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Authorisation And Employment Of Pilots

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 9 April 1987

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to move amendment No. 5, in page 4, line 15, after 'period', insert 'which are not renewable'

Liverpool pilots have been concerned that their licences, which are renewed annually, may be taken to be licences for a limited period. If that was so, they would lose the priority that former licensed pilots are given by the Bill in relation to authorisations during the first four years after its implementation. This amendment makes it clear that it is only provisional pilots, whose licences are issued for a limited period and are not renewable, as are Liverpool pilots' licences, who will be excluded from the priority provisions.

Amendment agreed to.

7.15 pm

I beg to move amendment No. 7, in page 4, line 33, leave out paragraphs (c) and (d).

With this it will be convenient to take the following: Government amendments Nos. 8 and 9.

Amendment No. 20, in page 4, line 40, leave out ' (a)'.

Government amendment No. 11.

Amendment No. 12, in page 4, line 43, at end insert —

'( ) An authorised person who has made representations under subsection (6) above and who remains aggrieved by a decision of a competent harbour authority to suspend or revoke an authorisation under subsection (5) above may appeal to the Secretary of State who may, if he sees fit, direct the competent harbour authority to withdraw the suspension or revocation and the competent harbour authority shall comply with any such direction.'.

Government amendment No. 13.

The introduction to the White Paper tells us, amongst other things:

"The Green Paper proposed that under the new regime the administration of pilotage should be greatly simplified."
It also states:
"In recent years there has been growing concern about the cost of using British ports, in particular compared with those on the continent, and the Government is anxious to seek ways of helping to reduce the costs. One element in a port's costs is the cost of the pilotage service. This has meant that the cost of pilotage is often greater than it need be."
The Bill does a great deal to achieve those objectives, but it still contains much that is not needed to achieve those objectives, including the two paragraphs I have quoted. In an age when we are trying to reduce bureaucracy — its existence is dependent upon regulations and laws—we can only be successful if legislation is kept to a minimum. With regard to the two paragraphs, the test to determine whether they are necessary is not so simple.

First, is the intention of the paragraphs met by other legislation or by other self-regulating means? Secondly, are they necessary to reduce costs? I suggest that the answer to the first question is yes, but the answer to the second is no. Before I demonstrate that to be so, I should like to make a general point. Those two paragraphs will give competent harbour authorities unfettered power over pilots. They will be able to exercise that power at will without challenge as to whether, in the exercise of it, they have had due regard, among other things, to natural justice. They will be able to remove a man's livelihood — for whatever reason — without being accountable to anyone. They will be able to exercise the power in a discriminatory manner.

Bearing in mind the wide terms in which subsection (5)(c) is drafted — that it is the competent harbour authority alone which will decide the number of persons required to be authorised the criteria for such a determination will be the authority's and the authority's alone. Therefore, that determination is capable of variation at will. An authority will be able to use such power in a discriminatory manner. It could, for example, revoke the authorisation of a pilot, who, in fulfilling his functions by virtue of section 742 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894——
"'Pilot' means any person not belonging to a ship who has the conduct thereof"—
has, in the commercial judgment of the competent harbour authority, acted in too prudent a manner. However, according to Captain Lecky—considered by professional seamen to be the unquestioned authority in such matters—prudence is the very essence and quality required of those making executive decisions in ship handling, namely, pilots.

That is a general, but important point. The existence of those two paragraphs that I have quoted will undoubtedly inhibite a pilot from having proper regard to the noncommercial, wider responsibilities of his functions—the public officer element of his responsibilities. I referred to that on Second Reading and to the report produced by the Canadian commission that referred to pilots as "environmental protection officers".

In the more specific tests to be applied, regard has to be had to the employed and self-employed options that the Bill provides for the continuing pilots. Taking the employed option first, clause 4(2) provides:
"A competent harbour authority shall offer to employ under a contract of employment any person it authorises under section 3 above".
Prima facie, it appears that provided a person is authorised as a pilot, the competent harbour authority has to offer that person a contract of employment, and, provided that he is authorised, his contract of employment stands. But is that really the case?

