Clause 48. — (Savings.)

Orders of the Day — COAST PROTECTION BILL [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Robert Hudson Mr Robert Hudson , Southport

On a point of Order. Mr. Speaker has said that he was in some doubt as to whether to call the Amendment in page 45, line 17, but that in any case he would give us an opportunity of voting on it, having regard to the discussion which had taken place earlier. I hope that we may be able to divide on this Amendment because we attach considerable importance to the principle.

Photo of Mr Francis Bowles Mr Francis Bowles , Nuneaton

Judging by Mr. Speaker's Order Paper, the Amendment is not selected. Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to move it so that the House may divide on it right away?

Photo of Mr Robert Hudson Mr Robert Hudson , Southport

I beg to move, in page 45, line 17, to leave out from "consents," to the end of line 20.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 229; Noes, 110.

Division No. 260.]AYES[5.32 p.m.
Acland, Sir RichardGlanville, J. E. (Corsett)Pargiter, G. A.
Albu, A. H.Gooch, E. G.Parker, J.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)Parkin, B. T.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell)Grenfell, D. R.Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Attewell, H. C.Grey, C. F.Paton, J. (Norwich)
Austin, H. LewisGrierson, E.Pearson, A.
Awbery, S. S.Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Popplewell, E.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.Guest, Dr. L. HadenPorter, E. (Warrington)
Balfour, A.Gunter, R. J.Porter, G. (Leeds)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.Hale, LeslieProctor, W. T.
Barstow, P. G.Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.Pryde, D. J.
Barton, C.Hannan, W. (Maryhill)Randall, H. E.
Battley, J. R.Hardy, E. A.Rankin, J.
Bechervaise, A. E.Harrison, J.Reeves, J.
Beswick, F.Holman, P.Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)Rogers, G. H. R.
Bing, G. H. C.Horabin, T. L.Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Binns, J.Houghton, DouglasSegal, Dr. S.
Blackburn, A. R.Hoy, J.Sharp, Granville
Blenkinsop, A.Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)
Blyton, W. R.Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)Shurmer, P.
Boardman, H.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Boltomley, A. G.Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Bowden, H. W.Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Simmons, C. J.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)Skinnard, F. W.
Bramall, E. A.Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Brook, D. (Halifax)Jay, D. P. T.Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)Johnston, DouglasSmith, S. H. (Hull, S. W.)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Snow, J. W.
Brown, T. J. (Ince)Keenan, W.Sorensen, R. W.
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)King, E. M.Sparks, J. A.
Carmichael, JamesKinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.Swingler, S.
Champion, A. J.Kinley, J.Sylvester, G. O.
Chater, D.Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D.Symonds, A. L.
Chetwynd, G. R.Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J.Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Cluse, W. S.Lee, F. (Hulme)Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Cobb, F. A.Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Cocks, F. S.Leonard, W.Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Callick, P.Leslie, J. R.Thurtle, Ernest
Collindridge, F.Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)Tiffany, S.
Colman, Miss G. M.Lewis, J. (Bolton)Timmons, J.
Corlett, Dr. J.Lewis, T. (Southampton)Tolley, L.
Cove, W. G.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Turner-Samuels, M.
Crawley, A.Logan, D. G.Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Crossman, R. H. S.Lyne, A. W.Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Cullen, Mrs.McAdam, W.Viant, S. P.
Daggar, G.McGhee, H. G.Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Daines, P.Mack, J. D.Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Davies, Edward (Burslem)McKay, J. (Wallsend)Warbey, W. N.
Davies, Harold (Leek)Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N. W.)Watkins, T. E.
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S. W.)McKinlay, A. S.Watson, W. M.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)McLeavy, F.Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Delargy, H. J.Mainwaring, W. H.Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Diamond, J.Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Dodds, N. N.Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)West, D. G.
Driberg, T. E. N.Mann, Mrs. J.Wheatley, Rt. Hn. John (Edinb'gh, E.)
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Dumpleton, C. W.Mathers, Rt. Hon. GeorgeWhiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)Mellish, R. J.Wigg, George
Evans, E. (Lowestoft)Mikardo, IanWilkins, W. A.
Evans, John (Ogmore)Mitchison, G. R.Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)Monslow, W.Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Ewart, R.Morgan, Dr. H. B.Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Fairhurst, F.Morley, R.Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Farthing, W. J.Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Fernyhough, E.Mort, D. L.Willis, E.
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)Moyle, A.Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Follick, M.Murray, J. D.Woods, G. S.
Forman, J. C.Nally, W.Wyatt, W.
Fraser, T. (Hamilton)Naylor, T. E.Yates, V. F.
Freeman, Peter (Newport)Neal, H. (Claycross)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gallacher, W.Oldfield, W. H.Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Ganley, Mrs. C. S.Paget, R. T.Mr. Richard Adams.
Gilzean, A.Pannell, T. C.
NOES
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Hollis, M. C.Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Amory, D. HeathcoatHudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.Raikes, H. V.
Astor, Hon. M.Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Baldwin, A. E.Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)Renton, D.
Barlow, Sir J.Jeffreys, General Sir G.Roberts, P. G. (Ecclesall)
Baxter, A. B.Jennings, R.Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Bennett, Sir P.Keeling, E. H.Ropner, Col. L.
Birch, NigelLambert, Hon. G.Sanderson, Sir F.
Bowen, R.Lancaster, Col. C. G.Scott, Lord W.
Bower, N.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Shephard, S. (Newark)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Lindsay, M. (Solihull)Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Bracken, Rt. Hon. BrendanLipson, D. L.Smithers, Sir W.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)Spence, H. R.
Butcher, H. W.Low, A. R. W.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Byers, FrankMacAndrew, Col. Sir C.Strauss, Henry (English Universities)
Challen, C.McCallum, Maj. D.Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Channon, H.Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)Sutcliffe, H.
Clarke, Col. R. S.McFarlane, C. S.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Cooper-Key, E. M.Mackeson, Brig. H. R.Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.McKie, J. H. (Galloway)Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Crowder, Capt. John E.Maclay, Hon. J. S.Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Davidson, ViscountessMacmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F.
De la Bère, R.Maitland, Comdr. J. W.Touche, G. C.
Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)Marlowe, A. A. H.Vane, W. M. F.
Drayson, G. B.Marshall, D. (Bodmin)Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Drewe, C.Maude, J. C.Ward, Hon. G. R.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)Mellor, Sir J.Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Duthie, W. S.Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Neven-Spence, Sir B.White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Fyfe Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.Nicholson, G.Williams, C. (Torquay)
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)Odey, G. W.Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Glyn, Sir R.Orr-Ewing, I. L.Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Granville, E. (Eye)Peto, Brig. C. H. M.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Grimston, R. V.Pickthorn, K.Major Conant and Mr. Studholme.
Head, Brig. A. H.Ponsonby, Col. C. E.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

