HL Deb 05 February 1981 vol 416 cc1302-14

4.52 p.m.

The Earl of Gowrie

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved, that the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Earl of Gowrie.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[THE LORD DERWENT in the Chair.]

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 [Exploration and exploitation licences]:

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran moved Amendment No. 1: Page 3, line 38, leave out ("and").

The noble Lord said: I beg to move Amendment No. 1 and also, with the leave of the Committee, to speak to substantive Amendments Nos. 2 and 3. Amendment No. 1 is really consequential upon my Amendment No. 2. In Clause 2 of this Bill the Secretary of State can insert such conditions and terms as he thinks fit for persons who wish to apply to be granted exploration and exploitation licences under this Bill. In my submission, it is necessary for the Secretary of State to ensure the safety of personnel to be associated directly and indirectly with these exploration matters and matters ancillary to exploration and exploitation in deep sea mining.

My main reason for putting forward this amendment is that industry is entering upon a new era in recent years. It is an era of extracting oil and other things from the sea-bed and from underneath the sea-bed. It is an area which involves the new underwater technology. Little is known these days of the effects of strenuous movements of personnel whether inside diving bells or outside under the sea. When I say that little is known of the effects of such activities upon human beings I am fully aware of the excellent work that is being done, for instance, in the London hospital under the professor of offshore mining there. I am fully aware of the excellent work done by Professor Cameron of the same hospital, particularly in his association with the training of swimmers and divers at the high standards required for Olympic competition. I am also conscious of the great work that my friend the surgeon Rear-Admiral Sir John Rawling has done in this field in the Navy and is doing now, having just retired from the Navy.

In fact, both the latter gentleman I have mentioned are members of the academic board of an institute in relation to sports medicine of which I have the honour to be chairman, which has set up in Cambridge a postgraduate fellowship at New Hall for the purpose of studying in the new field the difficulties arising from soft tissue injuries and methods of preventing them. Therefore, there is in my experience not enough information available at the present time on the effects on personnel associated with underwater operations.

At this stage I express my gratitude to the noble Earl the Minister for his long explanatory letter to me on 27th January where he pointed out that this Bill is concerned with deep sea mining, and in the operations to pick up these nodules in the seas, in the Pacific seas, the machinery is to be operated at a depth of 4,000 to 5,000 metres. I fully realise that human beings will not be expected possibly to get to that depth in activities without proper protection.

But there may be ancillary arrangements associated with such operations, and it seems to me incumbent on the Ministry to ensure that those companies to which the licences are to be granted have direct responsibility in looking after the personnel and being satisfied that there is adequate research available to those persons who require to use the services of divers, whether in diving bells or outside these bells. At the present time there is a danger that companies which use divers hire them from other firms which train divers. It may be that there is not adequate communications between the firms which supply the divers and the firms which require the services of these divers for a particular and specific purpose, but I do not want at this stage to pursue that kind of matter.

Your Lordships will see that my amendment includes the words: … to ensure the safety and relief from impairment of the physical and mental condition of personnel engaged in any of the licensed operations or ancillary operations". The words I have used are taken substantially from Clause 15(4) where there is a definition of personal injury, which is said in subsection (4) … includes any disease, any impairment of a person's physical or mental condition …". It is quite true that no doubt the noble Earl will say that the words of Clause 15 are adequate, because in Clause 15 there is a reference to safety and certain Acts known as Fatal Accidents Acts, and he may say that that is adequate to protect the personnel.

In my view, that is not sufficient. When a licence is being granted the Secretary of State should satisfy himself that the conditions and the knowledge of the persons requiring to operate this licence are adequate to test and to ensure the safety in the widest sense of the persons operating under water. He may also say that my amendments do not belong to this Bill. In my submission again, to repeat myself, where a Secretary of State is granting licences for an operation under water involving personnel, in the public interest the safety of the personnel in the widest terms should be ensured before grant of a licence is given. I beg to move.

