HL Deb 20 July 1967 vol 285 cc438-502

6.45 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, in moving the Second Reading of the Brighton Marina Bill, perhaps I should not be out of place in reminding your Lordships not only that the Bill has passed through all the usual stages in another place, but also that two proposed Instructions to the Committee in another place were in fact defeated. I should also like to declare my interest as a yacht owner, but I have no financial interest whatever in the undertaking.

The main purpose of the Bill is to authorise the construction of a yacht and boat harbour, now known commonly as a Marina, in the Kemp Town area of Brighton, near the Black Rock. In addition, the Bill will afford to Brighton further recreational, hotel and residential amenities, and the whole project will help to enhance Brighton's reputation as one of the country's leading holiday centres, and has the full support, I would say, of the Brighton Corporation.

The main justification for the Bill is the urgent need for accommodation for yachts and boats, both medium-sized and small, in the Brighton area and on the South Coast of Britain. Between the Isle of Wight, the Solent area, and Dover, which are many miles apart, there are comparatively few moorings for yachts, and the harbours are already congested. There is no doubt that many accidents have occurred owing to small boats being unable to find refuge on this coast.

The sport of yachting and boating has seen a surge of interest in recent years, especially among the younger generation. Some ten years ago, I would say, the enthusiasts numbered about 10,000; but I would say that the figure at the present day is well over 500,000. It will be possible to accommodate 2,000 yachts of various sizes in the Marina, in addition to some hundreds of dinghies and powered runabouts—very small boats indeed. I would point out that the project has also been approved by the Minister of Housing and Local Government.

It has been argued in some quarters that it is unnecessary to have other revenue-producing developments in addition to the harbour. I would draw your Lordships' attention to the Minister's letter, dated September 29, 1966, addressed to the promoters and the Brighton Corporation, in which the Minister states, in paragraph 7, that he accepts that a harbour and ancillary buildings would not be an economic proposition unless they are accompanied by other revenue-producing developments. I should like to stress a very important point, which I am now about to make. One or two marinas have been in fact built in this country without any revenue-producing elements attached; with the result that the cost of berthing for small yacht owners is prohibitive, as the return on capital invested has to be obtained solely from the yacht berths. I speak with considerable knowledge of these matters. The promoters and Brighton Corporation are anxious not to make this mistake, and are very anxious to provide accommodation at a reasonable cost for all yacht and boat owners, according to the size of the vessel.

It has, I think, been argued in some quarters that the building may be unsightly, and perhaps detract from the Regency buildings in the Kemp Town area of Brighton. I would point out to your Lordships that no building on the foreshore will be at a greater height than the level of the cliff top, immediately north of the site, and can have adverse effect whatever on other buildings. I think it is true to say that it has been suggested in some quarters that the Marina should be sited in another area. In the first place I would call your Lordships' attention to paragraph 3 of the Brighton Corporation's observations, as set out in the statement on behalf of the promoters. Paragraph 3 reads as follows: The comparatively small part of the foreshore, which will be lost to the public by the construction of the Marina, is not one of Brighton's better beaches. It is rock-strewn and of little attraction and use to bathers and its loss will have no adverse effect on the town's available seaside facilities for both residents and visitors. In addition, the Minister of Housing and Local Government has stated, in paragraph 7 of his letter to the promoters, to which I have already referred that—and I use his words: This location is the one least likely to give rise to harmful effects on other parts of the town. I would add that none of the national or local community interests have petitioned against this Bill. That is a fact which I would strongly stress in this debate.

I do not propose to go through the Bill clause by clause, which will no doubt be done thoroughly by the Select Committee in due course if the Second Reading is agreed to by your Lordships. On the other hand, there are one or two other matters to which I may rightly draw your Lordships' attention. In the first place, the Royal Yachting Association—the national authority of the sport—fully supports this Bill, and I think I am right in saying that many hundreds of yacht clubs and sailing clubs are members of this Association and cover all classes, from dinghies to large craft.

With regard to the question of access roads, the phasing of the construction would in fact be in conformity with the programme for the construction and opening of the various parts of the Marina development. The Brighton Corporation are satisfied that the access roads will make a substantial contribution to the solution of Brighton's future traffic problems. The Corporation have undertaken to take all the necessary steps to provide a road system, and the promoters of the Bill have agreed to pay a sum of £385,000 as a contribution to the cost. I should like to mention that before construction is commenced, the promoters are to satisfy the Brighton Corporation that adequate financial resources are available to ensure completion of the whole of the work in one operation, thus removing the risk of a substandard or incomplete development.

Incidentally, the agreed terms of the lease from the Corporation to the promoters will give the Corporation a share in the profits and a right to nominate two directors to the Board. I would stress that all the organisations in Brighton, such as the local chamber of commerce, the Hoteliers Association, the entertainment people and the fishermen and, last but not least, the elected representativcs of the borough, are in favour of the project.

I would suggest that this Bill is in no way a Party matter. In another place the Second Reading of the Bill was moved by the Socialist Member for the Kemp Town Division of Brighton and was supported by the Conservative Member for the Pavilion Division. I understand that one of the most vociferous Members of another place who opposed this Bill has recently moved into a flat in the Kemp Town area, overlooking the proposed development. He brought into the debate what I would say is a Party bias by advocating public ownership of the proposed development. I do not imagine that this will be pursued by your Lordships, but in any case I propose to forestall it by quoting the remarks made by the Parliamentary Secretary in another place: My right honourable friend does not take the view that there is anything wicked, unsocialist or in any way doctrinally objectionable about a partnership between a public authority and private enterprise. … It is a hard fact in development, particularly in urban development, and my right honourable friend has used his persuasive powers to encourage local authorities to recognise the need for a partnership, if only because of the blunt fact that they will not get the capital in any other way."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons, 13./3/67, col. 150.] I do not think I need say any more on this aspect of the matter.

The consulting engineers employed by the Brighton Marina Company are well known to me and are employed by the Royal National Life-boat Institution, of which I am a Governor and a member of the managing committee, and your Lordships can rest assured that the building of the Marina is in good hands and if recommended by them is a feasible proposition; and this they have already done.

In conclusion, I would say that in Brighton the opposition to the Bill really comes from a few well-to-do people living in certain streets near the development area. As I have already mentioned, there will be no buildings above cliff height, so these people will not be cut off in any way from the sea. Perhaps I might add that the project has the approval of the Royal Fine Art Commission, and that a model of the whole undertaking is available for view in the Royal Gallery. I trust that all your Lordships who are taking part in the debate have had a look at it. This Bill will provide accommodation for the "little man" for his yacht or boat, at a reasonable cost, for the reasons which I have already given, and I hope I have also given sufficient information to indicate that the whole of the people of Brighton want this Bill. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Teynham.)


My Lords, before I state the Question, as it is not common in your Lordships' House to have an Instruction to a Committee, I think it might be of assistance if I said a word about the procedure. It is for me, of course, to state the Question, That the Bill be now read a second time. It will then be open to the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, or any other noble Lord, to address himself both to the Question, That the Bill be now read a second time, and to the Question, Whether the Select Committee should be given the Instruction which appears on the Order Paper. The noble Lord, Lord Teynham, will reply at the end of that debate, and I shall then put the Question, That the Bill be read a second time. If that is carried, the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, will then move the Motion which appears in his name on the Order Paper. At that point it would be open to the noble Lord (or, of course, any other noble Lord) to move an Amendment to the Instruction, in which event of course the Amendment would be taken first and then the Instruction, amended or unamended, would be put.

If that is carried the noble Earl, the Chairman of Committees, would then move the Resolution which is in his name on the Order Paper, and therefore at the end of the list of speakers which your Lordships have there should be the name of the noble Earl, the Chairman of Committees. The noble Earl is, of course, also entitled to take part in the main debate, where his name appears after that of the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, and I understand that he proposes to address himself to the procedure of Select Committees. The Question is, That the Bill be now read a second time.

6.57 p.m.


My Lords, on the technical question of the Instruction, about which I must at once profess a total unfamiliarity in relation to procedure, I should like to make two points. The Instruction was drafted, with some assistance, in the hope that it was moderate in character and would be found acceptable by the House. That was the intention of the Instruction, which was not designed in any way to be a controversial instruction.

I understand that some objection might be taken to the last sentence of the Instruction, which brings into consideration the question of precedents that might arise in other areas. I should like to say that in another place consideration was given to this question. There were learned allusions to Erskine May, and so forth, and it appeared that it was open to the House to take this factor into consideration in relation to Private Bills. I now understand, however, that inasmuch as this factor is relevant, it is considered that it is relevant for the whole House and should be considered on the Floor of the House and not by a Select Committee. Therefore, if it is the feeling of the House that the Instruction should be amended by deleting those last words, I would certainly not be adamant on that question.

The other technical matter is that I make an allusion to pleasure craft. That, of course, is not in my mind associated with craft of exceptional luxury and elegance in which people disport themselves in Mediterranean seas. I use the phrase because it is the phrase used in the Bill, and there is in fact a definition in the Bill which is entirely adequate for including any other category of craft and which it might be thought made it unnecessary to amend that particular phrase so far as the Instruction is concerned.

Coming to the substance of my remarks, I wholeheartedly agree with the mover of the Second Reading that this is not a political question. It seemed to me that, speaking from the Benches from which he spoke, it was rather paradoxical that he should seemingly have sought to introduce a political consideration by urging that the people who opposed this Bill were propertied people in Brighton and the opposition to the Bill was restricted to that category and that category alone. I would venture to say to him from my own personal knowledge that that is indeed not the case; I have received representations and heard voices from many people who could not be described as in that category.

It was an argument much deployed in another place. I think it may well have had something to do with the result achieved in another place in relation to this Bill. It is, if I may say so, as far as the Government are concerned a singularly unattractive argument. It apparently suggests that the only people who might be concerned with preserving places of beauty and places of tranquillity are people who possess property. It is not a contention I accept for one moment. I believe people are concerned with the preservation of the beaches of Brighton who possess no property, who possess little property or who possess much property. It is a completely inappropriate argument to suggest that the opposition is restricted to a category of persons who have their private interests and concerns at heart. I should like to hear before the end of the debate that that suggestion is withdrawn.

The second suggestion that one has to deal with is that this is a local matter to be determined by local decisions, that it has been fully and copiously discussed at local level and that it is inappropriate that we in this House should address ourselves to the question how far it is proper that there should be an enclosure of beach land for private purposes. This is an argument I totally reject. Local authorities are trustees of the land they possess; they are in transient possession of it. They come and they go; but the people of England continue to enjoy their beaches in perpetuity.


My Lords, may I intervene? The noble Lord is not suggesting that I put forward that argument, is he?


My Lords, I was suggesting it. If the noble Lord is not putting that argument I am entirely content to leave that argument alone. It seems to me that all Members of the House must agree that this Bill, although a Private Bill, raises issues of great importance far exceeding the question of local administration. The question of enclosing half a mile of beach for private purposes is not a matter that one would wish to leave to the discretion or decision of any local administration. Without hesitation or apology, I assert that this is a matter for this House to consider with the greatest care.

The third matter to which I would make reference is that this debate is nothing to do with yachting. There has been much emphasis placed on the assertion that the Brighton Marina Bill is concerned with a yacht harbour, and that the opposition to it, in some way obliquely, is opposed to the practice or joys of yachting. May I say at once that no-one in this House is more strongly in support of the practice of yachting and the encouragement of yachting by young or old than I am. I think it is an excellent practice. In so far as Brighton or any other seaside resort wishes to establish a yacht harbour which would have the effect of encouraging yachting, it has my wholehearted support. But I believe yachting has nothing to do with the issue we are discussing. I believe the issue we are discussing here this afternoon is a question of enclosing beach land for private purposes, not whether or not yachting should be encouraged.

I want to say this. I am not opposing the Second Reading. I think it would be inappropriate, the Bill having come this far and received consideration in another place, that the Second Reading should be opposed. I am asking that, having regard to the special, unique and rather startling features of the Bill, we should send it to the Committee with an injunction that it should receive the most careful consideration in relation to the factors in the Bill that I consider need to be studied and inspected if we are to discharge our duty as a Legislature having responsible recognition of things happening in the country. This is not a controversial Instruction. It does not enjoin anyone to reject the Bill. It is not designed to be tendentious. It is designed to draw to the attention of the Committee the feeling of this House that there are elements in this Bill which require very special consideration. I would invite all noble Lords to consider whether it may not be possible to accept this Instruction on an agreed basis as being designed for the purpose which I have indicated.

