HC Deb 26 October 1908 vol 194 cc1579-81

To ask Mr. Attorney-General whether the Royal Commission at present inquiring into the operation of the law governing the registration of title to land is confined in its inquiry to an investigation of the working of the land registry office; and whether there would be any, and, if so, what, objection to the enlargement of the scope of its functions so as to enable it to inquire whether any further legislation is required to facilitate, and lessen the cost of the transfer of estates in land.

(Answered by Sir William Robson.) The Royal Commission is empowered to consider and report upon the working of the Land Transfer Acts, and whether any amendments are desirable. It is not confined merely to an investigation of the working of the local registry office. This is an inquiry of considerable scope, and would not appear to preclude the Commission from reporting in the direction suggested by the Question if they see fit to do so.

MR. REMNANT (Finsbury, Holborn)

To ask Mr. Attorney-General if his attention has been called to the resolutions passed at the recent Law Society's conference on the Land Transfer Acts; and if he can see his way to give effect thereto.

(Answered by Sir William Robson.) Having regard to the nature and subject matter of the inquiry into the working of the Land Transfer Acts, it is essential that the Royal Commission should be as far as practicable free from prepossessions, and it has been composed with that view, but there is no reason why every view of the subject should not be presented in evidence by those who have special knowledge or interest. The other matters in the Law Society's resolutions appear to be entirely for the discretion of the Royal Commissioners themselves.


To ask Mr. Attorney-General whether in connection with the registration of titles under The Land Transfer Act, 1897, he will consider the advisability of recommendation being made to the Privy Council to exercise the power given to the Council by the Act to revoke the Order applying compulsory registration of title to the county of London, so as to leave property owners free to register or not as they deem best in their own interest.

(Answered by Sir William Robson.) The compulsory registration of titles to land in the county of London is, as the hon. Member is aware, the subject of inquiry by a Royal Commission, and it would be improper of me to anticipate or prejudice their Report by taking the course suggested in this Question.