HC Deb 22 June 1938 vol 337 cc1229-32

Order for Consideration of Lords Amendment read.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Lords Amendment be now considered," put, and agreed to.—[Captain Margesson.]

Lords Amendment considered accordingly.

Lords Amendment: In page 7, line 12, insert new Clause (Additional provisions with respect to loans by local authorities.)

(1) Where in pursuance of Section two of the principal Act a local authority give assistance by way of loan to the owner of a dwelling, then, subject to the provisions of this Section and to such conditions as may be approved by the Department the loan may, in lieu of being secured by a bond and disposition in security or other deed of security, be secured by an order (in this section referred to as a "charging order") made by the local authority providing and declaring the dwelling, or the dwelling and such other subjects belonging to the owner of the dwelling as the local authority and such owner may agree, to be charged and burdened with an annuity to repay the amount of the loan.

(2) The annuity charged shall commence from the date of the order, and shall be a sum of such amount and shall be payable to the local authority or their assignees for such period of years, not exceeding twenty, as the local authority and the owner may agree.

(3) A local authority shall not make a charging order, and a charging order shall not be effectual, unless—

  1. (a) the local authority have served on every person appearing in the Register of Sasines as the proprietor of, or as holding a heritable security over, the subjects or any part thereof to be charged and burdened with the said annuity, notice that if no objection is intimated to them in writing by such person within twenty-one days from the date of service of the notice, they intend to make such charging order; and
  2. 1230
  3. (b) no objection has been so intimated by any person on whom notice has been so served.

(4) The provisions of Section twenty-two of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1925, shall apply to a charging order made under this section in like manner as they apply to a charging order made under Section twenty-one of the said Act, subject to the following and any other necessary modifications— (a) Sub-section (2) shall apply as if after the words "advances of public money" there were inserted the words— (d) any rent charge secured on the premises by absolute order made under and in terms of the Improvement of Land Act, 1864; (e) any loan made for agricultural purposes in pursuance of the Agricultural Credits (Scotland) Act, 1929, by any company incorporated for the purposes of that Act, where such loan has been secured on the premises by a bond and disposition in security or other deed of security duly registered in the appropriate Register of Sasines; and (f) any charge on the premises created under any provision in any Act authorising a charge for recovery of expenses incurred by a local authority under section one hundred and twenty-five of the Public Health (Scotland) Act, 1897, or by a local authority or an owner under section twenty of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1925, or section fifteen of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1930"; (b) Subsection (3) shall not apply.

(5) For the purpose of this section a notice may be served by delivering it to the person on whom it is required to be served or by sending it by registered letter to such person at his usual or last known address, or if such person cannot be found, to the Extractor of the Court of Session. An acknowledgment endorsed on such notice or a copy thereof, by such person, or where the notice is sent by registered letter, a certificate subscribed by the clerk to the local authority that such notice was duly posted and having the Post Office receipt for the registered letter attached shall be conclusive evidence that such notice was duly served on the date stated in the acknowledgment or Post Office receipt.

(6) In this section the expression "owner" has the like meaning as in section forty-nine of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1930.

(7) This section shall extend to Scotland only.

11.13 p.m.

Colonel Sir George Courthope

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, in Sub-section (4) (a) (d) after "Improvement of Land Act, 1864," to add: or the Lands Improvement Company's Acts, 1853 to 192o. I understand that this manuscript Amendment to the Lords Amendment will be accepted by the Government, so that I need not take up more than a moment in explaining it. The proposed Lords Amendment is the result of a conference which was held a week or two ago in Edinburgh in order to arrange for the priority of loans which are authorised by the Bill and by the Housing (Agricultural Population) (Scotland) Bill. There was an agreement that certain classes of statutory loan should be protected and should retain their existing priority. The words in the Lords Amendment are intended to carry out that intention, but do not do so completely, and the Amendment which I move is proposed after consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate and is in order fully to implement an agreement about which there is no dispute or controversy.

11.15 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Wedderburn)

This new Clause was inserted by the Government in another place. Representations in favour of the provisions which it contains were made to my right hon. Friend some time ago by local authorities in Scotland, supported by the Chamber of Agriculture and various other bodies, and, after some discussions at a conference on 26th May, which was attended by these bodies together with representatives of the Convention of Royal Burghs, the Lands Improvement Company, the Scottish Agricultural Securities Corporation, and a representative of the Writers to the Signet, the proposals in the new Clause were agreed upon. The general object of the Clause is to encourage local authorities to make more use of the power to give loans for the purposes of this Measure, and it does so by enabling authorities to make charging orders declaring the annuities to repay their loans to have prior ranking over other charges on the property. Before a local authority can make a charging order, they must give notice to all persons who have already made loans over the property, and, if any of those persons object, the local authority are precluded from making the charging order; and they cannot in any case make an order to take precedence over certain specified charges, such as loans made by the Lands Improvement Company and the Scottish Agricultural Securities Corporation. The Amendment of my hon. and gallant Friend arises out of this last provision; it is a purely drafting Amendment, and we are prepared to accept it.