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