§ (1) Notwithstanding any provision in a contract of tenancy to the contrary, a notice to quit a holding, including an allotment garden, shall be invalid if it purports to terminate the tenancy before the expiration of twelve months from the end of the then current year of tenancy; but nothing in this Section shall extend to a case where a receiving order in bankruptcy is made against the tenant.
(3) This Section shall not apply to—
(b) any notice given by a corporation carrying on a railway, dock, canal, water, or other undertaking in respect of any land acquired by the corporation for the purposes of their undertaking where possession of the land is required by the corporation for those purposes; or
(c) any notice given in pursuance of a provision in the contract of tenancy where such resumption of the holding or any part thereof is for the purposes defined in the said contract in respect of which resumption of any part of the holding may be obtained; or
(d) any notice given before the com men cement of this Act.
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "including an allotment garden."
The words "including an allotment garden" are unnecessary in view of an Amendment to tb.3 first Schedule, which I propose to move later. Then, when we get to the Re-committal, there will be a Clause dealing with allotments as a whole, and I hope that that will be dealt with later on in the evening. When we reach it, other changes will have to be made, but this particular Amendment is merely a drafting Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.280
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
I beg to move, in Sub-section (3, b), after the word "undertaking" ["purposes of their undertaking"], to insert the words "or by a Government Department or local authority."
When we were dealing with this question in Committee, I indicated that some further exceptions would be necessary beyond those already stated in the Clause, and the present Amendment, with the next two on the Paper, deal with those further exceptions. I have tried to follow the lines laid down in Clause 7, and have included, with public companies statutory bodies, and so on, local authorities and Government Departments who have acquired land for a specific purpose, and who, having temporarily let the land, when they require it for the purpose in question, must have it without having to give twelve months' notice.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
From what the right hon. Gentleman has said, I take it that it will be more convenient that we should discuss these three Amendments together. On the whole I raise no objection to them, but I do not follow the last words of the third Amendment. That Amendment proposes to insert the wordsauthorising the resumption of possession of the holding or some part thereof for some specified purpose, unless that purpose is the use of the land for agriculture or the sale of the land.Where land is resumed for building, or for the use of a local authority, or for any development purpose, it is usually sold, and the land will be resumed for sale, for which purpose it will have been reserved. That is quite a common and ordinary thing, and, in fact, it will be so in most cases; and if 12 months' notice is required because the land is sold, the whole purpose of the proviso will be vitiated. The Clause very properly says that all notices for the quitting of agricultural land in the ordinary sense shall be for 12 months, but after that a proviso is inserted which is absolutely necessary in order to prevent the use of land for purposes of development being held up by the requirement of 12 months' notice, when the case is already covered by the contract of tenancy. In nine cases out of 10, when land is taken for purposes of development, it is sold, and it is obviously impossible that you should have to give 12 months' notice in that case, while, if 281 you were building the house or making the railway, or whatever it is, yourself, you would only have to give the notice for resumption provided in the contract of tenancy.
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
Unless you put in the words "or for sale," I think you are opening the door very wide. The principal cause of the insecurity which has been felt in recent years by tenant farmers has been traceable to the innumerable sales that have taken place. In many cases a great grievance has been felt, and disturbances have even occurred in the saleroom, because the notice has been so short. My right hon. Friend and I both know cases in which that has happened. If you are going to say that, in the case of a sale, the notice shall be less than 12 months, you really strike at the principal object of the Clause. I remember a case in which a landowner had the right under his agreement to give only one month's notice to all his tenants if he wished to sell the land or any part of it, and that might be possible here if the exception which my right hon. Friend desires is made. Surely that would be most undesired able. As a matter of fact, in that case there was so much trouble in the neigh hour hood that the notices were with drawn. If we are going to allow 12 months' notice to be unnecessary if there is a sale—
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I do not suggest that at all. If I may interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, I said that I entirely agreed with the Clause itself, which covers the point which he is now making. What I wish to point out is that it is for the Government to reconcile these two evils, which have to be met. Where the notice is given for the purpose of sale, it should certainly be twelve months, and, as a matter of fact, it must be more because of the Cautley Act. There is the case, however, in which there is a special provision in the contract of tenancy where the land is required to be resumed for development purposes; and in that case, when the land is resumed, it is usually sold. Although I understand, and fully sympathise with, the excellent object of these words, I think it is for the Government, who have introduced this Bill, not to obstruct or hamper development by enabling a tenant, who has agreed to vacate the land at one week's notice where it is urgently required for develop- 282 ment purposes, to say that, simply because it happens to be sold, he is therefore entitled to twelve months' notice. My right hon. Friend must meet that point. It is impossible to make the words apply to all cases in which a sale takes place; what he wants to prevent is the giving of notice where the object is merely to sell.
Sir A. BOSCAWEN
I agree with my right hon. Friend that what we do want is to obviate the giving of a very short notice simply for the purpose of a sale. It may be that these words go too far, and I shall be quite willing to leave out the last words of the Amendment, on the understanding that we shall consider the the insertion of some words to meet the point.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In Subsection (3, b), leave out the words "for those purposes" and insert instead thereof the words "Government Department or authority for the purpose (not being the use of the land for agriculture) for which it was acquired by the corporation, department or authority."
§ In Sub-section (3, c), leave out the words "where such resumption of the holding or any part thereof is for the purposes defined in the said contract in respect of which resumption of any part of the holding may be obtained," and insert instead thereof the words "authorising the resumption of the possession of the holding or some part thereof for some specified purpose, unless that purpose is the use of the land for agriculture."
§ At the end of Sub-section (3, c) insert a new paragraph, "(d) any notice given by a tenant to a sub-tenant; or."—[Sir A. Boscawen.]