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Lord Monson: Even if Amendment No. 12 is defective, as the noble Lord, Lord Kimball suggests, I

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can see no objection whatever to Amendments Nos. 13 and 19 in particular. They seem to be entirely justified and I hope the Committee will agree to them.

Baroness Hayman: In putting forward these amendments, the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers, reminded us of some of the detail of the debate on the House of Lords Act. I have to say some of that took on a dream-like quality for me and, although I cannot recall all of the debates, the dream-like quality is somewhat enhanced by the fact that we are still enjoying his presence and that of many other hereditary Peers as I look around the room. I do remember however the debates on "a" and "an" hereditary Peer, and have to say that, in common with him, I have a slight tendency to pedantry. Thus, had it been a free vote, I might have supported the noble Earl in that particular respect, but did not feel it was a resigning issue.

I suspect that issues of taste, pedantry and semantics will perhaps govern my response to some of these amendments. I deal first with Amendment No. 12. We believe that the process suggested by this amendment is cumbersome and unnecessary. Subsections (3) and (4) already require a person entering premises to show evidence of a right to do so if challenged. Under Clause 4(1) the "appropriate authority", which in England would be the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, will appoint responsible individuals as officers, and I can assure the noble Lord, Lord Kimball, that we would prepare appropriate guidelines for them to follow. There are precedents for such investigations where there is a reasonable suspicion of a breach of the terms of the notice served. Under the Plant Health Act 1967 for the purposes of plant health control, or the Animal Health Act 1981, persons authorised by the Minister may enter premises to investigate suspected breaches; for example, having diseased animals and not reporting it. There is precedent therefore and a system which works in a satisfactory way; anything else would be unnecessarily cumbersome.

We believe that Amendment No. 13 is unnecessary. Under Clause 4(1) the Minister is likely to authorise officers of the Ministry to enter premises. Those people would be responsible individuals and would certainly not leave premises exposed to intruders following an inspection. I can assure the Committee that Ministers and the police are well aware of the attention given to fur farmers by certain animal activists and the need under the Mink Keeping Order 1997 for fur farms to be secure at all times against the escape of mink. I hope that will provide some reassurance to the Committee.

In dealing with Amendment No. 14 perhaps I may refer to the Shorter Oxford Dictionary in response to the noble Earl's preference for "wilfully" rather than "intentionally" in this context. I suggest it is a matter of taste. The main point is whether or not the obstruction or delay to which this clause refers is deliberate. That is covered by both words and the dictionary definition of "wilfully" is,

    "purposely, on purpose, intentionally or deliberately".

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So although the noble Earl may prefer one, I hope he will accept that the other fulfils the purpose.

Equally, in dealing with Amendment No. 15, I have to say that the natural meaning of "premises" is a place with a structure on it. With a view to extending the natural meaning of the word "premises", the Bill provides that premises includes any place, to clarify the point that the special meaning of premises here is that it can include land which is not built on. If the Bill provided that premises means any place, it would not carry the same clarification that premises can include land which is not built on. I hesitate to pray in aid parliamentary counsel, but the noble Earl will understand that I take my advice from him on this issue.

I suspect equally on Amendments Nos. 16, 17 and 18 the need to change "private dwelling" to "dwellinghouse" is a matter of taste and preference of the noble Earl but tot homines, quot sententiae, and I suspect that parliamentary counsel's sententiae in this area were for using "private dwelling".

Earl Ferrers: I thought we were speaking English and suddenly the noble Baroness dropped into Latin and I did not quite hear it.

Baroness Hayman: I was trying to enter into the spirit of the thing and hoping to reach the levels of debate to which the noble Earl makes us all aspire. I said tot homines--as many as there are men--quot sententiae--there are sentiments or feelings, and I was suggesting that we could, between us, find many substitutes for "dwellinghouse", "dwelling", "private dwelling" or "dwelling place". Perhaps the simplest way forward is to go with parliamentary counsel on this; there is no dubiety on it.

We believe that Amendment No. 19 is unnecessary. Under subsections (1) and (2), the Minister is likely to authorise officers of his department, and, as I said earlier, those officers are responsible individuals who are not likely to cause damage when inspecting premises. If an officer were to exceed the limits of his statutory powers, the court would have powers to award compensation according to the ordinary principles of law; for example, relating to negligence. As I said to the noble Lord, Lord Kimball, when dealing with Amendment No. 12, we would certainly be providing appropriate guidelines to those officers who are undertaking this work in order to ensure that damage and difficulties are not caused.

Earl Ferrers: I am very grateful to the noble Baroness for those explanations. The only purpose of Amendment No. 14 was to make for conformity. I was delighted that she explained the difference between "includes" and "means" with regard to Amendment No. 15, and saying that the word includes land makes a great deal of sense.

With regard to her deviation into Latin, she said that for as many men as there are, there would be as many views. That may well be true but I was just trying to go along with the view of the parliamentary draftsman which I thought was helpful. However, I

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quite see that she prefers to have a different view. I am grateful to the noble Baroness for her helpful replies to these amendments. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 13 to 19 not moved.]

Clause 4 agreed to.

