HC Deb 06 October 1944 vol 403 cc1322-37

12.15 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

I beg to move, in page 34, line 31, to leave out from "for," to the end of line 38.

This refers to a case of where war damage has been done to land and development is refused and the owner is, therefore, unable to do anything with his land. He is placed in a very difficult position indeed; he cannot do anything with his land because he is forbidden by the development authorities. The Clause says that he is given the right to serve a notice requiring the authority to purchase his land in a period of about six months, but under the provision in Sub-section (1, b), even though labour and materials are available, the Minister is given the right to determine whether the development that he wishes to carry out can be lawfully carried out. Also, before he is entitled to have his land purchased he may be required to carry out alternative development.

I regard those requirements as very unreasonable. In the first place, the Minister is taking upon himself judicial functions, seeing that he will determine whether the development can be lawfully carried out. Under Sub-section (8) he takes complete and absolute power to determine whether the conditions can be lawfully carried out. That is entirely contrary to the recommendations of the Donoughmore Committee on Ministers' Powers. I shall not read out those recommendations, and my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham {Mr. Silkin) is really under a misapprehension it he thinks we are trying to obstruct this Bill. I do not intend to do so, and I said so before my hon. Friend passed his rather unkind remark. I think the Committee should seriously consider whether the Minister ought to take it upon himself to say whether a development can be lawfully carried out, or that before the owner can have his land purchased he should be required by the local authority to go in for another kind of development altogether. What the planning authority are going to say is: "We would like you to speculate in this kind of way because we believe you will be able to get equally beneficial use from your land." But supposing the authority say "We will not let you develop it as you would be entitled to do under the War Damage Act, we think you should develop it in a way which we feel will have equally beneficial results," and that then the whole thing turns out to be a howling failure, who is to pay for it? I say that these conditions are quite unreasonable, and I invite the Committee to say that in every case where an owner is prevented from developing his land which has been war damaged, which he would be entitled to do under the War Damage Act, he shall be entitled to give notice to have his interest purchased by the planning authority if he wishes to do so within six months' time.

The Deputy Chairman (Mr. Charles Williams)

I suggest that it would be for the convenience of the Committee if we discussed this Amendment with that standing in the name of the hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller): in page 35, line 14, leave out from beginning, to end of line 16.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

The Amendment standing in the name of myself and my hon. Friends is of a somewhat more limited nature than the Amendment which has been moved, but I think the object of the two Amendments is much the same, and I do not propose to go over the ground covered already by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Penrith and Cockermouth (Lieut.-Colonel Dower). The position under this Clause appears to be that the owner of land when he is estopped by the interim development authority from using land as he wishes would have the right to sell it to the local authority, but that right is whittled away and whittled away in a very vague and indefinite manner. The right of compulsory sale, if I may use that expression, is subject to this limitation: if it can be shown that the land can be used for some purpose—it may be a quite different one from that to which the owner desires to put it—then the owner will not be able to get rid of his land in the way mentioned. So far as I can see the words "alternative development" are not defined anywhere in the Bill. There is in a later Sub-section a reference to certain matters to which regard must be had in considering what is alternative development, but there is no real definition, and I cannot see why this right of sale in the event of develop- ment being refused should be made subject to this particular condition. I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will be able to make the matter clear, but at the moment I can see no justification for that provision.

The Solicitor-General (Major Sir David Maxwell Fyfe)

Both the Amendments which have been mentioned deal with the question of alternative development, and it is to that point that I shall mainly direct the few remarks which I have to make, but before passing to that I should like to deal with the other point raised by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Penrith and Cockermouth (Lieut.-Colonel Dower) about the usurpation, as he would put it, of judicial powers by the Minister. If one examines the sort of thing the Minister will have to look into I do not think that either the framers of the Donoughmore Report or my hon. and gallant Friend would suggest that there would be usurpation. It must be determined that the development could, apart from planning, be lawfully carried out. That means that the applicant must have a sufficient interest in the property to enable him to carry out the work; for example, if he is a tenant, that there is no restriction in his lease to prevent it. I cannot see that the determination of points of that kind, which are essentially conditions precedent and are very easy to determine, is in any way a usurpation of judicial powers. It would be an incredible piece of obliquity to have such questions taken out of Ministerial hands and sent for decision to an arbitrator or the courts. That is my answer to the first point which the hon. and gallant Member raised.

