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Lord Howie of Troon: I do not want to irritate my noble friend, but I am under the impression that the state of Arizona has a time zone which might be called eastern mountain time or some such, but the Navaho reservation, which consists of something like 20 per cent. of the top right-hand corner of Arizona has its own time zone. So it can be done. However, I mention this point only to confuse the issue! All I am saying is that it can be done--but it should not be done in this case.

Lord Sewel: I am glad that the noble Lord agrees with me that what is good for Arizona is not necessarily good for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Lord Ewing of Kirkford: Before the noble Lord, Lord Mackay, replies, I do not want to irritate my noble friend either, but according to the clock it is now Tuesday, 28th July; here in your Lordships' Chamber it is still Monday, 27th July. How does my noble friend explain that?

Lord Sewel: That is a time warp!

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The proper answer is that you do not notice time when you are enjoying yourself.

This has been an interesting debate. One would have confidence in accepting the answer given by the noble Lord, Lord Sewel, if one felt that his Government would not try at some stage in the future, in their love affair with Europe, to slip in a Bill that would move us into central European time.

My noble friend Lord Montgomery is a devotee of double summer time and he tells me that the evenings would be even longer. Without going into the matter too much, having grandchildren at home at the moment, it seems difficult enough to get them into bed and asleep on single summer time without making it double summer time. It is not often that I hear the noble Lord, Lord Monson, say that he cannot make up his mind about an issue--I know that he can make up his mind very firmly about time zones, but I refer to how we vote on this matter.

The noble Lord, Lord Mackie, wants a Scottish veto. Essentially that is what I want. The question is whether one achieves that veto more readily by continuing the matter as a United Kingdom duty, with Scottish Members of Parliament in the other place pulling their weight for Scotland, or whether it is achieved by devolving the matter to a Scottish parliament which will simply say to its colleagues south of the Border: "No, we're not going to move and that's an end of it". Therefore it is not just a matter of saying to the Scots: "You wouldn't want to have a different time zone from England". It is also a matter of saying to the English that they would not want a different time zone from the

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Scots. This is a matter on which the Scottish parliament ought to have a say, and I shall seek the opinion of the Committee.

12.4 a.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 223) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 15; Not-Contents, 37.

Division No. 5


Astor, V.
Courtown, E. [Teller.]
Dixon-Smith, L.
Kintore, E.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Sempill, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]


Balfour, E.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Burlison, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Donoughue, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Gilbert, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Hacking, L.
Hardie, L.
Haskel, L.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller.]
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Sewel, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Macclesfield, L.
Whitty, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

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12.12 a.m.

[Amendments Nos. 224 to 226 not moved.]

Lord Selkirk of Douglas moved Amendment No. 227:

Page 83, line 27, at end insert--

("Section 7--Ocean Bed

The ownership and exploitation of the ocean bed.").

The noble Lord said: Amendment No. 227 reserves to the United Kingdom Parliament matters dealing with the ownership and exploitation of the ocean bed. The terms of Schedule 5 make some references to reservations to the United Kingdom Parliament of deposits of natural gas--Head 4, Section 2--but make no provision as to the reservation of the ocean bed. This amendment allows the United Kingdom Parliament to retain legislative power over it. That would be consistent

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with the reservation at Head 4, Section 2, which covers oil and gas and it would fit in neatly with Sections 2 and 3 of Head 4 of Schedule 5.

At present the provision does not deal with uranium, for example, and I shall be grateful if the Minister will look into that matter. Even if he does not give a comprehensive answer tonight, perhaps he could do so before the next stages of the Bill. For example, the provision does not deal with manganese. To a large extent the ocean bed is unexplored and I suspect contains many of the world's last secrets.

Perhaps I may say a word about the ownership of the ocean bed. In Volume 21 of the Stair encyclopaedia, it makes it clear that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 entered into force on 16th November 1994, 12 months after the convention had been ratified by 60 states. The United Kingdom acceded to the convention on 25th July 1997. The breadth of the territorial sea adjacent to the United Kingdom is 12 nautical miles under the Territorial Sea Act 1987. The United Kingdom continues to regard all waters beyond the 12-mile limit, including those over the continental shelf, as part of the high seas.

The legal status of the seabed and the subsoil of the territorial sea in relation to international issues is dealt with by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In Scotland it has been held in a number of early 20th century cases that the Crown has a right in property to the seabed within the limits of the territorial sea and that this right is derived from its sovereignty.

In a case last century, Lord Advocate v. Weens, 1899, Lord Watson said:

    "I see no reason to doubt that by the law of the sea the solum underlying the waters of the ocean, whether within the narrow seas or from the coast outward to the three-mile limit, and also the minerals beneath it are vested in the Crown".

Volume 11 of Stair encyclopaedia states that the rights of the Crown in the seabed within territorial waters are patrimonial and accordingly the solum of the seabed is capable of alienation.

In years to come the exploitation of mineral rights will become of ever-increasing importance. This should be the responsibility of the United Kingdom Parliament. I should be grateful if the Minister would look carefully and sympathetically at this. I beg to move.

12.15 a.m.

Viscount Astor: This amendment raises some interesting issues. Development on the coast below the low water mark, whether in England or Scotland, is largely the prerogative of the Crown Estate Commissioners. They laid a report before Parliament. It is an important report. It is particularly important for the economy in Scotland because it regulates fish farms and coastal development. Will the Minister say whether there is a mechanism by which the Scottish parliament will be able to look at the reports of the Crown Estate Commissioners?

Sand and gravel rights are also important in Scotland. I am not sure where they would come in the Bill. My noble friend Lord Selkirk of Douglas has raised an important point because it is not clear in the Bill how

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those rights will be dealt with and in which office. There are other maritime issues such as the protection of wrecks and the protection of war graves.

If for no reason other than that it comes after Section 6, this amendment is interesting. The reference to "outer space" rather intrigued me. It states:

    "Regulation of activities in outer space"

is a reserved subject. That means that if an extra-terrestrial arrives at the Scottish Parliament and says, "Take me to your leader", he will be bundled on a train and taken to Westminster.

The Earl of Balfour: Perhaps I may intervene. There was a very interesting exploration some time ago about which I wrote to our Member of Parliament, Mr. Home Robertson, the Member for East Lothian. I wrote of my serious concern that a Belgian firm was going to dig up sand and gravel in the Firth of Forth, which would have ruined one of the fishing beds there. I am glad to say that at the end of the day the project fell through, but it is the sort of thing that I should not like to see happen. Had it been for our own use, that might have been a different matter. I was very concerned that this quite valuable fishing ground was going to be exploited to no benefit to this country whatsoever.

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