Lord Kennett

Unless there are arguments from the Government of which we have not thought, we on these Benches would tend to support the amendment.

The Earl of Gowrie

The noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, has drawn our attention to an enormously important aspect of deep sea mining operations dealt with in the Bill. Safety provisions are included in a number of places in the Bill, notably in the powers to make regulations and revoke or vary licences. The noble Lord has now proposed, and he is supported by the official Opposition, that we should include an additional specific reference to safety in the list of possible terms and conditions of licences in Clause 2. The power to do that is already covered by the general power to include such terms and conditions as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

It may, however, be beneficial to have a specific reference to safety as the noble Lord proposes and therefore I should like to consider the matter further. At first look it seems to me that the term "safety" is general enough to cover any physical or mental danger that personnel might have to face, but I will consider carefully what the noble Lord said. I should like to look at the precedents in this field, especially the interpretation of "safety", and consider what precise wording might be appropriate, or whether we have the wording about right now. With that undertaking, I hope the noble Lord will not press the amendment at this time.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

I am obliged to the noble Earl. When, with the leave of the Committee, I spoke to Amendment No. 2, I would have spoken to No. 12 as well, but on the Marshalled List I have the noble Earl, Lord Gowrie, down to more that amendment. I do not know whether the noble Earl wishes to clarify the position on that now. In any event, having regard to what he said, I beg leave to withdraw Amendment No. 1.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 2 not moved.]

Clause 2 agreed to.

Clauses 3, 4 and 5 agreed to.

Clause 6 [Variation and revocation of licences]:

[Amendment No. 3 not moved.]

Clause 6 agreed to.

Clauses 7 and 8 agreed to.

Clause 9 [The Deep Sea Mining Levy]:

5.3 p.m.

Lord Kennet moved Amendment No. 4: Page 6, line 16, leave out ("3.75 per cent.") and insert ("a percentage").

The noble Lord said: With the leave of the Committee, I will speak at the same time to the three amendments to Clause 9 which stand in my name. Because few noble Lords are present I shall be brief in recapitulating what this is all about. There is in existence a draft United Nations convention governing these matters which has been produced by the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS III for short. That convention sets up an international body which is to levy a tax on the gathering of metallic nodules from the bottom of the sea. It sets suggested approximate levels for this tax. The convention cannot come into effect for many years yet and, in the interim, certain Governments—namely, of the United States, Germany, and in third place our own—are introducing national legislation which will levy a tax on the gathering of metallic nodules, will pay it into the national Exchequer and, when the time comes, will hand over the proceeds to the United Nations fund or agency.

The level proposed in the Bill is about half the level proposed by the United Nations draft text. The poor and destitute of the world protest at this and say, "How can you pass national legislation about what has been declared to be the heritage and property of all mankind and, above all, how can you presume to set a levy on the operations to exploit that heritage which is only half what the United Nations has called for and which cannot come into effect yet?" We therefore propose with these amendments to delete the level of the tax proposed by the Government, to allow the Government second thoughts so they may come back to Parliament later (possibly quite a lot later, even years later, because there will not be any money flowing for two or three years at the very earliest) and propose a different level, which would then be subject to approval by Parliament.

Thus, the effect of this series of amendments would be that the Bill should go through but, instead of speaking of two exact levels—3.75 per cent. in one case and 0.75 per cent. according to another calculation—it should simply say "a percentage", and the Government should then determine what that percentage is and present it to Parliament very much at their leisure. This suggestion is made in the hope that when they look round the world a bit they will decide to put it rather higher than it is now. I beg to move.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

Unless there are views held by the Government about which I have not thought, I support the amendment. It seems inappropriate, to say the least, that into a Bill of this kind a levy should be introduced which is half that proposed by the United Nations. The attitudes on this, particularly on the part of developing countries, is quite understandable in the circumstances and I therefore support the amendment.

Lord Ritchie-Calder

I, too, support the amendment because we are pre-empting the future, something we should not be doing.

