HC Deb 24 June 1958 vol 590 cc368-75
Mr. Willey

I beg to move, in page 6, line 20, after "by", to insert "or regarded as adopted by."

The Minister will remember that this point was raised by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) in Committee. I do not think that it is a controversial point. The purpose of the Amendment is to ask the Minister whether he is able to take into account not only children legally adopted, but those children who for all practical purposes are considered as adopted.

Mr. T. Fraser

I beg to second the Amendment.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

The word "adopted" has a meaning in law, but the words "regarded as adopted"—although they have been used in an English statute, I think wrongly—leave the matter entirely open whether and by whom the child is "regarded as adopted" and I suggest that there is grave doubt whether A or B regard the child as adopted or whether the court will regard the child as adopted. I believe that the inclusion of "adopted child" in the family is a solution which ought to be kept in the Bill.

Mr. Willey

Without offence, may I say that it is not entirely satisfactory to be told by a Scotsman that there are words in English legislation which are not entirely satisfactory. However, as there is nothing between us in endeavouring to meet this point, I hope that the Government will look at the matter again and consider whether it is possible to devise words to meet the point raised by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). I am sure that the Government will do that, and for that reason I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. T. Fraser

I beg to move, in page 6, line 27, at the beginning, to insert: Except where the landlord or the tenant is a limited company and". The Amendment is designed to cover a point which has been raised with me by tenant farmers, who impressed upon me the extent to which company farming is now engaged in. We all know that land ownership is widely practised by companies and that there is a good deal of company farming. I think it fair to say that companies which go in for farming normally acquire the land and so are owner-occupiers of the land which they farm. That is not always the case, however, and I believe that there are now a fair number of companies which are tenants of agricultural land.

It would seem that the Clause has no application to companies. Subsection (3), which it is sought to amend, certainly cannot have any application to a company. The tenant farmer has hitherto bequeathed his tenancy in Scotland normally to a member of his family, but the security hitherto enjoyed by a member of the family is now being removed by subsection (3). A company can hardly bequeath the tenancy to a member of its family or to any other person, so that the company, it appears, would continue in the tenancy ad infinitum. There is no way of terminating the tenancy of the company, but only of terminating the tenancy of a family farmer.

If the subsection has no application to a company tenant, it has been suggested to me that it might not be a bad thing deliberately, by an Amendment, to take the company landlord and the company tenant out of the scope of the Clause. That is what the Amendment proposes and I hope very much that the Government will accept it.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

I beg to second the Amendment.

Lord John Hope

It is true that where a company was in the position of a tenant, it could not die. To that extent, it is in a totally different position from, so to speak, a human tenant. On the other hand, where a company is in the position of landlord there is no reason whatever in logic why the provisions of subsection (3) and of the Clause should not apply.

The hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser) does not need me to repeat the arguments, on policy reasons, for the subsection—we discussed them in Committee; he will, however, agree that on their merits they would have to apply when a tenant died if the landlord so wished: in other words, if the landlord wished the legatee or the heir-at-law not to succeed to anything more than the remainder of the lease. Obviously, there is not the slightest difference whether the landlord is a limited company or a private person. In other words, the position of the limited company qua tenant and qua landlord is not on all fours, as, I am sure, the hon. Member will recognise.

Mr. Fraser

Will the hon. Gentleman not agree that the case made for subsection (3), and, indeed, for the whole Clause, was the case that was made for the landlord who had spent money on his farm and who might at a future date wish to get possession of the tenant-occupied farm for a member of his family or for some other person? Was it not the case that he, as an individual, might wish to recover or to bring into his possession this farm, which had been left on a contract of tenancy or a lease, to be continued in perpetuity? When we argued the Clause, was it not envisaged that the landlord was a private individual and not a limited company?

9.45 p.m.

Lord John Hope

On the whole, it would be so, but it does not make the slightest difference to the intention or the working of the Clause. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the reason for doing what we wish to do is not at all solely that the landlord may want to take the land in hand. There may be a desire for a change of tenant, and there is no reason why a limited company should not have that right, just as private landlords have the right, to change tenancies at the end of the contracts. It is exactly the same for both parties to the contract at the end of the contract, whether they be limited companies or private owners.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

What is the position if the tenant who dies is a minority

shareholder in a limited liability company?

Lord John Hope

The tenant is a shareholder in the company?

Mr. Hughes

A minority shareholder.

Lord John Hope

I should need notice of that question.

Mr. Ede (South Shields)

But this is the last chance that we have got.

Question put, That those words be there inserted in the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 175, Noes 214.

