation can be provided. Just look at the words. I agree with my noble friend on the Liberal Beaches. I must say that I think this is an extremely generous Amendment, because the local authority are left with the last word. The Amendment says: …unless it appears to the authority that no other person is able and willing to provide… If the local authority on the Roman Wall, where there is no house at which refreshment can be provided be satisfied that no one is going to provide refreshments then under this clause the local planning authority will be able to step in and do so. Therefore, the case of these out-of-the-way places is properly met. Noble Lords in all quarters wish to give the Bill their support, but if we are to have thrust upon us a provision such as that in Clause 12 (1), which means that the Bill is radically different even from what it was when it was first presented to the House of Commons, and if the alteration is grossly unfair to hotel proprietors and other people in these country areas, then I say that that is not the way to get the Bill passed. It is certainly not the way to commend this plan to the Committee. If that is to be the last word from the Government—and no doubt the Minister is acting on instructions—I sincerely hope that my noble friend will divide the Committee upon this Amendment.

THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (VISCOUNT ADDISON)

I hesitate to intervene in this charming discussion during which we have heard the noble Viscount, Lord Swinton, deliver one of those thoroughly delightful speeches which we are accustomed to hear from him and which we enjoy so much. Much of it, of course, had nothing whatever to do with the Amendment, but that is a detail. There were a few political embroideries; but those we accept in good part. Quite frankly, I do not know what was in the Minister's mind at the time when this provision, or something like it, was inserted in the original Bill. I will accept the principle laid down by the noble Viscount that the Minister is responsible for his Bill. Of course he is; we all know that. No one wishes to pretend for a moment that that is not so. But I think it has not been fairly represented how this matter began. The noble Viscount has overlooked—whether by accident or otherwise I do not know—what is provided at the beginning of Clause 12. The first subsection commences: A local planning authority whose area consists of or includes the whole or any part of a National Park may make arrangements for securing the prow slim in their area (whether by the authority or by other persons)"— and ends by saying: and may for the purposes of such arrangements erect such buildings and carry out such work as may appear to them to be necessary or expedient. That is to say, if the accommodation is there already, whether it is provided by a cottager or a local inn or whatever it may he, no case arises for the local planning authority to make any provision.

I may say that I myself have enjoyed the charming hospitality of farmhouses and cottages, just as the noble Viscount has clone, many and many a time in my early life. I, too, have called at local inns and had ham and eggs. I repeat that if these facilities already exist there is no cause for the authority to do anything, because the provision that is wanted is already secured. The Bill states only that they may make arrangements for securing the provision in their area. That means they have to make arrangements for securing it if it is not there already. There is nothing affecting places in Epping Forest where there is an hotel. I am sure that if there were an hotel there, it would never enter the minds of the authority to take any steps to provide something additional; what is needed will already be there. And I may say that I hope these hotels and inns will do a thriving business. I hope that a great deal more business will be brought to these areas, and I trust that those who cater for visitors will extend their provision for meeting their requirements. What the Bill does provide—and for my part I think it is a very sensible provision —is that where these facilities are not available for walkers and others in remote areas, it shall be open to the local planning authority to make this kind of provision. That seems to me to be a thoroughly sensible thing to do.

It is really riding the horse of private enterprise to death to object to a thing like this. Why in the world should not the local planning authorities be able to do this? They are responsible for looking after these remote areas, getting people to visit them, and making the areas accessible and attractive. If there is not a place where a man can get a sandwich and a glass of beer—I know that a noble Lord has an Amendment with regard to that matter which will come before us later on—why should they not be able to establish one? It is our anxiety to be as accommodating as is possible on behalf of the Government over this Bill. We are most anxious to meet the temper of the Committee, and so I would ask noble Lords opposite not to press this in the way that they are now doing. The people who are responsible for these national parks must be able to provide this kind of service if it does not already exist. It seems to me that it would be completely unreasonable to prevent them from doing so. Notwithstanding the moving speech of the noble Viscount, I would appeal to noble Lords not to press this Amendment.

LORD LLEWELLIN

If I may say so with respect I have heard nothing more reasonable in this connection than the speech which has just been made by the noble Viscount the Leader of th House, bcause he was describing exactly what our Amendment would do. He asked: Why should not the local planning authority provide this accommodation where it is not already available. If he would look at the Amendment he would see that that is just what we say.

VISCOUNT ADDISON

The Amendment goes much further than that. It imposes on the local planning authority the duty of finding out whether no other person is able or willing to provide what is required. I do not know whether they would be supposed to advertise in The Times or how they could be expected to find that out.

LORD LLEWELLIN

Sometimes one of the best ways of looking at an Amendment is to read it in reverse. If your Lordships will apply that test to this Amendment and ask yourselves what will happen if this Amendment is not added to the Bill, I think you will see what I mean. If this Amendment is not inserted we shall be giving authority to these local planning authorities to provide these facilities even though other persons are able and willing to provide them, and to provide them in a manner which in the opinion of the authority will be satisfactory. If we do not have this Amendment in we shall be instructing the local planning authorities, in effect, that what Parliament intends is that, although this accommodation may be available, although there may be people well-known in the neighbourhood able and willing to provide it, nevertheless it is the wish of Parliament that the local planning authority should step in and do so. The noble Viscount the Leader of the House and I are at one in saying that where there is nothing at all, and no one willing to provide what is called for, we will leave it to the local planning authority to do it. That is what they could do if this Amendment were added to this Bill. After his speech the noble Viscount the Leader of the House should certainly go with us into the Lobby if we divide on this Motion because that is exactly what we are proposing to the Committee.

I believe that we should be well advised to adopt this Amendment. Do not let us put all the blame on the Minister of Town and Country Planning. The Lord President of the Council, Mr. Dalton, Secretary Ede, Mr. Woodburn, Mr. Tom Williams, Mr. Barnes, Mr. Glenvil Hall and Mr. King were among those who approved the words in the original Bill before the Government altered it. The noble Viscount the Leader of the House has frankly realised that he cannot quite get away with saying that the original words went a bit further than was intended. A man does not get away with that if he signs a cheque for £1,000 and has only £200 in the bank. It is no good his saying: "My cheque went a little bit further than I intended." That sort of thing does not go down. What happened to make all these gentlemen think better of it, in the interval I do not know. Second thoughts, it is said, are best; and sometimes, I think, second thoughts on second thoughts are best of all. It may well be advisable that we should say that we in this Committee adopt the kind of line with regard to the provision of this accommodation by local planning authorities which has been so well stated to us by the noble Viscount the Leader of the House.

LORD CHORLEY

May I intervene again, since noble Lords opposite have made a great point about existing accommodation, to suggest that we should consider some form of words which would provide that if existing accommodation was not sufficient, alternative arrangements could be made? I do not, of course, promise, that we could insert such a provision. As I said before, though the point was not taken up by the noble Lord, my right honourable friend the Minister of Town and Country Planning is anxious to assist voluntary organisations, especially those which provide for young people. If noble Lords felt that consultations on these lines would be useful, it might be possible to do something.

EARL. DE LA WARR

I fully appreciate what the noble Lord has just said. Obviously he is trying to meet us, but his suggestion does not really meet the point. At the present time we are exhorting every trade and industry in the country to produce more; and not least, we are exhorting the hotel and catering industry to improve their facilities. The noble Lord's suggestion goes completely

counter to that. It is not merely a matter of existing accommodation. We want to see the small hotels and catering establishments, some of them farmhouses and even cottages, improve the facilities which they offer. I am not going to repeat the arguments, because we have gone into this matter very thoroughly. If the noble Viscount, Lord Addison, will allow me to say so, he is very busy with other matters, and I do not think he quite appreciates the feeling in the House on this matter. We are discussing a question which deeply affects men, often with very little capital, who have their all invested in a small hotel or boarding establishment; they are not great capitalist concerns. We do not want to have Divisions on this Bill. We feel it is fundamentally a good Bill and we want to support it. I would appeal to the noble Viscount to save us from dividing by intervening, as he so often does helpfully, to give us an assurance that he will take up this matter with the Minister between now and Report stage in an endeavour to get him to meet us. Unless we have an assurance, and I may say a very strong assurance, it is much better that the House should be allowed to give their verdict.

EARL HOWE

The noble Lord, Lord Chorley, argued against this Amendment that if accommodation already existed there the local authority would never dream of providing it. But the local authorities take their pattern from the Government, and did the Government use that argument when they set up the hotel in Park Street? Surely we might have a better argument than that—if there is one. I hope the noble Lord will be able to give the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, the assurance for which he asks. It will save us a Division.

VISCOUNT ADDISON

I wish I could give that assurance, but I cannot at this stage, I am afraid.

On Question, Whether the proposed proviso shall be there inserted?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 44; Not-Contents, 13.

CONTENTS
Cholmondeley, M. De La Warr, E. Onslow, E.
Fortescue, E. [Teller.] Radnor. E.
Beauchamp. E. Halifax, E. Scarbrough, E.
Bessborouch, E. Howe, E.
Craven, E. Lindsay, E. Allenby, V.
Hailsham, V. Cranworth, L. Mancroft, L.
Samuel, V. Deramore, L. Milverton, L.
Simon, V. Derwent, L. Monkswell, L.
Swinton, V. Gage, L. (V. Gage.) Rea, L.
Leicester, L. Bp. Gifford, L. Rochdale, L.
Hankey, L. Rochester, L.
Aberdare, L. Hawke, L. Saltoun, L.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Hutchison of Montrose, L. Schuster, L.
Braye, L. Hylton, L. Teynham, L.
Carrington, L. [Teller.] Llewellin, L. Wolverton, L.
Clydesmuir, L. Luke, L.
NOT-CONTENTS
Addison, V. (L. Privy Seal.) St. Davids, V. Holden, L.
Kershaw, L. [Teller.]
Huntingdon, E. Bingham, L. (E. Lucan.) Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Chorley, L. Macdonald of Gwaenysgor, L.
Esher, V. Darwen, L. [Teller.] Marley, L.
Shepherd, L.

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.

3.20 p.m.

LORD ROCHESTER moved to add to the clause: () A Justices' licence granted under the Licensing Acts, 1910 to 1949, for the sale of intoxicating liquor in connection with the provisions of accommodation, meals and refreshment under this section shall only authorise the sale of such liquor for consumption with a meal and a local planning authority shall in carrying on any activities under this section be subject to all enactments and rules of law relating to the sale of intoxicating liquor in like manner as other persons carrying on the like activities.

The noble Lord said: St. Paul admonished the Corinthians to utter by the tongue words easy to be understood. I purpose following that advice in addressing your Lordships this afternoon, for the Amendment I am about to move is of real substance and one which has, I have every reason to believe by the communications which have reached me since the Second Reading of the Bill, a large body of public opinion behind it. By a happy coincidence, the leading article in to-day's issue of the Methodist Recorder calls attention to the waste of resources and of human life that has reached appalling proportions through intoxicating liquor. Let me read one sentence of that article to your Lordships concerning the seriousness of the situation. It says: Responsible medical opinion confirms it; the possibility of the dangerous growth of indulgence is not negligible, for he that thinks he stands should take heed lest he fall; and if the Christian doctrine that we are members one of another is valid it should abate cheap sneers against setting a good example, for that is a plain part of a Christian's duty. In last week's issue of another Methodist weekly, Joyful News, strong protest is made against the action of the Government in inserting in its Bill provision for intoxicating liquor in the national parks.

Although I am not a member of the Labour Party, my inclination is more and more to the Left and, speaking generally, I am by and large a supporter of the present Government. I am the more sorry, therefore, to join issue with them on one aspect of this Bill, especially as I am in full agreement with its general objectives. While I am anxious to avoid tautology I must remind your Lordships of the genesis of this matter. On the Civic Restaurants Act of two years ago and again on the Housing Act as recently as July of this year, I moved Amendments in your Lordships' House to eliminate altogether the provisions therein for the sale or supply of intoxicating liquors. I need not recapitulate all that transpired on those two occasions: suffice it to say that, as that was too much for your Lordships to concede, I was eventually a party to a compromise and withdrew those Amendments on the undertaking of the noble Lord in charge of the respective Bills that, if I did so, the Government would meet the position by accepting a later Amendment tabled by my noble friend Lord Llewellin providing for licences to be restricted in just such a way as the Amendment I am now moving would restrict them—namely, to the supply of liquor with meals only.

I want to be consistent. Having failed on both the previous occasions to get all I wanted (I was, as I have said, party to that compromise), I am now asking the Government to be equally consistent. In other words, I am seeking to save them from themselves. This is the more necessary because of their fall from grace in breaking the pledge which they gave at the General Election that liquor should not be sold in civic restaurants. I take it that the Government do not contest the fact that they have broken that pledge. As I pointed out on the Second Reading, this Bill as at present drawn leaves the door wide open, not only to restricted licences for liquor consumption with meals, but for full justices' licences with cocktail bars and all the rest. In other words, for drink and still more drink.

We have fought this matter out in your Lordships' House twice already when, thanks to the intervention of my noble friend the Leader of the House and the patience of the noble Lord the Paymaster-General, aided by the cogency of the arguments employed by my noble friend Lord Llewellin, the Government gave way. Is it really unreasonable to ask that they should at least be consistent to the extent of not making, in the same Parliament, two different provisions to meet the same point? It is almost forty-four years since I first entered Parliament, and in all that time I cannot recall such palpable inconsistency being persisted in by any Government after the facts had been laid bare.

This is such an unanswerable case that I refuse to believe that the Government will not yield. Unless they do, it seems to me it will be tantamount to throwing over the reiterated counsel and advice of the noble Viscount, beloved of us all, the Leader of your Lordships' House. And I for one, should deeply regret it if, in the event, the Minister of Town and Country Planning should treat the Leader of your Lordships' House and such a venerated member of the Government in such a cavalier manner. The Minister of Food in the Civic Restaurants Act, and the Minister of Health in the recent Housing Act, deferred to the urgent representations of the Leader of your Lordships' House and conceded the point. They why should not the Minister of Town and Country Planning meet us in the same way and thus support his own colleagues? If such a restriction was wise in the case of civic restaurants and municipal housing schemes, there is an even stronger case for its application in national parks where young people especially will congregate.

Only last week your Lordships had a two-days' debate on the economic situation and the dire need for economy. I was unfortunately absent on that occasion owing to two long-standing engagements in the provinces. What is the good of going on talking about economy if, at the same time, you go on increasing the incentives to needless expenditure? In the economic debate in the other House the week before last, according to the House of Commons Hansard of October 26, Column 1368, Mr. Eden said that: the average individual weekly expenditure on alcohol and tobacco is eleven shillings and sixpence a week. These figures ought to make all of us think, in whatever part of the House we happen to sit…it is clear that some of the money that is being dispensed in food subsidies is not in fact carrying out its real purpose but is subsidising the purchase of tobacco and alcohol. And I would add that every year we are wasting from our food resources over 900,000 tons of cereals purchased with dollars; these cereals are used to produce intoxicants.

What is the good of talking about economy when that sort of thing not only continues but power is taken in such a Bill as this, not to limit the evil but positively to encourage the baneful habit of promiscuous drinking? Economy indeed! Why, it reminds me of the man who was addicted to drink and whose friends persuaded him to see a specialist, but they advised the specialist beforehand that it was no use telling him to give up drink. The specialist examined him and told him he could go on drinking as much as ever he could carry if he would then call for a dose of sarsaparilla; and then come back to see him in a fortnight's time. The poor man went back in a fortnight's time and the specialist asked him whether his prescription had been effective. "Well, no," replied the man, "not exactly, because the fact is that when I have drunk as much as I can carry, I can't even say sarsaparilla'."

Even if the Government preach economy, by this Bill they certainly are not encouraging others to practise it. Our bill is about £14 per head per year for every man, woman and child in our land, for this quite unnecessary and harmful luxury. If this waste were stopped the "gap" would soon be closed. But instead of seeking to slop it, the Government come forward with this Bill for the provision of national parks, and couple with it more and more incentives to drink. Only last week, in reply to a question by my noble friend Lord Llewellin, the Lord Chancellor told us that the fines for road offences during the past three years totalled very nearly £1,000,000. How many of those offences were caused by over indulgence in drink? Why should the Government go out of their way to increase the facilities for drinking, as envisaged in this Bill?

This issue must be faced, and I invite your Lordships to show the Government, in the Division Lobby if necessary, how concerned we are on this most vital matter. However men may differ in the methods proposed for dealing with the evil of intemperance, none will dispute the havoc it works in our midst. Those who have fallen by the way—and we have all known them—were all moderate drinkers at the start. Why should the Government go out of their way to provide these additional facilities, without so much as restricting them to drinking with meals? The very nature of the countryside where these national parks will be situated means that the roads therein are likely to be narrow, winding and with occasional steep gradients. We are constantly being reminded of the extreme gravity of our road casualties; and the Highway Code lays extra emphasis upon the danger of even small quantities of alcohol to those in charge of motor vehicles. So strong, in fact, is the scientific and medical case against the drinking of intoxicants by motorists that nearly all public transport undertakings of the country insist that their drivers shall refrain from the use of intoxicants before going on duty and while on duty. Personally, I am convinced that the roads of our land would be much safer if motorists, motor cyclists and even pedestrians abstained altogether from the use of intoxicants. Even those of your Lordships who do not share my opinion on this point will doubtless concede that any use of intoxicants is less harmful when accompanied by a meal. That being so, I crave your support for this Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 11, line 14, at end insert the said subsection.—(Lord Rochester.)

LORD CHORLEY

The noble Lord should be grateful to the Government for having provided him, at any rate, with an opportunity for delivering a very eloquent speech in support of his pet hobby; and no doubt the newspaper to which he referred will have about two columns of matter for its next edition. I wish I could tell the noble Lord, of whom I am very fond, that I am sorry I cannot accept his Amendment. I cannot even tell him that, because this is really a different case from those to which he referred. There is no sort of similarity between a place of refreshment on a long walk on the top of the Pennines and a civic restaurant on a new housing estate or in a new town, which is primarily set up for the purpose of providing meals. In the first case a glass of beer is an incidental to the rambler who has been walking under a hot July sun for many hours and who carries his food with him in his rucksack. It means a great deal to him to come to a wayside inn where he can enjoy a glass of beer. A glass of beer is much more enjoyable under those conditions than under any others, so far as my personal knowledge of the matter goes. I feel rather aggrieved that the noble Lord should wish to deprive me of the opportunity of getting a glass of beer in those circumstances without having to put my hand in my pocket and perhaps provide five shillings for a meal at the same time. What he is saying in effect is that the rambler shall not have his glass of beer unless he carries it with him—and it will be a very heavy addition to his equipment—or that, even if he brings his own sandwiches, he must buy a meal as well.

I suggest to your Lordships that there is no sort of resemblance between the earlier cases to which the noble Lord referred. Also this facility is not intended for the motorists—the motorists can always get to a public-house where at the proper time the refreshment is available; it is intended for the ramblers in out of the way places where facilities are not already in existence. I appreciate the noble Lord's position. It is a matter of principle with him that nobody should be allowed to have alcohol if it can possibly be prevented. He is a temperance fiend, if so charming a member of your Lordships' House will allow me to use that expression about him. To other noble Lords who do not share this, shall I say, obsession which the noble Lord has, surely there is little to be said in favour of this Amendment. From the point of view of the purveyors of beer and alcoholic beverages generally, surely to prevent the supply of beer to ramblers in these places and under these conditions, is just cutting off their noses to spite their faces. If the noble Lord does press his Amendment to a Division, I hope your Lordships will reject it.

LORD LLEWELLIN

At first blush it seemed as though three successive Ministers were each trying to do the same thing in a different Bill. First of all, as your Lordships will remember, we had this point in the Civic Restaurants Bill, in regard to places that were built so that a man could take his wife and family for a meal. There was no thought in the minds of those who started civic restaurants (of which I was one) that they should be turned into drinking places. When the Bill to make the British restaurants permanent under the title of civic restaurants was brought in this provision was introduced by the Minister of Food. Your Lordships will remember that we had discussions about it in this House, and eventually we came to the compromise decision that drink should be served only with meals. Then, last summer, we had the Housing Bill (now the Housing Act) and there again it was contemplated setting up canteens in some of these large blocks of flats for the benefit of the people who lived in them. Once again it was suggested from this side of the House that if a justices' licence were granted, it should be granted only for drinks to be supplied with meals. Now we have a different Minister (in fact, as I have already indicated to your Lordships, there are eight of them concerned) who seeks to start these restaurants and asks that the local authorities shall have power to serve drinks, whether or not with meals, provided, of course, they get a justices' licence.

There is a distinction, as the noble Lord has said—although in most of these country districts I think it will be found that there is a public-house where a glass of beer can be obtained. Perhaps the best course would be for us to wait and see what happens eventually on the Amendment which your Lordships lave just passed. If that Amendment remained in the Bill it would ensure that these local planning authorities would not attempt to set up these public-houses—for that is what they would be—if the accommodation were already there or if there were somebody able and willing to provide it. I should have thought that in this case we should adopt the words of Mr. Asquith, "Wait and see," until the next stage of the Bill, whether the Government will accept as a permanent Amendment to the Bill the previous Amendment carried by the Committee to-day. If that were done, there would be less need for the Amendment upon which I am speaking at the present moment. If that were not the course adopted by the Government, it might well be that we should insist here—as we did on the Civic Restaurants Act and the Housing Act—that some Amendment: of this sort should be put in. I think we might look at it from that point of view, because if we can we all want this Bill to go through with as few disagreements between the two Houses as possible, and on this one might well come to some kind of compromise. Perhaps the noble Viscount the Leader of the House, the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor, myself, and perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Rochester, could consider this point further between now and the Report stage of the Bill. If that is agreeable to the noble Viscount, I suggest that it might avoid a Division on this Amendment now.

LORD ROCHESTER

I frankly admit that I am not prepared to rest upon a hypothetical situation which may or may not arise at a further stage of this Bill. I feel that this is a matter of principle. It has been before your Lordships twice before, and I cannot see the finesse and distinction to which the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, referred. I feel very strongly that we ought to emphasise our intention that these licences should be restricted. After all is said and done, this House is an integral part of this Parliament. I would remind your Lordships of what my noble friend Lord De La Warr said only the day before yesterday: We are still living, more or less, under a Parliamentary system We ought to decide this issue now, and not rely upon a possibility that hereafter some concession may or may not be made.

LORD LLEWELLIN

I was suggesting that at some stage we should decide it, but that we might possibly have talks together between now and the next stage before taking a final decision.

LORD ROCHESTER

On that I can only make an appeal to my noble friend the Leader of the House, and ask whether he is prepared to help us on this point as he has done on two previous occasions. I should be willing to enter into such a conference, but I do not want to withdraw this Amendment. The noble Viscount brought his influence to bear upon the Minister before, and I cannot help believing that if he did the same now we should secure some concession. Unless the noble Viscount can see his way to give us an undertaking in that spirit, I shall ask your Lordships to divide on this Amendment.

VISCOUNT ADDISON

I think it is accepted that, apart from the principles to which the noble Lord adheres—which with all respect—there is a difference between this case and the Civic Restaurant and Housing Acts, because they were concerned with centres of population. This Bill is concerned with remote places. The House has already inserted one Amendment in the Bill, which of course will have to be considered. If the noble Lord would be willing to withdraw his Amendment for the time being —without prejudice, of course, to freedom of action at a later stage—I will go into conference with him and the Minister to see whether we can arrange any accommodation between now and the Report stage. If he will leave it at that, I will do the best I can.

LORD ROCHESTER

I am very grateful to the noble Viscount. May I ask one question? Does that also cover my Amendment in identical words to Clause 54, where it is even more important because that deals with long distances?

VISCOUNT ADDISON

The same principle covers both Amendments.

LORD ROCHESTER

Then I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 12, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 13:

Improvement of waterways for purposes of open-air recreation (5) Before exercising any power conferred by or under this section an authority shall consult with such other authorities, being authorities which under any enactment have functions relating to the waterway in question, as the Minister may either generally or in any particular case direct.

LORD CARRINGTON

On behalf of my noble friend I beg to move the Amendment standing in his name. The point is almost exactly the same as in the first Amendment to Clause 12, upon which your Lordships have just divided. I hope the noble Lord will therefore treat it as consequential. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 11, line 21, at end insert: Provided always that an authority shall not exercise the power conferred by this subsection (other than the power of carrying out work) unless it appears to the authority that no other person is able and willing to provide in a manner which in the opinion of the authority will be satisfactory facilities to the public for sailing, boating, bathing or fishing."—(Lord Carrington.)

VISCOUNT ESHER

Could I ask the Government why the excellent words in Clause 12: whether by the authority or by other persons have been left out of this clause? Apparently other persons are allowed to deal with meals, refreshments, camping sites and parking places, but not with open-air recreation. What is the distinction?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

May I say, in response to the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, that I think he is quite right? Although we cannot accept this Amendment, we can hardly resist it. As regards the question of the noble Viscount, Lord Esher, at the moment I am unable to give him a specific reply, but I am having inquiries made.

3.48 p.m.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY moved to add to subsection (5):

  1. "(a) any river board or drainage authority by which any functions are exercisable in relation to the water-way in question or whose drainage works are affected, or likely to be affected, by the proposals of the authority; and
  2. (b)"

The noble Lord said: In the absence of my noble friend, I have been asked to move his Amendments. If it is convenient, I would like to discuss this and the next Amendment together, because although the points are slightly different the main argument is the same. As your Lordships know, this clause gives to the local planning authority wide powers for carrying out works to waterways, to improve the facilities for sailing, boating, bathing and fishing. I do not think anyone would try to minimise the importance of those recreational facilities, and we would all wish to encourage them in every way. But possibly the most important task of a river is to drain water from the land and to convey it as rapidly as possible to the sea. Under the River Boards Act, 1948, river boards were given a number of powers and responsibilities over rivers in their area, and most of the functions of local authorities as regards drainage were transferred to them.

If we examine Clause 13 of this Bill, we find that certain provisions are made for consultation between the various authorities concerned, but I think your Lordships will agree that the whole emphasis is on the power of the local planning authority. As the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, rightly said when refusing an Amendment of mine to Clause 7, the area where river boards will be most affected will be the Norfolk Broads. That is a large and very important area. The Catchment Board Association are worried that the powers given under the 1948 Act may be lessened by the provisions of this clause, which might make it more difficult for them to carry out their heavy and important responsibilities; and this, apart from anything else, might prejudice the agriculture in the area. As your Lordships know, drainage is one of the essentials for efficient agriculture. They feel that if this Amendment could be accepted, it would in the first place, by specifying them by name as bodies to be consulted, emphasise the importance of that task; and secondly, by giving them the right to appeal to the Minister of Agriculture it would ensure that efficient drainage of the area could not be unduly prejudiced by amenity interests. Under this Bill as it stands, they would have to be consulted but, so far as I understand, they would have no definite grounds of objection. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 12, line 2, after ("with") insert the said paragraph.—(Lord Amherst of Hackney.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I quite agree that it is convenient to deal with both these Amendments together. I think it is very undesirable to single out by naming them in the Bill any specific authorities to be consulted. I cannot accept this Amendment in its present form. With regard to the Amendment which follows, I should be prepared to accept it in principle if the wording could he looked at later.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY

I should like to thank the noble Lord for what he has said. I agree that it is very difficult to specify the particular authorities, but in this clause we are dealing entirely with rivers, and I should have thought that in that case the most important authority would be the river board.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

No one doubts the importance of the authority. It is a question of the advisability of specifying authorities in the Bill.

EARL DE LA WARR

Perhaps we could see the Amendment when we come to the Report stage, or before.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

Yes.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 13, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 14 and 15 agreed to.

