HC Deb 12 December 1919 vol 122 cc1811-3

(1) This Act shall apply to Scotland subject to the following modifications: (c) References to Section seven and Section nineteen of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1919, shall be construed as references to Section five and Section sixteen, respectively, of the Housing, Town Planning, etc. (Scotland) Act, 1919;

(2) Section sixteen of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1919, shall apply to Scotland as if it had been enacted in Part I. of the Housing, Town Planning, etc. (Scotland), Act, 1919, with the substitution of the Scottish Board of Health for the Local Government Board, and references in this Act to the said Section sixteen shall be construed as references to that Section as so applied.

Amendments made: In Sub-section (1, c), after the word "to" ["References to"], insert the words "Section one."

After the word "to" ["as references to"], insert the words "Section one."—[Mr. Pratt.]


I beg to move, after Subsection (2), to insert (3) The Section of this Act relating to powers of trustees to invest in certain securities issued by local authorities shall not apply, and in lieu thereof local bonds issued under this Act shall be bonds within the meaning of paragraph (b) of Section three of the Trusts (Scotland) Act, 1898. This new Sub-section is consequential upon the insertion of Clause 9 in the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, after the words last inserted, to insert the words Section 18 of the Improvement of Land Act, 1864, shall not have effect in the case of landowners in Scotland making applications for loans under that Act for the construction or reconstruction of houses for the working classes. This is a technical Amendment designed to remove an obstruction to housing in Scotland. At present in England heirs in entail in possession, if they have young children, can obtain loans for the purpose of housing and other improvements without applying to the Courts of law. This was also the procedure in Scotland up till 1912. Up to that time we were under the English Board of Agriculture, and there was no difficulty about heirs in entail obtaining loans without going to the Courts. In 1912 Scotland was placed under the Scottish Board of Agriculture, and it was discovered under the Scottish law that for technical reasons heirs in entail in possession, if they had young children, had to apply to Court of Session if they wished to obtain loans for the purpose of improvements. I have had evidence from the Scottish Drainage Improvement Company which shows that this has been a deterrent. Previous to 1912 there were numerous applications from heirs in entail, but since 1912 only one application has been received, though numerous inquiries have been made. I understand that the Scottish Law Officers are prepared to accept this small Amendment. It will involve no charge on public money, but it removes a small though very real obstruction to housing in Scotland in certain cases. The effect of it would be that money which would otherwise be spent in legal expenses will be available for the additional improvement of housing.


I beg to second the Amendment.

It is desirable that loans should be used for reconstruction. On the last occasion that I was in Scotland I saw some houses which with the expenditure of very little money could be made useful houses. While they may not be quite up to the requirements, yet I think it would be a useful thing if money could be lent to these landlords so that these particular houses could be reconstructed. It would be of material help in some districts.


It this is a good thing for Scotland, why is it not a good thing for England? This Section as it stands obviously affects the proper working of the Act. It provides that any persons having an estate or interest in the land—that means persons in remainder—or any person acting for them, for instance, the father of a child, can object to the money being applied for the land improvements which are contemplated the Act, and one of the land improvements comes within the purpose of this Bill. It says, "the erection of labourers' cottages, farm houses, and other buildings." That is in Section 9, Sub-section (8), of the Act of 1864. Under the Amendment it will no longer be necessary to go through the long process of getting the consent of the Court and in the case of Scotland the Court of Session. It seems to be a desirable improvement for Scotland, but if it is good for Scotland what is the position in England?


I can reassure my right hon. Friend on this point. I have considered it with my right hon. and learned Friend, and I understand that this Section was repealed except in regard to Scotland in 1882. It is now proposed to put Scotland in the same position as England.

Amendment agreed to.