Section 54 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 says, among other things:
"(1) In every employment to which this section applies every employee shall have the right not to be unfairly dismissed by his employer."
Of course, the corollary to that is that every employer has the right to dismiss any employee fairly. That is spelt out in section 57 of the 1978 Act. Surely the fact that the employer has no work and that therefore the employee is redundant falls under that head. That is what the paragraph is all about.

As the legislation places no requirement on the length of time for which an authorisation has to remain in force, clearly such authorisation can be revoked at the same time as the contract of employment is terminated. In the case of employed pilots, these two subsections are unnecessary, unless it is the aim of Government, with respect to employed pilots, to circumvent the provisions of the 1978 Act.

Despite the noble Lord Brabazon's protestations to the contrary, pilots believe this to be a strong possibility. That is because these two paragraphs appear to conflict with sections 49 and 50 of the 1978 Act. They give the rights to provide an employee with a minimum period of notice before a contract of employment is terminated and, when taken in conjunction with subsection (6) of this clause, the right to circumvent section 53 of that Act, which requires written notice to be provided. If that is the case, it gives the lie to the repeated statements by individual Ministers and by the Government that continuing pilots will be fairly and equitably treated. That is a source of considerable anxiety to pilots throughout Britain.

In Committee in the other place the Minister, Lord Brabazon said:
"nothing in the clause affects the operation of employment protection legislation and a pilot who is employed whether by a CHA or anyone else, and whose authorisation i s revoked will remain eligible for the same rights and protection from that legislation as any other employed person."—[Official Report, House of Lords, Public Bill Committee, 9 December 1986; c. 38.]
On Report in the other place that positive statement was somewhat diluted. At that time Lord Brabazon said:
"and I made it clear that in our view a pilot's rights in such matters as employment protection should be attached to his contract of employment or other agreement under which he carries out pilotage for the CHA."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 12 February 1987; Vol. 484, c. 774.]
Frankly, the Government statement, "in our view", is just not good enough. I should like to know from the Minister whether these paragraphs are subordinate to the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978. If they are, they are unnecessary. If not, then the pilots have been misled. A definitive answer is required. What happens if a competent harbour authority refuses to attach such rights, whatever they may be, to the contract of employment?

I shall now deal with the matter of pilots who decide not to accept a contract of employment with a competent harbour authority and who, in all likelihood, will be self-employed. In this case I submit that these two paragraphs are equally unnecessary. It is acknowledged that employment protection legislation is irrelevant to the self-employed and probably also to the agency scenario. Therefore, the justification for the inclusion of these two paragraphs must rest on costs, but the implementation of their intent will not reduce costs.

I am following my hon. Friend's complicated argument. Is he saying that there is some doubt whether employed pilots have the protection of normal employment and redundancy legislation? Surely that cannot be right. Of course they have, and is that not indicated in the Bill?

That is the point that I am asking the Minister to clarify. Certainly, on a reading of Hansard from the other place, and especially on Report, the words "in our view" seem to dilute the absolute statement that was made earlier. I seek an assurance from the Minister that that is not so.

All pilotage revenue will be controlled by a competent harbour authority. In the case of an agency arrangement, the competent harbour authority will presumably negotiate the provision of pilotage services on a fixed-price annual lump sum arrangement and, in the case of the self-employed, on a per ship basis. In effect, always provided that the number of persons authorised is sufficient to do the work, in terms of costs it is immaterial whether there are more persons than are strictly necessary because the costs will remain the same. Indeed, it could be argued that it would be in a competent harbour authority's interests for more persons to be authorised than are strictly necessary, as the service would then be able more readily to cope with unexpected peak demands. Anyone who knows anything about shipping knows that such demands are by no means unusual.

For the reasons stated, it is clear that neither of these two paragraphs is necessary for either the employed or the self-employed agency regimes. They are unnecessary regulations and should be removed.