Clause 16:

Agreements with Nature Conservancy for establishment of nature reserves

16.—(1) The Nature Conservancy may enter into an agreement with any owner, lessee or occupier of any land, being land as to which it appears to the Conservancy expedient in the national interest that it should he managed as a nature reserve, for securing that it shall be so managed.

LORD CLYDESMUIR moved to add to subsection (1): Provided that an agreement shall not be entered into with a lessee or occupier of land unless the owner of the land is a consenting party thereto. The noble Lord said: We now come to a part of the Bill which deals with nature reserves. This Amendment is a small one designed to clear up a certain confusion. It would appear that Clause 16 provides that an agreement to form a nature reserve may be entered into between the owner and the lessee or occupier of land, so that it may be managed as a nature reserve. It seems to me that it requires an Amendment to provide that such an agreement should be entered into only with the consent of the owner, for as the clause is drafted it looks as if the occupier or lessee could enter into such an agreement without the owner's consent. The Amendment seeks to safeguard this position. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 13, line 18, at end insert the said proviso.—(Lord Clydestnuir.)

LORD CHORLEY

We do not think there is any need for this Amendment. If the Amendment were passed it would derogate from the right which the lessee has under the terms of his lease. Under the terms of the lease, provided he is not breaking any covenant in the lease he can use the land in such a way as he thinks fit—provided of course, that he does not damage the land in such a way as to constitute what, in law, is called "waste." Therefore, if the Amendment were accepted it would in fact cut down the rights of the lessee. If it is desired that there should be an agreement with the lessee and the landlord, there is no reason why an agreement of that kind should not be entered into. I think the noble Lord will agree that this Amendment is really unnecessary.

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

It seems to me that the noble Lord who moved the Amendment is right. What the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, says is no doubt true so far as it goes, but we are now dealing with the fauna and flora of Great Britain, and with the physical conditions under which they live. The tenant may be quite willing to have rare birds, fauna or beasts destroyed in the course of the lease; but when he resumes occupation, either because the tenant will not pay his rent or because the lease has expired, the landlord may find that some of the interest in the land has totally disappeared.

LORD CHORLEY

The whole object of nature conservation is to maintain and protect these rare birds and not to destroy them.

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

I am afraid that I cannot accept that as being a very conclusive answer. Take the case of foxes. Foxes may destroy a great deal of the fauna. There are places where a landlord may prefer to have certain beasts preserved there, although the lessee or occupier may take a very different view. I think the landlord's interest should be considered.

LORD SALTOUN

I think the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, will agree that the man who lets land has a right to receive it back in at least as good a condition as he let it. It is possible that he may get the land back overrun with vermin, which may mean an enormous expense —the noble Earl, Lord Huntingdon, will know that what I am saying is true. The owner may be put to enormous expense and yet not be able to exterminate the vermin.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

Supposing that a particular nature conservancy authority thought that little owls were good things to have. That is not very far-fetched, because a very famous ornithologist, a member of your Lordships' House, introduced the horrible creatures into this country. Supposing that some nature authority with the same idea as the late Lord Lilford, who was a tremendously keen ornithologist, thought it a good thing to have a great number of little owls and the tenant did not mind whether there were little owls or not, would it or would not it be legitimate, under this clause as drawn, for the nature conservation authority and the tenant to agree to the protection of the little owls, however much and however rightly the landlord might object?

LORD CHORLEY

This is a point which has not been properly looked into. I am much obliged to the noble Lords for their observations. If the noble Lord opposite would agree to withdraw his Amendment, we may perhaps have consultations about it. It obviously raises difficult problems as between tenant and landlord which I had not quite appreciated.

LORD CLYDESMUIR

On that understanding, I will willingly withdraw my Amendment. My only desire is to make this part of the Bill more workable, because we all want to see nature reserves established, if they can be, without damage to the interests round about. I feel that this point requires further examination. If the noble Lord will look into it, I will withdraw this Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 16 agreed to.

Clauses 17 to 19 agreed to.

Clause 20:

Byelaws for protection of nature reserves

20.—(1) The Nature Conservancy may, as respects land which is being managed as a nature reserve under an agreement entered into with them or land held by them which is being managed as a nature reserve, make byelaws for the protection of the reserve: Provided that byelaws under this section shall not have effect as respects any land in a reserve unless a declaration under the last foregoing section is in force declaring that the land is being managed as a nature reserve and notice of the declaration has been published in pursuance of that section.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the last foregoing subsection, byelaws under this section— (b) may prohibit or restrict the killing, taking, molesting or disturbance of living creatures of any description in a nature reserve, the taking of, or interference with, vegetation of any description in a nature reserve, or the doing of anything therein which will interfere with the soil or damage Any object in the reserve; (c) may prohibit or restrict the shooting of birds or of birds of any description within such area surrounding or adjoining a nature reserve (whether the area be of land or of sea) as appears to the Nature Conservancy requisite for the protection of the reserve;

4.2 p.m.

LORD CARRINGTON moved, in subsection (1) to add to the proviso: (ii) that bylaws under paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (2) of this section shall not have effect unless and until there has been consultation between the Nature Conservancy and the county agricultural committee or committees in whose area the nature reserve is situated.

The noble Lord said: I am very worried about much the same matter as my noble friend Lord Clydesmuir. Under Clause 20, subsection (2), paragraphs (a) and (b), the Nature Conservancy may make bylaws affecting bird and animal life in the area. My Amendment seeks to ensure that agricultural interests shall be consulted before such bylaws are made and that the whole of the surrounding district shall be taken into account as well as the conservancy area itself. Surely we do not want to have a nature conservancy area which is merely a vermin area. In another place an Amendment was moved to the effect that agricultural interests should be taken into account. The term "agricultural interests" was referred to by the Minister as being too indefinite a term. I am suggesting inserting "county agricultural committee," which is not at all vague; it is specific. The county agricultural committees, after all, do represent the agricultural community. I sometimes think that the Government in the last four years have set up so many committees, commissions, boards and authorities that they forget what they are all for, and there is no co-ordination between them. This seems to be a good way of achieving co-ordination, and I hope that the noble Lord opposite will accept this Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 15, line 47, at end insert the said subparagraph.—(Lord Carrington.)

LORD HARLECH

Before the noble Lord replies, may I say that it appears to me on reading this clause as a whole and these words in connection with it that the whole point of the clause it to prohibit and restrict? If we have a nature reserve, particularly a nature reserve where there is a rare species, it will not do merely to prohibit; there will have to be power in the Conservancy to destroy—that is to say, to destroy the noxious species which will exterminate what you wish to preserve. There is too much negative in this clause as it stands, and not enough positive power to preserve that which you wish to preserve. At some earlier stage of this Bill I gave an example of North Wales, where for a short time in the year, only in the spring, the ruddy sheldrake, the largest British duck, comes annually for its nesting. We do not find it anywhere else. If we do not take good care when it is nesting to preserve it from molestation, either by foxes or by other things, we shall not preserve the breeding ground of a species that is becoming increasingly rare and which ought to be preserved.

LORD CHORLEY

The whole object of the Nature Conservancy, in fact, is to carry out the exact project which the noble Lord has just mentioned. The power to make bylaws to which he has referred, which is conferred in Clause 20, is quite general in character, and the negative ones which he has mentioned are by no means the only ones which the Nature Conservancy can frame. There is no difference between us in respect of the objective that we have in view, but I feel that there is no need to have this provision as part of the Bill. The noble Lord can be assured that the Nature Conservancy have every intention of keeping down pests and vermin of all kinds. In fact, the whole object of their having these reserves is to do that and to maintain the rarer creatures which are there. Moreover, as all these bylaws have to be confirmed by the Home Secretary, they have under the procedure in the Local Government Act, 1933, to be advertised in the ordinary way, so that everybody may know what is going to happen. The Nature Conservancy will take the greatest care to maintain the closest association with the agricultural interests in the particular counties where the reserves are located. I can assure the noble Lord that there will be no actual difficulty in securing by administrative means the object which he has in view.

EARL DE LA WARR

Who appoints the Nature Conservancy?

LORD CHORLEY

It is appointed by the Lord President.

LORD CRANWORTH

In spite of the answer given by the noble Lord, and in spite of the close proximity of my noble friend, Lord Radnor—because I am one of those who live close to one of the forests that he has produced and I am suffering severely from that proximity—I should like to support this Amendment. I am getting used to the depredations of pigeons, jays and magpies in their dozens, but it does not stop at that. A year or two ago I took part in a shoot in which a portion of the forest was driven out and, after the usual small vermin, there came out of it six foxes, three varieties of deer—roe deer, Japanese deer and fallow deer—and, believe it or not, a sounder of wild boar. Your Lordships may laugh, but you would laugh the other way if a sounder of wild boar came into your garden!

EARL DE LA WARR

Surely we can persuade the noble Lord to look again at this Amendment. After all, these gentlemen of the Nature Conservancy are appointed by the Lord President. I have no doubt they are excellent people, but they are appointed by reason of their interest in the preservation of certain animals which may be of tremendous interest ornithologically, and so forth, but may not necessarily be anything but harmful to the interests of agriculture. Surely it is reasonable, when there is this power to make certain bylaws, that those bylaws should be discussed with the agricultural executive committee. It is really asking very little. The noble Lord opposite always expects us to be satisfied with assurances that he is certain that the body which is being set up will always do the reasonable thing, and so on. Why not put it into the Bill? People are genuinely and rightly disturbed on this matter. From his own point of view, having regard to the reception given to this proposal by the general public and the farming community, it would be wise to give the matter further consideration.

VISCOUNT SAMUEL

I am all in favour of a nature conservancy, but there is great force in the Amendment. I will add another illustration to those which have already been given—I refer to something that has occurred in Australia and which was described in a paragraph that some of your Lordships may have seen in The Times of two or three days ago. It appears that in the interests of nature preservation shooting of the emu is forbidden, and when in a certain district of Australia a considerable number of emus, having escaped from their natural habitat —the crossword puzzle—trampled down considerable areas of wheat, the farmers found themselves prevented by law from taking any measures for their own protection.

LORD CHORLEY

Heaven forbid that I should do anything to prevent the emu being put back into its proper habitat! My impression is that the Minister of Agriculture has been consulted about this matter, though I am not absolutely clear about it—

EARL DE LA WARR

Surely thenoble Lord knows what consultation he has had with other Departments.

LORD CHORLEY

What I should like to do, if the noble Earl would allow me, is to take this clause back and to have further discussions about it. I am anxious to help the noble Earl. I wish he would not try and jump on me in this way; I am doing my best to assist him. I hope the noble Lord will withdraw the Amendment on the basis that we will look at it, without, of course, giving him any undertaking.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

Would the noble Lord add this? He said about an earlier Amendment that there should be consultation; and he said quite frankly that not only was he getting out of his depth but that he did not think even the posse of the Ministers whose names appear on the back of the Bill had fully considered it. I suggest that when they have the chance of considering it, all these clauses (Clauses 13 to 20), which include and affect agricultural committees and the curious nature body about which I have not heard before, should form the subject of a round-table conference representing both sides of the House and also people who know something about these things. We all want to preserve the right kind of birds and we all want to destroy vermin, but it is important to insert the right clauses into this measure. I am certain that practical people sitting round the table with my noble friend, Lord Macdonald, would soon draw up a sensible set of clauses to take the place of those now in the Bill, which it is admitted have a good intention but have not been fully considered.

LORD MACDONALD of GWAENYSGOR

I accept the suggestion of the noble Viscount, but I think it should he limited to those interested in this Amendment.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

I agree.

LORD HAWKE

Does that include the nature conservancy, who might be asked what sounders of wild boar might be?

LORD CARRINGTON

I am grateful to the noble Lords opposite. For the second time in three days I think the second speech of the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, has been better than his first.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD CHORLEY moved, in subsection (2) (b), after the first "reserve" to insert the taking, destruction or disturbance of eggs of any such creature. The noble Lord said: I think the Committee will agree that this is a useful Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 16, line 8, aftet ("reserve") insert the said new words.—(Lord Charley.)

On Question, Whether Clause 20, as amended, shall stand part of the Bill?

VISCOUNT MAUCHAM

May I say a word in regard to a small matter about which I am not sure? Subsection (2) (d) says that the bylaws may contain provisions to prohibit the depositing of rubbish and the leaving of litter. I am not sure that that includes a bottle which has not yet been broken. Nothing is more offensive when one is out walking in the country than to see a bottle which has once been usefully employed in containing beer left there unharmed but likely to be broken by somebody else—in which case, of course, it becomes rubbish. An unbroken bottle may not be rubbish, and I suggest that the noble Lord should consider whether or not, after the word "rubbish," he should include the words "including bottles."

LORD CHORLEY

I will have a look at that. I am sure my noble friend, Lord Rochester, if he were here, would regard a bottle as rubbish whether it were full, empty or broken.

Clause 20, as amended, agreed to.

4.15 p.m.

LORD CLYDESMUIR moved, after Clause 20 to insert the following new clause: .It shall be the duty of the Nature Conservancy so to preserve the balance of fauna and flora in a nature reserve that damage shall not be suffered by contiguous or adjacent land. The noble Lord said: This is an Amendment of peculiar interest to Scotland, although it refers to all parts of the United Kingdom. It is akin to the problem which was dealt with by the noble Lord, Lord Carrington and, as I understand the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, is prepared to take back this Part of the Bill and to reconsider it, I will limit my observations.

I am not sure whether in my Amendments I have quite the correct words to achieve the object I desire, for I am concerned not about the very rare and precious birds and animals, such as the golden eagle, the wild cat or the badger, but about the common pests, such as The stoat, the weasel and the hooded crow. The Committee have already given force to the point that these nature reserves, desirable though they may be, should not be allowed to interfere with the livelihood of those who have lands immediately adjacent. I suggest that in any conference that is held, Scottish interests should be remembered and that the Department of Agriculture for Scotland should be represented, because I am sure that we shall have in Scotland, areas which are suitable for the formation of nature reserves. I will not elaborate the point at the present time because of the noble Lord's agreement to look into the whole question, but I should like his assurance that my words, or something which secures the same object, will be the subject of careful consideration when the matter is discussed. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 20 insert the said new clause. —(Lord Clydesmuir.)

LORD WINSTER

In a word I would like to mention one pest that I hope will receive consideration in this matter—namely, that vile rat, the grey squirrel. I am not sure who is responsible for its introduction into this country. I hope that that crime does not also lie at the door of Lord Lilford who introduced the small owl.

LORD HARLECH

It was the Duke of Bedford.

LORD WINSTER

At all events, it is indeed a vile and most destructive animal, and I hope that it may also receive attention in connection with this clause.

LORD CHORLEY

I have taken part in many controversies on the subject of the Second Chamber, but I have never before heard shots fired at it within its own walls. The noble Lord is right in saying that the substance of this Amendment comes within the undertaking which my noble friend gave. I think it would be extraordinarily difficult to bring the balance of nature into a Statute but no doubt during the discussions which we are to have it will be possible to look at the matter and see whether it can be effectively dealt with.

LORD CLYDESMUIR

I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 21 [Establishment of nature reserves by local authorities]:

LORD CHORLEY

This Amendment is preparatory to that which comes immediately afterwards, and with the permission of the Committee I will take them together. The Amendments require that in connection with the establishment of a local nature reserve there should be consultation between the Conservancy and the local authorities, both at the time of the setting-up of the reserve and afterwards. What is wanted is that the Conservancy should be able to keep an eye on the day-to-day running of the reserve so as to ensure—and this is the very point which your Lordships have in mind—that it should not become a breeding ground for pests. There has been a certain amount of disagreement between representatives of the county councils and the Conservancy as to the best method of achieving this object, and as a result, the words in the Amendment have been agreed as the most satisfactory compromise between the interests involved. I beg to move the first Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 17, line 2, leave out from ("power") to ("to").—(Lord Chorley.)

LORD SALTOUN

If the noble Lord thinks it worth while to insert this Amendment here—and I entirely agree—does he not consider that on the same principle he should insert the Amendment of my noble friend Lord Carrington at its appropriate place? It seems to me that if it is proper to provide for consultations under this Part of the Bill it is proper that similar provision should go in at the other place.

LORD CHORLEY

This is the second of the two Amendments to which I have referred. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 17, line 32, at end insert: ("() A local authority shall exercise their functions under this Part of this Act in consultation with the Nature Conservancy.") —(Lord Charley.)

Clause 21, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 22 to 25 agreed to.

Clause 26:

Application of Part III to Scotland 26. In the application of this Part of this Act to Scotland the expressions "owner" and "limited owner" have the same meanings as in section three of the Forestry Act. 1947.

LORD CLYDESMUIR moved to omit all words after "Scotland" and to insert: the following provisions shall have effect:—

  1. (a) the expressions 'owner' and 'limited owner' have the same meanings as in section three of the Forestry Act, 1947;
  2. (b) Section twenty-four shall read as it in subsection (1) thereof there were added after the words 'Lord President of the Council' the words 'and the Secretary of State for Scotland';
  3. (c) a declaration made by the Nature Conservancy under section nineteen of this Part of this Act shall be registered in the Register of Sasines for the area in which the land to which such declaration relates is situate."

The noble Lord said: This Amendment refers to Scotland only. There are three paragraphs. The first repeats what is already in the Bill; the second raises a point of principle to which I will return in a moment, and the third suggests a change which may only be necessary for the correct working of the Bill—namely, that declarations forming nature reserves in Scotland should be registered in the Register of Sasines in Edinburgh. Now the second paragraph, paragraph (b), as I have said, raises a point of principle, and I should like to say a word or two upon it. It seeks to ensure that when a report is made on the desirability of forming a nature reserve, that report should go to the Secretary of State for Scotland as well as to the Lord President of the Council. I note that as the Amendment is framed, all such reports would go to the Secretary of State for Scotland as well as to the Lord President of the Council. I shall he modest, however, and suggest that only reports affecting Scotland should go to the Secretary of State, for we do not want to interfere in English affairs. I submit that it would seem proper that a report recommending the formation of a nature reserve in Scotland should go to the Secretary of State for Scotland as well as to the Lord President of the Council.

Your Lordships will be aware that there is strong national feeling in Scotland, and, at the present time, it is very active, having been stimulated to some extent by recent events. At a large gathering held in Edinburgh the other day, a covenant was signed demanding a Parliament in Edinburgh. It would. of course, be going too far to discuss such a matter in connection with this Bill, but, nevertheless, it is on account of the centralisation of Scottish business in Landon that this feeling is growing. Why should not Scottish golden eagles, Scottish wild cats and rare Scottish birds and animals generally, he cared for by their own Minister, the Secretary of State for Scotland, rather than by the Lord Preside it of the Council? It is true that the Secretary of, State for Scotland is a member of the Privy Council Committee over which the Lord President presides, and as a member he would no doubt he taken into account in the consideration of these reports, but it would be in line with Scottish sentiment if, in this Bill, the Secretary of State for Scotland were specifically mentioned as being one of those receiving reports recommending the formation of nature reserves in Scotland. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 18, leave out from the beginning of line 36 to end of line 37, and insert the said new words.—(Lord (Clydesmuir.)

VISCOUNT ELIBANK

I wish to support the Amendment which has just been moved by my noble friend Lord Clydesmuir. I cannot understand how the Government have put into the Bill what appears at this point. Surely in the last two or three years they have observed the strong feeling which exists in Scotland with regard to all these matters concerning local administration in that country. In the last two or three years it has been very difficult for Scotsmen who come south of the Border to resist joining what is called the Scottish Home Rule Movement. It is growing stronger and stronger, and it seems to me quite wrong and utterly ridiculous on the part of the Government, knowing of these things as they must in view of the number of questions that have been asked and the speeches that have been made about them both in this place and in another place, that they should insert, a passage of this kind in this Bill.

Obviously, in the past, the Secretary of State for Scotland has been the instrument for dealing with such affairs in Scotland. Why omit him now and place this business solely in the hands of the Lord President of the Council, who has nothing directly to do with Scotland? I wish to support my noble friend's Amendment very strongly indeed. I hope the Government will not give us another assurance to the effect that, of course, the Lord President of the Council will recognise Scottish feeling, and all that sort of thing. How are we to know, even if we are given that assurance, that the Lord President of the Council will be in office on March 15, 1950? After the General Election, we may have another Lord President of the Council. I urge very strongly that this Amendment should be accepted by the Government and adopted.

LORD SALTOUN

I, too, hope that the Government will accept this Amendment. I do not suppose it matters two-pence to them which of the two parties has the final word in this matter. Of course, it is a convenient opportunity of making a concession which will be welcome. A further argument which I should like to impress upon the Government is, I suggest, entirely in line with their policy in this matter. It is clear that the person who has the final word in these matters should be someone who is as near as possible and has as close an acquaintance as possible with the nature of the country and its flora and fauna. The Secretary of State for Scotland is clearly going to have a much better idea of these questions in Scotland than is someone who, perhaps, has never been north of the Border in his life.

LORD CHORLEY

I naturally pay great respect to the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Clydesmuir, supported as he is by so much fierce eloquence from members of the Committee who hail from the other side of the Border, and it is with considerable diffidence that I reply. The answer is, of course, that the Lord President of the Council is not an English Minister at all. The nature conservancy is a conservancy which covers the whole of Great Britain. It is responsible to the Privy Council Committee of the Lord President, and the Lord President is, therefore, responsible for the whole of Great Britain in respect of this matter. It would really be quite wrong that these reports should go to the Secretary of State for Scotland. As the noble Lord has pointed out, the Secretary of State for Scotland is a member of the Privy Council Committee and therefore receives the reports in any case. I am sure that that should be sufficient. However much the noble Lord, Lord Harlech, may deplore logicality on the part of the English, we always expect Scotsmen to have regard to logicality, and from the point of view of logic the provision in the Bill as it stands is perfectly right.

The other point to which the noble Lord referred, though he did not go into detail, was registration. That is an exceedingly technical matter, and I am advised that the proposal which he makes is not only unnecessary but would lead to considerable difficulties in the way in which the Register is conducted. Will your Lordships bear with me for a few minutes while I explain this? The object of the Amendment is to ensure that in dealings in land, those concerned shall know which restrictive conditions affecting the use of land have been imposed. Under the clause a declaration may say, for example, that there has been an agreement that the land should be managed as a nature reserve, or the Conservancy may purchase the land outright. Your Lordships have read the clause and I will not go through it in detail. Where there is an agreement the object of the Amendment has already been met by the application under Clause 16, (5) (c) of subsection (2) of Section 3 of the Forestry Act, 1947; that places an agreement with the Conservancy in the same position as a forestry dedication agreement, and provides that the agreement may be recorded in the appropriate Register of Sasines. When it has been recorded in that way it is unnecessary also to record a declaration by the Conservancy that land is subject to an agreement. In the other case, where land is acquired by the Conservancy, the conveyance is in their own favour. They become the owners, and they would record the transaction in the Register in the ordinary way, as is always done when there is a conveyance to a purchaser; and it is therefore unnecessary to make a declaration under Clause 19. I hope the noble Lord will agree that his proposal is not really necessary.

LORD CLYDESMUIR

If I agree with the noble Lord that the point regarding registration appears to be adequately covered and do not press that further, I am bound to say that I feel unhappy about the other part of his answer relating to the Secretary of State for. Scotland. I agree that constitutionally the noble Lord is right about the Lord President: He is a United Kingdom Minister, and in matters which are his concern he is equally engaged in Scotland as in England and Wales. But the Secretary of State for Scotland has a unique and unexampled knowledge of Scottish conditions, particularly of agriculture, as the Minister responsible for agriculture in that country. We are entering into a new experiment here—the formation of nature reserves in Scotland. It is an interesting and desirable experiment but none the less is something new on the scale envisaged. It seems to me desirable, and in line with Scottish sentiment at the present time, that Scotland's own Minister should he more closely brought into this question. The formation of these reserves should be his concern. I do not propose to ask the House to divide on this matter, but I am profoundly unhappy at the reply that I have received, which I do not think will be in accordance with the feeling in Scotland.

VISCOUNT ELIBANK

I am sorry the noble Lord is not going to divide, because I would have gladly followed him into the Lobby. I wish to say again that I think the Government are making a grave mistake in not accepting this Amendment. It can only add unnecessary fuel to the fire which already exists in Scotland. As my noble friend has said, the Secretary of State for Scotland looks after agriculture and many other questions with which this Bill will be concerned.

LORD CLYDESMUIR

He is the biggest land owner in Scotland.

VISCOUNT ELIBANK

Why, therefore, should these functions be taken away from him now in an experiment of a wide nature, about which we do not really know the answers to-day? Why should these functions be taken from him now and handed over to someone down here, however capable he may be in dealing with these matters in England? I venture to ask the noble Lord whether he will consider taking this clause back to the Minister and expressing to him the strong feeling existing amongst Scotsmen in this House, and the very strong feeling there will be to-morrow morning in Scotland when the report of this debate is read —the noble Lord laughs, but it is no laughing matter; this is a very serious matter. I should like him to go through the length and breadth of Scotland and find out what the feeling is on this matter and not sit on that Bench laughing. That will not help. I suggest to him that, in the light of the strong national feeling that there is on this matter, or will be, when the question has been duly considered in Scotland, he should take it back to the Minister for reconsideration.

LORD SALTOUN

It has been the practice of the Secretary of State for Scotland to travel about Scotland a great deal and see things on the ground. Since the noble Lord has refused my noble friend's suggestion, will he undertake that the Lord President will likewise trawl a great deal about Scotland to see things on the ground?

LORD CLYDESMUIR

I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

VISCOUNT ELIBANK

I hope the noble Lord will put it down again on Report stage.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 26 agreed to.

Clause 27:

Surveys of public paths, etc., and preparation of draft maps and statements (4) An authority by whom a draft map is prepared as aforesaid shall annex thereto a statement specifying the relevant date and containing, as respects any public path or other way shown thereon in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section, such particulars appearing to the authority to be reasonably alleged as to the position and width thereof, or as to any limitations or conditions affecting the public right of way thereover, as in the 'opinion of the authority it is expedient to record in the statement. (6) In this Part of this Act the following expressions have the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say,— horse" includes pony, ass and mule, and "horseback" shall be construed accordingly;

4.38 p.m.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY moved, in subsection (4) after "section" to insert: a statement setting out in general terms the grounds upon which it is alleged that such public path or other way subsists and The noble Lord said: This is a simple point. Under Clause 27, county councils have to prepare a map showing the rights of way, and under subsection (4) they have to annex to that map a statement setting out such particulars appearing to the authority to be reasonably alleged as to the position and width thereof, or as to any limitations or conditions affecting the public right of way there-over, as in the opinion of the authority it is expedient to record in the statement. In this statement, therefore, county councils are expected to give a considerable amount of detail. All I suggest in my Amendment is that at the same time the county councils should make a short statement of the grounds on which they alleged that a right of way exists. If this were done it would save a lot of trouble and expense to a large number of people, for anybody who discovered that there was a right of way over his land, or anybody interested in the land who wanted to be quite clear about a right of way, could 20 to the county council offices and look at the map and then he would see the grounds on which it was alleged that the right of way existed. I do not mean that there should be a long statement showing all the authorities, but I suggest that there should be just the grounds alleged, so that the owner or interested party could decide whether or not the right of way should be disputed. The noble Lord will probably say that if anybody does dispute the right of way the county council will at that stage have to produce all the evidence, but it seems to me that if this Amendment were to be inserted it would save a great deal of trouble and many unnecessary inquiries. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 19, line 33, after ("section") insert the said words.—(Lord Amherst of Hackney.)

