§ Mr. Maddan
I beg to move, in page 6, line 19, to leave out "one month" and insert "three months"
This is the final Amendment on the Order Paper and the one to which I referred when we were discussing my first Amendment relating to Clause 3, which provided for registration, in the register of local land charges, of charges made under the 1951 Act and other related matters. Now that Clause 3 has been amended to make clear that not only future but past transactions must be recorded in the register, I think it would be unjust and unreasonable if this House did not give the necessary time in which to do the job. I think that one month would be too short a period, and it is therefore proposed to substitute a period of three months. I do not think that this delay of a further two months will cause any material hardship to local authorities, builders or private people who, after all, have managed to survive—if I may use such a phrase—under the 1951 Act as it now stands ever since October, 1951.
§ Mr. Royle
I Wish to offer congratulations to the hon. Member for Hitchin (Mr. Maddan) on the way in which he has tackled what is undoubtedly a very complicated Bill. We are now practically at the last stage of the progress of this Bill through this House, and I am sure that will be a great relief to the hon. Gentleman.
This Bill is a very different Measure from the one with which the hon. Member for Hitchin started, but I feel that he must be congratulated for the work he has done.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 11.45 a.m.
§ Mr. Maddan
I beg to move, That the bill be now read the Third time.
May I take the opportunity of saying how grateful I am for the help I have received from the Minister and his officials; from the Association of Municipal Corporations; the County Councils Association and other representative bodies of local authorities, and also from various 1442 industrial local authorities? This morning I weighed my correspondence and found that it weighed 2¾ lbs. Although we may think this Bill a dry and dusty Measure which is not very interesting to many people, in fact it resulted in a net weight avoirdupois of 2¾ lbs of correspondence appearing on my desk. The interest displayed by various bodies, authorities, builders, private people and others in this matter indicates that the time had come for this House to tidy up the 1951 Act. I wish also to say how much I appreciate the fact that in one morning during the Committee stage we got through such a great deal of work.
I am conscious of the fact that this Bill, as it has been amended, is a vast improvement upon the Bill as it was introduced. By giving it a Third Reading, as I hope we shall, I am sure that we shall be doing something to help local authorities and, what is more important, people wishing to buy houses and those who wish to build houses to provide what is the basic, first and most important of the social services, namely, housing. In that spirit I commend the Bill to the House.
§ 11.47 a.m.
§ Mr. Royle
I beg to second the Motion.
As the hon. Member who has spoken more about this Bill—with the exception of the hon. Member for Hitchin (Mr. Maddan)—than any other hon. Member, I support the Motion.
The original Act, introduced by Mr. John Kinky in 1951, did a great deal of good for people who were at that time concerned about the expense incurred in making up roads. But, as the years have passed, it has become obvious that there were provisions in the Act which required amending. I think it a matter of congratulation that we have now produced a Bill which will meet that need. The provisions contained in this Measure will prove advantageous to everyone concerned in the making up of the roads of this country.
§ 11.48 a.m.
§ Mr. Bevins
I wish to add my congratulations to my hon. Friend on the way in which he has piloted this Bill through its various stages. The hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Royle) referred to the 1951 Act which I well remember, as it was promoted by Mr. John Kinley, a very close friend of mine. 1443 I had the fortune, or the misfortune, to be successful in the Ballot immediately after Mr. Kinley with the Transport (Amendment) Bill, which was a rather more contentious Measure. I always have a feeling of sympathy, therefore, with hon. Members who produce a Private Member's Bill however lacking in contention it may be.
Speaking for the Government, I wish to thank hon. Members who served on the Standing Committee for the expeditious manner in which the Committee stage discussions on this Bill were carried through. We owe a debt to those hon. Members who serve so regularly on our Standing Committees. The burden falls very largely on a relatively limited number of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen, and we are indeed in their debt. I also acknowledge what was said by the hon. Member for Salford, West about the cooperation of my Ministry. I am most grateful to him.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.