§ 7.28 p.m.
The Earl of Caithness
My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons amendments be now considered.
Moved, That the Commons amendments be now considered.—(The Earl of Caithness.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ COMMONS AMENDMENT
§ [References are to [Bill 108] as first printed for the Commons].
§ 1 Clause 1, page I, line 5, after ("may") insert (", after consultation with such bodies as he considers appropriate,").
The Earl of Caithness
My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 1. In moving this amendment, I propose to touch on some of the other changes of importance that have been made to the Bill and then, with the permission of the House, I shall move Amendments Nos. 2 to 16 en bloc.
§ COMMONS AMENDMENTS
§ 2 Page 1, line 6, leave out from ("area") to end of line 9 and insert ("within Scottish inshore waters.").
3 Page 1, line 10, leave out subsection (2) and insert—
("(2) Orders under this section may prohibit, within the specified sea area, all or any, or a combination of the following—
§ 4 Page 2, line 6, after ("shall") insert (", unless the order provides otherwise,").
§ 5 Page 2, line 7 leave out subsection (4).
6 After Clause 1. insert the following new clause—
("Power to prohibit the carriage of specified types of net.
The Secretary of State may, after consultation with such bodies as he considers appropriate, make orders under this section prohibiting the carriage, for any purpose. in any British fishing boat, in any specified sea area within Scottish inshore waters, of a type of net specified in the order; and such an order may make exceptions to any prohibition contained therein.").
§ After Clause 5, insert the following new clause—
("Powers of water bailiffs, etc.
.—(1) This section applies where an order under section I of this Act imposes any prohibition or restriction on fishing for salmon or migratory trout within any waters which form part of the district of a district board within the meaning of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Protection) (Scotland) Act 1951.
(2) Any water bailiff or constable or any person appointed by the Secretary of State in pursuance of section 10(5) of the said Act of 1951 may exercise in relation to a contravention of an order referred to in subsection (1) any of the powers conferred upon him in relation to a contravention of that Act by the following provisions thereof—
8 Clause 7, page 5, line 22, at end insert—
(" "Scottish inshore waters" means the sea adjacent to the coast of Scotland and to the landward of a limit of six miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, up to the mean high-water mark of ordinary spring tides;").
9 Page 5, line 24, at end insert—
("(2) Orders under section 1 or 2 of this Act shall be made by Statutory Instruments which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.").
§ 10 Page 6, line 4, after ("section 32") insert ("(a)").
11 Page 6, line 6, leave out ("and") and insert—
12 Page 6, line 7, at end insert—
("Merchant Shipping Act 1894 (57 & 58 Viet. c. 60) In section 374, after the words "Fishery Limits Act 1976" there shall be inserted the words "Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984".
§ In section 4(1) for the words "section six of the Herring Fishing (Scotland) Act 1889 or of any byelaw for the time being in force" there shall be substituted the words "an order under section 1 of the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984".
§ In section 6—
- (a) the definitions of "Herring Fishery (Scotland) Acts" is repealed; and
- (b) in the definition of "illegal trawling"—
- (i) for the words "section six of the Herring Fishing (Scotland) Act 1889 or of any byelaw for the time being in force" there shall be substituted the words "an order under section 1 of the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984"; and
- (ii) the words from "and the expression" to the end of the definition are repealed.".
§ 13 Schedule 2, page 7, leave out line 4.
§ 14 Page 7, line 29, leave out ("section 4") and insert ("sections 4 and 11").
§ 15 Page 7, line 30, at end insert—
|("49 & 50 Vict. c.29.||Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act 1886.||In section 32, the words from "and the Secretary of the Board" to "name of the Board".".|
§ 16 Page 7, line 42 column 3, at end insert—
|("In section 6, the definition of "Herring Fishery (Scotland) Acts", and in the definition of "illegal trawling" the words from "and the expression" to the end of the definition.").|
§ I should also point out that in Amendment No. 6, in the last line, the word "prohibitions" should be in the singular. It should read, "prohibition". The Bill has been considerably altered since it last appeared in your Lordships' House. I do not propose to deal with all the amendments in detail, for many of them are technical or drafting changes, although I shall attempt to give a fuller explanation of any particular points raised by noble Lords.
§ I should however like to draw your Lordships' attention to some of the more substantive changes 1069 which have been made. I would point out that, although they may have flowered in another place, their seeds were planted here. Clause 1 has been extensively redrafted to make it much clearer and simpler to understand and to make explicit powers which previously were present only by inference. This is, however, an addition to the clause which makes consultation by the Secretary of State with appropriate bodies mandatory before orders are made. I am sure your Lordships will find that change particularly acceptable.
§ Clause 2 is a new clause which was introduced primarily to help in combating the very serious problem of salmon poaching at sea. It will give the Secretary of State power to ban the carriage of monofilament gill nets. The use of these nets for catching salmon is already prohibited, but it is difficult to enforce when fishermen have virtually to be caught in the act at sea and can claim to be using the nets to fish for other species. I understand that very little use is made of monofilament nets in legitimate fisheries. A ban on the carriage of these nets will make law enforcement easier and will have a significant effect on poaching.