I think it is quite right that I should state—and I must occupy a little more time than the noble Lord who moved the Second Reading—why I consider there are unusual features in this Bill. The Bill is presented in two sections; the Preamble has two sections. One is the recommendation for a yachting harbour. The second is associated with massive offshore developments which it is suggested are necessary in order to make the yachting harbour economically viable. I have studied at some length—and it has been a painful operation—a good deal of the documentation connected with this project. I have not studied all the documentation, and if it should turn out that I say anything based on insufficient information I would apologise in advance and hope that noble Lords better informed will correct me at once, but I have made as detailed a study as I can in the time available to me.

It seems to me that the entire suggestion that this project is not economically viable derives from a very tenuous statement in the report of the inspector who conducted the public inquiry that in his opinion the evidence tended to show that the project was not economically viable. That is the only assertion anywhere upon which the whole of the enormous structure of this offshore development is in fact maintained and built. The purpose of my Instruction is to suggest that the Committee should consider, above everything else, what evidence there was and on what basis it was that the inspector decided there was evidence which tended to show that the Marina by itself and as a harbour for yachts was not economically viable.

There are two very extraordinary factors associated with this matter. The first is that if one studies the development of this project it emerges in a somewhat strange way. The mover of the Second Reading in another place said that it was the brainchild of a Brighton businessman. May I say at once that I would not venture any criticism at all of anyone who had a bright or original idea of this kind. If there is a bright or original idea on the part of a citizen of Brighton it should be commended. But what is very strange is this. It appears that from that moment onwards the Brighton businessman, joined by associates—and I am imputing nothing to the discredit of anybody; I am not suggesting lack of bona fides or anything like that—in an excess of zeal and enthusiasm for the project, joining with colleagues and associates and allies proceeded to enter into constant communion with Brighton Corporation, and the matter has proceeded on the footing that they, and they alone, have contributed notions and ideas about the whole scheme.

The scheme which is now being considered is a scheme thought of as emanating from one company or organisation, without a vestige of competition or suggestion that any other body has proffered any ideas at all. Think of the implications of this: the economics of the situation are those as reported by the inspector—that the Marina is to cost £3.7 million. I do not know whether that is reasonable or unreasonable costing, economic or expensive. But I know this: it is costing based on the notions and ideas of the one corporate body that was involved in costing it. Nobody knows whether if another body saw fit to prepare a costing, to prepare plans on the spot, they would arrive at a figure of £2.7 million or £4.7 million. All we know is that there is a costing from one body in competition with nobody.

The second factor we know is that the offshore development rendered necessary if the scheme is to be viable, according to the sponsors of the scheme, is to cost £10 million. Here, again, that is the costing of the single development company that had an opportunity of being concerned in this matter. It appears to me, to put it at the height of moderation, to be a matter for the most careful scrutiny and consideration by the Committee, and ultimately by this House, as to whether a scheme which arises in this way, in respect of which there appears to be no sort of active competition, in respect of which no other ideas are invited or used or employed, should in fact be allowed to operate without, as I say, the intervention of other notions and ideas. I am not suggesting that we should reject the scheme, or that we should do anything with the scheme except examine it.

When we come to look at the economics there are some very significant and interesting features—and I refer to the report of the inspector. The only economic evidence is to be found at page 19 of the report. So far as I know, there is no other economic evidence anywhere. What it says is this: that the Marina, considered as a marina alone, is to house 2,000 boats—


Would the noble Lord indicate to me which paragraph?


Yes; it is paragraphs 148 to 151 inclusive, in the inspector's official report. In that document, which is the only place where, as I say, I have found any economic evidence of any kind, it is stated that this marina, this yacht harbour, is to house 2,000 yachts and that in fact rental will be obtained for something like 1,850 yachts. Apparently, berths are reserved for 150 yachts, and by some yachting courtesy no payment is obtained for those particular yachts—a matter I do not understand. But in any event, there is rent to be due in respect of 1,850 yachts. It is then stated that a fair rental for these yachts has been considered to be something possibly between £5 and £7 10s.

There are no findings of any kind by the inspector on this matter. There is no whisper of any evidence on this matter There is a simple, bold assertion that there are to be 2,000 yachts, which is the scheme of this particular development company, and that somebody thinks that these yachts might pay £5 per annum per foot of the harbour for the length of the harbour they occupy, and somebody else thinks that they might pay £7 10s. per annum. Then somebody else has a notion that a fair return on the money employed should be 10 per cent. Therefore they decide (and I have a feeling, if I may say so, that sometimes enthusiasm can produce a result that a less enthusiastic mathematician might not produce) that the proper figure to charge for these yachts is the sum of £6 10s. per foot. This produces the rather attractive conclusion, from some points of view, that you will get only 7.36 per cent. on your money, so you are short by 2.64 per cent., if my arithmetic is right, of the expected 10 per cent. needed for a proper return.

All of this is the hypothesis upon which the whole of this structure is built. All of this depends upon these few paragraphs, and none of this is the subject of any finding by anybody. There is no evidence as to this; and of course it is crucial to the whole matter. Because if you could build a harbour for 2,500 yachts, if you could charge £7 15s. 4d. for it, you would get your 10 per cent. I do not know what the costs ought to be for a yacht. I have not the figment of an idea. It seems to me a massive charge—


My Lords, would the noble Lord forgive me for one moment? There is no question of charging £8 or £10 a foot for a yacht. It is much more likely to be in the nature of £3. The trouble has been, as I tried to explain in my speech, that two or three marinas have been built without the revenue for the ancillary buildings. The result is that they have had to charge a high rate to yacht owners, and the small man with his boat and small yacht cannot berth because he cannot afford it.


My reply to that must be simply this. I am totally sympathetic to the problems of yacht owners; I am most keen that they should have yacht accommodation within their economic reach and possibility. But this Report states—and the whole of this project is based upon this Report—that an attractive rent to the yacht owner will be £6 10s. That statement is based on no evidence. The noble Lord opposite says that that figure should be £3. On the basis of £3, how are we to know that the supporting developments which are to bring in revenue in aid of the yachts are sufficient? How are we to know that there ought not to be £20 million worth of development? If in fact my noble friend is saying that £3 is the right rental, then all these figures need to be reorganised.

If ever an intervention justified the need for an Instruction in this matter, if I may venture to say so to the noble Lord, it is this particular intervention on this particular matter: because what is quite clear is that no reliance at all can be placed on these figures. There is no evidence in respect of them—not a whisper or tittle of evidence. We have a situation where a non-competitive body is placed in a monopoly position, produces figures with no one else producing any figures of any kind; and we have another situation where we are told that we have to produce £10 million worth of urban type development on the beaches in order to subsidise and support the revenue that they will receive from the yachts. Why, I ask, £10 million? Why not £20 million?

There is one most significant economic omission from this Report. There is no assessment at all of the revenue that is to be received from the £10 million worth of offshore development; nothing to tell us to what percentage figure their ultimate return will reach; nothing to tell us whether it will be 10 per cent., whether they are going to make the £75,000-odd that is missing, or whether they are going to make £750,000, or £7 million. There is not a whisper of this. May I venture to say this—and without intending a word of criticism of the inspector? The inspector who made this Report was the most conscientious and skilful man, who had a most difficult job to do. But he is, I am sure, a chartered surveyor; he is a gentleman engaged in planning matters. These were economic considerations. It was quite ridiculous that considerations of this kind should be the subject only of a planning inquiry; quite ridiculous that there should not have been the most careful economic consideration attached to the matter by experts who could think in terms of economics before this particular project got as far as it did.

The argument advanced by the noble Lord that this matter has been thoroughly investigated and debated in other places is totally unwarranted and totally untenable. Anyone who reads the Reports of the debates in another place, anyone who sees what has been said, will find that there is not a suggestion, not a ghost of an answer, to any of the matters of concern or disquiet and misgiving that must arise on reading this Report.


My Lords, would my noble friend suggest that on economic matters a lawyer is more competent than an engineer?


My Lords, I do not know that I am required to answer that question. I am not putting myself forward as an expert on economic matters. I am saying that a lawyer is able to discern when there is an absence of expertise. If I may say so, we are well trained to do that, and I think that I have the capacity to do it. I should be most surprised if any noble Lord, lawyer or otherwise, who reads this particular document does not arrive at my conclusion. It has nothing whatever to do with lawyers, and the popular device of invoking the unpopularity of lawyers is not a useful one in this particular debate.

It is a late hour, and this will be a long debate. However, there are quite a number of other things to be said. Your Lordships will have an opportunity of seeing the buildings in the model which the noble Lord, with great courage and temerity, has invited you to examine, and I endorse that invitation with a whole heart. I would beg that everyone here should go and look at the model, because there is nothing more revealing of the true nature of this particular operation. I should like to read out what in fact that miscellany of buildings consists of—and you will find it in Section 40 of the Bill. There is authorised to be built on an attractive piece of beach land which many of you know, and which at the moment is enjoyed freely by the entire population of this country—


My Lords, may I intervene, to put the matter right? Perhaps the noble Lord does not realise that the greater part of this land on which the ancillary buildings would be built would be reclaimed land, and not land already in existence.


My Lords, here again I have no wish to prolong this debate. Please go and look at the model. There is authorised to be built upon an area of beach land which involves enclosing something like half a mile of beach, one of the most unusual operations in the whole history of the coastline of this country. There is authorised to be built the following range of buildings: car parks, filling stations, hotels restaurants, club premises, offices, theatres, cinemas, casinos, dance halls, ice rinks, playgrounds, boatyards, bowling alleys, shops, houses, flats and other residential accommodation.

This startling range of buildings is what is authorised to be built on this particular piece of the foreshore; and it is authorised to justify the suggestion and under the pretext—I use the word advisedly—that the income from this astonishing agglomeration of buildings (though no evidence of any kind was called to show the need for any single one of them in any part of the town) is required if Brighton is to be able to have a harbour for small yachts: that the harbour can be provided only if this immense accumulation of buildings is built on the beach.

There is one other observation I should like to make. This inquiry was a planning inquiry. My Lords, it is the oddest sort of planning that allows a collection of buildings of this type to be approved en masse without individual consideration of their need; without anybody inquiring whether there is available any other site in the locality; without anybody asking whether they are wanted at all—purely on the basis that some other piece of development depends upon them for economic purposes. It is an entire planning novelty to me, and I hope that it will not be repeated.

I have not moved to reject the Second Reading of this Bill, for the reasons I have stated. What I urge is that the House has the duty to see that this Bill is most closely inquired into. I urge that in the circumstances whereby one development company procures a monopoly of this kind, the circumstances whereby these tenuous and exiguous economic facts are used as a justification, the whole matter should be looked into with the utmost care and the most meticulous scrutiny. I invite the House to do this, because I believe that the House will be discharging its duty if it does so.


My Lords, the noble Lord talks about the buildings being put up haphazardly without any control. Planning permission has to be obtained for all these buildings, and they will be scrutinised by the Brighton Corporation.


I did not intend to go on any longer, but I must reply to that statement. The answer is that buildings of this type are now to be authorised by an Act of Parliament, if this Bill becomes an Act. They are authorised without any single one of them having demonstrated the need for its existence.


My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Lord would clear my mind on one point in his most interesting and persuasive argument—a point that rather puzzles me. The noble Lord does not oppose the Second Reading of the Bill. He is not opposed to a yacht marina; he thinks it is a good thing. The maid issue in his mind is that a portion of the foreshore, which the Brighton Corporation, and indeed the Minister himself do not regard as being a matter of vital principle, should be used for other purposes. But would not the noble Lord agree that, if one accepts the principle of a marina, it is the marina, not the filling stations and the oceanarium, whatever that may be, that will occupy the foreshore? The very fact that the marina is built and enclosed is what takes away the beach. It is the marina, and not the buildings which are put on the reclaimed land.


My Lords, I do not know whether I may be permitted to say one more word in reply. I would not agree. The point about a marina and the enclosure of a beach for marina purposes is that this is to be a public operation on which perhaps there may be a few conventional-type beach amenities with which one is familiar, and which are entirely consonant with a beach. But if the noble Lord will go and look at the model, he will see the astonishing erections which are proposed. They have nothing to do with yachting and are not the sort of things which would be required by any yachtsman. What true yachtsman would want a bowling alley or a casino in respect of his yachting activities?


The noble Lord will admit that once you enclose the yachting basin with the concrete works, you have by that act enclosed the beach. The adding of a filling station does not make any difference.


My Lords, it is quite customary to put one question to a speaker when he finishes, but not a series, if I may say so, with very great deference to the noble Lord.


The series is over, my Lords.

7.26 p.m.


