HC Deb 23 March 1959 vol 602 cc917-49
Mr. Mitchison

I beg to move, in page 4, line 13, to leave out from the beginning to the end of line 42.

The Chairman

It will probably be for the convenience of the Committee to consider, at the same time, the next Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Gentleman, in page 5, line 25, to leave Out, subsection (2), subsection (3), or subsection (4) of". and the proposed new Clause, "Assumptions in assessing compensation", also in the name of the hon. and learned Gentleman.

Mr. Mitchison

Yes, Sir Charles.

The two Amendments, of which the second is nothing but drafting, are preparatory to the proposed new Clause. I will explain what we have in mind. The Clause substitutes the judgment of a reasonable valuer for a large number of assumptions which are made in the Bill. In consequence, those assumptions would he made unnecessarily, and the whole of Clause 2 and Clause 3 down to the end of subsection (3) would become unnecessary. Accordingly, we are proposing to omit the whole of Clause 2 and the first three subsections of Clause 3 and to substitute for them the proposed new Clause.

The proposed Clause reads: For the purpose of assessing compensation in respect of a compulsory acquisition such assumptions shall be made as would be made by a reasonable valuer, having regard (among other matters) to any planning permissions previously granted, to any conditions attached to such planning permissions, to any planning permissions refused, to the current development plan and to local conditions: Then there is this proviso: Provided that sections three and eight of this Act shall apply to the special circumstances mentioned in those sections. The special circumstances are with regard to what would remain of Clause 3 after the changes which we propose, the special circumstances of land subject to comprehensive development. Hon. Members will remember that there are provisions in relation to land of that kind for treating it as a block of land and not making planning permission dependent on the particular future of a small piece of land, that is to say, it will not matter within an area of comprehensive development whether a road goes over one's piece of land or over someone else's, and similarly in relation to some more profitable change than that.

The second set of special cases are in Clause 8. They refer to areas of land which, again, are treated as a whole, though for rather different reasons, including, for instance, the whole of a new town or land acquired for town development purposes.

3.45 p.m.

Subject to those two special cases, what we suggest is that the assumptions proposed in the Bill are far too complicated, that whatever is put into the Bill will not, in practice, be read by many of those concerned and in many cases not understood even by those who read. I relate those remarks not merely to professional valuers, of whom I shall have something much more polite to say in a minute, but to those with whom we are principally concerned—the people whose property will be acquired and the acquiring authorities, their officers and members. In short, we say that the Bill is at present an exercise in drafting ingenuity which is as tortuous as it is impracticable in relation to many of these assumptions.

We have done our best in long discussions in Committee—it was this part of the Bill which took up most of our time—to get the matter right here and there, but the more we went on with it the more I felt that what we were doing all the time was to try to translate into formal language matters which any reasonable valuer would take up for himself and which he would have decided if, for instance, the sale had been between two private individuals and it had not been a compulsory sale at all.

I proceed to look for a moment at what it is that we propose should be left out. If we look at Clause 2, the first question arises under subsection (2) and is, as we saw in the discussion which took place just now, about the assumptions to be made when land is acquired by an acquiring authority for certain purposes and, very naturally and properly, it is assumed that planning permission would be available for those purposes, if, indeed, it had not already been obtained.

As to the rest of the Clause, subsection (3) is a minor matter which would go, broadly speaking, with the previous subsection. Subsection (4) relates to planning refusal. I do not think that subsections (5) and (6) and the Scottish application subsection raise any new question for these purposes, though I shall have to say something in a moment about the certificate procedure mentioned in subsection (5).

If we turn to Clause 3, we come to what is described as Special assumptions as to planning permission in respect of certain land comprised in development plans. Broadly speaking—I put it only broadly at this stage—the assumption is that the land would be used in accordance with the development plan. That is an assumption which any reasonable valuer would make for himself. When we look at this part of the Bill—a great deal of discussion has taken place about it and a great deal of importance has been attached to it—I suggest that at the end of the day in the vast majority of cases we are doing no more than telling a reasonable valuer to do what he would do anyhow. However, the trouble about telling people things in a Statute is that they consider that that which is in the Statute is of overriding importance.

The Minister has tabled an Amendment as to the way in which these assumptions should be treated, which I will not attempt to deal with at this stage. I would, however, point out that he has found it necessary to do that, and to do it for two broad purposes. His first purpose is to make it perfectly clear that these assumptions are intended by the Bill to be cumulative; that is to say, the fact that one of them is made sets no limit on the number of additional assumptions that are to be made.

Secondly, they are not intended to be exclusive from his point of view. The position is that in certain cases the reasonable valuer is left to add to those assumptions and make his choice from the assumptions whcih apply, and his choice will be made in relation to the probability that this, that, or the other assumption will or will not result in planning permission being applied for or used. That is a matter he would have to consider as between private persons, and, in spite of what looks like fairly comprehensive language, when we come to the meat of the matter we find that we are really as far off as if we had said nothing about it. Moreover, what has been said has tended to obscure a number of things not said.

The question every valuer will have to consider is the effective probability of these assumed planning permissions ever becoming—or that they have become—of any practical application if the acquiring authority does not step in. I listened carefully to what was said and the more I listened the more I felt that by spinning out this comprehensive and tortuous catalogue the Government were really doing nothing but obscuring what had been left out and adding nothing substantial to what the valuer would take into account in any event.

The guiding thing in the majority of cases will be the development plan. We all have in mind that we are not at the moment considering the value of the land as it is, but merely its prospective development value, that which has to be related to planning permissions. Within that limited field, in most cases the development plan would provide an indication, sometimes a conclusive indication. Clause 3 (1) deals with that type of case. It may in other cases provide a more general indication and one will have to choose between one possibility and another. If for instance, the development plan schedules the land for industrial or residential development, what weight will be given to those factors?

In dealing with that question, there is the obvious question of judgment. In most of these cases the valuer would know which was the more likely of the two. He would know what was in the area and the way it was developing generally with regard to local conditions, and so on.