THE EARL OF RADNOR

May I support my noble friend in this Amendment, simply in the interests of making the identification of rights of way easier from the point of view of the owner? There is a large number of small owners who have no knowledge of where to seek for verification of any statement made by a public authority on this sort of matter. So far as the owners are concerned a great many rights of way have their origins lost in the mists of time. The owners have no particular knowledge about those origins beyond the fact that they occasionally go along the path and believe there is a right of way. As a matter of fact, by far the larger number of genuine rights of way go back to the enclosure awards and the maps attaching to them, or to old tithe awards, documents which are in the hands of the local authorities but about which a great many people know nothing at all. If the local authority said that they were basing their evidence on such documents, the owners concerned would then know that it was a reasonable claim or could go to the office and find the exact documents which would assure them that the claim was right and that they should give way. It may save both owners and public authorities a great deal of time.

4.43 p.m.

LORD CHORLEY

This is the sort of Amendment which at first sight appears to be very helpful, but I think when one looks at it in a little more detail one finds that so far from saving a great deal of expense and trouble it has exactly the opposite effect. Quite 90 per cent. of these footpaths and rights of way give rise to no sort of difficulty at all; they are clear to the surveyor and he marks out what he sees and what he is told are rights of way. It is only when disputes arise that the question whether they are really rights of way and how they arose has to be gone into. That happens in a minute proportion of cases. A right of way may arise, as the noble Earl, Lord Radnor, has pointed out, in all sorts of different ways—by dedication, by prescription, by enclosure, by usage —and if in every case the surveyor had to satisfy himself which of those was the way in which the right arose before he made a mark on his map, it would lead to exactly the sort of waste of time and expense to which the noble Lord referred.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

May I interrupt the noble Lord? Is he suggesting that the local authority surveyor is going to mark rights of way on a map, without evidence to prove that they are rights of way?

LORD CHORLEY

I imagine that when the surveyor sees a perfectly well defined path which it is known that everybody has used for a lifetime, he puts it down on the map—

VISCOUNT EUIBANK

It may have been enclosed a year before.

LORD CHORLEY

If he had in every case to go into the precise legal origin of it (and I can tell the noble Lord from considerable experience of these cases while practising at the Bar that they are exceedingly complicated and difficult) the surveyor's offices would break down under the burden. Surely, if the owner objects to the marking he can go to the surveyor and ask, and then at that later stage, before there is any question of legal proceedings, he can be informed what the case is, and the tithe award or other document to which Lord Radnor has referred can be produced to him. I think the suggestion which Lord Radnor has made is very reasonable. I am quite sure that there would be no difficulty at all in producing those documents to the owner at that stage, which is a considerably later stage than that with which this Amendment deals. That discussion at the later stage would be of great value and might well avoid expense and litigation.

EARL HOWE

Is the surveyor's decision final?

LORD CHORLEY

Not in the slightest degree. The surveyor simply puts the path on the map, and the landowner is entitled to object. The surveyor cannot possibly give a final decision on the matter.

THE EARL OF ONSLOW

I have had a certain amount to do with this matter in my county which is full of footpaths, and we have never had a case yet where a map has been marked in a purely arbitrary fashion and it has been said, "That is a footpath." If they are already there, then they will continue to be there; but the surveyors have always at least asked the interested parties whether or not they agreed before they marked the maps. If it is to be done without that inquiry, I think it will be a most dangerous thing.

LORD CHORLEY

The surveyors may ask the owner or a farmer or somebody else about it. It may very well be that somebody, under a settlement, has a claim which he is entitled to put forward. So far as my experience goes, the surveyors adopt a very reasonable attitude in regard to these matters. I suggest that the Amendment would put upon the surveyors an intolerable burden. They are hard pressed as it is. Some such suggestion as Lord Radnor has made for the production of tithe awards, and that sort of thing, is a very different matter and might very well produce an alternative way of handling the problem.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

If I understand my noble friend's Amendment aright, all it would involve would be that when stating that such-an-such was a right of way there should be in brackets after it. "Tithe award for such-and-such a parish, dated so-and-so", or something of that sort. That is all that is needed.

LORD CHORLEY

That might be a feasible thing in quite a number of cases, but the Amendment would make it obligatory in all cases to produce something of that kind. That, I suggest, would be quite impracticable in the circumstances of these cases.

LORD BROUGHSHANE

Surely, there ought to be some provision that the owner of the property should receive notice that the surveyor proposes to mark on the county map a footpath on his property, because otherwise the matter might escape his notice.

LORD CRANWORTH

I must agree with the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, in this matter, that as the Amendment stands it would impose an intolerable burden upon local authorities who are already pretty hard pressed. My county council have already started a special branch with a special staff to deal with this matter. I very much object to that because it costs the ratepayers money, and I do not want anything added to the burden which they already bear. I could not myself support this Amendment.

LORD GIFFORD

I do not see that this is putting any particular burden on the surveyor, because he has to put in general terms the grounds of the rights alleged for the existence of such a footpath or right of way. If he has no documents such as a tithe document he simply puts something like "general usage," but if he has better written evidence he puts that in. Otherwise he puts "general usage" or some such general remark, and the owner, if he does not agree, can fight it.

EARL DE LA WARR

There does seem to be a good deal of misgiving about this matter and, I think, a good deal of disagreement—and non-Party disagreement. I wonder whether the noble Lord will allow this point to be looked at again, so that we can be sure that we are proceeding on the right lines.

LORD CHORLEY

We are rather piling up points for the Report stage, but if the noble Lord wishes it to be looked at again, I am quite prepared for that to be done.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY

In the circumstances, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MERTHYR moved, in subsection (6) after "ass" to insert "hinny." The noble Lord said: I beg to move the next Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 20, line 11, after ("ass") insert ("hinny").—(Lord Merthyr.)

LORD CHORLEY

I am advised that this Amendment is unnecessary, as the male includes the female. I am told that in certain parts of the country the word "hinny" is a well-known term of endearment. I do not know whether the noble Lord would wish to have it inserted in the Bill on that basis.

LORD HARLECH

Does "mule" include "hinny"?

LORD MERTHYR

I am surprised that the noble Lord will not accept this Amendment. When he looked at his dictionary he obviously looked at the wrong page. If he looks at The Oxford Dictionary he will see that, strictly, the word "mule" does not include "hinny," which is the opposite of a mule. I know that, loosely and improperly, "mule" is used in a wider sense which does include "hinny," but I submit that it is not a fit use of language for an Act of Parliament. I may say that I have taken this precedent from another Act of Parliament to which your Lordships gave a Third Reading only last week. There the word "hinny" was defined, as I think it ought to be in this Bill. I am sure that all your Lordships fully understand the meaning of the word and I need not waste time by enlarging upon it. Strictly speaking, if you put in "mule" you must also put in "hinny," because the one does not include the other—I am not jesting.

LORD CHORLEY

I can assure the noble Lord that the word "mule" as used in numerous Acts of Parliament does include "hinny." If between now and the Report stage the noble Lord can show me some instances where that is not so I shall naturally be glad to look at the matter again.

LORD MERTHYR

I do not want to waste time. If the noble Lord will come to the library with me afterwards and look at the dictionary I hope to be able to satisfy him. Meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 27 agreed to.

Clause 28 agreed to.

Clause 29:

Representations and objections as to draft maps and statements

29.—(1) On completing the preparation of a draft map and statement the surveying authority shall notify the Minister and shall cause notice of the preparation thereof, and of places where copies thereof may be inspected at all reasonable hours, and of the time (not being less than three months) within which, and the manner in which, representations or objections with respect to the draft map and statement may be made to the authority, to he published in the London Gazette and in one or more local newspapers circulating in the area of the authority.

(2) If any representation or objection is duly made to the surveying authority as to anything contained in or omitted from the draft map and statement, the authority, after considering the representation or objection and affording to the person by whom it was made an opportunity of being heard by a person appointed by the authority for the purpose, shall determine what (if any) modification of the particulars contained in the draft map and statement appears to the authority to be requisite in consequence thereof, and shall serve notice of their determination on the person by whom the representation or objection was made.

4.53 p.m.

LORD MERTHYR moved, in subsection (1) to substitute "six months" for "three months." The noble Lord said: I venture to say that this is an Amendment of some substance. To my personal knowledge, the Hobhouse Committee, of which I was a member, spent a great deal of time in threshing out a timetable which should be used for the preparation of these various maps, and we argued the case from all angles. The result of that is shown in paragraph 34 on page 9 of the Hobhouse Report. The whole programme was to take four years. Your Lordships will see that the fifth out of the six periods within which each stage should be completed gives an interval of six months from the deposit of the draft map. I know that the Hobhouse Committee had weighty reasons for coming to this period of six months; in fact, I think I am right in saying that some members felt it should be more—the Committee will judge that on its own merits, of course. But quite apart from that, I do not think it reasonable to ask the public, which includes all the land owners, to deal with this matter in such a short time. After all, those vitally interested may be ill in hospital, or they may be abroad; there are various reasons why it may be necessary to take more than three months to put down an objection. I would remind the Committee that this is not something that will be repeated: this is a once-and-for-all piece of work. When you are preparing a draft map and a schedule of highways, which, in theory at any rate, is to last for all time, surely six months is not too long a time to take over this important part of the work. It is a question of degree, and I think there is a strong case for giving the objectors six months instead of three months, as the Hobhouse Committee decided after such great care. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 21, line 11, leave out ("three") and insert ("six").—(Lord Merthyr.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

When the Bill was first introduced in another place the term was twenty-eight days. An Amendment was then accepted by my right honourable friend the Minister of Town and Country Planning to increase the twenty-eight days to three months. Now the noble Lord suggests that the three months should be increased to six months. I do not think he has made out a case to-day to show that it should be six months, but personally I think there is something to be said for reconsideration of the period of three months. I wonder whether the noble Lord would be agreeable to further discussion with me on the matter. I would ask him to agree to something less than six months. We do not want to delay the proceedings too long. We have come from one month to three months, and we may go a little higher. I cannot accept six months, but if the noble Lord agrees to a consultation we may be able to agree to something longer than three months.

LORD HAWKE

I think the noble Lords, Lord Macdonald and Lord Merthyr, are going into this conference in the belief that they are giving time to objectors. As I read it they are giving time to representers; and I think representers do need more time than objectors. Public opinion moves extremely slowly in some of these county places, and if a footpath has been omitted from a map it will take a long time before the fact will percolate down to the oldest inhabitant; he will scratch his head and drink many pints before he discovers exactly where the footpath lay. I suggest that six months is not too long a period, from the point of view of the representers.

LORD LLEWELLIN

We all want this to be done accurately. I should have thought that three months was not long enough. I am no great judge of what length of time there should be, but if at the end of the conference between the noble Lords, Lord Macdonald and Lord Merthyr, five months, say, were agreed upon, that might be a suitable period. It is not a question on which we want to have any dispute. Obviously the Minister is trying to be reasonable about this, and I suggest that an agreed Amendment might be put down on the Report stage.

LORD MERTHYR

I entirely agree with Lord Hawke in pointing out that this affects both parties. The noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, has set a trap for me into which I shall be glad to walk. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

EARL HOWE moved, in subsection (2) to leave out "what (if any) modification" and to insert "whether or not any alteration." The noble Earl said: I have down three Amendments to this clause and they all relate to the maps which are to be prepared showing footpaths, bridleways and roads used as public footpaths. Clause 29 lays down the initial procedure for the preparation of maps and a statement by the surveying authority. The ultimate object of these maps is to establish rights of way. The maps then have to go through three stages. There is the draft map and statement; there is the provisional map and statement, and there is the definitive map and statement. Clause 29 is concerned only with the draft map and statement. The interests of transport users in connection with these maps and statements centre upon one particular category of road to be marked thereon—namely, the "road used as a public path." The definition of a "road used as a public path" appears in Clause 27 on page 20. The definition is as follows: 'road used as a public path' means a highway, other than a public path, used by the public mainly for the purposes for which footpaths or bridleways are so used. Now if the surveying authority is of opinion that a highway is used by the public mainly for the purposes for which footpaths and bridleways are used, it could include the highway in that category on a draft map and, if there were need, to establish a right of way in regard to it.

Clause 29 provides that public notice shall be given of the preparation of a draft map and for representations or objections with regard to it. There is provision also for further public notice if the draft map is modified by the surveying authority as a result of representations, and so on. What it comes to is this. A right of appeal is given to an aggrieved person who may appeal with regard to anything omitted from the map and also with regard to anything added to the map; but no provision is made for an appeal by a person who is aggrieved by a refusal of the surveying authority to modify the draft map in order to satisfy objections or representations to that effect. It was for that reason that I asked the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, whether the opinion of the surveying authority is final. I wanted to find out whether any appeal can be made under the Bill—I do not think it can—against a refusal by a surveying authority to modify the map. It is for that reason these Amendments have been submitted.

That omission is serious from the point of view of transport users, as it is foreseen that they may wish to dispute the opinion of the surveying authority as to whether a particular road could be described as a "road used as a public path," and they might seek the exclusion of such a road from the draft map. Suppose, for example, that there is a way shown on the map and marked as "a road used as a public path." Transport users may wish to contend that this is not a public path but a road which they are accustomed to using. If they have been heard by the surveying authority who have rejected their claim, they would then wish to appeal to the Minister against that ruling, as would other objectors who complain of something deleted from or added to the map. I submit that the Amendment is needed to ensure this right of appeal. For that reason, I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 21, line 21, leave out ("what (if any) modification") and insert ("whether or not any alteration").—(Earl Howe.)

LORD GIFFORD

I should like to support this Amendment. Obviously the term "road used as a public path" must be a matter of opinion, and when some particular instance is investigated it may be found that that description is not correct and, in fact, that the road is used, on several occasions in the year or regularly, by certain people as a road for vehicular traffic. Therefore, it seems to me that these Amendments are justified, and that there should be an appeal to the Minister on these points.

LORD HAWKE

In trying to follow the arguments of my two noble friends, I am completely nonplussed by the fact that I cannot understand the definition of "road used as a public path." Perhaps the noble Lord could give us some more familiar description of such a road, so that we can visualise exactly what we are talking about.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

The noble Earl, Lord Howe, has three Amendments down to this clause. He will notice that I have nine. Those nine Amendments combined go some way to meet him, although they do not go all the way. I have before me the clause as amended by my nine Amendments, and it is a very substantial document. I wonder whether, for the sake of convenience, it would not be better if we agreed to them now, as they all meet points put forward to some degree by the noble Earl. The amended Clause 29 would then appear in the Bill on the Report stage, and would give opportunity for noble Lords to move Amendments to the amended clause. I think that would help the noble Earl to some degree. I think it would be for the convenience of the Committee if we could agree to that course.

EARL HOWE

I thank the noble Lord for what he has said. It is entirely satisfactory to me and to the people for whom I speak. I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is the first of the nine Amendments to which I referred. All the Amendments are designed to improve the procedure for the consideration of representations and objections about the draft map, and to fill in two gaps in the opportunities available to land owners to put their case to the= surveying authority. That is the sole purpose of the whole nine Amendments, but I think it necessary for noble Lords to see the amended clause on paper in order to do justice to it. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 21, line 30, at end insert ("or by the addition of a way so that it will be so shown").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD HAWKE

Would the noble Lord consider at the same time altering the definition of "road used as a public path" in such a way as to be comprehensible to stupid people?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I will consider it.

Amendment moved— Page 21, line 41, after ("authority") insert ("shall notify the effect of the representation to the person (hereinafter referred to as 'the original objector') who made the representation or objection under subsection (2) of this section and").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Amendment moved— Page 21, line 42, after ("objection") insert ("under the last foregoing paragraph").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Amendment moved— Page 21, line 43, after ("made") insert ("and to the original objector").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Amendment moved— Page 21, line 47, leave out ("was made") and insert ("under the last foregoing paragraph was made and on the original objector").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Amendment moved— Page 22, line 2, after ("section") insert ("not to give effect to a representation or objection").— (Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment is consequential. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 22, line 6, leave out ("not to revoke their determination") and insert— ("to maintain a determination to modify the particulars contained in the draft map and statement by the deletion of a way shown as a public path, or as a road used as a public path, or (c) by a decision of the surveying authority under the last foregoing subsection to revoke a determination to modify the said particulars by the addition of a way so that it will be so shown").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD of GWAENYSGOR

This also is a consequential Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 22, line 23, leave out from ("to") to end of line 24 and insert ("reverse the decision").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I beg to move this Amendment.

Amendment moved—

Page 22, line 24, at end insert— () Where a notice of appeal duly served under subsection (4) of this section relates to a decision of the surveying authority under subsection (3) of this section, the authority shall serve a copy of the notice on the original objector, and the Minister shall give to the original objector an opportunity of being heard under the last foregoing subsection at the same time as the appellant."—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 29, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 30 agreed to.

Clause 31 [Determination by quarter sessions of disputes as to provisional maps and statements]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 23, line 38, leave out from ("for") to ("made") in line 39 and insert ("prescribing the court of quarter sessions to which applications under this section are to be made or for requiring such applications to be").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This also is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 24, line 29, leave out from ("showed") to end of line 30 and insert ("on the map the disputed public path or road used as a public path").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 31, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 32 agreed to.

Clause 33 [Periodical revision of maps and statements]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is not exactly a drafting Amendment. This and the following six have the same purpose: to apply the requirements of subsection (5) about publicity and the hearing of objections to the case where the authority propose to prepare the revised map in respect of part of their area only. This involves the dropping of subsection (6). I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 28, line 2, after ("authority") insert ("as respects the whole or any part of their area").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a consequential Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 28, line 5, leave out ("and of") and insert ("specifying").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This also is consequential. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 28, line 6, after ("review") insert ("and how much of their area is affected by the notice").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This also is consequential. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 28, line 9, at end insert ("in respect of so much of their area as is specified in the notice").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a further consequential Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 28, line 13, leave out ("their area") and insert ("so much of their area as is specified in the notice").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is another consequential Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 28, line 40, after ("not") insert ("by virtue of that representation").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This again is a consequential Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 28, line 43, leave out subsection (6).—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 33, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 34 agreed to.

Clause 35 [Application of ss. 27 to 34 to particular areas]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment is consequential. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 30, line 44, at end insert— ("(d) in either case, subject to the modification that subsection (5) of section thirty-three of this Act shall not apply as respects part only of the area to which the order or resolution relates").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a consequential Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 30, line 44, at end insert— ("() The making or revocation of a resolution or order under this section, or the happening of any other event, whereby land becomes or ceases to be comprised in an area to which the survey provisions apply shall not, as respects any map or standard prepared before the event happened, affect the application in relation to the map or statement of subsection (4) of section thirty-two of this Act or that subsection as applied by subsection (1) of the last foregoing section").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 35, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 36 [Exercise of functions as to surveys, etc., by joint planning boards]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 31, line 7, leave out ("those provisions") and insert ("this Part of this Act").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 36, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 37 [Power of Minister to expedite preparation of maps and statements]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 32, line 40, leave out ("not been") and insert ("been made but not").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is another drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 32, line 44, leave out ("not been") and insert ("been made but not").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This also is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 33, line 2, leave out ("not been") and insert ("been made but not").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

EARL HOWE

We are passing a great number of Government Amendments, no doubt very necessary. Are they all drafting Amendments, or are they more than that?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

If I say they are drafting I mean they are drafting. If they are more than drafting Amendments I shall say what is necessary.

Clause 37, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 38 [Supplementary provisions as to maps and statements]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR moved to add to the clause: () Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1) of section thirty-two of this Act or in the last foregoing subsection, an authority, shall not be required to keep available for inspection more than one copy of any definitive map and statement, or revised map and statement prepared in definitive form, if as respects the land to a which that map and statement relate a subsequent revised map and statement so prepared have come into operation; and the said one copy may be kept at such place in the area of the authority as they may determine.

The noble Lord said: Where a revised map in definitive form has been prepared under Clause 33 it is obviously unnecessary for the surveying authority to retain copies of their earlier definitive map distributive at places throughout the county. This Amendment, therefore, provides that the authority shall not be required to keep earlier maps, except one copy which may be useful for reference purposes or for historical reasons in the future. They may keep this copy at whatever place they think fit. That is the sole purpose of the Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 33, line 40, at end insert the said subsection.—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 38, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 39:

Creation of rights of way by agreement (2) An agreement made under the last foregoing subsection (hereinafter referred to as a "public path agreement") shall be on such terms as to payment or otherwise as may be specified in the agreement, and may, if it is so agreed, provide for the dedication of the footpath or bridleway subject to limitations or conditions affecting the public right of way thereover.

5.20 p.m.

VISCOUNT GAGE moved to add to subsection (2): Provided that before entering into a public path agreement the council with whom it is proposed to enter into such agreement shall serve a notice of such proposal upon any person having an interest in any fishery for the purpose of fishing for freshwater fish, salmon, trout or any kind of fish which migrate to and from tidal waters, and eels, in every case where the footpath or bridleway will be adjacent to or so near that the use thereof will he likely to cause injury to such fishery and shall give to such person an opportunity of making representations in regard thereto. The noble Viscount said: This Amendment is, I think, self-explanatory. It provides simply that where people have a contingent interest in the creation of a footpath by agreement some arrangement shall be made for notifying them of what is intended. Where a footpath is created under the next section by a compulsory order, provision is made for notifying anybody who might be concerned; but, for some reason, when the path is made by agreement that provision is not made. I think that a similar point was raised in another place and the Minister suggested that where anybody who had contingent interests was injured he might have recourse to an action for damages. I have no desire to deprive any lawyer of the possibility of gainful employment, but I feel that if it is possible to thresh out these matters by agreement in advance, and to discover who is likely to be injured, it should be done. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 34, line 17, at end insert the said proviso.—(Lord Gage.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I have very much sympathy with this Amendment, but again I am unable to accept the wording. I wonder whether the noble Lord would be willing to withdraw the Amendment so that he and I could have consultation regarding the exact wording of the Amendment?

VISCOUNT GAGE

I am grateful to the noble Lord. I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment brings the power of making public path agreements more fully into line with that of making public path orders. I think that will be acceptable to the House, because it is necessary. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 34, line 21, at end insert— ("(4) References in this section to the dedication of a footpath or bridleway shall be construed as including references to the widening or extension of a footpath or bridleway.") —(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

To my mind, there is no objection to this subsection which is perfectly well drawn except that I am not quite sure whether it ought not to have included, as well as the words widening or extension of a footpath the word "diversion." Diversions are referred to and dealt with in Clause 42. I have not yet discovered the words which cover the case of the dedication of the new piece of land which goes into the diversion and makes this intended subsection applicable to that case. All I am asking is that the noble Lord in charge of the Bill should see whether or not "diversion" is covered. If not, diversion should be covered as well as widenings or extensions.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I will certainly look into that matter.

Clause 39, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 40 [Compulsory powers for creation of public rights of way]:

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY moved, in subsection (1) to add to paragraph (b): and the need for the protection and development of agriculture. The noble Lord said: The object of this Amendment is to include the protection of agriculture in this Part of the Bill. May I suggest to the noble Lord that unless he can accept this Amendment now it should be included with the other Amendments on the same subject which are to be discussed under Clause 2?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I agree.

EARL DE LA WARR

You are accepting it?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I am not accepting it for the moment, but I agree to have it considered.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 40 agreed to.

Clause 41 [Exercise by other authorities of powers under ss. 39 and 40]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment is drafting. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 36, line 5, leave out ("said") and insert ("appropriate").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 41, as amended, agreed to.

LORD CARRINGTON moved, after Clause 41 to insert the following new clause:

Fencing of public paths

".—(1) Any person for the time being interested in land adjoining a public path. created by virtue of a public path agreement or a public path order, may, at any time, require the authority with whom the agreement was made or by whom the order was made to erect and maintain a good and sufficient stock-proof fence between the public path and the adjoining land in which he is interested (with such gates, stiles or other means of access through or over such fence as he may from time to time reasonably require).

(2) If any such requirement shall he made as part of any public path agreement or before any public path order comes into operation, it shall be the duty of the authority concerned to comply therewith before the agreement or order comes into operation.

(3) If any such requirement shall be made subsequently to the creation of a public path by agreement or order, it shall be the duty of the authority concerned to comply herewith as soon as may be reasonably practicable and in any event within three months from being required to do so.

(4) If the authority concerned shall fail to comply within three months with any requirement duly made under this section, the person making the requirement may do so himself and recover the cost thereof from the authority summarily as a civil debt or may compel the authority to do so by mandamus."

The noble Lord said: Since putting down this Amendment, I have discovered that the point which I wished to raise is covered by Clause 57 (4), with this one difference, that in the Bill the onus for refusing to erect the fencing lies with the local authority. My Amendment gives a little more bias to the owner of the agricultural land. I am wondering whether the noble Lord would be prepared to go a little further and to allow the land owner a right of appeal to the Minister after he had appealed to the local government authority, because in some cases I am sure that the local government authority will not be so kindly disposed to agriculture as I am sure the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, is.

Amendment moved— After Clause 41, insert the said new clause. —(Lord Carrington.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I thought that the whole point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, was covered. In case it is not, I am willing to consider it if the noble Lord will withdraw his Amendment.

LORD CARRINGTON

I am content that that should be done. I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 42:

Diversion of public paths

42. —(1) Where an owner, lessee or occupier of land crossed by a public path satisfies the council of the county borough or county district in which the land is situated that, by reason of the effect of the public right of way on the existing use of the land or of other land held therewith, it is expedient that the line of the path across his land, or part of that line, should be diverted (whether on to other land of his or on to land of another owner, lessee or occupier), the council may by order (hereinafter referred to as a "diversion order") made by them and submitted to and confirmed by the Minister—

5.27 p.m.

LORD MERTHYR moved, in subsection (1) after "therewith" to insert: or because the new path would be shorter or more commodious than the old path. The noble Lord said: If your Lordships will look at this clause, you will see that it provides for the diversion of public paths, which is a welcome change from the antiquated procedure under the Act of 1835, but it provides that the path can be diverted in one case only. Under this clause, so far as I can see, a diversion can be carried out only by reason of the effect of the public right of way on the existing use of the land or of other land held therewith. That is a very narrow reason and justification for diversion. I can think of many other cases where it will be agreed by all parties concerned that it is preferable to divert a path; in some cases, at any rate, there will be no objection, but under this clause the diversion cannot be made, because the path does not affect the use of the land. Your Lordships may ask what sort of a case I have in mind? My answer is that I have in mind a public path going through a wood. Everybody might agree that if it went a different way it would be better for the public and also for the owner. Yet, in my opinion, it would not be possible to alter it under this clause because the use of the land would not be affected in the slightest degree; the wood would remain a wood as before. Therefore, I seek to put in a second reason, which I have stated in the Amendment. I have taken the wording from the old Act and said that a public path should be diverted where it is, by general agreement, shorter or more commodious than the old path. This Amendment should meet with little objection. I should point out that it applies only in cases where there is general agreement and no opposition. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 36, line 22, after ("therewith") insert the said words.—(Lord Merthyr.)

