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Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, before the noble Viscount sits down, I wonder whether he will clarify what he said. He said that he would look again at this. Does this mean that he gives an undertaking that the Government will bring forward some amendment, along the lines he suggested, in another place?

Viscount Ullswater: My Lords, I said that I would bring forward proposals when the Bill reaches another place. I believe that is as far as I can go.

Lord Derwent: My Lords, before the noble Viscount sits down, he said two things which seemed to me to be contradictory. He said that he would consider whether it would be appropriate to bring forward proposals giving reserve powers to the Secretary of State and then he seemed to say, "I will bring forward some proposals". If the Minister is able to undertake that when this Bill reaches the other place the Government will introduce an amendment giving the Secretary of State reserve powers to direct highway authorities in cases where agreement has not been reached, I would be more than content —I feel that it would be only right—to withdraw this amendment.

However, if he is not saying more than that he will consider whether it is appropriate to introduce reserve powers, I am afraid that I must ask the opinion of the House. Before I take a final decision on this matter, I wonder whether the Minister will clarify exactly what he is undertaking to do.

8.45 p.m.

Viscount Ullswater: My Lords, as I indicated to the House a moment ago with regard to the voluntary agreements which I was seeking between the highway authorities and the new national park authorities, there may be a stage where they would not agree to the agency basis which I was anticipating. Therefore, I indicated to the House that I should want to look again at the issue and intend to look at the procedure that we should need to go through for making the agency agreements between the highway authorities and the national park authorities and to consider whether the reserve power that my noble friend asks me for would be the best way of achieving the solution for which I believe both he and I are looking. Having said that, I

20 Mar 1995 : Column 1104

have said to the House that my honourable friend will bring forward proposals when the Bill reaches another place.

Lord Derwent: My Lords, I listened with great interest to what the Minister had to say. I feel that all noble Lords would agree that much the best procedure would be that he should give guidance as he proposed, but that everyone should know that if people do not obey the guidance the Minister will have the power—if he judges it right in a particular case —to direct them. To me that would be a perfectly acceptable alternative to the amendments that I propose.

However, I am afraid that the Minister has not gone as far as that. The Minister said that he will look at how it might be done. He is not quite sure how it might be done. But he has gone short of saying that either the Government will bring in amendments like these or they will give reserve powers to the Secretary of State.

Viscount Ullswater: My Lords, with the permission of the House, before my noble friend decides whether or not to press his amendment, perhaps I may encourage him and the House to consider very carefully what I said. We are all agreed—certainly he and I appear to be very much agreed—on the way that we want to move forward, in that we want to create the agency agreements that we are both seeking. I believe that my noble friend and I are at one on that. I suggest that we ought to look at ways in which we can achieve that, especially by bringing forward proposals.

I have to say that, on the other hand, my noble friend's amendments create a new form of highway authority. I urge my noble friend to accede to what I have said this evening and to work towards the creation of the agency agreements, which may need to be strengthened by the Secretary of State if they do not work, rather than creating new highway authorities in the first instance.

Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, before the noble Viscount sits down, and with the leave of the House, perhaps I may refer to the very simple question put by the noble Lord, Lord Derwent. Is the noble Viscount saying—I still do not have it clear—that he will bring forward proposals on how to achieve the common aim that he has expressed between himself and the noble Lord, Lord Derwent, in another place; or is he saying, "We will look at it and consider not how to do it but whether it is possible"? If it is a question of pure mechanics, that is one thing; if it is a question of whether the principle is right, that is another thing.

Viscount Ullswater: My Lords, with the permission of the House, I can respond to the noble Lord, Lord Williams, by saying that we are looking again at this matter. We should like to look at the issue carefully. We want to make certain what it is that my noble friend and I are making common cause about, in that these agency agreements should succeed. Then I shall want to bring forward, or my honourable friend will bring forward, proposals to achieve that end in another place. However,

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I should not like to see the amendment, which creates a separate highways authority in the parks, being accepted at this stage.

Lord Derwent: My Lords, I hoped that my noble friend would say that, while he still had to look at the best way of doing it, he would give me an assurance that by the time the Bill left the other place there would be some means of compulsion for recalcitrant authorities, whether by means of an amendment or by the kind of reserved powers to which he referred. I should have been happy with that. Sadly, the Minister was unable to go that far. As I understand it he said that he would try; he will look; he will see whether there is some way of achieving what we all want in a better way. But he did not commit himself to the fact that by the time the Bill leaves the other place there will be reserve powers or something of that sort. Therefore, though I dislike dividing the House at this time of night, I regret that I must seek the opinion of the House.

8.52 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 38) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 33; Not-Contents, 56.

Division No. 5


Addison, V.
Airedale, L.
Annaly, L.
Barber of Tewkesbury, L.
Blyth, L.
Burton, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Derwent, L. [Teller.]
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dundonald, E.
Freyberg, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Judd, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Lawrence, L.
Lytton, E.
Marlesford, L.
McCarthy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Moyne, L.
Nathan, L.
Nicol, B.
Norrie, L.
Northbourne, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Walpole, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
White, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Wise, L. [Teller.]


Aldington, L.
Astor, V.
Barber, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Cadman, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chelmsford, V.
Coleraine, L.
Cross, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Downshire, M.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Goschen, V.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harmsworth, L.
Henley, L.
Howe, E.
Inglewood, L. [Teller.]
Kingsland, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Kintore, E.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Leigh, L.
Lindsay, E.
Long, V.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lucas, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Mountevans, L.
Newall, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Rodger of Earlsferry, L.
Seccombe, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Sudeley, L.
Trumpington, B.
Ullswater, V.
Vinson, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Young, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

20 Mar 1995 : Column 1106

8.59 p.m.

[Amendments Nos. 39 and 40 not moved.]

Schedule 13 [Pollution of rivers and coastal waters in Scotland: amendment of the Control of Pollution Act 1974]:

The Earl of Kintore moved Amendment No. 41:

Page 182, line 11, after ("person") insert ("who is not the owner or occupier of the mine in question").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, the House has expressed an opinion on Amendment No. 29 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Stanley of Alderley. Amendment No. 41 seeks to achieve the same result in Scotland. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 42 not moved.]

Schedule 18 [Minor and consequential amendments]:

Lord Stanley of Alderley moved Amendment No. 43:

Page 218, line 25, at end insert:
("(3) At the beginning of subsection (8) there shall be inserted the words "Subject to subsection (8A)"
(4) After subsection (8) there shall be inserted—
"(8A) Where the conditions of a licence would require the consent of another person in accordance with subsection (4) of this section the waste regulation authorities shall act in accordance with the guidance issued to them by the Secretary of State.".").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, my noble friend Lord Ullswater said in the Official Report on 9th March at col. 528, that he would like to consider this problem again. I wonder whether this amendment, which alters the words to "shall act in accordance with" the guidance, from the present wording, which is "to have regard to", might appeal to my noble friend. I beg to move.

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