HC Deb 22 November 1954 vol 533 cc858-76

Lords Amendment: In page 41, line 41, leave out from "by" to "stating" in line 44 and insert: any person with respect to particular land in the borough or district, to serve on the applicant, within a period of twenty-eight days from the date of the receipt of the application, a notice.

Mr. Sandys

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

If the House agrees, I think it would be convenient if we discussed with this Amendment the next four Amendments which arise on this Clause. They are all so very much interrelated that I think it would be difficult to do otherwise. Two of them, the one in page 41, line 41, and the other in page 42, line 30, are purely drafting. The other three Amendments, as I have said, are very much interrelated.

The purpose of the Amendment in page 42, line 4, is to enable the prospective purchaser who is applying for a statement from the local authority about its intentions, or the intentions of other local authorities, to acquire any of the land in future, to obtain somewhat fuller information in reply to his inquiry than was provided for in the Bill as originally drafted.

Paragraph (a) of the Amendment requires the local authority to state not only whether any public authority has notified its intention to acquire the land, but actually to give the name of the authority in question. This will enable the owner, if he wishes, to pursue his inquiries with the authority concerned.

Paragraph (b) of the same Amendment picks up a point previously overlooked. The Bill as it stands provides that the local authority is required to give only the simple answer, "Yes" or "No," to the question whether it or any other public authority to its knowledge has plans for acquiring the land in question or any part of it. That means that if the authority had plans to acquire some small part of the land, the answer it would have to give would be that it was aware of an intention to acquire the land, but it would not have to specify that, in point of fact, it was a very small part of the land about which inquiry was being made. It might very well have no intention of acquiring any part of the remainder of the land.

The purpose of this Amendment is to require the local authority in such cases to specify precisely what part of the land in question it is proposed to acquire so that the owner may get the benefit of the protection of Clause 34 in respect of the remainder of the land in regard to which there is no intention to acquire. The first and third parts of the Amendment, in page 42, line 8, relate to this same point and are consequential.

The remaining part of the Amendment—paragraph (b)—deals with the case of a person who has not actually completed all the legal formalities involved in the purchase of the land, but who has, in fact, reached the point in his negotiations where he has entered into a binding contract to purchase.

The protection offered by Clause 34, as it now stands, does not cover a man in that position, but, quite obviously, ought to extend that protection to him. Paragraph (b) of the Amendment, taken together with the first proviso in the Amendment, in page 42, line 32, have been put down to clarify this point.

Subsection (3) of the Amendment, in page 42, line 32, deals with the case where a local authority fails to reply to, or is unduly dilatory in replying to, an inquiry by a prospective purchaser of land in its area. The Amendment provides that if an applicant does not receive a reply to his inquiry within the specified period of 28 days, the local authority shall be deemed to have given him a satisfactory assurance to the effect that neither it nor, so far as it knows, any other public authority is, in fact, planning to acquire the land in question. In that way, the man gets the benefit of the protection. It would be quite unfair for a man engaged in negotiations for the purchase of land to be indefinitely held up by the failure of the authority to send him a reply.

Subsection (4) of the same Amendment permits a fee of 5s. to be charged in respect of these applications, the object being to discourage idle inquiries. The last two paragraphs of the same Amendment, that is to say, subsection (5) and the proviso which follows, contain purely drafting and consequential points. As the House will see, they cover the same ground as subsection (3) of the Clause as it now stands.

Mr. MacColl

I do not share the right hon. Gentleman's enthusiasm for these proposals. In its original form the Clause was rather dubious, although it was possible to develop a quite impressive argument for it, but the Amendments make it exceedingly suspect.

In the first place, the Minister spoke of "purely drafting Amendments." When we are told that an Amendment is purely drafting it always makes us suspicious. One Amendment proposes to take out the words a person who proposes to purchase an interest, which is a fairly clear designation of the inquirer, showing that he is a person who in good faith is an intending purchaser, and to substitute the words "any person."

It is true that it might not always be easy to establish that a person who says he is a bona fide purchaser is not, but at any rate it ought to be clear, before these inquiries can be made, that the applicant is a person who, in good faith, has an interest in the matter in hand.