I shall now turn to amendment No. 20. The Bill as drafted requires a competent harbour authority to give written notice of its intention to suspend or revoke authorisation only
"if it appears to it that the authorised person has been guilty of any incompetence or misconduct affecting his capability as a pilot".
In speaking to the first amendment, I explained how subsections (5)(c) and (d) give unfettered power to competent harbour authorities, which could, if they wished, use it in a capricious and discriminatory manner. Those paragraphs arc written in terms that are wide enough to steer a large carrier through — wider than some of the channels in many of our ports. The same applies to subsection (5)(b) which says that an authorisation may be suspended or revoked when a person ceases or fails
"to provide evidence that he continues to have"
the qualifications required.

what are those qualifications? Clause 3(2) tells us:
"The authority may determine the qualifications in respect of age, physical fitness, time of service, local knowledge, skill, character and otherwise to be required".
It does not say what those qualifications have to be or whether they will be fixed. For that reason, they can be varied from time to time by the competent harbour authority. What is the determinant of the qualifications in respect of character? What does "otherwise" mean? What criteria will be used to determine the degree of physical fitness that is required? Will it be the length of time taken to climb a 30-ft pilot ladder when the ship is rolling in heavy seas? All these maters are capable of wide interpretation and, therefore, capable of discrimination. There could be no objection to the Government amendment if all competent harbour authorities were to exercise their powers in such matters in a responsible, fair and just manner. This amendment would only give those pilots who elect for the self-employed option the same rights as those who accept a contract of employment.

7.30 pm

This statement is made against the background of the fact that in Committee in the House of Lords the Minister stated quite categorically that pilots accepting contracts of employment would enjoy all the rights and benefits afforded by the employment protection legislation, just like any other employee. That being so, all employed pilots will, by virtue of section 53 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, be entitled to reasons, in writing, why their contract of employment is to be terminated. That must follow revocation of an authorisation as surely as Might follows day.

Therefore, it can be argued that, as drafted, the subsection is in conflict with section 53 of the 1978 Act. This amendment seeks only to extend that provision to those who opt for self-employment. However, it will not be sufficient for the written notice to say that the contract of employment is being terminated as a consequence of the revocation of the authorisation. I hope that the Minister will assure us on that point today. If he cannot, it will be clear that this subsection has been drafted to enable CHAs to circumvent section 53 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act to the detriment of their prospective employees.

Finally, I turn to amendment No. 12. On the clear understanding that the provisions of the 1978 Act apply in full to pilots accepting contracts of employment from competent harbour authorities, especially that a written statement by an employer that an authorisation has been revoked will not be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of section 53 of that Act, and that the reasons for the revocation of that authorisation must also be given—which, it can be argued, will in any case be necessary to satisfy section 57(3) of that Act — this amendment is necessary to ensure the equitable treatment of those pilots not accepting contracts of employment, vis-a-vis those who do, and also to ensure that a competent harbour authority cannot act in a capricious or discriminatory manner.

If no guarantee can be given that the relevant subsections of clause 3 are subordinate to the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, this amendment will be necessary to protect continuing pilots. The recent history of the actions of some port authorities has not inspired confidence in pilots as to their ability to act in a responsible manner, free from prejudice or discrimination. If the continuing pilots are to be treated fairly, as has been firmly promised by the Government, they must be protected against such attitudes.

I am glad to support my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Thornton), who, with his knowledge and personal experience of piloting, has moved the amendment so ably. He has quite rightly said that paragraphs (c) and (d) are unnecessary, as far as employment of pilots are concerned. I wished to move an amendment which has not been called, that lines 33 and 34 should be deleted. I did that because I want to make it easier for pilots to remain self-employed.

On Second Reading we were delighted that the Government promised to bring forward an amendment to make the continuing provision of self-employed services by pilots a more viable proposition. With the support of my hon. and learned Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, the Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard) who has great interest in such matters, I went to see the Minister to discuss sell-employment and how we could make that easier. On Second Reading the Minister said:
"Harbour authorities will have several means of controlling pilotage costs through their control over charges and over the terms of contract for the provision of pilotage services where they are not employing pilots directly. We do not, therefore, consider that it will be necessary for the harbour authorities to have the power to withdraw pilot authorisation on the ground that the number of pilots is greater than is required where pilotage is being provided under a service contract and the pilots may he self-employed. I shall therefore be introducing an amendment in Committee that will limit the powers of harbour authorities in this respect."
I have examined carefully the Minister's amendment but it goes only halfway to meeting what we tried to achieve when my hon. and learned Friend the Under-Secretary of State, myself and others went to see the Minister to discuss the ways in which we would be able to keep self-employment, as well as employed status, for the pilots. I am sorry that amendment No. 9 that he has tabled to clause 3, page 4, line 38, goes only part of the way to meeting the principle that he stated on Second Reading. Of course, we should have preferred leaving out lines 33 and 34 of clause 3, page 4, or to go along with my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby.

