§ After Clause 50, insert the following new clause—
§ Access to pipe-lines by customs officers
§ (".—(1) Where the thing conveyed by a pipe-line is chargeable with a duty of customs or excise which has not been paid, a person commissioned by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise may, in order to get to the line for the purpose of exercising in relation to that thing any power conferred by or under the Customs and Excise Act, 1952, or to get from the line after an exercise of any such power, enter any land adjacent to the line.
§ (2) Section ten (obstruction of officers, etc.) of the Customs and Excise Act, 1952, shall have effect as if the reference in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) thereof to an enactment relating to an assigned matter included a reference to this section.")
§ LORD CHESHAM
My Lords, this clause gives customs officers the same right as is given to Ministry of Power inspectors by Clause 39: that is, to cross adjacent land in order to obtain access to a pipe-line where that line is being used to convey dutiable goods in bond. Oil, or hydrocarbon oils, at any rate, are the most likely commodities to be moved in this way. It will often be moved in bulk before duty has been paid, and perhaps other dutiable liquids will be put through as well in due time. If there is a burst or leak or perhaps even a suspected illegal abstraction of the contents, the customs need to have access to the pipe-line for the purposes of investigation or supervision. As things stand, they have the right of access to the pipe-line itself, but not the right of transit over other land to get to it. I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(Lord Chesham.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.