I can see considerable difficulties here from the point of view of the public authority concerned. For example, it is a well-known principle in local government practice that the rule that a member of a local council has access to papers of the authority applies only where he wants them for the purposes of his public duty and not where he has some ulterior motive for getting hold of them. That has been laid down by the courts and is a well-established principle.

Precisely the same principle ought to apply here. The Clause gives outsiders certain rights to make inquiries and to find out information from public authorities about their future intentions. Surely it ought to be made clear that that course will not be open to any member of the public who happens, for one reason or another, to have some interest, which may be bona fide but which may be a matter of idle curiosity, which may be a desire to know who is his next-door neighbour or may even be some form of corruption. It should not be possible for somebody in that position to put themselves within the protection of the Clause.

It seems to me that this Amendment is an unhappy one and one for which very little case has been made: It is true, of course, that to some extent a fence is provided by the 5s. application fee, but 5s. is a grotesquely small amount in comparison with the kind of sums which may be involved. If it were intended to use a financial barrier, then it should have been a substantial barrier. There is not much point in introducing a sum as small as this, which certainly will not discourage the person who makes an application in bad faith.

That is my first criticism, and my second criticism concerns the Amendment in page 42, line 4. What is the case for giving the increased powers to members of the public to obtain information about the future intentions of these authorities? There are provisions in town planning practice for the designation of areas where public authorities are likely to require them for future use. Clause 34, in its existing form, provides that the inquirer is to be able to find out not just that the local authority has future intentions but even the identity of the public authority. Again, I emphasise, the word "inquirer" has a very wide meaning. He may have no commercial interest in the matter but may simply be trying to draft his election address. It seems to me that this provision will cause a good deal of concern to authorities.

There is a long tradition behind all this. Some of it may be emotional, but some of it is fairly well-founded on experience. Public authorities keep their intentions concerning land very quiet indeed, and to ask a public authority to tell even its own members what are its future proposals is in many cases like asking for the key to the harem. It strikes at the very root of the desire of the public authority to prevent any kind of corruption or leakages which may lead to the market being rigged against it, which may lead to some step being taken which may embarrass it in its future intentions and which may lead to any of the deplorable practices which, fortunately not often but from time to time, happen in the conduct of these affairs.

It seems to me that this is a mischievous proposal. The Clause in its original form provided all the protection which was needed. Indeed, it may have provided too much protection. At any rate, it provided all that was needed. In its new form it will be liable to very grave abuse. We should be most reluctant to accept the Amendment.

7.15 p.m.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Unlike the hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl), I very strongly welcome the Amendments. The fears which many of us expressed in Committee on the equivalent Scottish Bill—and I understand that they were also expressed in earlier stages of this Bill—were that local authorities, by virtue of the Clause, were given something akin to a statutory option on all land on which development value had accrued since 1948. They might have been able to acquire land at very advantageous rates indeed—land which had not been designated on the development plan as subject to compulsory acquisition. The procedure of the Clause, until it was altered in this respect in another place, gave certain powers in these cases.

Here, let me, in parenthesis, break a lance with the hon. Member for Widnes. Surely the provision is not open to anybody. It would not be open to any hon. Member drafting his election address, as the hon. Member suggested. It must be a prospective purchaser—someone who wants to buy the land.

Mr. MacColl


Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Because it says so in the Clause.

Mr. MacColl


Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

It says that it is open to a prospective purchaser to apply in writing to the planning authority to ask if there is any proposal to acquire this land.

Mr. MacColl

If the hon. Gentleman is right, I apologise, and I am wrong, but as I understand it all words in the Clause after "on application made … in writing by" are to be deleted. In place of "a person who proposes to purchase" come the words "any person." As far as I can see, that is open to everybody, and any person with the slightest interest in the matter, or with curiosity, or with a desire to write an election address, is entitled to ask for this information.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

I am obliged to the hon. Member. I had not realised that those words were to be taken out. I was, however, speaking in parenthesis, and perhaps I may return to my original argument.

It seemed to some of us in the earlier proceedings on this and the other Bill that, having had the question asked them, local authorities would be tempted to hawk the land around various Government Departments saying, "Have you any use for this land? It is land which someone proposes to buy. We ourselves do not want it but, if you like, here is a chance of getting it on advantageous terms."

