HL Deb 08 July 1977 vol 385 cc535-7

11.21 a.m.


My Lords. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, that the Bill be now read 3*.—(Lord Lye.)

On Question, Bill read 3*, with the Amendments.


My Lords, before moving that the Bill do now pass, I wonder whether it might be in order to say a few words of gratitude to all those noble Lords who have contributed to the passage of this Bill through your Lordships' House. I am advised by my noble colleagues that I must move that this Bill do now pass. Thanks to my noble friends on the Front Bench and the aid of a little red book, I now continue to thank the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, and her Department and helpers for all the advice—


My Lords, I just want—

The LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord Elwyn-Jones)

My Lords, this seems to be the department of utter confusion. Perhaps if the noble Lord moves that the Bill do now pass, he can proceed to address us with his customary felicity.


My Lords, I am immensely grateful, as always, to the noble and learned Lord who sits upon the Woolsack and guides the whole House, and in this case he has guided me and my noble colleagues on the Front Bench. For the third time, may I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, and her Department for all the valuable work which they have done on this Bill. When I first looked at this Bill, I had visions of many of the comments—


My Lords, I am afraid that the noble Lord has still not moved that this Bill do now pass. He is therefore betraying the Orders of the House.


My Lords, I am afraid that I am completely to blame. I must admit that I had slightly misleading advice from a very distinguished colleague behind me. But the noble Lord is making his speech in support of his Motion that the Bill do now pass. He will then, when he sits down, say, "I beg to move". The noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor will put the Question, and then the debate will be open. That is the procedure of your Lordships' House, and I must apologise for having made a mess of it.


My Lords, my leg muscles are becoming ever stronger. But I should like to thank all noble Lords who have taken part, particularly the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, the noble Baroness, Lady Vickers, the noble Lord, Lord Harmar-Nicholls, the noble Earl, Lord Kinnoull, and indeed the noble Lord, Lord Foot, who is not with us today but who contributed some very valuable advice and tidying-up Amendments to the Bill. I hope that the Bill will be able to cure some aspects of what I would call selfish behaviour among various citizens in the countryside, who seek to blight open fields and other open countryside with activities which are, at the least, anti-social and, at the very worst, can do grave damage to the environment. This was the main purpose of the Bill which, when I first examined it, I thought was something akin to the Bill of the noble Lord, Lord Jacques, which we passed yesterday. The Bill that I understood I was to pilot through your Lordships' House was called the Tropical Fish Bill, but I was told that it applied to town and country planning amendment. Certainly, I found great difficulty in planning legislation. But I am very greatful to the noble Baroness, Lady Birk, and her Department, and indeed to the House. My Lords, I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass—(Lord Lyell.)

Baroness BIRK

My Lords, I have been hovering anxiously in the wings. I should like to pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Lye11, for the very excellent way in which he has conducted this Bill through the House. With so many Bills, we start off by saying how very simple they are and, in the event, they are not simple. The noble Lord had to cope with a considerable number of Amendments, and through his efforts he was able to get reconciliation and get the Bill on its way, and it is now to pass. My Department and I are extremely grateful to him.

On Question, Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.