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

In my younger days I was concerned with a great number of rights of way cases which came before Chancery counsel. Therefore, acting as counsel for some of the members of this House, I was indirectly responsible for a number of diversions and shortenings of footpaths. I am wholly in favour of these additional words proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, being inserted. I can see no objection to them. The only point that occurs to me is that I think it is possible to effect a shortening or the creation of a more commodious footpath by the existing Statute, which is older than any noble Lord now present. Therefore, I am not prepared to say that the absence of these words would lead to intolerable injury. But the method under the old law of 1835 was cumbrous and difficult and took a long time to carry out, and I think it is desirable that the simpler course should be adopted—namely, that of putting in these words and enabling the terms of Clause 42 to be effectual in the case of a diversion where the path will be shorter or more commodious. I am not convinced in my own mind that some further words ought not to be added, but on the whole I think these will achieve the noble Lord's main object. Accordingly I am content at this time of the evening to say that I wholeheartedly agree with the proposed Amendment.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I am sorry I am unable to accept the Amendment, for one specific reason—namely, that I am advised that this clause deals only with a diversion of a path as it affects the farmer. The Amendment would carry it beyond that purpose and, for that reason, I cannot accept the Amendment in this clause in the way it is put forward by the noble Lord.

LORD MERTHYR

That is a very brief refusal to accept the Amendment. I cannot see that this clause affects only farmers. It starts off by referring to owners, lessees, and occupiers of land. I do not see the word "farm" in the whole clause. I may be wrong, but I am not at all satisfied with the explanation given by the noble Lord in refusing the Amendment. Would he enlarge upon the matter a little? Because the noble and learned Viscount has given additional reasons why it should be accepted. Am I wrong in saying that this clause can apply to a path which does not go across farmland but goes through a wood? I cannot at the moment see that I am wrong, and if I do happen to be right, why should not the Amendment be made? Surely the noble Lord has not answered the question.

LORD LLEWELLIN

The noble Lord laid accent on the fact that he cannot accept the Amendment in this clause. Did that mean he was intending to see whether he could accept it somewhere else?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

In my reply I said that I was advised that it could not be accepted in this clause. I personally am sympathetic to what Lord Merthyr has in mind, but I am advised that, as moved, it would be impossible for me to accept it here, and for that reason, I refused it here. I do not want to give any undertaking that I can accept it in its present form anywhere, but I am advised that it cannot be included in this clause for the reason that this clause deals only with the diversion of footpaths in relation to fanners. I am asked to discuss the clause from the legal aspect, as the noble and learned Viscount, Lord Maugham, did. I need not tell the Committee that that is beyond me at the moment. I am acting on advice, and on that advice I am unable to accept the Amendment here.

Earl DE LA WARR

You would be prepared to have a look at it?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

Certainly.

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

Before we part with it, I should like to call the noble Lord's attention to the words which define the case where the diversion can take place. They are quite simple words which you do not need to be a lawyer to understand. They refer to cases where—and these are the material words— by reason of the effect of the public right of way on the existing use of the land or of other land held therewith it is expedient that the diversion should be made. Of course, I am glad to think that the common use is one of agriculture, but I am fairly sure that it is not always one of agriculture. There are other perfectly lawful things that you can do on land. You can, for instance, play certain games which have been played there from time immemorial. Moreover, as I think my noble friend Lord Merthyr pointed out, there is nothing about farming here. The clause is confined simply and solely to "the effect of the public right of way on the existing use of the land." When you have shown that that happens, you have to satisfy the council that it is expedient that the line of the path across the land or part of the land should be diverted.

Even if the clause, as drawn, were confined to farmers, I do not see why we should not extend it to other lawful user of the land. I imagine that if the land were used as a cricket ground or a football ground and there were a path running across it, we should be at liberty under this Bill, if it becomes law and under the existing words, to have a diversion, with the consent of the council. It is a purely reasonable suggestion, and if the noble Lord is not prepared to accept it and promises only to refer it to another place or to another authority, I do hope we can enlist his sympathy in the matter.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

As I said, I do not want to enter into any legal argument, especially with Lord Maugham, but I am advised that the words used in Clause 42, line 21: the existing use of the land or of other land held therewith presuppose farming. I am advised that if the Amendment is to be considered or accepted at all, it would be far better done in Clause 43, line 5. I have explained my attitude; I am not unsympathetic, but, at the same time, my answer is made entirely on advice given.

LORD MERTHYR

My whole complaint was that this Bill, as drafted, would meet the needs of farmers only and no one else. I do not want to spend more time on the question, but I would like to point out that there must be thousands of miles of paths in this country which do not go across farms at all, but go over other land, along cliffs, through woodlands, over the tops of mountains and so forth. However, if the noble Lord will say that we can talk about it afterwards I will withdraw the Amendment, but I reserve the right to bring it forward again on Report stage. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment at the moment.

LORD HARLECH

I hope that my noble friend will not withdraw it. Let us get this provision in the Bill; then we shall be quite sure that the matter will be dealt with after further consideration. I have in mind a path which gives access to a beach. It is certainly inconvenient to many people and I think consideration ought to be given to whether or not it ought to be diverted in the interests of everybody. The point seems to be whether this is the right place for the Amendment. Let us get something in the Bill removing the limitation of consideration purely to farming. There are other reasons why paths may require to be diverted. When this great "Domesday Book" of national parks is compiled, with maps and so on, let us get it as accurate as we can before it comes into force. The only way is to allow any reasonable objection to be made first.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

The noble Lord has said that Clause 42 applies only to agricultural land. What I should like to ask the Minister is why, on merits. assuming that to be a correct legal statement, it should be confined to agricultural land. That is a point to which the noble Lord has not directed his mind. Is it the intention of the Government that this power of diversion should be confined to land which is used as agricultural land? That is a clear issue before us. If so, then I think the Committee would disagree with that intention and would wish to amend the Bill accordingly, either now or on Report. If, on the other hand, the Government's intention is that there should be a power of diversion in the case of land which is not agricultural land, but that in their opinion Clause 42 is not the right place in which to provide for it, then will the noble Lord tell me where in the Bill, as drafted, I shall find that power of diversion in regard to non-agricultural land; and if it is not in the Bill, where it should be put into the Bill?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I understood that Lord Merthyr had already agreed to withdraw the Amendment to enable us to discuss the whole question. The question raised by the noble Viscount could also then be considered. I could not say at this moment where in the Bill it would fit in best.

VISCOUNT SWINTON

With respect, I am not making a tiresome point of this. We want to get this provision into the Bill, and we are prepared to take the Government's advice as to where and in what form it should go in. That is what Parliamentary draftsmen are for. What the Committee want to know is, do the Government agree that this power of diversion in regard to non-agricultural land should be in the Bill? That is a simple matter of policy on which the Minister should be able to give an answer.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

All I can say is that I am advised that this is not the place for this Amendment. The noble Viscount asked w here in the Bill could it be inserted. I ask the noble Viscount to accept Lord Merthyr's withdrawal of the Amendment—

VISCOUNT SWINTON

With respect, that is not the way proceedings are conducted in this Committee. When an Amendment has been moved and the noble Lord who has moved it asks leave to withdraw it, the Amendment is not withdrawn as of right or as a matter of course. It is the business of the Committee to satisfy themselves that the Amendment should be withdrawn. I asked the noble Lord. Lord Macdonald— perhaps he can obtain the answer if he has not already been instructed—this simple question on policy. Do the Government or do they not accept the desirability of having in the Bill a right of diversion where the land is not agricultural?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

That is accepted.

LORD MERTHYR

Having received that assurance from the noble Lord, I would like, with the permission of the Committee, to withdraw my Amendment now and to bring it up again at the Report stage.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 42 agreed to.

Clause 43 agreed to.

Clause 44 [Exercise of powers of staking diversion and extinguishment orders]:

5.42 p.m.

LORD LLEWELLIN moved to omit subsection (5). The noble Lord said: This is an important Amendment. Its purpose, as your Lordships will see, is to delete subsection (5) of this clause. The material part of the subsection reads as follows: Where it appears to the Minister as respects a particular public path that the path or part thereof should be diverted or stopped up, then if—

  1. (a)the appropriate authority have not made and submitted to him a diversion order or an extinguishment order, as the case may be, and
  2. (b)the Minister is satisfied that, if such an order were made and submitted to him, he would have power to confirm the order in accordance with the provisions in that behalf of the last two foregoing sections.
the Minister, after consultation with the said authority. may direct the authority to make and submit to him a diversion order or an extinguishment order, as the case may be, or may himself make the order; … We have here, starting at page 19 of the Bill, a very elaborate procedure: under Clause 27 for making surveys and of getting information from local authorities; under Clause 29 for hearing representations and objections as to draft maps and statements; under Clause 30 for the preparation of provisional maps and statements, and under Clause 31 for determination by quarter sessions of disputes as to provisional maps and statements. Then under Clause 32 there are provisions respecting the preparation, publication and effect of definitive maps and statements. After all that, one suddenly finds that it is proposed that the Minister should have power to go back on all that with regard to any single path or part of a path in any part of the country as a whole. He is to be allowed to do it purely on his own. It is particularly laid down in the last part of this clause—that is, Clause 44—that: …the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, of that subsection, and of the proviso to subsection (24 of this section, or the proviso to the last foregoing subsection, as the case may be, shall not apply. That means that those things may be disregarded by the Minister and that he need not consult the planning authority. In the case of a national park he need not consult at all; he does it off his own bat. Why should the Minister have that power, and when all this preliminary procedure has been gone through, when, perhaps, a court of quarter sessions has decided that there ought to he a path, in a particular place, why should he be in a position to say: "Not on your life! I am just making an order under Section 44 (5) stopping the path up, although a court has decided the other way"?

Whose is the initiative? I suspect that it is the initiative of the Service Departments. I suspect that it is because the War Office, perhaps, want to have a rifle range and have it open all the time that the Minister is being equipped with this power. Take a place which the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, knows quite well, and with which in this matter no doubt he has great sympathy—the lovely walk along Tyneham and Worbarrow Bay. That has been taken over by the Army for a tank range. It has been stopped up completely though, occasionally, they do let you go through, having warned you that there may be "dud" shells lying about and that it is possible you might trip up over one. A large section of the public has been stopped by the War Office from using that particular highway. Here we get a completely overriding power to act without reference to the local authority and local planning. I want to know why, and whether, when there are all these preliminary proceedings, it is proper that there should be given to any Minister, power to disregard entirely the views of the elected representatives of local interests. For these reasons I beg to move this Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 40, line 20, leave out subsection (5).—(Lord Llewellin.)

LORD MERTHYR

I should like to support my noble friend Lord Llewellin in this matter as strongly as I possibly can. Several Private Acts of Parliament have from time to time been passed by your Lordships' House giving power to the Minister to close paths, but in every one of those cases it has been stated that he could do it only "in the public interest." In this part of the Bill there is not a word about public interest. It need not even appear to the Minister to be in the public interest: it has merely to "appear to the Minister." As this subsection is at present drafted the Minister is given almost unlimited power to scrap all the machinery constructed by the Hobhouse Committee and embodied in this Bill, to override and sweep it aside and say: "True, I will consult with the authority, and then I will direct that the public path be closed, or I will make an order myself." He has not to give any reason. He has not even to say it is in the public interest. Surely that is going very far indeed. There are organisations in this country which try, and which have tried for a long time, to protect public rights in this matter. In their efforts to protect these paths they have had a constant battle over many decades with various powers. In the old days the battle used to be against land owners, but that is not the case now; the only enemies left are Government Departments. Unfortunately, however, they are rather more formidable than land owners. We are the first to concede in times of war and crisis that it may be in the public interest to close a path, but this Bill is designed for these times, and we cannot conceive that it is necessary that the Minister should have this power of over-riding the elaborate machinery which this Bill creates.

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

I will add only one word, and it is this. I do not know a single Act of Parliament, in which a Minister is given the right for no reason at all to interfere with private land owned by an ordinary land owner, and I am sure the noble Lord cannot tell me the name of one. No conditions are imposed on the Minister. He may put the right of way in a place where the building value of land, subject to licences and so on, may be almost destroyed. There is nothing here about having regard to the interests of the landlord. It is something new in legislation, is it not, to confer such a right as this, with all the possibility of serious injury being caused to a private owner by the diversion of land. I should add that the right of way which is being stopped up may be one that the land owner uses daily. Nevertheless, the clause is to give this overriding power to deal with land without compensation and, indeed, without explanation. I cannot believe that the noble Lord thinks it right to insist on this clause.

LORD CHORLEY

The considerations which are in the minds of noble Lords in respect of this clause are not those which I had anticipated, and I am inclined to think the clause is rather too widely drafted. To be frank with your Lordships, the object of the clause was to deal on behalf of land owners with such cases as that where, on an agricultural estate, the local authority refuses to divert one of these diagonal footpaths which are such a nuisance to farmers. In such a case, the Minister should have power to divert it. I might point out to the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, who spoke about societies fighting this question for many years, that this clause has been agreed with the Ramblers' Association on that basis, and they have accepted it as a reasonable compromise. Of course, this power is subject to the conditions specified in the clause, but I appreciate that the clause is possibly too widely drafted and I think it would be well to look at it again. If the noble Lord will withdraw his Amendment on that basis, I shall be happy to see that the matter is reconsidered.

LORD MERTHYR

In view of what the noble Lord said about the Ramblers' Association, may I say that I know nothing about that body. I would make it clear, however, that the Commons. Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society object to this clause most strongly, and have made no sort of agreement or concession on it. I would not have mentioned that, had the noble Lord not mentioned the other organisation.

LORD LLEWELLIN

Whatever the Ramblers' Association or anybody else thinks of the drafting of this clause, one of the duties of this Committee is to consider it, and I am very much obliged to the noble Lord for having said that he will take it back. It is monstrously widely drawn. Perhaps before Report stage, we can have a talk about it and see whether we cannot get some sort of agreed clause.

LORD CHORLEY

I take it that the noble Lord is not opposed in principle to some sort of default clause and simply wants to make sure that it will be used in the proper way and is tied up so that it cannot be improperly used.

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

if this is intended for the benefit of the land owner, why is the land owner not told anything about it? If this subsection were drawn to say that the Minister "with the consent of the owner of the land," can do these things, I should still think the clause was unwise, but then at any rate, the worst feature would be removed.

LORD LLEWELLIN

The noble Lord asked me a question. I suppose this clause was intended to meet the case where the local authority refused to take action where a footpath that could go round the side of a field went straight across it and prevented the field from being ploughed up properly. If the clause were intended to deal only with that kind of case, I am sure we should all be in agreement. All we are objecting to is the very general powers given. I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 44 agreed to.

Clause 45 agreed to.

Clause 46 [Compensation for diversion and closure of public paths:

LORD CHORLEY

This is the first of three small Amendments of a drafting character which have been tabled to bring the provisions of this Bill into line with the corresponding provisions for making claims for compensation under the 1947 Act. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 41, line 42, leave out from ("manner") to ("as") in line 43.—(Lord Chorley.)

Clause 46, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 47:

Liability for repair of public paths

47.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, the rule of law whereby a highway is repairable by the inhabitants at large shall apply to all public paths, whether coming into existence before or after the commencement of this Act, notwithstanding anything contained in any enactment passed Of made before the commencement of this Act; and accordingly the enactments relating to highways so repairable shall have effect in relation to all such public paths.

LORD CHORLEY moved in subsection (1), after "Act" (where that word last occurs) to insert: and notwithstanding any liability to repair of any other person. The noble Lord said: This Amendment is on the same lines as the Amendment on the next page in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, and I suggest that we might discuss the whole problem on this Amendment. The Amendment has been introduced to meet arguments put forward in support of the abolition of certain liabilities to repair highways which, under present law, fall on private individuals.

This liability to repair may fall on a private individual in several ways—by statutory provision, by the tenure under which he holds his property, by prescription, or by the terms of an enclosure. The Hobhouse Committee recommended that these obligations on private individuals should be abolished, principally because of the difficulties of enforcing them, and that they should be placed on the local authorities. The Bill puts the obligation on the local authorities, but it has been felt that on the whole there is a stronger case for keeping the obligation on the private individuals than for removing it, particularly because, under certain of these statutory enactments in cases where bridges are involved, it becomes a substantial obligation; and if it is an obligation which exists and has been effectively and properly imposed by Parliament, or possibly under an agreement, there is no reason why it should be transferred from the shoulders of the individual on whom it rests at present to the shoulders of the local authority. That would in a number of cases be a heavy burden to impose upon a local authority, and that is the principal reason why the Government take the view that the obligation should continue to rest upon the shoulders of the individual and should not be transferred to those of the local authority. The local authority may have in the first instance to carry out the obligation, but it will then be in a position to recover from the individual.

Amendment moved— Page 42, line 25, after ("Act") and insert ("and notwithstanding any liability to repair of any other person")—(Lord Chorley.)

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

May I ask the noble Lord (because I frankly have not quite understood this): Is the first subsection of Section 47 remaining as drawn? I have not quite followed what the position is. I must apologise to the House, but I am a little fogged about it. What will be the case with regard to a footpath which was repairable by private people before this Bill came into force? Is the private person to remain liable or is the liability now, under the clause as it stands, transferred, in effect, to the highway authority?

LORD MERTHYR

May I endeavour to answer the question which the noble Viscount has just asked and, at the same time, accept the invitation of the noble Lord to deal with my Amendment at the same time as this one? I do not propose to move the first of my three Amendments (the one to page 42, line 40) but I do propose to move the other two which run together. As I understand it, the Government Amendment, if passed, would have the effect of making a concurrent liability. It would put the duty to repair on a local authority but would retain the duty on the land owner. That is how I understand it, and there would, therefore, be a concurrent liability. It would be a duty of both the authority and of the land owner to repair the path, and I for one do not regard that as a very up-to-date or satisfactory arrangement.

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

May I ask the noble Lord in charge of the Bill if he agrees with that construction?

LORD CHORLEY

Yes, certainly. In many of these cases it was not clear where the obligation lay. The Bill puts the obligation clearly on the local authority, but it does not relieve the land owner. This is quite a common case in other branches of local government law, where there is an obligation of an individual to do certain work, and if he does not carry it out the local authority do it and the expense is charged up to the private individual. Although this Bill does not carry out that exactly, in substance that is the procedure which is laid down in this Bill, and we shall move in a minute another supplementary Amendment which dots the "i's" and crosses the "t's" of this.

LORD MERTHYR

I was going on to say, if your Lordships will forgive me, that this concurrent liability is nowadays quite unsatisfactory. I put down an Amendment which would have got rid of the liability on a land owner under an enactment, but I think that would be going too far, and I am not now proposing to move that. I do, however, want to move to get rid of the liability of the land owner under these three ancient rules which are set out in paragraph 61 of the Hobhouse Report. At present, in regard to certain footpaths in the country, the land owner is under a duty to repair, either by reason of tenure, by reason of enclosure, or by reason of injury. The legal words are Latin ones and your Lordships will no doubt understand them just as well. They are all set out in that Report. There is no contest as to the law about it; that is the law. But in these days, particularly under this Bill and whim the land owners are giving away a good deal, surely it is about time that those ancient reasons for liability disappeared. They are not common but they do exist, and they must cause considerable irritation to land owners who have not quite the same resources to carry out those obligations as they used to have.

The noble Lord agrees that that is the position but he insists on continuing this state of affairs, although it is true that by this Amendment he introduces a concurrent liability. These cases of concurrent liability do exist—there is now a concurrent liability between county councils and parish councils to repair footpaths—but in my experience they do not work well. Each council says: "Let the other people do it." The parish council may urgently want to repair a footpath, but not having very much money to do it they may say: "Let the county council do it." The county council would say: "If we do this one we will have to do a hundred; let the parish council do it." The result is that nobody does it. Is not the same situation going to arise here? There will be a little bickering and correspondence, but the whole thing would be so simple if it were said, as the Hobhouse Committee said should be the case, "Sweep away these ancient liabilities." If there is an Act of Parliament which says that the owner shall do the repair, I do not want to interfere with that; but this has nothing to do with an Act of Parliament.

May I finally read paragraph 68 of the Hobhouse Report? The surviving liabilities of individuals for the repair and maintenance of rights of way to which we referred in paragraph 61 are of little significance, and difficult to establish. The trouble of ascertaining the degree of liability and of supervising the work of maintenance is frequently more costly in time and money than prompt repair by the authority. We recommend, therefore, that they should no loner be enforceable. I therefore think there is a strong case for my small hut not unimportant Amendment.

LORD CHORLEY

If it were only a question of public footpaths I should be inclined to agree with the noble Lord. I was not a member of that part of the Hobhouse Committee which dealt with footpaths. There is nothing in the Report which suggests that bridges ever came under consideration, hut the really important element in this problem is that of bridges, and it is idle to pretend that the question of keeping bridges in repair is a mere bagatelle. These repairs undoubtedly give rise to great expense, which would prevent the Government from accepting the Amendment in these terms. If it could be confined in some way to the mere question of the path, as opposed to the bridge, I would, without definitely committing my right honourable friend, be prepared to look at it.

LORD MERTHYR

It is true that the Hobhouse Committee were considering primarily footpaths, but let us see what the position will be with regard to bridges if the noble Lord's Amendment is carried and mine is not. There is going to be, in respect of some bridges in this country, a concurrent liability between county council and the land owner to repair a bridge, which is, I agree, a very expensive matter these days. Is it really to be supposed that the county council are going to say: "We agree that this bridge ought to be repaired and that we are liable to repair it, but we are going to dig in our toes and make the land owner pay for it. If he does not do that, the bridge can fall down"?

LORD CHORLEY

With great respect to the noble Lord, he has quite overlooked the provision in the next Amendment which enables the local authority to do the work and charge it up to the land owner. That is quite clear, and it is put in other Statutes, as the noble Lord knows.

LORD MERTHYR

I admit that I had overlooked it for the moment, although I had heard of it. However, I do not think it is fair to land owners who, under this Bill, are giving up a good deal, what with access land, national parks and all the rest of it. I feel the Government might make this concession.

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

May I ask the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, whether I correctly understood him to say that if this applied only to public footpaths he thought he could meet the noble Lord? This clause does apply only to public footpaths, and nothing else.

LORD CHORLEY

With respect to the noble and learned Viscount, a footpath frequently goes across a railway or over a stream on which there is a bridge. It may be quite a substantial structure.

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

I am not discussing the question of bridges. I did not understand what the noble Lord said about it applying only to public footpaths. It is a public footpath, even if it goes across a bridge. I did not understand the limitation put upon the words "public footpaths."

THE EARL OF RADNOR

I agree with what my noble friend Lord Merthyr has said. An obligation under an enactment is something you can discover and plant fairly and squarely upon the person who is responsible. As the noble Lord has said, the public authority can do the work and charge the individual concerned, and he cannot help himself. But the noble Lord seems to think that in the case of a public footpath or a bridge the same process will be quite easy under some of these very old arrangements which Lord Merthyr quoted to us. With respect, it is nothing like as easy as that. I have had a considerable amount of experience of this matter on my own estate. In practically every case the obligation to keep such a footpath and such a bridge in repair is laid upon the owner of adjoining land. That land may have changed hands many times and may have been split up. I had a case on my own estate not so long ago where there was a road which had not been repaired for twenty-five or thirty years. When we came to go into the matter, we found that three-eighths had to be paid by one person, five-sixteenths by another, one sixteenth by someone else, and so on. What is said in the Hobhouse Report, which was quoted by my noble friend Lord Merthyr is quite right—namely, that the cost of finding out who is responsible for the payment may amount to more than the cost of the repair itself. In the interests of getting the paths and bridges repaired, and of saving administrative time and trouble, as well as money, it would be much better if the Government could agree to accept the Amendment.

LORD CRANWORTH

I would like to say a word in support of that argument from the point of view of the public authority. I expect this question has come up many times in every county council in the Kingdom. Speaking from my own experience, I can say that where there is dual responsibility the county council are very shy of doing the work and taking their chance of recovering the money from the land owner, because in many cases they have been "bitten" and have never obtained it. The result is that very often they do not do the work, the owner does not do it, and the bridge falls down or the footpath gets overgrown.

EARL DE LA WARR

We have had a thorough discussion on this subject and it is evident that the noble Lord in charge of the Bill does not feel that he can commit himself. At the same time, he has said that he is prepared to go some way to meet us. It is true that he restricts that undertaking so far as footpaths are concerned, and he is a little nervous about the question of bridges. I should have thought the whole subject might be looked into again. I feel that a strong case has been put up, and if the noble Lord will undertake to look into the whole question again, including bridges, I am sure noble Lords will be satisfied.

LORD HARLECH

I would like to say a few words before the Amendment is withdrawn. I think the noble Lord in charge of the Bill still has the idea that many of these bridge are liabilities on what might be called the big country landlords. My experience is—certainly in great parts of Wales—that practically all the estates have been broken up, and the land where there are these bridges over streams is just the land that has been sold, usually to the local tenant, who is probably a little hill farmer. I am certain he never realised that under some ancient usage he might be liable to rebuild that bridge out of his slender earnings. The liability to bear the whole cost of these country bridges, on which there will be an increased user by motorists, and so on, is going to fall on some local farmer, unless there is provision under a special enactment. I feel that the Government must take a different view of what they can expect land owners, and especially land owners of that kind, to undertake in regard to these developments. I hope the whole matter will be none into further before the Report stage, because I think a great injustice will be done to a large number of small people.

LORD CHORLEY

If a way can be found of dealing with this question, I shall be glad to assist in finding it. The noble Lord is not asking the Government, but the local authority, to hear the expense. However, we will certainly look at the matter again if, on that understanding, the noble Lord will not move his Amendment.

THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES

Are all the Amendments to page 42 of the Bill dropped?

LORD CHORLEY

These Amendments are partly mine and partly Lord Merthyr's. I think it better that they should not be moved for the time being, and that if necessary they should be put down again on the Report stage. This includes the Amendment at page 43, line 4.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

6.20 p.m.

LORD MERTHYR moved to add to subsection (3): For the purposes of this section it shall be the duty of a highway authority in relation to every public path or road used as a public path to prevent and secure the removal of obstructions. The noble Lord said: As your Lordships will see, this Amendment says that it shall be the duty of a highway authority … to prevent and secure the removal of obstructions. At first sight that seems very simple, but in another place the Government rejected the Amendment on these lines. The position under the present law, under Section 26 (1) of the Local Government Act, 1894, is that the duty of preventing obstructions on highways is primarily that of the district council, although that body has no liability to repair, its former liability having been taken away by the Local Government Act, 1929. Curiously, therefore, the district council, in this respect alone, is still a highway authority, and perhaps for that very reason hundreds of district councils to my personal knowledge are not carrying out their duties under that Act, and obstructions are not removed when they should be. What we want to do is to wipe out this dual control, or, at any rate, if we do not wipe it out, to plant firmly upon the county council the duty of removing obstructions.

When this matter was raised in another place, it was stated on behalf of His Majesty's Government that the words "the duty to repair" included the duty to remove obstructions. I cannot quite follow that argument. I should have thought that in a court of law it could at least be argued that repairs to a road did not include the removal of an obstruction wilfully placed on the road. Of course, it may include the removal of a branch of a tree which had fallen on the road. But, to take a case which occurred some time ago, when it comes to building a garage on the highway, does duty to repair really include the duty to remove the garage? I understand that in another place it was said that it did, but I find great difficulty in following the argument. Surely it would be quite safe and wise to put in this additional sentence, merely to make it perfectly clear that in the future it will be the duty of the county council to remove obstructions.

I would like to read an extract from Paragraph 77 of the Hobhouse Report. It says: We think that the time has now come to place upon one authority the general duty to prevent and remove all obstructions of rights of way in its area, and in view of the close inter-relation between maintenance of rights of way and prevention of their obstruction, we are of the opinion that the same authority should he chosen for both duties. We, therefore, recommend that a general duty should be laid upon the highway authority to prosecute anyone obstructing a right of way by any means which may impair the right, or detract from the convenience, of the public. If the Government are really right in stretching the use of the word "repair" to such an unprecedented extent, well and good. But are your Lordships perfectly satisfied that they are right and could not be held to be wrong in a court of law? I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 43. Line 10, at end insert the said words.(Lord Merthyr.)