§ Clause 7 is also new and is designed to allow water bailiffs to enforce any order relating to salmon under Clause I of the Bill. Examples of such orders might be to prevent the setting of a gill net other than by a boat, or the setting of enmeshing leader nets to fixed engines. The powers given to bailiffs are restricted to Clause 1 orders and are the same as those contained in existing salmon legislation.
§ The other amendments are, as I have said, technical and drafting changes, but I believe that the Bill, which was a good one to begin with, has now been significantly improved as a result of debates here and in another place. The overhaul of existing legislation and the creation of a modern inshore fisheries regime is much needed. This Bill provides that and I commend it to your Lordships. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—(The Earl of Caithness.)
§ Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove
My Lords, we are all grateful to the noble Earl for his introductory remarks on the Commons amendments to this Bill. We on this side of the House are also very pleased that many of the amendments are the result of our discussions and suggestions, and even of amendments put down in this House by myself, my noble friend Lord Ross of Marnock, and the noble Lord, Lord Grimond.
I mention in particular the first amendment, because we suggested that it would make the Secretary of State's work considerably easier if he were instructed to consult with such bodies as he considers appropriate. Although it was suggested by the noble Lord, Lord Gray of Contin, that the Secretary of State would certainly consult—and I think that the noble Lord changed his mind at a certain point—he did not think that it was necessary to make it mandatory. I am very glad that, having had our discussions, the Government have decided that it is better for all concerned that the Secretary of State and the various 1070 fishing bodies in Scotland should now get together. It is better for all of them that there should be that provision and I give a very warm welcome to the first amendment.
As regards the rest of the Bill, the Minister is quite right to take all the remaining amendments together. Most of the amendments were followed through by Members of this House in another place and we viewed with considerable interest the fact that those in Committee in another place used many of the arguments put forward in this House in order to reinforce their case for the amendments.
There is only one point upon which I should like the noble Earl, Lord Caithness, to expand. I readily agree that I require further information because of my lack of knowledge of the subject rather than any intimate knowledge of fishing. Most of my knowledge about fishing has come through consultation with the various fishing authorities when the Bill first appeared.
However, Amendment No. 7, which arises after Clause 5, deals with the powers of the water bailiffs. The noble Earl may not have the details to hand at the moment, but he mentioned the matter briefly when he introduced the amendments. If the noble Earl could give me a fuller explanation of that clause now I would be very pleased. If not, I would be quite content if he agreed to write to me at a later date giving me a fuller explanation. However, with those comments I must say that I am quite happy with the Bill: I did not think that the Bill was as good as the Minister perhaps thought it was when he introduced it; but after the work of many people in this place and another place I think that it is much more workable and a much better Bill.
§ Lord Boothby
My Lords, I should just like to say that I think that the Bill has been greatly improved by the amendments made in another place. I always liked the Bill, but it has now been made even better. I would just like to congratulate the Government. Alas! I cannot congratulate them on everything these days, but there is one matter that they have handled superbly since the war and that is the inshore fishing industry, especially the inshore fishing industry of Scotland, with which I have had something to do in the course of a long political career. After the war that industry was facing disaster. Now it is one of the most prosperous industries in Scotland, and the Government, all Governments—but particularly this Government and successive Ministers of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food—should bear considerable credit, if only for persuading European Governments of the need for conservation; and they deserve it. I am very satisfied with this Bill. I am very satisfied with the condition of the inshore fishing industry generally in Scotland; and I should like to take this opportunity of congratulating all concerned.
The Earl of Caithness
My Lords, I am grateful for the comments by the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove, and the noble Lord, Lord Boothby. We are very grateful for the support and help that they have given us in trying to make this a better Bill. It shows that this Government do take matters away and read very carefully what is said in this House, and it also shows that they are flexible enough to amend the Bill for better when the arguments are conclusive.
1071 The noble Lord, Lord Carmichael, asked me about Amendment No. 7. I can expand on that a little. The purpose of the amendment is to enable water bailiffs to enforce any order relating to salmon under Clause 1 of the Bill. It repeats a similar provision in the Sea Fish (Conservation) Act 1967 which extends identical enforcement power to the bailiffs for orders made under that Act. The effect is that water bailiffs may exercise powers given to them in the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Protection) (Scotland) Act 1951 to search boats, examine nets and, with a warrant, to search any person, premises or vehicle and to detain any person found committing an offence in respect of any order prohibiting salmon fishing.
I hope that that satisfies the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael. If it does not do so, I shall gladly write to the noble Lord in more detail at a latter stage. Meanwhile, I commend the Commons amendment.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
The Earl of Caithness
My Lords, I have spoken to the rest of the amendments, and with the leave of the House I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 2 to 16 inclusive.
§ [Printed above.]
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendments—(The Earl of Caithness.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ Lord Lucas of Chilworth
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure. I understand that it has been agreed through the usual channels that we shall return to the earlier business at 8.30 p.m.
Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.
§ [The Sitting was suspended from 7.39 to 8.30 p.m.]