The Earl of Gowrie

I fear I must be rather fiercer towards this series of amendments than I have been, not only on this Bill but on the previous one we debated. I have had a good run for a Government Minister in the way of concessions—it has lasted for about an hour—and I suppose all good things must come to an end. Seriously, however, these amendments would create considerable financial uncertainty for potential licensees if the percentage levy arrangements were left as flexible as the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, and others who support him would like.

The scientific percentages included in Clause 9(1)(a) and (b) reflect the percentages included in the deep sea mining laws of other countries, and since United Kingdom licensees will have to compete with companies operating under those other laws, we do not wish them to suffer from substantially different terms or to face greater uncertainty than others. These amendments would increase that uncertainty. I agree that the interests of developing countries must be safeguarded, and that is the motive behind the levy existing at all; but these amendments would expose us to pressure from developing countries to impose higher rates under our legislation than currently envisaged, and we would have to resist any increased rate in order to protect our competitive position and our potential national licensees.

I cannot see that such an exchange would be to our advantage compared with a fixed provision, and certainly it would be against our national interest. It is appropriate that companies should be required to pay lower levies during the interim period than under the convention which will offer more favourable operating conditions in terms of long-term security. These amendments would have a number of actual and potential adverse effects for the companies as well as for the general national interest, and I must therefore ask the Committee to reject them.

Lord Kennet

The argument that we have to keep the levy low because the Americans have pitched it low is strong and one can only say how regrettable it is that the Americans have pitched it low. Mark the effects that will flow from that. If they say 3.75 and 0.75, Germany cannot say anything higher, because it would put German-led consortia at a disadvantage compared with American-led consortia; and we cannot say anything higher because it would put British-led consortia at a disadvantage compared with both American and German-led consortia. At Second Reading the Minister told us that two other countries—I think they were Belgium and France—were preparing legislation, and they will, of course, have to accept the same levels in order not to put Belgian and French-led consortia at a disadvantage compared with American, German, and British-led consortia, and so on down the line.

If one accepts that argument, it is an open and shut defence, or justification, of the fact that the powerful and developed nations are going to get all they can at half the rate before the poor nations get their whack. I do not think that that is justifiable, and I am not yet convinced that the Government have seriously enough weighed that argument on the one hand against the world political and economic argument on the other hand, that the developed countries are scoffing the wealth while the going is good. Obviously it is not practicable at five o'clock on a Thursday to divide the Committee on this issue. I do not think that there are enough noble Lords present on either side of the Chamber for that to be a realistic procedure—

The Earl of Gowrie

Would the noble Lord like to adjourn while he consults his Whips?

Lord Kennet

I am receiving conflicting messages. Upon reflection, if the noble Earl is able to say to me that he will consider the matter again between now and Report, that would seem to me the best answer. Then, on Report, we could have a perhaps slightly fuller debate on the matter with more noble Lords present. If, on the other hand, he says, "No, there is not a hope; we are going to follow the Americans and Germans, and damn the third and fourth worlds", perhaps it would be wise to divide even at this stage.

5.12 p.m.

Lord Campbell of Croy

While my noble friend is considering that point, I should like to take up something that the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, has said. My understanding is—and I should be grateful if my noble friend Lord Gowrie can confirm it—that, like the Americans, the Germans in their legislation have already adopted the 0.75 figure. I am not sure whether they have put in the alternative option which the Americans have put in and which is in this Bill as well, hut they have certainly adopted the same level.

The argument which is contained in the amendments, and which the noble Lord, Lord Kennet put very concisely, is quite clear—that the only objective in changing the system (as the amendments would) to a system of orders introduced into Parliament by a Minister, is to ensure that the percentage should be higher than the figures here. That is really the point that the noble Lord has made, quite clearly. He thinks that the effect on the less developed world at the United Nations' Conference on the Law of the Sea will be an unfortunate one. The American legislation went through last June—some time ago—and the German legislation has gone through. I feel that it would put the British industry at a considerable disadvantage if we were then to adopt a higher percentage for the reasons that my noble friend has given.