VISCOUNT MAUGHAM

It is perfectly plain to me that there are obstructions which hake nothing to do with the repair of the road. The simplest case—very common in the United States, but not so common here —is the case of a man who has a very old motor car and who leaves it on the footpath, just to get rid of it. It may be arty other vehicle which he may leave there, either deliberately or by accident. Nothing has happened to the footpath; it is merely that a vehicle has been left on top of it. I could give a number of other illustrations, but I think that one is enough to show that the present clause does require some amendment with regard to obstructions.

LORD MORLEY

The noble and learned Viscount is saying that the duty has not been carried out. To put another duty upon them, which would simply repeat a duty which already exists, would not be of any help in getting it carried out. I am advised that it is clearly the duty of the highway authority at Common Law to keep the footpath in such a state that the public can pass along it freely and safely. The additional duties which have been imposed by Statute in respect of repair are simply supplementary and additional to the Common Law obligation. I am advised that at Common Law there is no question at all that it would be the duty of the highway authority to remove the garage to which the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, has referred. The fact that the highway authority is not doing its duty is, of course, another matter, and steps should be taken by those interested to see that the authority which is responsible carries out its duties. But that would not be secured by writing the same duty into a new Bill, and it would be quite superfluous to do 'it here. Therefore I am sorry that I cannot accept the Amendment.

VISCOUNT ESHER

I should like to ask the noble Lord. Lord Merthyr, why in his Amendment he does not use the words "county council," but the words "highway authority."

LORD MERTHYR

The highway authority for the purpose of repair is the county council. The highway authority for the purpose of the removal of obstructions is the district council. I do not wish to occupy too much time, but I am certainly not satisfied with the answer. If the noble Lord is right, and it is the duty of the highway authority under Common Law, surely it would be fairly harmless to put in this short sentence, giving it statutory authority. What harm could it possibly do? I hope the noble Lord will consider the point again, but meanwhile I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 47 agreed to.

6.28 p.m.

EARL DE LA WARR moved, after Clause 47 to insert the following new clause:

Double fences to be provided with double gates or stiles. . Where the boundary between two closes of land through which a right of way to this Part of this Act applies passes consists of a double fence or hedge then whether such double fence was in existence at the commencement of this Act or comes into existence at any time after such commencement shall be erected a stile or gate in the line of each such fence or hedge and the existence thereof shall be deemed not to pc an obstruction.

The noble Earl said: This is a small but important point, dealing with the fact that anyone who put; up any extra obstruction on a footpath is liable to be instructed to remove it. That is all right, but in the case of a farmer who has had his herd attested, he has to have a double fence and, of course, the fence has to go right up to the path where the stile or gate is. Therefore, it is necessary to have two stiles or two gates, and as the law stands at the present time that could be deemed to be an obstruction. This small Amendment of mine is designed to put that matter right. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 47, insert the said new clause. —(Earl De La Warr.)

LORD CHORLEY

The Bill does go some way towards meeting the point which the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, has put forward. In Clause 57 (4), the highway authority are given a power—it is true that it is not a duty—to authorise the erection of gates and stiles across footpaths in the interests of agriculture. Of course, that includes, if thought fit, the type of double gate or stile to which the noble Earl has referred. I should have thought that this provision would satisfy him.

EARL DE LA WARR

It is true that the owner or the lessee or occupier can represent to the highway authority that it is expedient to do this, but that does not say that the highway authority will necessarily give sanction and there may be a farmer in the position of having had his herd attested and then being held up from carrying on by an unreasonable decision of the highway authority.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

Clause 57, subsection (4), deals with land that is brought into agriculture, and not with existing agricultural land which, by reason of the attestation of the cattle, requires an extra obstruction to be put across a footpath. There is one obstruction already in the shape of a fence, in which there is a stile, but as I understand it it would be illegal to put another fence across the same footpath. That is what we want to make legal. At present it could be illegal.

LORD CHORLEY

It could be an obstruction, but under the subsection to which I have drawn your Lordships' attention the local authority could permit it. The noble Earl said that they might refuge to do so. I wonder whether if some provision were inserted for an appeal against refusal that would meet the point. I am sorry I cannot go the whole way.

LORD LLEWELLIN

Could we do it in this way—that if the application were supported by the agricultural executive committee it could be done?

LORD CHORLEY

I am much obliged to the noble Lord. I think this might be added to the points on which we should hold consultations. It is obviously an interesting and useful point.

EARL DE LA WARR

I am grateful to the noble Lord and to Lord Llewellin. I think I should say, in fairness to the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor, that I had some talk with him on the subject and made some suggestions, but if we could go a little further it would he helpful. In view of what the noble Lord has said, I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MERTHYR moved, after Clause 47 to insert the following new clause: . It shall be the duty of a highway authority to provide, at every junction of a public path with a road, a signpost indicating the place or places to which such path leads, and wherever necessary or desirable to provide such signposts at junctions of public paths with other public paths. Provided that where a signpost cannot be placed on a public path without interfering with free passage along such a path, it may be placed on land immediately contiguous to such path.

The noble Lord said: The present law on this matter is contained in Section 24 of the 1835 Act: Under that Act it is the duty of a highway authority to erect signposts at all junctions where two or more highways meet. But the snag is that before they do that they are obliged to obtain the consent of the inhabitants assembled in the vestry. That is now the county council, therefore the net result is that they need not do this at all if, after asking their own consent, that consent is not obtained so it is purely voluntary. It is sought now to make it a statutory duty to erect signposts at the junction of a public path with a road. It is a very modest suggestion, and I do not want to go so far as the old law went—which law, I may say, was never enforced. I think it is reasonable to have a signpost where a public path joins a road. This, I am glad to say, has been excellently done by one or two councils already—notably in Essex, and by some others. But there are many counties which have not begun the work. I think this is a reasonable Amendment, and I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 47 insert the said new clause. —(Lord Merthyr)

LORD W1NSTER

I have no words that. I can use tin this Committee to describe what I think about certain parts of this proposal. The main object of this Bill is to preserve natural beauty. I am already apprehensive whether one or two of its provisions may not be found to defeat that object. In those cases the damage would be done by inadvertence, and not by intention, but here the proposal to do damage is brought out into the open, and openly admitted. A great ingredient of natural beauty, particularly in the mountains and the fells, is a sense of solitude, of loneliness, and of remoteness from the works of man. Many public paths over the fell tops and amongst the mountains constantly intersect other public paths. The proposal is that at every one of these junctions a signpost should be erected. I think the proposal is not only objectionable but quite unnecessary. If people cannot learn to read a map, or to cultivate a "bump of location" or to follow simple directions, they had better keep away from these parts.

This proposal leads us in the direction of the barbarous custom that one encounters in Germany, where beautiful walks through forests are spoiled and disfigured by almost every other tree being daubed with some coloured paint intended to keep the walker safely on the right path. In many cases you will find a large notice which says: "Halt! Warning! Follow the green paint for 100 yards to a beautiful view point." When you get there you will find some sham Gothic building—with a placard telling you what you ought to look at. We do not want to go in that direction. Nor do we want to adopt the custom of installing in these places a cannon which, on payment of a small fee, can be fired in order that you may hear the echo; and where, on payment of another small fee, you may have the waterfall lit up by fairy lamps. I hope that in this case the Minister will not even attempt the time-honoured formula of agreeing to look at the Amendment. I think he has already agreed to look again at very nearly the whole Bill. I trust that without further ado this Amendment will be "cast into outer darkness" to join that hinny to which the Committee have already refused admission to the Bill.

VISCOUNT ESHER

The noble Lord, Lord Winster has made one of those reactionary speeches which one hears only from the Labour Benches. His speech was amusing, but of course it was complete nonsense. The few counties—among them is Buckinghamshire—that have put up these signposts (which are quite unobtrusive) have found them very valuable to the public at large. It is all very well for the inhabitants of these places: they know exactly where these footpaths are. But there are large numbers of young people, hikers and so on, who do not know where the paths are, and they trespass all over farms and agricultural land instead of sticking to the footpath. These signposts are not ugly. It is easy to make fun of this matter. I was walking in a very remote district this summer, along a road which ran across the top of the Downs, and I found a signpost which was inscribed Londinium. It was, of course, the direction to London. Lord Winster may have found this objectionable, but I found it extremely natural and romantic. People who enjoy these paths enjoy them better if they are marked by signposts. I hope the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, will insist on this Amendment.

VISCOUNT GAGE

I should like to approach this subject, not from the ideological point of view but from the strictly practical point of view of whether the work will ever be done. I know that m my own county there are some 3,000 miles of footpaths—I do not know how many intersections they have with the main roads. Unfortunately, not having followed the example of Essex, we have an inadequate number of signposts. It may, or may not, be a good thing that we should follow the example of Essex, but I feel doubtful whether, at the present stage of history, we should even get the timber allocation to make all these signposts. Certainly, having regard to the man-power limitations set upon us by the Government, it would be very many years before the work would he carried out.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

I should like to support the noble Lord, Lord Winster. I am not thinking so much of the wilder parts of the country. I live on the borders of Wiltshire and Hampshire. Hampshire is one of the advanced counties with signposts; Wiltshire is a delightfully backward county which has not thought about it. I cross over the border and go from one part of my farm to another. On Hampshire ground it is downland, and there is a perfect forest of green sticks with little green fingers on them with the words "footpath" displayed all over the place. It is a fearful waste of timber and it all looks extremely ugly. I hope that His Majesty's Government will refuse to accept the Amendment.

LORD CHORLEY

I am glad to be able to accede to a request from the noble Earl, Lord Radnor. I will not take it back and look at it again. I am glad to have the support of the noble Lord, Lord Winster, in resisting the Amendment. We do not go so far as he does in objecting to signposts. In a number of cases they may be right and of great assistance, but in other parts of the country they are not at all desirable. Moreover, what the noble Viscount, Lord Gage, has said about the expense and difficulty is a very real point. As your Lordships are aware, there are in many parts of the country short stretches of footpath only fifty or a hundred yards long, cutting across corners from one road to another. If this Amendment were passed, all those paths would have to be signposted at great expense to the community. This is an impracticable suggestion. I hope the noble Lord will not press it.

LORD MERTHYR

I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 48 [Making up of public paths]:

LORD CHORLEY

This is a mere drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 43, line 21, leave out ("is") and insert ("are").—(Lord Chorley.)

LORD CHORLEY

This also is drafting. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 44, line 24, leave out ("is") and insert ("are").—(Lord Chorley.)

Clause 48, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 49 and 50 agreed to.

Clause 51:

General provisions as to long-distance routes (3) A report under this section may also include such recommendations as the Corn-mission may think fit for the restriction of traffic on existing highways along which the route passes. (4) Before preparing a report under this section the Commission shall consult every joint planning board, county council, county borough council and county district council through whose area the route passes; and it shall be the duty of every such board or council to furnish to the Commission such information as the Commission may reasonably require for the purposes of the report.

LORD CHORLEY

This is preparatory to the next Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 45, line 40, after ("of") insert ("such").—(Lord Charley).

LORD CHORLEY

This is a drafting Amendment. As the paragraph stands, it is defective in that it assumes that some parts of the long-distance route will always run along an existing highway, which would not he so. These words are put in to correct that. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 45, line 41, leave out from beginning to end of line 43, and insert ("as may be required for enabling the public to journey along the route").—(Lord Chorley).

6.44 p.m.

EARL HOWE moved to add to subsection (3): Provided that before making any recommendation for restricting the use of a highway by vehicles, the Commission shall consult such associations representing users of vehicles as they may think fit.

The noble Earl said: I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name, which I think explains its intention well enough. There may be a great many main roads used as public paths established under this Bill and many of these —in fact probably most of them—transport users will not wish to dispute in any way; but it so happens that the Bill affects, or could affect, no less than 843 miles of trunk roads and Class I roads. Any portion of these main arterial routes could become "a road mainly used as a public path," in the words of this Bill. The transport users feel that, before making any recommendations for restriction of the highway on these very important routes, the Commission should consult those representing the transport users. When I say that, I should like to include any other bodies affected. I do net want to claim any special privilege for the transport users in this connection. I wish to ensure merely that for the proper working of the Bill everybody concerned should be consulted before an order is made. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 46, line 7, at end insert the said proviso.—(Earl Howe.)

LORD CHORLEY

The Amendment of the noble Earl would not effect the object which he has in view. It is altogether too vaguely drafted. Merely to impose upon the Commission the obligation to consult such associations as they think fit would not put upon them any actual obligation which could be enforced. I agree with the noble Earl, however, that it is important, and, indeed, necessary, that the big associations representing the road users should be consulted. I am prepared to give him an assurance that my right honourable friend will press upon the National Parks Commission, when they are formed, the extreme importance of their doing so. Undoubtedly, they will be prepared to do that. I hope that with that assurance the noble Earl will withdraw his Amendment.

EARL HOWE

I should like to thank the noble Lord for his reception of this Amendment. I agree that the wording may not be ideal—it is probably no good —but does the noble Lord not think that perhaps at another stage of the Bill it might be desirable to put something in the Bill to carry out this intention? Governments change, Commissions change, and Ministers come and go. Might it not be a good idea to have in black and white hat the procedure should be?

LORD CHORLEY

I think it would be extremely difficult to have a satisfactory statutory obligation of this kind. It is the sort of thing which is much better left to he dealt with in the may I have suggested.

EARL HOWE

But there is no record of it. That is the trouble. However, having regard to what the noble Lord has said, I suppose I can only withdraw the Amendment, but I should like to think about it a little further on another stage of the Bill to see whether we can get something to fit a little better, of which the Minister might approve. I beg leave to Withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY had given notice of two Amendments, of which the first was, in subsection (4) to omit the first word "and." The noble Lord said: With the permission of the House, I should like to deal with these two Amendments together. They obviously cling together, End their object is to ensure that a river board and drainage authority are brought into the picture at the earliest possible moment. Under subsection (4) of this clause, the Commission are under an obligation to consult certain authorities. My intention is that they should also include river boards and drainage authorities. In many cases these long-distance routes will involve crossing waterways including those under the jurisdiction of drainage authorities. Under the clause as it now stands there will be no prior consultation with any drainage authority concerned, and the Commission might well select an unsuitable point for crossing a waterway by means of a bridge. There is apparently one particular case where a long-distance route was in the course of being mapped out and where in the first instance it was proposed to build the bridge over a main river at a point that was unsuitable, not only from the point of view of land drainage interests but also from the point of view of those who would use the route. Fortunately the matter was brought to the attention of the catchment board which was able to point out an alternative crossing that was satisfactory to all interests concerned. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 46, line 10, leave out ("and").—(Lord Amherst of Hackney.)

LORD CHORLEY

This, of course, is very similar to the other Amendments which the noble Lord has moved with the object of ensuring that drainage authorities and river boards are given notice of everything which is to happen. He is taking up a particularly strong line on behalf of these authorities—a line which, as I pointed out to him, could have been taken up on behalf of all sorts of other authorities. The Government's view is that this again is much better dealt with by administrative means. My right honourable friend has already given an assurance to the Catchment Boards Associations that he will bring to the notice of the local authorities concerned the desirability, of consulting the appropriate drainage authority in every case where that authority is likely to be concerned with these long-distance paths; and that is likely to happen only very rarely. The most obvious case is perhaps that of the towpath along the Thames. The Thames Conservancy have not asked for this particular Amendment, nor for any assistance of this type. My right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is satisfied that the method I have indicated is the best way of dealing with this problem. In those circumstances. I hope that the noble Lord will not press the Amendment.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY

In view of the noble Lord's assurance that the Minister of Agriculture, who is in fact responsible for these river boards, is content with the position as it now stands. I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD CHORLEY

This Amendment is preparatory to the next Amendment. I bea to move.

Amendment moved— Page 46, line 19, leave out ("and").—(Lord Chorley.)

LORD CHORLEY

I beg to move this drafting Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 46, line 19, after ("paths") insert ("or roads used as public paths").—(Lord Chorley.)

6.53 p.m.

LORD CHORLEY moved to add to subsection (5): and of the annual expenditure likely to be incurred by local authorities in connection with the provision and operation of ferries, and the provision of accommodation, meals and refreshments, so far as those matters are provided for by the proposals.

The noble Lord said: This is a consequential Amendment, but perhaps I ought to say a word about it. In the Report stage, in another place. the powers of local authorities were enlarged in various ways, especially in connection with the long-distance paths, both in order to enable them to provide and operate ferries and to secure the provision of accommodation, including, meals and refreshment, on the long-distance paths. The Report which the Commission is required to make to the Minister in connection with the long-distance path proposals must include estimates of the cost of the proposals, and this Amendment ensures that these estimates will include the new proposals in regard to ferries and accommodation. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 46, line 21, at end insert the said words.—(Lord Chorley.)

EARL HOWE moved to add to the clause: () Before the Commission submit their report to the Minister they shall publish in the London Gazette and in one or more local newspapers circulating in the area or areas through which the proposed long distance route passes a notice indicating the course of the route recommended by the Commission and the proposals contained in their report for the restriction of traffic on existing highways and stating the time within which representations with respect thereto may be made to the Commission and any representations duly made shall he submitted with the report to the Minister.

The noble Earl said: There is apparently no provision in the Bill requiring the recommendations made by the Commission to be published, and in the absence of such a recommendation such people as those interested in transport might find it difficult to ascertain what recommendations had been made. Those recommendations might be of a far-reaching and important character. This Amendment is put down simply in order to try to rectify that omission, to enable people to have an opportunity of finding out what is being proposed and of stating their objection, if any, to it. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 46, line 21, at end insert the new sub-section.—(Earl Howe.)

LORD GIFFORD

I should like to support the noble Earl by saying that all that is being asked in this Amendment is that the provisions with regard to publication in the London Gazette and local newspapers should be the same as in regard to national parks. It is only bringing the long-distance routes into line with the provisions already made regarding national parks. Therefore, it seems to me a very reasonable Amendment.

LORD CHORLEY

I cannot quite agree that it is exactly the same as the procedure in connection with national parks. appreciate that the noble Earl has a point here and very careful consideration has been given to it; but, on the whole. our view is that this Amendment would do more harm than good. In the first place, the stage at which the noble Earl's Amendment proposes that this should he done is a stage at which the whole problem should be kept as flexible as possible. If an advertisement of this kind is inserted, it tends immediately to make the thing definite and unelastic. Moreover, from the point of view of the land owner, it might have very unfortunate effects if it were to be advertised at this particular stage. On the whole, therefore, the Government's view is that the advantages derived from it are considerably out-weighed by the disadvantages, and I hope the noble Earl will not press the Amendment.

EARL HOWE

Might I ask if the noble Lord would take the same view as before, that we should go into it and sec whether we could produce something of the sort at a later stage in the Bill? The request is merely to try to get information as to what is proposed. If it is not appropriate at this point it may be that he will he able to put it in somewhere else.

LORD CHORLEY

I am very much in sympathy with the noble Earl's objective of seeing that the associations representing vehicle users are given the opportunity of dealing with the proposal at an appropriate stage. If he can produce something which is more satisfactory, we shall be glad to look at it.

EARL HOWE

I am very grateful. Having regard to that assurance, I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by lave, withdrawn.

Clause 51, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 52 agreed to.

Clause 53 [Ferries for purposes of long-distance routes]:

LORD CHORLEY

This is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 47, line 1, leave out ("for") and insert ("relating to").—(Lord Chorley.)

LORD CHORLEY

This is one of a substantial number of Amendments consequential on the addition of the new Clauses 53 and 54, relating to ferries and accommodation on the long-distance routes. I might perhaps refer to them as they come along as the Clause 53 and Clause 54 consequential Amendments. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 47, line 44, leave out subsection (5).—(Lord Chorley.)

EARL DE LA WARR

Are these drafting Amendments?

LORD CHORLEY

They are consequential Amendments. During the Report stage in another place, as I mentioned in connection with an Amendment which we took a few minutes ago, the local planning authority were given power to establish ferries in connection with the long-distance routes, and also to make provision for accommodation. They are new provisions and call for a number of consequential Amendments to be inserted later in the Bill.

EARL DE LA WARR

I gather that these Amendments give no new powers.

LORD LLEWELLIN

The great point about this seems to be that it takes away a power from the Minister, which is all to the good.

Clause 53, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 54 [Accommodation, meals and refreshments along long-distance routes]:

LORD CHORLEY

These are all consequential Amendments. I beg to move.

Amendments moved—

Page 48, line 6, leave out from ("refreshments") to ("through") in line 7 and insert ("any local planning authority"). Page line 8, at end insert ("shall have power") Page line 11, leave out ("to") and insert ("which may") Page line 12, leave out ("shall be") and insert ("are") Page line 16, leave out ("if the authority think fit") Page line 21, leave out ("or require") —(Lord Chorley.)

LORD LLEWELLIN

I think, as a matter of fact, that these largely meet a point which I made in my speech on Second Reading and in which I strongly criticised the original drafting of this particular clause. I am indebted to the noble Lord for improving it, as these Amendments do.

LORD CHORLEY

I am much obliged to the noble Lord.

Clause 54, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 55 [Execution of approved proposals relating to a long-distance route]:

LORD CHORLEY

This is a consequential drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Leave out Clause 55.

Clauses 56 and 57 agreed to.

Clause 58 [Penalty for displaying on footpaths notices deterring public use]:

LORD CHORLEY

These two Amendments are designed to correct two misprints. I beg to move.

Amendments moved— Page 51, line 12, leave out ("these") and insert ("those") Page 51, line 14, leave out ("these") and insert ("those").—(Lord Chorley.)

Clause 58, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 59 agreed to.

7.5 p.m.

EARL HOWE moved, after Clause 59, to insert the following new clause:

Existing rights to drive on a highway not to be prejudiced . Nothing contained in this Part of this Act or done under the authority thereof shall diminish or prejudice the exercise of any existing right of the public to drive a vehicle on a highway.

The noble Earl said: This refers to the same point as that which I tried to bring forward in connection with Clause 29. Transport users are anxious that the mere fact that roads are included in the Schedule of Roads used as a public path shall not necessarily mean that they will be limited in any way in their right to drive along those roads. In order that the position may be made clear, I beg to move this Amendment.

Amendment moved— After Clause 59, insert the said new clause. —(Earl Howe.)

LORD CHORLEY

As the noble Earl has said, this is very similar to an earlier Amendment which he moved. In fact, there is no need for an Amendment of this kind. Clause 32 (4) sets out the extent to which the particulars contained in a definitive map or statement are conclusive. The case in point is a highway shown on a footpath map as a "road used as a public path"; and subsection (4) (b) of Clause 32 states that the appearance of a "road used as a public path "on a map shall be conclusive evidence that the public has a right of way on foot and a right of way on horseback along the highway, but that this is without prejudice—I ask the noble Earl specially to observe this—to any question whether the public have any other rights. Therefore, if there are rights for vehicular traffic, particularly motor cars, the fact that the definitive map contains this marking does not in any way prejudice the right of motor car users to prove their right to use the track in question with motor vehicles, if, in fact, they have such right.

EARL HOWE

Having regard to what the noble Lord has said, I beg to thank him, and ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 60 [Provision for public access to open country]:

LORD MERTHYR moved, in the title of Part V, to leave out "Open Country" and insert "Uncultivated Land." The noble Lord said: Some people are a little doubtful whether the words "open country" are the best for ensuring the purpose which it is desired to achieve here, and have suggested that the words "uncultivated land" would be more suitable. I do not want to take up time by initiating a debate on this matter. If, by chance, the Government should think it a good idea to alter the wording, then I would think myself justified in moving the Amendment. If they do not, I shall not press it in the slightest and shall withdraw it at once. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 51, line 34, leave out ("Open Country") and insert ("Uncultivated Land"). —(Lord Merthyr.)

LORD CHORLEY

We have great sympathy with the noble Lord's proposal. The term "uncultivated land" has usually been used in this connection, but unfortunately, from the point of view of putting it in the Bill, the sort of land which we are dealing with—that is, access land—may well include a certain amount of cultivated land; that is to say, in the access orders there may be included areas which have some cultivated land in them. I am not sure that the words "open country" are completely satisfactory, but in the view of the Government they are more satisfactory than the words "uncultivated land." Another objection to the latter term arises from the fact that it would cover a good deal of land in towns. I imagine that Trafalgar Square is, technically speaking, "uncultivated land." I hope that the noble Lord will agree to the words "open country" and will withdraw his Amendment.

LORD CRANWORTH

I am surprised to hear that cultivated land may be in an access area. I thought that it was in the Bill that it had to be excepted land. I should like to hear how it came about that apparently I made such an extraordinary mistake.

EARL DE LA WARR

The noble Lord has made a startling remark and I hope he will clear it up.

LORD CHORLEY

The noble Lord has asked me to deal with this in greater detail. Where an area consists predominantly of mountain and moor, but also contains some cultivated land, the local authority can make an access order in respect of the whole area.

LORD CRANWORTH

What about excepted land?

LORD CHORLEY

There will be excepted land within the area in question, but the order relates to the whole area, of which certain parts are excepted. Your Lordships will appreciate that if we used the term "uncultivated land" to apply to the whole area, that would not be satisfactory. It is clear that there may be inside the area smaller areas which are excepted.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

Then they are not access land automatically.

LORD CHORLEY

They are excepted from access, but the order which the planning authority makes will cover the whole area to which the order applies. I do not think there is any question between us.

LORD LLEWELLIN

Surely there are some types of land, such as areas of cultivated land, to which an access order cannot be made. Everybody realises that our food supply is most important, and that recreation should be done on uncultivated land. Whether the words are right or wrong, I was rather terrified when the noble Lord said that access orders could be made in regard to cultivated land.

LORD CHORLEY

I did not say that. I said that the area for which an order might be made might include some cultivated land and that therefore the term "uncultivated land" for describing the whole area would be inapposite.

EARL DE LA WARR

I think we should forget this terminological inexactitude. As we agree that "open country" is best, we will forget the noble Lord's little mistake.

LORD MERTHYR

I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 60 agreed to.

Clause 61:

Rights of public where access agreement or order in force

61.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, where an access agreement or order is in force as respects any land a person who enters upon land comprised in the agreement or order for the purpose of open-air recreation without breaking or damaging any wall, fence, hedge or gate, or who is on such land for that purpose after having so entered thereon, shall not be treated as a trespasser on that land or incur any other liability by reason only of so entering or being on the land: Provided that this subsection shall not apply to land which for the time being is excepted land as hereinafter defined. (3) An access agreement or order may specify or provide for imposing restrictions subject to which persons may enter or be upon land by virtue of subsection (1) of this section, including in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of this subsection, restrictions excluding the land or any part thereof at particular times from the operation of the said subsection (1); and that subsection shall not apply to any person entering or being on the land in contravention of any such restriction or failing to comply therewith while he is on the land. (5) For the purposes of this Part of this Act the expression "excepted land "means land which for the time being is of any of the following descriptions. that is to say,— (c) land which is subject to a forestry dedication covenant entered into under the Forestry Act, 1947, or in respect of which advances have been made by the Forestry Commissioners under the Forestry Acts, 1919 to 1947; Provided that

LORD LLEWELLIN had given notice of three Amendments to subsection (1), of which the first was to omit "following." The noble Lord said: This is the first of three Amendments which refer to the Second Schedule. I drew attention to this matter on the Second Reading. These Amendments do nothing more than redraft. In the clause it says that a person who is on access land without breaking or damaging any wall, fence, hedge or gate, shall not be treated as a trespasser. When we turn to the Second Schedule, we find that subsection (1) of Clause 61 shall not apply to a person who in or upon the land does all the things set out in the Schedule. My Amendment, which runs together with my Amendment to the Second Schedule to insert: breaks or damages any wall, fence, hedge or gate. is only a matter of redrafting.

