HC Deb 02 June 1954 vol 528 cc1367-70
Mr. J. Stuart

I beg to move, in page 28, line 35, after "Schedules," to insert: and Schedule (Modifications of Part II of Act in Application to certain Classes of Dwelling-house). This is really a drafting Amendment. The House has already accepted a new Clause, which I moved on 17th May, and, at the same time, with the new Clause we discussed the new Schedule which appears later on the Order Paper entitled, "Modifications of Part II of Act in Application to Certain Classes of Dwelling-house." This Amendment arises out of those additions to the Bill.

Mr. Woodburn

I am not quite clear whether the Secretary of State wants to discuss the new Schedule now, or whether this is merely a preliminary to the Schedule and does not imply the Schedule being disposed of without further question.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I think we discussed it on the occasion of our last consideration of the Bill on Report.

Amendment agreed to.

The Lord Advocate

I beg to move, in page 29, line 40, after the second "tenant," to insert: (as defined in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section twelve of the Act of 1920). This is also a drafting Amendment. It extends the category of the tenants who are to be protected and it is linked with the Amendment to page 29, line 41, which follows this one on the Order Paper. The effect is to alter the definition of "statutory tenant," and the Amendment is designed to make clear that that term embraces all types of statutory tenants, and in particular covers a widow or the contractual tenant who retains possession of the premises. Recently, the House of Lords found that these people were entitled to be covered, and it is desirable that they should be covered in this Clause, which is not the position at present. These Amendments seek to give the widow the benefit of the new decision.

Mr. T. Fraser

I have the greatest sympathy with this Amendment, but I am confused about the effect of it because it proposes to add after the second "tenant," the words: (as defined in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section twelve of the Act of 1920). Might I read what Section 12 (1, b) of the 1920 Act says: The expression 'standard rate of interest' means, in the case of a mortgage in force on the third day of August nineteen hundred and fourteen, the rate of interest payable at that date, or, in the case of a mortgage created since that date, the original rate of interest. That is the definition which the Government propose to give to a tenant. I should have thought that the right hon. and learned Gentleman had got things mixed up a bit.

The Lord Advocate

If the hon. Gentleman will look at the 1920 Act he will see that it is paragraph (g). I do not think he has read paragraph ((g).

Mr. Fraser

I distinctly heard the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Joint Under-Secretary say to the Lord Advocate "paragraph (g)" and he anticipated what I was going to say, namely, that the Government have obviously committed a drafting error because they put on the Order Paper paragraph (b) and they should have put down paragraph (g). They are more interested in the rate of interest than in the tenant, and they put down the definition of a rate of interest to cover the tenant.

The Lord Advocate

If there is any question of confusion I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we mean paragraph (g) and that this is a misprint.

Mr. Hoy

The Amendment quite obviously cannot pass as it is because we could not accept the definition of a rate of interest as covering the rights of widows. Might I suggest that we should have a manuscript Amendment to put it right.

The Lord Advocate

The simplest way would be to withdraw the Amendment and to do what we intended in another place.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I think that a manuscript Amendment would meet the case.

Mr. Ross

Can we have an assurance that the manuscript Amendment will not be Clyde built?

The Lord Advocate

I think we had better withdraw the Amendment. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment. We will not move the next Amendment to line 41.

Mr. Hannan

Withdraw the whole Bill.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.