My Lords, it might be for the convenience of the House if I were to intervene very briefly, because have regard to the observations of the noble Lord, Lord Egremont, at this stage in the debate. I should like to indicate to your Lordships certain procedural considerations, both in relation to the Bill and to the Instruction which the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, will move if the Bill is given a Second Reading. I should like first to emphasise to your Lordships, although most of your Lordships will know this, that in giving a Second Reading to a Private Bill the House does not, as in the case of a Public Bill, affirm the principle of the Bill. Normal practice in the present century is that the House contents itself with giving a formal Second Reading to a Private Bill. The reason is quite simple. There are few issues on Private Bills which the House can possibly decide without the benefit of hearing parties and witnesses—the promoters of the Bill, the petitioners against the Bill, and any witnesses whom they may wish to call to give evidence on their behalf. It is, therefore, the almost universal practice for your Lordships to give a Second Reading to a Private Bill so that, having had its Second Reading, it can be considered and decided upon by a Committee of your Lordships' House.

Turning to the Bill itself, I might say something about its past history. The Bill was started in another place, and when it was there there was one petition against it which was considered by a Select Committee, and the Committee reported that the Bill should proceed. But the Bill was debated at every stage in another place and gave rise to considerable controversy, as it has done to-day in your Lordships' House. In this House there are at the moment no petitions against the Bill, and in the normal course of events it would be considered by the Committee on Unopposed Bills. I am, however, empowered, under Standing Order 92 of our Private Bill Standing Orders, to report to the House that an unopposed Private Bill such as this one should be proceeded with as an opposed Private Bill. The effect of such a report is that the Bill would be considered by a Select Committee and not by the Committee on Unopposed Bills.

In view of the circumstances of this Bill and the interest which it has aroused, which has been very apparent in the course of this debate, unless your Lordships express the view that this is undesirable, I shall make such a report to the House. The Select Committee which would in that event consider the Bill will not be able to meet until after the Summer Recess. It is for this reason that I have placed on the Order Paper the necessary Resolution which will enable the Bill to continue its progress next Session. Your Lordships will know that if I did not move such a Resolution the Bill would die at the end of this Session.

I should now like to turn to the Instruction which has been moved by the noble Lord, Lord Goodman. First of all, I would say that the terms of the Instruction are unobjectionable procedurally, and therefore from the procedural point of view the Instruction is acceptable to the House. It is rather more widely drawn than usual, but in view of the proposed reference of the Bill to a Select Committee it may be an advantage for the Committee to have received such a precise Instruction from the House; and, of course, the Select Committee would also study very carefully indeed all the speeches which have been made, and will later on be made, in the course of this debate. I would also expect that, as is usually the case when an Instruction to a Select Committee has been passed by your Lordships, the Select Committee would make a special report on the Bill to the House and deal in particular with the matters which have been raised in the Instruction.

I should like to make one comment on the last few words in the Instruction. These words raise the question whether the works proposed are desirable as a precedent for other areas. It is these words, "as a precedent for other areas", to which I should like to direct attention. In my view, this part of the Instruction would be hard for the Select Committee to fulfil. I am also not satisfied that it would be correct for them to attempt to do so. The promoters of a Private Bill are under an obligation to prove the preamble of their Bill before a Committee of each House, and the allegations in the preamble are based on considerations of local circumstances and needs in support of which evidence may be adduced.

The principle involved is that Committees decide on matters in the Preamble on which they have heard argument and evidence. It would be unreasonable to expect the Committee and the Promoters to examine the provisions of the Bill, with a view to justifying them as precedents for other areas of which neither the Committee nor the Promoters can know anything. I think it is important that this principle should be preserved: that Private Bill Promoters are required to justify their Bill only on allegations and evidence of local need, and should not be asked to justify the provisions for which they ask as precedents for other areas. I was therefore very pleased to hear the suggestion which the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, made in the course of his speech.

Of course, the exception to this principle would be a case where it was apparent to the House that, whatever the local circumstances may be, the powers conferred by the Bill should not be allowed to the Promoters because they are against public policy and against the public interest. But in such a case it would be appropriate for the Bill to be dealt with and the relevant arguments deployed on the Floor of the House and not in a Private Bill Committee. Those are all the procedural considerations to which I should like to draw your Lordships' attention.


My Lords, I wonder whether my noble friend would give me some indication as to what he meant when he said that the Promoters of the Bill are not expected to justify their actions as precedents for other areas. I was at a loss to understand what he meant by that.


My Lords, I was referring to the last few words in the Instruction which the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, proposed to move, in which he was asking the Committee to consider this Bill as a precedent for other areas in other parts of the country. I gave reasons why I thought it was undesirable for a Select Committee on a Private Bill to take this particular consideration into account. Then I went on to say that I thought that such a consideration was a perfectly relevant consideration to be dealt with on the Floor of the House as a matter of public policy.


My Lords, surely the establishment of a precedent is a vitally important consideration. I am sure I must be misunderstanding my noble friend's point of view. He is not suggesting that one should ignore the establishment of a precedent?


No, my Lords. I was making no suggestion of that kind. I was merely saying that if any noble Lord attached importance—as the noble Lord himself evidently does—to this consideration, it is a matter which should be discussed and debated on the Floor of the House and not in the Select Committee.


My Lords, might I ask one procedural question? If a direction or Instruction, such as the one we are considering to-day, is given, that does not, of course, relieve the Select Committee of the duty which they may have to consider points outside the direction. I ask the question, because on the last stages of the Bill in another place a number of comparatively minor points were raised and really left for consideration here.


My Lords, the answer to the noble Lord's question is in the affirmative.

7.33 p.m.


My Lords, I must make it clear straightaway that, although I happen by chance to be speaking from this Despatch Box, I am speaking strictly for myself this evening. I am not seeking to give any guidance to anybody other than myself. That is by way of preface. By way of introduction, I would say strightaway that we all know that we are dealing here with one of our most precious seaside towns. As Bath is to our inland towns, so is Brighton to our seaside towns. Perhaps local patriots, both inland and coastal, might dispute this view, but I think it would be fairly generally agreed. It is right, therefore, that we should consider this Bill very carefully, especially because this House is always jealous of amenity, and zealous, I hope, in its defence. I would entirely agree with what the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, has said on that general point.

That said, I should like to congratulate my noble friend Lord Teynham on the clarity with which he has moved the Second Reading. I suspect that most of us, whatever we feel about this Bill, will recognise the need for more marinas, for more marinas on the South Coast of our island, and for a marina near Brighton itself. We are all aware—or, if we are not, we jolly well should be—of the tremendous growth in the popularity of sailing. I suppose that the expansion of leisure activities of all sorts is really one of the most remarkable phenomena which we have witnessed in the two decades since the war, and I think that most of us would also agree that it is a good thing that yachting—a good and healthy occupation—should be as popular to-day as it is. I had the good fortune only the other day to take part in a Round-the-Island Race and I remember what the race was before the war, with perhaps 30 or 40 rather large yachts taking part. But at the start off Cowes, a fortnight or so ago there were, I think, 380 yachts of every sort, size and description.

But this remarkable growth in sailing in our comparatively restricted waters has brought its inevitable problems, the chief of which is parking. I think it is true to say that in many places now along our South Coast it is just as difficult to park one's yacht or one's dinghy as it is to park one's car. Hence the need for marinas and hence, in essence, the justification for the Bill. The noble Lord, Lord Goodman, rather surprised me when he said—I think I am quoting him correctly—that this has nothing to do with yachting. This Bill raises a great number of other issues, but I should have thought that the main issue with which it certainly is concerned is to make things easier for the yachtsman. My noble friend Lord Teynham has made these points and therefore I shall not elaborate on them.

Apart from anything else he said, he has emphasised—and I think emphasised quite legitimately—that the scheme has been backed and fully supported by the Corporation of Brighton; that the local fishermen are very keen on it; that it was subject to an exhaustive nine days' inquiry; that the inspector, in recommending it—and I see that he is an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects—described it as bold, imaginative and attractive, whatever we may think about it when we look at the model outside; that it has been endorsed, subject to certain conditions, by the Minister; that it has not been opposed by any of the national amenity societies; that it has passed the fairly fine mesh of the Royal Fine Art Commission; and that it was approved—admittedly after a pretty warm debate—in another place.

This Bill, as I understand it, is not being petitioned against in your Lordships' House, and I have no doubt whatsoever, like the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, that we should give it a Second Reading. But because we are dealing with this unique town, because the scheme is a very major one involving major development, because it has aroused controversy, it is surely right that we should all voice any reservations now which we may have on it.

I think I have four queries and I should like briefly to summarise them. In the first place, I have naturally asked myself whether it is right that a project of this sort should be carried through by private interests, and whether it was really necessary to graft on to the basic concept of the yacht harbour or the marina other developments which we have seen on the model outside. I personally believe that this is just the sort of project which private enterprise in this country should be tackling, although—and I am expressing here a purely personal view—I myself should have liked to see the Brighton Corporation more actively involved in the whole transaction, possibly by way of some equity participation from the start.

I know that all the ancillary buildings—the flats, the botel (and I very much hope that my noble friend Lord Cones-ford, who is not here this evening, will quickly succeed in erasing that word from the English dictionary), the shops, the skating rink, the bowling alleys and—horror of horrors!—the night club and the restaurant have been criticised. I was a little surprised by some of the criticisms of the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, on this point, because it seems to me that quite a large number of these ancillary by-products of the Marina have something to do with yachting and yachtsmen. A yacht harbour and a boatyard, which were included in his list, seem to me to have a great deal to do with sailing; a marina club, a restaurant—it is normal that yachtsmen should eat. Then, shops—they need to buy their stores—an hotel, a boatel, residential units and even pubs. I have known yachtsmen occasionally frequent pubs. It seemed to me that quite a lot of the list had a great deal to do with yachting and yachtsmen. However, that is by the way.

I myself thoroughly enjoyed the pyrotechnics in which the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, indulged on this question of economics and of this connection between the two. But, as my noble friend has pointed out, the inspector accepted the view that in all probability this scheme could not be economic without these ancillary developments. The noble Lord, Lord Goodman, has made a great deal of play with this aspect, and it is perhaps something that should be examined. All I can point out is that the Minister, who is a careful Minister of a careful Government, as we know, presumably examined the evidence. I see that in his Decision Letter he states that he accepts that there is an ever-increasing demand for more yacht moorings, but that a new harbour and ancillary buildings here would not be an economic proposition unless they are accompanied by other revenue-producing developments. I am sure the Minister of this present Government would not have come lightly to that conclusion without a very careful study of all the evidence in front of him; and I am quite certain that if more evidence was required he must have called for it. But that is by the way. It seems to me that the Minister's decision on this and his views are stated in much more emphatic terms than the views of the inspector.


May I interrupt the noble Earl for a moment? If the Minister had called for more evidence after the receipt of the inspector's report, he might have been bound to reopen the inquiry; and this, as we know, he did not do.


I see. If he did not feel that was either necessary or desirable. That is by the way. But I see that he accepts the view, and presumably he did not accept it lightly.

My Lords, whatever we may feel about this, I am pretty certain myself, from all I know about other marinas, that it really is not possible to provide cheap moorings for the smaller boats and the less affluent yachtsmen unless there are other allied facilities producing revenue. That is my own view; but on that broad ground I personally would come down fairly and squarely in favour of the scheme. I will not say that I am committed to every precise detail in it, but I agree that there must be other, allied developments.

My second query is about pollution. The inspector thought that the amount of beach pollution could be significant, and the Minister has called upon the public health authorities to take all possible steps to deal with it. I should very much like to know more about what is proposed here. My third query is about traffic. I notice that the inspector felt that the extra traffic generated by the scheme could be successfully accommodated, but parking place is being provided for, I think, 3,600 cars, and I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, will be able to tell us that the road programme within and, above all, around Brighton will, in fact, be able to cope with this very great increase, loaded on top of the natural and inevitable increase which will be taking place without this extra 3,600.

My fourth query is about the height of the buildings themselves. I noted, of course, that the second condition in paragraph 13 of the Decision Letter states firmly that no building shall be higher than the cliff top. This seems to me an absolutely essential condition if the appearance of Kemp Town, with its lovely Regency terraces, is not to be spoilt. But I have also noted that the first subsection of Section 58 of the Bill talks about no such higher buildings being erected: Save with the prior consent of the corporation … I again have noted that the Minister in another place thought that this was a matter which we here should look further into. May I take it that the Minister's condition, and not what is said in the Bill, is overriding here; and overriding, as it were, for all time? I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, or my noble friend, will be able to allay such reservations as I have on those three or four points. But even if they were not able to do so, this would not affect my view that we should be right, for the same reason as was advanced by the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, to give this Bill a Second Reading.

There remains the question whether we should give an Instruction to our Committee, and, if so, whether it should be in the terms suggested by the noble Lord, Lord Goodman. It is, of course, pretty unusual for us to do so on a Bill of this sort, although there was a precedent in the Tees Valley Bill. I personally am inclined to agree with the Lord Chairman of Committees, that in view of the controversy which this Bill has aroused he should exercise his discretion under our Private Bill Standing Order No. 92, (I think it is), and have the Bill considered by a Select Committee. I also agree that it would be a good thing in this case for our Committee of Selection to choose a balanced Committee. But, personally, I am inclined to doubt whether it is really necessary for us to have an Instruction. Surely, in the discharge of their task our Select Committee will in any case be bound to take account of the views expressed on both sides of this question in our House this evening. That is my own view of the matter, though, of course, your Lordships may feel otherwise.

If your Lordships decide that an Instruction is required, I feel that it would be wise for the House to look very carefully at the terms of the Instruction; and, despite what the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, has said about it being designed to be as neutral as possible, I must say that I am not entirely happy about his precise wording. The Motion on the Order Paper would instruct the Committee … to consider how far the works proposed … go beyond what is necessary to provide a harbour for pleasure craft … That is the wording used. "A harbour for pleasure craft" could mean a lot or a little. It could mean just a tiny harbour for a few luxury yachts and their luxurious owners. But what the Promoters have in mind here, as I understand it, is a large modern marina capable of meeting the anticipated demand for this type of mooring at reasonable charges. I should have thought that if we are to have an Instruction it would be wise to spell this out in some such way, as I personally find the wording chosen by the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, although it is intended to be neutral, in fact rather restrictive. I share, too, the doubts of the Lord Chairman of Committees about the last seven words of the Instruction, but I understand that the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, himself is inclined to share those particular doubts.

My Lords, I would summarise my personal position on this matter as follows. I am quite clear that we should give this Bill a Second Reading. I hope that its Promoters, my noble friend or the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, will be able to answer to my satisfaction the doubts on certain points which I have ventilated. I believe that we should have a Select Committee, and I am inclined to doubt whether we need an Instruction. But if your Lordships feel that there is a need for an Instruction, I should find it very difficult myself to vote for the Instruction as at present worded, and I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, would consider enlarging it in some way. As drawn, it seems to me to be very restrictive.

Before sitting down, I should just like to say two further things. First, I very much regret that owing to a very longstanding engagement I shall have to leave the Chamber for some little time. I hope to be able to return if there is going to be a Division. I should also like to add this. I had the pleasure quite recently of helping to pilot the Civic Amenities Bill through your Lordships' House. I believe very profoundly that this House should concern itself intimately with matters of amenity: and, although I have not attempted to labour this point, I have scrutinised this Bill and this project with those considerations of amenity very much in my mind.

7.50 p.m.


My Lords, I am afraid that I am not qualified to speak on the accommodation needed for yachts; or, indeed, on the building plans that I have heard about tonight; or on the financial arrangements of this proposition. However, I want to speak very shortly on a certain aspect of the Marina which strikes me very forcefully and which arouses my emotions. Having had a long training in another place, my first reaction to the Bill, which is concerned with Brighton, and which, I understand, comes within the interest of the Brighton Members of Parliament, a Labour Member and a Conservative Member, was to say that these representatives must know all about Brighton; that this is their affair, and that I had no intention of interfering. Indeed, when one or two people spoke to me about this I felt that it was so complicated that I could not possibly make a contribution.

However, something else has been brought to my attention, and this is the aspect on which I want to speak tonight. Brighton, of course, is a place which we all regard affectionately. It has been called "London-by-the-Sea", and a Londoner, like myself, regards it as a place which one can reach in one hour, and smell the sea and the salt. As a child—and noble Lords will forgive me this personal allusion when they realise how strongly I feel about this aspect of the plan—I lived for three or four years in a house at Westgate, the garden of which ran right down to the beach. On those lovely sands, on that lovely beach, I used to ride the milkman's horse. I am not suggesting that you could ride a milkman's horse along these beaches at Brighton. Nevertheless, those glorious beaches and those happy, carefree days have left a lasting impression on me. When I go abroad and see beaches desecrated by commercial interests, where children have to pay to play on the best parts of the beach, I am seized with a desire to denounce those greedy men who profit from exploiting the birth-right of the people. On hearing about the Brighton Marina Bill, I inquired whether it was intended to enclose the beaches; and I learned that this was the case in Brighton; that it was intended to enclose our beaches—


My Lords, I intervene only to explain again that there is practically no beach in the Black Rock area and that all the area is to be reclaimed land.


But my Lords, there is a foreshore. I know the Black Rock area very well. There is a foreshore; everybody knows it. The noble Lord cannot really deny it. He must go down and examine it again. I understand that part of this will be enclosed; and I presume that from this there will be other developments. There will be charges made by the commercial interests for people to go on to a certain part of the shore. This is the principle which I utterly reject as being wrong.

I felt that it was quite in order for me to make my protest, because on consulting Erskine May I read: The promoters of a Bill may prove beyond a doubt that their own interests will be advanced by its success and no one may complain of injury or urge any specific objection, yet if Parliament apprehends that it will be hurtful to the community it is rejected as if it were a public measure. I maintain that this will be hurtful to the community, that it will create a precedent, a precedent which will be quickly followed by other developers, and that it will lead to the leasing of the foreshore around our coasts. It is this precedent that I am asking your Lordships to consider. I feel that we must reject this Bill, not only on behalf of certain people in Brighton, people who hitherto have used the foreshore, but on behalf of people living around the whole coast of Britain.

There are many, of course, who know this area of Brighton better than most. I noticed that Professor Marcus Cunliffe of Sussex University made a similar protest in The Times. He wrote: Leasing-off the foreshore creates a dangerous precedent for our whole coastline. This may sound very simple to those who are engaged in these manipulations and Colossal financial transactions; but I feel strongly that the foreshore belongs to the people. The beach, I feel, is the only place where, even if only for a short time, our society enjoys a common ownership of the land. As a doctor I have often looked at people on the beach and said to myself: "When you strip off the clothes you are unable to identify the Peer from the peasant."

My Lords, this is England, and here to-night—and this may be our last chance—we have an opportunity of preventing this exploitation, an exploitation that will not stop in Brighton. This Bill reminds us that we could go back to the times of the enclosure of public land. Therefore I feel that we must exercise our vigilance. I am aware that the Corporation and the political Parties of Brighton want this Bill. But are they capable of objectivity? Even the noble Lord who moved the Motion began his speech by saying: "I am a yacht-owner." Can the noble Lord view this objectively? I suggest that he cannot; and I suggest that many people in Brighton cannot view it objectively. On the other hand, I should have said to the Corporation, and to all the other people interested in the prosperity of Brighton, that the increasing noise and hustle of urban life is so strident that I should have thought a holiday resort would recognise that its attraction will be assured if it can offer a quiet oasis where people can relax and contemplate a lanscape and a seascape, unspoiled by the ravages of modern civilisation.

Before your Lordships make up your minds, before you are convinced by this juggling of figures, before you believe that perhaps it is for the best interest of Brighton that they should have this Marina, this glorified funfair, and even before there is the harbour for the yachts, I entreat you to remember that to-night you will be establishing a precedent, a very dangerous precedent, for the foreshore of Britain.

7.59 p.m.


My Lords, in passing I would observe, if I may, that the noble Baroness who has just sat down would have a few surprises if she were to investigate her legal rights on the foreshore. She would find, in fact, that they do not exist, and that nobody, no member of the public at all, has any right to do anything whatever on the foreshore except two things: one is to fish and the other is to navigate. So that when the noble Baroness goes on the foreshore to take air and exercise she is doing something that she has no right to do in this country.


My Lords, would not the noble Lord agree that I have a moral right?


Well, my Lords, I did not know that we were talking about moral rights.


Yes, my Lords, we are.


My Lords, I will leave it at that, but I thought I would say that in passing.

The noble Baroness objected to the enclosure of this area of the coast for a harbour. What about Dover? What about Ramsgate? What about a hundred and one other harbours around our coasts and the coasts of other countries? How can you have a harbour if you do not enclose some part of the shore?


My Lords, would not the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, agree that these are different operations? The harbours he has mentioned are operated by a public authority, and the analogy is quite wrong.


My Lords, I do not know that they are all operated by public authorities. There are various kinds of harbour authorities. I have not made a study of how many are public and how many are private; but certainly some of them are private.

It occurs to me, having listened to the debate so far, that there is little more to say. It appears to be agreed that this Bill is to have a Second Reading tonight. If it is not, I shall be corrected. But if that is so, need we prolong the debate very much? And can we concentrate on the proposed Instruction? I have looked at the Instruction, and I suggest that perhaps the most significant word is in the first line where it says that the Committee are to "consider" something. I am a very strong supporter of this Bill, but I do not really mind the Committee's considering this matter or any other. I would observe in connection with something said by the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, that it is surely not intended that the Committee are to consider only this matter, to the exclusion of others. Surely nobody thinks that. Yet I thought that possibly the noble Earl did. There is surely no danger that if this Instruction were passed the Committee would feel bound to restrict themselves to this point. I should think certainly not.


My Lords, may I respectfully remind the noble Lord that that is exactly the question I asked the noble Lord the Chairman of Committees? And he agreed that if this Instruction were given, it would not preclude the Committee from considering other matters.


My Lords, with great respect to the noble Lord, Lord Mitchison, I should have thought that was plain and obvious to everybody. But there it is. Now we are agreed that is so, anyway. Therefore, although I want this Bill I feel that there is little objection that can be taken to this Instruction. If there is a Select Committee (and I understand that there is to be one, in any event) what difference will it make? Will they not have to consider this point anyway, whether the Instruction is passed or not? I would strongly urge that the last seven words of the Instruction should be left out. I understand that the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, is agreeable: so even that seems to be agreed. What is there, my Lords, that is not agreed?

May I say, in a very few words, that I have no interest to declare in Brighton. I have not been there for years. But I am a very keen yachtsman. I have been into a great many harbours in this country and in many other countries. I think there is a great and serious shortage age of yacht accommodation in this country. I, as a yachtsman, am prepared to pay for accommodation, though I cannot help reflecting that if I go across the Channel I get better accommodation and pay nothing whatever for it. I came through the French canals last year, and I came through 350 locks between the Mediterranean and the English Channel. Apart from one tunnel, at which I had to pay, I did not pay one single sou for the lot. In all seriousness I would say that conditions in our country compare very adversely in this matter to the conditions now existing in other countries. They all have their yacht harbours and their marinas; and compared to them, this country is years and years behind. I can frankly say that I am not interested in casinos or flats, but I am interested in the provision of yacht harbours. At present, yachtsmen think seriously that it is hardly worth going down the English Channel, because the chances are that they will not be able to get accommodation anywhere; so it is better to go to France. As I said before, I will not detain the House further. There is little more to be said, though I observe that there are quite a number of speakers still to be heard, and I will willingly give way to them. I repeat, I am a strong supporter of this Bill.

8.6 p.m.


My Lords, I find very little upon which I differ from the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, but I am not quite such an optimist as he is in thinking that all those who are speaking to the Bill will necessarily accept what I regard as a very harmless and, in the circumstances, a necessary Instruction. That is really all that remains. We are all agreed that this Bill should have a Second Reading, if only because it would be wholly inappropriate to turn down on Second Reading a Bill which has passed all its stages in another place. We are all agreed that something is needed by way of what is called in the proposed Instruction "a harbour for pleasure craft", and I should have thought it ought to be left to the Committee to decide questions about the size of that and the rest of it. It is eminently a matter for them.

My Lords, what we do not agree about, as I understand it, is this. It is said, and was said by the Minister, that this would not be a viable proposition without what I will call the onshore works. These are really a substantial part of what is, from the point of view of the Promoters, a purely commercial operation. They are going to cost £10 million out of the total of £13 million. Those were the estimates given to us. Those figures depend, I notice, purely on the evidence of the Promoters themselves. The Brighton Corporation had some sort of look at it, but I do not think the Committee on this Bill, whatever may have happened on the planning application, had any other evidence whatever but that of the financial director of the company in question. I accept that they are experienced. This private company is one of the 210 subsidiaries of the Allied Land Investment Company which, in its turn, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Allied Land Holdings. It became a subsidiary because those in whose fertile brains—and I mean that politely and sensibly—this idea originated, handed over control, I do not know on what terms, on or about March 22 of this year.

