HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 cc1939-59
Mr. Turton

I beg to move, in page 7, line 35, after "or," to insert: from the end of the period for which possession of the land is retained in the exercise of emergency powers, whichever is the later or. There are two other related Amendments in the name of my hon. Friends and myself to this Clause. Would you prefer that we should talk about them during the discussion on this Amendment, Sir Charles?

The Temporary Chairman (Sir Charles MacAndrew)

I think it might be for the convenience of the Committee to talk about them all together, and to divide on any of them, if that is desired, without further discussion.

Mr. Turton

In moving the Amendment, I would remind the Committee that, under the Clause as it now stands, unless six months' notice is given from the commencement of operation of this Measure, one is not allowed the increase in compensation from 100 per cent, to 160 per cent. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury explained his difficulty to us on an earlier occasion. He said that no great principle divided him from us, but that he was not convinced that a longer period was required and he would consult his Department for further information. We have not had a very long interval. I realise the difficulty under which the Financial Secretary was labouring, but the interval has been so short that it has not afforded him full time for that consultation. We have put down this Amendment, and we suggest to him that if he sticks to his six months' period, he should give two dates, and say either six months from the commencement of the Act, or, as our Amendment proposes, from the end of the period for which possession of the land is retained in the exercise of emergency powers, whichever is the later. Why do we choose these words? It is because they are the words which Parliament put into the Act of 1945. Therefore, a fortiori, the words ought to be in the Clause. That is all I want to say upon the Amendment which I have moved.

Our second Amendment is to leave out Subsection (3). The Government are proposing to do away with the provisions of Section 45 of the 1945 Act. I wonder whether the Committee realise the Government's intention. That Section enabled the man who had received a compensation rent lower than that prevailing on 31st March, 1939, and lower also than that upon the day appointed in that Act, to get an increase up to that level. I should have thought that was the barest justice. That was given by the Coalition Government in Section 45 of the 1945 Act. The Financial Secretary is now proposing to sweep away that right. He may argue that it is proper, in the case of people who are getting the 60 per cent. increase, to take away that right, but I can see no argument by which he can support a contention that people who do not choose to take the 160 per cent. should he shut out from exercising that right.

The Committee will remember that the Financial Secretary made it clear that often these people have less with the 60 per cent. increase than they would have under the provisions of the 1945 Act. If there are such people, it is only right to give them the protection of the 194[...] Act, which enabled them to get the higher compensation rental, as high, in fact, as the prevailing rental in March, 1939.

The third of our Amendments is, in page 7, line 48, at the end, to insert: (4) Where an application under either of the two last preceding subsections is not made before the expiration of six months from the commencement of this Act then unless the authority by which the rental compensation is payable shall show to the authority to which an application is to be made under either of the said last two preceding subsections that a notice in writing addressed to the person to whom such rental compensation is payable was delivered to such person before the expiration of the said period of six months the authority to which an application is to be made under either of the last two preceding subsections shall receive and consider an application as aforesaid notwithstanding that it is made after the expiration of the said period of six months from the commencement of this Act. We suggest that when a Government Department have requisitioned property they should send a notice in writing telling the persons concerned, of their rights under this Measure. The Amendment proposes to limit the period of notice to six months, but provides that unless the compensation-paying authority has informed the owner of the requisitioned property of his rights within that time, six months' notice shall not operate.

We have frequently found that the owners of requisitioned property are unaware of their rights under Acts of Parliament that we pass, and that was specially noticeable under the 1939 Act. A person may well remain unaware of his rights for longer than six months, and, as the Bill is now drafted, if he remains unaware for that period he loses all right to the increased compensation. We got some assurance at an earlier stage that some Government Departments were anxious that the owners of requisitioned property should be informed, but if it is put in the Bill in this form it will encourage all Government Departments to serve that notice of their rights on all owners, because they will know that if they do not serve such notices, the period for making the claim is consequentially prolonged.

I hope the Financial Secretary will accept all three Amendments, but I particularly draw his attention to the mistake of doing away with the rights under Section 45 of the 1945 Act. I well remember that when that was under discussion in the previous Parliament, it was regarded as an act of justice for owners of requisitioned property. I can see no reason why that act of justice should now be taken away by the Socialist Government from these people who will not benefit by the increase of 60 per cent. over the compensation rental.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

The Committee will remember that this was discussed at some considerable length before on the Committee stage.

Mr. Turton

None of these three points.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

If these points were not covered in an Amendment, they were covered in the discussion. We had a long discussion on an Amendment as to whether we should have forms or whether claims could be made in writing, and the length of the period during which claims could be put in was touched on by more than one hon. Member, and certainly by me in my reply. The point the hon. Member makes is quite a good one if we think only in terms of the 1945 Act. It is true that by Section 45 of that Act the period during which claims could be put in was made a fairly long one. It was made even longer—it was reduced almost to absurdity—by the passing of the Supplies and Services Act, which would make the extreme date something like 10th June, 1953. Even the hon. Gentleman would not desire that anyone should be able to hold up his claim and yet keep it alive for as long a period as that. We therefore arranged this period because we thought it reasonable.

The first reason is that the claims for this compensation are extremely simple. In practically every case, all the individual will do will be to ask for the 60 per cent. It may be that he is not entitled to it and in some cases, under the regulations and in the Act as it will then be, he will not be entitled to the full 60 per cent. of the 1939 ceiling; but I should imagine that almost invariably applicants will put in for the 60 per cent. and it will be left to the Department to reject it and to give reasons for the rejection when it comes to meet the claims. We can, therefore, visualise no complication which would prevent these claims from being put in within a reasonable time and we think six months reasonable.

5.15 p.m.

In special cases—we shall not be unfair about this—where it can be shown that through illness, absence abroad or other reasons a claim cannot be put in within the time stated in the Bill, extra time will be allowed and Departments will accept those claims, although according to the strict letter of the law they might be considered out of time. There is another reason which will commend itself to the Opposition. We must remember that the appointed day for the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, is approaching, and owing to the shortage of staff, it is essential that these matters and these claims should as far as possible be got out of the way so that the valuation department can be free to take on that work when it comes along. We do not want to clog the machine, and it would be a good thing, the Opposition will agree, if we could get these claims out of the way.

As I said earlier, we are not asking people for any money. We are tumbling over ourselves to pay them money. It seems an extraordinary thing that when we ask that they should put their claim in within a reasonable time, hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite should try to prevent that from being done. During the war—the 1945 Act visualised the war because the war was proceeding when the Act was passed—there was a very different set of circumstances from that which fortunately prevails now. Many of our men were in the Forces and some were in the Far East, and it was quite obvious that they could not attend to their affairs in the way they can now; and therefore it was essential that a longer period should be given for them to put in their claims. That does not apply generally now; where such cases do arise, provision is made in the Bill for an extended period. For those reasons I hope this Amendment will not be pressed. It would clog the machine and hold up things unduly. The Clause as drafted will, on the contrary, help everybody concerned, including the recipient of the compensation.

Mr. Peake

The right hon. Gentleman has dealt with the first Amendment, but I understood we were discussing all three Amendments to Clause 9. As my hon. Friend pointed out, the following Amendments are on quite separate points. The Financial Secretary has not yet addressed himself to them, but I hope he will say something in reply to the case made upon them.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I have answered the second Amendment, which hinges on the acceptance of the first. It is consequential—

Mr. Turton

It is not consequential. The right is being taken away from a class of people not covered by the Bill. That is far from being consequential. I see the difficulty in which we have been put by discussing all three Amendments together. It has confused the mind of the Financial Secretary. The three points are distinct.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

If the Committee agrees with our desire to reject the first Amendment, there is no point in discussing the second Amendment for the deletion of Subsection (3). I agree that the third Amendment has not yet been touched upon because it deals at some length with another point, and I will deal with it now. The point is that some steps should be taken to inform people who are entitled to this compensation of that fact. When we discussed this previously during the Committee stage, I indicated that, although I was not sure whether anything could be done, I would discuss it within the Department to see whether some notification was possible.

I regret to say that full inquiry has not been possible, but I would remind the Committee of what I said previously. This time begins to run from the Royal Assent, when the Bill becomes law, and we had in mind that some indication should be given to individuals when the next quarter's cheque is sent to them in payment of this compensation, but that if the quarter did not coincide approximately with the date of the Royal Assent, I foresaw difficulties which might make it impossible for us to do much in this direction. I also indicated that it was all very well for me to stand at this Box and undertake to do this, that, and the other thing when I had not to carry out the work myself. The Civil Service is grossly understaffed and very much overworked, and I did not want to commit the Civil Service without further inquiry as to what might be involved.

From this Amendment, which is very loosely drawn, it appears that the Opposition are under the impression that one Department will receive the claim and another Department will pay it. That is not so; the same Department will receive the claim, agree to it or not, and then pay it. Those are minor details of drafting and, if it had been possible to accept this Amendment, no doubt we could have altered the wording to cover the facts. However, I am advised that it would be wrong to accept this Amendment, even in principle, because it would lay upon the Government an obligation in each case to notify the individual of his rights with regard to the making of a claim. The most we can do is to take what steps are open to us to see that this is brought to the notice of everyone concerned. It can be done over the B.B.C. and through the Press and, if it is possible on inquiry for us to send a slip out with the cheques, we will certainly do that. However, I would not like to bind the Government to follow that course, and I cannot accept any form of wording which would make it obligatory.

Mr. Peake

We are obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his ample reply, but I am by no means satisfied with the answer he gave to the first two Amendments. What is the position? The very low levels of compensation for requisitioned property fixed by the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, were slightly relaxed and were permitted to be increased slightly by Section 45 of the Requisitioned Land and War Works Act, 1945. The Bill now before the Committee goes somewhat further than the 1945 Act and permits these prewar levels of compensation to be raised somewhat further. When these increases were permitted in the year 1945 in respect of requisitioned property, the Act of that year laid down the time limit during which applications for the then permitted increases would be entertained. The time limit is to be found in the proviso to Section 45 as follows: Provided that this Section shall not apply in relation to any land unless, not later than six months after the appointed day or after the end of the period for which possession of the land is retained … whichever is the later, a person … gives notice in such form and manner … as may be prescribed by rules made by the Treasury …. That is to say, for a permitted increase of compensation under the 1945 Act, the claimants had either six months from the date of the passing of the Act or six months from the date up to which the property was retained under requisition by the Government. That, of course, gave everybody ample opportunity of securing an increase to which they might be entitled.

What are the Government doing in this Bill? They are fixing a shorter time limit. They say that all claims must be made within six months or, unless there are some special circumstances attaching to them, they will be barred. They are going further and shortening the period allowed for claims which might still be made under the 1945 Act; that is to say, they are not only fixing a shorter time limit in respect of the new claims permitted by the new permitted increases under this Bill, but they are going back upon the period at present allowed for claims which can still be put forward for the smaller increases under the 1945 Act.

We say that is wrong. The imposition of these time limits does not matter to the large property owner, to the company or the building society which owns large numbers of houses. Those people have their solicitors, their estate agents and accountants who study the highly complicated Bills which we pass through this House continually. The hardship will fall upon the small property owner who does not employ a solicitor or an estate agent, for he will not know that we have passed an extremely complicated Measure which permits him to apply for an increase in his requisition rent, and that within six months of the passing of this Bill his claim will be forever barred.

5.30 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman says that in special cases there is power to extend the time. That is true, but what is a special case? He instanced the owner of property being in the Middle East; but there will be plenty of men and women who own small properties at present requisitioned by His Majesty's Government who will not have the faintest conception that we have passed this Measure which, with its complicated ceilings, is exceedingly difficult to understand. They will not be in a position to make a claim within the time. We say that the time limits in the 1945 Act should be restored in this Bill. That Act was passed by a Coalition Government and all parties were in the Government. Everyone was agreed that the time limits in that Measure were fair and reasonable. Why should a Socialist Government come along with time limits which prevent property owners from making claims unless they make them in a shorter time?

The right hon. Gentleman gives only a crumb of encouragement by saying that he hopes administratively it may prove possible—and he is not very encouraging about this—to include with the cheques a chit or slip in respect of requisition rents for some future period. He hoped it might be possible on investigation—overworked as the Civil Service are—to insert some slip with the quarterly cheque to notify claimants that this Measure has been passed, and that there is some entitlement to an increase. But he does not promise that. Our third Amendment provides that that should, in fact, be done, whereas the right hon. Gentleman hopes it may be possible. If he is not able to do it, the hardships I have described will mean that many small property owners will be prohibited from getting in equity and fairness what Parliament has said they should get. We shall have to divide the Committee on the first of the three Amendments, and, I think, on the second Amendment. The slight measure of encouragement given by the right hon. Gentleman tempts me to the view that the third Amendment might be withdrawn, if he could amplify his hope that some administrative action can be taken.

Mr. Jahn McKay (Wallsend)

There have been fairly sound arguments put forward by the Opposition. I know we are in a political field, and we are often fastened down by party politics, but despite all that, there are occasions when we should express some individual viewpoint. After listening to what has been said, I feel convinced that a case has been made out for the Amendment. We all have varied experience in regard to claims for this, that and the other, and trade union leaders have a fair amount of experience in that line. There is a tremendous amount of truth in the point which has been put that, while we are changing the law relative to property and compensation, it may be imagined that people who are interested are watchful, and that the majority of those people will find it out, but small property owners do not have the benefit of solicitors and organisations watching their interests. Many of those people may just "miss the bus."

If there is any section for which this party is supposed to stand, it is the people who have not trained solicitors and large business experience behind them to watch all the legal niceties in regard to property. The question arises whether there is any soundness in the claim that there are small property owners in this country who, while interested and anxious to get the most for their property, are not as watchful as the majority of property owners. It is quite possible—in fact, one might say it is almost sure to happen—that they will miss the point, and will not send in their applications in time, if we fasten the period down to six months.

We are dealing with a very important matter, which is of great interest and value to the people. The smaller the property owner, the more we should endeavour to see that he gets the benefit of legislation. Without allowing party politics to enter the matter, but reasoning it from an ordinary human point of view, we should remember that some people, despite the fact that they are property owners, are not trained lawyers. Some of them, perhaps, are not up to average intelligence, and some have little experience of life, apart from the fact that they have a little property. They cannot go far unless they have some assistance. Knowing all these things, I am rather surprised that this party, of all parties, should attempt to limit the time in which the application may be sent in to such a short period as six months.

I feel sure that, taking all these things into consideration, the general desire of the ordinary rank and file, the ordinary Britisher, would be to have a period of at least twice that length. I know we want to get this business through; all Government Departments wish to do that, but at the same time, we must get it through on the fairest and most reasonable basis. I do not profess to be a lawyer—I am not clever enough for that—but I think it is correct to say that to increase the time from six months to 12 months would not create any great difficulty, and perhaps no difficulty at all.

Are these Amendments sensible and logical, are they of such a character as to be agreeable to the public which we, as well as other parties, are supposed to represent? The question also arises whether there should be an obligation on the Government of the day to notify these property owners about a change in legislation. The point has been made that, when we pass legislation and announce it over the wireless, and issue public notices about changes that have taken place in the benefits which some people can get, one has to recognise that there are many people who will not see those notices.

This, again, applies to the small property owner who has not got organisations, solicitors, etc., watching his interests. A reasonable case has been presented for the Government notifying the people connected with property who are affected by this Bill. The point has been made that it would cause a tremend- ous amount of work to do that, but I cannot see how that is so. It will certainly call for additional work, but the matter is of sufficient importance to say that it ought to be done, to meet the case, not of the big property owner, but the small one.

Mr. Peter Roberts (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

I believe that the suggestion about putting a slip into the envelope was mine in the first instance, and I wish to support what the hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. McKay) has said about the notification to these people. One of the difficulties is that the Government want to allow six months, and yet nearly three months may elapse before the quarterly payment is made and before the slip is received. As there seems to be a general opinion on this matter on both sides of the Committee, may I make the further suggestion that the period be extended to nine months? Then, whenever the cheque payment is made, assuming that at the worst that it is made three months after the Bill becomes law, there will still be a full six months. It seems wrong for the Civil Service to continue paying a small cheque to someone who should receive more.

This is not a case in which the law is being altered and everyone has to be notified. That is not the principle: it is that the Government are paying to those concerned a smaller amount than that to which they are entitled and saying nothing about it. Surely the sensible way to deal with this matter is to say that they will make the period nine months, and that they will include a notification with the last quarterly payment under the existing Act, which will be covered by the new Measure, that if application is made the money may be increased. That is a fair way of dealing with the matter—by the Government giving notice to all people who are at present receiving compensation in this way. That is the least they can be expected to do. I hope that the Financial Secretary will think about this matter again and accept this Amendment. He has gone a long way in the hope he has offered, and it is our duty to expect that if something is the general desire of both sides of the Committee, it should be incorporated in legislation.

5.45 P.m.

Mr. Digby

I should like to support what has been said, because those who will lose under this six months' rule will not be the better-off people but those who can least afford to lose. I cannot believe that the right hon. Gentleman has visualised how this provision will work out in their case. At the present time the daily newspapers are extremely small and they will not print much about this Bill having been passed. I very much doubt whether even the weekly newspapers will have much to say about it. If anything is broadcast about it on the wireless the news will reach more people, but it is the greatest mistake to think that it is all right to legislate for the solicitors, so to speak. In this case it is not the solicitors about whom we have to think but the people who have not much time and experience in handling affairs of this kind. I do not see how the Government are to be sure that they bring this matter home to those people within six months by the method they propose. For that reason the reply of the Financial Secretary was unsatisfactory.

Mr. McKinlay (Dumbartonshire)

I did not hear the whole of my right hon. Friend's statement, but it would appear to me that a valid claim is valid whether it is tendered six months, nine months or 12 months after a given date. I do not think that extending the period to 12 months will serve the purpose, because people who are ignorant at the end of six months are just as likely to be ignorant at the end of 12 months. If the rental payment is to be increased, surely the Government know the properties in respect of which an entitlement exists, and there should be an automatic increase in the amount paid to the owner of the property which has been requisitioned. That is the simple way, but it may be too simple. There may be a snag. If there is, perhaps my right hon. Friend will enlighten me. I am much more concerned to make it compulsory that the increase should be paid by the Government within six months of the passing of the Measure.

It may be that some cases have already been overlooked. Without enlarging upon that, I would draw attention to some instances in which the requisition has been in existence for a long time and nothing whatever has been paid because the Department concerned cannot make up its mind whether to continue the requisition or purchase the property outright. I appeal to my right hon. Friend to explain to some of us on this side of the Committee why, if this Bill goes through, as it will, the question of notification by the Government and notification in the Press should arise at all. Why do not the Government adopt the simple expedient of automatically increasing the rental compensation to be paid to those persons concerned when the Bill becomes law. It is extremely difficult to appeal to the soft side of a Department if a claim has not been made within a prescribed limit. All that happens is that one's attention is drawn to the fact— "Your claim is outdated and the Department can do nothing about it."

While I have every sympathy with statements made by Ministers as to their intentions, those of us who have had something to do with administering other Acts know that when we have quoted to courts of inquiry statements made in this House by learned Gentlemen in different Governments in trying to explain what an intention was we have simply been reminded, "We are not concerned with what the intention was but with what is contained in the Act." With due respect to the biggest hearted Minister who ever sat on the Front Bench, he would be in a difficulty, if a time limit were fixed, in dealing with cases of this kind. There would be absolutely nothing he could do about it. Perhaps my right hon. Friend will ease my worry, and explain the reason why the automatic passing of this increase does not take place without any question at all of a claim being made by the person.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

We want to be just to the person to whom this money will become due. The will and intention are there, but what I do not want to do is to make promises which it will be difficult, if not impossible, to fulfil. Since we dealt with this in Committee we have made some inquiries, but, as I have explained, those inquiries have not been yet finished. I have not yet been able to discuss this fully with the Stationery Office, for example. The Stationery Office will have to do the printing. We have discussed it with certain Departments and found they are very willing that something should be done. We have not completed our discussions with the Service Departments. I am not yet able to tell them the position, as I have not all the material available.

What we are thinking of is not a notice going out with the quarterly cheque, as suggested by the hon. Member for Ecclesall (Mr. P. Roberts), but of something which could go out almost as soon as the Royal Assent is given to this Measure, so that people can know straightaway from the time the six months begins to run what their rights are under the new compensation Clauses of this Bill. We hope something will be possible, but I cannot promise it. Still less could I advise the Committee to insert anything in the Bill itself. Our difficulty is that we have, with the consent of the House, the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, looming ahead. That is going to lead to a very great strain on the valuation machinery of the Government. It is only fair to the staff, to the country, and to all concerned, that we should, if possible, clear the decks of all matters that can be cleared out of the way before that machinery has to take over the Act of 1947. It did seem to us, therefore, that it was essential to get these claims out of the way if possible.

There is a very different situation at present from that which prevailed in 1945, and led to the insertion of Section 45 of the Act of that year. The conditions today are entirely different. We have here a simple computation sum, and people will be in a position to put in their claims. They are not spread all over the world, as they were during the war. The vast majority of them are here in England, and where they are not, the six months can be extended. When we consider all the circumstances, and bearing in mind that what we are doing is paying out and not asking for money, I think that we should stick to the period of six months. I have repeatedly to answer questions which are directed to making Departments more speedy in their work, and in the attention which they give to the requests and letters sent to them. Here we are speeding up the machine, and it seems as though hon. Gentlemen opposite do not want us to do that, but want this thing to run on down the years. That is not right. It is slovenly, and I hope the Committee will resist this Amendment.

The Clause as drafted will be worked with the utmost sympathy. Certain regulations and provisions were put into the War Damage Acts, and people were required to put in their claims within a certain time. That time has never been worked to. People have been putting in claims long after the event. Where those claims could be substantiated and reasons given for the delay, they have been accepted, and payments have been made. Here the same sort of thing will continue. We shall treat these applications with the utmost sympathy, and the mere fact that it is a few days, or a week or a month overdue, if there is good reason for it, will not invalidate the claim which, if it is just, will be paid. We are trying to do something in addition to Press notices and announcements over the wireless and so on. We are contemplating something more direct to the people concerned, and we hope that, with that assurance on my part, the Committee will agree to leave the Clause as it is.

Mr. West (Pontypool)

If the computation is a simple one, why is it not possible, when the cheques are sent out, for the Department itself, without imposing any obligation upon a person to put in a claim for the increased payment, to make that computation and send out the cheque? In that way the difficulty, so far as the Town and Country Planning Act is concerned, would be avoided, the matter would be facilitated for the person concerned, the strain on the administrative Department would be eased and justice would be rendered to everyone.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

As hon. Members opposite, who have had experience of these matters, will know, that is, unfortunately, not possible. These things are changing constantly. A claim must be made in the proper form and checked. The position very often changes, and it would not be possible to send cheques out wholesale, merely adding 60 per cent. to the amount sent out for the previous three months.

Mr. West

Presumably the cheque is being sent to someone who is entitled to receive it. If the cheque is being sent to the individual who is entitled to receive the income, what objection can there be to adding the percentage increase?

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 118; Noes, 248.

Division No. 68.] AYES. [6.0 p.m.
Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Scot. Univ.) Harris, H. Wilson Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Haughton, S. G. Raikes, H. V.
Baldwin, A. E. Head, Brig. A. H. Ramsay, Maj. S.
Bennett, Sir P. Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C. Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Hollis, M. C. Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Bower, N. Hope, Lord J. Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Hulbert, Wing-Cdr N. J. Roberts, Peter (Ecclesall)
Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Ropner, Col. L.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Jeffreys, General Sir G. Savory, Prof. D. L.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Jennings, R. Scott, Lord W.
Brown, W. J (Rugby) Keeling, E. H. Shephard, S. (Newark)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Lambert, Hon G Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Butcher, H. W. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Carson, E. Langford-Holt, J. Smithers, Sir W.
Channon, H. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Spearman, A. C. M.
Clarke, Col. R. S. Lindsay, M. (Solihull) Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Low, A. R. W. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Studholme, H. G.
Crowder, Capt. John E. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Sutcliffe, H.
Darling, Sir W. Y Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Davidson, Viscountess McKie, J H. (Galloway) Teeling, William
Digby, S. W. Macmillan, Rt. Hon Harold (Bromley) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Macpherson, N. (Dumfries) Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Drayson, G. B Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Touche, G. C.
Drewe, C. Manningham-Buller, R. E. Turton, R. H.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Marlowe, A. A. H. Vane, W. M. F.
Eccles, D. M. Marsden, Capt. A. Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Erroll, F. J. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Watt, Sir G S. Harvie
Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Mellor, Sir J Williams, C (Torquay)
Fox, Sir G Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone) Neven-Spence, Sir B. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Nutting, Anthony York, C.
Gammans, L. D. Odey, G. W. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Glyn, Sir R. O'Neill, Rt Hon. Sir H TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Orr-Ewing, I. L. Commander Agnew and
Grant, Lady Osborne, C. Lieut.-Colonel Thorp.
Grimston, R. V. Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Harmon, Sir P. (Moseley) Pitman, I. J.
Acland, Sir R Chamberlain, R. A. Fernyhough, E.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Chater, D. Field, Capt. W. J.
Attewell, H. C. Chetwynd, G. R. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)
Austin, H. Lewis Cluse, W. S. Foot, M. M.
Ayles, W. H. Cobb, F. A. Forman, J. C.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B. Cocks, F. S. Fraser, T. (Hamilton)
Bacon, Miss A. Collick, P Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N
Balfour, A. Collindridge, F. Ganley, Mrs. C. S.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J Collins, V. J. George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)
Barstow, P. G. Colman, Miss G. M. Gibbins, J.
Barton, C. Comyns, Dr. L. Gibson, C. W.
Battley, J. R. Cook, T. F. Gilzean, A.
Bechervaise, A. E. Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Glanville, J. E. (Consett)
Belcher, J. W. Corlett, Dr. J. Greenwood A. W. J (Heywood)
Benson, G Cove, W. G. Grey, C F.
Berry, H Crawley, A. Grierson, E.
Beswick, F. Crossman, R. H. S. Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)
Bing, G. H. C. Davies, Edward (Burslem) Gunter, R. J.
Binns, J. Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Guy, W. H.
Blyton, W. R. Davies, Harold (Leek) Haire, John E. (Wycombe)
Boardman, H. Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Hale, Leslie
Bottomlèy, A. G. Deer, G. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W de Freitas, Geoffrey Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.
Bowies, F. G. (Nuneaton) Diamond, J. Harrison, J.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Dodds, N. N. Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Driberg, T. E. N. Herbison, Miss M.
Bramall, E. A. Dumpleton, C W Hicks, G.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Edelman, M. Hobson, C. R.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Holman, P.
Brown, George (Belper) Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Evans, A. (Islington, W.) House, G.
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T. Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Hoy, J.
Buchanan, Rt. Hon. G. Evans, John (Ogmore) Hubbard, T
Burke, W. A. Evans, S N. (Wednesbury) Hudson, J H (Eating, W.)
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Ewart, R. Hughes, Emrys (S Ayr)
Callaghan, James Fairhurst, F. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Castle, Mrs B A. Farthing, W. J. Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Murray, J. D. Stamford, W.
Irving, W. J (Tottenham, N.) Nally, W. Stubbs, A. E.
Janner, B. Naylor, T. E. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
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Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Nichol, Mrs. M E. (Bradford, N.) Sylvester, G. O.
Jones, D. T (Hartlepools) Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Symonds, A. L.
Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow) Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Taylor, R J. (Morpeth)
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Oldfield, W H. Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Keenan, W Oliver, G. H. Thomas, D E. (Aberdare)
Kenyon, C Orbach, M. Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
King, E. M. Paget, R. T. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
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Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J. Parker, J. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Lee, F (Hulme) Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Thurtle, Ernest
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Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Segal, Dr. S. Williams, D. J (Neath)
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Medland, H. M. Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Williamson, T.
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Mitchison, G. R Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.) Zilliacus, K.
Morley, R. Solley, L J TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Morgan, Dr H. B. Sorensen, R. W. Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Soskice, Sir Frank Mr. Hannan.
Movie, A. Sparks, J. A.
Mr. Peake