As the Minister said on Second Reading:
"Harbour authorities will have several means of controlling pilotage costs through their control over charges and over the terms of contract for the provision of pilotage services where they are not employing pilots directly."
I should like to repeat once again what the Minister said on Second Reading. I apologise to my hon. Friends for repeating it, but it is important for the self-employment of pilots. Running through this entire Bill is the desire to look after not only employed pilots, but also those in self-employment; that is a principle which is very close to our beliefs. The Minister said:
"We do not, therefore, consider that it will be necessary for the harbour authorities to have the power to withdraw pilot authorisation on the ground that the number of pilots is greater than is required where pilotage is being provided under a service contract and the pilots may be self-employed." —[Official Report, 30 March 1987; Vol. 113, c. 834–5.]
As I have said, I apologise for repeating that. I hope that the Minister will explain how his amendment meets his undertaking. Amendment No. 9 is only a shadow of what the Minister promised on Second Reading. I cannot advise my hon. Friends that it will make it easier to secure self-employment. Therefore, I hope that the Minister will agree that the aim of my hon. Friends and myself is to make the continuity of self-employment services a more viable proposition. We must pay a great deal of attention to that, because we are in danger of pushing all pilots into salaried employment rather than keeping them self-employed. I shall listen carefully to what the Minister says and I shall measure it against what he said on Second Reading, to see whether it is being fulfilled.

I support both my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Thornton), who has a detailed knowledge of these matters, and my hon. Friend the Member for Harwich (Sir J. Ridsdale). I am satisfied that under the Bill employed pilots are protected, but I am not entirely satisfied that self-employed pilots are likely to be protected from capricious or unfair competent harbour authorities. Certainly the detailed amendments do not seem to cover them. When the Minister replies to this short debate I should like him to make it clear beyond peradventure that self-employed pilots will be treated fairly and that competent harbour authorities cannot treat them in the way that my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby suggested might be possible under the legislation.

I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister will be able to put at rest the anxieties expressed by my hon. Friends about redundancy and conditions for pilots.

There are other difficulties for small authorities. I understand that under the Bill the responsibilities for pilots in the Gloucester-Sharpness area will be transferred to the Gloucester harbour trustees who must employ the pilots, if requested to do so. Gloucester harbour trustees do not want to employ pilots because the harbour has too many. It has 12 pilots and needs only eight. Even if it wished to employ them it does not have any money. Its only income comes from the payments of light dues by vessels coming into Sharpness which has diminished sharply in recent years and is less than the obligations which it would incur towards the pilots. Will my hon. Friend say hat the harbour trustees should do?

If the amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Harwich (Sir J. Ridsdale) had been selected it would have affected directly employed as much as self-employed pilots and that would go against the spirit of the Bill.

I am afraid that I cannot agree that the appeal procedure in amendment No. 12 can be justified. A pilot will have his contract of employment or other arrangement with the competent harbour authority. If there is any question of unfair dismissal or breach of contract, his remedies under the 1978 Act will be clear. If he wishes to appeal because he disagrees with the judgments of the competent harbour authority about the number of pilots needed in the port or about whether pilotage is to be provided by directly employed pilots, an agency or by some other arrangement, these matters should be the ultimate responsibility of the competent harbour authority. Therefore, I must ask for amendment No. 12 to be either withdrawn or rejected.

Amendment No. 7 seeks to remove from the competent harbour authority the power to suspend or revoke authorisations where there are too many pilots in the port and where there is a change in the arrangements for providing pilotage in the port. It would undo much of the purpose of the Bill, which is to allow pilot numbers to be kept in line with the genuine requirements. I assure my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Sir A. Kershaw) that later we shall discuss compensation and general arrangements for pilots who will no longer receive authorisation because there are too many of them. Therefore, amendment No. 7 would have a direct wrecking effect on the main purpose of the Bill and I must ask for it either to be withdrawn or rejected.

