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Page 58, line 29, after ("structures") insert ("or parts of buildings or structures").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I must offer a kind of apology to the House. It seems that I contravened the conventions by interrupting the Minister in an earlier debate. I did not, and still do not, think that I contravened the conventions, but it has been explained to me by noble Lords opposite that I did. I apologise. The problem is that I did not know what were the conventions. I rather think that noble Lords opposite made up the conventions on the hoof, which is not too bad a way of going about this kind of business. I shall try to intervene, within the conventions, on the hoof, as we go through our business. I apologise if I disturbed the Minister at what was an important part of his reply.

This group of amendments relates to the definition of "construction", about which we had lengthy and, I thought, inconclusive debates at an earlier stage. As noble Lords will remember, the definition of "construction industry" was drawn from, I think, the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 to be used as a framework for the definition in what was then Clause 102.

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Many of us on this side of the House, and when I say that I am merely speaking geographically and not politically, because I should be putting forward the same arguments if I sat on the other side of the House, which I once did a long time ago, and who knows, might well do again, although I do not want to anticipate such an event which has nothing to do with our discussion. It has nothing to do with "this side of the House" which is merely a conventional term when I use it, and I always like to be understood.

We tend to think that the clause as drafted left out many things which should have been in. This group of amendments hopes to cope with some at least of those matters. As it stands, the grouping falls into two parts. Amendments Nos. 114 and 115 are different from Amendment Nos. 116, 117, 118, and 119 only in the sense that Amendments Nos. 114 and 115 are general rather than particular. Amendment No. 114 is a drafting matter and may turn out to be unimportant, although it has some reference forward to later parts of the Bill and to some of the matters we discussed on an earlier amendment when I talked about parts of buildings or structures. That hints at parts of projects which are not process but construction matters. I refer to foundations, structures and things of that nature.

It may well be that to refer to parts of buildings or structures is important. It is also important, I think, when we talk about demolition, as the Bill does. Even the most ardent demolisher might not want to demolish an entire building. He might wish to demolish merely a part of it. He might wish to demolish the wrong part; he might wish to demolish the right part. So to refer to the building as a whole does not seem to me to meet that matter. If one wished to demolish a bit of a building, say, a wing of a stately home or a wing of the National Gallery, that would be part of a building and could be construed as being different from the building as a whole.

Amendment No. 115 refers to "civil or building". Here, I try to define the type of structure that is referred to in order to differentiate it from the process industry. Noble Lords with long memories and close attention spans may recall that when the Committee debated the process industries I drew a distinction between parts of an oil refinery, for example, in which the process plant was closely integrated with the structure--say, a catalytic cracker or something of that nature where it was extremely difficult to distinguish between the plant and the structure (I go a long way with the Government in making that distinction)--and foundations, ordinary structures and so on. These ordinary construction elements, as opposed to those that are closely integrated into a process plant, like catalytic crackers and matters of that kind, should be distinguished. I believe that this is a serious distinction. I give the Government credit for this. It is a difficult distinction to make. Perhaps I have not chosen the right words with which to make it, but it is a distinction that ought to be made because it is real.

Amendments Nos. 116 to 119 are drawn from a rather elegant amendment that I put down at Committee stage. It was summarily rejected by the Government with contumely, instead of being accepted with grace and dignity. In the Government's list of inclusions in

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Clause 113 (then Clause 112) a number of matters have been omitted or at best included by inference. The inference is slight, and I do not see it myself. For example, when one talks about harbours one wishes to include structures such as jetties and breakwaters. Those are sometimes, but not always, parts of harbours. Jetties sometimes stand on their own, like the oil jetties referred to at Committee stage. Sometimes breakwaters stand on their own as distinct from harbours. A breakwater may be there for a variety of purposes but it is a construction element in its own right and ought to be included as such.

I have said that tunnels ought to be added after waterways. Some tunnels are included in the sense that there is an implication that if one builds a road or railway one includes tunnels which are inherent in that road or railway or matters of that nature. But that does not include all tunnels. The tunnel that I have in mind--I apologise to the House for reverting again to my lengthy experience in this matter and perhaps becoming the prize bore of the year--is that comprised in the hydro-electric scheme at Glen Shira. The purpose of that tunnel is to convey water from a high level dam to a low level, just outside Inveraray, where the power station is situated. It is a pressure tunnel but not a tunnel in any sense in which that term is included in the Bill. That particular tunnel was constructed under the orthodox civil engineering contracts of the day.

It may be that Amendment No. 118 is a tautology because I have suggested the insertion of "hydro-electricity supply", but I do not apologise for it. Obviously, the example that I have given would be included under hydro-electric supply, but there are a number of other matters which are totally construction in nature and are concerned with hydro-electricity supply but which are not, as far as I can see--the Minister will tell me if I am wrong--concerned with hydro-electricity. I know, or believe, that the Bill refers to dams concerned with water supply, but as far as I can see dams that are concerned with hydro-electricity supply are not included in the Bill. It may be that we will not do much in the way of big hydro-electric schemes in the future, but if we have any sense we may well be involved in a sizeable programme of small-scale hydro-electricity which will demand small-scale dams. I believe that dams in relation to hydro-electricity may well be included. The Minister will be aware that since Britain is not blessed with deep canyons and features of that nature such as can be found in the United States, where a big dam can be built behind which a large body of water is impounded, it has relatively shallow reservoirs into which water is brought from a variety of sources through a body of aqueducts and matters of that kind. These aqueducts are all construction matters. I am not quite sure that they are included in the Bill.

I turn lastly to Amendment No. 119. I do not believe that the Bill deals adequately with the civil engineering aspects of flood control. I expect that the Thames Barrier is included in the Bill. That is a big item of flood control. There are a great many other items of flood control round coasts and so on which are different from coastal protection measures. Coastal protection is not the same as flood control. Although it may be a kissing

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cousin, it is not the same. I believe that that should be recognised in its own right. I have also added lighthouses. A lighthouse is an important civil engineering artefact. At the top of the coat of arms of the Institution of Civil Engineers is a lighthouse. That is Eddystone Lighthouse, which was designed and built in its modern form by John Smeaton. He was the first man in Britain to describe himself as a civil engineer. Therefore, the lighthouse has an historic significance.

Not only that but, who can tell, we might still want to build lighthouses. We might decide that we need them in order to prevent ships foundering on reefs, rocks and so forth. I dare say that they will not be manned as they were, but they are important construction artefacts. They are all "construction", apart from the lamp, I suppose; the lamps are bought in and will be excluded from the Bill. However, the lighthouse itself is a civil engineering artefact, and that should be recognised in the Bill.

I am sure that the Minister will tell me where these and other artefacts that I have mentioned are covered in the Bill. But I do not believe that they are, and they ought to be. I beg to move.

Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, the amendment proposed by my noble friend and the subsequent amendments to which he has spoken illustrate the difficulties of trying to define what is a construction operation in the Bill. The more the Bill goes into detail the more traps are set. Indeed, my noble friend made a series of interesting points. Whether or not they are to be supported is another matter. No doubt the Minister will explain in what way, if at all, they are covered by the Bill. The argument illustrates that subsection (1)(b) is extremely detailed but leaves out some important details.

I have only one question to ask the Minister. In re-reading that subsection, I imagine that "coast protection or defence" does not refer to defence-related industries. No doubt the Minister will tell us. I imagine that "coast protection or defence" implies the defence of the coastline against, for instance, the intrusion of tidal water or whatever and not against the intrusion of a potential enemy, requiring civil engineering work. I should be interested to know whether that is part of the provision and in hearing the Minister's interpretation of that expression.


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