§ Lords Amendments considered.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ The MINISTER OF HEALTH (Dr. Addison)
Perhaps it would ix: to the convenience of the House if I mad,: a general statement. The Amendments which are on the. Paper are, generally speaking, Amendments with which I shall ask the House to agree, because a considerable number of them are drafting Amendments, which it was necessary to get inserted in the Bill in the House of Lords, and several others which have been moved in their Lordships House were the subject of discussion, and, I think everyone will agree, represent improvements in the Bill. There are three or four others which, I have no doubt, will give rise to discussion. I may say, however, that the Amendments in the first page of the Paper I shall ask the House to accept. The Amendments on page 4 of the Bill may lye thought to lead to some delay in the acceleration of schemes, but in view of the financial considerations involved they are thoroughly reasonable. We do not propose to object to the Amendments on pages two and three, which are practically all drafting Amendments except the one at the bottom of page 2 and the one on page 3, which latter specially relates to the West Riding of Yorkshire and really rounds off the provisions of the Hill. Most of the others are drafting Amendments. It is not until we come to page 5 that I shall ask the House to take exception to their Lordships Amendments. The Amendment on page 4 of the Paper, page 12 of the original Bill, were those that were discussed at considerable length on Report stage, and carry out the general understanding that was arrived at in this House. The Amendment on page 5 of the Paper, page 16, line 2, I shall ask the House, on the grounds stated, when we come to it, to disagree with, and I shall invite the House to make some alterations in the phraseology of the Amendment relating to materials on page 17, line 8, on page 5 of the Paper, because it would be imposing a statutory condition on a Government Department for all time, which is not reasonable or intended. On page 7 of the Paper there is a further Amendment, under the heading page 2, line 29, and the following under line 31, which I shall ask the House to disagree with. The others 1287 are in the main drafting Amendments, except that on page 6, the Amendment relating to page 21, which somewhat alters the Bill as it left the House of Commons, so that when a private person wishes to set aside certain covenants and the local authority is of opinion that it is desirable in the making of certain alterations that these covenants should be altered in the interests of housing, the consent of the County Court should be required in that case. It concerns covenants between two individuals, and I think that it is quite right that the County Court should be applied to there. The Amendment which appears at some length on page 8 is really inserted to meet points raised by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests. I have also a command from His Majesty that His Majesty, having been informed of the purport of this Amendment, gives his consent so far as His Majesty's interests are concerned that the House may do therein as they think fit. When we come to page 10 there is an Amendment leaving out Clause 41 which I shall ask the House to differ, and I shall ask them to reinsert the Clause. But in order to meet what we think was fair criticism, and which influenced a good many of their Lordships, we propose to ask the House to reinstate the Clause with a slight modification, and an indication, which was really intended, that the town-planning schemes which may be required shall be in a simpler form than those required by the Statute at the present time. I think that that modification should meet a great deal of the objection which was urged against the Clause. With those exceptions I do not propose to take any exception to their Lordships Amendment. From some statements which have appeared in the Press there appears to be a mistaken impression with regard to some of their Lordships Amendments to the Bill, but I think that no Bill could have received more fair and sympathetic treatment.