Perhaps we should have moved first and done something different. My guess is that the British Government have been talking to the Governments of those countries with companies which have the expertise and are getting together in coscortia to carry out this very difficult operation. After all, the world needs these minerals, and will need them even more later this century.

My noble friend Lord Erroll of Hale, speaking at Second Reading as the chairman of one of the three British companies which have embarked on this new industry, pointed out that it would be some years before they could be in a position to bring the nodules to the surface and then to make use of and exploit the minerals. I shall not repeat some of the points that were made on Second Reading, including those in my own speech, but I would point out that the United Nations' conference has a considerable number of years in which to reach agreement and to bring into effect the new international regime for the ocean floor. In the meantime, the companies from the industrial countries which can do this work need to prepare and be encouraged to get started.

I would ask the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, and those who have supported his amendment, to consider the adverse position in which would be placed British companies which are ready to engage at present in the undertaking if we were to be out of line and to expect a much higher percentage to be contributed at this stage. Once United Nations' agreement has been reached, then of course all the countries involved will be contributing at the rate which has been internationally decided.

Lord Kennet

I should like to say a few words before the Minister contributes his last word. Would not the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Croy, agree that the fact that the American legislation—which was passed last June, as he correctly said—named the low figures, has already had a very deleterious effect on the attitude of the third world countries to the draft convention, and that this is evidenced in the declaration of the legal position of the Group of 77, which simply says that they will not recognise any such legislation as we have before us now? It has already had that effect. They deny the validity of the American, German, British, et cetera national laws and will continue to do so until the United Nations' convention itself comes into effect. That point was mentioned at Second Reading, and I should like to hear what the Government think about it.

The Earl of Gowrie

I am most grateful to my noble friend Lord Campbell of Croy, who pointed out to the Committee—which I had failed to do, though I did so at the earlier stage—that this is something of an interim measure, to try to get the show off the ground and that of course we would have to come into line with whatever is agreed from the United Nations' Conference on the Law of the Sea.

I would say to the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, that I really do not accept that this is a simple matter of the devil take the hindermost where the developing nations are concerned. After all, there is no need in international law, or in any other kind of law, for the various developed nations to introduce legislation of this kind. They are introducing legislation of this kind as an earnest of their goodwill, as well as an earnest that they recognise the interests of the developing nations and the fact that resources beyond natural or national boundaries are to some extent a common wealth. That is a relatively new concept. It is one that I would certainly applaud, and it should not be subject to too much in the way of attack.

The other point that I would make—it is perhaps a more general economic point—is that in my respectful contention it is an absolute myth that the interests of the developed and the developing nations are diametrically opposed. One of the great difficulties in which we are placed on this planet is that that concept has a firm political hold. If the developed world does not continue to use its industrial and technical know-how to develop, if it remains in recession or slump, the chances of development of the less-advanced nations, in industrial and technical terms, will not be served.

It seems to me that this kind of legislation is a genuine move by a national Government to take into account international interests, which in fact they are not in any way obliged to take into account. Therefore, I want to contest the noble Lord's view. He very fairly said, "Well, I understand the competitive point, but the fact is we are all going hell for leather and the devil take the hindermost in the case of the developing nations". That is not something that I, nor indeed the Government, accept. Therefore I ask the noble Lord to withdraw the amendment. If he feels unable to do so, I would advise the Committee to resist it.

Lord Kennet

The argument that it is a mistake to believe that the political interests of the developed and developing worlds are contrary is one which we fully accept. Of course they are not contrary; they are complimentary, and they must work together and serve each other. But it seems to me that that argument would tend towards supporting the passing of the amendment and not having an artificially low rate of levy on national legislation in the meantime. It is not an argument for antagonising the third world, which is what this Bill is going to do, and what the American legislation has already done. I listened hopefully to hear whether the Minister was going to say that he would give it another thought or talk to anyone else about it, but he was quite categorical that he was not. That being so, I think I will ask my noble friends to join with me in opposing what is proposed by the Government and in passing this amendment if we can.

