I shall not oppose the passing of the Bill because I agree with its contents but I want to reiterate a point I made on Second Stage about the Ineffectiveness of our control over the type of dumping referred to in the Bill due to the limits involved. The territorial limits are obviously far too small and this means that 99 per cent of the world's seas are available for dumping of dangerous substances. If one draws a three-mile limit around each of the world's maritime countries one finds that the percentage covered by the Bill is pathetically small. Could the Minister give us any hope of bringing about a situation where the 99 per cent not covered under this Bill will get some protection? Can he give us some hope that the signatories to the Oslo Convention and the London Convention will not just include the 45 referred to here today but will include every nation in the world whether maritime or landlocked so that the possibility of dangerous dumping of toxic or nuclear waste or anything injurious to fish life or human life will be prevented?
In its present state the Bill goes a certain distance to alleviate our fear of disasters occurring around our coasts but there is this great yawning gap outside the three-mile limit which is not dealt with at all. As I pointed out previously, there are many industrialised countries not listed in this Bill in these conventions that are quite capable of dumping a quantity of dangerous materials not just in the open seas but close to our coast. There is no provision in this Bill to prosecute people who might dump even within our three-mile territorial waters.
In reality, the Bill is doing a certain amount of good but, overall, the dumping at sea problem remains with us and the two conventions referred to in this legislation have not solved the problem. They are only nibbling away at it at present. Could the Minister in his reply give us some hope that a convention will be drawn up which will govern dumping in the greater areas to which I have referred, outside the territorial waters of the maritime nations of the world?