There is machinery in the Bill for providing, where necessary, for reference to the planning authority, or in some cases to the Minister, to decide as between one alternative and another. That is simplifying the problem a little and it may be that all one can say is that one is more probable than the other. Without going into the merits or details of what appears as Clause 4, the machinery is there and there is no reason why it should not be used for questions of that sort. Indeed, though I am not discussing it at the moment, we have an Amendment to make rather wider use, though not an essentially different one, of that machinery.

There is one other type of case where the development plan would break down as a guide. That is where it shows no development of the land. It is what the experts call "white land". In a case of that kind the same considerations would apply. The valuer would have a good idea, or, if he did not, he could use the certificate machinery for the purpose. That is the broad line of what we propose.

Without wanting to develop the matter at any great length, I realise that this involves a very considerable change in this part of the Bill. Nobody can foretell how this will turn out financially. It is possible that in one case it would work in one direction and, in another case, in the other. In those circumstances, one has to go back to the main object of this part of the Bill, which is to get the open market value.

The object to be achieved is that laid down in the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919: The amount which the land if sold in the open market by a willing seller might be expected to realise". We on this side of the Committee have always had sympathy with that object, though I am bound to say that our sympathy became a little qualified after being told by the Parliamentary Secretary that very few owner-occupiers would be affected by the Bill. Be that as it may, and it does not arise at the moment, that is the object of the Bill.

Surely the object of the Bill is far more likely to be realised by leaving a great deal more to the judgment and experience of the valuer than the Bill leaves at present. At the end of the day an experienced valuer would read through these parts of the Bill and say, "Why have they put in all this? It must be for some object. What is the object? The object must be that I should do something different from what I should do anyhow".

Under the Amendment, the valuer will have to have regard to two things which are mentioned in this part of the Bill, and, having done that, to form his judgment as a reasonable expert. That kind of language tallies with the principal rule in the 1919 Act and with the intention of the Government as expressed in the White Paper.

I hope that the Government will have the courage, even at this comparatively late stage of the Bill, to throw overboard a set of elaborate provisions which do no particular good and which, if they are to have any effect at all, will bewilder sonic valuers and lead others into errors by making them suppose that they must depart from what they would normally do and which will be unintelligible to the people concerned and to the local authorities concerned with acquiring land.

If legislation of this kind is really intended to do what is fair, and to provide an open market value, it is a serious vice if it can be done only by a series of extremely intricate and tortuous rules, as the Government at first said. It makes one feel that if that is the position there must be a catch in it somewhere and that the simple thing to do, when one wants to be fair, is to say that one will let a man have as compensation what is fair and what is a reasonable market value as assessed by a reasonable expert.

I hope that the Government will see that what we propose to leave out is a source of error, confusion and suspicion and that what we propose to put in is a simple matter which conforms with the practice as between private people and one which will be understood by all.

4.0 p.m.

Mr. A. J. Irvine (Liverpool, Edge Hill)

This seems to be an appropriate Amendment on which to consider whether it is desirable to spell into the Bill, in what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) rightly described as elaborate and tortuous provisions, assumptions which the valuer would, in any event, be likely to consider if he were doing his job properly. I support the view of my hon. and learned Friend that it would be very much better to provide that the matter should be left to the determination of the notional reasonable valuer applying the assumptions that any such person would apply.

That would have the result of eliminating, for example, the provision that there should be an assumption that planning permission would be granted for the use for which the land was to be acquired. That is an assumption upon which the reasonable valuer would act without any encouragement or direction from the Bill. On that matter, it seems that our proposal is infinitely preferable to those of the Bill in which these matters are spelled out and the issue is complicated.

There then comes the question whether it is necessary to spell into the Bill the provision that there shall be an assumption that permission would be granted for a use which is zoned as a permitted use in the current development plan. There again, if the reasonable valuer of our conception applied his mind to this question, he would obviously proceed on the basis of a use in conformity with the assumption that the use zoned would be likely to be granted permission. In both those respects it would be better and would save time, trouble, doubt and expenditure if this concept of a reasonable valuer were introduced.

I draw attention to a specific point. If we introduce the concept of the valuer applying assumptions which are reasonable in all the circumstances, one of the assumptions upon which he would act would be the assumption that if an application for planning permission had been previously refused, that planning permission could not reasonably be expected to be granted for the development in respect of which it had already been refused.

A curious feature is that the Bill refers in only one place to the effect which a prior refusal of permission to develop should have upon assumptions to be made. It does that laboriously, gratuitously and ineffectively in respect of a refusal of a planning permission for Third Schedule development under the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947. That is an absurd position. If, for all that verbiage and complex language, there is substituted a general assumption which will comprise the assumption that where planning permission has been refused that planning permission is not likely to be granted, we take a sensible step forward and proceed upon a strictly practical basis which contrasts with the elaborate procedure which the Government have selected and adopted and which selects, out of all the refusals of planning permission which occur, only one for specific reference, namely, cases where there has been a refusal of planning permission for Third Schedule development under the 1947 Act.

That instance serves to underline and focus the point of our criticism. The moment we begin to elaborate a scheme of assumptions about planning permissions, we invite the risk of getting into difficulties, because we may omit some and give disproportionate emphasis to others which may be relatively unimportant. That is exactly what the Government are doing with the procedure now proposed.

There are series of lines in the Clauses which we want to delete and which are applied to Third Schedule development. In keeping alive the concept of Third Schedule development, the Government are complicating the matter simply for motives of ease. Development under the Third Schedule of the 1947 Act, for which permission was in all cases required, already included assumed planning permissions. It would be far better if the Bill proceeded on a sort of double basis; first, all true existing use value—and not existing use value with all the 1947 Act provisions incorporated—without planning assumptions, plus the assumptions introduced by the Bill; and, secondly, that in considering what those planning assumptions should be reference should be made to the assumptions which would be made by a valuer acting reasonably.

That would be better than to endeavour to spell out these assumptions in complicated and tortuous language with some of the consequential anomalies which I have endeavoured to indicate.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Mr. Henry Brooke)

So far as I can detect, there is no point of party philosophy dividing the two sides of the Committee on this Amendment. We are simply discussing what is the most practical way to proceed. The hon. and learned Members for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) and for Liverpool, Edge Hill (Mr. A. J. Irvine) have indicated their preference for the utmost simplicity in the first part of the process of trying to arrive at the market value, while retaining the complicated provisions for certain types of case, such as areas of comprehensive development. They think that would make things easier for everybody, and they are against the system of precise rules which the Government favour in the Clauses under discussion.

The question upon which the Committee must make up its mind is whether it is better to say, "Let us leave most of this vague, and rely upon everybody being reasonable, while having exact rules for a certain number of cases", or to say, as the Government do, "Let us have exact rules throughout, so that everybody may know where he stands"? It has been suggested that to have these exact rules will be bewildering. The reactions of which the Government have been aware since the Bill was published, from the professional organisations who will be very closely concerned in working the provisions of the Bill in relation to the question of valuation here discussed, have not shown that they would prefer a vaguer system. They know the problems of valuation, and they know the work that a valuer has to do. Generally speaking, the indications are that although they may not think that we have got the rules exactly right, nevertheless they believe that it is desirable to have a set of rules.

Their view coincides with the Government's view that uncertainty should be avoided wherever possible. We all know that in Income Tax matters, in relation to determining somebody's liability to tax, uncertainty is valueless. That is why, in the Income Tax Act, with 500 Sections or more, we so provide that everybody can arrive at his exact tax liability, and can argue about it in the courts if need be.

It appears to the Government that if we were to accept the Amendment and the new Clause an enormous number of cases would be bound to go to the Lands Tribunal, and that the questions which would arise in case after case there would be exactly those questions which, in the Bill as it stands, are answered by the subsections which the Opposition seek to delete. Those questions would have to be decided one by one by the Lands Tribunal, and yet we should never get a set of rules. We might build up a kind of case law, provided by an examination of numerous decisions of the Lands Tribunal, but they would be decisions upon individual cases, and even at the end we should lack a general and precise set of rules such as the Bill provides.

The hon. and learned Member for Kettering gave away part of the case that he was otherwise cogently making for the Amendment when he said that its effect would be sometimes to work one way and sometimes the other. He was arguing that, on balance, there would be no great change in the amount of money paid out by public authorities in compensation. But it is not merely a matter of keeping the total amount steady; it is also a question, equally important, of making sure that every person gets the appropriate amount he should get. All the time we are trying to answer the question: with what planning permission could this land be sold if it were not being sold compulsorily?

I submit that the detailed provisions which we have put into the early Clauses enable everybody concerned—the valuers, local authorities, the public and the Lands Tribunal—to see what rules have to be applied to individual cases. If we were to accept the Amendment, the decision would be left to a reasonable valuer. Valuers are very reasonable people, but I have no reason whatever to believe that they would prefer this matter to be dealt with in the way suggested. So far as I can judge, it is less rather than more likely that justice would be done to the individual owner if the Amendment were to be accepted.

Mr. A. J. Irvine

Will the Minister be good enough to endeavour to justify a procedure setting up a series of assumptions about planning permission in which the only case in which the prior refusal of permission is allowed to play a part is a prior refusal of permission for Third Schedule development?

4.15 p.m.

Mr. Brooke

It is a question not of what applications for planning permission have been refused, but of what planning permissions have been granted. The reason why we have a reference to refusal in Clause 2 (4, a) is that subsection (3) states that it shall be assumed that planning permission would be granted¨for development of any class specified in the Third Schedule… That has to be qualified in subsection (4, a), which provides for the case when planning permission has been refused for some Third Schedule development. That is why it comes in in that way. In the normal case there is no need to refer to planning refusals, because we are concerned with planning permissions.

In view of something which the hon and learned Member for Kettering said I would repeat what I sought to say more than once in Standing Committee, namely, that some hon. Members seem to have an impression not only that planning permissions are cumulative, but that each planning permission adds something further to the value of the land. That is a fundamental error. A new planning permission, freshly granted, for some kind of development which is of less value than a development for which planning permission has already been granted, adds nothing at all to the value of the land; it simply extends the scope of the development that might take place. It is the permissions and not the values which are cumulative.

I was saying that the owner of the land is precluded by the fact of compulsory purchase from obtaining planning permissions which he might otherwise have obtained. In that case, one would think that the only fair thing to do would be to state clearly what permissions it should be assumed he would have obtained. So far as I can see, if the Amendment were accepted it would be quite impossible to arrive at that degree of certainty. The Amendment would greatly enlarge the scope for dispute. That cannot serve a useful public purpose. In all these matters we must have as great a degree of precision as can be obtained. It suits nobody—except, possibly, lawyers—to extend the field of argument in compensation disputes. The Government submit that the purpose of any legislation dealing with compensation must be exactly the opposite of that—namely, to keep the field of dispute to a minimum.

That is the case which I put to the Committee. I have no doubt that we should not be assisting anybody—indeed, we should be making the task more difficult for everybody concerned, and not only for the valuers—if we were now to wipe clean the slate in regard to Clause 2 and the early subsections of Clause 3 and say, "Let us leave all that to a reasonable valuer". The valuers would not thank us, the public would not thank us, and I do not think the local authorities would thank us.

Mr. Mitchison

On several occasions I said that I thought the effect of the Amendment would be to introduce into this type of transaction an open market value that at present exists between the willing seller and the willing buyer, independent of compulsion. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me in what respects, if any, in the first place the provisions of the Bill and in the second place the provisions of the Amendment differ from the way in which that open market value is reached?

Mr. Brooke

I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will not expect me to explain his Amendment. That is up to him. The difficulty of arriving at market value, as between a willing buyer and a willing seller, unless we make detailed provisions of this kind, is that market value in the present condition of planning, depends on what planning permissions can be obtained. When there is no question of compulsory purchase, that is something that can be settled according to the planning permissions that have been granted. It can be settled according to the judgment of a willing buyer and a willing seller as to the planning permissions that might be granted.

In any event, the price, as between a willing buyer and a willing seller, is negotiated. In this case, there could be no question of ascertaining what planning permissions are available, because, ex hypothesi, the land is being compulsorily purchased, and in a great many cases that would render fruitless any application for planning permission that had not otherwise been obtained.

It is for these reasons that the Government feel that they must, in these early Clauses of the Bill, lay down a set of rules which will guide valuers as to the kind of planning permissions they are to assume when land is being compulsorily purchased, and is not changing hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

Mr. E. G. Willis (Edinburgh, East)

From what the Minister has just said, it would appear that what we are doing is not deciding upon the basis of fair market value but upon what the Government consider to be the fair market value; not what is the fair market value as negotiated between a willing seller and a willing buyer.

That, apparently, is not now the aim of the Government, and, therefore, the Government must have something else in mind. That something else is specified in these most elaborate provisions in Clause 2 and the first part of Clause 3, and I agree with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) when he says that we have to view this with suspicion.

I cannot see what other reasons there cart be for the Government wishing to tell the valuer all these things which he must bear in mind. I am surprised that the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Sir C. Thornton-Kemsley) has not come in with a defence of his profession on this Amendment.

Sir Colin Thornton-Kemsley (North Angus and Mearns)

There will be lots of opportunities for me to come in later, which I intend to do.

Mr. Willis

We shall welcome the contribution of the hon. Gentleman. I hope he notices that the Government are treating his profession as nitwits who do not know how to value land.

Sir C. Thornton-Kemsley

Not at all.

Mr. Willis

The Government are saying to them, "You must do this", and are leaving no freedom at all for the hon. Gentleman's profession to use their own discretion. They are, in fact, treating the members of that profession as if they are unable and unworthy to be trusted with this job. I hope that when the hon. Gentleman intervenes, he will fire a heavy broadside at his right hon. Friend on this point. I certainly would do so, if he were treating my profession in this way.

What was the first point of the right hon. Gentleman's argument? He told us that none of the professional organisations wanted this Amendment, and that, in fact, all the indications which he had had were that the professional organisations were in favour of these two pages of legal verbiage. I wonder whether the Solicitor-General for Scotland agrees with that because certainly the profession in Scotland are not in favour of all this verbiage, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows it better than anyone else. We have not heard from the Solicitor-General for Scotland yet, but I hope that we shall have a contribution from him on this aspect of the matter.

I do not know of any professional organisation in Scotland which has sent representations to Members of Parliament in favour of these provisions. I have received nothing, though I do not know whether any of my hon. Friends have done so. From what I can judge from the Press, in fact, the exact opposite is the case. Nobody in Scotland likes this; in fact, most are very violently opposed to it.

The second point of the right hon. Gentleman's argument was that this would result in more cases going to the Lands Tribunal, or, in the case of Scotland, to the Official Arbiter. On what grounds must we assume that to be true? The right hon. Gentleman says that there will be a good field for legal argument, but surely there is always a big field for legal argument when we are faced with two and a half pages of provisions which nobody can understand?

My hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), during the Committee stage of the Bill, read out quite a number of phrases and words in Clause 2 that mean nothing at all. One has only to look at the Clause to see what a lot of words there are in it which do not mean anything, which could well be left out, and which are simply there for lawyers to argue about. That is all.

I do not see what is the basis of the right hon. Gentleman's argument that this could lead to a lot of cases going to the Lands Tribunal or the Official Arbiter. My own view is that it would mean fewer cases going there, because there would not be the same rules as are laid down here to argue about. When we get a lot of rules laid down, the parties can argue about each one of them and whether each one has in fact been properly applied. When it is left to the discretion of a person to take into account the factors which he feels affect the market value of land, it seems to me that the field of argument is not quite so large. I might be wrong about that, but I am not impressed by the second point which the right hon. Gentleman made.

Then the right hon. Gentleman came to the third point. He said that we assume that the valuer would do what was reasonable. Why should we not assume that? The valuer has been doing it for years, and he is doing it every day. Why should we not assume that he will continue to do it? Apparently, the Government seem to think—and this is why I am surprised that the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns did not intervene—that valuers are most unreasonable, will act most unjustly and do not know anything about their job. We on this side of the Committee are much more kindly disposed to them. We trust our fellow-men to a much greater extent, and, while we may disagree with some of their views, we think that professional men of this character do their job quite well.

I am sure that the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns will intervene to tell us how, in the pleasant little tea parties held in the valuer's office to determine the value of land, these cosy, comfortable gatherings of which he told us during the Committee stage, discussions took place in the most friendly circumstances, when all the considerations are borne in mind. The hon. Gentleman said something very similar to that during the Committee stage of the Bill, when he was at great pains to tell us that valuers would take all these considerations into account. I think that the hon. Gentleman will agree to that. He said they would weigh up all these things and come to a decision. I do not disagree with him, but that is not what the Government think. The Government think something precisely the opposite. I should have thought that any Government would have welcomed an opportunity to simplify the Bill.

4.30 p.m.

It must be like this, unless the Government have some ulterior motive, which is what I think is the case. I have never seen a Government perform such amazing acrobatics in an attempt to see that landowners get every possible penny they can at the expense of the local authorities and the public. I have been amazed at some of the contortions of the right hon. Gentleman and the junior Ministers, and the arguments which have been produced during the Committee stage and in this Chamber to justify these provisions. I can only assume that a sane person would not perform such contortions and acrobatics unless there was some ulterior motive, which, in this case, is to see that the landowners get every possible penny of compensation which can be wrung out of the local authorities.

If the right hon. Gentleman had shown the same sympathy to local authorities and public authorities in the provisions of the Bill, the story might have been different, but he has not. He has turned down a number of Amendments which would have helped local authorities. In refusing to accept this Amendment the Government are demonstrating that they are not concerned about the public at all, otherwise they would never have produced this stuff.

The man whose land is acquired can hardly understand the wording of the Bill. Members of Parliament cannot understand it, never mind the persons whose land may be acquired.

