HC Deb 29 July 1958 vol 592 cc1178-9

Lords Amendment: In page 33, line 3, leave out "five" and insert "ten".

Sir I. Horobin

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

This Amendment was inserted in another place at the request of the National Coal Board. Nobody else is concerned. It does not take away any rights from anybody else, but the Board has come to the conclusion that five days is too short a time for it to inspect property which is to be sold and it prefers a period of ten days. The Amendment does not damnify anybody else and we feel that we should agree with the Board in its request.

Mr. Neal

I wonder whether this Amendment is as innocuous as the Parliamentary Secretary has made out. When forced sales are taking place the equipment and implements that are being disposed of are often difficult to sell. The surrounding farmers are probably in possession of the same equipment as that which the unfortunate farmer whose land is to be occupied for opencast mining has to dispose of. They might, at times, find difficulty in finding a customer for some of the things. There might sometimes be hardship for a farmer if he has to give ten days' notice, whereas if he gave five days' notice he might find a customer for the sale of his goods.

Sir I. Horobin

I think the answer to the hon. Gentleman is that the Board has to pay compensation, and the compensation would be increased if, in fact, any damage had been done by the loss of a particularly convenient opportunity of sale. Therefore, the person selling cannot be damnified. It is only that the National Coal Board, which has quite a lot of things to do, may not always be in a position within the short period of five days to inspect a particular set of implements.

Question put and agreed to.