HC Deb 07 December 1945 vol 416 cc2724-6

11.30 a.m.

The Solicitor-General (Major Sir Frank Soskice)

I beg to move, in page 3, line 23, at the end, insert: (2) For the purposes of this section the cost of constructing a house shall include the cost of the building materials used in the construction thereof. The reason for the Amendment is that as the words now read, there is, as a matter of legal phraseology, some doubt whether the cost of construction includes all the materials used in the construction. It certainly is the intention of the Government that the cost should include the cost of all the materials used. This matter formed the subject of discussion when the Bill was in Committee, and that doubt was voiced by hon. Members opposite. The object of the Amendment is to remove all possible doubt. This is really little more than a drafting Amendment and I conceive that there cannot be very much objection to it.

Mr. Willink

You, Mr. Speaker, called this Amendment, as I understand the position, on the basis that it covered the subject matter of another Amendment put down by hon. Friends and myself to line 8, where we had suggested the insertion of the words: ''including the cost of those materials." In Committee I suggested that, if one had such a phrase as "the cost of constructing 'A' from 'B'", it would not be likely that "B" would be included in that cost. If, as I understand, the Amendment put down by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General is exactly devised for that purpose, I am happy to see it included in the Bill as a result of our suggestion. Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary might, with the assistance of the learned Solicitor-General, relieve any doubt in my mind upon that point to the effect that it is a more accurate or more technical draft of the suggestion which we ourselves made.

Mr. Key

I can give that assurance definitely; it is exactly the same.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Speaker

The next Amendment that I shall call is that in the name of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North Croydon (Mr. Willink) —in Clause 7, in page 5, line 7, to insert a new proviso.

Mr. Willink

Mr. Speaker, are you not calling the Amendment in Clause 3, page 3, line 8, to leave out "substantially" —which deals with a different point from that with which we have already dealt?

Mr. Speaker

The Amendment would not alter, but might possibly increase the charge; and I think it is covered by previous Amendments.