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Schedule 5

Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1975

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Allowance Of Expenditure (Other Than Abortive Exploration Or Development Expenditure)

I beg to move Amendment No. 166, in page 48, line 14. leave out less than six months or'.

The purpose of this amendment is to remove the initial time of six months before the responsible person or, where appropriate, the participator, can appeal to the Special Commissioners against the board's decisions on expenditure claimed. The amendment arises as a consequence of discussions in Committee, when we pointed out that the original period of six months was set to provide that automatic appeals, which would bring into play the whole of the operation of the appeals machinery, should not be lodged.

In discussions with the oil companies we became convinced that unacceptable administrative burdens resulting from the lodging of an appeal would not be produced purely as a formality to keep the matter open. We are pleased to accept the suggestion put forward from so many quarters to remove the initial six-months' limit. The responsible person, or the participator, will then be able to appeal to the Special Commissioners immediately he receives the board's decision on expenditure claims.

This is an amendment which my right hon. and hon. Friends pressed for in Committee. We are delighted to welcome it now and are glad that the Government agreed with the representations made to them.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendments made:

No. 179, in page 49, line 34, leave out sub-paragraph (4).

No. 180, in page 50, line 15, leave out sub-paragraph (4).

No. 181, in page 50, line 22, at end insert ' per annum '.—[ Mr. Robert Sheldon.]