Division No. 174.] AYES [9.48 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W. Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Orbach, M.
Albu, A. H. Hamilton, W. W. Oswald, T.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Hannan, W. Owen, W. J.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.) Paget, R. T.
Awbery, S. S. Hastings, S. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Bacon, Miss Alice Hayman, F. H. Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Baird, J Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis) Palmer, A. M. F.
Balfour, A. Herbison, Miss M. Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Hewitson, Capt. M. Parker, J.
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Hobson, C. R. (Keighley) Peart, T. F.
Blackburn, F. Holman, P. Pentland, N.
Blenkinsop, A. Houghton, Douglas Poppiewell, E.
Blyton, W. R. Howell, Denis (All Saints) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Boardman, H. Hoy, J. H. Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Hubbard, T. F. Probert, A. R.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Proctor, W. T.
Bewies, F. G. Hunter, A. E. Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Brockway, A. F. Hynd, H. (Accrington) Randall, H. E.
Rankin, John
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Redhead, E. C.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Rhodes, H.
Burks, W. A. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Burton, Miss F. E. Janner, B. Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Carmichael, J. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Champion, A. J. Johnson, James (Rugby) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Chetwynd, G. R. Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield) Royle, C.
Clunie, J. Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Shurmer, P. L. E.
Coldrick, W. Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Skeffington, A. M.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Kenyon, C. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Crossman, R. H. S. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Slater, J. (Sedgefield)
Cullen, Mrs. A. King, Dr. H. M. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Lawson, G. M. Snow, J. W.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Ledger, R. J. Sorensen, R. W.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Sparks, J. A.
Deer, G. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Spriggs, Leslie
Delargy, H. J. Logan, D. G. Steele, T.
Dodds, N. N. MacColl, J. E. Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) MacDermot, Niall Stones, W. (Consett)
Dye, S. McGhee, H. G. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. McInnes, J. Sylvester, G. O.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) McLeavy, Frank Taylor, Bernerd (Mansfield)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mahon, Simon Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Finch, H. J. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Fitch, E. A. Mann, Mrs. Jean Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Fletcher, Eric Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Usborne, H. C.
Forman, J. C. Mason, Roy Watkins, T. E.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mitchison, G. R. Weitzman, D.
George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Car'then) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Wheeldon, W. E.
Gibson, C. W. Mort, D. L. White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Moss, R. Wilcook, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Greenwood, Anthony Moyle, A. Wilkins, W. A.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Willey, Frederick
Grey, C. F. Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Williams, David (Neath)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E) Woof, R. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Winterbottom, Richard Yates, V (Ladywood) Mr. Pearson and Mr. Simmons.
Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A. Zilliacus, K.
Agnew, Sir Peter Grimond, J. Nairn, D. L. S.
Aitken, W. T. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Neave, Airey
Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Gurden, Harold Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H. Noble, Michael (Argyll)
Armstrong, C. W. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Nugent, G. R. H.
Atkins, H. E. Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Oakshott, H. D.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Baldwin, A. E. Hay, John Osborne, C.
Balniel, Lord Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Page, R. G.
Barlow, Sir John Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Panned, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Barter, John Henderson, John (Cathcart) Partridge, E.
Batsford, Brian Henderson-Stewart, Sir James Peel, W. J.
Baxter, Sir Beverley Hesketh, R. F. Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Pike, Miss Mervyn
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Hobson, John (Warwick & Leam'gt'n) Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald Holland-Martin, C. J. Pott, H. P.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Holt, A. F. Powell, J. Enoch
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Hope, Lord John Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Bishop, F. P. Hornby, R. P. Ramsden, J. E.
Black, C. W. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Rawlinson, Peter
Body, R. F. Horobin, Sir Ian Redmayne, M.
Bonham Carter, Mark Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) Renton, D. L. M.
Bossom, Sir Alfred Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Ridsdale, J. E.
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Hulbert, Sir Norman Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Boyle, Sir Edward Hurd, A. R. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Braine, B. R. Hutchison, Michael Clark (E'b'gh, S.) Roper, Sir Harold
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Hyde, Montgomery Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Russell, R. S.
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Bryan, P. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Sharples, R. C.
Burden, F. F. A. Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Shepherd, William
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Cary, Sir Robert Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Chichester-Clark, R. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Spearman, Sir Alexander
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Joseph, Sir Keith Speir, R. M.
Cole, Norman Keegan, D. Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Kerr, Sir Hamilton Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Cooke, Robert Kershaw, J. A. Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Cooper-Key, E. M. Kirk, P. M. Storey, S.
Corfield, Capt. F. V. Lagden, G. W. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Langford-Holt, J. A. Studholme, Sir Henry
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Leather, E. H. C. Summers, Sir Spencer
Crowder, Sir Jonn (Finchley) Leavey, J. A. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Cunningham, Knox Leburn, W. G. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Currie, G. B. H. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Davidson, Viscountess Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Teeling, W.
D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Temple, John M.
Deedes, W. F. Linstead, Sir H. N. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Donaldson, Cmd. C. E. McA. Macdonald, Sir Peter Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Thompson, R. (Croydon, S.)
Drayson, G. B. Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
du Cann, E. D. L. McKibbin, Alan Tweedsmuir, Lady
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Vane, W. M. F.
Duncan, Sir James McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Vickers, Miss Joan
Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) McLean, Neil (Inverness) Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.
Elliott, R. W. (Ne'castle upon Tyne, N.) Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Wade, D. W.
Farey-Jones, F. W. Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Finlay, Graeme Maddan, Martin Wall, Patrick
Fisher, Nigel Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Fort, R. Markham, Major Sir Frank Webbe, Sir H.
Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale) Marlowe, A. A. H. Webster, David
Gammans, Lady Marshall, Douglas Whitelaw, W. S. I.
Garner-Evans, E. H. Mathew, R. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Gibson-Watt, D. Maudling, Rt. Hon. R. Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Godber, J. B. Mawby, R. L. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gower, H. R. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Wood, Hon. R.
Graham, Sir Fergus Medllcott, Sir Frank Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Grant, W. (Woodside) Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Green, A. Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gresham Cooke, R. Nabarro, G. D. N. Colonel J. H. Harrison and
Mr. Brooman-White.
Mr. T. Williams

I beg to move. That further consideration of the Bill, as amended, be adjourned.

Mr. Hare

We have made extremely good progress today and if the right hon. Gentleman could give me a reasonable assurance that we shall be able to complete the Report stage and Third Reading tomorrow I would be quite happy to accept his Motion. I think that that would be the general wish of the House. Naturally, I am interested in securing the business.

Mr. Williams

If the right hon. Gentleman will give me an assurance that the Government will not suspend the Standing Order tomorrow night, I can give him the assurance he seeks.

Mr. Hare

That is certainly good enough for me.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), to be further considered Tomorrow.