Now I come to the question of alternative development. The provisions as of alternative development apply not only to development after war damage but to new development, and one has to examine and face the question whether the alternative development is practicable. My hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller) has said that there is no definition, but he did, with the fairness which always characterises him, refer to the Subsection in which a very clear indication is given. It seems to me that it cannot be argued to the contrary that if alternative development is practicable, and that is really the point that the Sub- section makes, then the owner should sell his land in the open market. My hon. and gallant Friend asks, What about a loss? There the position is that if the owner is discontented with the decision of the local authority as to the practicability of the alternative development he can appeal to the Minister and can have it considered by him and considered on the lines of the criteria laid down in the Sub-section referred to by the hon. Member for Daventry. That, I suggest, is as ample provision as anyone is going to get against loss in the uncertain life and circumstances in which we live. My hon. Friend knows as well as I do that the wisest of us are often greatly misled as to subsequent movements in value of property which we have acquired, and I consider, and I ask the Committee to accept the view, that if the local authority, and the Minister on appeal, consider that the development is practicable, then the owner has got a reasonable and square deal, but I cannot accept the principle that if the owner cannot do what he likes with his land then the local authority must buy it.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

I have been listening and not interrupting my hon. and learned Friend as he has crossed out argument after argument which I put forward, although I do not agree with him, but under the War Damage Act the owner would be entitled to develop the property and now the development authority can come in and say, "No, under this Bill we are not going to allow you to do so, but you may do something entirely different." I think that is being rather harsh.

The Solicitor-General

I am very anxious to help my hon. and gallant Friend, because one does not want misunderstandings between us, but the point I am making is that we are all accepting positive planning. The Second Reading decision means an acceptance of positive planning. Personally, I believe in positive planning, and we have accepted it, and are proceeding on that hypothesis. If we accept positive planning we cannot accept the position that if the owner, by reason of positive planning, is unable to do what he likes with his own land he should be in a position at once to get rid of it. He must adjust his development of the land to the public interest and public requirements as laid down by the planning code. It is far too late to turn back the clock. This is not the time to put forward an Amendment to make that curious use of the clock hands. I suggest that that is the one basis. The other basis is that it is fair, as the Clause does, to throw the loss on to the local planning authority during the period when the land is dead through planning restrictions, but if there is a reasonable and practicable way of using it with the safeguards which the Clause proposes, then I suggest that the alternative development period is right.

Amendment negatived

12.30 p.m.

Amendments made: In page 34, line 33, after "1943," to insert "at the time of the application."

In line 36, after "be," insert "lawfully."—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]

Dr. Russell Thomas

I beg to move, in page 34, line 41, to leave out from "to," to end of Sub-section, and to insert: provide him with land of similar tenure and a cost of works payment equivalent to any appropriate payment by the War Damage Commission. I have put down this Amendment because not only will the owner be dispossessed of his land but, as far as I can see, he may receive only a value payment. This is very important, because it will undoubtedly cause great injustice to many owners of commercial buildings, shops, and so on in a damaged area. I will give an example. An owner has been advised already by the War Damage Commission that he is to receive a cost of works payment in regard to his damaged building which is in the middle of a blitzed town but a great deal of which building still stands. Under this Bill the cost of works payment will be swept away, he is only likely to receive a value payment, he will not be able to get land as well, and he will not be provided with the money to build even if he should get the land. Therefore, under the Bill, an owner who has received a notification from the War Damage Commission that he will be given a cost of works payment will lose the benefit of a marketable asset if he receives a notice to treat under the Bill. This is likely to happen in many cases in an extensively damaged area, and it will cause considerable injustice.

