§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mr. Tom Williams)
I beg to move, in page 7, line 23, at the end, to add:Provided that—
- (a) any notice served by virtue of this Sub-section, and any charge imposed by virtue of any such notice on the land specified therein, shall be void as against a purchaser of the land in pursuance of an agreement entered into more than one year after the completion of the work and before the first day of May, nineteen hundred and forty-four, or any person claiming through or under such a purchaser, or any agent for any such purchaser or person, unless the notice is served before the completion of the purchase; and
- (b) Sub-section (2) of Section seven of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1941, and, so far as it applies that Sub-section, Sub-section (2) of Section eight of that Act (which authorise an owner of fenland
154 from whom any sum is recoverable in respect of expenses incurred in connection with the improvement of a way over the land to recover interest on that sum from the tenant of the land) shall not authorise the recovery from a tenant of interest on any sum recoverable from the owner by reason of a notice served by virtue of this Sub-section, if the tenancy was created in pursuance of of an agreement entered into more than one year after the completion of the work and before the first day of May, nineteen hundred and forty-four.In this Sub-section the expression 'purchaser' means, in relation to any land, any person (including a mortgagee or lessee) who, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, acquires for money or money's worth any interest in that land or in a charge on that land.(3) The provisions of the last foregoing Subsection shall not be taken to affect the operation as to any charge imposed as aforesaid of the Land Charges Act, 1925 (which provides among other things that certain charges shall be void as against a purchaser unless registered in accordance with that Act).This Amendment is designed to protect tenant farmers in certain circumstances, which I can explain in one or two sentences. Under the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Acts, 1940 and 1941, the Minister is entitled to reclaim from landowners the value of land improved by making roads across fen-land or in draining land in certain areas. The claim was to be made within twelve months of the completion of the work. It was found that, owing to the difficulties of tracing the owners of the land affected, and, in the case of fen-roads, of getting the necessary valuations completed for the purpose of ascertaining the apportionment of value, it could not be done within the period of twelve months. Therefore, the extension from twelve months to two years is dealt with in Clause 7.
The purpose of this Amendment is to protect anyone who may have purchased land under an agreement entered into more than a year after the completion of the work and before the terms of Clause 7 of this Bill became public, that is to say, during a period when he would think that no notice of demand for payment could be served. If notice is served. it will be void. It will also protect the tenant of land which has benefited from fen-road improvements, from being called upon to pay the interest on the share which the landlord has paid towards expenses in cases where the tenancy was entered into during a period when he would think no claim for interest could 155 be made against him by the landlord. It is a form of protection that should be forthcoming in these two cases.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clauses 8, 9 and 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill.