Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10580
10580. MR DINGEMANS: Yes. Which is why
we petition the House of Commons or you. The alternative is that
if your Lordships were to recommend that then the way to achieve
that would, in fact, be to write clause 13 in completelyit
would effectively be worded as paragraph 28 of the Petition. Because
this is the nominated undertaker, effectively, providing damages.
One could provide a situation that the nominated undertaker would
provide damages in those circumstances.
10581. CHAIRMAN: There are going to be
amendments made at the Public Bill stage. You are suggesting this
should be another of them?
10582. MR DINGEMANS: We do respectfully
submit that, yes. As you know, in a Hybrid Bill, such as Crossrail,
the power of the Committee is to look through and decide, that
although, generally, compensation is going to work for everyone
else a specific person is not within these terms and it is right
to amend the Bill. If your Lordships made that recommendation,
then it may be possible to sort out a proper deed or it may then
be necessary, as it were, to put it in the Bill itself. However,
without that recommendation, as my learned friend has very fairly
made clear, they have gone so far but will go no further.
10583. CHAIRMAN: Yes. The difficulty
about the new clause is that it would have to be dealt with by
parliamentary counsel, I think, and it would have to have the
backing of the Department for Transport.
10584. MR DINGEMANS: Yes. That is the
reality. The House of Commons did duck the issue, effectivelyand
at that stage we had not even got the contractual undertakings
from the nominated undertakerbut they said we were in a
situation where the national compensation code (if you use the
shorthand) was inadequate, and then did not make specific recommendations
as to how to deal with it. However, if your Lordships were persuaded
by our evidence and submissions, then what we would ask for is
that you might direct that either form part of the deed to be
provided by the nominated undertaker to us, or into the Bill.
I am not sure of your powersI am sure you will get advice
from your Clerk as to the extent of your powers in that respectbut
my understanding is that your powers really are to recommend amendments
to the Act.
10585. CHAIRMAN: We can do that, yes.
We cannot make them.
10586. MR DINGEMANS: Oh no, I entirely
accept that. My Lord, if that is all right, then I propose to
call our evidence. There is a bundle of documents, and it is simply
to illustrate the points that have been made with the witness
10587. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I
just wanted to ask in relation to Farringdon Stationit
is going to be a new station. You seemed to regard that as a negative
impact. Having been to Farringdon Station as it currently exists,
I would have thought a more modern station would not necessarily
be a negative.
10588. MR DINGEMANS: My Lord, I am sorry
if I appeared to give that impression; it is not intended. I entirely
accept, and I hope I have recorded in the note, that the building
of the Crossrail Bill, including changing Farringdon from what
might be called a less attractive amenity at the moment to something
that is modern and 21st Century, will be a substantial public
benefit. However, in the course of the construction of the Farringdon
site, you are going to have the massive disruption
10589. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: That
bit I understand. I thought I heard you refer to the effects afterwards
in terms of the operation of Crossrail
10590. MR DINGEMANS: I am sorry, that
was simply to illustrate the difference between the 1965 Act and
the 1973 Act. We are in the 1965 Act, which is the construction
of the works. In the 1973 Act, which was brought in, that would
be if you were suffering losses as a result of the use of the
works. We are not going to make that claim because there will
be no losses that we can identify. It was simply to illustrate
10591. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: Thank
you for that clarification.
10592. MR DINGEMANS: If it is all right
with your Lordships, I propose to call Mr George Abrahams first,
simply because he started work earliest and is keenest to get
away. He is at page 52 of the bundle.
Sworn Examined by MR DINGEMANS
10593. MR DINGEMANS: You have been sworn
outside. Can you give their Lordships your full name, please?
My full name is George Christopher Abrahams.
10594. What is your occupation?
(Mr Abrahams) I am a company director.
10595. Of what?
(Mr Abrahams) Of the George Abrahams group of companies.
10596. Where do they operate from?
(Mr Abrahams) The registered office is 218 Central Market,
10597. What type of business do you carry on
(Mr Abrahams) We are traders, importers and exporters, of
meat and meat-related products.
10598. In paragraph 3 of your witness statement
(I will not take you to it) you describe some of your historical
associations with Smithfield. Is that right?
(Mr Abrahams) That is right, sir. The company goes back to
the 18th century. One of the group companies.
10599. When did you start working in the market?
(Mr Abrahams) Thirty-seven years ago.