Amendment moved— Page 52, line 8, leave out ("following").— (Lord Llewellin.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I agree that the noble Lord, Lord Llewellin, with his usual tenacity regarding good drafting, has drafting alone in mind, but although it is only drafting, we would prefer that we did not remove these words from the clause. The Bill as drafted provides that anyone who gets on to access land without causing any damage in so doing shall not be a trespasser provided. that he observes certain restrictions when he is on the land. It is felt that the provision that actual entry on to the land should not cause any damage is so important that it ought to be in the clause and not in the Schedule. The restrictions in the Second Schedule apply to acts which are done intentionally or knowingly after entry on to the land—for instance, to wilfully damaging "the land or anything thereon or therein." Paragraph 1 of the Second Schedule deals with breaking through fences. The noble Lord knows, as I do, that one does not break through a hedge by accident. The effect of the addition to the Second Schedule would be to make a man a trespasser on access land if once on the land he caused any damage, however slight or accidental, to "any wall, fence, hedge or gate." My right honourable friend feels that that would be unduly restrictive. I agree it is a matter of drafting but we prefer to have it remain as it is.

LORD LLEWELLIN

In the Second Schedule it says: Wilfully damages the land or anything thereon or therein. That includes, surely a "wall, fence, hedge or gate." I do not mind whether these words remain where they are or go into the Schedule, but I should like some reference in this clause to the Second Schedule. When I first read the Bill all I thought we had to do was not to break down any "wall, fence, hedge or gate," but when I read to the end of the Bill, I found that none of these things was referred to in the Schedule. If the noble Lord would accept my first two Amendments, I would not press the third, which: was the only one he dealt with in his reply.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I remember that on Second Reading the noble Lord referred to the fact that in Clause 61 we appeared to be hiding something instead of bringing it out into the open. I still feel there is no need to refer here to the Schedule. I would much prefer that he did not press me on that point, but if he feels very strongly about it I am prepared to consider the point between now and Report stage.

LORD LLEWELLIN

I see no reason why the clause should not refer to the Schedule when in the Schedule there is a reference to the clause, but if there is some grave objection to that so be it. However, it is the kind of point that the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, and I can talk over. It seems to me that if you have a reference in the Schedule back to the clause, then you should have a reference forward to the Schedule from the clause, and that is all I am anxious to provide for by my first two Amendments, though they may not have been properly drafted for that purpose. I think that is the right way of doing it, but we can discuss it, and on that basis I beg leave now to withdraw the first Amendment. I shall not move the next two.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MERTHYR moved to add to subsection (3): Provided that unless the Minister is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist, the land or any part of it shall not be excluded from the operation of subsection (1) of this section on any public holiday, nor on any Saturday or Sunday immediately preceding or following a public holiday, nor for more than twelve consecutive days nor for more than a total of twenty days in any one year."'

The noble Lord said: Having been a member of the Hobhouse Committee, I appreciate that this is a difficult point. It is not easy at all to satisfy both the owners of the land and the public who desire to go upon it. The Bill states, in subsection (3) of this extremely important clause, that in respect of certain access land an order may at particular times specify that the land is closed to the public. There is no limit to the times during which the land may be closed, and I venture to suggest that there ought to be. Needless to say, the greatest interest to the public in enjoying the use of access land will be at week -ends and bank-holi. days, and it would be reasonable that this Amendment should be inserted to say that unless the Minister is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist, the public shall be able to enjoy the land unrestricted at week-ends, and that the week-ends shall not be among the particular times referred to in subsection 3.

Amendment moved— Page 52, line 31, at end insert the said proviso.—(Lord Merthyr.)

LORD LLEWELLIN

Before the noble Lord replies, I would like to say that I hope he is not going to accept this Amendment. One of the things that may result from the clause as it at present stands is more access land being voluntarily thrown open to the public, so long as its use can be restricted art such times as lambing time, When it is not convenient to open it, because sheep do not discriminate as to whether they deliver their lambs on Sunday or Saturday. Also, in the case of places where there is a great risk of fire, the public may well have to be excluded on many dates in August or in the other summer months, if access is to be retained at other times in the year. If the Amendment is made, we shall get far less access land given voluntarily, which is much the better way of getting it. Therefore, I hope the Minister will not accept this Amendment.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

The case against the Amendment could not have been better put than by Lord Llewellin. I do not need to repeat what he has said, but there is one other case that I ought to mention where for good reasons it is essential to keep the public oar for longer periods than is suggested by Lord Merthyr. For instance, lambing time and the Easter holidays sometimes coincide, and if the restricted limes were limited in the way the noble Lord wishes to limit them, it would not -help. Far that reason and the reasons already given by Lord Llewellin, I hope that the noble Lord will not press this Amendment.

LORD MERTHYR

I do not press the Amendment and beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[The sitting was suspended at twenty-seven minutes past seven o'clock and resumed at a quarter to nine.]

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR moved, in subsection (5) to omit paragraph (c). The noble Lord said: I am sure your Lordships will appreciate the difficulty that I should have if I tried to deal with this Amendment without making a rather exhaustive reference to further Amendments later in the Bill. I would like to discuss with this Amendment the new clause following Clause 79. That will make it much easier for me, and I am sure your Lordships will follow much better. The new clause is so comprehensive, and raises such important questions, that I think on this occasion I ought to keep as closely as possible to my brief.

The new clause is inserted to meet the criticisms voiced by the Opposition that in the matter of excluding land from the possibility of access forestry had been worse treated than agriculture. A further point of criticism was that the Bill excepted woodlands where there was a dedication scheme in force, or in respect of which grants were being paid, but omitted to provide for other commercial woodlands. The Minister was sympathetic to the contention that the public should not be admitted to woodlands where access would threaten a danger to timber production, but maintained the view that the public should not be automatically excluded from woodlands in open country where no real danger was to be feared. In consultation with the Forestry Commission, it was decided that woodlands should be removed altogether from the list of automatic exceptions in Clause 61, but that a special procedure should come into operation.

The new clause which provides the special procedure, deals not only with the question of woodlands in existence at the time that an access order is made but also makes provision for land to be taken out of access agreements or orders where at some later date the owner represents that he intends to use them for forestry and that the public should not be admitted. Subsection (1) binds the Minister not to confirm an access order if a representation is made that it relates to woodlands used either for the growing of commercial timber or to woodlands of value to the amenity of the neighbourhood and that the growth or regeneration of the timber would be prejudiced if the public were allowed access to them, provided that he is satisfied that these representations are correct. Subsection (2) provides for land already subject to an access agreement. If the owners of woodlands cannot get their land taken out of the agreement by agreement with the local authority, they may represent to the Minister on the same grounds as above, and the subsection gives the Minister power to secure the variation of the agreement. Subsection (3) makes similar provisions for the variation of access orders.

Subsection (4) provides for the holding of local inquiries or hearings. Subsection (5) provides that in considering any representations from owners that their land should be taken out of access orders or agreements the Minister must have regard to any restrictions on the public access which have been or could be imposed under the agreement or order, and it makes it possible for him to apply new conditions in order to protect the timber instead of excluding the land from access completely. This really means that the Minister can agree that people shall be kept out at special times of the year. One of the things in mind was young plantations of Christmas trees in the month of December, which are frequently raided. It is easy to take action against a person because he is on land, but not because, being lawfully on land, he may be there to steal trees. There is the case for the new clause. I trust—and I have every reason to believe—that it will be acceptable to your Lordships. I beg to move the present Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 53, line 1, leave out paragraph (c).—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

THE EARL OF RADNOR

I referred to this matter in the Second Reading debate. I am grateful to the noble Lord for the new clause which he has discussed with this Amendment. It is infinitely better than the old paragraph (c) of Clause 61 (5), which almost looked like blackmail on the owners of woodlands within access areas to compel them to dedicate their woodlands, whether they wished to or not. In the course of his remarks on the new clause the noble Lord mentioned that it was hoped people could be kept out of plantations which were destined for Christmas trees. May I tell him that anybody who desires to grow Christmas trees anywhere near any access land is an extremely unwise individual, because whether or not there are pains and penalties in this Bill they will not he likely to reap the harvest of their enterprise. But while the new clause is a vast improvement on what we had before, and does give protection to the owners of private woodlands, I find it difficult to understand the mentality which allows the man who cultivates land for agricultural purposes exception for his cultivated land without any application on his part. Indeed, he is in the privileged position of having his land excepted when it is cultivated. But the man who cultivates his land to grow trees (and probably in so doing puts a great deal more money into that land) has to go through the rather complicated procedure outlined in this clause in order to ensure that his land is excepted from the access agreement. In my view—and I think in the view of a number of people—the man who cultivates land to grow trees is just as worthy of the same consideration as the man who cultivates land to grow food. The man who cultivates a crop which takes fifty to one hundred years to mature stands to suffer far greater loss if damage is done than the man who cultivates a crop which takes only one year to mature. With that reservation I welcome the improvement, although it does not go quite so far as I would wish.

LORD MERTHYR

I do not want to appear greedy, but I should have thought the land owners might have both the paragraph which it is proposed to leave out and the new clause. I would like to make it clear that I think the new clause is excellent and is one which will be welcomed by all woodland owners. We are grateful to the Government for introducing it into this Bill. I note that in subsection (3) of the new clause there will be power to vary the order when land which was access land at the date of the passing of the Bill is subsequently planted with trees. But in practice it will not be easy suddenly to exclude the public from land which they have had the privilege of entering, it may be for the last ten years. From the point of view of a woodland owner who had dedicated his land, the paragraph which is now proposed to he left out would, in my opinion, be preferable in every way. I do not think it can be denied that the woodland owner who has dedicated will be worse off after the -passing of this Amendment than he is now. In my submission, retention of this paragraph would not injure or prejudice in any way any other woodland owner who has not dedicated. I cannot let this pass without putting in a plea that this paragraph could be retained without any injury to the Bill, the Government or any woodland or forestry owner. I regret very much, therefore, that this Amendment should be moved.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

If I may intervene again, the point of view put forward by my noble friend had not occurred to me before, but I am not at all certain that it is not sound sense, bearing on the argument I have used. If we retain this paragraph in Clause 61, we shall at least put some of the woodland owners in the same position as the agriculturists.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a preparatory Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 53, line 9, leave out from ("used") to ("for").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 53, line 15, leave out ("paragraph (d)") and insert ("the fore going paragraphs"). —(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is little more than a drafting Amendment, but I had better make one or two observations on it. It deals with the case of works on access land which are still under construction. Paragraphs (d) and (g) give exception only when a building is completed or when works are actually being used by a statutory undertaker. But owners will need to keep the public out while work is in progress, and this Amendment affords the necessary protection. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 53, line 17, at end insert— ("() land as respects which development is in course of being carried out which will result in the land becoming such land as is specified! in paragraph (d). (f) or (g) of this subsection; ").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY moved, in subsection (5), after paragraph (h), to insert: () land belonging to a river board or drainage authority and covered by works used for the purposes of any of their functions; The noble Lord said: The object of this Amendment is to put the operational land of a river board or a drainage authority in the class of excepted land. It would seem that this land would have as much right to be excepted land as the operational land of a statutory authority. After all, this land might have on it large sluices and other such works, to which it might he disastrous if the public had too easy access. I think this is a very reasonable Amendment, and I hope the Government will see their way to accept it. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 53, line 20, at end insert the said paragraph.—(Lord Amherst of Hackney.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

The noble Lord and I have got on so well together this evening that I regret that on this occasion I cannot give him what he is asking for. He may be interested to know that the matter has been discussed with the catchment boards associations—though I expect he already knows that. Wherever it is represented to the Minister before he confirms an access order that any works of a drainage authority should be excluded from the operation of the order, the Minister will consult with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries before coming to his decision. This, I feel certain, will ensure adequate protection of drainage interests.

EARL DE LA WARR

Is not the river board or the drainage board in fact a statutory authority?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I doubt it. The works of a drainage authority are not on a par with those of a statutory authority.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY

In view of what the noble Lord says, I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 61, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 62 agreed to.

Clause 63 [Proceedings consequent on review under last foregoing section]:

8.59 p.m.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR moved, in subsection (4), after "thereto" to insert: and shall furnish the local planning authority with a copy of any representations so made. The noble Lord said: This Amendment deals with the question of when the Minister receives representations from the public about a local planning authority's statement that there is no need for any action to give the public access to land in their area. Then the Minister shall let the planning authority have copies of these representations and shall give them a chance of appearing at any inquiry or hearing which he holds to consider the representations. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 55, line 10, after ("thereto") insert the said words.—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment is consequential. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 55, line 14, after ("made") insert ("and to the local planning authority").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 63, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 64 [Notification to Minister of action taken for securing public access]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment is little more than drafting. The purpose of it is to make clear that when the local planning authority prepare the map under Clause 64 showing what they have done to secure public access to open country in their area, they shall also show what action has been taken by other local authorities and by Ministers. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 55, line 39, leave out from ("taken") to the end of line 40 and insert ("under this Part of this Act for enabling the public to have access to such land").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 64, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 65 [Access agreements]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a drafting Amendment preparatory to the next Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 56, line 14, leave out from ("land") to end of line.—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is also a drafting Amendment. It is a case where we felt that the draftsman for once had been rather economising with words, so we decided to have the subsection redrafted with this addition. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 56, line 30, at end insert— ("(Where an access agreement is made with one or some, but not all, of the persons having interests in the land to which the agreement relates, the provisions of this Part of this Act shall apply as respects the interests of the persons with whom the agreement is made, and shall continue so to apply notwithstanding any change in the persons entitled thereto, but shall not, as against the person for the time being entitled to any other interest in the land, operate so as to prejudice his rights as owner of that interest, or impose any restriction on him or confer any right against him.") —(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 65, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 66 agreed to.

Clause 67:

Effect of access agreement or order on rights and liabilities of owners (2) The operation of subsection (1) of section sixty-one of this Act in relation to any land shall not increase the liability, under any enactment not contained in this Act or under any rule of law, of a person interested in that land or adjoining land in respect of things done or omitted thereon.

LORD CRANWORTH moved, after subsection (1) to insert: () Upon the carrying out of any works incidental to the use of land as excepted land, such land shall become excepted land and. immediately upon the notification in writing to the local planning authority in whose area the land is situate by the owner or occupier thereof of the carrying out of such works, such land shall be excluded from the provisions of any access order or agreement in which it is comprised. The noble Lord said: The two Amendments which stand in my name are ones to which I attach considerable importance. The object of both of them, quite simply, is that the coming into operation of this Bill shall in no way conflict with the needs of increased agricultural production. I think that noble Lords opposite will agree that we have given this Bill a favourable reception. All admit that the granting of these amenities under this Bill affords a real improvement. At the same time, increased agricultural production is more than an amenity at the present day; it is a necessity. It is with that object that I move these two Amendments.

I feel that the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, will look upon the first one with favour, because he will recall that T asked him whether, when access land was made excepted land, it would be done by the overt act of carrying out works, or would the farmer have to expend much time going through various Ministries signing forms before he got his_ land excepted. The noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, said that the overt act would be sufficient, but he thought it desirable that the farmer should inform the planning committee. I said that I would endeavour to frame an Amendment to meet that point, and he wished me Godspeed in that endeavour. This is the endeavour I have made. I therefore hope that the noble Lord will either accept this Amendment or, as is the more general practice, say that he will produce something better that will have the same effect. I beg to move.

Amendment moves.— Page 57, line 40, at end, insert the said subsection.—(Lord Cranworth.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

When one receives a double invitation, it is difficult to know what to do with it. I appreciate that the point was raised on Second Reading and I promised the noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, that I would certainly have the matter looked into. Perhaps it would he better if I set out what happens under the Bill when land becomes excepted. If an owner does any work on his land which brings it into any of the categories mentioned in Clause 51 (5) (for instance, erects buildings, carries on mineral workings, and so on), the land automatically becomes excepted. However, it is not thereby excluded front the order, but the practical effect is the same—namely, the rights which the public formerly enjoyed on the land are withdrawn. I do not know whether Lord Cranworth feels that we ought to put this Amendment in the Bill, but my personal feeling—and he knows I am sympathetic to his Amendment—is that it is a question of fact whether the works which are incidental to, let us say, the quarrying, can actually be included in the category of "excepted land." This is in any case not a matter which can be dealt with in the Bill. It should be noted that a Government Amendment will ensure—and this I think will meet the noble Lord—that any land which is in course of development for building operations, or mineral workings, or which is being brought into use by statutory undertakers for the purpose of their undertaking, will also fall into the category of "excepted land." I hope the noble Lord does not feel it necessary now to press his Amendment.

LORD CRANWORTH

The noble Lord has adopted the second method which I thought it was more likely he would adopt. I regret very much that he has snot accepted this Amendment, because I think its acceptance would have given -more confidence to hill farmers and others who are doing what I am sure we all want them to do—namely, to bring forth -,production from the marginal lands. I think the inclusion of this Amendment would have given them confidence to do it. They would know that they could do it and that when they had done it their land would become excepted. But if the noble Lord cannot see his way to accept the Amendment, I do not feel that I am in a position to force it upon him, although I very much regret his decision in the matter.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

Before the noble Lord asks leave to withdraw his Amendment, it seems to me that the Amendment will do a great deal of good and can do no harm. It says: immediately upon the notification in writing to the local planning authority … such land shall be excluded. It will he excluded the moment the work which makes it excepted land has been undertaken or has been started. But the authority concerned in the access area (which is the local authority), have to keep a record of the land which is access land and of the land which is excepted land; and if they were notified they would promptly mark that off on their maps as soon as they were satisfied that it should be excepted land. Then in the case of anybody contravening the regulations there would be a record that it was excepted land which prevented his trespassing upon it. If anybody does not make the notification, the procedure as outlined in the Bill without this Amendment will still work, but it may not work quite so smoothly. Anybody who took the trouble to notify would be, to put it in familiar language, "batting on a good wicket" when anybody trespassed.

EARL DE LA WARR

I am not quite sure how this really operates. As I see it, when you make land access land you draw a line round certain areas and say, "This should be access land," and then you mark off within that area certain areas of excepted land. Then somebody comes along and says, "I am going to reclaim 200 acres there. I am going to fertilise it with, perhaps, lime and slag, take a disc harrow over it and generally improve it." How does that land become excepted land on the map? Surely, there must be some declaration, or something has to happen; otherwise, on reference to the map, that land would be shown as access land.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I do not think that there is any great difficulty in the point which has been raised by the noble Earl. Access land is marked on the map and there are pockets here and there, where some activities have perhaps changed some of the access land into excepted land. Then there will be another spot marked on the map—there must be. I must admit that I am impressed by the arguments which have been used on this question. The noble Lord, Lord Winster, suggested that I was taking nearly the whole of the Bill back. Well, I would be prepared to take the whole of it back in order to get agreement, for this is a non-Party Bill. On this occasion, however, I feel it would be wrong simply to suggest to Lord Cranworth that he should withdraw the Amendment in order that we should reconsider the position. But I can tell him that I am prepared to look into the points which he and his colleagues have made. I hope he will not assume that that necessarily means that I am going to give something away. If, eventually, he goes away empty-handed, I hope that he will not blame me on the Report stage.

LORD CRANWORTH

I should not dream of blaming the noble Lord. I thank him for the small comfort which be has given me, and I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

9.12 p.m.

LORD CRANWORTH moved to leave out subsection (2) and insert: (2) The operation of subsection (1) of section sixty-one of this Act in relation to any land shall not increase the liability to which a person interested in that land or adjoining land would have been subject under any enactment not contained in this Act or under any rule of law in respect of the state of that land or of the adjoining land, or of things done or omitted, if a person entering on that land for the purpose of open-air recreation had been a trespasser.

The noble Lord said: I realise what the noble Lord in charge of the Bill will say upon this. He will say: "It is quite all right; this is already in the Bill." I agree. But I believe there is some legal authority for saying—probably, the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr will substantiate my words about this—that not only should justice be done but justice should plainly be done. I venture to suggest that under the Bill as at present drafted no one could see that it is plainly done, because I myself had to ask many people what this clause moans. It seems to me most important that people should know what it means. There are two reasons for that. One is that it is necessary from the point of view of the farmer who is wondering whether he should or should not start keeping a herd of heifers with a hull. He might be put off by t[...] fear of having to pay damages for a[...] ling that might happen to people wh[...] Tent on to the access land. He mi[...] refrain from starting his herd, and [...] did that, we should lose the production that is so all-important at the present time. On the other hand, if the ramblers, or whoever it may be who enter upon the land, do so not knowing what this means, they are being led there under false pretences, because they will enter upon the land thinking that they can take risks and will be to a certain extent insured by reason of the fact that if 'anything happens to them the farmer will have to pay them heavy compensation. So on the one hand, you would be getting people in on false pretences, and, on the other, you would run the risk of losing production which we require so much just now.

I am not wedded to the particular form of this Amendment, but I am concerned that the clause should be made intelligible to the hill farmer, Who, after all is usually not very well educated, except in his own trade, and to the rambler, who is also often not well educated in literature. I find it extremely difficult to understand parts of this Bill and so do a number of your Lordships, and on the whole your Lordships are fairly well educated—I am not speaking for myself! Even if I did understand it, I venture to think that a hill farmer or a rambler would not. As I say, I am not wedded to my words, but I want the Bill to be such that the hill farmer or rambler can plainly understand it. I think these words would enable them so to do. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 57, line 41, leave out subsection (2) and insert— ("(2) The operation of subsection (1) of section sixty-one of this Act in relation to any land shall not increase the liability to which a person interested in that land or adjoining land would have been subject under any enactment not contained in this Act or under any rule of law in respect of the state of that land, or of the adjoining land, and of things done or omitted, if a person entering on that land for the purpose of open-air recreation had been a trespasser.")—(Lord Cranworth.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I would agree with the noble Lord, Lard Cranworth, that many parts of the B It have been obscure, but I am not sure that his Amendment is any less obscure. I have had some difficulty in knowing what it means, and not knowing what it meant I could not decide what I should do about it. Now I have some idea, though not much, of what the noble Lord means, and it would seem to me that the noble Lord would like to carry this a little farther than the Bill itself actually goes. I had to base my attitude to his Amendment on what I thought he was asking for, but in view of the explanation he has given I would again ask him to withdraw it and he and I can discuss it to see whether we cannot come to an agreement. He has taken a line I hardly expected from reading his Amendment, and in view of his interpretation I think we could find words that might fit in.

LORD CRANWORTH

The noble Lord has again adopted the second course, and it is one which meets me entirely. I thank the noble Lord and beg leave to withdrawn my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

THE DUKE OF RUTLAND moved, in subsection (2) after "in respect of" to insert "the state thereof or of." The noble Duke said: This is almost the same point that was put forward in the previous Amendment and if the noble Lord would include this Amendment when he discusses this matter with my noble friend, I would be prepared to withdraw it. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 57, line 45, after ("of") insert ("the state thereof or of")—(The Duke of Rutland.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

Here we have a little clarity. I thought that this Amendment might meet Lord Cranworth. If that is the case, my promise to discuss it with him could stand but need not stand, as I am prepared to accept this Amendment.

THE DUKE or RUTLAND

I am grateful to the noble Lord.

LORD CRANWORTH

I hope the noble Lord will still let me discuss this with him.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

Certainly.

Clause 67, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 68 and 69 agreed to.

Clause 70 [Suspension of public access to avoid exceptional risk of fire]:

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY moved to add to the clause: (2) For the purpose of section seventy-two of the Agriculture Act, 1947, the functions of the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries under this section shall be deemed to be functions relating to agriculture. The noble Lord said: Clause 70 gives the Minister of Agriculture power to keep people off land in a hot dry spell in order to prevent fire. As the Bill stands, the Minister cannot delegate these powers and the matter would have to go up to the Ministry to obtain permission, by which time probably the land would have caught fire and been burned out. If my Amendment is accepted it will give the Minister of Agriculture power to delegate authority to agricultural committees. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 60, line 45, at end insert the said new subsection.—(Lord Amherst of Hackney.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

The first step we took with regard to this Amendment was to consult the Minister of Agriculture who is closely involved. The result of that consultation was that the Minister did not consider that this was a suitable function for him to dedicate to the county committees. The whole point of the provision is to ensure speedy and impartial procedure for suspending public access in special circumstances. The Ministry think that the Minister himself ought to retain that power. I may add that since the Minister has no intention of delegating these functions it seems pointless to amend the Bill in order to give him power to do so, although it might be our point of view that if the Amendment were accepted he would not need to use the power. It could and probably would be argued that the existence of the specific power meant that it ought to be used, and for that reason the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Town and Country Planning would prefer not to accept this Amendment.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

I very much regret to hear that, because fires may happen very swiftly. One knows from bitter experience that it takes a long time to get a reply to a communication to Whitehall, and one would like to have some assurance that there will be machinery which will make certain that when there is a danger from fire people can be excluded at short notice.

LORD HAWKE

I do not think I have ever before heard an explanation in your Lordships' House which would lead one to believe that the present Minister has set himself up in perpetuity. Surely the suggestion that he refuses power to do something which his successor may well want to do (possibly advised by a different Parliamentary Under-Secretary) is most peculiar.

VISCOUNT ADDISON

I do not think the delays which the noble Earl apprehends in matters of this kind are likely to occur. He and I, and certainly the noble Earl on the Front Bench, can recall very prompt action in cases of foot and mouth disease and other emergencies, in which instances the Minister does not delegate his powers and acts exceedingly promptly. It is better that he should act rather than that it should be done through the medium of somebody else. I think this is the most expeditious way of dealing with an emergency.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

I think the analogy with foot and mouth disease is somewhat strained. After all, foot and mouth disease is a notifiable disease and local action has to be taken at once in connection with it, regardless of the Ministry.

VISCOUNT ADDISON

I remember an emergency occurring, I think, in Liverpool when I myself within about an hour made an order prohibiting a vast area.

LORD AMHERST or HACKNEY

I am sorry the noble Lord will not accept this Amendment. In fact I am rather surprised at his reply. I thought he would probably say the Minister already had these powers under this Bill. But since presumably the Minister does not want these powers, I cannot force him to have them. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 70, agreed to.

Clause 71:

Compensation for access orders 71. Where the value of the interest of any person in land is depreciated in consequence of the coming into operation of an access order then subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act the local planning authority in whose area the land comprised in the order is situated shall pay to that person compensation equal to the amount of the depreciation: Provided that nothing in this section shall confer on a person a right to compensation for depreciation of an interest in land, being land which is not comprised in the order or if so comprised is excepted land, except if and in so far as either—

  1. (a) it is held with land comprised in the order which is not excepted land, or

9.24 p.m.

LORD CRANWORTH moved, after paragraph (a) to insert: (b) it is land through or over which a public footpath or other means of access to land comprised in an access agreement or an access order passes. The noble Lord said: This is a small Amendment to which some of my friends attach importance. Where an area of land is declared access land there is a power of obligation to make access to it. Such access might involve, and in fact is extremely likely to involve, a right of way close to farm buildings or over a meadow. It is there that the real danger lies. After all, when it comes to the question of damage, the damage to crops or fruit trees, or anything like that, will amount to only £20, or £50 at the most. But there will be much greater damage in relation to an attested herd which loses its status. That damage might run into tens of thousands of pounds. That is something about which I think we ought to be careful. On some of this new access land, which, as I say, is very likely to run near farm buildings or through meadows it might well be that there is an attested herd, and great damage might he suffered by leaving a gate open. So far as I can see, that is outside the damage list in the Bill. I may be wrong about this, but that is how I am advised. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 61, line 12, at end insert the said paragraph.—(Lord Cramworth.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

As the noble Lord has said, this is an attempt to add another set of circumstances in which a claim for compensation might be made. This point needs to be kept in mind: that a man might already qualify in one or other of the existing classes specified in the Bill, without the addition of this further class. Or if the public footpath has been created under the Bill, compensation will have been paid under Clause 46 in respect of depreciation caused thereby. I was not very clear—and I am still not clear—why it is suggested that a right to compensation should be given to this class of land. It is true that paths which were not used quite as much in the past may be used a little mere in the future, and, being used more frequently, there is a certain element of increased, risk by the greater usage, For that reason, consideration ought to be given to it. However, I hope we are not going to base our claims on whether a path becomes more or less popular as a result of this Bill. It could work both ways. It is felt that the provisions already in the Bill make reasonable compensation possible. I hope the noble Lord will not feel it necessary to press his Amendment.

LORD CRANWORTH

I thought I made it clear that what I was concerned with was a new path which was made to give access to the access land. It does not seem to me that there is a claim in respect of that. I agree with the noble Lord about the old path, but I am speaking of where a new path is made, and where it is more or less obligatory to make it.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

In that case, I think he is well looked after under Clause 46 —at least, I am so advised.

LORD CARRINGTON

Surely Clause 46 provides for compensation for damage that might be done. That is not what my noble friend suggests.

EARL DE LA WARR

I do not think the noble Lord realises how serious this point is, when he talks about possible compensation after five years for damage that may well amount to hundreds of pounds.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

They are interim payments.

EARL DE LA WARR

Yes; but the damage may amount to hundreds of pounds. I wonder whether the noble Lord appreciates the point which my noble friend Lord Cranworth has raised. A pedigree cow to-day may be worth anything upwards of £150, and possibly a good deal more. That cow, if it is not attested, might just as well not be pedigree. You cannot sell her in any reputable pedigree market. Therefore, what happens when she loses her attestation is that she goes to market and probably fetches between £20 and £40. That means a heavy loss on one cow. Therefore, if attestation of a herd is lost, many hundreds of pounds are involved. I know the noble Lord would not treat the matter casually if he appreciated it. He does not appreciate what it means to the actual working farmer. So far as I can see, it is not covered by Clause 46.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I fully appreciate what is involved, and can understand the anxiety of the noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, in moving this Amendment. What can I do but repeat that, if it is a new path created solely because of an access agreement, that is covered by Clause 46?

LORD CRANWORTH

I have been reading Clause 46 again, and it seems to me to cover contingent damage; it does not cover damage which actually occurs. I want to see compensation for what actually takes place. Suppose an aborting cow gets in the herd and the whole herd gets contagious abortion. The farmer suffers immense damage. That is the man T want to protect, and anything you can give him which will cover him will satisfy me.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I must try to visualise the position. Here is the field and here are the attested cows. A path goes through this field which may endanger the cows. The farmer may have to put those cows in another field. If that is so, he is compensated for it. Surely that should cover the matter the noble Lord has in mind. His cows have gone to another field as the result of a path which goes through the land, and he is compensated.

LORD CRANWORTH

Does the noble Lord really suggest that if a man has a meadow in which he runs these valuable cows, and a right of way is put through that meadow, he has to take them away and put them somewhere else? That seems a little bit "tough" on him. If he does not do so, he gets no compensation. I am sorry, but I cannot see the justice of it.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

There is certainly no compulsion on him, but I should have thought it was a wise precaution.

EARL DE LA WARR

We do not want to be difficult on this point. Let us try and get something quite concrete. Let us suppose that a man has a herd of twenty pedigree cows and that they average a value of £150—that is, £3,000 for the herd. Now let us suppose that as a result of this new path being made something happens—a gate is left open, or something of that sort—and those cattle get mixed with ordinary cattle and either get abortion or infected with tuberculosis. Those cattle deteriorate from a value of approximately £3,000 to a few hundred pounds. When is that farmer to receive compensation of something well over £2,000? Is he going to get it immediately? How does that work as the Bill stands?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I am sure all your Lordships have sympathy with the man of limited means when something like this suddenly happens. The Bill provides that he would have no difficulty in claiming an interim payment. But I must ask your Lordships to read subsection (1) of Clause 46. Indeed, I will read it myself: Subject to the following provisions of this section, if, on a claim made in accordance with this section, it is shown that the value of an interest of any person in land is depreciated, or that any person has suffered damage by being disturbed in his enjoyment of land, in consequence of the coming into operation of a public path order, a diversion order or an extinguishment order, the authority by whom the order was made shall pay to that person compensation equal to the amount of the depreciation or damage. I am sure the case which the noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, has in mind is covered by Clause 46 (1).

LORD CRANWORTH

The noble Lord tells me it is covered, and I must take his word for it, but I have a nasty lingering doubt in my mind. However, if he tells me he is satisfied, I must be satisfied too, and I feel I have nothing more to do but to beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 71 agreed to.

Clause 72 agreed to.

Clause 73 [Claims for compensation and interest]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

Here, I think, there is some consolation for the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr. This Amendment deals with a rather technical matter which he has had very much in mind. Compensation in respect of an access order will be payable five years after the date of the order and will be payable in respect of depreciation in the value of the land assessed with due regard to the experience of the effects of the exercise by the public during that period of their rights of access. The claim will be in two steps: first, a claim to be entitled to compensation to be made at once; and, second, an application for payment to be made at the end of the five years. It may be expected in some cases that the five years' experience of the effects of the order will prove that no depreciation has been suffered by reason of the order and no application for the payment of compensation will be made. It will therefore be to the advantage of all concerned that proof of title to the land should be deferred from the first to the second step, so that proof is undertaken only where it is material—namely, where compensation will be payable. As drafted proof of title would be required in every case at the first step in the claim, this Amendment and the consequential Amendment in line 47 secure the desired alteration described above. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 62, line 29, leave out from ("made") to ("as") in line 3C.—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a consequential Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 62, line 47, leave out from ("and") to ("regulations") in line 2 on page 63.— (Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 73, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 74 agreed to.

LORD HYLTON moved, after Clause 74 to insert the following new clause:

Payments in respect of damage to crops, etc. . Where damage is caused to livestock agricultural crops or agricultural buildings or to woodlands orchards or other plantations in consequence of persons being on land in pursuance of an access order and such damage exceeds the sum of fifty pounds the local planning authority in whose area the land comprised in the order is situated shall, provided that notice in writing of the damage having occurred and of intention to claim in respect thereof shall have been sent to the local planning authority within seven days of the occurrence of the damage, and provided that particulars in writing of the damage showing the amount of the claim in money shall have been sent to the local planning authority within twenty-one days of the occurrence of the damage, pay to the person suffering the damage compensation equal the amount of the damage.

The noble Lord said: I beg to move the Amendment standing in the name of my noble friend the Duke of Rutland and myself. I am certain that this sort of damage is not covered by Clause 46. Your Lordships will remember that two evenings ago, from all quarters of the House, it was very much desired that no additional burdens should fall on the occupier of land by virtue of this Bill in any of its Parts. Mention was made on that occasion of the increased standard of maintenance, improvement and appearance of buildings which might be ordered by local planning authorities in the national parks. This Amendment refers to access land. The increased use by the public for recreational purposes of access land may undoubtedly cause loss to livestock in the way referred to by my noble friend Lord Cranworth. As the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, has explained, the compensation payable is payable only at the end of five years and is based on the depreciation of the interest in land. Of course, there are cases of hardship which may be paid at once, but it is not clear that either of those items will cover the damage caused to livestock by persons in pursuance of an access order. Livestock of all sorts—herds and flocks—will be either in or near those access areas, and damage of exactly the same type as described by the noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, may be suffered.

I do not see how under either the compensation or hardship clause adequate compensation can be paid for the heavy losses which have been referred to by the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, because this is not exactly depreciation of the value of land; it is loss of livestock—and the two things are not the same. To my mind it is possible that if a man put in a claim for loss suffered in his livestock the local planning authority would say: "We are going to pay you only for the depreciation of your interest in land." The land will not be depreciated because somebody's attested herd has got mixed up with a lot of unattested cattle. That will be depreciation of the herd, not of the land. I think that is a point of very considerable substance, to be further investigated before the next stage of this Bill.

In proof of what I say, I should like to mention the Eleventh Report of the Select Committee on Estimates, which drew specific attention to the losses suffered by county agricultural committees on farming land owing to what they described as "the carelessness of townspeople." Those words are drawn from an official publication, and if it is true that townspeople are careless on land owned by agricultural committees I fear that they may be equally careless on access land. Secondly, the Hobhouse Committee in their Report did suggest that compensation for farming losses on access areas should be paid in special cases when they occurred. In view of those two authoritative quotations, I hope the noble Lord will give us some assurance that either this is covered—I do not see how it is—or, if it is not covered, that he will make some arrangements to go into it. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 74 insert the said new clause.—(Lord Hylton.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I sometimes head different Amendments with my classification of them. I have headed this one "last ditch." But having listened to the remarks of the noble Lord, I have entirely changed my mind. I am quite prepared to consult with him, though he will appreciate that I cannot accept his wording now. I am prepared to consult with him to find an agreed form of words to meet the point he has in mind.

LORD HYLTON

I am much obliged to the noble Lord. I hope he will include somebody with greater knowledge of technical agricultural considerations than perhaps I myself possess. This is a hill farming and marginal land question, and I do not pretend that I am a qualified authority on that subject.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

Before the noble Lord withdraws his Amendment may I say that I do not believe this Amendment covers this question (I do not think it is covered anywhere else in the Bill): that if a farmer's cattle stray on to the highway he is liable to be fined, whoever lets them stray. It is liable to happen to anybody. I do not know whether it can be covered in the form of compensation or relief.

LORD HYLTON

In view of the assurance given by the noble Lord, I think I had better withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clauses 75 and 76 agreed to.

Clause 77 [Acquisition by local authorities of land for public access]:

9.46 p.m.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY moved, in subsection (2) after "any other land" to insert "not being excepted land." The noble Lord said: This is intended merely as a clarifying Amendment. This clause appears to give local authorities almost unlimited powers of acquisition of land. Under the clause as it stands they can acquire any land contiguous or adjacent to the land mentioned in subsection (1). I hope that that is not the intention of this clause. I beg to move the Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 65, line 20, after ("land") insert ("not being excepted land").—(Lord Amherst of Hackney.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

Again I had to wait to hear what Lord Amherst had to say, on his Amendment, and again I feel that to be quite fair to him I would prefer further conversations on this matter. I cannot give any definite undertaking, but I am anxious not to reject it here and now. I do not want him to take too much for granted, but there may be some way to ensure what he has in mind. On that assurance perhaps the noble Lord will withdraw his Amendment.

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY

In those circumstances I thank the noble Lord and beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 77 agreed to.

Clause 78 agreed to.

Clause 79 [Maps of local authority land subject to public access]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

The Committee will appreciate that the map prepared under Clause 79 is intended to show the public all the land to which they are given access under the Bill. This Amendment makes good an omission in the clause as drafted, by providing for land acquired by Ministers under Clause 78, as well as land acquired by local authorities under Clause 77, to be shown on the map. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 66, line 38, leave out ("the last but one foregoing section") and insert ("either of the last two foregoing sections").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a preparatory Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 67, line 18, leave out from beginning to ("at").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment is designed to enable panning authorities to show at the approaches of access land not only the reproductions is of the access map, for which provision has already been made, but also notices specifying any restrictions on the public access to the land. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 67, line 20, at end insert—

  1. ("(a) reproductions of the map on an appropriate scale,
  2. (b) notices specify rig any restrictions on access to the land or any part thereof, whether the restrictions have effect by virtue of any of the provisions of this Part of this Act or otherwise.")—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 79, as amended agreed to.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I beg to move the next Amendment.

Amendment moved— After Clause 79 insert the following new clause:

Provisions as to woodlands

".—(1) If, on the submission of an access order to the Minister for c3nfirmation, a representation or objection is duly made as respects any land— (a) that the land is used, or about to be brought into use, for the growing of timber for commercial purposes, and that the use or proposed use of the lint as aforesaid will be substantially prejudiced by the application of the provisions of section sixty-one of this Act to the land, or (b) that the land is used for the growing of timber so as to be of value for the amenity of the neighbourhood and that the growth or regeneration of the timber will be substantially prejudiced as aforesaid, then subject to the provisions of this section if the Minister is satisfied that the conditions specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection are fulfilled he shall not confirm the order so as to apply the said provisions to the land.

(2) Where, as respects land comprised in an access agreement, it is represented to the Minister, and the Minister is satisfied, that the conditions specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of the last foregoing subsection are fulfilled, then subject to the provisions of this section—

  1. (a) the Minister shall notify to the authority by whom the agreement was made the fact that he is satisfied as aforesaid, and thereupon the authority shall vary the agreement so as to exclude the land;
  2. (b) the fact that the agreement is expressed to be irrevocable shall not prevent its variation so as to exclude the land; and
  3. (c) if the concurrence of any party to the agreement other than the said authority, or of the successor in title to his interest, cannot be obtained to the variation of the agreement as aforesaid, the authority may by order made with the approval of the Minister vary the agreement.

(3) Where, as respects land comprised in an access order (whether made by the Minister or by a local authority), it is represented to the Minister, and the Minister is satisfied, that the conditions specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) of this section are fulfilled, then subject to the provisions of this section the Minister shall make an order varying the access order so as to exclude the land.

(4) Before coming to a conclusion on any such representation as is mentioned in the two last foregoing subsections the Minister shall either cause a local inquiry to be held or afford to the person by whom the representation was made an opportunity of being heard by a person appointed by the Minister for the purpose, and shall consider the report of the person by whom the inquiry was held or the person appointed as aforesaid, as the case may be.

(5) In determining whether the conditions specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) of this section are fulfilled in the case of any proposed access order, the Minister shall have regard to the provisions of subsection (3) of section sixty-one of this Act; and references in this section to varying an agreement or order so as to exclude land shall include references to varying an agreement or order by the imposition of such restrictions under the said subsection (3) as may be specified by the Minister as requisite for the purposes of this section.

(6) In this section the expression 'timber' includes trees of every description, and also saleable underwood; but notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this section those provisions shall not apply where the use or proposed use mentioned in subsection (1) of this section is such that the land is or will become agricultural land."—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 80 [Provisions as to danger areas]:

LORD MACDONALD OF CAVAENYSGOR

This is an Amendment which is consequential on the new clause. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 67, line 46, after ("which") insert ("paragraph (a) of").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

The next Amendment is also consequential on the new clause. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 68, line 1, after ("applies") insert ("or as respects land held by the authority to which paragraph (b) of that subsection applies").— (Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment is a drafting Amendment. It corrects a misprint. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 68, line 16, leave out the second ("of") and insert ("or").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 80, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 81 agreed to.

Clause 82 [Power of local planning authority to contribute to work carried out by other persons]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 68, line 27, after first ("in") insert ("subsection (4) of").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 82, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 83 to 85 agreed to.

EARL DE LA WARR moved, after Clause 85 to insert the following new clause:

Registration orders and agreements in local Land Charges Register

".—(1) Forthwith after the making of

  1. (a) an order designating an area as a National Park and an order varying the same under Part II of this Act,
  2. (b) an agreement that land should be managed as a Nature Reserve under Part III of this Act,
  3. (c) the making of a public path agreement under Part IV of this Act,
  4. 605
  5. (d) the making of a public path order under Part IV of this Act,
  6. (e) an access agreement under Part V of this Act,
  7. (f) an access order under Part V of this Act,
and forthwith after the approval of proposals relating to a long-distance route under Part IV of this Act, such orders, agreements and proposals shall be registered in the manner provided under subsection (3) of this section in the register of local land charges by the proper officer of the council of each county borough or county district in which the land to which the order agreement or proposals relate to any part thereof is situated, or, if that land or any part thereof is situated in the administrative county of London, by the proper officer of the London County Council.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Minister or other authority forthwith after any order has been made to notify that fact to the proper officer of any council by whom the order is required to be registered as aforesaid and to furnish to him all information relating to the order requisite in that behalf.

3) The power conferred by subsection (6) of section fifteen of the Land Charges Act, 1925, to make rules for giving effect to the provisions of that section shall be exercisable for giving effect to the provisions of this section."

The noble Earl said: I think that an Amendment somewhat along these lines was put down in another place, and the Minister said that he was prepared to consider an Amendment moved in this Committee. This Amendment, I consider, speaks for itself. Your Lordships will see that it is not merely for the convenience of lawyers who do conveyancing work, but it would also be a great convenience for the protection of vendors and purchasers of land to know in fact what has been done under this Bill with regard to designated areas, national park areas or nature reserves, also in respect of public footpaths, access orders, and so on. I do not stand on the drafting of this Amendment. I am sure that if the noble Lord approves the principle, the Government draftsmen will probably be able to do a great deal better than I have been able to do. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 85 insert the said new clause.—(Earl De La Warr.)

LORD CHORLEY

This is a very technical matter and those who are competent to judge advise that this would not be a good thing to do. The consequences would be more harmful than useful. As the noble Earl pointed out, the object of the Amendment is to protect the purchasers of land by placing on the register the rights over land which are established under the Bill. The Land Charges Registration Act, 1925, set up machinery under which charges on land could be registered so that a person purchasing land could look at the register and see whether there were any charges on the land, the penalty being that if a charge was not registered then it would not be valid against the purchaser. Undoubtedly, some orders and agreements under this Bill will be Charges that are registrable under existing law, and about these no difficulty will arise. But there are other burdens, as I may call them, established by the Rill which are not registrable.

There are two ways of dealing with these cases. One is to follow the precedent of some recent Acts, which have provided that certain orders and agreements must be entered on the register but without creating them land charges in the technical sense. That means that the penalty would not attach. The impression of expert conveyancers is that this would not have a good effect, because it would mean that the register could not be relied on. On the other hand—and I think this is the object of the noble Earl's Amendment—if under this Bill any order or agreement was made a land charge, with the penalty attached to it, and was not registered, as in the case of a right of way, then the purchaser would take free of the burden and the rights of the public would be lost: in the ordinary way it is a private right which is lost. The ordinary method of conveyancing is for the purchaser's solicitor to make a requisition, and I am advised that that is a perfectly satisfactory way of dealing with this matter.

With one exception, provision exists for obtaining knowledge of these orders and agreements under the Bill because they are made accessible at the office of the local planning authority and can be there inspected by solicitors, who are in that way able to discover what burdens there are on the land. The one exception is an order designating an area of exceptional beauty, but to put this right we have tabled an Amendment which will bring that within the same category as the other burdens and will make the order available at the office of the local planning authority with the others. I am sure that is much the better way of dealing with the matter, and I hope it will satisfy the noble Earl.

LORD HYLTON

The noble Lord said that certain of these items would be registrable on the local register. Could he tell the House which those will be?

LORD CHORLEY

I am advised that there may be certain charges under the Bill which will be registrable in the ordinary way as land charges.

LORD HYLTON

Which? The noble Earl's Amendment is for agreements and proposals in paragraphs (a) to (f) to be registered. The noble Lord has just told us that some will be and some will not.

LORD CHORLEY

I was not specifically referring to the items in the noble Earl's Amendment. What I am advised is that some orders or agreements under the Bill will be registrable as land charges. For example, the local planning authority will be entering into agreements with land owners, perhaps in connection with the provision of accommodation, and the agreement might well provide for an easement over land, which would be registrable in the ordinary way as a charge under the Land Charges Act.

EARL DE LA WARR

Would that be the case with an access agreement?

LORD CHORLEY

I would not like to say offhand.

EARL DE LA WARR

As he cannot deal with this point now would the noble Lord be good enough to look into it?

LORD CHORLEY

I will certainly look into it.

LORD HYLTON

I think that would be better, because, after all, the Amendment does specify proposals in paragraphs (a) to (f) and the noble Lord is unable to tell us whether any of them will be registrable. That is the point of my noble friend's Amendment.

EARL DE LA WARR

Perhaps the noble Lord could answer our questions on Report, and I will withdraw the Amendment now.

LORD CHORLEY

I will do that.

EARL DE LA WARR

I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 86:

Designation of areas of outstanding natural beauty. (2) Where the Commission propose to make an order under this section they shall consult with every local authority whose area includes any part of the area to which the proposed order is to relate, and shall then, before making the order, publish, in such manner as appears requisite to them for informing persons and bodies of persons concerned, notice that they propose to make the order, indicating the effect of the order and stating the time within which and manner in which representations with respect thereto may be made to the Commission, and shall consider any representations duly made.

LORD CHORLEY

My Lords, under this Amendment it is proposed to omit paragraph (b) of subsection (1) which defines an area of outstanding natural beauty as one which, by reason of its small extent or for any other reason, is unsuitable for designation as a national park. It is felt that this is rather unfortunate. It draws the definition a little too tightly, because it might prevent the Commission from designating as an area of outstanding beauty an area of country which could not be said to be unsuitable for a national park but which was not so suitable as one of the areas specified in the Hobhouse Report. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 69, line 44, leave out from ("thereto") to end of line 46.—,(Lord Chorley.)

LORD CRANWORTH moved to omit subsections (2) (3) and (4) and to insert: (2) The provisions of the First Schedule to this Act relating to the making, confirmation, coming into operation and validity of an order designating a National Park shall apply to the making, confirmation, coming into operation and validity of an order designating an area as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The noble Lord said: I do not propose to detain your Lordships long over this Amendment. I move it only to get an answer to a problem that has puzzled me. I cannot understand why the procedure for designating an area of outstanding natural beauty should be different from the procedure for designating a national park. Doubtless the noble Lord can tell me. It seemed to be rather a misfortune that there should be two different processes to effect similar objects. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 70, line 5, leave out from the beginning to end of line 25 and insert the said new subsection.—(Lord Cranworth.)

LORD CHORLEY

I think the answer is fairly clear. In the case of an area of outstanding natural beauty there are no interests affected in the way in which interests are affected in the case of national parks. In the case of a national park, all sorts of interests would be affected under the town planning arrangements, and matters of that kind, and therefore it is essential that the rather elaborate procedure laid down in the Schedule should be gone through. But designation of an area as one of outstanding natural beauty does not affect interests in that way, and therefore it is quite unnecessary that this procedure should be carried out.

LORD LLEWELLIN

Is there no area of natural beauty that may not be affected in this way? I do not know what an area of natural beauty is. Surely it may well contain some parts of agricultural land and things of that sort.

LORD CHORLEY

It is not affected by all the different provisions which relate to national parks, and therefore interests of owners are not affected.

THE EARL OF RADNOR

Designation as an area of natural beauty does not give access, does it?

LORD CHORLEY

No.

LORD CRANWORTH

I thank the noble Lord for his answer, but I still do not understand what are the differences. I suppose there are various things like setting up public-houses, and so on.

LORD CHORLEY

No, nothing of the kind.

LORD CRANWORTH

Anyway, I have the information, and I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

EARL DE LA WARR

If saying a place is a beautiful place is to mean anything, presumably something happens when you have said it. It may be only to restrict development there; but if you restrict development there, then you do affect values. Surely it is a matter of some importance.

LORD CHORLEY

There are a number of points in the Bill which refer to matters which have to be drawn to the attention of the National Parks Commission in order that in proper cases they may make representations. But no legal interests are affected and, therefore, the procedure which is necessary in the case of national parks is not involved in those areas.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

EARL HOWE

I did not want to interrupt the noble Lord in his last statement, because my next Amendment, which I now beg to move, brings up one of the interests which he says do not exist. It relates to the question of roads within a national park area, where traffic which would otherwise be entitled to the full use of the roads, may be restricted. The purpose of my Amendment is to try and bring about the same procedure in the case of areas of natural beauty as in the case of the national parks. We are pleading with the Government to have precisely the same procedure in both cases. I cannot see why it should not be so. I do not understand, any more than other noble Lords who have spoken, what an area of natural beauty is. I do ask the Government to consider this point. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 70, line 8, leave out from ("published") to ("notice") in line 10, and insert ("in the London Gazette and in one or more newspapers published and circulating in the area").—(Earl Howe.)

LORD GIFFORD

I would like briefly to support this Amendment. Surely, in effect, these areas of natural beauty are small national parks. Therefore, it seems to me, as my noble friend has said, that the rights of traffic should be considered, and that the same procedure should be adopted as in the case of national parks.

LORD CHORLEY

The noble Earl has used the term "interest" in a non-legal sense. No doubt people are interested from the point of view of the roads, but that is not a legal interest of the type to which I was referring in my answer to Lord Cranworth. This is a different point. I agree with the noble Earl that it is desirable that there should be notification in the local papers as well as in the London Gazette, and I am happy to accept this Amendment.

EARL HOWE

I thank the noble Lord.

EARL HOWE

This concerns precisely the same point as in the previous Amendment which the noble Lord has just accepted. It is to bring the same procedure into operation as in the case of national parks. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 70, line 25, at end insert ("and the provisions in that behalf of the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect as to the confirmation coming into operation and validity of orders confirmed by the Minister under the authority of this section").—(Earl Howe.)

LORD CHORLEY

With respect to the noble Earl, when the noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, moved his Amendment I was unable to accept it. This is really the same Amendment, the object being to apply all the rather elaborate procedure of the First Schedule to these areas of outstanding natural beauty. The Government view is that it is unnecessary and, indeed, would be inappropriate. I hope the noble Earl will treat the matter as did the noble Lord, Lord Cranworth, and withdraw his Amendment.

EARL HOWE

Having regard to what the noble Lord has said, I withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment ensures that copies of an order designating an area of outstanding natural beauty can be inspected at the offices of every joint planning board, county council, county borough council or county district council concerned. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 70, line 39, at end insert— ("() It shall be the duty of the Commission to secure that copies of any order such as is mentioned in this section shall be available, at the office of the Commission, at the offices of each local authority whose area includes any part of the area to which the order relates, and at such other place or places in or near that area as the Commission may determine, for inspection by the public at all reasonable times.")—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 86, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 87 and 88 agreed to.

Clause 89:

Local authority byelaws (2) A local planning authority may, as respects land in their area belonging to them and comprised either in a National Park or area of outstanding natural beauty, or as respects land or a waterway to which the public are given access by an agreement or order, or in consequence of acquisition, under Part V of this Act, make byelaws for the preservation of order, for the prevention of damage to the land or waterway or anything thereon or therein, and for securing that persons resorting thereto will so behave themselves as to avoid undue interference with the enjoyment of the land or waterway by other persons.

LORD CHORLEY

The object of this Amendment is to omit the specific powers given to local planning authorities by subsection (1) of Clause 89 to make bylaws restricting traffic on foot or on bridle ways in their area. There is already sufficient power in existing legislation to deal with traffic on the footpaths. Section 14 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, specifically prohibits the driving of motor vehicles on any bridleways or footways and imposes a penalty of £5 for the first conviction and £10 for each succeeding conviction. Bicycles can also be dealt with under Section 249 of the Local Government Act of 1933. It is therefore felt unnecessary to have these specific powers, and this Amendment has been tabled. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 71, line 36, leave out subsection (1).—(Lord Chorley.)

LORD MERTHYR moved, in subsection (2) to omit "belonging to them and." The noble Lord said: This question raises the point of making bylaws in the area of a national park. The position is not clear since the passing of an Amendment earlier in the week on page 4, line 26. The Amendment was moved, I think, by the noble Lord, Lord Llewellin, and passed on a Division. It has some bearing on this clause. A good deal of importance attaches to this Amendment, and I think it is most desirable that it should be possible to have bylaws made not only in respect of land which belongs to the Commission but in respect of land within a national park. It may be said at once that you cannot make bylaws regarding land which does not belong to you, but there are several precedents for so doing. After all, until a moment ago, this very Bill did that in a subsection which has just been left out—and that had passed through another place.