Clause 5 [Compensation for existing businesses]:

The Deputy Chairman (Lord Brougham and Vaux): I must advise the Committee that, if this amendment is agreed, I cannot call Amendments Nos. 20 to 23 inclusive because of pre-emption.

Lord Luke moved Amendment No. 19A:

    Page 3, line 14, leave out subsections (1) to (3) and insert--

("(1) Where any person incurs losses as a result of ceasing, by reason of the enactment or coming into force of section 1, to carry on his business so far as it consists of activities prohibited by that section, he shall, subject to the provisions of this section be entitled to receive a payment (hereinafter referred to as "compensation") from the appropriate authority.
(2) The amount of compensation shall be equal to the losses he sustains as a result of ceasing, by reason of the enactment or coming into force of section 1, to carry on his business so far as it consists of activities prohibited by that section and in estimating such losses regard shall be had to the period for which such business may reasonably have been expected to be carried on but for that section.
(3) Compensation shall carry interest, at the rate for the time being prescribed under section 32 of the Land Compensation Act 1961, from the date of the enactment of section 1 in the case of losses incurred by reason of the enactment of that section and from the date of that section coming into force in the case of losses incurred by reason of that section coming into force until payment.").

The noble Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 19A, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 23A to 23D. I am sure that all Members will agree that this group of amendments is the nub of our work in the Committee this afternoon.

I am moving this amendment to ensure that people who are being stripped of their way of life under the Bill are, nevertheless, compensated fairly for their loss. I would first like to apologise that this amendment appeared rather late in the day. The reason for that was that we were waiting to hear the response to the government amendment from the National Farmers Union and, accordingly, we wished to take advice ourselves on the Government's amendment.

We appreciate that the Government have tabled their amendment to Clause 5 in recognition of some of the deficiencies in the original content of that clause and in response to concerns over the lack of an adequate compensation scheme. However, we believe that it does not go far enough and, therefore, we propose an alternative amendment, which we believe shows proper consideration for all the concerns of fur farmers.

Without a simple and available scheme on the face of the Bill, confusion and uncertainty are inevitable. Although a procedure for compensation is to be provided under Clause 5--for which we are, of course,

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extremely grateful--until that scheme becomes much clearer it is impossible to confirm that it is based on fair and sound principles.

My proposed amendment would remove that uncertainty by inserting a layer for compensation that precludes the necessity for having an obscure and rather vague scheme which is to be decided some time in the future by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The amendment uses a framework taken from an existing compensation scheme under the Land Compensation Act 1973, and goes no further than that. Since the Government accept that there should be a scheme, it makes perfect sense to use a framework already proven and accepted as fair and which has stood the test of time.

The amendment would introduce compensation that is equal to all losses, including income and prospective income losses sustained by a person as a result of the removal of his business. Such compensation would in effect act as a purchase price under a compulsory purchase type scenario where businesses, not land, were being acquired. The amendment would permit those persons who would be forced to relinquish their livelihoods under this Bill to have confirmation that a fixed scheme was already in place prior to the enactment of the Bill. They will not be left in any doubt as to what is to become of them, nor as to how the Minister proposes to treat them in terms of compensation; that is, in a fair and honest manner. After all, it is only right that they should be aware of the method employed to calculate the loss of their prospective earnings and capital investments.

This amendment will help maintain a welcome transparency because it will ensure that both the farmers and the public are made aware of the amount of taxpayers' money required to put the farmers out of business, instead of leaving the direction and important details of a future scheme to the Minister.

It seems to me that the only possible objection to the presence of such a scheme in this Bill that the Government might raise would be to declare that such a scheme would take time to formulate--time that is not available to them before the Bill receives Royal Assent. However, it seems to us that that objection is not an objection but an excuse. Under my amendment a perfectly workable scheme could be produced within 24 hours and, if the Government are unwilling to produce their own scheme as part of such a transparent process, this amendment should stand.

Indeed, the fact that no detailed scheme for compensation has so far been forthcoming from the appropriate authority suggests that either they are incapable of completing a relatively straightforward task, or else it is not of primary concern to the Government. Perhaps it is not, but it is certainly a priority for the besieged and beleaguered fur farmers whose welfare has consistently been neglected and abused. They deserve, at least, to know unequivocally what provision is to be made for them. I beg to move.

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5.15 p.m.

Lord Kimball: The Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation made a very firm recommendation to this Committee. It said quite definitely that the Committee must consider the question of whether or not compensation should be included for loss of income, which has important human rights applications, and should not be left to ministerial discretion. It therefore recommended the amendment of Clause 5 to make the Government's intention absolutely clear.

That is very important. We know perfectly well that every year the fur farmers make a return of the number of animals which they have in their possession. I have such a return here. The number of animals that they have to return is the number of male animals plus the number of female animals. Thus, you know at the beginning of October exactly how many animals are on the farm. At that moment, the previous year's harvest has been cleared so that in fact you start off at the beginning with your minimum number.

There has already been a case of a fur farm being closed down. It was closed down as the only fur farm in Austria. It is important that people should realise the level at which the fur farmers should be compensated. I am not particularly good at converting currencies but I have been advised that--I am sorry, is the Minister good at this?

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