Businesses Liable to Vesting

Part of Clause 34 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th April 1970.

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Photo of Mr Keith Stainton Mr Keith Stainton , Sudbury and Woodbridge 12:00 am, 29th April 1970

The Amendment has two objectives. The first, by a process of deletion, is to remove certain powers. The second, by a process of exclusion, is to leave out certain powers.

It is sought to delete subsection (1)(a)(ii) and (iii). The Minister may argue that it is essential to retain (iii) for the discharge of (i). I suggest not and that the contents of (iii) and also (ii) are implicit in the drafting of the duties in terms of (i).

I wholeheartedly support my hon. Friend the Member for Southgate (Mr. Berry) in terms of excluding warehousing from this area, in terms of its shift as an industry structure pattern.

The exclusions sought by the Amendment have everything to commend them. The exclusion of the loading or unloading of cargo which is carried out by the owners' commends itself on two grounds. First, no owner will be foolish enough not to avail himself of the facilities provided by the authority if those facilities are more efficient and more thoroughgoing. Therefore, this can come into play only if the shipowner or his subsidiary can satisfy himself that he can mount a more efficient operation.

This is a matter of great concern, because the loading and unloading of vessels is becoming increasingly a coordinated operation. It is not a matter merely of loading. It is the totality of the maritime operation and not merely what happens on the quayside.

As to the second exclusion which is sought— the loading or unloading of cargo which consists of one commodity and the process of unloading which is a specialised or unusual activity "— the Minister cannot deny that he goes a substantial way to meet the point in Clause 35(2), but that does not give either him or the authority the flexibility which the subsection if amended as now proposed would confer.