I beg to move, in page 7, line 37, to leave out Subsection (3).

Amendment negatived.

The Deputy-Chairman (Sir Robert Young)

The Question is, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Peake

I think that there is a third Amendment to Clause 9 which you have not put to the Committee, Sir Robert.

The Deputy-Chairman

I understood that the three Amendments were discussed together and that it was not necessary to put the third one.

Mr. Peake

We have already discussed the Amendments, but I think that it is necessary that you should put this one to the Committee so that we can register our objection at the refusal of the Government.

The Deputy-Chairman

Mr. Peake.

Mr. Peake

I beg to move, in page 7, line 48, at the end to insert: (4) Where an application under either of the two last preceding Subsections is not made before the expiration of six months from the commencement of this Act then unless the authority by which the rental compensation is payable shall show to the authority to which an application is to be made under either of the said last two preceding Subsections that a notice in writing addressed to the person to whom such rental compensation is payable was delivered to such person before the expiration of the said period of six months the authority to which an application is to be made under either of the last two preceding Subsections shall receive and consider an application as aforesaid notwithstanding that it is made after the expiration of the said period of six months from the commencement of this Act.

Amendment negatived.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Deputy-Chairman

The next Amendment selected is that to Clause II, page 9, line 30.

Mr. Turton

Would you not consider again, Sir Robert, whether the Amendment to Clause 10, page 8, line 28—at end insert: or the amount of the expense actually incurred or reasonably to be incurred in the rehabilitation of the land whichever is the greater. —should not be selected? It deals with a rehabilitation point and is of vital importance to the whole of the country. In the Committee stage, it was left in a rather inconclusive position, and I now ask you for your reconsideration of that point.

Mr. Peake

I am sorry to pursue the point, but may I say that this question was discussed in another form during the Committee stage, and that, in the course of the discussion upon it, the Financial Secretary gave an assurance in reply to a question from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller)? The question put to the Financial Secretary was as follows: Could we not … save a Division and the time that that involves, by having from the right hon. Gentleman an assurance that he will give this matter further consideration between now and Report stage? The Financial Secretary said: Most certainly, and I should like to tell hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th January, 1948: Vol 446, C. 1101.] and so on. That assurance was clearly given during the previous stage of the Bill that further consideration would be given to this point. If you do not select the Amendment on Recommittal of the Bill, Sir Robert, we shall be precluded by the Rules of Order from raising the matter on the Report stage. I therefore plead with you, in view of the assurance given by the right hon. Gentleman on an earlier stage of the Bill, that this Amendment may be selected.

6.15 p.m.

The Deputy-Chairman

There was a considerable amount of time given to this matter in the Committee stage, but, in view of the circumstances related by the right hon. Gentleman, provided that it is discussed shortly, that Amendment may now be considered.