HC Deb 21 August 1916 vol 85 cc2405-7

In the application of this Act to Scotland the following modifications shall be made:

(a) For Section five there shall be substituted the following Section:

5.—(1) Where any land or any interest therein has by virtue of this Act been acquired by a Government Department, the Department may at any time thereafter sell, feu, lease, or otherwise dispose of the land or interest.

(2) Where any such land is disposed of, then on the execution and delivery to the disponee by the Government Department concerned of the necessary or proper conveyance or disposition of the land disposed of and the recording of the same in the appropriate register of sasines, such conveyance or disposition shall, notwithstanding any defect in the title of such Government Department be effectual to vest such land in the disponee thereof for such estate or interest as may be expressed or intended to be conveyed to him freed and discharged (save as in the conveyance or disposition may be expressed) from all prior estates, interests, rights, and claims therein or thereto other than any existing right of superiority therein:

Provided that if at any time after the recording of such conveyance or disposition any such prior estate, right or claim as aforesaid is established by the person entitled thereto, there shall be paid to such person compensation to be determined in manner provided by the Lands Clauses Acts, as modified by this Act, with respect to interests in lands which by mistake have been omitted to be purchased:

(b) "Easement" means "servitude"; "covenant" includes "restriction"; and "restrain" includes "interdict."

Amendment made: Leave out paragraph (a), and insert instead thereof paragraph (a), Sub-section (2), of Section 5 shall not apply.—[Mr. Munro.]


I beg to move, in paragraph (b), to leave out the words "covenant includes restric- tion," and to insert instead thereof the words "mortgagee includes heritable creditor."


I object to Amendments being passed when no one has any idea of what is being proposed. I do not want to oppose the Amendment, but I think we should have it explained.


The only reason why these Amendments are not on the Paper is that they are consequential on Amendments which the Solicitor-General has moved and which have been accepted by the Committee. I can assure the Committee that they are of the most formal character. The words "covenant includes restriction" are, on further consideration, thought to be too limited, and therefore it is proposed to omit them. As to the other Amendment, while I refrain from explaining what "heritable creditor" means, I may say that it covers what is familiar to English lawyers as "mortgagee."

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."


Why should Section 5 (2) be modified in its application to Scotland if it is still to apply to England?


Sub-section (2) enables a Government Department, on disposing of land acquired under the provisions of this measure, to give an absolutely good title to the purchaser, in spite of the fact that the title of the Government Department may not be good or that a third party has a better title. I have been in consultation with conveyancing lawyers on the other side of the border, and they assure me that in Scotland there is no need to put a Government Department in a better position in regard to this matter than a private individual—in other words, that a third party's rights should not be prejudiced. They assure me that without any considerable expense or trouble it can be ascertained on our side of the border whether the title of a Government Department is good or bad. Therefore, because our laws with regard to conveyancing and registration of title are different from, and, as we think, better and more complete than the English laws, I suggest to the Committee that in Scotland there is no reason for putting a Government Department in any better position in this respect than a private individual.

Question put, and agreed to.