One makes this suggestion without any malice towards such bodies, who do splendid work, but, for example, a regional hospital board might be inclined, in over-insuring the acquisition of land for its future requirements, to earmark much more land than that to which it was entitled or that which it could properly use within the next five years. Anything which can be inserted into the Bill to safeguard the position is good; and it seems to me that here we have important safeguards. The local authority, when the question is asked, has to reply within 28 days, and if that reply is not made within 28 days it is assumed that no one wants to acquire the land compulsorily.

Secondly, it has to specify the public authority concerned. I think that is very important, for it can then be seen at once whether any particular authority is trying to grab more land than it can properly assimilate during the five-year period. The third safeguard is that the planning authority must specify what part of the land is required. That is a good thing. The hon. Member for Widnes asked why should not the public be entitled to inquire about the future intentions of the planning authority. I think that the answer is this—because Parliament, in the 1947 Act, placed definite and specific power of designation in the hands of public authorities who want to acquire land. It gave power to the public authorities which have powers of compulsory acquisition to designate the land they might require during the next 10, 15 or 20 years for public purposes.

It would be wrong if public authorities, having these wide and definite powers of designation, should be able to acquire land for other than quite urgent reasons, simply because of something in the Bill. I warmly welcome, therefore, the provisions which are now proposed to the House.

Mr. Gibson

I should like to take up one point made by my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl), which seems rather important. I understand that the Bill as drafted provides that any person who wishes to become the purchaser of an interest in land can make inquiries and get information. But the alternative proposed in the Amendment would, as it seems to me—and here I agree with my hon. Friend—make it possible for people with no intention of purchasing an interest to make inquiries and get information which could be used for speculative purposes, as has been done in the past. I think that it would help if the Minister would say whether that is a correct interpretation of the alternative which has been proposed.

The hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Thornton-Kemsley) completely missed the point, I think, in assuming that these words are not being changed in the Bill. These words are changed by the Amendment and the number of people who can make inquiries becomes unlimited instead of the inquiries being limited merely to people who propose to purchase an interest in the land.

Mr. Sparks

The hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Thornton-Kemsley) was, I think, most unfair in his attitude towards local authorities. He said that local authorities would have the opportunity of acquiring land at a very cheap price, which, in fact, they will not.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

They will have the opportunity—and I said this—of acquiring land at a price which excludes any development value which has accrued since 1948.

Mr. Sparks

The hon. Gentleman has somewhat modified his statement which, when he sees it in HANSARD, will be found to read that the local authorities will be able to acquire large pieces of land at low values, which is not the case, because when they go to purchase they will have to pay the existing use value plus the claim plus one-seventh, and they will pay dearly for any land which they contemplate buying at a price which is above the market value.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

The Part VI claim was assessed at values current in 1947, so the planning authority if it acquires land under this Clause does so at a price which excludes any development value which has accrued since 1948.

Mr. Sparks

Yes, but it also pays a higher price for land which has depreciated in value considerably since 1947, and I am not quite sure whether one does not balance out the other. In any case, the owner loses very little because he receives the value of his land plus the interest on the outstanding balance of the claim from 1947 until such time as the local authority acquires it.

I should like the right hon. Gentleman to tell us exactly where the development plans come in on this question. He and his predecessor have been very busy approving development plans, and embodied in these plans, of course, is provision for compulsory purchase of certain areas. Therefore, I assume that that information is available to any prospective purchaser of land. He only needs to go to the local authority and he can see the map of the borough, see the development plans and precisely those pieces of land which the local authority hope to acquire within the period of five years.

The right hon. Gentleman must also have approved in principle the acquisition by the local authority of the land. So he, by giving approval to the proposal, more than doubly ensures that the land will be acquired by the local authority within five years. I cannot conceive of a local authority, in replying to an application of this kind, doing what the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns said just now—establishing a kind of veto on large pieces of land in their area, trying, as I think he said, to grab more land than they wanted. They cannot do that because they cannot buy land except with the consent of and by the leave of the Minister.

I cannot conceive any local authority replying to such an application within 28 days and saying, "We propose in addition to what is designated in the development plan to acquire other large pieces of land," without even consulting the right hon. Gentleman. Local authorities cannot do that because they do not know until they have consulted him whether or not he would approve of their acquisition of these many pieces of land which, we are told, they will say they require to purchase.

I think that to expect local authorities to decide whether or not they require for some special reason, apart from the reasons which prevailed when the designations were made for the development plan any other piece of land for any particular purpose and to give that decision within 28 days is far too short.

Obviously, if they need to acquire extra pieces of land for special purposes they would have to get the permission of the right hon. Gentleman first, otherwise they would be running a very great risk, and they would, naturally, need to consult him. I doubt whether the right hon. Gentleman would be in a position to give them his decision by return of post. He would have to make inquiries into the validity of the representations made. I think that 28 days is too short a period in which to give any valid decision on this matter. So the tendency will be, if local authorities are bound by the 28 day limit, for them to say, "No we shall not require that land for five years." If they need to acquire it for a special reason, 28 days is not adequate to make the necessary inquiries.

7.30 p.m.

I think, too, that the right hon. Gentleman is making a great mistake in deleting the original words from Clause 34 and substituting: any person with respect to particular land in the borough or district, to serve on the applicant, within a period of twenty-eight days from the date of the receipt of the application, a notice. What is to prevent, not one person, but a number of persons serving notices? They have no need whatever to be prospective purchasers.

House and land agents are very interested to know what is to happen to the remaining pieces of land in local authority districts, especially in built-up areas. Valuable considerations are at stake. Naturally, they will want advance information of this kind. They, or anybody who has no intention of purchasing the land, can compel a local authority to make public to all and sundry what it proposes to do in regard to all the plots of land left undeveloped within its boundaries.

The number of applicants is not restricted to one. There might be a dozen, 50 or more applicants covering every piece of undeveloped land in a local authority's area.

Mr. John Hay (Henley)

What difference does that make?

Mr. Sparks

The difference is that if a local authority once gives a decision that it does not require the land for five years, the land cannot be touched except at the cost of excessive compensation to the person concerned. Since the land cannot be touched for five years, the local authority might find itself completely hamstrung to deal with any urgent problem, or even a problem of emergency, which involves the acquisition of land not already designated in the development plan.

The right hon. Gentleman, therefore, is leaving the door open far too wide. He should not expose the interests of a local authority and the community to this kind of method, which in the long run must jeopardise the public interest and hamstring local authorities seriously in carrying out much of the urgent work that they need to do from time to time.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

I should like the Minister of Housing and Local Government to give this matter his serious consideration. He is the custodian of the rights of local authorities, which, put differently, merely means that he is the trustee on behalf of the public for the proper use of land in the public interest.

We all know that land is constantly being acquired, plotted out, planned and used for development for public purposes. It may well be that in pursuance of this end, other land may be required. But because a local authority might cast its eye on a certain part of the locality as being necessary for development for housing or another purpose is not to say that that is a matter that can be determined immediately or without inquiry, thought or careful consideration.

Obviously, that involves the calling in of experts. The local authority's architect will have to look into the matter. Engineers and others might need to be consulted to see whether the piece of land geographically and practically fits in with the plan that has been either already conceived or put into operation, so that the piece of land can be added to it as an addendum or can be apportioned by way of the further development of the locality.

I ask the Minister, in that context, to consider whether it is not grotesque to expect that a local authority, which, in any case, can act only through committees—it is not one man acting—can be expected to arrive at a decision on a matter like this within 28 days. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to remember the amount of machinery that has to be put into operation once a local authority has to deal with a subject of this kind. Perhaps half a dozen different committees would have to apply their minds to the matter, and this is all in the public interests. If the Minister restricts the local authority to a short and inadequate period of this kind, the great probability is that the local authority and the public will be deprived of the benefit which they ought to have, or might have, from the use of the land if the local authority acquired it.

It would be just as wrong for a local authority to act hastily before it had had an opportunity of looking fully into the matter and of considering a piece of land in relation to its development. I ask the Minister to take a commonsense view. If he were to name a period of two months, which would be little enough, it could not prejudice the interests which he seeks to protect, whereas irretrievable damage can be done to the public by specifying too short a time for notice.

Mr. Sandys

In reply to the first point, regarding the alteration of the beginning of the Clause and the removal of the phrase a person who proposes to purchase", I have at first sight some sympathy with the point of view which hon. Members have adopted, but I do not think that the effect of the Amendment goes nearly as far as has been suggested. The only reason that this change has been made—it is dangerous sometimes to describe something as purely a drafting Amendment; this one has provoked quite a debate—was that it was not easy, even if possible, for an individual to prove that he had interest in purchasing a piece of land before he started negotiation.

Had we left the position as it was, the door would not have been much less wide open than it is now. There is nothing to prevent a person from going to a local authority and saying that he is interested in buying a certain piece of land and asking for information under Clause 34. I do not believe it would be possible for the local authority to prove satisfactorily that the applicant was not proposing to buy the piece of land, and he would have had to be given the information.

Alternatively—this is really why we made the change—the local authority would have said, "Please prove to us that you propose to buy this land." The argument that would have followed and the difficulty of proving it would, or could, have resulted in dragging out the whole process for a very long time. Meanwhile, any hope of carrying through a successful negotiation for the purchase of the land would have passed and the sale, very likely, might have fallen through. Therefore we are seeking a phrase which does not present the difficulties of proving that he has an interest in acquiring land, and, consequently, avoids delay.

The next main point that was made was that it was undesirable to give this information. I do not agree with hon. Members on that point. In the first place, one very good reason is that the object of this Clause is to give to the prospective purchaser the confidence that if he buys the land with the idea of development—and land is changing hands at ordinary market values taking into account the potential development possibilities—he will have a reasonable assurance that the land he is going to acquire will not be taken over by a local authority involving him in heavy loss.

The purpose of giving this additional information is concerned with the fact that a small part of the land which he is proposing to buy may be included within some local authority scheme and may be compulsorily acquired within the next five years. For that reason he is deprived of the safeguard and the protection which is afforded by this Clause merely because of bad luck. The local authority is here asked to state not only what is to be the use of the land, but, also, in what part of the land, if it is not the whole of it, it is interested. There would be many cases where, owing to a piece of bad luck, the purchaser would, in fact, be deprived of the protection which the House intended by this Clause to give him.

It has also been said that it is not a good thing to ask local authorities to make public their plans. I think it is a good thing that the plans should be made known. After all, it is public money that is involved and for public purposes, and it seems to me that there can be no possible objection on these grounds.

Mr. Sparks

These are not plans which are being made available.

Mr. Sandys

I do not see any reason for encouraging secretiveness. The hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks) advanced a very strange argument in support of his objection when he said that all this information was already available. I was not going to take him up on that point.

The hon. Member for Clapham (Mr. Gibson) said that by giving the information we would be encouraging speculation. I do not think that that is likely to be a consequence. In my view, the more local authorities' intentions are made public in regard to the use or acquisition of a particular piece of land within its area, the less scope there will be for speculation. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Certainly, because speculation can only thrive in conditions where there are unknown factors. People only speculate where something might happen. If the facts are known there is much less scope for speculation.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

There is the point I should like the Minister to deal with, and that is the case where the local authority will not have sufficient time to give a decision.

Mr. Sandys

I will deal with the hon. and learned Member's point, which is my last one, and that is the suggestion that the 28 days are too short.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

Might be.

Mr. Sandys

The 28 days might be too short. I do not wish to shelter behind the rules of order, but I am bound to point out that the period of 28 days was laid down in the Bill as it stood and this particular Amendment does not, in fact, alter that position. Therefore, it is outside the scope of this debate.

7.45 p.m.

Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas

We have had a very long debate and I do not wish to detain the House much longer, but there are two points I would mention that have not, in fact, been mentioned tonight. The first is in regard to the "contract" which appears in the Amendment to line 8. We indicated in Committee that we objected to the insertion of "contract" instead of "completion." It seemed to us that it enabled a coach and four to be driven through the whole provisions of the Bill and we maintain that view. The matter was considered fully in Committee, and I do not wish to canvass that point again.

In the last part of the Amendment there is the provision about 28 days for the local authority to serve a notice and if it does not do so within the 28 days then it will be deemed to have served it. The result of that will be that some other local authority, which wants to acquire property, will have to pay considerably more than would otherwise be the case.