I would point out that this would be completely inconsistent with the injunction of the War Damage Act of 1943, in which there is what is known as an escalator Clause, by which a person who has property of this kind may eventually receive a payment above the value payment. Unfortunately that Clause has not yet been put into operation and is still being discussed between different bodies and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It would, however, enable the War Damage Commission to make an extra payment after consideration. That payment could be called a portable war damage payment which would be given over and above the value payment, so that the owner might build a new property, if he can get land in another place. The Treasury are bound by the Act to make a report on the escalator Clause sooner or later.

In the case of churches, an agreement has already been reached between the War Damage Commission and the owners of churches. For instance, a church might be situated in the midst of a blitzed area and therefore subject to this very Bill—indeed, many of them will be. If it is not in that area, the War Damage Commission have, of course, promised to repair the church, but if it is in that area, they are willing to supply funds for rebuilding a plain church elsewhere. That concession, however, has not been granted to property owners in the blitzed areas, who only receive the value payment. Although I thoroughly approve of that agreement, we must remember the churches make no contribution whatever to the War Damage Commission, whereas property owners have to make a very considerable contribution for a very long period. Under the Bill, extra payment is made to two classes of people already—owner-occupiers are given compensation at a higher rate and owners of agricultural land are similarly treated.

Mr. Molson (The High Peak)

On a point of Order, Mr. Williams. This matter of compensation and the special treatment for owner-occupiers arises under Clause 46. Is it really desirable that we should begin to discuss that matter now, seeing that there are some Amendments down on the Order Paper to Clause 46?

Mr. Henderson Stewart (Fife, East)

On a point of Order, Mr. Williams. Surely my hon. Friend is entitled to give an example to the Committee so that he may support his argument?

The Deputy Chairman

On that point of Order, I think that the hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Molson) is technically right. Of course the hon. Member for Southampton (Dr. Thomas) can use a short illustration. I think that this is a comparatively narrow Amendment, so I hope we shall not have anything leading up to a repetition of the discussion we have already had, or even a further discussion which might lead to the elimination, if it went too far, of discussion on Clause 45, which might be a pity. I am suggesting that this decision should be kept short and very much to the point.

Dr. Thomas

If my hon. Friend had been a little patient I should have passed on more quickly than I have been able to do owing to the time taken by his interruption. The owner-occupier of a house and the owner of agricultural land have a special advantage which, in my opinion, should be definitely extended to commercial owners. There are many small shopkeepers and owners of small factories—indeed, I had a letter only yesterday from a constituent of mine who is placed in this position. He has been bombed out, though his property still partly remains, and he will only get a value payment under this Bill. He is anxious to re-instate himself in the blitzed area, and, if he cannot, then he should have a proper payment so that he can start his business elsewhere. There is similar protection—about which we shall hear more on Clause 29—for the owners of statutory undertakings. Nothing can be done to them without the consent of the Minister, which again requires the approval of Parliament.

It will be said in mitigation that these unfortunate people will be able, possibly, to lease their land from the local authority, or indeed, in certain circumstances the local authority will be able to sell them that land. It may well be, however, that the local authority will do nothing of the kind. The local authority are not bound to lease that land to the original occupier. They can even go further than that; they can if they like, lease it to somebody else and there is no appeal. Those are the points which are of great importance to small property owners and to commercial interests, and I trust that my Amendment will receive support from all quarters of the Committee. Finally I will assure my hon. Friends opposite, when they talk of motive and so on, that I have no motive except that of the interests of the individual, who, I think, should not be treated unjustly by any Bill brought before this House. There is no other motive in my mind except that I have learned long ago not to deify, as so many of my hon. Friends opposite do, the local authorities.

