HC Deb 22 June 1938 vol 337 cc1080-1
81. Sir Joseph Leech

asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that the policy of extending compulsory registration on the sale of land under the Land Registration Act, 1925, is now so operated as to he neglectful of the public interest; and will he authorise and organise compulsory registration in an additional number of populous areas occupied by wage-earning residents outside the home counties without further delay?

The Attorney-General (Sir Donald Somervell)

I cannot accept the suggestion that there has been any neglect of the public interest in the proceedings taken under the Land Registration Act, 1925. It is not practicable to make orders in respect of areas which are not defined areas of local government. Generally speaking, the work of extending compulsory registration on sale to further areas is proceeding with all convenient speed.

Sir P. Harris

As the experimental stage has long since passed, and it has been proved that it is of great advantage to the country and to owners of land to have this registration, why are the Government not utilising the powers to extend the area?

The Attorney-General

The hon. Member knows that there have been extensions, first in the county of Middlesex and one recently in the Provinces. The fact that the experiments have succeeded does not alter the fact that the matter is one of great complexity and highly technical, and one in which it is extremely important that the extensions should not be made except where all the conditions are fulfilled which will enable decisions to be carried out without mistakes being made.

83. Sir M. Sueter

asked the Attorney-General whether he will arrange for the expansion of the technical staff of His Majesty's Land Registry so that compulsory orders for registration on sale can be extended to areas outside the north and north-east of Middlesex and thereby facilitate conveyancing of property in the expanding suburbs just beyond Middlesex; and what is the difficulty in organising a technical staff for this service to the public?

The Attorney-General

As I have often pointed out in answer to questions in this House, the work of extending the compulsory areas under the Land Registration Act is proceeding with as much expedition as is consistent with proper administration. The areas in respect of which it is now proposed to make orders are in the first place the County Borough of Croydon in the county of Surrey. It is not proposed to make any such order for an area north or north-east of Middlesex until progress has been made in respect of these areas.