The whole trouble in the Amendment and in the original Clause is that it is a very vague and sloppy provision contrasted with the provision of the Land Charges Act, where a duty is imposed and there are definite provisions as to what shall be done and definite remedies provided for everybody concerned. There is nothing of the sort here. The remark-

able feature of the provisions is that the local authority shall do this, that or the other thing without any remedies being provided for the other local authorities who may be affected by what is done, and, indeed, without a duty being cast upon the local authority concerned to maintain a proper register of contracts, and so on.

It is a most extraordinary, inept and quite inadequate provision even in the eyes of those who are in favour of the principle of it. We are not in favour of the principle. We do not want to detain the House by dividing on each one of these several Amendments, so we shall divide on the Lords Amendment in page 42, line 4, thereby expressing our general view about the position.

Lords Amendment: In page 42, line 4, at end insert: specifying in the notice—

  1. (a) any such public authority by whom the council have been so notified; and
  2. (b) any part of that land to which any such proposal of the council or other authority does not extend."

Motion made, and Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided: Ayes, 181: Noes, 167.

Division No. 236.] AYES [7.48 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Glover, D.
Allen, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.) Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.
Alport, C. J. M. Clyde, Rt. Hon. J. L. Gough, C. F. H.
Amory, Rt. Hon. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Cole, Norman Gower, H. R.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Gridley, Sir Arnold
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Cooper-Key, E. M. Grimond, J.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)
Baldwin, A. E. Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Hall, John (Wycombe)
Banks, Col. C. Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)
Baxter, Sir Beverley Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Harvie-Watt, Sir George
Beach, Maj. Hicks Deedes, W. F. Hay, John
Beil, Philip (Bolton, E.) Digby, S. Wingfield Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
Bennett, William (Woodside) Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. O. McA. Heath, Edward
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Donner, Sir P. W. Higgs, J. M. C.
Birch, Nigel Doughty, C. J. A. Hirst, Geoffrey
Bishop, F. P. Drewe, Sir C. Holland-Martin, C. J.
Bowen, E. R. Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir D. M. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
Boyle, Sir Edward Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Fell, A. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.
Braithwaite, Sir Gurney Finlay, Graeme Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.
Browne, Jack (Govan) Fisher, Nigel Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Iremonger, T. L.
Bullard, D. G. Ford, Mrs. Patricia Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Foster, John Jones, A. (Hall Green)
Burden, F. F. A. Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Kerby, Capt. H. B.
Campbell, Sir David Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Kerr, H. W.
Carr, Robert Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok) Lambert, Hon. G.
Cary, Sir Robert Garner-Evans, E. H. Lampton, Viscount
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Osborne, C. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Page R. G. Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)
Linstead, Sir H. N. Partridge, E. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J C. Perkins, Sir Robert Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Longden, Gilbert Peto, Brig. C. H. M Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S) Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Sutcliffe, Sir Harold
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford) Pitman, I. J. Teeling, W.
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Pitt, Miss E. M. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Powell, J. Enoch Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Mackie, J. H (Galloway) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.) Raikes, Sir Victor Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N
Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Rayner, Brig. R. Touche, Sir Gordon
Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir Reginald Redmayne, M. Turton, R. H.
Markham, Major Sir Frank Rees-Davies, W. R. Vane, W. M. F.
Marlowe, A. A. H. Remnant, Hon. P. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K
Harples, A. E. Renton, D. L. M. Vosper, D. F.
Maude, Angus Ridsdale, J. E. Wade, D. W.
Maudling, R. Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C Robson-Brown, W. Wall, Major Patrick
Medlicott, Brig. F. Roper, Sir Harold Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Mellor, Sir John Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Moore, Sir Thomas Russell, R. S. Wellwood, W.
Nabarro, G. D. N. Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Neave, Airey Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Nield, Basil (Chester) Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. Wills, G.
Oakshott, H. D. Shepherd, William Woollam, John Victor
O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Orr. Capt. L. P. S. Soames, Capt. C Mr. Studholme and
Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.) Speir, R M. Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mikardo, Ian
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) Mitchison, G. R.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Hamilton, W. W. Monslow, W.
Bacon, Miss Alice Hannan, W. Morgan, Dr. H. B. W
Bartley, P. Hardy, E. A. Morley, R.
Benn, Hon. Wedgwood Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Benson, G. Hayman, F. H. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Bing, G. H. C. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Mort, D. L.
Blenkinsop, A. Herbison, Miss M. Moyle, A.
Blyton, W. R. Hobson, C. R. Mulley, F. W.
Boardman, H. Holman, P. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P J
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G Houghton, Douglas Oldfield, W. H.
Bowden, H. W. Hoy, J. H. Oliver, G. H.
Brockway, A. F. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Oswald, T.
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Padley W. E.
Burke, W. A Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Callaghan, L. J. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Palmer, A. M. F
Champion, A. J. Irving, W. J. (Wood Green) Pannell, Charles
Chapman, W. D. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Parker, J.
Chetwynd, G. R. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Parkin, B. T.
Clunie, J. Jeger, George (Goole) Paton, J.
Coldrick, W. Jeger, Mrs. Lena Pearson, A.
Collick, J. H. Johnson, James (Rugby) Peart, T. F.
Collins, V. J. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Popplewell, E.
Cove, W. G. Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jones, David (Hartlepool) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Cullen, Mrs. A. Keenan, W. Probert, A. R.
Daines, P. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W Proctor, W. T.
Davies, Harold (Leek) King, Dr. H. M Rankin, John
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Lawson, G. M. Reeves, J.
Deer, G. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Delargy, H. J. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dodds, N. N. Lindgren, G. S. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Logan, D. G. Ross, William
Fernyhough, E. MacColl, J. E. Shackleton, E. A. A
Fienburgh, W. McInnes, J. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) McKay, John (Wallsend) Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Follick, M. McLeavy, F. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Skeffington, A. M.
Gibson, C. W. Manuel, A. C. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mason, Roy Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mellish, R. J. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Messer, Sir F Sparks, J. A.
Steele, T. Viant, S. P. Willey, F. T.
Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Warbey, W. N. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Sylvester, G. O. Wells, Percy (Faversham) Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) West, D. G. Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Taylor, John (West Lothian) Wheeldon, W. E. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint) Yates, V. F.
Thomson George (Dundee, E.) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Thornton, E. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Turner-Samuels, M. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B. Mr. Holmes and Mr. Wallace.
Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn Wilkins, W. A.

