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Lady Saltoun of Abernethy moved Amendment No. 32:

Page 3, line 32, leave out ("shall") and insert ("may").

The noble Lady said: I know that this is the same wording as Section 6(1) of the 1959 Act but I wonder why "shall" was chosen instead of "may" in the first place back in 1959. I should have thought that "may" would have been more appropriate. Perhaps it was to make sure that the Deer Commission did not bury its head in the sand and do nothing. Can the noble Earl clarify the position?

The Earl of Lindsay: There is a good reason for "shall". If those with legitimate land use interests are being subject to serious damage by deer predation--I

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stress that deer are wild animals belonging to no one--they do enjoy a right of protection against that serious damage. There should be discretion within the commission in the process leading up to such a decision as to the most appropriate action to take in respect of a problem which is becoming more aggravated. The commission should exercise a discretion in terms of the voluntary agreements open to it and the control orders open to it and, finally, if all else fails and it is an emergency situation, then the marauding power in Section 6 of the 1959 Act is available. There should be discretion up to that point, but once serious damage is being inflicted on other legitimate land use interests, then this power should be activated.

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Lady Saltoun of Abernethy: I thank the noble Earl for that explanation. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The Earl of Courtown: I beg to move that the Committee be adjourned until Wednesday next.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Burnham): The Committee stands adjourned until Wednesday next.

Committee adjourned at three minutes before seven o'clock.

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