Mr. Molson

I hope my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton (Dr. Thomas) did not regard the point of Order I raised as being in any way unfriendly but there are some very important matters connected with compensation which will have to be fully discussed on Clause 46. With regard to the Amendment he has just moved, I do not think it would be possible to provide in this Bill for the local authority to undertake provision of other land where land is purchased from any individual under this Bill. On the point which the hon. Gentleman has raised with regard to a cost of works payment, I would draw the attention of the Government to this very difficult and anomalous point which exists at present and which will have to be discussed under this Bill. I would like to address my remarks especially to the learned Solicitor-General. Under the law as it exists, where property has been destroyed by enemy action, if that property falls into a certain category, if it can, under the planning legislation, be rebuilt upon the same site, the War Damage Commission will pay the cost of works, that is the cost of rebuilding that building on the same site. If, under the planning scheme of the local authority, the owner of that land is precluded from rebuilding the building upon the same site, he then is able only to obtain from the War Damage Commission compensation at the value that the building would have had had it been sold on 31st March, 1939. The hon. Member for Southampton in this Amendment is seeking, as regards this particular Clause, to rectify that anomaly. An anomaly it clearly is because, under the War Damage Commission legislation, the position is broadly this; the owner of a property is the insurer and the War Damage Commission is the underwriter; and the amount of compensation payable depends upon the decision taken by the planning authority upon entirely extraneous considerations, which should obviously not affect the amount of compensation to which the insured person is entitled.

I do not want to go into this any more deeply at the present time, but I want to ask the Solicitor-General to consider this matter and give some explanation in his reply. It might be argued that the point we are raising now is really one affecting the legislation on war damage, but, in point of fact, when a deputation from Plymouth and Devonport went to the Chancellor of the Exchequer early in August he replied that it was not appropriate for him to discuss the matter raised as it concerned the Town and Country Planning Bill now before Parliament.

12.45 p.m.

There is great danger that if an aggrieved subject goes to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about War Damage, he will be told that it cannot be dealt with because it must be considered when the Town and Country Planning Bill comes before the House of Commons. I want to give the Solicitor-General a general warning that it would not be entirely satisfactory if he said now that this was not a matter to be dealt with under this Bill, but should come under the War Damage Act.

Lieut.-Colonel H. Guest (Plymouth, Drake)

The matter which has just been raised by my hon. Friend is one of great importance to cities which have been destroyed, and the authorities in which are wondering what they will get in the way of compensation, either under this Bill or the War Damage Act. Although I realise the narrowness of the Ruling which has been given, from the Chair, I do not like to be silent. There is a feeling in the city I represent that there is a great anomaly in the fact that if a building can be put back on the same site, where damage has taken place, a cost-of-works payment can be arrived at, but if, for reasons of town planning, it is impossible to erect the building on that site, then only a value payment is allowed. That is not understood and cannot be accepted as sound common sense, wisdom or reason. I do not know at what stage it may be desired to discuss the matter in full, but it is such a vital question to the trading interests in the city I represent that I do not wish to miss any opportunity of bringing it before the Committee for the most careful consideration of Members and the Government.

Earl Winterton (Horsham and Worthing)

I must disclose a personal interest in this matter, because I am largely affected by war damage. I would like to support what has been said with such technical knowledge by my hon. Friend opposite. This Amendment on which a most proper Ruling has been given from the Chair illustrates the appalling nature of the procedure of the House of Commons, which I have often tried to get altered. We cannot discuss this matter apart from the War Damage Act. No person could keep in Order and follow the Ruling which has been given on this Amendment. I only want to say to the Solicitor-General that I hope he will consider this matter from the point of view of a possible amendment of the War Damage Act, a possibility which I cannot explain, without being out of Order. I hope my hon. and learned Friend will give a sympathetic answer. I think there is no opposition to the point which has been put.

Viscountess Astor (Plymouth, Sutton)

I do not want to delay the Committee, but you can well understand, Major Milner, that I must speak on this subject on behalf of my constituents. We expected an answer from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but we were told that we would have to wait until this Bill came before the House. I hope the Government will give due consideration to all that has been said.

Mr. Messer (Tottenham, South)

It does not affect only Plymouth.

