HC Deb 10 July 1946 vol 425 cc462-4

Lords Amendment: In page 40, line 43, at end, insert: or (c) to contribute, under section seventy-nine A of the provisions substituted by Part II of the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act. 1923, for sections seventy-eight to eighty-five of the Railways Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845, towards expenses properly incurred by a railway company is making good damage so arising;

Mr. Gaitskell

I beg to move "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This is intended to meet the point raised by the hon. Member for South Hendon (Sir H. Lucas-Tooth) on both the Committee and the Report stages and which my right hon. Friend undertook to look into. It transfers to the Board the liability of colliery concerns to contribute towards the cost incurred by railway companies for damage caused by mine workings.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

I desire to thank the Government for having, at last, seen that an Amendment of this sort was necessary. It is a little astonishing that a matter which was first raised on the Committee stage and then on the Report stage should only make its appearance at the backing of the Government when we get the Amendments back from another place. All the same, in view of what has occurred, it makes it quite plain that the Government will not, for this purpose, be able to make light of the advantages of another place.

Lords Amendment: In page 41, line 4, at end, insert: (2) The Board shall indemnify colliery concerns against expense reasonably incurred by them in disposing of claims in respect of such liabilities as are mentioned in the preceding Subsection but are not thereby rendered enforceable against the Board, being expense falling due for discharge on or after the primary vesting date: Provided that provision may be made by regulations for rendering the right to indemnity under this Subsection subject to conditions as to the giving of notices of claims and the furnishing of information with respect thereto, the making of settlements, payments or admissions, the conduct and control of the defence in proceedings, subrogation, and such other matters as may be prescribed, and such conditions may extend to things done or omitted before the date on which the regulations are made.

Mr. Shinwell

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This Amendment relates to the provision under which claims in respect of damage due to mining subsidence may be enforceable against the Board where the appearance of the damage occurs after the primary vesting date. While colliery concerns will meet claims for damage which occurs before the vesting date, the Amendment provides a new Subsection (2) of the Clause for the purpose of indemnifying colliery Boards against expense incurred by them in disposing of claims where such expense falls due for discharge on or after the primary vesting date. The intention is to relieve the colliery concerns of expenses under this head from the primary vesting date onwards. This has been put in because it was thought desirable not to impose upon them unreasonable expenses in this connection.