However, on several occasions it has been suggested that the ability of competent harbour authorities to revoke authorisations on grounds of excess numbers creates a degree of uncertainty for those who wish to be self-employed. Several of my hon. Friends have referred to that matter and it is a fair point. I hope to persuade my hon. Friend the Member for Harwich that I have fully honoured the commitment that I gave on Second Reading. We have tabled amendment No. 9 which confines the power of a competent harbour authority to suspend or revoke authorisations on the grounds of numbers to those cases where it employs pilots directly. I thought that that was what my hon. Friend wanted and I am surprised at his general attitude to amendment No. 9. It may have to do with the qualification in the amendment.

7.45 pm

We have allowed an exception to the general rule for pilots who are authorised temporarily before the appointed day while the possibility is explored of them transferring to another port where there are vacancies. I would have thought that hon. Members on both sides of the House would think that that that was a good idea. The representatives of the ports and pilots are discussing the details of such a transfer procedure. From their meetings it seems likely to be agreed that surplus pilots will be authorised for a limited period, for example three to six months, while the possibilities of a transfer are explored. The amendment merely allows the self-employed to benefit from the temporary arrangements in the same way as those directly employed by a competent harbour authority.

Under the new legislation competent harbour authorities will have several ways of ensuring that costs are kept under control, even where they do not employ pilots directly, principally through their powers to set original numbers of authorisations, to set pilotage charges and through the terms of the contracts or agreements that will govern the provision of pilotage services by agents or self-employed pilots. They will also have the power under clause 3(5) to change the arrangements in the port from an agency arrangement to direct employment. Termination of a contract will remain a ground on which pilot authorisations may be suspended or revoked. However, amendment No. 8 makes it clear that the termination of a contract, not a mere alteration, will provide such grounds. I hope that that clears up that point.

In another place my noble friend Lord Brabazon accepted in principle an amendment requiring a competent harbour authority to give a pilot a document which he could use as a reference if it had been found necessary to suspend or revoke his authorisation on grounds unconnected with his competence, conduct or qualifications. Amendment No. 13 fulfils that commitment.

My noble Friend also agreed to consider a suggestion by Lord Underhill that the provisions in clause 3(6), requiring a competent harbour authority to give a pilot notice in advance if his authorisation is to be suspended on grounds of incompetence or misconduct, should be extended also to cover cases where a pilot no longer meets the competent harbour authority's qualifications for a pilot—in other words the provisions set out in clause 3(5)(b). We agree that there is some similarity between those types of case, which is why amendment No. 11 will extend the notice provision accordingly.

Amendment No. 20 would go much further than that in requiring a competent harbour authority, before suspending or revoking an authorisation, to give written notice in all cases, not solely those where misconduct, incompetence or lapsed qualifications are involved. We do not think that that would be appropriate. Therefore I ask the House to support amendments Nos. 9, 11 and 13 and to reject amendments Nos. 7, 20 and 12.

Amendment negatived.

Amendments made: No. 8, in page 4, line 36, leave out

`any alteration in or'.

No. 9, in clause 3, page 4, line 38, at end insert

'; but the authorisation of a person who provides his services as a pilot under a contract for services may not be revoked by an authority by virtue of paragraph (c) above unless it gave him notice before the appointed day that the number of persons it proposed to authorise exceeded the number required to be authorised and it proposed to revoke his authorisation after allowing him a reasonable period from the appointed day to seek authorisation by another competent harbour authority.'.

No. 11, in clause 3, page 4, line 40, after ` (a)', insert or (b)'.

No. 13, in clause 3, page 4, line 43, at end insert—

`( ) Where a competent harbour authority suspends or revokes an authorisation of any person by virtue of paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (5) above, it shall give him notice in writing—
  • (a) stating that the suspension or revocation was by virtue of that paragraph; and
  • (b) specifying the duration of the authorisation in question and any previous authorisations granted to that person by the authority.'. —[Mr. Michael Spicer.]
  • I beg to move amendment No. 14, in page 4, line 49, after 'is' insert '(a)'.

    With this it will be convenient to take amendment No. 15, in page 4, line 50, leave out from second 'authority' to 'be' in line 51 and insert

  • (b) an officer of such a harbour authority as is mentioned in paragraph (a) above, having duties which involve the supervision and management of the authorised pilots for such a harbour,
  • shall not by reason of his employment as a pilot or his holding any such office as is mentioned above.'.

