HL Deb 24 November 1949 vol 165 cc1002-6

5.20 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend, Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor, I beg leave to move the Third Reading of this Bill in order to make the following statement. I have it in command from His Majesty to acquaint the House that His Majesty, having been informed of the contents of the Bill, is pleased to give His consent, so far as His Majesty's interest is concerned, on behalf of the Crown, the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall, that the House may proceed therein as they shall think fit.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3ª.—(Viscount Addison.)

On Question, Bill read 3ª with the Amendments.

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 be managed as a nature reserve, for securing that it shall be so managed.

(5) The following provisions shall have effect in the application of this section to Scotland—

  1. (a) a limited owner of land shall have power to enter into agreements under this section relating to the land;
  2. (b) the Trusts (Scotland) Act, 1921, shall have effect as if among the powers conferred on trustees by section four thereof (which relates to the general powers of trustees) there were included a power to enter into agreements under this section relating to the trust estate or any part thereof;
  3. (c) subsection (2) of section three of the Forestry Act, 1947, shall apply to an agreement under this section to which an owner or limited owner of land or a trustee acting under the last foregoing paragraph is a party as it applies to a forestry dedication agreement, with the substitution for the reference to the Forestry Commissioners of a reference to the Nature Conservancy;

LORD CHORLEY moved, in subsecsection (1), to leave out "any owner, lessee or" and to insert "every owner, lessee and." The noble Lord said: My Lords, as your Lordships will remember, in regard to a case where the Nature Conservancy entered into an agreement with the tenant for the purpose of establishing a nature reserve on the land, there was some apprehension as to the landlord's position at the end of the tenancy. I was able to assure your Lordships that it was the intention of the Nature Conservancy to bring in the landlord in connection with these agreements, but, even so, there was some feeling that it would be better to have the need for the landlord's consent actually written into the Bill. I am glad to be able to inform your Lordships that we have secured this and this Amendment has been tabled to that end. It ensures that the agreement of every owner, lessee and occupier of the land must be secured before the nature reserve: is established by the Conservancy. I understand that this will satisfy noble Lords. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 14, line 5, leave out ("any owner, lessee or") and insert ("every owner, lessee and").(Lord Chorley.)


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord very much. This completely meets the point I raised.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


My Lords, I do not propose to move the next two Amendments on the Marshalled List, or those to Clauses 20 and 26. They are technical Amendments but it has been found that there is a technical error in the way. Your Lordships will appreciate that the draftsman has been working under great pressure, owing to the fact that these stages have been gone through rapidly. I understand that it will be possible to make the necessary Amendments in another place. Therefore, I am not proposing to move them here.

Clause 92 [Wardens]:

EARL DE LA WARR moved, after subsection (2) to insert: () A local planning authority may where it considers it necessary apply to the chief constable of its area to appoint one or more of its wardens to be special constables and the chief constable may if he thinks fit so appoint such a person.

The noble Earl said: My Lords, this is a point upon which we have had full discussion. I formally beg to move the Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 78, line 15, at end insert the said subsection,—(Earl De La Warr.)


My Lords, the noble Earl has considerably modified his original Amendment, but I am sorry that I still cannot accept it. As there is not now a great deal between us, and in the light of the assurances which I am about to give him, I hope he will feel able to withdraw his Amendment. In the first place, it is perfectly open to anybody to go to a chief constable and ask to have himself enrolled as a special constable; there is no need to have anything about that in the Bill. Of course, the chief constable himself cannot enrol a man; that has to be done by the magistrates. Therefore, on that score there is a technical objection to the noble Earl's Amendment. As I explained at Report stage, there are a number of objections to laying down in the Bill that these wardens should be enrolled as special constables, although it would be quite possible and within the discretion of the chief constable and the magistrates locally to have them so enrolled. There are the problems of pensions and special training, and also the fact, which I do not think I mentioned earlier, that if wardens were made special constables their primary duty would be to the police force, and it might well be that the chief constable would call them away to some other work at a time when their wardenship, so to speak, ought to be occupying their attention.

We feel that it would not be right to lay down in the Bill, in effect, that in a particular part of the country some special arrangement ought to be made under which these wardens were enrolled as special constables. It would, in fact, be interfering with the discretion of the chief constable. As I said on Report, if hooliganism does develop in a serious way in one of these areas, the chances are that it will be much better dealt with by the regular police force. At any rate, it is certainly for the local chief police officer to settle that matter and to use his discretion as to the way in which he should deal with it. He could use his regular forces or, if he felt that the situation called for it, he could make arrangements for special constables to be enrolled—either wardens themselves or other people who would be suitable.

What I am able to assure the noble Earl upon is this: in any circular which he issues to the local planning authorities my right honourable friend will bring this matter to their attention, and will advise them that, if they are under any apprehension as to difficulties of this kind arising in their particular districts, they should approach the chief constable and consult with him as to the best way in which the matter should be dealt with. It will then be open to the chief constable, at his dis- cretion, to take what steps he thinks the situation calls for, and that will enable him, if he thinks it is a proper case, to have wardens or some other people enrolled as special constables. I hope that the noble Earl will be satisfied with these assurances, and will be able to see his way to withdraw his Amendment.


My Lords, I am disappointed that the noble Lord cannot go further, but may I take it that the Minister is prepared to circulate authorities? The noble Lord said that this point will be stressed in any circular that may be sent round. I think we might have it a little more definite, that he certainly will.


That is quite definite.


We shall see the words in Hansard tomorrow. I think they are satisfactory. In that case, I withdraw my Amendment.

Clause 94 [Supplementary provisions as to orders under s. 93]:


My Lords, this is a technical drafting Amendment. Your Lordships will remember that this clause was amended on Report stage by a Manuscript Amendment. It has been found that this rather extended verbiage is necessary in order effectively to cover the situation. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 80, line 28, leave out ("Class I road") and insert ("road classified under the Ministry of Transport Act, 1919 in Class I").—(Lord Chorley.)


My Lords, this is quite understandable. On Report stage two words of drafting were quickly put in across the floor of the House. I have no doubt that the parliamentary draftsmen have looked at it and found that we have not acted in accord with their usual technique. Therefore, of course, it is better to put the matter right in the way that this Amendment does.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.