5.21 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No.4) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 46; Not-Contents, 71.

Aylestone, L. Irving of Dartford, L.
Banks, L. Jacques, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Jeger, B.
Birk, B. Kennet, L.
Boston of Faversham, L. Kilmarnock, L.
Briginshaw, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B [Teller.]
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L. Lloyd of Kilgerran, L.
Collison, L. Oram, L.
Crowther-Hunt, L. Plant, L.
David, B. [Teller.] Ritchie-Calder, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Ross of Marnock, L.
Elwyn-Jones, L. Seear, B.
Gaitskell, B. Sefton of Garston, L.
Goronwy-Roberts, L. Segal, L.
Gosford, E. Shinwell, L.
Greenwood of Rossendale, L. Stone, L.
Gregson, L. Tanlaw, L.
Hale, L. Underhill, L.
Hampton, L. Whaddon, L.
Hanworth, V. White, B.
Henderson, L. Wigoder, L.
Houghton of Sowerby, L. Winstanley, L.
Hunt, L.
Abercorn, D. Avon, E.
Airey of Abingdon, B. Boardman, L.
Allen of Abbeydale, L. Caccia, L.
Ampthill, L. Campbell of Croy, L.
Cathcart, E. Mersey, V.
Craigavon, L. Milverton, L.
Cross, V. Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Mottistone, L.
Daventry, V. Napier and Ettrick, L.
de Clifford, L. Nathan, L.
Denham, L. [Teller.] Northchurch, B.
Derwent, L. Nugent of Guildford, L.
Elliot of Harwood, B. O'Hagan, L.
Faithfull, B. Orr-Ewing, L.
Falkland, V. Polwarth, L.
Fraser of Kilmorack, L. Renton, L.
Freyberg, L. Ridley, V.
Gainford, L. Rochdale, V.
Gisborough, L. St. Aldwyn, E.
Glasgow, E. St. Davids, V.
Gormanston, V. Sandford, L.
Gowrie, E. Sandys, L. [Teller.]
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. Selborne, E.
Selkirk, E.
Henley, L. Skelmersdale, L.
Hornsby-Smith, B. Somers, L.
Hylton-Foster, B. Spens, L.
Ilchester, E. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Kimberley, E. Strathclyde, L.
Kinnaird, L. Strathspey, L.
Long, V. Sudeley, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L. Swansea, L.
Lyell, L. Swinfen, L.
McFadzean, L. Trefgarne, L.
Mancroft, L. Vickers, B.
Marley, L. Vivian, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

[Amendments Nos. 5 and 6 not moved.]

Clause 9 agreed to.

Clauses 10 to 12 agreed to.

Clause 13 [Disclosure of information]:

5.28 p.m.

Lord Kennet moved Amendment No. 7: Page 9, line 13, leave out ("to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or").

The noble Lord said: With the leave of the Committee I will address my remarks to the four amendments on this clause together. This clause is the one about penalties for people who divulge information obtained under the operation of this Bill when it comes into effect. I suppose it is directed mainly at Government inspectors, though it may be anybody according to the way the Bill is drafted. The objection to it in our mind is that it makes the inspector, or whoever it is who has obtained information, liable to a prison sentence if he is convicted of wrongly publishing this information—and this will be information, naturally, about something done wrong by one of the mining consortia—whereas if the mining consortia are convicted of an offence under the Act, as it will then be, they are not liable to imprisonment.

I find it something which sticks in the gullet that we should be enacting an Act of Parliament which says to great companies, "You must behave in such and such a way; if you do not, you will be tried and if you are convicted you will be subject to a fine and will not be imprisoned", whereas on the other hand it says to a little inspector, or someone else, "What you find out about these great companies under this Bill you must not divulge without authority, and if you do divulge it without authority you will be tried and, if convicted, you may be sent to prison". That seems a gross imbalance. When I raised this point on Second Reading the Minister's only defence, if I remember aright, was, "Oh, well, it is a Home Office rule". I think that is a rotten reason for writing it into the Bill. It may be a Home Office rule, but it seems to me that if it is it is about time Parliament upset it in a particular case, and this seems as good a case as any other. I beg to move.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

I wonder whether it might be helpful to the Government if I were to make a few observations on a matter which, I believe, is under consideration by the Law Commission at the present time in an area of law which is well known to some; that is, the law relating to confidential information. There is quite a jurisdiction now in regard to the kinds of action which can be taken against people who disclose information which is confidential. I have experience of that only in the cases where the information is of a technical nature; that is, of scientific and technological nature or where the confidential information constitutes know-how. I wonder whether the Government wish to be quite so severe in an Act of this kind—which cannot come into force for years—as would appear from the somewhat stern terms of Clause 14. Therefore, I would support the general theme put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, in his amendment.

The Earl of Gowrie

I do not quite accept, as the House would not expect me to accept, that my reasoning was simply because that is the way things had been done always and, anyway, no one wants to upset the Home Office. Although he is supporting the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, the answer was made for me by the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran. It is that information is a sensitive and complex affair. It is not simply a matter of open government or of being a nice extrovert fellow. A great deal of commercial and competitive possibilities and success may depend on what information is disclosed or not disclosed, or when it is disclosed or not disclosed. Therefore, what I had in mind was that penalties for disclosure of information and the rest in this Bill were common to several Acts of Parliament. I am thinking of the Companies Act 1967 and the Iron and Steel Act 1975. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Kennet, was a Minister during the passing of the first Act. I think there has been quite a common tradition here.

Nevertheless, while I want to underline that some of the information that applicants and licensees will be required to divulge under this Bill is extremely sensitive and could therefore be exploited, and must therefore be adequately safeguarded, and while I think it is defensible, therefore, to include the same penalties as are to be found in the Companies Act, I take the point that the provision for imprisonment is rather more drastic than the other penalties which exist in the Bill, and I am therefore prepared to consider how to bring the various penalties into line. But I must warn the Committee that I think there could be disclosure of highly confidential information here for, let us say, personal gain in certain circumstances, and I am not altogether convinced that the kinds of activities with which this Bill deals are so different from the kinds of activities covered by provisions in other legislation followed by successive Governments—and I would need a bit of convincing on this. But I will consider it and take it away, and with that assurance perhaps the noble Lord will withdraw his amendment.

Lord Kennet

I think it both wise and charming of the Minister to revert to his usual ways on this one. Will he remember, while he is thinking about it and talking about it to his colleagues, that the prisons are bursting at the seams, and will he resist all temptation to rectify the balance by making the directors of the companies liable to imprisonment so that both parties can spend the rest of their lives burrowing holes through the physical fabric of the "prison estate," as the Home Secretary calls it, and may get off with a fine if they do wrong? With that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdraw.

[Amendment Nos. 8,9 and 10 moved.]

Clause 13 agreed to.

Clause 14 [Supplementary provisions relating to offences]:

The Earl of Cowrie moved Amendment No. 11: Page 9, line 35, leave out first ("or") and insert ("and").

The noble Lord said: This is a minor drafting point. As it stands, Clause 14(3) refers to "a citizen of the United Kingdom or Colonies". The correct reference to a "citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies" as in Clause 1. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 14, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 15 [Civil liability for breach of statutory duty]:

On Question, Whether Clause 15 shall stand part of the Bill?

