Who would have thought that the dumping of waste at sea could bring out the Christmas cheer in the House of Lords. Well Viscount Ridley must be commended, as Hansard records that on the 18th December 1986 he came up with this catchy Christmas jingle:
“Finally, there are those who think that your Lordships are at their very finest when they are debating sewage and related matters. For their benefit, and because it is almost Christmas, I hope noble Lords will allow me to introduce a small carol into this debate. I have no intention of singing it because I cannot sing. It is very brief: God rest ye merry gentlemen, God bless the EEC, And if you handle sewage sludge, don’t dump it in the sea, But if you get away with it, bless Sub-Committee G“.
The House of Lords were debating the European Communities Committee on Dumping Waste at Sea Report (17th Report, 1985-1986 HL219) The report dealt a proposed Council Directive (8805/85(Com(85)373final))(the proposal)on dumping of waste at sea.
It does sound as if Sub-Committee G are the bad guys here but this is not the case. Sub-Committee G examined the evidence presented from many organisations and amongst other duties visited the Vulcanus II marine incineration vessel (which I have to say does not sound very joyful). When Viscount Ridley mentioned blessing Sub-Committee G if you got away with dumping waste at sea, I think he was in fact referring to the Committee’s responsibility of identifying the geographic limits within which the proposal was intended to apply. So if you were outside the area defined by Committee G, the regulations would not have applied to you. And doesn’t the House of Lords look really festive with out trying at all!!