HC Deb 07 July 1938 vol 338 cc659-60

Lords Amendment: In page 33, line 7, after "Commissioner" insert: other than the provisions of Section ten of this Act.

Captain Crookshank

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The Amendment is consequential on the alteration that has been made in Clause 10.

6.3 p.m.

Sir S. Cripps

I am not certain that this alteration is necessitated by the amendment of Clause 10. This Clause makes provision as regards the limitation of costs payable in disputes between adverse claimants, and it is an over-riding provision which covers the whole of this part of this Bill and the Registration Act. The Clause provides that with respect to the payment of costs by the Commission the provisions of this part of this Act and of the Registration Act shall have effect subject to a limitation. That is to say, the liability shall not extend to costs incurred after the date of the passing of the Act that are occasioned by any proceedings for the determination of disputes between adverse claimants.

I do not see why, because in Clause 10 a code of costs has been laid down, that code should not also be subject to this over-riding exception, that the Commission should not have to pay costs as between adverse claimants. If it is said that cases are not likely to arise under Clause 10 as it is now drafted in which adverse claimants will have costs against one another, then there is no reason for inserting this exception. We take the view that there is no reason why the Commission should pay costs as between adverse claimants. They have to pay under various Clauses, but in no circumstances should they have to pay the costs as between adverse claimants. Surely, it is perfectly fair and just to say that, however much they may have to pay the costs of claimants, they should not have to pay costs solely incurred by virtue of two adverse claimants engaging in proceedings one against the other.

6.6 p.m.

The Attorney-General

This matter arises from difference of machinery after the Amendment that we passed yesterday. Under the old machinery the conception was that there would be two leases drawn up, one dealing with coal rights and the other with surface rights, and the costs in connection with those leases were to be borne by the Commission, As I explained yesterday, under the new procedure there will be no new leases but an apportionment of the rent under the old lease. In case of dispute it arises necessarily from the vesting under the Act. It is a dispute as between adverse claimants by reason of the vesting of the Act, and it is therefore right that the provision in the present Amendment should be made.

Subsequent Lords Amendments to page 37, line 25, agreed to.