Purposes of National Parks

Part of Clause 60 – in the House of Commons at 9:15 pm on 28th June 1995.

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Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble 9:15 pm, 28th June 1995

I had intended when I started my remarks this evening to say that, until now, we have had rather a good debate on a vexed subject which, by demonstrating the controversy across the Floor of the House, illustrates the concern about the words involved. I am tempted to say that we have made a lot of noise about "quiet enjoyment".

I want to clarify one or two points. The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) and several other Opposition Members—not least the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Ainger)—suggested that we had accepted the principle of "quiet enjoyment", period. That was not the case. I said in Committee that we would like to be able to accept the principle of quiet enjoyment if it could be defined acceptably. The problem all along has been that we have not been able to define it acceptably.

The chief difference between the Government and the Opposition is that my right hon. and hon. Friends represent the people who live and work in national parks—[HON. MEMBERS: "What about Pembrokeshire?"] Let me finish. Hon. Members should not jump down a Minister's throat before he has had a chance to finish his remarks.