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Clause 12—(Restriction Of Disclosure Of Information)

Volume 645: debated on Monday 24 July 1961

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Lords Amendment: In page 11, line 35, after "information" insert "(i)".

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

By your leave Mr. Speaker, perhaps it would be convenient for the House also to consider with this Amendment the remaining Amendments.

Clause 12 is the Clause which is designed to restrict disclosure of information. It was added during the Committee stage in this House, and subsequently it was recognised that there were doubts about certain aspects of it. It was primarily designed to ensure that industrial secrets should not be made known outside the trades concerned.

It was recognised that, if this Clause went through in its original state, it might be impossible for river boards to disclose certain information which they had regarding toxic elements in the waters of rivers and streams. The intention of the Clause is the protection of trade secrets, and the Amendments will make it possible for those secrets to be preserved. Anybody disclosing them will be subject to prosecution.

Under these Amendments, it will be possible for the river boards concerned to let the public know if there are certain toxic elements in rivers and streams concerning which it would be desirable for the public to have information. I believe that the Clause in its new form will preserve the balance as between the protection of the industrial interests and the protection of the public, and in those circumstances I hope the Amendments will be accepted.

Question put and agreed to.

Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to.