HC Deb 16 June 1958 vol 589 cc788-90

Amendments made: In page 49, line 37, at end insert: appropriate Minister" in relation to a statutory undertaking has the same meaning as in the Scottish Act of 1947 and in relation to a sewerage undertaking or sewage disposal undertaking or a river purification authority means the Secretary of State.

In line 44, after "undertakers", insert "statutory undertaking". — [Mr. Maudling.]

Mr. Maudling

I beg to move, in page 50, line 12, at the end to insert: (3) For any reference to a river board there shall be substituted a reference to a river purification authority within the meaning of the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) (Scotland) Act, 1951. This Amendment is consequential on the Amendment bringing the apparatus of river boards within Clause 12.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 50, line 38, to leave out "section fifty-seven" and to insert "sections fifty-seven and fifty-eight."—[The Lord Advocate.]

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Lord John Hope)

I beg to move, in page 50, line 43, to leave out from the beginning to the end of line 22 on page 51 and to insert: Provided that for the purposes of section twenty-two of this Act any improvement on the holding for which the landholder or the crofter would on the termination of his tenancy be entitled to compensation under the Landholders Acts or the Crofters (Scotland) Act, 1955, as the case may be, shall be treated as a separate holding, and any compensation payable under the said Section in respect of the improvement shall be payable to the landholder or crofter as if he were the owner thereof; and sections twenty-three and twenty-four shall not apply to any improvement in respect of which compensation is so payable. Under the Acts governing the tenure of crofters and landholders, the crofter or landholder by whom a permanent improvement is executed is put more or less in the position of "owner" of the improvement. It is intended under the Bill to treat him as such and to entitle him to receive direct from the Board any compensation due for damage by opencast operations done to an improvement executed by him. This was provided for in the Bill as originally drafted, but as a result of Amendments to the general compensation provisions during Committee stage, the Bill as it stands may enable a crofter to obtain compensation both from the Coal Board and from his landlord in respect of the same items. The Amendment puts this right.

Mr. Ede

The noble Lord the Joint Parliamentary Secretary says that this Amendment puts the matter right. How does it do that?

Lord John Hope

It is a subtle point, but I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that as a result of this carefully drafted Amendment any crofter who tries to obtain compensation twice would find that he was stopped by the Amendment from doing it.

Mr. Ede

This Amendment is to the disadvantage of this greatly distressed section of the public.

Amendment agreed to.

The Lord Advocate

I beg to move, in page 51, line 34, to leave out "an authorisation under section one of this Act" and to insert: a compulsory rights order". It might be for the convenience of the House if this Amendment and the following one in line 39 were considered together.

Subsection (5) of the Clause makes provision for immunity against breach of contract where a feuar is under an obligation under his feu charter. The purpose of these Amendments is to ensure that that applies only where there is a compulsory rights order. It is quite unnecessary where a voluntary agreement is entered into, because it would be entered into with the superior owner also.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: in page 51, line 39, leave out from first "the" to end of line and insert: occupation, or use of that land in the exercise of rights conferred by the order". —[The Lord Advocate.]

The Lord Advocate

I beg to move, in page 51, line 40, to leave out from "is" to "to" in line 41 and to insert: payable by the Board under section twenty-two of this Act or under that section as applied by section twenty-eight thereof". I think it would be for the convenience of the House to take at the same time the next Amendment, in line 42, and the subsequent Amendments in page 52, lines 11 and 13. The purpose of these Amendments is to ensure that the superior is put in the same position as an heritable creditor and is able to receive his compensation direct from the Coal Board. This will not apply in voluntary cases but only in cases of compulsory rights orders.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 51, line 42, leave out from beginning to "being" in line 44 and insert: a compulsory rights order by reference to the diminution in value of the land".

In line 45, leave out "or a heritable security".

In page 52, line 1, leave out "or the heritable security".

In line 5, leave out from "occupation" to "and" in line 7.

In line 11, leave out "receive from the owner" and insert: claim (but without prejudice to the making of a claim by he owner) and to receive payment from the Board".

In line 13, leave out "paid to him" and insert: which, apart from this subsection, would be payable to the owner".

In line 14, leave out from "excess" to end of line 15.

In line 18, leave out from "discharging" to "as" in line 20 and insert: such part of the feu duty or ground annual."—[The Lord Advocate.]