Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4400
4400. CHAIRMAN: The first one?
4401. MR ELVIN: My Lord, I respectfully
suggest that this is simply an attempt to get in the material
on an alternative alignment because yesterday you were told that
the EIA question was a pure point of law, and I have already circulated
submissions to the Committee which I propose to make this morning
which deal with it on the basis of a pure point of law. You do
not need to hear evidence today as to what was considered in March
2001 to determine whether or not that was a main alternative as
part of the EIA process which commenced in 2005.
4402. CHAIRMAN: It is all in the papers.
4403. MR ELVIN: Yes, it is all in the
papers. This is no more than an attempt to get in evidence on
alternative alignments. Let me remind the Committee that Mr Schabas
attempted to do precisely the same thing before the Commons Committee
and to run a case based on an alternative alignment and the Committee
refused to hear him.
4404. CHAIRMAN: Mr Elvin, I have read
all of this. Mr Horton?
4405. MR HORTON: May I respond to Mr
4406. CHAIRMAN: Yes.
4407. MR HORTON: With great respect,
the way he puts it is not correct. Yesterday, unless I misunderstood
the Committee, and obviously if I did I must be told and I will
apologise, but yesterday, as I understood it, your Lordship himself
intervened in the course of my submission to suggest that, if
I wanted to pursue the argument of law, which is the one I want
to pursue, in relation to the EIA and to persuade you that you
must grapple with the point of whether, when properly construed,
the Directive requires an objective test of whether something
should have been considered as a main alternative because it is
conceded that it was not considered as a main alternative, then
the Committee does need at least some evidence. It is not, and
we do not have the resources to do it, a detailed assessment of
Route B; it is evidence designed simply to assist the Committee
in making that judgment as to whether objectively it should have
been considered as a main alternative.
4408. CHAIRMAN: I do not think we need
any evidence about this, but I hope Mr Schabas would not be repeating
vitriolic remarks about Mr Berryman.
4409. MR HORTON: Well, my Lord, with
great respect, I want it on the transcript that that is a quite
unfair way of putting it.
4410. CHAIRMAN: All right, so he is not
going to criticise Mr Berryman?
4411. MR HORTON: It was not a criticism
last time. Mr Berryman ----
4412. CHAIRMAN: No, as long as he is
not going to take on Mr Berryman about his competence.
4413. MR HORTON: I am sorry, I had a
different point in mind, so I know nothing of that.
4414. CHAIRMAN: Well, that is what was
raised in the Commons.
4415. MR HORTON: Well, I am aware that
in the Commons Mr Schabas referred to a conversation he had with
4416. CHAIRMAN: Yes, he did.
4417. MR HORTON: I have asked Mr Schabas
about that. Mr Schabas is a professional man, a graduate of a
very distinguished American university, a very distinguished transport
planner, and he assures me that he accurately conveyed to the
Commons the conversation he had in the presence of Mr Berryman.
4418. CHAIRMAN: Well, that is one thing.
Is Mr Schabas going to come along and say to us that Route B ought
to be chosen?
4419. MR HORTON: No.