This experienced company had, in fact, so they told the Committee, been seriously considering this project since last October. It is, from their point of view, a commercial venture. I do not ask them to be philanthropists and I do not think any the worse of them for expecting and hoping to be successful. While we are on questions of cost, I ought to point out that there is another thing. The same financial director, when asked about this, explained that there was still a lot to be done by way of investigating the project, and only after that would he be able to know what was the cost. My Lords, in all these circumstances one asks oneself, what was the evidence upon which the inspector thought there was a tendency to show that the matter would not be viable without the off-shore works? What induced the Minister to be satisfied that that was the case? My Lords, I do not like differing from my own Ministers, but I have read through the evidence, and the evidence given before the Committee, and I can find nothing in the evidence to show that the Promoters of the Bill were not engaged in a commercial venture.

If that is the position, one is also entitled to notice that when this Bill started it contained rather remarkable compulsory powers which were to be given to this company. It was only in Committee in another place, after a good deal of discussion, that these powers were taken out of the Bill and it has assumed its present remarkable form. Though it contains powers to deal with roads and the like, it does not provide for compulsory purchase of any kind, that being struck out, but I understand that it is proposed that the junior partner, the Brighton Corporation, should do the requisitioning. I am not being unduly critical of all this. All I am saying is that if that is the position, one has to see clearly on what this proposition is founded that the yacht harbour, which we all want to see, is viable only if there is this commercial venture of pubs, restaurants, cinemas and what not on shore—there is what is called an "Oceanorama", which appeared at one point; I do not think the noble Lord who promotes the Bill knows what it is, but he told me that if it contained anything it might be a shark; however, I do not attach too much importance to that. Seriously, it is altogether too little to go on, if one is going to take that as sufficient evidence for the conclusion which I agree was reached on a planning application—not on the Bill—by the inspector and followed by the Minister.

We then come to the evidence before the Committee in another place, where the proceedings were rather unsatisfactory for this reason: that by the time the Bill had got to that stage, all the Petitions had disappeared except one, which had four signatures of gentlemen who were concerned only to see that they got sufficient compensation for their property. The only one who gave tongue was appropriately called Mr. Payne Nash. It is rather unfortunate to have a question of public importance of this kind considered without anybody arguing the main question—the question of viability. What is the real point in objecting to this proposal? Brighton, or some of Brighton at any rate, may like it. They are the right judges.

In addition to the point just made by my noble friend Baroness Summerskill, there is another which I regard as of great importance. We are going to have a Defence debate in the course of a few days and we are going to consider what we can afford in that particular matter. We are considering a whole lot of other social services, too, and the question of private expenditure. That is why there has been a squeeze. I am not saying "Right" or "Wrong" about any of this. I am simply saying that it is a question of grave public importance whether we should spend large sums of money and find the labour and materials at a time when this country is not altogether free from difficulties and feels that it has to cut down on defence expenditure.

We had a White Paper on Town and Country Planning the other day which stressed that at present planning was not sufficiently connected with economic considerations. This is a case in point. This Bill authorises expenditure of a large sum of money, which will provide some employment, which probably will be seasonal and which may or may not be productive, in the South of England at a moment when we are trying to get full employment in other parts of the country. Looked at from the broad economic point of view, I should think that this was very doubtful wisdom. It may be the sort of error that the proposed changes in town and country planning are intended to obviate.

This question ought not to be a Party matter. I very much doubt if it is. I have always understood from noble Lords that they accepted that planning in this country in its present perhaps rather narrow sense ought to be closely linked with the economic plans of the country as a whole. That is what makes me doubtful about the wisdom of this Bill. This is a matter of real national importance far beyond the competence of a local authority, however competent they may be within their sphere. I assure your Lordships, who know that I have been somewhat critical of our powers and activities in this House, that I have never in any way whatever criticised the powers and activities on Private Bills. On the contrary, I think they are necessary; in practice they work well, and this is a case where they ought to be exercised to meet what I can hardly call an error but a certain lack of evidence. I would appeal to your Lordships to take this matter not as a Party question, not as any question about Brighton or a yacht harbour, but as a question of whether it is really in the best interests of the country at the moment that this amount of money should be spent upon the inshore works of Brighton, upon a plea, most tenuously supported by the evidence, that without them they cannot get the yacht harbour.

8.18 p.m.


My Lords, when the Member of Parliament introduced this Bill in another place, he branded all those who opposed it as "carpetbaggers". Not knowing the meaning of the word, I looked it up in the Concise Oxford Dictionary and found it to mean: "A political agitator unconnected with a district". So I stand before the House as a self-confessed carpetbagger, ready to speak against this Bill, because I consider it a political and planning blunder. I love Brighton. There is so much to enjoy and of interest there: the sea, with the marvellous downland behind it; the town, with its historic buildings and beautiful architecture. As I have not been there for some years, I went down for the day last Sunday. I walked along the stretch of green grass along the top of Black Rock and looked at the coast line. I reflected on what the Brighton Marina Company was proposing to build on the half-mile of coast line beneath Black Rock, half a mile along and one-third of a mile out to sea. And I came to the conclusion that, before we start building and developing, we should cherish what is still un-spoilt.

The Bill has as its professed first object the building of a marina—the modern fancy name for a boat harbour. Incidentally, I think that to-day's Guardian states that Allied Land, which has 74 per cent. of the money, has said that it is not particularly interested in the yachting side of this project. No-one who is against the vast development project outlined in the Bill is against the building of a marina. We are 100 per cent. for it, because we know that there is a great and growing need for a safe boat harbour. But we find it a little difficult to understand why a rich town like Brighton, perhaps with a bit of help from the Treasury, cannot find the money to build it. I have a good deal of sympathy with the noble Lord, Lord Merthyr, who pointed out that France is so much better at these things than we are. If there is a great need for a marina why cannt we get the money for it? But what is really incomprehensible to me is that a project which would take ten years to build, and would cost up to £15 million, should be undertaken in order to make a marina which might cost one-fifth of that amount.

My Lords, let us be clear about this Bill. The Brighton Marina Bill is not only about a boat harbour; that is the least of it. The company is not proposing to turn an open beach into a marina: it is proposing to put up a great density of buildings on a beach: building, in fact, a township there; planting a complex of buildings upon the foreshore—ice rinks, restaurants, pubs, luxury hotels, houses, flats, and, last but not least, a casino. The handsome brochure we were sent has it all set out on the 106-acre site. As well as having to consider whether such a development is desirable, we have to consider whether there is any need for such a development in Brighton itself. There is ample entertainment in Brighton—some in excess of demand—and luxury flats in Brighton stand empty.

This is the first instance in this country of a slice of the foreshore—half-a-mile of it, as I have said—being taken over by a private company, and, as my noble friend Lady Summerskill said, it is a most menacing precedent. It is also of national importance and concern. It can be the forerunner of similar enclosures and on-shore developments. In the past, some Brighton hotels have tried to enclose the foreshore for their residents, and have been defeated. This scheme, if permitted, will be the green light for reversing these decisions.

The company which is seeking to promote this large development appears to be quite respectable, but with the possibility of planting casinos around the coast of Britain, what is to prevent the Mafia casting a predatory eye on some beauty spot and proceeding to develop it on a grand scale, on the excuse of building a marina? I have never been a glutton for nationalisation, but I would put every inch of our coastline under public ownership. It seems ironical that the Labour Member of Parliament who introduced this Bill in another place is reputedly a Left-Winger; yet this Bill gives wide, monopolistic powers to a private company to make profit out of a public foreshore. We are told that just to build a yacht harbour would not be viable. No hard evidence, as has been said already, is given for this—no figures whatever. We are simply told that, in order to spend £3 million on a marina, about £12 million must be spent on development. Perhaps businessmen are clairvoyant. I am not; and I cannot believe this.

If this development is necessary or desirable merely in order to build a yacht harbour, it should be done by the municipality. But I do not think it is right even for a corporation to enclose a part of the foreshore. After all, local authorities change their personnel; they come and go. We are told, among other things, that there is to be garage accommodation for 3,600 cars, and that on a fine sunny day 20,000 people are expected there. Yet the two most important problems, those of traffic and sewerage, are barely considered. It seems to me that what would be needed was not more luxury flats, but sewers. There is envisaged a provision for about 8,000 people to sleep on the boats. I venture to suggest that this is probably all that they will do. So far as I can judge, these yachtsmen will be dancing in the ballroom, drinking in the pubs, gambling in the casino, having all this entertainment in all these ways other than sailing. What do these earnest yachtsmen need with all these diversions?

So we should have more than half a mile of public beaches, under a beautiful, unspoiled cliff, permanently lost to the public. When Brighton Corporation bought these cliffs in 1930 they entered into all sorts of covenants not to build on or deface these cliffs. In this overcrowded island of ours, we should preserve and cherish the unspoiled beauty of our coastline. Some years ago, there was a film called Bad Day at Black Rock. I say that it will be a bad day for Black Rock if this grandiose funfair ever gets off the ground. So I very much hope that we shall accept the Instruction of my noble friend Lord Goodman. Let us have another serious look at this Bill, and weigh up what we are about to sacrifice—scenic beauty for private profit—and whether we cannot have a marina in Brighton without a poor man's Monte Carlo into the bargain.

8.28 p.m.


My Lords, I can think of no occasion until to-day when my views have differed from those of my noble friend Lord Goodman, for whom, if I may say so, I have the greatest admiration and respect. But I am afraid that on this occasion I find myself differing from him. The only difference there has been in the past is that he has always been able to express my thoughts and views a great deal better than I have. I cannot for the life of me think that it is right to support a Motion to instruct the Select Committee in the case of the Brighton Marina Bill. This Bill has passed through all its stages in another place; the scheme has received approval from the local authority and the local planning authority, and from the Arts Council.

I thought it rather strange a fortnight ago, when the Bill was down for Second Reading in this Chamber, and it was postponed for a reason which I was unable to understand at the time, and which I do not think many other noble Lords understood. I can now perhaps say that I am afraid I understand it rather better. It seems to me—I am subject to correction, and the noble Lord on the Front Bench will not have any hesitation in correcting me, if necessary—that there have been certain local interests at work which have tried to postpone and upset a matter which has already received approval by all these people and bodies primarily concerned with it.


My Lords, I think my noble friend the Chief Whip may be able to say more about this later, but as I understand it the postponement of the consideration of this Bill was due to the fact that when it was put down last week there was no reason to suppose that anybody was about to contest it on the Floor of the House. Reasons to suppose that they were about to do so then became apparent, and the day on which it was down was already very full of business.


My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord on what day it became apparent?


My Lords, as I remember it, and subject to later correction, about the day before or two days before.


My Lords, all I can say in reply is that at the time of the Second Reading we had no information on that point.

My Lords, not so very long ago certain Members on this side of the House received some stricture, albeit of the most friendly nature, for seeking to disagree with the proposals of the planning authorities in certain parts of the South Coast and other places in the North Country. It seemed to be suggested that it was not a matter about which your Lordships' House should concern itself, when democratic processes had already been decided and their requirements fulfilled. I have heard it said—not this evening in this Chamber—that the Brighton Marina scheme is the brain-child of a couple of local garage proprietors, backed by Canadian and American finance emanating from some unnamed gambling fraternity. So far as I have been able to ascertain—and I have made careful inquiry—no such American gambling interest is involved. In the first place, I can see nothing wrong in being a garage proprietor, and in fact during a fairly lengthy life, concerned almost exclusively with business, I was once a garage proprietor myself, and I certainly did not regard this as a kind of naughty enterprise. It constituted my very first venture in business on my own account, and it proved a successful stepping-stone to somewhat wider interests.

So far as the financial backing for the scheme is concerned, I understand that the money for this is available in the City of London, and the only Canadian slant I can find which may attach to it is the fact that one of the partners in the issuing house which has been concerned with the enterprise is Canadian born. He has lived nearly all his life in this country, and served throughout the last war, partly in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, when he was acting as a member of the Royal Engineers in the British Army. He is a fellow-director of mine in one company, and also a personal friend. It is, in fact, as has been said, one of the London-based property companies that is willing to support the scheme.

So far as any criticism may lie relating to the enclosure of part of the foreshore, I think it is necessary to be aware of the topographical peculiarities of this piece of the coast. There is no easy way down to the beach at the Black Rock end of Brighton. In fact, there is not really any beach. There is a series of rock promontories and pinnacles, and so far as I am aware the only thing that ever goes along there at the present time is sewage. As I recall it, the sea comes up to the cliff, and when the tide goes down the rocks stick out of the sea and the sewage goes out beyond the rocks and discharges into the deep water.

