HC Deb 04 December 1916 vol 88 cc757-60

(1) Where a person desirous of obtaining an advance under the last preceding Section is not in a position to secure the repayment of the advance in accordance with the provisions of that Section owing to defective title or the insufficiency of his interest in the site or of the value of that interest and the other persons whose concurrence is necessary in order to remedy or remove the defect or insufficiency are unable or unwilling to concur in securing the advance he may apply to the Land Judge for an order charging the ownership of the site and any inferior interest therein with the repayment of the advance and interest.

(2) On any such application the Land Judge may direct such inquiries and investigations as he thinks proper for the purpose of ascertaining the title to the ownership of the site and the values of the several interests therein, and if after giving to all persons interested an opportunity of being heard it appears to him that the advance would enure to the benefit of other interests besides the interest of the applicant, and that all those interests afforded together sufficient security for the advance, he may make an order charging all such interests and each of them with the repayment of the advance and interest, and may by the same or any other order apportion the advance, interest, and instalments as between the several interests charged in proportion to the benefit accruing from the advance.

(3) Subject to the limitations imposed by the last preceding Section the amount of the advance, the rate of interest, and the term and method of repayment shall be at the discretion of the Land Judge.

(4) Provision may be made by the charging order for ensuring that the advance will be applied in defraying the expenses of the works of rebuilding or restoration and for any other matters for which, in the opinion of the Land Judge, provision ought to be made.

(5) A charging order shall be effectual to charge each interest expressed to be charged with the repayment to the corporation of the advance and interest in manner therein provided as a first charge in priority to all charges and incumbrances thereon and the order shall be registered in the proper office for the registration of deeds or titles as the case requires in such manner as the Land Judge may direct.

(6) Where the Land Judge makes an apportionment order he may, if he thinks fit, declare that the whole of the principal money, interest, and instalments for the time being payable under the charging order shall, in the first instance, be paid by and recoverable from the owners for the time being of any interest in the site which he may specify, and may provide for contribution and adjustment of rights and liabilities as between the several interests charged and the several owners thereof for the time being in such manner as appears to him to be equitable, but nothing in the order shall operate to prevent the corporation exercising their remedies as against all or any of the interests charged for the recovery of the whole of the advance, interest, or instalment for the time being payable.

(7) Applications under this Section and the practice and procedure thereon (including costs) shall be regulated by rules made by the Land Judge, who may, if he thinks fit, apply for the purposes of this Section any enactments or rules regulating practice and procedure in the High Court, or any Division or Court thereof, with such modifications as he deems proper.— [Mr, Duke.]

Clause brought up, and read the first time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."

This Clause has also been the subject of very great difficulty. There will be a large number of cases where, owing to the intricacies of titles, unless some machinery is provided to adjust and distribute the burdens, the charges between the different premises will prove a serious obstacle to the effective operation of the Bill. The parties discussed this matter, and ultimately they and I came to the conclusion that if such difficulties as those I have mentioned could not be solved by anyone who knows the parties they should be solved by the learned judge of the Land Court in Ireland, Mr. Justice Ross, who most generously and with the greatest public spirit acceded to the request I made to him that he should undertake this laborious and difficult work. He assured me, on his part and on the part of the staff of the Land Court, that there would be the greatest possible readiness to do everything they could to facilitate the settlement of these difficult questions.


The new Clause introduced by the draftsman raises this objection—it will cause great delay. It is quite possible there may be seven or eight people involved who will all have to appear before the learned judge, and nobody can tell when the proceedings will be finished. In the meantime, operations cannot proceed until all these people have had an opportunity of being heard before the judge. Some of them may be abroad, and I know one or two interested parties in some of the cases may have to go to the Lord Chancellor.


I do not quite agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Meath (Mr. White) as to the effect of this proposal. My opinion is that if some machinery such as is proposed is not adopted the legal expenses which the parties will have to bear will be one hundred times more than they would be under this Clause. There is not a single case mentioned by my hon. Friend where six or seven interests are involved which would not became the subject of a separate action, or at least the subject of a separate motion in the Chancery Division, and the Chief Secretary knows, and I know myself, how often these motions are duplicated and triplicated, and adjourned from time to time.

I really do believe that if some machinery like this were not adopted, it would be years before all these cases could be completed, and the compensation towards them from the Treasury would be probably all spent in solving the difficulty. I hope the Clause will be accepted.


I agree with the hon. Member who has just spoken. I appreciate how expensive it is to go to law, and also how much delay is occasioned. This seems to me to be the only way in which this difficulty could be met.

Clause read a second time, and added to the Bill.

The following stood in the names of Mr. NUGENT and Mr. BRADY: