HC Deb 01 August 1947 vol 441 cc887-905

Lords Amendment: In page 90, line 22, to leave out from "satisfied" to end of line 24 and insert: on application made to him within one year after the appointed day or within such extended period as the Minister may in any particular case allow.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I beg to move, "That the Lords Amendment be divided."

I am moving this in order to clear the way for a further Motion I have down to disagree with so much of the said Amendment as proposes to leave out from "satisfied" in line 22, to end of line 24; and to amend the words proposed to be inserted by leaving out "appointed day," and inserting, "date on which that planning permission is granted."

To bring the subject matter of these Amendments to the notice of the House I would refer to Clause 78. It is a very important Clause about which we will hear a little more later on, which deals with what is called, "land ripe for development." It extends more favourable treatment to this sort of land if it manages to fall within the extremely strict and narrow definition contained in the Clause, but the whole of the operation of the Clause is made dependent on the opening words, which are: Where planning permission is granted under Part III of this Act … or is deemed to have been granted … since 1943. That is the condition precedent for this treatment for dead ripe land being available to the applicant. The effect of the Lords Amendment would be to make the opening words of the Clause read: Where planning permission is granted under Part III of this Act in respect of any development consisting of the erection, extension or alteration of buildings, or is deemed by virtue of Section seventy-six of this Act to be so granted, then ii the Minister is satisfied— These are the words to which I wish to draw attention: on application made to him within one year after the appointed day or within such extended period as the Minister may in any particular case allow— Then the rest of the Clause is brought into motion.

The proposed Amendment does two things: first, it imposes a time limit upon the application which the man makes if his case is to be considered. In the Bill before it went to another place, there was no time limit except that no man could make an application for dead ripe treatment if he had already received a payment out of the fund. That is reasonable. That was a limit that a man had not any compensatory payment. Now the Minister is seeking to give the man a year in which to make his application. That, in itself, is not unreasonable if the year starts from the right date, but what the Bill says, with the Lords Amendment, is that the man is given a year in which to make his application from the appointed day, which may be any time fixed by the Minister within the near future. Note, however, that he cannot make his application until he has had planning permission, and the consequence is that if the planning authority delays in considering his case, or if for reasons beyond the planning authority's control, the consideration of his application for planning consent takes a long time, then all the time this man's year is running out from the appointed day through no fault of his own.

The matter is of some substance, because, looking to the future, even the Minister would acknowledge that there will be a heavy burden cast upon planning authorities by the provisions of this Bill. In many cases they will be new authorities and it may well be that without imputing blame to anyone, there will be a considerable time consumed in the consideration of applications for planning consent. Therefore, if you must have a time limit, it is quite wrong to make the year run from a date over which the applicant has no control. It should run, I submit, and my Amendment provides for it, from the date on which the planning consent is given. Then the Minister has his year and the man has his year, and both are satisfied; that is to say, if the man gets his planning consent, his year starts to run. I draw the point to the Minister's notice in the hope that he will satisfy us about it.

4.15 p.m.

Mr. Silkin

I do not think there is any serious difference between us on this matter. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will agree that it is essential, for the administration of the fund of £300 million, that we should know at the earliest moment, what claims are to be made on it. There is obligation under the Bill to pay out within five years. A scheme has to be prepared and submitted to the House before that, and in order to make a satisfactory scheme it is necessary to know the nature of the claims. For instance, if land is dead ripe under the terms of Clause 78, then there will be no claim on the fund; if it turns out that the land is not dead ripe, then there is a claim on the fund. Therefore, it is important that these claims should come in at the earliest moment so that the Treasury may be in a position to make its regulations, and the Central Land Board may be in a position to make its payments in accordance with the statutory requirements. That is why a time limit has been imposed.

We are on common ground there, that the right hon. Gentleman does not say that there ought not to be a time limit, but his time limit is a movable one, within the discretion of the applicant himself. It is within 12 months after something which rests with the applicant. It rests with him when he makes his application. If the developer chooses to sit back and not make the planning application, then his time runs on indefinitely. Just as local authorities may not be diligent or may be overworked, so may the proposed developer, and it is unsatisfactory that one should not get in the claim as soon as possible. In the ordinary way there is no hardship on a developer in submitting a claim within 12 months.

The only contingency to which the right hon. Gentleman referred was that he may not have his planning permission, and that is a factor over which he has no control; and that even though he makes his application today or tomorrow or on the appointed day, there is no guarantee that he will get it within the 12 months. However, that has been specifically provided for, because there is power to extend, and if there was justification for extending the time, it would be because the proposed developer was not, through circumstances not his own fault, in a position to make the application.

If the right hon. Gentleman would like it, I am quite prepared to say categorically that one of the grounds for extension of time will be that the proposed developer had not yet, even though he had put in his application in good time, had it granted. That would be eminently reasonable as a justification for extension of time, but, having regard to the fact that we shall be under a statutory obligation to make the payments, it is essential that there should be every possible expedition in applicants putting in their claims and, with that one exception—that certainly there will be an extension where through no fault of the application, planning permission has not been granted—I think the case made by the right hon. Gentleman has been met.

Mr. W. S. Morrison

With the leave of the House, may I say that I am sorry the Minister cannot find words to enable the assurance he has just given us to be given effect in this Bill. Our words were an attempt to do so, but the Minister objects to them because he says that the man might not apply for his planning permission, and thus let an undue time elapse before the financial authorities were in possession of the proper information. I see the point of that. I should think that it could be overcome, but, at this late stage in the Bill, I am to a great extent relieved by the Minister's assurance that in every case where a man is prevented from getting his planning consent, through no fault of his own, that will be taken into consideration and he will be given a reasonable time in every case to make his application for inclusion in dead ripe land. In these circumstances, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Lords Amendment: In page 90, line 35, at end, insert; or (c) that the land together with any land contiguous or adjacent to such land was on the seventh day of January, nineteen hundred and forty-seven, or would then have been but for circumstances arising out of the emergency which was the occasion of the passing of the Courts (Emergency Powers) Act, 1939, in the course of develop- ment as a residential commercial or industrial estate and that the proposed development is or would be immediately practicable but for such circumstances as aforesaid and that there is a demand for such development.

Mr. Silkin

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

We come again to a matter which has been discussed at every stage of the Bill, including today. We have even had some Amendments today touching on this question of ripe land. I readily agree that it is a very important provision. The Lords, when it came before them, decided that they would substantially widen the definition of ripe land and, therefore, widen the number of cases in which owners of land are exempt from the payment of development charges and do not participate in the £300 million. I submit to the House that the Lords have gone too far in the Amendment which they have made. Instead of the test that applied in the Bill as originally drawn, they have substituted three entirely new tests, which I concede straight away, on the face of it, look eminently reasonable, but which do not bear closer examination.

I wish to take the House through the three tests which are proposed. The first is that on 7th January, 1947, the land was in the course of development. … We are all familiar with cases where an owner buys a very large area of land intending to develop it over a long period in stages, recognising that at the time he buys it the land is not ripe for development, and that he could not profitably carry out the development for many years to come. He begins, perhaps, by providing some services on the land; perhaps building a road or so, and that would be regarded as being in the course of development. Any work of that sort done on the land would comply with the first requirement that the land was in the course of development. Therefore, by the very fact that some minor works were being carried out on a relatively small part of the land, the whole would satisfy the definition of being ripe for development. I submit that that is going too far, and really cannot be accepted.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

What are the other two tests?

Mr. Silkin

Will the hon. and gallant Member let me make my case? I cannot speak about all three in one breath; I can only take them in turn. The second test is land which, but for the war, would have been developed. Who is going to decide that? On what basis it can be decided, I do not know. I have never known an instance where any Minister has been asked to decide, upon a purely hypothetical case of this kind, what would have happened but for the war. It is a very interesting and amusing speculation, but it is not possible to decide whether land, but for the war, would have been in the course of development … which I submit would not have made it ripe, because the first condition does not make it ripe. Another condition is that the development, whether qualifying under (a) or (b), whether in the course of development…", or land which would have been developed but for the war, is that it would have been "immediately practicable" to develop it but for the war, and circumstances arising out of the war. There again, how can one say that it would have been "immediately practicable"? What is meant by "immediately practicable"? What are the factors one is asked to take into account in deciding that the development would have been "immediately practicable"? Am I expected to take into account whether that development would have been possible to an owner but for the war, whether he could have raised the money, having bought the land, and whether he could have raised the mortgage on sufficiently profitable terms? All these are factors one ought to take into account, if one had to decide whether the development would have been "immediately practicable" but for the war.

I say that is putting an impossible burden on any Minister. One cannot project one's mind back, and get the information, and it is not really a proper test. Moreover, it still goes back to the original point of whether the development means a small piece of development, not necessarily over the whole area. Taken literally, I suppose, one can always answer that it would have been immediately prac- ticable to carry out a small piece of road development, or to provide services on a very small part of the area. But when one is satisfied that it would have been immediately practicable, one still has not established that the whole site is dead ripe.

The third test is "that there is a demand" for the development in question. I should say there is a demand today for any kind of development. Indeed, it could be said about almost every site in the country, "that there is a demand" for the development in question, and one could create demands in that way by that test equal to many times the true demand. One is thereby once more introducing the idea of "float," because this third test would apply to many times the amount of land that would be necessary to satisfy the true demand. Therefore, I submit to the House that these tests are inequitable, unworkable and do not, in fact, determine whether land is ripe or not. I submit that the tests which have been laid down in the Bill, and which have stood the test of Debate in Committee and elsewhere, and which, generally speaking, have been accepted by the building industry, are the tests to which we should adhere.

I would remind the House that there is a class of land to which the hon. and learned Member referred earlier which was not quite ripe land. I said that the land to which he referred did not fit in with the definition, but it might very well fit in with what I have christened near-ripe land, which is to receive specially favourable treatment, as I indicated during the Committee stage. On the basis of the scheme which I then put forward, persons who carry on the business of the provision of buildings of various types will, in respect of a certain amount of near-ripe land, get compensation for a certain quantity of buildings, or land in respect of a certain quantity of buildings, at the full development value, for a period of five years; that is, they will be able to carry on their development substantially without loss in respect of development charge. They will pay the development charge, but they will get the full compensation out of the fund of £300 million, and so they will be almost as well off as if their land was ripe land. That is as it should be.

It may well turn out that the cases which were in mind when this Amendment was carried in the other place are cases which will be met by the proposals which I have made as regards near-ripe land, in which case the developers themselves will be substantially no worse off, though admittedly the compensation which they will get will come out of the fund of £300 million instead of out of additional Treasury money. I repeat that there has been no complaint about this from the interested parties, the professional developers of land. Broadly speaking, they have accepted both the definition of ripe land in the Bill and the proposals for near-ripe land.

4.30 p.m.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Surely, that means that the share of those entitled to participate in the global sum will be so much less, because a special category is being placed at the head of the queue?

Mr. Silkin

That is so, but I would remind the hon. Member that in fixing the amount of the global sum, that point was taken into account.

Mr. Molson

It was only a guess.

Mr. Silkin

So the hon. Member says. I have never accepted as a fact that it is a guess. Certainly, one had in mind, in fixing the figure of £300 million, that there would be certain categories of persons who would get the full amount. If that were not so, the £300 million would have been reduced.

Mr. Walker-Smith

I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman addressed this consideration to the House when he was moving the Second Reading of this Bill. The whole category of near-ripe land and its claim upon the £300 million global sum was not disclosed by him until about half way through the proceedings of the Standing Committee. Will he say how he reconciles those facts with his present contention that this circumstance was taken into account in fixing the global sum in the first place?

Mr. Silkin

Certainly. I never suggested it was worked out to the last penny exactly what people were to get full compensation. All I say is that provision was made in the £300 million for a substantial amount of money to be paid in full. While I do not want to go further along those lines, and indeed I might not be in Order if I did, it is a fact that if one eliminated that consideration, assuming that we are right in having fixed the sum at £300 million, as I think we must assume we are for the purpose of this argument, the right thing to do would be to reduce the £300 million by that amount. For those reasons, I ask the House not to agree to this Amendment.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

When one has heard the right hon. Gentleman argue on Amendments as often as I have, it is not difficult to distinguish the case in which he thinks he is on strong ground, from one in which he realises that he is on very thin ice. When he is in a difficulty, he normally takes the Amendment, submits it to a microscopic examination, and, after having spent a considerable time in doing that, points out what terrible consequences might ensue in all sorts of unlikely events. That has been his attitude towards this Amendment. He has not dealt at all satisfactorily with the principles behind this Amendment. Indeed, he made some astonishing statements. It is quite true that we have, in this House, and in the Committee upstairs, discussed this question of ripe land at every possible opportunity. The reason is obvious. The right hon. Gentleman's definition of ripe land, which he has inserted in this Measure, is an illogical, inequitable and purely arbitrary definition. It does not depend on whether land is, in its true sense, ripe for development. It depends upon all sorts of technicalities, such as building applications, by-law submissions, and, indeed, on whether an application has been made under an interim development order since a particular date.

What one wants to try to determine and define is the class of land one wants to bring within the terms of Clause 78. I did not think that, apart from the terms which the Minister inserted in the definition, in principle and in substance there was much between us as to the types of land we sought to have included in the category which did not receive compensation and was not liable to a development charge. But the right hon. Gentleman has throughout, strongly resisted any attempt to alter Clause 78. Now, he proudly says, having been one of the few people who have stood firm on the point, that it has stood the test of time. When the people of this country realise how this Clause operates—and it is not the great professional developers who will be affected but practically every person in this country—the right hon. Gentleman will not be able to say that it stands the test of time.

Let me examine the Minister's argument in a little more detail. He says that it is inequitable that this land which is covered by this Amendment should get the treatment which this Amendment proposes, that it should be free from the liability of a development charge on one side and from compensation on the other. Is it not rather inequitable that owners of such land shall be thrown back upon the £300 million fund? It is inequitable, surely, to the other claimants upon that fund whose claims pro tanto will be reduced? Really, is there not some inequity about that? The right hon. Gentleman cannot challenge that when the £300 million figure was put forward he was pressed, on the Second Reading, to state how that figure was arrived at. In the course of that Debate we were told from the benches opposite—it may not have been by the right hon. Gentleman himself—that it was an intelligent guess. In any event, it was quite impossible to get any statement about how that figure was calculated.

In that Second Reading Debate not a word was said, according to my recollection, of this category of near-ripe land. Does the right hon. Gentleman say that at the time when near-ripe land was not mentioned in this Bill, he had taken it into account in his own mind in fixing this figure of £300 million? If he did take it into account, why did he not tell us so at that time? Why was he so shy? I submit that it is quite clear that the right hon. Gentleman did not make up his mind to give preferential treatment to this category of near-ripe land until he had heard the weighty and cogent arguments put forward by my hon. Friends during the Committee stage.

Then, having decided that that case must be met, he thought, "Well, I will meet it in that particular way—by giving them a prior claim on the fund and not by altering my Clause 78, to which I pin my faith whatever injustice may ensue." I do not think that, on applying any one of the tests which the right hon. Gentleman mentioned, this Amendment is inequitable and unworkable, and I do not believe that the application of the tests contained in the Amendment would prevent a determination whether or not land was ripe. The right hon. Gentleman says that he could not project his mind backwards, and that he would not be able to decide the issues raised by this Amendment, but whether or not the matter was established would depend upon the evidence produced before him. No one is asking him to make up his mind in a vacuum. Surely, if he is in any difficulty about the matter he ought to accept the proposal that there should be some tribunal to determine these matters and to decide whether the methods set out in the Amendment are or are not affirmatively established? If they are, I suggest that we would get a much more satisfactory conclusion on what is near-ripe or dead ripe land than we do in the Clause as it stands, where so much depends not upon the nature of the site before the war, not upon what has been done to it, but upon whether or not a certain formality has been carried out.

I do not want to remind the right hon. Gentleman of the argument we put before him during Committee stage that, in the case where an estate had been bought for development and where one part was in process of development within the terms of Clause 78, it was quite illogical to draw an arbitrary fence round that part and to exclude the remainder where roads and everything else had been built, but where actual building had not started. We asked the Minister then to take a broad view of the matter and to try to arrive at a definition of what was near-ripe land. We asked him not to fence the whole thing round with restrictions depending so much on formalities. I do not think that the acceptance of this Amendment would do any harm to the Bill. Its rejection will make the Bill poorer. If the right hon. Gentleman persists in his objection, I fear that there will be only one course open to us to show our disagreement with him.

4.45 p.m.

Mr. H. Strauss

I intervene to call attention to one very astonishing admission in the speech of the Minister. He said that certain applicants would be able to share in a preferential way in the £300 million fund. He then went on to make, I think, for the first time, the very astonishing allegation and, to my mind, admission, that this had been taken into calculation when the £300 million had been calculated. I would like to draw the attention of the House to what that admission amounts to. The calculation which we have had hitherto was that which the right hon. Gentleman was good enough to give us on Second Reading. Although we very much wondered why we could not have had it before, in the White Paper, or why it should not have been referred to an independent tribunal, we did gather that in the right hon. Gentleman's own view it was a fair sum in order to meet all legitimate claims in full. He now informs the House that in his deliberate calculation he calculated that only some fair claims should be met in full and that others should have to accept a dividend, and a dividend only. I think it is the first time that that admission has been made in this House, and attention should be drawn to it.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

I wish only to ask one question. I hope that the Minister will prove me wrong in what I say. I was unable to be a member of the Standing Committee which considered this Bill, but I have read the reports very carefully. As far as I understand it, the purely formal tests to which reference has been made are the only tests of ripe land. Suppose there is a site in a town, not caused by war damage but one upon which no building has taken place. There may be personal reasons for delay. The owner may have been abroad for a very long time. I can think of many reasons why an application for development of land of this type was not made before the appointed day. That land is ripe land. If land in the middle of a town is not ripe land, what is ripe land? I would like to have a reply from the Minister in regard to this point.

Mr. Walker-Smith

I want to say a few words on this matter, which occupied us upstairs and also on Report stage in this House. The Clause has, in one respect, improved since those days, and that is by the incorporation of the provisions relating to building applications. Having made a point of this during the earlier stages of the Bill, I merely want to say that the present position is, to that extent, an improvement on that with which we were originally confronted; but the present position is still unsatisfactory unless the Amendment which the Minister proposes to reject is accepted and its provisions are incorporated in the Bill.

It will be within the recollection of my hon. Friends that there were two alternative proposals originally put forward from this side of the House to enlarge the definition of ripe land so as to put the position right. The Minister turns his face against the enlargement of the definition of ripe land. His approach to the problem is a different one. What he poses is that the definition of ripe land should be drawn as narrowly as possible; and that, if there be any hardship, it should be met by creating a category of near-ripe land, to which reference has already been made, and which was defined by the right hon. Gentleman in the 18th sitting day of the Standing Committee which dealt with this Bill. One of the differences between the arrangement proposed for near-ripe land and the enlargement of the definition of dead-ripe land, which is what we propose, is, of course, that the arrangements for near-ripe land do not form part of the Bill as such at all. They are left to be dealt with hereafter in the scheme for the distribution of the global figure of £300 million of compensation.

Our objection to the point of view of the Minister, in taking up the view that it does not matter so much how narrowly we define dead-ripe land, because we are giving this preferential claim on the global sum in respect of this new category of near-ripe land, is, of course, that the right hon. Gentleman is robbing a deserving Peter to pay an equally deserving Paul, and it is simply a balancing of this amount. What the Minister proposes is to give a larger slice of a cake of fixed size to people who fall within his definition of near-ripe land; and he says that this method of dealing with this question has the approval of the building industry. That seems to me to be a very naïve remark, and the Minister is not generally naïve in these matters. Obviously, it does not matter very much to builders whether they can get their land free of development charge or are compensated thereafter by a preferential claim on the global sum. The people to whom it matters, of course, are those whose claims on the £300 million are dependent pari passu on the amount of the preferential claims in respect of owners of near-ripe land.

We have consistently rejected this approach to the question. We have consistently taken the view that the solution was not to be found in enlarging the preferential claims on the global sum, but in striving to get a right, workable definition of dead-ripe land, so that everything that comes within that definition is excluded both from the scheme of compensation and the assessment of the development charge. The right hon. Gentleman has not, to my mind, met that case at all. His argument was a little halt and limping; and it was that this matter had been given consideration in the original estimate of the £300 million. Since he made that observation, I have refreshed my memory of the proceedings in the Standing Committee, and have found that there was no clear statement then, any more than on Second Reading.

The only other argument which the right hon. Gentleman has invoked against the enlargement of the definition of dead-ripe land proposed by this Amendment is the difficulty of assessing the question of demand. The Minister suggests that it will be difficult to eliminate the question of floating demand. With respect, and one does not want to be dogmatic on what must be a difficult and technical question, I should not think that that analogy was a very close one, nor that it would necessarily be very difficult in assessing demand to eliminate the element of "float." After all, what would be necessary for the owner of an estate in course of development to show would be that there was a precise and specific demand for this particular estate. If the demand which he adduced in evidence for a particular estate was also adduced in evidence as demand for some other estate, so as to make it qualify to come within the definition of dead-ripe land, it certainly would not seem to be a very difficult business to show that the demands are only given effect in regard to, one specific estate. It may be difficult, though I should not have thought it was; and, even if so, it would hardly seem to be an insuperable obstacle to the enlargement of the definition of dead-ripe land, which I am convinced is right, from the point of view of development, and also right in being more equitable and a more practical approach to the question than the Minister's alternative of simply enlarging the claims of certain parties on the global sum.

Question put, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided: Ayes, 264; Noes, 59.

Division No. 350.] AYES. [4.48 p.m
Adams, Richard (Balham) Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Mann, Mrs. J.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Foot, M. M. Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Forman, J. C. Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Marshall, F. (Brightside)
Alpass, J. H. Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Martin, J. H.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Gaitskell, H. T. N. Mathers, G.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Gallacher, W. Medland, H. M
Attewell, H. C. Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Messer, F.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Middleton, Mrs. L.
Austin, H. Lewis Gibson, C. W. Mitchison, G. R.
Awbery, S. S. Gilzean, A. Monslow, W
Ayles, W H Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Moody, A. S.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B Goodrich, H. E Morgan, Dr. H. B
Baird, J. Gordon, Walker, P. C. Morley, R.
Balfour, A. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)
Barstow, P. G Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Barton, C. Grey, C. F. Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)
Battley, J. R. Grierson, E. Moyle, A.
Bechervaise, A. E. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Murray, J. D.
Benson, G. Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side) Naylor, T. E.
Berry, H. Guest, Dr. L. Haden Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Beswick, F. Gunter, R. J. Noel-Buxton, Lady
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Guy, W. H. Orbach, M.
Bing, G. H. C Haire, John E. (Wycombe) Paget, R. T.
Binns, J. Hale, Leslie Pargiter, G. A
Blackburn, A. R. Hall, W. G. Paton, J. (Norwich)
Blenkinsop, A. Hamilton, Lt.-Col. R. Pearson, A.
Blyton, W. R Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Peart, Thomas F.
Boardman, H. Harrison, J. Piratin, P.
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Hastings, Dr. Somerville Platts-Mills, J. F. F.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Haworth, J. Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Porter, G. (Leeds)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Herbison. Miss M. Price, M. Philips
Bramall, E A. Hicks, G. Proctor, W. T.
Brown, George (Belper) Hobson, C. R Pryde, D. J.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Holman, P. Pursey, Cmdr H
Bruce, Major D. W. T House, G. Ranger, J,
Burden, T. W. Hoy, J. Rankin, J.
Burke, W. A. Hubbard, T. Rees-Williams, D. R.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Reid, T. (Swindon)
Byers, Frank Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Chamberlain, R. A. Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton, W.) Robens, A.
Champion, A. J. Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Chater, D. Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Chetwynd, G. R Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Rogers, G. H. R.
Cobb, F. A. Irving, W. J. Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Cocks, F. S. Janner, B. Sargood, R.
Coldrick, W. Jay, D. P. T. Scollan, T.
Collick, P. Jeger, G. (Winchester) Shackleton, E. A. A.
Collindridge, F. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Sharp, Granville
Collins, V. J. Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Shawcross, Rt Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)
Colman, Miss G. M Keenan, W. Shurmer, P.
Corvedale, Viscount Kenyon, C. Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.
Cove, W. G. Key, C. W. Silverman S. S. (Nelson)
Crawley, A King, E. M. Simmons, C. J.
Crossman, R. H. S. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E. Skeffington, A. M.
Daines, P. Kinley, J. Skeffington-Lodge, T. C.
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Lavers, S, Skinnard, F. W.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J. Smith, C. (Colchester)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Lee, F. (Hulme) Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lee Miss J (Cannock) Smith, S. H. (Hull, S. W.)
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S. W.) Leonard, W. Snow, Capt. J. W.
Deer, G. Lever, N. H. Solley, L. J
Diamond, G. Levy, B. W. Sorensen, R. W.
Dodds, N. N. Lindgren, G. S. Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Driberg, T. E. N. Lipson, D. L. Sparks, J. A.
Dugdale, J (W. Bromwich) Lyne, A. W. Stephen, C.
Dumpleton, C. W. McAdam, W. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Durbin, E. F. M. McAllister, G. Stubbs, A. E.
Dye, S. McEntee, V. La T Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Edelman, M. McGhee, H G Swingler, S.
Edwards, John (Blackburn) Mack, J. D. Sylvester, G. O.
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) McKay, J. (Wallsend) Symonds, A. L.
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N. W.) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Evans, John (Ogmore) McLeavy, F. Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Ewart, R. Macpherson, T. (Romford) Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Fernyhough, E. Mainwaring, W. H. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Field, Captain W. J. Mallalieu, J. P. W. Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton) Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Wise, Major F. J.
Thurtle, Ernest Whiteley, Rt Hon. W. Woods, G. S.
Tiffany, S. Wilcock, Group-Capt C A. B Wyatt, W.
Tolley, L. Wilkes, L. Yates, V F.
Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G. Wilkins, W. A. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Ungoed-Thomas, L. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland) Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Vernon, Maj. W. F. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland) Zilliacus, K.
Viant, S. P. Williams, J. (Kelvingrove)
Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst) Williams, W. R. (Heston) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.) Willis, E. Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Webb, M. (Bradford, C.) Wills, Mrs E A Mr. Popplewell.
Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Amory, D. Heathcoat Grant, Lady Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Gridley, Sir A. Rayner, Brig. R.
Beamish, Maj. T. V H Grimston, R. V. Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C (Wells) Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt Hon. Sir C. Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Bower, N. Herbert, Sir A. P. Savory, Prof. D. L.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Lambert, Hon. G. Smithers, Sir W.
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J (Moray)
Challen, C. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Sutcliffe, H.
Channon, H. Manningham-Buller, R. E Thornton-Kemsley, C. N
Clarke, Col. R. S. Marsden, Capt A Touche, G. C.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Medlicott, F. Vane, W M. F.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O E Mellor, Sir J. Walker-Smith, D.
Crowder, Capt. John E Molson, A. H E. Ward, Hon. G. R.
Dower, Lt.-Col. A. V. G. (Penrith) Morrison, Rt Hon. W. S. (C'nc'ster) Watt, Sir G S. Harvie
Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness) Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E. Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Drayson, G B Neven-Spence, Sir B. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter Nicholson, G TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone) Nield, B. (Chester) Mr. Drewe and
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P Lieut.-Colonel Thorp.
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G Lloyd (P'ke) Orr-Ewing, I. L

Question put, and agreed to.

5.0 p.m.

Lords Amendment: In page 91, line 19, leave out from "application" to end of line.

Mr. Silkin

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

This Amendment and the next are both consequential on the one which we have just disposed of.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

With the greatest respect, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, may I say that I, and I think, my right hon. and hon. Friends, also, would not disagree that the next Amendment after this one is consequential on the Amendment which has just been disposed of, but we think that there is a special point in this line 19 Amendment which the Minister ought to explain to the House, if he is going to reject it. It is a narrow point, but one which is not unimportant. In some cases, it may be important, and we would like to hear the Minister's reasons for rejecting the proposal.

Mr. Silkin

I thought it was consequential, because I assumed that, by its vote, the House had accepted the definition of "ripe land," as set out in Clause 78 of the Bill. The Amendment to line 19, which we are now discussing, introduces a variation of the definition of "building application," so as to include cases of planning applications not accompanied by plans of the proposed building, but only broad layouts. I can only say that that would be an extension of the definition of Clause 78 which would not be acceptable. I do not know whether the House would wish me to elaborate that; I can do so if required.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

The point which is causing me some concern is this: If there is a specific case of a building developer who submits a lay-out plan, giving a rough idea of the houses which he proposes to erect, but not detailed plans of each house, does that qualify or not? We hope it does qualify and we think it ought to. But that is the kind of point we have in mind. Their Lordships inserted this Amendment because they felt that land ought to be included as ripe building land, if the building application had been submitted with lay-out plans which were not necessarily plans of the buildings proposed to be erected.

Mr. Silkin

With the leave of the House, may I say that the answer is that a layout plan is not sufficient. There must be a detailed plan. The hon. Member knows as well as I do that there is a big difference between submitting a general description of how an estate is to be laid out and actually getting down to the details and submitting them. The general layout application is not necessarily an indication or proof that the land is really ripe for development. People who are about to acquire land may very well submit an application of that sort, and in my experience they have done so, merely to get some idea of what might be permitted if they wanted to develop, but the development might not follow for years afterwards. It is intended to take into account only detailed proposals for inclusion in the definition of ripe land.

Further Lords Amendment disagreed to: In page 91, line 25, at end, insert: which has been supported by such plans or particulars as were required to be furnished under the said Acts or the said bye-laws or other enactments, as the case may be, being an application in respect of development which was or would have been but for circumstances arising out of the emergency which was the occasion of the passing of the Courts (Emergency Powers) Act, 1939, immediately practicable at the date of the application and for which there was at such date a demand for such development which it was the intention of the applicant to satisfy.