I understand that under the scheme it is agreed to preserve the undercliff wall above the beach. I remember this bit of the coast being a place to which one was always very careful to give a wide berth in sailing in these waters. It seems to me that nothing but good can come from building a marina in a place which can provide no other useful amenity. The plans have been most carefully drawn and have received, as I have already said, full support from the the local authority and Parliament. Speaking as an ex-Commodore of a small yacht club, I feel that sailing activities should be encouraged. So far as a gambling casino is concerned, although I am told that nothing of the kind has so far been included, there is nothing illegal in a casino in these days and, surely, if one were going to provide a casino the natural habitat for such a facility would seem to be Brighton. I am very sorry indeed to disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, but I hope very much that this Instruction will be resisted, and that the Bill may receive a Second Reading and proceed through its normal stages to the Statute Book.

8.35 p.m.


My Lords, I must disagree with the noble Viscount, Lord Addison, because he does not think we should accept Lord Goodman's Instruction. I think that the noble Viscount feels that the whole of this matter has been gone into by the proper democratic processes. It seemed to me that the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, demonstrated to us beyond any possible doubt—and he was backed up by the noble Lord, Lord Mitchison—that the evidence has not really been looked at at all.

I am very suspicious about this Bill. It proposes to do something which has never been done before: to enclose a public foreshore for private development. I may be naïve, but I cannot help thinking that something very "hot" is being done under our noses; and nothing that has been said in another place, or in the Report by the Minister, has dissuaded me from this -view and from the suspicion I have. I think that if only to demonstrate the position, possibly to people like myself, who suspect that this is a racket, there is very good reason for having this Instruction. It is not unreasonable for me to suppose that a racket is going on when, in fact, it appears to me that the real purpose of this Bill, under the cloak of getting a marina, is to get public land for private development. This seems to me a most monstrous thing.

I do not mind a bit how good the development is in itself. I am prepared to believe that the architects who have drawn it up are very good ones and that the scheme is, as the Minister's inspector says, bold, imaginative and attractive. It may be all these things. It may fit in very well with the Regency terraces; it may overcome all the problems of traffic and of sewage. But this is neither here nor there; it has nothing to do with it. This is land, or so it seems to me, that should not be developed at all.

The noble Baroness, Lady Gaitskell, pointed out that when the Brighton Corporation bought this land many years ago they entered into the most rigorous restrictive covenants as to their behaviour in regard to development of this land. Similarly, Governments of all shades in the past decade have been saying that above all else we must try to preserve our coast. The National Trust has just embarked upon this great operation "Neptune". All the local authorities concerned—those of Sussex, Kent and the South of England coast—have been saying (I forget their actual words) that above all else we must preserve this coast. I do not know how many thousand miles of coast we have in this country. It may be something like 2,000. But, after all, here it is proposed to develop half a mile of it. Well, where do we stop? Sooner or later we are going to turn the whole of this country into one urban sprawl, and the same applies to the coast. I think that where it is proposed to do something of this nature—as I say, it has never been done before—the closest scrutiny is required to show why it should be done. And I have heard no reasons as to why it should be done. One of the principal arguments is that a marina would not be viable unless it had this background development. Very well then. If that is so, what about the argument that there is such a pressure for marinas? I accept the fact that there is a pressure for marinas. But if that is so, why cannot they support themselves?

Again, the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, pointed out that there is conflict of evidence as to how much it costs to keep a boat. I do not know. I have never sailed in one in my life, though I am only too delighted that my children and friends should. But this conflict over costs of keeping a boat does not alter the fact that if there is a demand, the yachtsmen can pay for it themselves. There is also the argument put forward (I cannot believe that this is true) that yacht owners must be—I will not say subsidised, but supported by expropriation from the public: because this is, in fact, what it amounts to.

It seems to me that the strongest point is neither of those two arguments, but that in fact the new company is not really interested in the marina at all. The noble Baroness, Lady Gaitskell, drew our attention to a statement that appeared in the Guardian to-day. May I plug the point? It was that one of the spokesmen for this holding company, with its 210 subsidiaries, said that they were not primarily interested in the marina side of the project at all. If that is so, and if there is reason to suppose that a marina is not viable without this development in the background, I want very much better reasons for it than have been given to me. Therefore I warmly support the noble Lord's Instruction, and I hope that the rest of your Lordships will do so, too.

8.40 p.m.


My Lords, I am strongly in favour of this Bill, and I shall try to explain why. I shall not go into the economics of it, because I leave that to people with brains, such as the noble Lord, Lord Goodman. I am not qualified to do that, but what I want to do is to say something about some of the objections which have been raised. First, there is the question of the enclosing of the shore at all. The noble Baroness, Lady Summerskill, spoke very strongly about the joys of walking along the shore and thinking to herself that it would all soon be enclosed. One can sympathise to a certain degree, if it happens to be a part of the shore with which one is familiar, but one has to remember that for the shore that the Marina is to take away it is going to give it back one hundred times, judged in terms of public enjoyment and pleasure. There are hundreds of miles of our coast where one can go and just sit on the beach, or paddle or make sandcastles, or do other things like that, but sailing is becoming an increasingly popular sport. After all, it is not so long since sailing was purely the rich man's sport, and this Marina will bring it within the reach of all.

As to the question of enclosure by private ownership, the noble Baroness, Lady Gaitskell, spoke quite strongly against that, as did the noble Lord, Lord Henley. Am I to gather from what they said that they would have had no objection to the enclosure of the beach had it been done by the Brighton Council? If so, I cannot see that there is any real objection. The enclosure is there, and who owns it—whether it be private or public owners—does not seem to me to matter very much.


My Lords, if the noble Lord will forgive me, I should like to remind him that I said I would think it just as wrong for Brighton Corporation to enclose that particular bit of foreshore as for a private company to do so.


My Lords, I am very glad to hear the noble Baroness say that, but one has to remember, too, that this particular part of the shore is of no value to seaside visitors in the way of sitting on the shore or enjoying the pleasures of the sea. I should like to read an extract from the report of the Brighton Corporation. This is a description of that particular part of the shore: The comparatively small part of the foreshore which will be lost to the public by the construction of the Marina is not one of Brighton's better beaches. It is rock-strewn and of little attraction and use to bathers, and its loss can have no adverse effect on the town's available seaside facilities for both residents and visitors, That seems to me to be pretty convincing evidence that the enclosure is not going to be a great loss to seaside visitors, and that they will gain a great deal more by what is going to be put there, as I hope to point out to your Lordships.

Sailing, for people who live inland, is rather a problem, because one has to pay for one's mooring—I am speaking in terms of the present, not when the Marina is constructed—and one perhaps has to travel a long way to find a mooring. However, when the Marina is there, the mooring will be extremely reasonable; thousands of people will have access to it, and it will offer other facilities besides sailing. Here I come to the other objection which was raised, as to whether the ancillary buildings are necessary. I consider personally that they are necessary, because when people go to the seaside very few of them go down just for the purpose of having a sail. If they do, they are probably members of some yacht club somewhere else, and that does not refer to the general public. The general public, when they go to the sea, generally go down for a week or a fortnight, and they want accommodation. They want entertainments for their children, they want some ways in which to spend the evenings, they want their various other amenities besides the actual sailing, and that is why this Marina will be so ideal. They will find their hotels, car parks, theatres, restaurants and many other things which will make their visit not only a matter of mere sailing but also of recreation for their children. There is a swimming pool there—


And accommodation for their wives in every port.


My Lords, accommodation for the wives, exactly, though I should have thought that possibly the singular was more usual in this country. Therefore I think if one were to have, as has been suggested, just a marina—in other words, just the harbour enclosure and the yacht moorings—what would happen? People would go down there; they would overcrowd the town of Brighton; they would find it very difficult to get accommodation; and they would have very little to do without a long walk during the evenings—in other words, it would not be anything like as successful. I think very few people would be likely to patronise it. However, with the ancillary buildings, these will not only complete the entertainment side of it, but they will do an immense amount to help to pay for the scheme, which of course is among the most important things. I quite understand the uneasiness on the part of some that this is not going to prove a viable proposition, and that perhaps there may be local objections. In fact I have not heard of any local objections so far. Brighton Corporation is in absolute favour of it. But, in any case, when the Bill is examined by the Select Committee any particular objections that may be raised will be thoroughly examined.

8.50 p.m.


My Lords, may a Brighton resident have a word towards the end of this debate?—and I apologise that I did not put my name down on the paper. I do not think I should have endeavoured to say anything at all had it not been for many of the things said during the course of the debate. I am proving what my noble friend Lord Mitchison said, that this is not a Party question at all, for I find myself in opposition to every member of my own Party who has spoken, with the exception of my noble friend Lord Addison, and I am right behind the Bill. Perhaps a man who lives down in Brighton has some right to say why he is in favour of the Bill. I am not a yachtsman, I am not an architect, I am not a surveyor, I am not a financier and I am not a lawyer, and the probability is that I shall never live long enough to see this scheme completed. I am just someone who thinks that this is an imaginative scheme, a great scheme that is going to add tremendously to the attraction of the South Coast in that particular area. I believe that this is a greater concept for a seaside resort in Britain than we have ever so far experienced, and it may well be that when completed it will be something better even than many of the resorts of a similar character in different parts of the country.

I repeat—the noble Lord, Lord Teynham started with this and other people have mentioned it, but it cannot be said too often—this scheme is welcomed by the people of Brighton. This scheme is welcomed by thousands upon thousands of people in Brighton, and people outside Brighton who are regular visitors to Brighton. It is welcomed and blessed by the Borough Council. It received the blessing of the Ministry inquiry. It went through its stages in another place and has reached your Lordships' House. Are we, a few people in this House to-night, in view of all that, prepared to say, "You must not go on with this scheme?" I heard, "Yes" from behind. We have no right at this stage—certainly no right to turn down the Bill on its Second Reading.

I want to say as a resident of the area that I have the deepest possible sympathy for some people who live in those gracious regency houses in Kemp Town very close to this spot. I can appreciate their anxiety, their individual anxiety, about an interference with their lovely, gracious surroundings. Everybody can appreciate that. But they are not the only people who live in Brighton and they are not the only people who come down to Brighton. I say with very great respect to my two noble friends, the two noble Baronesses who have spoken, that this objection has been a little exaggerated, and perhaps I should not be very unfair if I called it a bit hysterical.

My noble friend Lady Summerskill—and the whole House knows the respect I have for her—talks in an emotional sense in the way she has spoken to-night, and very rightly and justifiably, but when she talks about the quiet oasis of Brighton I have to laugh. Does she know Brighton? Let us get down into the centre of Brighton some night at the weekend and talk about a quiet oasis. I just do not understand it. Fun fairs? Will my noble friend show me where in the plan the Fun Fair is mentioned? This is not going to be the Blackpool Fun Fair and Pleasureland; this is going to be a dignified erection, according to the plans I have read. Like my noble friend, Lord Mitchison, I, too, have read all about the report of the public inquiry. I am not speaking without having gone deeply into it.

When we talk about spoiling the coastline, as the noble Lord, Lord Somers, said, I would point out that you cannot walk down there. There are great rocks which you have to scramble over, trying to find the odd shrimp, and that is all there is down there. People cannot bathe there; people cannot boat there. If they attempted to swim when the tide was in on that section of the coast they would be broken to pieces by the rocks. Why did Brighton Corporation build a great swimming pool just near that point? Because people could not swim in the sea because of the rocks just to the East, and so they built a very beautiful swimming pool. So that is the position.

And how much is to be taken? From what we hear we might have been dealing with the taking over and erosion of the whole of the South Coast of England. At the most, I will accept that it is half a mile—800 yards. The White Cliffs of Dover, which we love to see as we come in on the boat or aeroplane, are repeated along that stretch of Coast, but nobody is talking about taking over all those white cliffs. The suggestion is that something should be placed there, occupying about 800 yards of these many miles, and there will be plenty of white cliffs left, even if this scheme goes through.

So far as the Instruction is concerned, I could not care less whether that Instruction is carried to-night. All I am concerned about is getting the Second Reading, which I feel sure the House will give to-night. I regard the Instruction as far too limited. The noble Earl, the Chairman of Committees, has told us this evening—and his Motion is on the Order Paper—that it can go to a Committee, and the Committee can consider anything applicable to the scheme. I suggest, with respect, that Lord Goodman's Motion for an Instruction is unnecessary.

May I mention the question of viability? What has not been mentioned this evening is the fact that about five years ago, or something like that, the idea was put to the Brighton Corporation that they themselves should make a marina—just a yacht harbour—at a point very close to the one we are discussing. The Brighton Corporation, I thought at the time mistakenly, decided not to do it. It may well be we should never have had this bother if Brighton Corporation had gone ahead, and that might have been all right—I agree with my noble friend. But they turned it down because they felt it could not possibly be viable and it would be a heavy burden on the ratepayers of Brighton. Is anybody going to suggest that the ratepayers of Brighton are going to set out to help yachtsmen to come to a place in Brighton, without other facilities which could bring some profit to the town of Brighton and help relieve the rates? This is why it was turned down: because it was regarded as non-viable.

