§ (1) Any person having power (whether subject to any consent or conditions or not) to sell land authorised to be acquired by any Government Department may, subject to the like consent and conditions, grant or demise the land in perpetuity or for any term of years to the Government Department at such fee farm or other rent, secured by such condition of re-entry or otherwise as may be agreed upon, and with or without a right of renewal, or grant to the Government Department an option to acquire the land.
§ Provided that, where the power to sell arises under the Settled Lands Acts, 1882 to 1890, the powers conferred by this Section shall be exercised only with the consent of the trustees of the settlement for the purposes of those Acts, or with the sanction of the Court.
§ (2) This Section shall extend and apply to land belonging to His Majesty in right of the Crown or of the Duchy of Lancaster, and to land belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall.—[Mr. D. White.]
§ Clause brought up, and read the first time.
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."
In moving this Clause I have founded myself on a similar Clause which the Government have in the Small Holding Colonies Bill. Several other precedents can be found in earlier Acts. The object of the Clause, which is a purely permissive one, is to give any person who has the power of selling the power of granting the land on perpetual lease. It is designed to 2419 operate where that plan would be more convenient. We know, of course, that there are technical objections in the way of perpetual leases unless they are specially authorised, and the alternate plan of disposing of the freehold and burdening it with a rent charge is a rather complicated and inconvenient process. This Clause simply applies to land taken under this Act the same principle—in fact, the words are the same—as the Clause in the Small Holding Colonies Bill, except that in place of the reference to the Board of Agriculture is the reference to the appropriate Government Department.
§ Sir G. CAVE
The second Sub-section I cannot accept. With regard to the first Sub-section, of course the case of the Small Holdings (Colonies) Bill was very different to this. There are no compulsory powers there, and therefore there are special reasons why this power should be accepted. I will say at once that I would rather have a little time to think it over, and if the hon. Gentleman will leave it until the Report stage I will consider it.
§ Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
With regard to the next Clause (Saving for the New Forest), that matter has been dealt with.
I think the hon. Member was not here. It was dealt with on the first new Clause standing in the name of the Government.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
It was discussed, not on that Clause, but on some other, and there was considerable divergence of opinion between the legal authorities as to whether or not the New Forest was covered. This is a matter which does deal with something which really has not been settled.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
On a point of Order. I think it was on a definition of Section 11 that I introduced the discussion as to whether the New Forest came into the terms of the Bill. If it did it would then restrict certain rights of purchase, but this Amendment goes very much further, because it proposes to exclude the New Forest from the Bill altogether. Not only could the Government not buy any part, but they could not remain for two years, or whatever the period is under Sections 1 or 2.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
It was a discussion as to whether or not certain words in the Bill did or did not include the New Forest.
Then the appropriate place for this would have been as an Amendment to the first new Clause of the Government, namely, the one "Savings." If the hon. Member will put it down in that form for a subsequent stage that will be the correct place for it.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I think my hon. Friend did suggest moving it there, but it was said that the matter was discussed and covered. What he is moving now refers to Clause 1 as well as to the other part, because the saving clause in the new Clause only refers to acquisition. This new Clause includes Clause 1 as well, and that is the intention.