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The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 32:

Page 17, line 22, at end insert--
("( ) In accordance with the amendments made by this paragraph, in the sidenote, for "trust for sale" substitute "trust".").

The noble and learned Lord said: I spoke to this with Amendment No. 31. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 2, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 3 [Minor and consequential amendments]:

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 33:

Page 19, line 28, leave out from ("section") to second ("the") in line 29 and insert ("does not apply to capital money arising under").

The noble and learned Lord said: Amendment No. 33 seeks to correct a mistake that appears to have come about by an oversight in the process of updating the minor and consequential amendments made by the Bill to other enactments. That has the inadvertent effect of narrowing the power of advancement in Section 32(2) of the Trustee Act 1925. The amendment changes the provisions in the Bill so that the power of advancement will continue to be available in respect of property other than capital money under the Settled Land Act, including interests under a trust of land. I beg to move.

Lord Mishcon: The noble and learned Lord has already explained how this amendment comes about. I add one comment in the hope that it will be of assistance. The amendment appears to those learned in these matters to be adequate so far as it protects the existing position of Settled Land Act trusts. The question that arises is whether it is wholly adequate in respect of new trusts of land. As I understand it, the argument is that where land is involved the availability of Section 32 of the Trustee Act 1925 depends upon the words of Section 32(1). In that connection, I believe that there is a decided case which is relevant here, Re Collard's Will Trusts [1961] Ch. 293, the words of which will not be amended by the Bill. Accordingly, the proposed amendment to Section 32(2) has the desired

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effect of maintaining the availability of the statutory power of advancement in respect of trusts of land. I know that practitioners will regard it as very helpful to have the assurance that that is the intended effect of the amendment and that the effect is there.

The Lord Chancellor: I believe that it is right for me to consider the matter and give an answer with deliberation. My impression is that the effect is as stated, but I believe that it is wise for me to look at it as part of the consideration of these matters.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Mishcon moved Amendment No. 34:

Page 19, line 50, at end insert--
("( ) In section 36(1)--
(a) after "trusts or powers reposed in or conferred on him" insert "or declares that he has been directed to retire therefrom under section 20 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996", and
(b) after "desiring to be discharged," insert "declaring that he has been directed to retire".
( ) In section 39(1)--
(a) after "is desirous of being discharged from the trust" in both places where these words occur insert "or has been directed to retire therefrom under section 20 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996", and
(b) after "the trustee desirous of being discharged" insert "or directed to retire.".").

The noble Lord said: Amendment No. 34 makes minor changes to the Trustee Act 1925 which are consequential upon what I have said in regard to Amendment No. 15 to give the beneficiaries a right in certain circumstances to direct a trustee to retire. I beg to move.

The Lord Chancellor: I will consider the amendment, which is consequential upon the noble Lord's other amendment, along with the main thrust of the amendments.

Lord Mishcon: I still cannot find an alternative way of putting it. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 35:

Page 25, leave out lines 28 to 31.

The noble and learned Lord said: Amendments Nos. 35 and 36 together correct an unintended effect of the present consequential amendment and repeal effected by the Bill in the Inheritance Tax Act 1984. With your Lordships' leave, I shall speak to them together. The amended provision concerns the Revenue's charge over certain assets for the purpose of recovering unpaid tax. At present, interests under a trust for sale are excluded from the charge, and the consequential amendment substitutes for the reference to interests under a trust for sale a reference to interests under a trust of land. That has the effect of significantly reducing the range of assets to which the charge may attach and is inconsistent with the intention underlying Section 237(3), which was to exclude interests in personalty from the charge, the reference to interests under trusts for sale being included because such

25 Mar 1996 : Column 1559

interests are presently regarded as personalty by virtue of the doctrine of conversion. Since the Bill abolishes the doctrine of conversion, an interest under a trust of land will be an interest in land, not personalty, and should not come within the exclusion in Section 237(3). Amendment No. 35 accordingly removes the substituted reference to trust of land, while Amendment No. 36 adds to the consequential repeal some words in Section 237(3) which have no meaning once the reference to trusts for sale has gone but which were missed first time around. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 3, as amended, agreed to.

8.30 p.m.

Schedule 4 [Repeals]:

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 36:

Page 32, line 34, column 3, at end insert--
(", whether statutory or not,"")

The noble and learned Lord said: I spoke to this with the previous amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Lord Chancellor moved Amendment No. 37:

Page 32, leave out lines 44 to 48.

The noble and learned Lord said: I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 4, as amended, agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with amendments.

Deregulation (Special Hours Certificates) Order 1996

8.32 p.m.

The Earl of Courtown rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 19th February be approved [13th Report from the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee].

The noble Earl said: My Lords, the order is to be made under the powers provided in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994. It relates to two aspects of the provision of facilities for drinking alcohol at late night dances.

The order makes two substantive changes to existing laws. First, it provides for the reinstatement of the hour which would otherwise be lost to both operators and patrons of establishments which are authorised under the licensing laws to open into the small hours when the clocks go forward at 1 a.m. at the start of summer time. Secondly, it introduces a new arrangement, that of granting these special hours certificates on a provisional basis. This provision will provide a parallel with existing arrangements for the grant of standard liquor licences.