Mr. C. W. Gibson (Clapham)

Nor can the Law Officers of the Crown.

Mr. Willis

That is correct. It was demonstrated during the Committee stage discussions on the Bill.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland (Mr. William Grant) indicated dissent.

Mr. Willis

The right hon. and learned Gentleman shakes his head. But if he reads the Committee stage proceedings, particularly if he reads some of his own interventions, he will be astonished at the confusion which he managed to create. Not that that is unusual, but it is pertinent in relation to this Bill.

The Government are providing £12½ million extra for the landowners. We now discover that the owner-occupier, about whom we heard so much during the Second Reading debate, is not to get very much of that sum. In other words, it is to be a bribe to the landowners. We are getting, near a General Election, so the Government must make sure of a substantial donation from that source, because it is an expensive thing to fight an election. That is all the Minister is doing, and I resent that it is being done at the expense of the public.

Mr. Gibson

I was surprised that the Minister should justify his refusal to accept what we think a well-considered Amendment—one which simplifies the agreement over land values which, inevitably, is a complicated matter—by saying that in the Bill he is trying to frame exact rules. In the 29 lines of the Clause about which we are arguing, the words, "it shall be assumed" appear three times. Any Clause which contains so many assumptions cannot be other than very complicated and difficult to apply. Despite all that the Minister has said about professional associations, the fact is that they take the same view as is taken by hon. Members on this side of the Committee about the complications in this Clause.

I remind the Minister that I have previously quoted from a document sent to Members of Parliament by the Incorporated Society of Auctioneers and Landed Property Agents. The document contains these words: The main criticism that has been made of the provisions for planning assumptions is that there is a danger that they may create a vast new field for dispute and litigation and for interminable further delays. It is true that later in the same document it is stated that the planning assumptions appeared fair and reasonable. But whether they are fair and reasonable or not, it is obvious that they will create interminable delays and create further scope for argument and discussion.

Mr. Brooke

The hon. Gentleman has referred to the views of the Incorporated Association of Auctioneers and Landed Property Agents. It would have been reasonable for him to add the Association's conclusion, which appears at the end of the document from which he quoted: The Legal and Parliamentary Committee of the Society wish to place on record their appreciation of the skill with which the Bill has been drafted.

Mr. Gibson

That is quite true. I said that the Association thought the planning assumptions were reasonable, although I cannot square that with what is said earlier. But I have not met anyone who regards this Clause as being other than most complicated and the most difficult to understand in the whole Bill. And it is on this that the Government wish to base the amount of money to be paid by local authorities who buy land under compulsory purchase orders because they cannot acquire it by agreement.

It is not right to suggest that local authorities never agree. In many cases it is possible for a local authority, wishing to acquire land for public purposes, to agree upon a price with the owner, and then no trouble arises at all. Often we have been told by the Minister that he wishes to see the open market value used in future as a guiding principle for the price of land. If that be so, surely the transaction should be conducted in such a way as to avoid long, involved and irritating delays and arguments such as will be caused by endeavours to interpret the provisions in this Clause.

We are bound to ask why this has been done. We have been valuing land in this country for hundreds of years and we know what is meant by open market value. Land has changed hands millions of times on that basis. Now that we wish to get back to that system, I find it difficult to understand why it should be necessary to proceed in this way. I have no objection to the system of open market value. My objection is to allowing people to snap up the increased land value, but that is something which it would be out of order to discuss today. Obviously, it is easy to arrive at the open market value of a piece of land, although it may result in some argument. But I suggest that the amount of argument could be much less than will be the case if the provisions in this Clause are enacted.

The Committee would be well advised, in my opinion, to accept the Amendment proposed by my hon. and learned Friend, which would have the effect of simplifying the Clause.

Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)

I think that my hon. Friends are being a little hard on the Minister. We must appreciate what is happening. For months the right hon. Gentleman has been living with this Clause-and-a-half which we seek to amend—so long, in fact, that now he has a glimmering of knowledge about it.

The right hon. Gentleman may be able to understand this wording, but even now he does not understand well enough to be able to enlighten anyone else. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) says to him, "Forget the present wording. Here are six lines of words which mean the same thing and will result in the job being done effectively." But the right hon. Gentleman has been engaged night after night, for months, trying to understand what has been created by the skill of the Parliamentary draftsman. Can we really expect him to give way on this matter?

When the Bill is enacted he will be the one man in Britain who understands this. Of course, the right hon. Gentleman will be beaten at the General Election, because he represents a marginal constituency. Then he will be no longer a Minister but the one man in the country who understands this Bill. Yet my hon. and learned Friend expects him to give way, to accept this Amendment, and to give up that wonderful position.

The fact is that the Minister is so accustomed to the stygian darkness of the planning terms used in this welter of words that he is blinded with the common sense of the six lines that we put forward. He is terrified to change the Clause, because he does not know the effect of taking out even a couple of words. He talks about the skill of the draftsman—we all bow down to that—but although skilled it does not mean that the draftsman has been successful. The Minister set the draftsman a task, and to be able to get anything at all in under six pages is quite an achievement.

The Minister's attitude to our Amendment is that it is far too simple to be trusted. We have a proposed new Clause on the Notice Paper, but it is suspect because people can understand it. What does it say? That there will not be a terrible amount of wrangling and delay if the Committee accepts these seven lines. There will be room for differences of opinion and for appeals to the Lands Tribunal in England and Wales and to the Official Arbiter in Scotland. The Minister prefers the existing Clause, with the rigmarole and the unreality of precise rules. We cannot have precise rules in a matter like this, where we start on the assumption that what will happen will not happen, and then we start all this caper of valuation.

It means that the matter will go to the Official Arbiter. Does the right hon. Gentleman realise who the Official Arbiter for Scotland will be? Perhaps the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will tell the right hon. Gentleman. He will be the "reasonable valuer", or practically the same fellow. What is wrong with the new Clause we are proposing? I want the Joint Under-Secretary of State to address himself to that, when he replies, with the valuable assistance, if "assistance" we can call it, of the Solicitor-General for Scotland. We want to know the relationship of what we are now discussing with the Scottish position.