Moreover, there is a precedent—the best precedent I have been able to find in Section 18 (1) of the Water Act of 1945, which gives powers to authorities to make bylaws in respect of land in a water area which neither belonged to nor was rented by nor leased to the authority. So there is precedent for this. If the bylaws are to have full and useful effect I feel it would be preferable for them to cover all the land in a national park and not only land belonging to the Commission. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 71, line 42, leave out ("belonging to them and").—(Lord Merthyr.)

VISCOUNT GAGE

I do not know what the Government's attitude will be, but I hope the noble Lord will not press this Amendment, because I do not know what he expects local authorities to do. We have been told time and time again that this Bill confers no new rights on the public except in specific cases. If we are going to start making bylaws for land where the public have no right, it must create an impression among the public that they have rights there. I should have thought that owners would take strong objection and would probably go to the courts on an action for ultra vires. I quite appreciate that the point is important, For years past, people have walked about on this land although they had no legal right to do so, and the owners have not objected to their doing so provided they did not do damage. I quite appreciate the fact that what the noble Lord fears may happen is that that practice will be extended and serious damage done. I think that the only possible way to deal with the matter is for the owner or farmer himself to apply for an access agreement to be made, so that he may enjoy the protection of the Second Schedule of this Bill. As I said on Second Reading, I think that, paradoxical though it may seem, it will be from owners and farmers eventually that the demand for land to be regarded as access land will come.

LORD CHORLEY

I entirely agree with what the noble Viscount, Lord Gage, has said. We had some discussion about this matter on Tuesday when I asked the noble Lord, Lord Llewellin, whether he really wanted the private land, so to speak, to be covered by the bylaws, and he indicated that he did.

LORD LLEWELLIN

I do not think so.

LORD CHORLEY

The noble Viscount, Lord Gage has put his finger on the point.

LORD LLEWELLIN

I stand to be corrected, but I do not think I did say that. I am not in favour of this Amendment.

LORD CHORLEY

I must have misunderstood the noble Lord, but from an Amendment he moved quite early on understood that that was what he was indicating. But surely the noble Viscount, Lord Gage, is right. If the local planning authority make bylaws regarding such matters as litter, camping and the lighting of fires—the sort of cases to which I think the noble Lord, Lord Llewellin, referred—which cover the whole of the land in the national parks area (and noble Lords will remember that the great mass of the land in all the national parks areas is going to remain private land) surely the implication is that the ordinary person has the right to come on that land. When the owner says to him: "You are trespassing on my land," he will reply, "I am not lighting a fire or throwing litter about or camping. I am not doing any of these things and I am entitled to be on the land." If proceedings are brought against him it will be exceedingly difficult to say that that is not a reasonable point of view for him to take up. Quite apart from that, it would subject the local authority to an intolerable burden in enforcing the bylaws. It is going to be difficult to keep the wardens on the access land, which will be open land fairly easily covered. But the great mass of the private land will be agricultural land, woodlands, private park-lands and land of that kind. The burden of keeping such areas policed in order that the bylaws may be enforced would be quite beyond the capacity of the local authorities concerned, because after all they are local authorities in rather poor parts of the country without very large financial resources behind them. In those circumstances, I am sure your Lordships will think that this is not an Amendment which the Government ought to accept.

EARL DE LA WARR

This is one of the Amendments upon which I was particularly keen, but, on further consideration, after listening to the noble Lords, Lord Gage and Lord Chorley, I cannot help feeling that it is difficult to get round the problems which have been raised. I think it was I who said I was quite prepared for wardens to have powers on private land, and I still feel that most of the damage that will be done is going to be done by people going on private land. I should like to see wardens have some power for dealing with cases of that kind. I cannot see that this particular Amendment will solve that problem. During the last two days we have asked the Government to reconsider a good many points and see what they can do on Report stage. It seems to me that on this occasion it is for us to re-think our ideas for Report and see whether we cannot find some Amendment which will meet the point. The Government may admit there is some justification on our side which undoubtedly has not been covered by this Amendment.

LORD MERTHYR

I agree with the noble Earl. After we have had an opportunity of studying the effect of the Amendment, it may be necessary to put something down on Report. Meanwhile, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD ROCHDALE moved to add to subsection (2) or with the lawful pursuits or activities of persons living or being in the land or using the waterway.

The noble Lord said: My noble friend Lord Hawke has unfortunately had to leave the House. He has asked me to move these two Amendments in his name on the Marshalled List. The purpose of both these Amendments is pointed to the same direction. It is to see that these bylaws that we have been discussing are so framed as to safeguard the activities of those who work and live in these areas. The particular purpose of the first Amendment is clearly stated in the words on the Marshalled List. It may be that that purpose is already covered in the clause as it now stands, but that depends on what the noble Lord when he replies says by way of interpretation of the two words "other persons." If he says that the phrase "other persons" covers what my noble friend has in mind, then this Amendmen may not be necessary. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 72, line 5, at end insert the said words.—(Lord Rochdale.)

LORD CHORLEY

I am advised that what the noble Lord has just said is quite right, and that the words "other persons" cover the types of person to whom he has referred.

LORD ROCHDALE

I thank the noble Lord and beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

10.26 p.m.

LORD ROCHDALE moved after subsection (2) to insert: (3) Bye-laws made under this section may provide for the imposition upon offenders against the same of such reasonable penalties as the local authority think fit not exceeding the sum of twenty pounds for each offence, and in the case of a continuing offence a further penalty not exceeding forty shillings for each day after written notice of the offence from the local authority; but all such bye-laws imposing any penalty shall be so framed as to allow of the recovery of any sum less than the full amount of the penalty. Nothing in this section shall authorise the imposition or recovery under any bye-laws made in pursuance hereof of any greater penalties than the penalties in the section specified.

The noble Lord said: This Amendment has the same main purpose as the previous one, and seeks to ensure that if anyone does contravene one or other of these bylaws it shall be within the power of the local authority to impose a fine not exceeding £20. As the Bill now stands, under the Local Government Act of 1933 the tine that any local authority can impose will be limited to £5, which in point of fact, is expressly confirmed further on, in Clause 106 of this Bill. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 72, line 5, at end insert the said subsection.—(Lord Rochdale.)

LORD CHORLEY

I would like to make two points in reply to the noble Lord. In the first place, as he has pointed out, £5 is the penalty established in the Act of 1933, and it applies over a wide range of offences against the bylaws. The Government's view is that it would be wrong to amend it just in respect of this particular matter. It may well be that with the altered value of money £5 is no longer a very adequate penalty, but, if that is so, it should he altered over the whole range of the Act of 1933 and not only in regard to this particular matter. The other point is that the Government hope that these bylaws will be enforced by persuasion rather than by penalties. The noble Lord will remember that an educational obligation is put upon the National Parks Commission, and that the local authorities will employ wardens for the purpose of persuading people rather than of threatening them. It is hoped that that method of approach will be succesful and that it will not be necessary to fall back upon monetary penalties. I hope in those circumstances the noble Lord will withdraw his Amendment.

EARL DE LA WARR

I think that here we come up against the fundamental difference between the point of view of the townsman and that of the countryman. The townsman does not appreciate what damage can be done. The noble Lord says that it is hoped that good behaviour can be brought about by persuasion. I do not think he realises what is at stake for the farmer in this matter. I can tell the noble Lord that the representatives of the farmers feel extremely strongly on this point. Their losses may go into many hundreds of pounds or even thousands, as I have told your Lordships before. The noble Lord merely says that £5 is all that is possible under the normal bylaws, but that now we may have to take account of the fact that the value of money has changed and alter the amount. This does not make sense at all to the farmer who to-day, by this Bill, is subjected to far greater risks than ever before. I ask the noble Lord to take this Amendment a little more seriously than he has done, and to see whether he cannot meet us in regard to it.

LORD CHORLEY

I am afraid that I cannot do anything for the noble Earl on this Amendment. It is a matter of too wide application.

LORD ROCHDALE

Like the noble Earl, I am very sorry that the noble Lord has not been able to see his way to accept this Amendment. He has said that he hopes that most of these cases will be dealt with by persuasion rather than by fines. That means that only a limited number will be dealt with by fines. Probably those cases will be the most important ones and, therefore, it seems to me the more essential that where fines are imposed in a few cases they should be such as to make the individual feel the gravity of his offence. In other words, I think that £5 is little or not enough and that the figure should be considerably more. I do not suppose that I can press this Amendment now, but I hope that the noble Lord will think again about the matter. I realise that there is a big issue involved Could he possibly give us any form of assurance in this connection?

LORD MACDONALD oF GWAENYSGOR

This is an Amendment on which we feel just as strongly, perhaps, as the mover of the Amenament and his supporters feel. The maximum penalty is £5, and we are inclined to think that it would give a wrong impression if, on this occasion and in dealing with a matter of this kind, we were to raise that maximum at once to £20. The noble Earl, I am sure, feels quite as strongly as Lord Rochdale, and I understand that unless some kind of assurance that the matter will receive further consideration is given, he is inclined to maintain that this Amendment must go to a Division. I have no desire that there should be a Division at this time of night, and, although I have nothing to add to what Lord Chorley has said, if it would help I am prepared to promise that some further consideration will be given to this matter.

LORD LLEWELLIN

We are very much obliged to the noble Lord. No doubt, the people who fear that they may suffer considerable damage feel very strongly about this matter. I, personally, appreciate the point that we want some sort of uniform level for bylaws of this kind. As the noble Lord has kindly said that he will give this further consideration, perhaps there will be an opportunity for us to discuss it between now and the Report stage.

LORD ROCHDALE

I am grateful to the noble Lord for what he has said and I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD CHORLEY

This is a drafting Amendment consequential upon a previous one. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 72, line 11, leave out ("subsection (1) or subsection (2) of")—(Lord Chorley.)

LORD CHORLEY

This Amendment is also consequential. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 73, line 1, leave out subsection (8).—(Lord Chorley.)

Clause 89, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 90 [Wardens]:

LORD CHORLEY

This is a consequential, drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 73, line 9, leave out ("subsection (2) of").—(Lord Chorley.)

Clause 90, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 91:

Wardens

91.—(1) A local authority may appoint such number of persons as may appear to the authority to be necessary or expedient to act as wardens as respects any land or waterway in relation to which byelaws made by the authority are in force under subsection (1) or subsection (2) of the last but one foregoing section, or in relation to which the authority have power to make such byelaws.

10.34 p.m.

LORD MERTHYR moved, in subsection (1) after "expedient" to insert whether or not it be made a condition of such appointment that such persons shall be sworn in as special constables. The noble Lord said: The question here is whether or not, as was recommended by the Hobhouse Committee, there should be provision to give wardens in access land the powers of special constables where desirable. I know that there is some difference of opinion about this matter. Personally, I feel strongly that unless wardens do have these powers in certain circumstances and places, their use will be extremely limited. If you look at the Schedule of the penalties at the end of the Bill and then consider that the wardens, without the powers of special constables, will not even be empowered to ask for the names and addresses of offenders, I think you will agree that it is desirable to make provision for giving them such powers. Whilst I agree that this is largely a matter of education, and everybody hopes there will be few unpleasant incidents, it cannot be denied that we must face a certain hard core of bad cases where people will offend and resist and refuse to give their names, and where nothing effective can be done unless the wardens have these powers. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 73, line 23, after ("expedient") insert ("whether or not it be made a condition of such appointment that such persons shall be sworn in as special constables").—(Lord Merthyr.)

10.35 p.m.

LORD CHORLEY

We discussed this matter on Second Reading. The noble Lord proposes that the wardens should be given the powers of special constables. Of course, that would not give them very extensive powers; it would not include the power of arrest, which by a later Amendment the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, proposes to give them. The Government's view is that this problem is much better dealt with on the lines of persuasion. If a serious situation arose, in which there was felonious conduct Or a breach of the peace through gangs of hooligans getting completely out of hand—a situation which so far as I know has not arisen—then not only would it be possible for any citizen to intervene but surely, in such circumstances, the proper police force could be brought to the scene reasonably quickly, and that would be the way to handle it. Our view is that it would be wrong to give the wardens special powers. If it were afterwards found that they ought to have these powers, then I think these powers could be conferred upon them by the Home Secretary without any special provision in the Bill. I hope the noble Lord will withdraw his Amendment.

LORD MERTHYR

I think the noble Lord is too optimistic. If he really thinks that there are not going to be any of these cases he is being deceived. Persuasion is all very well, but I feel certain that it will not work in all cases. It would be much wiser to pass this Amendment, but I am not going to dispute further with the noble Lord to-night, and I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

LORD LLEWELLIN

I should like to draw the noble Lord's attention to the fact that our first national park has been the New Forest, and in the New Forest, the foresters have for years been special constables. I hope the noble Lord will bear in mind this very good precedent for what the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, is now asking.

LORD CHORLEY

I am obliged to the noble Lord. We will go into the position of the New Forest and examine whether it will help us in this matter.

EARL DE LA WARR

I have an Amendment down which I do not propose to move, because it deals with very much the same point, and we are to have an opportunity of discussing the matter.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD CHORLEY

This is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 73, line 26, leave out ("subsection (1) or subsection (2) of").—(Lord Chorley.)

Clause 91, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 92:

Restriction of traffic on certain roads

92.—(l) Where it appears to the council of a county or county borough, as respects a road in their area, being a road in a National Park or in an area of outstanding natural beauty or a road forming part of a long-distance route, that it is expedient that the use of the road by traffic of any particular description should be restricted on the grounds—

  1. (a) in the case of a road in a National Park or area of outstanding natural beauty, that the use of the road by traffic of that description would detract from the natural beauty of the Park or area or from the enjoyment thereof by the community as a whole, and
  2. (b) in the case of a road forming part of a long-distance route, that the use of the road by such traffic would prejudice the use thereof by persons journeying on foot or on horseback,
the following provisions of this section shall have effect. (5) Where, as respects a road in a National Park or area of outstanding natural beauty, it appears to the Commission desirable that an order under this section should be made in respect of the road, and the council of the county or county borough, as the case may be, have not made the order, the Commission may apply to the Minister of Transport for an order such as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section, and the said Minister, after considering the matters specified in subsection (2) of this section, may if he thinks fit make such an order.

10.40 p.m.

EARL HOWE moved, in subsection (1) after "description" to insert: (other than traffic for agricultural purposes)". The noble Earl said: This is an Amendment to which transport users attach considerable importance. The object of the Amendment is to provide that the power to make an order restricting traffic on a road shall not apply to trunk roads or Class I roads. These roads are main arteries of traffic, and upon their perfect operation the life of the country depends in these days, when exports are so necessary. They are main roads, built and maintained for the passage of all sorts of vehicles but particularly commercial vehicles. Some parts of these roads run through areas which are already being planned as national parks. Other parts of the roads are to be included as part of long-distance routes defined under Clause 51. Yet other parts may be situated in areas of outstanding natural beauty under Clause 86. By the operation of Clause 92 traffic restriction orders could be made upon those sections of the roads. Transport users submit that trunk roads and Class I roads should be exempt, and that it would be better if those roads were not included in the areas and the routes designated under the Bill. If they are to be included, however, the motor traffic upon them should be allowed to pass as freely as it does to-day.

This matter was dealt with in another place during the passage of the Bill there, and the honourable Member for Royton was informed by the Minister of Town and Country Planning that he need have no fear that the powers to close these roads would be arbitrarily used. If this power is not to be used—and I cannot conceive of its being used upon any one of these roads—why have the power in the Bill or make the roads subject to the operation of the Bill in any shape or form? Noble Lords may not realise the full implications of all this. As I have already stated to the Committee, there are 843 miles of trunk roads and Class I roads which lie within the areas designated as national park areas. For instance, in Wales (this ought to appeal to Lord Macdonald) there are no less than 149 miles of trunk roads and 134 miles of Class I roads which could be affected, including 16 miles of the main Holyhead road. Then in the Peak district 14 miles of the A.6. road could be affected. That road runs from Matlock to Buxton. There are 156 miles of Class I roads in that area, and in fact, if those roads were closed, Buxton would be almost isolated.

Then again, taking the south, there are three miles of the London to Brighton road which could be affected and most of the roads in the central Sussex area could also be affected. I could give many more instances, but I do not want to weary your Lordships with them all. What we suggest is that if the powers that the Minister has are not going to be used, or are not going to be used arbitrarily with regard to these roads, it would be far better that the roads should not come within the operation of the Bill. I cannot conceive of any case of the Minister closing any of these roads or of restricting the traffic upon them. As everybody knows, the roads of this country to-day are altogether inadequate for the traffic which is trying to use them. The density of traffic on our roads to-day is higher than in any other country in the world, and I therefore submit that the operation of this Bill should not be allowed to affect the trunk roads and the Class I roads in any way whatever. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 74, line 9, after the first ("road") insert ("other than a trunk road or a Class I road").—(Earl Howe.)

LORD GIFFORD

I should like to support this Amendment. It is astonishing that these roads should be included. If by any chance it is considered desirable to include a portion of a trunk road in a national park, surely a new road would have to be built to take its place. It is the old story of an undertaking by the Minister. But why not put it in the Bill?

LORD MACDONALD 0F GWAENYSGOR

As the noble Earl, Lord Howe, said, this Amendment seeks to provide that the power given in Clause 92 to restrict traffic on roads in the interests of amenity should not apply to a trunk road or a Class I road. I would say, in the first place, that it is most unlikely that this power will ever be applied to this type of road. Nevertheless, it is felt necessary to keep the power in reserve to meet any special circumstances that may arise. The real safeguard is that any order made under this clause has to be submitted to the Minister of Transport for confirmation. It is therefore very unlikely that the traffic consideration will not be given due weight. In fact, the restriction need not be in respect of all traffic on a road; it might be directed only against certain heavy types of traffic. The Hobhouse Report mentions charabancs as a possible subject for restriction. I would add that subsection (2) of the clause sets out the considerations to which the authority must have regard before making an order, and these ensure that the authority will not arbitrarily put forward any proposal for closing roads. The reasonable requirements of the public have to be considered. We do not feel there is any need for this Amendment, and I hope the noble Earl will not press it.

EARL HOWE

I am disappointed with the answer of the noble Lord. I would like to meet him in this, but nothing he has said convinces me in the least. He has singled out heavy traffic. The trunk roads and Class I roads are the very roads used by heavy traffic. If you are going to interfere with the operation of heavy traffic, you will do a great deal to raise the cost of road transport, which will be reflected in the charges for exports and everything else that uses road transport. It is the heavy traffic with which I am chiefly concerned. I am not prepared to accept the point of the noble Lord that this power is not likely to be used. I agree that it is not likely to be used, and that is why I cannot understand why it should be in the. Bill. I cannot understand why the noble Lord will not exempt trunk roads and Class I roads. I am quite sure that the Minister of Transport, or any Minister, would not dare to close these roads. Therefore, why have this power in the Bill? What sort of situation can be envisaged which might make it necessary? I beg the noble Lord to consider this matter further. I am ready to meet him and discuss it, but I am afraid that I must stick to my point.

LORD MACDONALD of GWAENYSGOR

I am sorry, but I have nothing to add. I agree with the noble Earl that the fact that the Minister of Transport would never confirm such an order is the real safeguard. The noble Earl agrees to that.

EARL HOWE

If the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Town and Country Planning agree, why not accept the Amendment?

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

There may be special circumstances which may make it necessary to use the power.

EARL HOWE

But the noble Lord has just said it will not be used.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

No, I did not. I said that it would be only in very special circumstances that the Minister of Transport would confirm such an order and that therefore there is no need for this Amendment. All the considerations that the noble Earl has put forward will be in the mind of the Minister of Transport.

EARL HOWE

Could the noble Lord say what sort of heavy traffic he proposes should be dealt with here? He has mentioned charabancs. These roads are not little side roads that lead up to pleasant dales in Yorkshire, Derbyshire or Wales. These are main through roads. The noble Lord cannot possibly contemplate bringing roads of that sort into the ambit of this Bill. I beg the Minister to think again. I do not want to divide the Committee on this, but I am afraid I shall have to unless I have a better answer.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I do not see any hope of giving a better answer to the noble Earl. He asked me to define the type of heavy traffic but he knows that that is not for me to answer. In an effort to meet him—rather reluctantly—I would consider the possibility of meeting him with regard to trunk roads. I can see his argument there with a little more force. If he will withdraw the Amendment we can talk it over, but I cannot accept the Amendment as it is on the Marshalled List. There is so much to be talked over that I do not know whether we shall reach the Report stage this year or next year.

EARL HOWE

I want to be quite clear about all this—it means that the noble Lord will agree to remove trunk roads from the ambit of the Bill.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I did not suggest that we had made an agreement over the floor of this House. If the noble Lord will withdraw his Amendment, we will discuss the matter, and I have indicated upon what lines that discussion will take place.

EARL HOWE

Reserving all rights until the Report stage, I am ready to withdraw the Amendment now. I shall reintroduce it, and unless we can reach some agreement I will take it to a Division on Report.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

EARL DE LA WARR

My noble friend Lord Cranworth has had to leave, and he has asked me to move this Amendment for him. I think it speaks for itself, and I am sure the noble Lord will agree that if any steps were taken to order agricultural traffic off these roads or lanes it would be very serious. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 74, line 12, at end insert ("(other than traffic for agricultural purposes)").—(Earl De La Warr.)

LORD O'HAGAN

I hope the noble Lord, Lord Macdonald, will consider this. It is a good deal more important than would appear on the surface to those not concerned in the matter of food production.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

The order is subject to the confirmation of the Minister of Transport. He will naturally have regard to essential requirements—for example fire engines, milk lorries, trade vans and others. I am certain that the Minister of Transport will do so if convincing representations are made to him to that effect, whether those exemptions form part of the local authorities' proposals or not. For that reason, I do not think it is necessary to press this Amendment. I think the fears of the noble Earl are ill-founded.

EARL DE LA WARR

I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment applies to roads forming part of a long-distance route the default powers of the Minister of Transport to make an order restricting traffic where the Commission represent to him that it is desirable. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 75, line 2, after ("beauty") insert ("or a road forming part of a long-distance route").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

EARL HOWE

As I am advised, the effect of this Amendment is to enable the National Parks Commission to apply to the Minister of Transport for an order restricting traffic from a road forming part of a long-distance route where the county council or the county borough council have decided not to make an order. I should have thought that the local council were the best authority—being a highway authority—to consider under subsections (2) or (3) whether the traffic of vehicles on the road should be restricted. It appears now that the Government do not trust the local councils in this matter. I think this is a tendency to substitute Departmental control from Whitehall for administration by local government authorities. Therefore, I ask the Minister whether he really desires to press this. I would much prefer, and all transport users would prefer, that this matter should be handled by local authorities rather than from Whitehall.

Clause 92, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 93 [Supplementary provisions as to orders under s. 92]:

LORD MACDONALD or GWAENYSGOR

This is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 75, line 35, after ("under") insert ("subsection (3) of").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 93, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 94 to 96 agreed to.

Clause 97 [Power of Minister to defray expenditure on long-distance routes]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

The substitution of these words enables the grant provisions of this clause to apply, as they necessarily should, to all acquisitions of land, whether by agreement or compulsorily for the purposes of the exercise of the Clause 54 powers. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 78, line 15, leave out ("under") and insert ("for the purposes of").—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 97, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 98 [Contributions by local authorities]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR moved, after subsection (3) to insert: () Where, under subsection (1) of section forty-one of this Act, the Minister directs that any power of one local authority shall be exercisable by another, then if the direction so provides the first-mentioned authority shall be under a duty to exercise their powers under subsection (1) of this section to such extent as may be specified in the direction.

The noble Lord said: The effect of this Amendment is that while the county district can, as may be agreed between them, reimburse or contribute voluntarily to the county's expenses under subsection (1), which enables any local authority to contribute towards the expenses under the Bill of any other authority, if it will not do so voluntarily the Minister, when directing the transfer of powers under Clause 41 (1) to create new paths, can direct the county district to make a contribution towards the expenses that will be incurred by the county council. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 78, line 32, at end insert the said subsection.—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 98, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 99 agreed to.

Clause 100 [Crown land]:

LORD AMHERST OF HACKNEY moved, in subsection (3) after "may" to insert at the instance either of such authority or of the Commission. The noble Lord said: The object of this Amendment is to allow the Commission to be consulted in the case of Crown land. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 79, line 23, after ("may") insert ("at the instance either of such authority or of the Commission").—(Lord Amherst of Hackney.)

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I am advised that there is no need to give a power to the Commission as suggested in this Amendment. The Commission are not given a specific duty to make similar representations to other Ministers, but there is nothing to prevent them from suggesting to a Department the making of an agreement if they wish to, although it would be more natural to proceed through the local planning authority. I hope, therefore, that the noble Lord will not press his Amendment.

LORD AMHERST oF HACKNEY

I thank the noble Lord for his reply, and beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

11 p.m.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR moved after subsection (6) to insert: () Section eighty-eight of this Act shall apply to Crown land if the appropriate authority consents to its application thereto, but subject to the following modifications, that is to say—

  1. (a) an interest in Crown land may be acquired for the purposes of the said section eighty-eight only with the consent of the appropriate authority;
  2. (b) if any land affected by arrangements under subsection (3) of that section or an agreement under subsection (6) thereof becomes Crown land, the arrangements or agreement shall cease to apply to the land unless the appropriate authority consent to the continued application thereto of the arrangements or agreement."

The noble Lord said: This new sub-section is to provide that Clause 88 of the Bill [Planting of trees and restoration of derelict land] shall apply to Crown land if the appropriate authority agrees, subject to certain conditions. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 80, line 7, at end insert said new subsection.—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 100, as amended, agreed to.

CLAUSE 101 [Power to authorise other local authorities to act in place of local planning authority]:

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

This Amendment and the next ten Amendments all relate to the Amendment to Clause 101, page 81, line 28. They are all contingent upon that Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendments moved▀× Page 81, line 1, leave out from ("Where") to ("that") in line 3 and insert ("it is represented to a local planning authority by any other local authority") Page 81, line 8, leave out ("council") and insert ("other local authority"). Page 81, line 10, leave out ("council") and insert ("other local authority"). Page 81, line 10, at end insert— ("Provided that before agreeing as aforesaid to the exercise by the sail other local authority of any of the said powers in relation to a National Park, or to land in a National Park, the local planning authority shall consult with the Commission.") Page 81, line 12, leave out ("council") and insert ("other local authority"). Page 81, line 13, leave out ("council") and insert ("other local authority"). Page 81, line 17, leave out ("council") and insert ("other local authority"). Page 81, line 21, leave out ("council") and insert ("other local authority"). Page 81, line 24, leave out ("council") and insert ("local authority"). Page 81, line 28, leave out ("council") and insert ("local authority"). Page 81, line 36, at end insert— ("Provided that this subsection shall not authorise a local planning authority to delegate any of their functions under this Act, being functions relating to a National Park or to land in a National Park, except after consultation with the Commission. () In this section the expression 'local authority' means a local planning authority, the council of a county or county borough, not being a local planning authority, or the council of a county district.")—(Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor.)

Clause 101, as amended, agreed to.

LORD MACDONALD OF GWAENYSGOR

I understand that it would be convenient if we did not proceed any further this evening, and I agree that we should not. We have had a very long day.

House resumed by the Lord Chancellor.