25 Mar 1996 : Column 1560

The order has received the usual comprehensive examination since it was first laid before Parliament in draft form in November. No changes to the order have been proposed, and it has been reported by the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee as in a form satisfactory to be submitted to this House for affirmative resolution. I beg to move.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 19th February be approved [13th Report from the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee].--(The Earl of Courtown.)

Lord Haskel: My Lords, we on this side of the House have no objection to the order and give it our support. We have just one question. What happens when the clocks go back in the autumn?

The Earl of Courtown: My Lords, when the clocks go back in the autumn, the Government have decided not to attempt to extract a quid pro quo. The hour which is presently gained when summer time ends will not be taken away from those wanting to dance into the early hours.

Lord Haskel: My Lords, it is not our wish to be killjoys. We have no objection to the Motion.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Oil and Chemical Pollution of Fish and Plants) Order 1996

8.34 p.m.

Lord Lucas rose to move, That the order laid before the House on 29th February be approved [12th Report from the Joint Committee].

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this order prohibits all fishing activities in the area designated in it which are or may be affected by oil and other chemical pollutants as a result of the grounding of the oil tanker "Sea Empress". The order also prohibits the harvesting of edible seaweed--laver, dulse and caragheen--and a plant commonly known as samphire or glasswort. It is important that we are clear about the purpose of the order. It is made under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 and its purpose is to protect the consumer from potential danger from eating contaminated seafood.

I recognise that fishermen welcome the order because they believe that a statutory ban strengthens their case for compensation. But the legislation does not permit us to impose the order for that purpose and the extent of the area affected is dictated by the needs of consumer safety.

With that in mind, I am extremely grateful to the local fishermen for their responsible attitude in imposing a voluntary ban on fishing as soon as the incident occurred. That gave us the time to designate the area on the basis of scientific analysis of samples of fish and shellfish from the area and on computer modelling of the likely spread of the oil. Had we not been given that

25 Mar 1996 : Column 1561

time for study and analysis, the area of the ban would have been much more indiscriminate. The designated area covers about 810 square miles and extends from St David's Head to Port Eynon Point.

Your Lordships may also be aware that we made a separate order on 20th March banning fishing for salmon and migratory trout in all rivers discharging into the area. It proved too complicated to negotiate a voluntary ban and consumer safety demands that we ensure that no contaminated fish enter the food chain. That order will be debated in this House on a later occasion.

We are continuing to monitor levels of hydrocarbons in fish and shellfish both inside and outside the area of the current ban. The analysis of total hydrocarbons is being undertaken by the Directorate of Fisheries Research at Burnham on Crouch. It is using samples collected under the guidance of the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate at Milford Haven.

The inspectors have been closely involved from the start, both in liaison with local fishermen on behalf of the Government and in the co-ordinated response to the incident by all agencies. I am grateful to them and to all those involved in the Joint Response Centre for their hard and effective work.

Enforcement of this order is being undertaken by environmental health officers from the local authorities, by the Milford Haven Port Health Authority and by officials of the South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee. All those have been issued with the appropriate authorisation to supplement the role of the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate. I pay tribute to their efficiency and willingness to undertake this work. We have also increased the number of surveillance flights over the affected area and sea fisheries protection vessels have increased the frequency of their visits.

Your Lordships will wish to know how long we expect the order to stay in place. I cannot yet answer that question. As I have said, we are continuing to monitor levels of contamination both inside and outside the area. We will use those results to determine whether the area should be amended or whether the ban should be lifted on certain species.

At present, levels of total hydrocarbons in fin-fish and crustacea are comparatively low. However, the water is cold and feeding activity is probably low. We need to check whether the levels rise as the water warms up. There also remains a possibility of further contamination from the large quantities of dispersed oil in the water column. In addition, the beached and landed oil is being remobilised. The order must remain in force until it is clear how these situations are developing. It seems likely, however, that it will be possible to lift the ban on fishing for fin-fish and crustacea first. We will have to consider whether that needs to be confined to specific areas in the light of the scientific analysis.

That analysis does not only include testing total hydrocarbons; we are also looking for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). That is a more complicated and time-consuming procedure, but as

25 Mar 1996 : Column 1562

some of these substances are known or suspected human carcinogens, it is vital that we determine their concentrations before the ban is lifted.

I well recognise the effect that this ban is having on both commercial and leisure fishing. When the effect is fully known, the insurers of the "Sea Empress" and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund will meet all valid claims for economic loss. Meanwhile the insurers are paying hardship cases immediately; I understand that cheques have already been issued to seven of the nine fishermen who have submitted claims. I am grateful to the insurers for their willingness to help in this way.

In the longer term, of course, we need to ensure that consumers are confident that fish from Wales is of high quality and good to eat. We will be exploring how to do that with the industry and with relevant promotion bodies.

The order is designed to ensure the safety of consumers. I appreciate that many leisure and sport fishermen return their catch to the sea and that it does not enter the human food chain. Nevertheless, I make no apology for our caution over this or over the order in general; we are not prepared to take risks with consumer safety. I beg to move.

Moved, That the order laid before the House on 29th February be approved.--[12th Report from the Joint Committee].--(Lord Lucas.)

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