Clause 4. — (Powers with Respect to Dredging, etc.)

Orders of the Day — Milford Haven Conservancy Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury 12:00 am, 11th December 1957

The proposed Amendment in page 5, line 19, after the second "or", to insert "(iii)" is unnecessary, as the printer will put that right.

Photo of Mr Airey Neave Mr Airey Neave , Abingdon

I beg to move, in page 5, line 16, to leave out "in any" and to insert:

  1. (i) in any place or manner such as to cover any submarine cable placed or maintained by the Postmaster-General or to impede in any way the inspection, maintenance, removal or renewal of any such cable; or
  2. (ii) in any other place, being a.
I gather that I do not have to move the next Amendment, to page 5, line 19, but, if it, is convenient, I suggest that with this Amendment I am moving we might consider the Amendment to page 6, line 28. It is consequent upon the first Amendment proposed to the Clause.

The position, as hon. Members who were present on Second Reading know, is that the bed of Milford Haven is largely rock and will involve the Conservancy in a certain amount of blasting and dredging operations which it has power to do under the Bill. The purpose of these Amendments is to safeguard some submarine cables placed or maintained in the Haven by the Postmaster-General and it is at his request that I move this Amendment.

The submarine cables may be affected in various ways by dredging or blasting operations, but as at present drafted subsection (4) prevents the Board from exercising the power conferred by subsection (2) to remove and resite submarine cables placed or maintained by the Postmaster-General and requires the Board to give at least 28 days' notice before any exercise of its powers under subsection (1) within a distance of fifty yards or, in the case of blasting operations, within one hundred and fifty yards of any such cable. There is, however, nothing to safeguard the cables from having materials deposited on them which obviously might do damage to them and there is a slight danger that subsection (1) might be held to authorise the Board to interfere with Post Office cables once notice given by the Board under subsection (4) had expired. The first Amendment accordingly restricts the place or manner in which the Board may deposit dredged materials. The second Amendment is entirely drafting. The object of the third Amendment is to ensure that Clause 4 cannot be construed in such a way as to authorise the Board to interfere with submarine cables placed or maintained by the Postmaster-General.

8.45 p.m.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

It is a new doctrine, Sir Charles, that printers may correct a Bill which is before the Committee.

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

It is not a new doctrine. It is usually done by the printers.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

I looked at the original Bill, before the reprint, and I found that this word occurs in both places. I should have thought that the proper course was for the Committee to make the alteration, but I do not press the point.

It seems to us to be quite proper for these cables to be safeguarded in this way. The Amendment stops what may have been a loophole.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 6, line 28, leave out from beginning to "any" and insert: Nothing in this section shall authorise any interference with."—[Mr. Neave.]

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.