I beg to move, in page 45, line 20, at the end, to insert: and is to be carried out in the area of that coast protection board. This Amendment is designed to meet the case put forward by right hon. and hon. Members opposite on behalf of the drainage authorities, and its effect is that the coast protection board cannot interfere in any way with work outside its area, work maintained by a drainage authority, even if that drainage authority is represented on the board, unless the drainage authority itself consents. In fact, it goes rather further than hon. Members opposite originally asked. In these specific circumstances—work outside the area of the coast protection board—it provides a complete veto on the part of the drainage authority.

Photo of Commander Sir John Maitland Commander Sir John Maitland , Horncastle

It is true that this goes some way to meet the point we have tried to make all along, but we are not by any manner of means satisfied that it really fulfils those promises which have so often been given during the course of the Bill that the drainage authorities should be the absolute kings in their own castles. On the other hand, I think it has gone quite a long way to meet the points we have put forward and, as far as that is concerned, we are grateful, although we think it would have been much better if the hon. Gentleman had gone the whole way to meet us.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 32, line 5, after "1946," insert "and the Lands Tribunal Act, 1949."

5.15 p.m.

Photo of Commander Sir John Maitland Commander Sir John Maitland , Horncastle

I beg to move, in page 32, line 23, to leave out from "out," to the end of line 25.

The words which it is proposed to delete give a right of compulsory purchase to a coastal protection authority to be used in order to acquire the passage which they desire to have so as to gain access to their works, or for any other purpose which may seem good to them. The arrangements made in the earlier part of the Bill in regard to compulsory purchase seem to be reasonable, and we could not object to them, because special arrangements have been made in the earlier part of the Bill to cover any difficulties which the authority might have.

Under subsection (2) of this Clause, the right is given to carry on work for facilitating passage, and the authority can make roads or do anything that is necessary in order to get to their works. In those circumstances, it seems to us that the authorities have all the powers which they could possibly need in order to exercise their right to make a proper passage to their work, and we therefore cannot see why the powers of compulsory purchase should be used in such a case.

Colonel Dower:

I beg to second the Amendment.

I think my hon. and gallant Friend has put forward a point of substance here. He has explained that the local authorities have all the powers they require both for right of passage and also for carrying out work. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to appreciate this point. Let us suppose that this land is to be constantly worked upon, so that, in fact, the local authority wish to acquire it. I am perfectly sure that in that case they would be able to acquire it by agreement. They have all the power which they would like and they would be able to take that land, quite rightly and properly, whenever they wanted it. I am convinced that if such acquisition were desirable, the authority would in fact be able to acquire the land by agreement.

What I cannot help feeling is that this power of compulsory acquisition, although it might not be used at all if the landowners were not holding them up in any way, might be used in a rather harsh way when it came to the question of compensation. The coast protection authority would be able to say to the owner "Now, we will buy this land from you by agreement, and, if you do not like the price offered, then we will compel you to sell." I should like the Minister to make it perfectly clear that already the coast protection authority can do whatever they want on that land and to say that it is not necessary to have this additional power of compulsory acquisition.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

I think the simple answer to the hon. and gallant Member for Penrith and Cockermouth (Colonel Dower) is that the reserve power of compulsory purchase is very often a very useful factor. It is not necessarily the case that the authority want to use it, but the fact that the power is there very often makes much simpler and much more reasonable the actual purchase negotiations, as is perfectly well known. It is only reasonable because, after all, the coast protection authority in this case would only be allowed to construct any coast protection works if, in the first place, it was really in the public interest to do so. They ought obviously to be allowed to purchase land for purposes of convenient access to it.

The hon. and gallant Gentleman himself agrees that that power should be granted, but he asks, "Why should the compulsory power be granted?" My right hon. Friend the Minister would, of course, ensure, as he does in other cases where compulsory powers exist, that the power is not used unconscionably or unreasonably in any way; and, as I have said, without this power it would be very much more difficult to get reasonable agreements made. It is not a fact, I repeat, that we wish continuously to use compulsory powers, but it is desirable in cases of this sort where the public interest is involved that the compulsory power should be granted.

Colonel Dower:

Would the Parliamentary Secretary say why, if he can do anything he wishes upon that land as far as coast protection is concerned, he finds it necessary compulsorily to purchase it? I should imagine that the owner of the land would be only too pleased to sell.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

It is obvious that the authority might very well be involved in paying higher prices if it had not compulsorily power at its back, and surely the hon. and gallant Gentleman is not suggesting that the authority should be involved in unnecessary expense.

Amendment negatived.