HC Deb 07 December 1934 vol 295 cc2041-2

3 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 4, line 27, to leave out "or other body."

The purpose of the Amendment is to deal with the subsequent disposal of any land which the Commissioners acquire. The Bill enables them to purchase land and we wish to ensure that land purchased by them shall not be handed over to any body other than a local authority. The Amendment would safeguard that position.

3.1 p.m.


Under the Bill the position is that it would not be possible for the Commissioners to transfer land freely to private individuals or private undertakings, but they can of course, when they have developed a site, sell it at a proper value, and that proper value might not be the amount which it had cost the Commissioners. But they would have to charge the private individual something for the transfer. The object of this provision is to enable them, when they have completed their work as regards the unemployed and no longer require land, to transfer the land free of charge if they so desire to a local authority or to another body. The words "or other body" are, I am told, to be construed subject to the rule ejusdem genesis and it must be held that the other body is to be something in the nature of a local authority and with similar objects. It would I understand cover the Playing Fields Association for instance. If the Commissioners had laid out a playing field but did not want to be responsible for its future maintenance they might transfer it to that Association. Similarly, it might include some of those voluntary trusts which run various kinds of co-operative holdings schemes. The Commissioners might decide that the future management of a colony would be better in the hands of the people themselves and so might transfer it.


Suppose the Commissioners take over land which is practic- ally waste. Supposing, for instance, they tip a slag heap into a hole and create a piece of really valuable land, are we to assume that they will take precautions, on taking over that land in the first instance so that it will not be sold off afterwards at a merely nominal price after it has been improved?


The whole of the compulsory powers are being put in for the purpose of enabling the Commissioners to acquire land of that kind, but transfer to a private undertaking is subject to the approval of the Treasury who would, no doubt, insist upon a reasonable charge being made.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.