    This amendment deals with cases in which the competent harbour authority is also the local authority and, because of the general legislation, which does not permit employees of a local authority to be members of committees of that local authority, would allow exceptions to that general rule in cases of pilotage committees.

    The Bill as it stands allows for an exception in the case of persons who hold any office or employment as a pilot. The cases to which the amendment is directed are such cases as those of a senior or principal harbourmaster who has been a pilot and held a licence but, possibly because he has been taken into administrative duties, is no longer a licence holder and after the passage of this Bill will not be an authorised pilot. Nevertheless, the local authorities in my own constituency, which will be the competent harbour authorities for their areas, certainly feel that it will be of great value to have on committees, particularly the examination committee, which will examine pilots and grant authorisations, and sometimes the disciplinary committee, the services of a senior officer such as a harbourmaster or pilot-master, who has no doubt had long experience and acquired expertise in this area. The local authorities do not wish to find themselves in a position in which the pilots may have representation from their own number, which is right and proper, but they cannot have their officer because he is no longer an authorised pilot.

    This matter has been pressed with the Department of Transport for some time and the Under-Secretary of State gave me the following response in a recent letter:
    "I find it hard to see the case for this in principle, given that management in other local authority departments enjoys no such exemption."
    In response to that, first in terms of Scottish legislation, section 126 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 provides that teachers may be members of the education committee and its sub-committees. No distinction is made between teachers and head teachers, so quite clearly people well up the ladder are permitted to be members of that committee. So what I am suggesting is no major breach of principle.

    The Bill as it stands allows authorised pilots who would technically be employees of the authority to sit on committees. So again there is an exception to the general principle. At present, senior officials do sit on committees. I am thinking in particular of the director of ports and harbours for Shetland Islands council. He is not a licensed pilot, but he has been one and has considerable nautical expertise, and he is a member of the examination committee. That has been allowed under the primary legislation, with the pilotage order and the byelaws which have been made under that. So there is indeed a precedent.

    The other reason why this case is different from other cases, in which it would not be expected that a senior member of management would also be a member of a local authority committee, is that we are dealing with a situation in which that expertise can often be very valuable and necessary. Indeed, there is judicial authority for this. In a case in Glasgow sheriff court back in 1951, the case of Conway v. Clyde pilotage authority, the sheriff, in his judgment, said that the most convenient method of providing a proper committee
    "would seem to be the setting up of small standing tribunal, on which the pilot master and deputy pilot master, the representatives of the pilots and other persons with nautical skill would be in the majority and which would be charged with reporting to the executive committee its conclusions on the facts of the accident …"
    There we have judicial authority for the desirability of having a committee which contains people with expertise.

    If this Bill is not extended in the way that my amendment seeks, I believe that there could be serious prejudice or at least considerable disadvantage to a local authority, which would suffer if on the committee in question the pilots had their own representatives with that expertise but the local authority would have to be represented by a layman, an ordinary elected councillor, possibly. That could be a disadvantage not only to the local authority — in this case the competent harbour authority — but also to the pilot, if it is a matter of discipline, or the person seeking authorisation.

    I think that it is to the advantage of all concerned that the committees in question should have on them people with expertise. I very much hope that the Minister will allow this amendment. As I have indicated, I do not think that there is any major departure of principle; it would only permit what has been happening up to now to continue.

    In another place, as has been said, we accepted an amendment exempting authorised pilots from the normal bar on employees of local authorities from membership of local authority committees, on the grounds that there might be some committees, for instance those inquiring into accidents, on which the up-to-date experience and knowledge of pilots might be useful. These amendments, however, seek to extend that exemption to members of the harbour management. I know that this has been asked for by Shetland Islands council.

    We feel that we must resist the amendment, given that the management in other local authority departments does not have these exemptions and, perhaps more important, other local authorities which already have pilotage responsibilities find no difficulty in dealing with all aspects of pilotage services, including such matters as examination and discipline, despite the fact that their directors are unable to sit as members of the relevant committee.

    For those reasons, we must resist these amendments.

    I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has said anything new. I merely observe that the proposal is an enabling measure; it would not compel any local authority which is also a competent harbour authority to engage a senior member of management. Quite clearly, however, we have not over many months now been able to persuade the Minister or his colleagues. I will not press this to a Division.

    Amendment negatived.

    Clause 3, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.