HC Deb 03 August 1897 vol 52 cc316-20

(1.) Her Majesty the Queen may, by Order in Council, declare, as respects any county or part of a county mentioned or defined in the Order, that, on and after a day specified in the Order, registration of title to land is to be compulsory on sale, and thereupon a person shall not, under any conveyance on sale executed on or after the day so specified, acquire the legal estate in any freehold land in that county, or part of a county, unless or until he is registered as proprietor of the land.

(2.) In this Section the expression "conveyance on sale" means an instrument executed on sale by virtue whereof there is conferred or completed, a title under which an application for registration as first proprietor of land may be made under the principal Act.

(3.) The title with which a proprietor of freehold land is registered in pursuance of this section shall be not less than a possessory title; but nothing in this section shall prevent any person from being registered with any other title if the Registrar is satisfied of his title.

(4.) It shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council to revoke or vary any Order made under this section.

(5.) In the case of every Order proposed to be made under this section, notice shall, six months before the order is made, be given to the council of the county to which such order is proposed to be applied. A draft of the proposed order, together with the name of at least one place within or conveniently near to the county where a district registry office will be established, shall accompany the notice, and shall also be published in the Gazette.

(6.) If within three months after receipt of the draft the county council, at a meeting specially called for the purpose, at which two-thirds of the whole number of the members shall be present, resolve, and communicate to the Privy Council their resolution, that in their opinion compulsory registration of title would not tend to facilitate or cheapen the transfer of land in their county, the order shall not be made.

(7.) The first Order made under this section shall not affect more than one county.

(8.) Except as to a county which shall have signified through its county council, pursuant to a resolution of such council passed at a meeting at which two-thirds of the whole number of the members shall be present, its desire that registration of title shall be compulsorily applied to it, no further order shall be made under this section until the expiration of three years from the making of the first order.

(9.) Any order made under this section shall be made with due regard to the utilisation (if practicable) of any land registry existing in the county to which compulsory registration is proposed to be applied or in any adjoining county.

(10.) For the purposes of this section the word county shall have the same meaning as in the Local Government Act 1888, and shall include a county borough; and the word county council shall include the council of such borough.

(11.) The City of London shall be a separate county, and the mayor, aldermen, and commons, in common council assembled shall be deemed the county council thereof; and for the purpose of this section the representation of the said city on the London County Council shall not be computed in the number of the county councils not entitled to vote.

(12.) Proceedings in regard to any proposed order may be taken at any time after the passing of this Act.


moved to leave out the clause, in order to raise the question of the inclusion of the administrative County of London. He moved the omission of the clause, unless the Government would say they would not take as the subject of their first experiment the administrative County of London.


thought that the compromise suggested by the First Lord of the Treasury ought to be accepted. He regretted that the Government desired to make this Bill compulsory in any county whatever; but it was a fair experiment to be made, and he thought they ought to let the Government have their fling as regarded the first county they made their victim. The good effect of their experiment, however, would be marred by the fact that they made it compulsory, because they would never be able to say in that county that it had succeeded and been accepted by the people. But the House ought to have time to consider the Amendment of the Attorney General giving effect to the compromise; the text of the clause should be put on the Paper and considered at the next stage of the Bill.


suggested the postponement of the further consideration of the Bill until To-morrow, so that in the meantime the clause might be printed. As it stood the Amendment did not carry out what the First Lord of the Treasury suggested. According to Sub-section E it would be competent for the Government to make an Order in Council in respect to every county in England. He knew that the Government did not mean this. There was to be an experiment tried on one county for three years, and he moved to insert "as respects any one county."


said that by Sub-section (7) the first order made under this section was not to affect more than one county, and there only one order could be made except on the application of the County Council. He was satisfied that by the Amendment he had proposed only one order could be made for one county, and that no other order could be made except on the application of the County Council.


said that supposing the County Council of London rejected the Order made by the Lord Chancellor, would the Lord Chancellor be able to make an Order for one other county?


Yes, for one other county.


So that he would be able to run through all the counties of England each in turn.


said it was hardly worth while keeping up the distinction between an application of a County Council for an order and a resolution of a County Council against an order. The simplest way would be to state that no order should be made in any county until the County Council had applied for it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


, who had given notice to move in Sub-section (8), after "county," to insert "or part of a county," said, as he understood the Attorney General's object was to enable him to apply the Bill to a portion of the administrative County of London, he would not move the Amendment which stood in his name.


moved, in Sub-section (6), to leave out "tend to facilitate or cheapen the transfer of land," and insert "be desirable." His reason for moving this Amendment was that if a County Council did not wish the Act to be applied to their county he did not see why they should be limited to one particular reason. They might be of opinion that the Act might tend to cheapen land transfer, yet they might think it undesirable for other reasons.


thought the words ought to be left in. Their object was that the attention of the Council might be directed to what he considered were the main points.


thought there was much force in the Amendment. The County Council ought not to be limited to specific reasons, when there might be other reasons which to them appeared to be equally cogent. As he gathered, it was intended that the County Council should have a veto on the application of the Act to their county, and why should they not trust the Council? As drawn, the Bill placed an undue restriction on the discretion of the County Council.

Amendment agreed to.


moved to add at the end of Sub-section (7)—"And no further order shall be made under this section before the expiration of three years." The Amendment moved by the Attorney General was most important; there would be no opportunity of revision; and if the Debate were adjourned there would be an opportunity of considering the question.


said that there was reason in what the right hon. Gentleman said, and if the Government consented to adjourn the further consideration of the Bill he hoped the House would second the Government in rapidly disposing of the Report stage To-morrow and would then Read the Bill a Third time. ["Hear, hear!"] If the Government could count on the House doing that they would not press the Bill now. ["Hear, hear!"]


thought it was important to have the new clause on the Paper, and if the consideration were adjourned the House would be most desirous to accept the fair offer of the First Lord of the Treasury.


suggested that the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton should withdraw his Amendment for the present, as there seemed to be some doubt as to the place at which it should come in.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Resolved, that the further proceedings on consideration be adjourned until Tomorrow.—(First Lord of the Treasury.)