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Lord Glenarthur: I very much support the thinking behind this amendment. Section 1(4)(c) of the 1959 Act very starkly laid out that among those appointed to the commission should be:

The main differences here appear not only to be that the words "the sporting interest in deer" are omitted from the Bill that we are now considering, but also that the Bill does not refer in any way to the organisations which might have produced those people who would have been able to represent "the sporting interest in deer". With the substantial history within Scotland and the islands of the relevance and the importance of "the sporting interest" to the whole concept of deer conservation, this is a very substantial change indeed.

In speaking to the earlier amendment my noble friend Lord Lindsay said that he could not conceive of those being involved with deer management being other than those who had a substantial interest in or knowledge of a sporting interest in deer--or words to that effect. That was the burden of his remarks. In that case I am not quite clear how the situation cannot be turned about. In subsection (1), as has been suggested here, we should leave out "deer management" and insert "the sporting interest in deer". Those concerned will then presumably be just as much expert on deer management that way round as they would be under the way that my noble friend suggested.

I do not think this is just semantics. It is an important point. To have such a major change made from what was contained in the 1959 Act--it was certainly not looked at in the 1982 Act with which I was so closely involved--does require greater explanation, although I appreciate that my noble friend Lord Lindsay is yet to cover his Amendment No. 11 in detail, and the qualifying explanatory clause which follows under Clause 9.

Viscount Astor: I support what my noble friend Lord Glenarthur said and would like to ask my noble friend the Minister a question. On an earlier amendment he seemed to imply that the interest of deer management included something which was beyond just sporting interest--for example, the marketing of venison. I put it to my noble friend that they are the same; they cannot be exclusive. One manages a herd of deer in order to maximise the revenue and, currently, with venison prices as they are, half the value of a stag is its sporting value for someone to come and shoot it, and half its value is its venison.

Those interests have to be the same. We must not think that somehow there is a different agenda if we use the word "sport" than there is when running a herd commercially. After all, that is what we are doing in the Western Isles, for example on the Isle of Jura, where there are 5,000 deer outnumbering the population by 25 to one. Deer management provides the main employment for the island, even more than the local

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distillery which employs many people. All the estates are run for commercial reasons, along commercial lines, maximising all the incomes. I hope that it will not be thought that there can be a separation in any way of those two important points.

Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove: I understand that Amendment No. 10 has been linked with this amendment. Is that correct?

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: Amendment No. 10 has been grouped with Amendments Nos 9 and 11, but I am not sure that it should be. I would have thought it should be taken separately.

Lady Saltoun of Abernethy: Should not Amendment No. 76 be grouped with Amendment No. 9?

The Earl of Lindsay: This may be a good moment to speak to Amendment No. 76. The introduction of the category "deer management" reflects the importance that this concept has gained in recent years since the first deer management groups were formed in the early 1970s and should help to ensure that future commissions contain persons with an active knowledge or experience of the way deer management practices are developing in Scotland as a whole. There can be no doubt that, for many purposes, in almost all respects--and I will come to the comments of my noble friend shortly--deer management and the sporting interests in deer are inextricable. That is why the definition in Clause 9, which we are amending through Amendment No. 76, makes that point beyond all doubt.

I completely agree with my noble friend Lord Astor that we cannot partition out the different parts of the whole cycle, from vermin control in the spring through to the taking and the marketing of the beast, and how one funds such an operation and markets the product. It is all one continuous cycle. My noble friend Lord Glenarthur suggested that, because of the inextricable link, whether one called it sporting interest or deer management, each would encompass the other. My modest and humble suggestion is that deer management has a generic feel to it, and it quite specifically includes all parts of the cycle involving deer management; whereas the sporting interest in deer is conceivably a little more ambiguous and could be taken by some to exclude some parts of the cycle.