I can tell the Joint Under-Secretary that he will have no plaudits from the professional gentlemen in Scotland or from the Official Arbiter. He knows quite well what will happen. We are rightly concerned about the amount of wrangling which will go on under Clauses 2 and 3. It is desirable that we should know exactly how the Scottish Departments feel about the Clause, and about the Amendment and the proposed new Clause that we are suggesting. Do they prefer sticking to these incomprehensible formulas? If so, the suspicions that were voiced so objectively and naturally by my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) were justified.

In turning down our proposed new Clause in Committee the Minister told us that individuals would be unfairly dealt with by it. I would point out that the new Clause says that For the purpose of assessing compensation in respect of a compulsory acquisition such assumptions shall be made as would be made by a reasonable valuer. In view of the fact that the "reasonable valuer" will tomorrow be the Official Arbiter, what opportunity is there for injustice?

4.45 p.m.

In Scotland, we want information about this matter. We want a far better answer on our Amendments and our proposed new Clause than we have had. I am glad to see the Lord Advocate arrive. I hope that we shall hear from him. Perhaps he has arrived to listen to the performance of the Solicitor General for Scotland. Whichever of those two right hon. and learned Gentlemen will address himself to the proposed new Clause, we. who represent Scottish people, will be waiting with bated breath for every word they utter. They will find it so much easier to speak about the proposed new Clause than about the Clauses as they stand.

Mr. J. A. Sparks (Acton)

This Clause has caused more confusion than any other Clause that we have had under consideration. It is very complicated and difficult to understand. Despite the debate that we had in the Standing Committee, I doubt whether many Government supporters would be prepared to say that they know entirely what the whole Clause means. It is extremely complicated. The Minister, I am sorry to say, has not properly explained the purport of this part of Clause 3 to my satisfaction and to the satisfaction of the Committee, and its relationship to the following Clauses.

The information that we have about the intentions of subsections (1), (2) and (3), and indeed of the whole of Clause 3, is embodied in the Explanatory Memorandum which the Minister issued in connection with the Bill. The purport of subsections (1) and (2) is based on the necessity of planning permission being given upon the basis on which compensation has to be assessed. The planning permission may not be for the purpose for which the local authority acquired the land. That leads to a further complication in the following Clause, in which the local authority that changes the use of that piece of land within five years to a more valuable purpose may be called upon to pay additional compensation to the owner.

The confusion, one of many confusions, exists in connection with two main principles. The Explanatory Memorandum says, of subsection (1), which we are proposing to delete: Subsection (1) of this Clause provides that if the land being acquired is defined as a site for proposed development, permission for that development is to be assumed. That is not too bad. When we come to subsection (2) the matter becomes more confused. The Memorandum says: Subsection (2) deals with land in an area allocated to some primary use, for instance, residential use. Here the assumption is to be that permission would be given for that use. But development plans are neither so certain nor so precise as planning permissions; thus any of several kinds of development might be said to be residential, and it would not be fair to assume always the most valuable or the least valuable of these but rather the kind which would be reasonable. Accordingly, in saying that a permission is to be assumed for development for the primary use indicated in the plan the subsection adds that it must be such as would reasonably he expected to be granted. Planning permission for what would reasonably be expected to be granted may not be a planning permission for the use to which the local authority is trying to put the land. There is a wide variety of uses under the term "residential use", as the White Paper explains. The planning permission should not be based on the highest value. It should not be based on the lowest value, but presumably on some use between the two extremes. The local authority may not require the land for the use of the planning permission which would be given based on the two extremes of residential use.

So we have compensation being determined on a basis for which the local authority does not require to use the land. What is to happen in the case of the owner of the land? Obviously, if his land is included in a development plan for residential use and there is a wide variety of uses under that designation, some of low value, some of high value, the owner of the land will want to get the highest, not the lowest, value. It is almost inevitable that owners will fight—by that I mean take the matter to the Lands Tribunal—and ask for a planning permission based on the highest use value for residential purposes. What the Lands Tribunal will decide to do we do not know.

Then we come to the explanation of subsection (3) contained in the Memorandum. It says: This same point arises with even greater force where the area is allocated for a range of several primary uses, as happens in some central areas of cities; and subsection (3) deals with that case. Subsection (3) is far more complicated than subsection (2) because, as it says, it deals with an area in which there is a range of several primary uses, as happens in some central areas of cities;". I should say that in all central areas of cities the same primary uses in the development plan may include industrial, residential and open space uses, the three principal designated uses; there are lots of others. Consequently, if a local authority in a city area is intending to acquire a piece of land for a public purpose and, to arrive at compensation, a planning permission has to be obtained which is not necessarily a planning permission for the use to which the local authority is to put the land but based on the primary uses, such planning permission should be a reasonable one, not the highest nor the lowest value use.

So, once again, for the purpose of basing compensation for the acquisition of land, we have a basis laid down in the Bill for a planning permission which does not relate in any way at all to the purpose and use to which the local authority is to put the land.

When we consider later Clauses of the Bill we see that this must lead to considerable confusion. If the local authority decides to change the use to which it is intended to put the land within five years to a higher value, it has to pay additional compensation to the person from whom it has acquired the land. Exactly how is the valuer to determine the increment and value arising in that case when the local authority has changed its use to something of a higher value? Who is to determine the higher value to which the local authority has put it? The original purpose for which the local authority acquired it may have no relationship whatever to the formula of the planning permission, which is neither the highest value nor the lowest value but is a reasonable one, upon which compensation is to be paid. If the use is changed to another purpose within five years, creating a higher value, how is that higher value to be determined? The higher use may have no relationship whatever to the original planning permission which was given for compensation purposes.