The Solicitor-General

I think it would be convenient, and follow the wish of the Committee, if I, first, very shortly dealt with the Amendment before us because, after all, we have to make up our minds on it, and then said a few words, without transgressing the ruling of the Chair, on the wider subject which has been put forward. The Amendment which has been moved is, of course, a complete contradiction of the terms of the Bill. The Bill provides that where in certain circumstances permission for interim development is refused, or granted subject to conditions, the owner may call on the interim development authority to purchase his own interest in the land. My hon. Friend the Member for Southampton (Dr. Thomas) suggested that the obligation should be three-fold—first, to reinstate the owner, second, to provide land on a similar tenure and, third, to make an equivalent payment to that which the owner would have received as a cost of works payment if planning requirements had not prevented his rebuilding. I must point out to the Committee that, of these requirements, the second and third are contrary to the policy of the Bill and, moreover, that the third also runs contrary to the principle that this House already has accepted in relation to war damage, namely, that if for any reason war damage is not made good no cost of works payment is made but only a value payment. Therefore, I cannot advise the Committee to accept the Amendment, but I do view with the greatest sympathy and appreciation the points which my hon. Friends have put on the question of the War Damage Act. The principle is as I have stated it—that where you cannot replace there should be, generally, a value payment.

I would ask my hon. Friends to consider the provisions of Section 14 of the War Damage Act, which deal with compulsory acquisition. There, it is provided that where you do have compulsory acquisition you would have only a value payment. We are getting very near to that position, because in a great number of cases where development is refused—the present Clause comes into operation only where development is refused—you would have compulsory acquisition of the property for one purpose or another. But I can well see that my hon. Friends have in mind, that there is a range of properties outside that consideration of compulsory acquisition. All I can go so far as to say now is that I shall be very happy to consider the situation of such properties, and that in my humble but comprehensive position in the Government I can undertake to consider the matter both from the point of view of town and country planning and war damage. I hope that that will satisfy my hon. Friends.

Earl Winterton

Would it be possible —I think it would be in Order to ask this—before the Bill leaves this House, to obtain an announcement from the Government on the subject of the future of the War Damage Act, because it affects this Clause and Sub-section very materially? The Committee will appreciate that the War Damage Act has a limited life and, therefore, affects directly this Clause. If it was possible to have an announcement on the subject before this Bill finally leaves this House for another place, I think it would greatly facilitate discussions on the matter:

Mr. Molson

I would like to emphasise the point which the Noble Lord has just made, and to make this further point: When this Bill becomes an Act, what is perhaps now only an apprehension in a comparatively small number of cases, will become a reality in a large number of cases. Before we part with this Bill, I think we must have a definite statement from the Government on the steps they intend to take to ensure that this Measure does not result in anomalies and injustices on a very large scale.

The Solicitor-General

As my hon. Friends appreciate, I must bring this matter to the attention of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I will certainly do so, and pass on to him the earnest feelings that have been expressed in all quarters of the Committee. With that, I hope my hon. Friend will not press his Amendment.

Viscountess Astor

I would like to point out that we expressed ourselves very moderately on this matter. We could have made long and emphatic speeches to my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General.

Dr. Russell Thomas

I greatly appreciate what the hon. and learned Solicitor-General has said, but before withdrawing my Amendment I would like to say that I was fully aware of my difficulties and that I am grateful indeed that I have been able to bring this matter to the notice of the Committee. The Debate will have served a useful purpose in this way, by drawing the attention of the War Damage Commission and the Treasury to the importance that this Committee places on the Commission operating the escalator clause, which they have power to do, as soon as may be. If they consider operating that clause it will enable them to give more than value payments and the Treasury, I believe, as I have already said, under the Act are bound to make a report sooner or later. Those negotiations have been going on for some time, but nothing has happened so far, and I therefore hope that the discussion we have had will have repercussions elsewhere. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, in page 34, line 42, to leave out from "land" to the end of the Sub-section, and insert: and, subject to the provisions of this section, where such a notice is given the authority shall be deemed as from the date on which the notice takes effect in accordance with the following provisions of this section to have been authorised to purchase the interest compulsorily and to have served a notice to treat in respect thereof on that date. This puts an owner, who operates under Section 27, in the same position as if purchase was taking place under the earlier provisions of the Bill by the local authority.

Amendment agreed to.

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, in page 35, line 9, to leave out "one month," and to insert "two months."

On further consideration it has been thought that the Minister requires two months to consider the manifold matters that arise on this point. I see my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham (Mr. Silkin) expresses genial doubts. I do not want to go into it in detail, but I can give half-a-dozen illustrations of matters of some weight which will have to be considered by the Minister, and which will take some time. If my right hon. Friend does it in two months, I think the Department will be operating extremely well.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 35, line 13, at the end, insert:

"and that the notice shall not take effect"—[The Solicitor-General.]

