HL Deb 13 April 1964 vol 257 cc316-9

4.45 p.m.

Order of the Day read for the consideration of the Commons Amendments.


My Lords, before the Continental Shelf Bill left your Lordships House last December, the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton (and I am sorry to see that he is not in his place to-day), regretted—and I am sure all of us who were present agreed with him—that the Bill was going to another place without your Lordships' House having done on it the work it would have wished to do. But the views expressed and the helpful suggestions made by your Lordships during our discussions were duly noted in another place. This is clear from the substance of the Amendments we are now considering. Before moving approval of these Amendments, I think it may help your Lordships if I say something about the detail of the changes.

Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 are consequential on Amendment No. 9, which I shall explain presently. Amendment No. 3 was introduced to meet an undertaking I gave in Committee to my noble friend Lord Merrivale, that the Government would do what they could to meet this point on ancillary rights. The object of the Amendment is to apply Section 3 of the Petroleum (Production) Act, 1934. This will bring in the procedures set out in Part I of the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act, 1923, whereby if a licensee is unable, by private treaty, to obtain rights on land to erect such things as storage tanks for oil and gas found in his licensed area, he may apply to the Minister of Power. If the Minister is satisfied that there is a prima facie case he must refer the matter to the High Court who, if satisfied on certain matters, may make an order conferring the necessary rights.

My Lords, apparently I am out of order in procedure. May I at this stage interrupt myself to move that these Amendments be now considered? I beg to move that the Commons Amendments be now considered.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.


[The references are to Bill [57] as first printed for the House of Commons]

Clause 1, page 1, line 18, leave out ("4")

Clause 1, page 1, line 20, leave out from ("petroleum") to ("shall") in line 21

Clause 1, page 1, line 22, after ("Britain,") insert ("and section 3 of that Act (which enables persons holding licences under that Act to acquire ancillary rights)")

Clause 1, page 2, line 3, at end insert—

("(4) Model clauses prescribed under section 6 of the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 as applied by the preceding subsection shall in-dude provision for the safety, health and welfare of persons employed on operations undertaken under the authority of any licence granted under that Act as so applied.

(5) The Minister of Power shall for each financial year prepare and lay before Parliament a report stating—

  1. (a) the licences under the said Act of 1934 granted in that year in respect of areas beyond low-water mark and the persons to whom and the areas in respect of which they were granted, and the like information as respects such licences held at the end of that year;
  2. (b) the total amount of natural gas and of other petroleum gotten in that year in pursuance of licences held in respect of such areas; and
  3. (c) the method used for arriving at the amounts payable by way of consideration for such licences.")

Clause 2, page 2, line 29, at end insert ("unless he proves that the prohibition imposed by the order was not, and would not on reasonable inquiry have become, known to the master.")

Clause 3, page 2, line 36, leave out ("yards") and insert ("metres")

Clause 6, page 4, line 8, leave out ("yards") and insert ("metres").

After Clause 6, insert the following new Clause—

Radioactive substances

(". An Order in Council under section 3 of this Act may make provision for treating for the purposes of the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 and any orders and regulations made thereunder any installation in an area or part with respect to which provision is made under that section and any waters within five hundred metres of such an installation as if they were situated in such part of the United Kingdom as may be specified in the order, and for modifying the provisions of that Act in their application to such an installation or waters.")

After Clause 7, insert the following new Clause—

Use and supply of natural gas

(".—(1) The following provisions of this section shall have effect with respect to the use and supply of any natural gas gotten in pursuance of a licence under the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934 as applied by section 1(3) of this Act, and section 52 of the Gas Act 1948 shall not apply to any such gas.

(2) The holder of the licence shall not without the consent of the Minister of Power use the gas in Great Britain and no person shall without that consent supply the gas to any other person at premises in Great Britain.

(3) The Minister of Power shall not give his consent under this section to the supply of gas at any premises unless satisfied—

  1. (a) that the supply is for industrial purposes and that the Area Board is whose area the premises are situated has been given an opportunity of purchasing the gas at a reasonable price; or
  2. (b) that the supply is for such purposes as are mentioned in subsection (4) of this section;
but shall give his consent under this section to the supply or use of any gas if satisfied that it is for the purposes mentioned in that subsection.

(4) The said purposes are industrial purposes which do not consist of or include the use of the gas as a fuel except in so far as the gas is used to provide heat or other energy required—

  1. (a) for a process in which the gas is used otherwise than as a fuel; or
  2. (b) where such a process is one of a series, for any further process in the same series, not being a process in which a bulk product is converted into manufactured articles;
and in determining whether any industrial purposes are as mentioned in this subsection the use of any gas derived, otherwise than as a by-product, from any natural gas shall he treated as the use of that natural gas.

(5) For the purposes of this section gas provided by a company for the use of any subsidiary or holding company thereof, or of any subsidiary of such a holding company shall be deemed to be used by that company.

(6) This section shall not affect the supply of gas by any person otherwise than through pipes or the supply of gas by or to an Area Board.

(7) In this section ' Area Board ' has the same meaning as in the Gas Act 1948 and 'holding company' and ' subsidiary ' have the same meanings as in the Companies Act 1948.")

Clause 9, page 5, line 16, after (" by ") insert (" or under ")

After Clause 9, insert the following new Clause—

Northern Ireland

(". Nothing in this Act shall be taken to restrict the powers of the Parliament of Northern Ireland to make laws; and any laws made by that Parliament with respect to any matter with respect to which it has that power shall have effect notwithstanding anything in this Act.")


My Lords, perhaps I might say here that, so far as noble Lords on this side are concerned, we are disposed to agree to these Amendments. We think that they are reasonable; indeed, some of them are concessions to points that were advocated by this side of the House. Therefore, if they are acceptable to the House, and if the noble Lord would like to move that they be agreed to en bloc, we shall not resist.


My Lords, I am not certain what the noble Lord meant. Did he mean that he would be willing to accept these Amendments without further explanation?


My Lords, we are willing to do that. I do not want to discourage the noble Lord. If he feels that it is his Parliamentary duty to explain them, he should by all means do so. But as we are in a reasonable mood at the moment, if he prefers to move them en bloc then, because we are not disposed to resist them, we will agree.


My Lords, if the whole House is agreeable that I should not explain them, I am prepared to carry out that somewhat unusual procedure and not explain the Amendments. I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments.—(Lord Derwent.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.