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The Earl of Lytton: My Lords, clearly, I do not want to prolong the debate. I thank the Minister for that very helpful reply. I also thank other noble Lords who have spoken to the amendments. I am sorry if the second part of the amendment was so baffling to a number of noble Lords. Perhaps I should reinforce what I thought I had said earlier; namely, that it endeavours to make sure that there will not be a consequential duty to prevent along with the purpose to promote. That was a point mentioned by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, in Committee. He was concerned that the one was the obverse side of the coin to the other. I am trying to separate the two.

7 Mar 1995 : Column 262

By that separation, I wish to reassure noble Lords that the intention is to leave completely intact all the existing powers available to national park authorities. They would not be circumscribed by the amendment. I thought that the wording was reasonably clear and that it meant that there was no duty to prevent arising out of the particular purpose to promote, but all other duties and powers from wherever they are derived remain.

Obviously, I should like to answer a number of the points made by many noble Lords, but the hour is late and it would be wrong for me to prolong matters. I shall read carefully what has been said. I hope that perhaps with the Minister we can sit down with other interested noble Lords and try to find a better formula of words if mine is not acceptable. For the time being, while reserving my position, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 178C not moved.]

Lord Barber of Tewkesbury had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 178D:


Page 64, line 30, at end insert:
(" ( ) In section 5 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (National Parks) after subsection (3) there shall be added—
"(4) For the purposes of this Part of this Act, the expression "quiet enjoyment" in subsection (1) above means recreation, active or passive, which does no lasting or serious damage to the natural beauty, wildlife or cultural heritage of a National Park, respects its quietude and does not diminish enjoyment of its special qualities by the public.".").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I should like to echo what has been said by my noble friend. (That is something that I appear to have been doing for the past half hour.) I thank the Minister for his constructive reply. It is hoped that there is a general feeling that we should press on with this as a matter of urgency. I would hate to think that we would lose that quiet enjoyment as a result of getting into a legal tangle and finding it difficult to find a way through it. I shall not move the amendment.

[Amendment No. 178D not moved.]

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, I beg to move that further consideration on Report be now adjourned.

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

        House adjourned at five minutes past midnight.


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