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

Having regard to the observations of the Minister on my Amendments Nos. 1, 2 and 3, he said that he would consider whether conditions should be set down by the Secretary of State in granting exploration or exploitation licences to applicants; he said also that he would look into the question of the definition of "safety" and also the definition of "personal injury". It may be helpful to the Minister if I say that this is the clause which appears to give some difficulty, because in subsection (4) it defines "personal injury" to include "any impairment of a person's physical or mental condition…". In subsection (1) of the same clause it refers to the Fatal Accidents Acts and also uses the words "personal injury".

Those who practise in the field relating to industrial actions know how difficult it is to operate some of these Acts. Many of the actions are now sent to tribunals to be dealt with. My intention in my previous amendments, which the noble Lord the Minister said that he would consider, was to obviate the problems which may arise as a result of personal injury to personnel operating in the field of underwater technology, which is a new field in which industry is operating at the present time.

The Earl of Gowrie

If the noble Lord will forgive me, I was not clear about what amendment he was talking to. Is it an amendment to the schedule? I think it was my mistake; but I was not clear what he wanted from me.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Baroness Wootton of Abinger)

The noble Lord was speaking to the Motion that Clause 15 shall stand part of the Bill.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgarren

I was speaking to Clause 15 standing part of the Bill. I said earlier, in withdrawing my amendment, having regard to what the noble Earl has said, that in the Marshalled List there is an amendment which I put down to the schedule but which does not have my name above it. I think it is a minor and unnecessary point to belabour. In view of what the Minister has said, I shall not be moving the amendment to the schedule. At this stage I do not require anything further from the Minister.

The Earl of Gowrie

I have the rather rattled look of a servant of the House who did not know what his masters were requiring him to do. If it is the case that the noble Lord is simply referring us back to some of the points made on the debate in his original amendments, then the guarantees that I gave then would hold now.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

I am very much obliged to the noble Earl. That is all I was commenting about.

Lord Campbell of Croy

Before the noble Lord decides whether he is going, to speak to or not move the amendment he has referred to, which is No. 12, it would be of assistance to Members of the Committee if it could be clarified whether this is a printing mistake. I imagined when I first saw it on a list—not the Marshalled List—that it was one of Lord Lloyd's amendments because it seemed to go with Amendments Nos. 1, 2 and 3. When it appeared on the Marshalled List below the name of my noble friend Lord Gowrie, after Amendment No. 11, I was thinking he was coming forward to meet the noble Lord's point and had put the amendment down on the same day. These amendments appear with an asterisk and therefore were put down yesterday and appeared only today. I presume Amendment No.12 was tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran, as a supplementary amendment to his Amendments Nos. 1, 2 and 3. It will be helpful if that could be made clear.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

If I may speak again, I am very much obliged to the noble Lord, Lord Campbell. There is a misprint in the Marshalled List as published today. I put down an amendment in the terms of Amendment No. 12, and I apologise—if it is necessary to do so—that my amendments came in late. I had notified the Minister of my intention to raise these matters. He has written to me fully about it. There is a misprint on this Marshalled List and Amendment No. 12 should have been printed in my name.

The Earl of Gowrie

I have to cover myself in that I am advised to resist Amendment No. 12. I do not know whether the noble Lord feels unhappy about that.

Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran

I am a little surprised that while we are still, as I understand it, talking on whether Clause 15 shall stand part of the Bill the Minister should be kind enough to advise me in advance that he will resist Amendment No. 12. Having regard to the undertakings and the assurances that he gave earlier, I do not propose to press this matter at this stage but will wait until a later time in order to raise it.

Lord Campbell of Croy

Before we leave this matter, and as the noble Lord is not going to move Amendment No. 12, but has clarified the position, I should like to thank him. He does not need to apologise to the Committee because his amendments were very clear. The confusion has been caused by the Marshalled List being printed incorrectly. We thought it was a Government amendment. My noble friend Lord Gowrie has indicated that he will look at this question generally and at whether there is need for an amendment in the schedule as well as any other changes that he may bring forward which we can consider at a later stage.

Clause 15 agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

[Amendment No. 12 not moved.]

Schedule agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with an amendment.