One last word—and perhaps my noble friend Lord Teynham could help me on this. I have one great reservation, as to the approach roads and exit roads. We have seen and read a lot in regard to what might be done so far as roads to and from the marina are concerned. But in my view nothing less than a dual-carriageway road from the tunnel underneath the promenade road from the marina, across the Downs, coming out somewhere near Patcham, four miles away, and joining up with the dual-carriageway of the London—Brighton road, will be sufficient. If that is not done, we are in for a bad time, with the weight of traffic that is pouring into Brighton these days without the marina. If we add the marina to that, it will be a case of confusion confounded.

Therefore, I should like some more satisfaction in regard to these roads and what they will be like. I know this is not the Promoters' problem; it is the local authority's problem. It is asking a local authority to spend a lot of money in approach roads. This is my reservation. I should like some assurance from the noble Lord, Lord Teynham, that this matter is being given attention and that there will be some solution. I said at the beginning that I did not intend to speak on this Bill and in this debate. I was drawn to my feet by what, with the deepest possible respect to people whom I love, I could not but regard as very much of a tremendous exaggeration about this situation.

9.3 p.m.


My Lords, I did not intend to speak in this debate, but I want to raise just one point. I have no interest at all in this scheme, and I have studied the maps and other things only to-day. I give it my support, however, because I think it is a good and imaginative scheme. What worries me is that the Lord Chairman of Committees, who knows much better than I do, has told us that there were no objectors to this Bill. I have in my time, sat on a good many Select Committees in this House, and have always thought that when you went up to a Select Committee you heard the objections to the Bill and reported back to the House whether or not the Bill should be altered, giving recommendations. But we have been told to-night that no objections to this Bill have been lodged, and that all parties, including the Minister, the Brighton Corporation, the Fine Art Commission, all give their blessing to the Bill. In those circumstances, I really do not see what a Select Committee has to do.

We were also told by the Lord Chairman of Committees that it would not be fair to the Select Committee to ask them to say whether this precedent would affect other areas; they could decide only whether it would be right to affect Brighton. We are told that this project is to include only half-a-mile of the foreshore. This is a precedent. But the people locally want it; they have not objected to it. It seems to me that only a few noble Lords in this House wish to object to it. There will be all the expense of a hearing before the Select Committee, with learned counsel appearing for the Promoters explaining all the points to the Select Committee. I think that the House should take a decision on Second Reading, and that the Bill should go to the Committee on Unopposed Bills. However, the Lord Chairman of Committees thinks that it should go to a Select Committee. It seems to me that that is going to involve a great deal of extra expense in regard to a scheme which is wanted locally, and in regard to which no local objections have been raised. I think it ought to be passed by the House to-night on Second Reading.

9.5 p.m.


My Lords, I did not intend to speak either, but I may say that I have a connection with this stretch of coast which is unique, because I lay in a hospital bed looking down on to this little patch for nearly two years, a long time ago; and even in those days there was a sewer. This experience qualifies me, I think, to speak on this subject to-night as well as anybody I have heard so far, except perhaps my noble friend Lord Goodman. I should like to ask a few questions. Can anybody tell me when the shares were transferred from the Cohens to the new company? Did the Cohens sign with the passing of the Bill in another place? Does anybody know?


My Lords, on or about March 22, 1967, as I understand it. The Cohens retained a 24 per cent. interest, but let go 76 per cent. which is in the hands of the Allied Land Investment Company, which has 210 other subsidiaries.


My Lords, that is a sufficient reason for me to support my noble friend Lord Goodman. I come on to the next question, to see whether I can reinforce that point. Why was responsibility for the application for compulsory purchase powers foisted on to the local authority? Perhaps somebody will tell me that? There is no answer. Perhaps my noble friend Lord Kennet was keen to dash to his feet to answer the second question. I have not finished yet. At any rate—


My Lords, if the noble Lord would give way for a moment, I dashed to my feet because the noble Lord dashed to his seat.


Fair enough! It is a case, or could be, I suppose, of musical chairs. I should like an answer to that question. But from what I have heard of the argument, it is a valid point that there should be further inquiry into the position of this scheme. It stands out to anybody who knows the area and has anything to do with local authority work. When one considers how little inquiry has been made into these matters, it is only a modest request that we should know more. I really do not know why the passion of those who are keen on this Bill should carry them as far as it has. At this time, when we have facing us the needs of the economy and the necessity for a more realistic approach to the way we live, the spending of money on grandiose schemes of this sort, at a time when the economy is tightening its belt, is absolutely crazy and mad. If by our action to-night we can restrain or put a bit of a brake on expenditure of this kind for this kind of purpose, I, for one, shall be proud to take part in it.

9.10 p.m.


My Lords, I should like to say that I am not against the Marina per se. I am not against the idea of the casino; I am not against the architecture. From what I have seen of the brochure it is well designed and sounds an exciting project. However, I have grave doubts about the economic costing of it. I understand from great friends of mine who live in Brighton that it does not stand up to examination, and that it seems doubtful that the whole scheme will be economically viable. In fact, I have fears that it may be a "white elephant". One remembers the watering places on the coast of Normandy which used to be, so fashionable thirty or forty years ago. I went through some of them a few weeks ago and saw the decaying casinos, the deserted plages, the grass growing through the concrete, the closed up hotels, and so on.


My Lords, perhaps the noble Lord has not examined the very flourishing marinas which there are on coasts abroad.


My Lords, I am well aware that there are very flourishing marinas, but I am by no means confident that this particular one is being put in the right place. On the other hand, I think this is the business of the Corporation of Brighton; they have approved the scheme. It is also the business of the company which intends to promote it. If all concerned have confidence in it, I think it should be allowed to proceed—


The whole point is that we have no confidence in either of the two parties.


My Lords, if the noble Lord will allow me to develop my argument for just a little longer, I think he will see the conclusion to which I am coming. What concerns me is the fact that they are going to close the foreshore. This will be a very dangerous precedent. The British Isles is one of the few countries in Europe where the foreshore is free. We all know that in many Mediterranean countries one has to pay quite a lot to go on a beach. Then, when one gets on the foreshore, one has to have a cabin and an umbrella, and this can cost a great deal. That is the kind of thing that is going to happen here. We are told that it is only half a mile in extent, but that is a considerable extent.

I am concerned that if this kind of thing starts in one area, it may very well spread to others round the whole of our coastline; so that soon, in a few years, instead of many of our main watering places having free foreshore for the people of this country to enjoy, they will have to pay money to a corporation and walk through a turnstile in order to get on to it. For that reason, I consider that the whole scheme requires further examination, and therefore I support the Motion of my noble friend Lord Goodman.


My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord one question before he sits down in regard to his argument that this will cause a precedent for enclosing the whole of our foreshore? Does he consider that because a factory is built outside one town, that it is likely to be the case that every town in our country will be surrounded by factories?


My Lords, if the House will allow me to reply, it was never my intention to suggest that the whole of the foreshore of this country should be enclosed. All I tried to examine was the fact that this might create a precedent in other well-known watering places.

9.14 p.m.


My Lords, I rise to support the comments which were made by my noble friend. He has given an indication of his opposition to this idea, and I join him in that opposition. I do not think anybody in this House would be opposed to the idea of a marina. I believe that anything that can be done to encourage boating, sailing and so on, is good. But quite recently somebody very aptly described this proposition as being the sprat to catch the whale. The idea is not to promote the Marina, but to enclose the foreshore, and I believe that this House should be very concerned about the protection of a foreshore of this kind.

The noble Lord opposite made reference to a factory which might be developed outside some town. Would the mere fact of its establishment encourage the development of factories elsewhere? I hope it would. But the mere acceptance of that argument does not indicate that I support the enclosure of our beaches throughout the country. I want free and open beaches; I want free and open foreshores. Therefore, I feel it is right and proper that this House should give complete support to the fullest possible examination of this proposition.

To the building of a marina, I would say, "Yes". But this idea of the marina is supported by the idea of the establishment of casinos and the like. I have no objection to a casino if one is wanted, but that should not be used to support the marina. Let each stand on its own feet. I would support those in this House who say, "Yes, all right. Let us give every support we can to this Marina". But when it comes to the whole proposition of enclosing the foreshore of this country, that can establish a precedent, and precedent is important. What is done to Brighton to-day can be done elsewhere throughout this country. Therefore, I think it is the responsibility of this House to make absolutely sure that there is the fullest possible examination of this proposition before we say "Yes" to it.

9.17 p.m.


My Lords, I am not an inhabitant of Brighton, but I rise to my feet because I have a number of friends who are inhabitants of Brighton, and I have been slightly surprised by certain noble Lords who have asserted with absolute certainty that the population of Brighton is completely in support of this Bill. This is by no means my experience. On the contrary, I have found that most of my friends in Brighton regard the proposal with horror, dismay and dislike. But, above all, they all say that they thought it would never be anything like a successful financial venture. Now it may be no part of the duty of Her Majesty's Government to warn people off bad economic enterprises, but I suggest that at a time like this, when money is so short, and when development is so limited, this becomes of serious national interest and, surely, we ought to see to it that money, wealth and effort are directed in a direction which is for the national benefit.

I believe I am not the first this evening to say that this particular development is one which cannot adequately recommend itself at a time of stringent planning. It is a capital development in the South and giving only part-time employment at best. As I say, it may be no business of Government in the ordinary way to advise private enterprise how it should dispose of its force and strength, but at a time like the present we ought to regard such schemes for expenditure with a very critical eye. I suggest, therefore, that the least we can do to-day is to support the direction to the Committee, with the hope that we shall get from them more certain advice as to what is the best thing to be done.

9.20 p.m.


My Lords, before I get into this subject, I should like to answer, in a little more detail if I may, a point made by my noble friend Lord Addison about the timing of the discussion of this Bill. I see that he is not here, but I think it would still be worth while to have it on the Record. I would assure him and the House that there is no question of a sinister plot involved in this postponement. The situation is this. Private Bills, if they are to be debated at all, are always postponed after the day on which they are first put down. They are postponed for two reasons. First, they stand early in the day's Business on the assumption that they are not to be debated. If it then appears that they are to be debated, they go later in the Business, either on that day or on another. Secondly, if they are not to be debated the Chairman moves the Second Reading pro forma. But if they are opposed, and are therefore to be debated, the Promoters will naturally wish to find someone else—that is, someone other than the Lord Chairman—to move the Second Reading, and this may take a certain amount of time. What we are talking about, therefore, is a normal procedure of the House, and conceals no plot.

The noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, asked two or three questions, I am not sure whether specifically of me or of anybody. I think they are probably more appropriate to the Committee, if the House sends the Bill there, but since he asked them on the Floor of the House perhaps I may say a few words about them. He has apologised for his unavoidable absence. He raised, first, the question of sewerage. The situation here is that the sewerage authority concerned have appointed consultants urgently to consider what is necessary in connection with this scheme. When they have considered what is necessary, the local authority will apply for loan sanction to do it, and my right honourable friend the Minister will then consider and approve, or not approve, that application for loan sanction in the normal way.

On the question of traffic (I am still addressing myself to the questions asked by the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe), the noble Earl asked whether the roads will be ready for 3,600 cars. I would refer the House to paragraph 10 of my right honourable friend's Letter of Decision of last September, in which he said: Improved access"— that is, improved access by cars to the marina— should come within stage one, with a new access early in stage two. The Council"— that is, the Brighton Corporation— and the developers will be expected to have provided a road system comparable with drawing 23253"— that is a particular drawing in the planning application— by the time the complete project comes into operation. The noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, inquired also about the question of the buildings coming above the line of the cliffs behind them. No doubt the Committee, if this Bill is committed, will think fit to examine that point. I shall go no further on the Floor of the House than td say that the planning permission granted is subject to a condition in this respect, that the planning permission is binding and that the Promoters of the Bill do not challenge the view that the development should not overtop the cliffs.

My Lords, this is a project for which my right honourable friend the Minister has given planning permission. That is not all. He gave his planning permission in full knowledge of the fact that a Bill would come before both Houses of Parliament and that certain other steps would have to be taken by the Promoters before the development could go ahead. I shall refer to them later. The planning permission is one stage out of at least four. It was given in the knowledge that remaining stages would have to be carried out; and the planning permission was given on planning considerations. The planning permission was given on a call-in. The application was made to the Brighton Corporation, the planning authority, and my right honourable friend called it in for his own decision. An inquiry lasting nine days was held in January and February last year. The inspector recommended that outline planing permission—and we are talking throughout about outline planning permission—should be given, subject to certain conditions. The Minister accepted the inspector's recommendation and gave planning permission in September last year.