I will not attempt to answer that question. With all respect to the resources behind him, I feel sure that the right hon. Gentleman would find it very difficult to answer it in a way that it could be understood both by local authorities, who want to know what their liabilities are when they acquire land, and owners, who obviously expect and are entitled to compensation for the acquisition of their land. Clause 3 is one of the most difficult and complicated in the Bill. It is very hard to see how it can be intelligently applied in reality outside by various people concerned with this kind of business. By taking these three subsections out of the Clause, we would be very considerably simplifying the process. I do not think that that would hamper or endanger in any way the main, fundamental purpose of the Bill, which is to provide fair compensation for owners of land whose land is taken over by local authorities.

We know there are many Amendments which have been put forward on later Clauses with a view to giving the owner much more than a fair and reasonable price for his land. We stand for a fair and reasonable price for the land. Our difference with hon. Members opposite is that they do not stand for that. They want the maximum, the highest price, the last farthing that can be got from the public purse for the owner of the land when it is acquired for public use.

It seems to us that this Clause is adding worse confusion. If it were taken out, as we suggest, it would very considerably simplify this matter and enable the people concerned with it sensibly to apply the principles underlying Clauses 1 and 2 in trying to arrive at what is a market value for the land. If the Clause is left in the Bill, it will not only lead to great confusion but to delay in arriving at settlements of claims because all owners will be after the highest price.

The Bill provides, in other Clauses, ways and means for them to be after the highest price. If we are concerned with a reasonable price and with simplifying the procedure of the Bill, I feel sure the Committee should accept the Amendment, because it would be of great advantage.

5.0 p.m.

Mr. James MacColl (Widnes)

The difference between the two sides of the Committee is more than the purely technical one which the right hon. Gentleman tried to suggest. If he seriously believes that the Bill is intended to produce a market value—what I called in Committee upstairs a plain, honest, British market value that everyone will recognise when they see it as being a fair price for their land—I believe that the Amendment points the way in which that can be reached.

If, as the right hon. Gentleman says, that cannot be obtained, because he implied that at once we got into conditions in which it was impossible because of compulsory purchase to reach a market value by ordinary methods of valuation, the right hon. Gentleman is simply practising a swindle on the public because he conveyed the impression to the Committee upstairs, and he is now conveying the same impression, that the Bill is about market value.

If it is about market value that is something which a valuer applying the ordinary rules laid down in the 1919 Act can use. The rules under the Act are perfectly simple: The value of land shall, subject as hereinafter provided, be taken to he the amount which the land if sold in the open market by a willing seller might he expected to realize… It has been obvious since 1919 that if the land is being acquired compulsorily by a local authority it will not be sold in the open market and, from that point of view, we cannot get, by negotiation, a market value. That has always been true.

The right hon. Gentleman has not made it clear why this is any more true now than it was in 1919. What has entered into the picture is that now there are planning permissions and a development plan, which there were not before. That is something which the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Sir C. Thornton-Kemsley) every day of his busy life has been asking himself when questioned by innumerable clients as they queue up for advice. He asks (1), what are the planning permissions already secured and, (2), what are the prospects of getting more? What have been the refusals already and what are the local conditions which, as a valuer of experience, he can use to give guidance towards achieving the market price?

If that is' what a valuer can do, there is no need to tie him up with a lot of rules. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Bill as at present drafted was more precise than it would be under my hon. and learned Friend's Amendment, but it is a spurious position. There is nothing more likely to cause litigation and misunderstanding than filling a Bill with a lot of words which do not, in fact, give any more real guidance to a valuer as to what is the price, but merely wrap up the perfectly simple question he has to ask himself.

The new Clause, the way for which is paved by this Amendment, goes to the root of the Bill. If the Bill is the answer to the arguments of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) that compulsory acquisition should be at market value—if that is its intention—then the best way of getting a market value is to use the reasonable valuer and to accept the decision which an ordinary valuer, applying his common sense to the situation, would reach. To wrap it up in all these extraordinary complicated rules in these Clauses is simply playing an elaborate game with the landowner, because it is creating a situation which is so artificial and so full of terms of art and technical jargon that the result will not be one which a layman will recognise as a fair price for the land, but will be something which a valuer will reach as a result of mathematical calculations which will please him because he will feel that he has done an artificial exercise, but will not, in any way, represent what other people think is the market value. That, I think, is the object of the Bill.

I suggest that if the Government are really anxious to meet the public demand for basing compensation for acquisition on market value, then they ought to accept the proposals in the new Clause because those are what the ordinary member of the public thinks is meant by market value.

Mr. Willis

I am sorry to see that the Scottish Ministers are apparently gagged —[An HON. MEMBER: "Asleep."]—or asleep, because my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) addressed an important question to the Solicitor-General for Scotland and the Joint Under-Secretary. He addressed it to both. We certainly aught to have something said about it. He adduced an argument concerning the position of the valuer and the Official Arbiter which is very relevant to what we are discussing and our attitude towards this matter. We have heard nothing about that. I hope that one of the Ministers will reply to the question put by my hon. Friend, and tell us what is exactly the position in Scotland and how this affects us.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

As I explained quite clearly upstairs, practically all Official Arbiters are qualified valuers and would never take up any case in which they were sitting as Official Arbiters.

Mr. Willis

Surely professional arbiters act in accordance with common professional principles, as do valuers, if they are available, and professional codes of conduct. They act in very much the same way.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

Like lawyers, they have to have certain rules laid down which they have to interpret. A valuer has to know the principles on which he is acting and those principles are laid down in the lines of the Clause which the Opposition Amendment propose should be deleted. It is in order to enable them to have these principles on which to act that the lines were inserted in the Bill.

Mr. Sparks

They do not want them.

Mr. Mitchison

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has said that valuers have to have certain principles on which to act. That is to say that two valuers who agree the compensation payable according to the general practice between one private seller and one private buyer will apply certain principles not written in the Bill and will reach a certain result. That result in relation to a piece of land which is to be compulsorily acquired is the open market value which we are all seeking. What we are trying to do by the Amendment is to get at what those two valuers would reach, in the absence of any compulsory acquisition and in the absence of any of the provisions which we are seeking to take out of the Clause, as between a willing seller and a willing buyer.