1.0 p.m.

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, in page 35, line 15, to leave out from "fulfilled," to end of line 18, and to insert: shall within the said period direct that the notice shall not take effect; (c) if he is satisfied that having regard to the benefit which would accrue to the owner in question from the land or any part thereof either in its existing state or if there were carried out thereon any alternative development for which permission would be granted and which could be lawfully carried out within a reasonable period, it is equitable so to do, may within the said period of two months direct that the notice shall not take effect, or shall take effect only as respects such part of the land as may be specified in the direction; and subject to any direction given under this subsection the notice shall take effect at the expiration of the said period of two months. Again this indicates that it is the object of the Clause to leave it to the Minister to decide what amount of land may equitably be taken with the damaged property.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 35, line 22, leave out "or certificate."—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]

Mr. Lionel Berry (Buckingham)

I beg to move, in page 36, line 8, to leave out Sub-section (5).

This Sub-section defines the meaning of "reasonably beneficial use." I am not sure that there is any real need to define what is reasonably beneficial use, and, if one studies this definition, it appears to say that any building or land that has been damaged can be considered as not available for reasonably beneficial use, and anything that is completely restored to its former state can be considered as available for reasonably beneficial use. In either case it seems redundant, and I move the Amendment in the hope that the Solicitor-General may inform us why it is necessary to have it in.

Major Studholme (Tavistock)

The whole point, it seems to me, is that what is or is not "reasonably beneficial use" is a question of fact and I should have thought it unnecessary to have it defined.

The Solicitor-General

Whether a definition is necessary or not, is largely a matter of first impression. I quite see that my hon. Friend may have taken the view that the term would be an easy one either to consider judicially or to deal with from the point of view of administration, but we have considered this with great care and we have consulted those who are specially concerned with war damage and the action and administration of the War Damage Commission, and the care that they have taken with their own side of the work is a matter which they would not criticise. I should like them to know that it was in deference to that aspect of the matter that a full definition was put in. I am always prepared, when any one suggests that a definition or a drafting should be reconsidered to do so, and it is obviously the duty of the Law Officers; therefore I will consider what my hon. Friends have said and if on consideration we take a different view they will receive notification of it.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

It seems that there are grounds for inserting a definition of what must be, I should have thought, in every case a question of fact as opposed to a question of law. But I hope the Solicitor-General will give this definition further consideration. One of the chief points about a definition is that its meaning should be clear and precise. Paragraph (a) says: Land shall be deemed to have been rendered or to remain incapable of reasonably beneficial use in consequence of war damage if it was immediately after the occurrence of the damage, or is, in a state such as to make it incapable of being as beneficially used while remaining in that state as it was immediately before the occurrence of the damage. It seems to me that that definition is capable of being interpreted that land shall be deemed incapable of reasonably beneficial use until it has been completely restored to its condition before any war damage was sustained, in view of the two words "as," coming before "beneficial," and "as" in the next line. When one looks at the definition in paragraph (b), exactly the converse is stated, that it shall be deemed to be capable of reasonably beneficial use only when it is fully restored to its pre-existing condition. It seems easy to find what must be in each case a question of fact. I hope that, if a definition is to be inserted, the Solicitor-General will consider this with great care.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendments made: In page 36, line 13, leave out "in consequence of war damage."

In line 15, leave out "damage," and insert "war damage in question."

In line 40, at end, insert: and in considering whether it is equitable to give a direction under paragraph (c) of Subsection (2) of this Section, the Minister shall have regard to any such contribution.

In page 37, line 6, leave out "or certificate."—[The Solicitor-General.]

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move; in page 37, line 7, at end, to add: () References in this Act to land which has been acquired and is for the time being held by a local planning authority for the purposes of this Part of this Act include references to land acquired by such an authority under this Section which has not for the time being been appropriated by them for any such purpose as is mentioned in Sub-section (3) of Section fifteen of this Act. These words give the local planning authority the same power of disposition in carrying out work and the like as they have under earlier Clauses of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.