I should like to remind the House of the conditions which have not been mentioned—or only rarely—in the debate. There are six in number. The first was that means of access to the site, and the design and external appearance of the buildings, should be as may be agreed with the local planning authority or, in default of agreement, as shall be determined by the Minister; second, no building shall be of a height greater than the level of that part of the cliff top immediately North of the site; third, that operations for carrying out the development should begin not later than six years from the date of this permission; fourth, that each part of the site and each building indicated in the relevant plan should be used for the purpose stated in respect of it in the accommodation schedule submitted with the application, and for no other purpose; fifth, that no dutch or other auctions should take place on the shop premises included in the development; and, sixth, that provision for the parking of 3,600 cars should be made in accordance with the scheme to be agreed with the local planning authority before any work on the site will begin. These conditions will no doubt form part of the considerations of our Committee if we commit this Bill to it.

The main reason for the promotion of the present Private Bill was, I understand, the need to secure Parliamentary authority to interfere with public rights of navigation and to enclose the foreshore. As first deposited, the Bill itself authorised the compulsory acquisition of the land required for the scheme; but these powers were struck out in the House of Commons Select Committee. What happened was that the Bill was debated on Second Reading and approved after a Division. It was considered in the Select Committee, when there were petitioners, private individuals whose property would have been subject to the compulsory acquisition which was at that time in the Bill. The Select Committee did not hear these petitioners because, after hearing the Promoters, the Committee decided as a matter of principle to delete the clauses authorising the compulsory acquisition of and, and this, naturally, met the petitioners' case. Subject to this deletion, the Bill was allowed to proceed and was debated on consideration in the Commons and was approved without a Division. Since the deletion of the compulsory acquisition powers in the Bill Brighton Corporation have resolved themselves to seek any power of compulsory purchase which may be necessary to see the scheme through. In order to do this they will, of course, have to satisfy the Minister, or Parliament, that they should be given these powers. As I am at present advised, these powers would be required only for roads and should be within the Corporation's powers as a highway authority.

As has been repeatedly stated during the debate, this Bill has the support of the Brighton Corporation who could expect to get a considerable rate income from this scheme over and above rent from the leasing of the foreshore. I understand that, under an agreement with the promoting company, the Brighton Corporation will also get a share of the profits in the operation of the scheme equal to 30 per cent. of all profits in excess of 12 per cent.

The question of precedents in the enclosure of the foreshore has been repeatedly mentioned and the Lord Chairman of Committees has told the House that this question is appropriate for discussion on the Floor of the House. I shall therefore lay before your Lordships certain information about precedents. There have been numerous Bills which have authorised enclosures and the use of the foreshore, and they have been mainly for docks and harbour development. Most of those docks and harbour developments have been for public harbours. The noble Lords, Lord Merthyr and Lord Henley, engaged in a discussion earlier on this point. The answer is that those docks and harbours which have given rise to the foreshore enclosure have been both public and private, though mainly public. During the last ten years there have been seven Bills where the developer concerned has been a company operating for private profit. They have been as follows: the British Petroleum Trading Act 1957; the Esso Petroleum Company Act 1957; the Angle Ore and Transport Company Act 1959; the Regent Refinery Company Act 1962; the Brighton Skydeck Act 1965; the Crude Oil Terminals (Humber) Act 1965 and the Gulf Oil Refining Act 1965.


My Lords, would my noble friend indicate the location in those cases, and the purposes of the constructions?


Yes, the purposes.


My Lords, as to the location, except in the cases where it is evident through the Title of the Act, I am afraid that I cannot inform the noble Lord. The purpose is, I think, apparent in most cases from the Title of the Act. It will leap to the comprehension of the House that all these measures, with one exception, were measures to do with the loading and unloading of goods of one sort or another.


My Lords, would my noble friend allow me to interrupt him? Am I to conclude that none provided for an "oceanorama", or a casino, or a marina?


My Lords, I cannot answer with complete certitude that the Brighton Skydeck Act 1965 did not. It seems to me probable that the others did not.

I said earlier that this Bill is not the last stage in the approval by Government and Parliament of this development. If the Bill is passed, the company will still need a licence under the Building Control Act 1966, and an authorisation under the Harbours Act 1964, in order to get the project which is before us. These would provide economic controls over the proper deployment of economic resources at the moment, the question of which has been raised by more than one noble Lord during the debate. I think that the Building Control Act 1966 may be familiar to all your Lordships, but the Harbours Act 1964 may be less familiar. It requires that any harbour development costing more than half-a-million pounds shall be subject to an authorisation. To sum up, I have told your Lordships some of the history and a few of the facts which have not come out. The Government would not wish to urge the House in either direction, either on Lord Goodman's Motion for an Instruction or on the Second Reading of the Bill.


My Lords, before the noble Lord resumes his seat, may I ask him this question? He made reference to Public and Private Acts relating to the enclosure of the foreshore. I wonder whether he can give us some indication—I am sure that he must know the answer—of how many miles of foreshore have been enclosed as a result of the Acts to which he referred?


My Lords, I am sorry I cannot do that, but noble Lords will have in their minds a picture of an oil refinery and how much foreshore it encloses.


My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, indicated, when he was talking about compulsory purchase powers, that there might have to be an inquiry, so that the Government could be satisfied. Who would conduct the inquiry as the matter stands? Would it be the Select Committee, or who would have to satisfy themselves on this point?


My Lords, the application for compulsory powers to the Minister or to Parliament would follow the normal course of the law in this respect, the details of which I am afraid I do not have in mind at the moment.


My Lords, my noble friend mentioned the fact that compulsory powers would now have to be acquired by the Corporation for roads, but he did not mention the fact that compulsory powers would have to be acquired for the houses in Riflebutt Road, for the cemetery and things like that.


My Lords, I think your Lordships will agree that we have had a very interesting debate, but I would say that very little has been heard about yachts and boats, and a great deal about finance and other things which are not the things for which this Bill was promoted. I have listened carefully to the speeches of noble Lords. I thought that the noble Lord, Lord Henley, made a very unworthy remark when he said that there might be something "fishy" in this Bill, and some "racket" behind it. I am sure that he does not really think that.

Before dealing with the instruction to the Committee, I should like to answer one or two points made in the debate. First, the question of pollution was raised by the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe. I can assure him that that is being very well taken care of and there will be no question raised on that. The noble Lords, Lord Goodman and Lord Mitchison, raised questions of finance. I would just say that full financial evidence was given at the nine day inquiry and I have no doubt at all that it will be given again before the Select Committee. I would suggest that the Select Committee is quite capable of examining all the matters that have been raised in the debate without any Instruction being passed to them and I would ask your Lordships to resist the Instruction to the Committee when put before your Lordships.

On Question, Bill read 2a.

9.38 p.m.


My Lords, it is for me formally now to move the Instruction. I think that it would be quite wrong if I inflicted at this hour anything in the way of a second speech, but I should like to make a few observations, I hope of a non-controversial nature. It is my hope that the House will accept the Instruction without a Division. The Instruction is designed to enjoin upon the Committee that this House feels that there are special circumstances relating to this Bill which require special and careful consideration. It is designed for nothing else than that.

I think that in the circumstances of this Bill it is a very important matter. The noble Lord, Lord Wolverton, thought there was nothing to refer to a Committee, and that the matter should be referred to the Committee on Unopposed Bills as there was no further issues that required discussion. If, having heard the debate this evening, he believes that, I can only reply in the famous words of the Duke of Wellington. When approached by a gentleman who said, "Mr. Smith, I believe", the Duke replied, "If you believe that, you will believe anything".


My Lords, all I said was that there were no Petitioners. If there are no Petitioners, I do not see what a Select Committee can do. I should have thought that the whole House could decide.


My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Lord for making the point I was anxious to make. Unfortunately, there is no Petition against this Bill. The reason, I understand (and I have only recently been concerned with the Bill), is that although there were Petitions in another place these were not automatically continued, and the persons concerned with the opposing of the Bill, who were not particularly supplied with wealth, resources or information about Parliamentary procedure, did not realise how indispensable it was that there should be Petitions against the Bill, so that counsel could appear before the Select Committee and represent the matter as fully and effectively as possible.

It is for that reason that it is especially important that this Bill should go before the Select Committee with an Instruction, so that they should clearly understand that the absence of Petitions does not mean that the Bill does not require this consideration. I am much obliged to the noble Lord for making this point. I do not want to make any other points. I do not want to join issue with anyone on the numerous matters raised. Having heard what we have heard to-day, having heard brought into relief and underlined the points of view of a number of people, we have a duty, I believe, to make it clear to the Committee that this

is a most important matter, on an issue of public importance, and in my view we shall discharge that duty by sending the Bill to them with an Instruction.

I should like to move an Amendment to the Instruction which stands in my name on the Order Paper, because I should like to accept the suggestion made by the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, that the last words, "and as a precedent for other areas", should be left out. I formally move, as an Amendment, that these words should be left out of the Instruction standing in my name. I think it is probably appropriate at this stage that I should ask the House to deal with that Amendment before I deal with the formal Motion.

Amendment to Instruction moved— At end leave out ("and as a precedent for other areas").—(Lord Goodman.)


My Lords, the original Motion was: That it be an Instruction to the Committee to which the Bill is referred to consider how far the works proposed to be authorised by the Bill, or other provisions of the Bill, go beyond what is necessary to provide a harbour for pleasure craft and whether they are desirable or not having particular regard to the unique character of Brighton and its environs, and as a precedent for other areas. An Amendment has now been moved to leave out the words ("and as a precedent for other areas")


The Question now is that the Motion, as amended, be agreed to.

9.47 p.m.

On Question, Whether the Motion, as amended, shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 31; Not-Contents, 23.

Airedale, L. Goodman, L. [Teller.] Popplewell, L.
Albemarle, E. Henley, L. Rhodes, L.
Annan, L. Hurcomb, L. Ritchie-Calder, L.
Archibald, L. Kahn, L. Segal, L.
Baldwin of Bewdley, E. Lloyd of Hampstead, L. Shepherd, L.
Bowles, L. Mitchison, L. [Teller.] Sorensen, L.
Champion, L. Oakshott, L. Strabolgi, L.
Falkland, V. Peddie, L. Strang, L.
Faringdon, L. Phillips, Bs. Summerskill, Bs.
Gaitskell, Bs. Plummer, Bs. Wade, L.
Gardiner, L. (L. Chancellor.)
Abinger, L. Drumalbyn, L. Redmayne, L.
Addison, V. Greenway, L. St. Just, L.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Iddesleigh, E. Somers, L.
Ampthill, L. Kinnoull, E. Strange, L.
Auckland, L. Lindgren, L. Teynham, L. [Teller.]
Balerno, L. Massereene and Ferrard, V. Vivian, L.
Caldecote, V. [Teller.] Merthyr, L. Wolverton, L.
Coleraine, L. Morris of Kenwood, L.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Resolved in the affirmative and Motion, as amended, agreed to accordingly.


My Lords, in moving this somewhat lengthy Resolution, I will only say that its purpose is to enable the Bill to be carried over to the next Session of Parliament. If the House agrees to this Resolution the necessary Message will be sent, asking for the agreement of another place to a similar Resolution. I beg to move.

Moved, That the promoters of the Bill have leave to suspend any further proceedings thereon, in order to proceed with the Bill, if they shall think fit, in the next Session of Parliament, provided that notice of their intention to do so be lodged in the Office of the Clerk of the Parliaments not later than three o'clock on the day before the close of the present Session, and that all fees due thereon up to that point be paid;

That such Bill shall be deposited in the Office of the Clerk of the Parliaments not later than three o'clock on the third day on which the House shall sit after the commencement of the next Session of Parliament, with a declaration annexed thereto, signed by the Agent, stating that the Bill is the same in every respect as the Bill at the last stage of the proceedings thereon in this House in the present Session;

That the proceedings on such Bill shall in the next Session of Parliament by pro formâ only in regard to every stage through which the same shall have passed in the present Session, and that no new fees be charged in regard to such stages;

That the Standing Orders by which the proceedings on Bills are regulated shall not apply in the next Session of Parliament to such Bill in regard to any of the stages through which the same shall have passed during the present Session.—(The Earl of Listowel.)

On Question, Motion agreed to. Ordered, That a Message be sent to the Commons to acquaint them therewith.