HC Deb 20 June 1951 vol 489 cc567-9

Lord Amendment: In page 2, line 5, after "continuation" insert: or in the case of a tenancy expiring on or after the twentieth day of November, nineteen hundred and fifty, at all times during the period beginning with that date and ending with the date of continuation.

The Attorney-General

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

This Amendment is on a par with the Amendment we discussed at some length on Clause 1. In other words, it has very much the same effect in relation to Clause 2 as the previous Amendment had in relation to Clause 1. As the House has already rejected the analogous Amendment to Clause 1, it should in my submission equally reject this one, which is complementary.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is quite right in saying that this Amendment raises the same issue as we have discussed already this afternoon. Our views in regard to that Amendment remain exactly the same as they were. We are not in the least convinced by the arguments advanced by right hon. and hon. Members opposite, but, as we have already debated it once this afternoon, we do not propose to debate it again, and, as we have already voted against it once this afternoon, we do not propose to vote against it again. In view of my remarks, I hope we shall not get any more cheap jibes from the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner) that we are trying to obstruct the passage of this Bill.

Lords Amendment made: In page 2, line 10, leave out from first "the" to "in" in line 11 and insert "dwelling-house."

Mr. Powell

I beg to move, as a consequential Amendment to the Bill, in page 2, line 11, to leave out "in question."

I am informed that this is the first occasion since 1918 on which a Private Member has moved a consequential Amendment to a Lords Amendment. I make no apology, however, for doing so, because if the Government had been more forthcoming at an earlier stage of the proceedings on this Bill, the tidying-up process to which my Amendment is intended to contribute could have been carried out in the place where it more normally occurs.

The point of the Amendment is this. The words in the Bill as it stands are "the property or the part thereof in question." In that phrase the words "in question" relate exclusively to the words "the part thereof." They do not relate to the words "the property." Consequently, when we substitute the word "dwelling-house" for the expression "property or the part thereof" we should also omit the words "in question," which have thereby become meaningless and otiose.

I should not have gone to the length of moving this Amendment, since the words "in question" perhaps do no harm, but for the fact that in another part of the Bill they have been omitted. In page 7, line 4, the words "in question" are omitted by an Amendment we are later to consider. It is therefore, in the interests of tidiness and as a consequence of the Amendment to which it is suggested the House should agree that I move to omit the words "in question."

The Attorney-General

Obviously this is a matter on which very little can be said on one side or the other, but I hope the House will not leave out these words. They do add clarity to the Bill to some extent. There is very little indeed one way or the other, but I advise the House not to accept the Amendment proposed.

Amendment negatived.