Question put, and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to: In page 42, line 8, leave out from "propose" to "is" in line 18 and insert: and have not been notified of any proposal of another authority, to acquire within the next five years any interest in any land specified in the notice (in this subsection referred to as 'the specified land'), being the whole or part of the land to which the application related; and (b) the person to whom the notice was given has within three months of the service of the notice completed, or entered into a bona fide contract for, the purchase of an interest in the specified land or any part thereof and given notice of the completion or, as the case may be, of the making of the contract to the said council; and (c) that interest, or that interest in so far as it subsists in any part of that land,".—[Special Entry.]

In line 30, leave out "time" and insert "date of service."

Leave out lines 32 to 44 and insert: Provided that—

  1. (i) if at the date of the publication or service of the first notice in connection with the acquisition such as is referred to in paragraph (c) of this subsection, the purchase mentioned in paragraph (b) thereof has not been completed, this subsection shall not have effect unless the contract mentioned in the said paragraph (b) remains in force at that date;
  2. (ii) this subsection shall not have effect in relation to a purchase by a company from an associated company within the meaning of section forty-seven of this Act.

(3) If, in the case of an application under subsection (1) of this section, at the expiration of the period mentioned in that subsection the council have not served the notice required thereby, then, for the purposes of subsection (2) of this section, the council shall be deemed to have duly served on the applicant at the expiration of the said period such a notice as is mentioned in the paragraph (a) of the said subsection (2) with respect to the whole of the land to which the application related.

(4) Without prejudice to the duty imposed by subsection (1) of this section on a council to whom an application under that subsection has been made, the council may require the applicant to pay to them a fee of five shillings.

(5) Section thirty-two of this Act shall not apply for the purpose of assessing any compensation to the assessment of which subsection (2) of this section applies:

Provided that if the compensation payable in respect of the acquisition of the relevant interest would, apart from this proviso, be less than it would have been if this section had not been enacted, the said subsection (2) shall not apply in the case of that acquisition.