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Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, they appear in landlord and tenant legislation.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, the noble Lord is telling me that the words appear in landlord and tenant legislation. In that case he has the advantage of me. I have no doubt that if he says that it is correct, in which case he has answered the question of the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter. He might have intervened to tell him that, had he wanted to.

Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, perhaps I could formally intervene. The noble Earl alas, was not Minister at the time. There was a debate, as the noble Earl has read, in which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, pointed out that the words "quiet enjoyment" occurred in landlord and tenant legislation.

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Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for answering the question of the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter.

Lord Jenkin of Roding: My Lords, will my noble friend give way? I remember clearly an extremely powerful speech by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, in which he said that in that landlord and tenant legislation the words "quiet enjoyment" meant something totally different from what we have been talking about in this debate.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I have never known the noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, make a speech which was not powerful. I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Jenkin for correcting the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel. We must be careful not to be—

Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, I apologise to the noble Earl but the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin, did not correct me; it was a matter of fact. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, quite rightly said that the words had a completely different meaning. The question of the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, was, "Do these words occur in any other legislation"? The answer is yes.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter—as is the House—is now far more fully aware of the problems than we all were before.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter: My Lords, if these words appear in a totally different sense, as is suggested by the noble Lord, Lord Williams, is not that a relevant consideration as to whether it is sensible to use them in this Act?

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, my noble friend Lord Boyd-Carpenter, like the noble and learned Lord, Lord Ackner, makes another pungent point, as he always does. It is perfectly true that if they have different meanings in different Acts it may be desirable not to include them in this Bill. That is why we thought it best not to do so.

To return to the real problem, I do not think that there is too much between anyone here as regards what we are trying to do. The question is whether this provision should be put into a statute. The noble Lord, Lord Williams, said he thought that the best thing to do would be to insert a simple phrase into the Bill and then the Government can say what they think the phrase means. I do not think that that would be the right thing to do because eventually the courts would have to come to a conclusion as to what "quiet enjoyment" means. The noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, said that he wanted to know what the Government feel about the guidance, and he asked whether we accepted the Edwards recommendations. We continue to accept the concept which underlines the report's recommendations on quiet enjoyment. The guidance will make this clear, and it will be available to the national parks authorities and to others. It certainly will not be statutory, but we would obviously expect the authorities and others to take full account of it.

Then the noble Lord, Lord Williams, asked whether the guidelines could be challenged. Guidelines are an explanation of government policy stating what should

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be done. However, if a national park were taken to court, the fact that it had not followed the guidelines could be held against it. The noble Lord, Lord Chorley, asked whether the guidelines would be subject to consultation. The answer is that they are subject to consultation. My noble friend Lord Marlesford said that he had not yet seen the guidance. The draft guidance was published in January of this year. We intend to revise the guidance in the light of the debates in both Houses. We shall then consult widely on the revised draft later this year. I believe that that is the right way to do it. If one puts these words into a Bill, the only way one will know what they mean is when someone takes the matter to court.

It is all very fine my noble friend Lord Marlesford saying—I think it was a momentary slip of intellectual superiority—that we all know what we mean by "quiet enjoyment", but the fact is that we do not all know what is meant. My noble friend Lord Stanley said that the provision might curtail agriculture. It might do so. What happens when chain-saws are making the most appalling noise? Has anyone listened to a farmer preparing silage for three days on end? The buzzing is worse than a thousand drones of bees and it is constant. No one could say that that adds to quiet enjoyment.

The noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley, swatted my noble friend Lord Brabazon of Tara rather like a fly in saying that he raised issues that had been dealt with at an earlier stage. My noble friend Lord Brabazon was quite right. He raised issues which were considered at an earlier stage but which have not been resolved. They would not have been resolved with the incorporation of the words "quiet enjoyment".

If the words "quiet enjoyment" are included, a great many activities are put at risk. They also create considerable uncertainty. Some parks have speed boats; some have jet-skis; some have motor-bike rallies; some have soldiers. The noble Earl, Lord Lytton, said that he was all for national parks being for everyone. If one includes "quiet enjoyment", does that mean that one excludes the jet-skis, the speed boats, the motor-bike rallies and the soldiers? What is quiet enjoyment? Is it when you are sitting down in a national park having a cup of tea? If all of a sudden a man whose face is covered in black leaps out of a bush at you, being a soldier on an exercise, you could well say, "That's not quiet enjoyment. It disturbed my afternoon."

Once we put that into statute we run into trouble. I believe that another place was correct to say that we should not put it in statute but include it in the guidance. I can tell your Lordships that the first draft of the guidance has already gone out. We intend to revise the guidance in the light of what has been said in both Houses. Then it will be open to wide consultation. I believe that that is the best approach. I hope that your Lordships will agree.

I do not believe that it is possible to have one simple answer for all the national parks and the different parts of the national parks. That is why national park authorities are set up to conduct the parks as best they can and in the way they think fit in accordance with the guidance. As I said, the guidance will be very full.

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I hope that your Lordships will agree that that is the best way to deal with this vexatious and difficult problem. Once we enshrine such terms in law—words which are not simple of interpretation—we shall land ourselves in more trouble than if we leave them out.

On Question, Motion agreed to.


COMMONS AMENDMENTS
127Clause 62, page 74, line 24, leave out from 'heritage' to end of line 25 and insert 'of National Parks and of promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of those Parks by the public).'.
128Clause 66, page 80, line 47, leave out from 'heritage' to end of line 49 and insert 'of National Parks and of promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of those Parks by the public).'.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 127 and 128.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 127 and 128.—(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


COMMONS AMENDMENT
129After Clause 70, insert the following clause:—

Validation of certain grants paid to local authorities in respect of expenditure relating to National Parks

.—(1) No payment made for any year beginning on or after 1st April 1990 and ending on or before 31st March 1996 by the Secretary of State by way of grant to the council of a county or a metropolitan district in respect of the council's expenditure or estimated expenditure in connection with National Parks shall be regarded as made otherwise than under and in accordance with the relevant enactments by reason only of—
(a) the aggregate amount of such grants for the year to such councils not having been duly prescribed;
(b) the method of determining the proportion of such aggregate amount payable to that council not having been duly prescribed; or
(c) payment of the grant being, or having been, made—
(i) otherwise than in accordance with an approved Rate Support Grant Report or such a Report as varied by an approved supplementary report for the year; or
(ii) without there being an approved Rate Support Grant Report for the year.
(2) Any reference in this section to a payment by way of grant made under and in accordance with the relevant enactments is a reference to a payment of grant made under section 7 of the Local Government Act 1974 (supplementary grants towards expenditure with respect to National Parks) in accordance with the provisions of that section and those of section 60 or 61 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 (rate support grant reports and supplementary reports) as they apply in relation to grants under the said section 7.
(3) In this section—
"approved Rate Support Grant Report" means a Rate Support Grant Report which has been laid before and approved by a resolution of the House of Commons;
"approved supplementary report" means a supplementary report which has been laid before and approved by a resolution of the House of Commons;

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"duly prescribed" means prescribed by a Rate Support Grant Report or a supplementary report;
"Rate Support Grant Report" means a Rate Support Grant Report made under section 60 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980;
"supplementary report" means a supplementary report made under section 61 of that Act; and
"year" means a period of 12 months beginning with 1st April.'.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 129.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 129.—(Earl Ferrers.)


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