So I hope that the Committee can agree to Amendment No. 76, when we come to it, but I hope that I have reassured my noble friend Lord Pearson and my noble friends Lord Glenarthur and Lord Astor, because we are aware that the vast majority of deer managers, and those involved with deer management, are very familiar or are actually involved in the sporting aspect of deer management. Just to underline what my noble friend Lord Astor said, you cannot be involved in deer management at one end and not somehow have experience of the sporting interest. Therefore we believe that our amendment will ensure that that point is taken on board.

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Lord Pearson of Rannoch: Once again, I shall have to read what my noble friend the Minister has said, but I am afraid that deer management now is very much wider than the sporting interest in deer, and indeed the whole industry to which my noble friend Lord Astor referred. Deer management would include counting their droppings in a dense forest to see how many deer there might be. It might be the management of a forest for birds.

I could go on and give many examples where people could be chosen from the category of deer management without having any interest in, and indeed possibly being antagonistic to, the deer forests and the interest which supplies most of the employment and benefit in this area. I do not know whether my noble friend Lord Lindsay has covered Amendment No. 76, but I merely point out that it is a definition of deer management, which includes the sporting interest in deer. The best thing that can be done at the moment is for me to beg leave to withdraw Amendment No. 9 because I spoke to Amendment No. 11 before, did I not?--or am I getting in a muddle now? I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

5 p.m.

Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove moved Amendment No. 10:

Page 2, line 18, at end insert--
("(v) local government").

The noble Lord said: This amendment will be not as well discussed or received as perhaps some of the other amendments. This is an amendment on which, frankly, I want to find out the Minister's views on the whole question of the appointments. The amendment would include a representative of local government on the commission. Although at first sight it may not be thought essential that the deer commission should include anyone from the world of local government, there is an expertise in local government and, on reflection, I believe there is a strong case for one councillor, or councillors, to be put on this commission. They are democratically elected people and I believe the protection of the environment in general, and natural heritage in particular, is a task which has been carried out for a very long time by local government. Therefore, I believe it would be right and proper if at least one of the commission was drawn from the local authority sector at elected member level to represent those interests.

The second and perhaps more compelling reason for wanting an elected representative from local government to be on the commission is that these days we have an ever-increasing number of quangos. Councils and councillors are elected and therefore they have some democratic credibility. To include persons from such bodies would at least ensure that the views of ordinary persons in the street could be considered during the deliberations of the commission.

At the very least, people who are elected are answerable to some group of the electors. I know that I am listening here to people who really know a great

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deal about their subject, but one of the points we have to accept--I have known about it for a long time and appreciate it even more now--is that deer forests and the whole question of deer are not small matters. A deer forest is not like a farm. It may cover hundreds and hundreds of acres, taking in public roads, public highways and public streams, and therefore local people should have someone they can complain to who is accountable to them. They may have a very nice landlord or they may have a very difficult landlord. In the short 10 years I have been in this House I have met both types of landlord. Some are very malleable and others are not. Indeed, if a child stepped across the verge of some of the landlords I have known, they would be very annoyed.

There must be a representative who people can go to and feel they have a right to go to, not cap in hand, not begging and saying, "We want to know why the deer keeping running across our roads", or whatever. One would get co-operation from a councillor in these circumstances. He would accept that the people who are deer managers or the owners know a great deal more about the actual subject of deer itself but not perhaps enough about the point at which the public and the deer interests meet. It is very difficult.

The noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy, spoke about the balance of quangos. There is no balance in quangos. We know how the quangos are made up. We have had years and years of them. We know that they are picked to get the results that the Minister wishes to get, with probably whichever group is in power. I feel that the Minister would make himself much more popular and perhaps make the whole question of the new deer commission much more acceptable if there were some evidence that there were people who were representative and meant something in the community--not because of their birth and not because of their wealth.

I am presently reading an interesting book about who owns Scotland. It sets out the situation we have now where if someone makes an awful lot of money in South African gold, he can buy a country estate and then become a very important man in the community. He may not have had any interest before. But a local councillor must have a base in the area. He must be there all the time in one form or another. I beg the Minister to give this a little more thought.

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