In seeking to obtain that result we are doing what is intended, apart from the planning permission, by the second rule in the 1919 Act which is really the overriding rule for the whole of the principle of compensation for compulsory acquisition. There is no doubt whatever that that is what we are saying in the Amendment. When we leave matters to the reasonable valuer and enjoin him to have regard to certain grantings of planning permission and certain refusals of planning permission we are merely telling him to provide the open market value having regard to those planning matters.

If the valuer were acting in a purely private deal, he would equally have regard to those planning matters. The only fault that I find with the Amendment is that it is, perhaps, a little unnecessary even to ask him to do that. I have put in many other matters to cover other possibilities which, of course, the valuer would have to take into account. What is wrong with that?

The right hon. Gentleman says, "Oh no, we have reached absolute truth. We can tell him in about 50 or 60 lines of involved and tortuous print exactly what he has to do in every case." What has the valuer been doing all these years when valuing as between the private seller and the private buyer? Without getting the benefit of the right hon. Gentleman's midnight lucubrations he has acted with good sense, on local knowledge, long practice, fairness and a number of other things. He has been doing, in fact, what the hon. Member for North Angus and Mearns (Sir C. Thornton-Kemsley) told us he did when we were discussing the matter in Committee. By doing that, he has arrived at the open market value?

What about this Amendment? No one has suggested that the valuer does not arrive at the open market value in exactly the same way in which the value is now arrived at between private persons. I gave the right hon. Gentleman the opportunity of indicating any difference. He neither wished to do so nor could do so, and, consequently, we come down to the Amendment. The Amendment is going to give the open market value. The Clauses in the Bill either will or will not produce the same result. In some cases they will and in others they will not. In the cases where they produce the same result they will merely reach it by a more complicated, tortuous and involved process and in language which will afford not less but many more opportunities for lawyers. In the cases where they do not reach the same result as the Amendment they will have created an injustice.

I share my hon. Friend's suspicions. If, in fact, the Bill is intended to arrive at a fair open market value then the Amendment ought to be accepted. If it is intended to arrive sometimes or always at some different result then, of course, these long Clauses are no doubt necessary. What we do not know is the result. All that we know, judging by the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends on other Clauses of the Bill is that it is much more likely to be a result in favour of the large landowner for whom the Bill appears to be intended than in favour of the local authority and the ratepayers which it represents for these purposes. That is all we know, and we are inclined to be suspicious.

5.15 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman says, "It is all in my rules." Let me point out to him once more the one thing which is not in his rules. We are to assume this, that and the other planning permission, since we are sick of asking, till one is piled on top of the other and the mountain is so heavy that the addition of a few more planning permissions makes no difference to the value. We can believe all that. At the end of the day who is

to judge the weight to be given to these planning permissions and their real importance in arriving at the value? The answer is, of course, the man who is making the valuation, the reasonable valuer. One can tie him round with fetters, Clauses and verbiage till he hardly knows where he is, and at the end of the day he has to make the same sort of common sense judgment as he would make under the Amendment unfettered by all this unnecessary stuff.

As my hon. Friend so clearly pointed out, one of the objects of the Bill is to make it appear that for once a Tory Government are being fair. If that is the intention of it, then I suggest that the Government are very ill-advised in disregarding an Amendment which would convince the ordinary man far better than the mass of verbiage that at present appears in the Bill. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will divide on the Amendment.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 210, Noes 171.

Division No. 68.] AYES [5.17 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Gurden, Harold
Aitken, W. T. Corfield, F. V. Hall, John (Wycombe)
Alport, C. J. M. Courtney, Cdr. A. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)
Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Harris, Reader (Heston)
Arbuthnot, John Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)
Armstrong, C. W. Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)
Ashton, H. Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)
Baldwin, Sir Archer Currie, G. B. H. Hay, John
Balniel, Lord Dance, J. C. G, Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
Barter, John Davidson, Viscountess Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.
Bataford, Brian Davies.Rt.Hn.Clement (Montgomery) Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.
Baxter, Sir Beverley D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)
Beamish, Col. Tufton Deedes, W. F. Hill, John (S. Norfolk)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Digby, Simon Wingfield Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Dodds-Parker, A. D. Hirst, Geoffrey
Bennett, Dr. Reginald Doughty, C. J. A. Hobson,John(Warwick & Leam'gt'n)
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Drayson, G. B. Hornby, R. P.
Bidgood, J. C. Eden, J. B (Bournemouth, West) Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Elliott,R.W.(Ne'castle uponTyne.N.) Horobin, Sir Ian
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
Bishop, F. P. Errington, Sir Eric Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.
Body, R. F. Erroll, F. J. Hughes-Young, M. H. C.
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Fell, A. Hutchison, Michael Clark(E'b'gh, S.)
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Fisher, Nigel Iremonger, T. L.
Brooman-White, R, C, Fort, R. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Freeth, Denzil Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Bryan, P. Gammans, Lady Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
Burden, F. F. A. Gibson-Watt, D. Johnson, Erie (Blackley)
Butler, Rt.Hn.R.A.(Saffron-Walden) Glyn, Col. Richard H. Kerr, Sir Hamilton
Carr, Robert Godber, J. B. Kershaw, J. A.
Cary, Sir Robert Goodhart, Philip Kimball, M.
Channon, H. P. G. Gough, C. F. H. Kirk, P. M.
Chichester-Clark, R. Gower, H. R. Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Graham, Sir Fergus Leavey, J. A.
Cole, Norman Grant, Rt. Hon. W. (Woodslde) Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Green, A. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
Cooke, Robert Gresham Cooke, R. Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.
Cooper, A. E. Grimond, J. Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)
Linstead, Sir H. N. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D. Studholme Sir Henry
Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Orr-Ewing, c. Ian (Hendon, N.) Summers, Sir Spencer
Loveyt, Walter H. Osborne, C. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby Page, R. G. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Partridge, E. Temple, John M.
McAdden, S. J. Peel, W. J. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Macdonald, Sir Peter Peyton, J. W. W. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth Thompson, R. (Croydon, S.)
Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain (Enfield, W.) Pilkington, Capt. R. A. Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.
Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Pitt, Miss E. M. Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Powell, J. Enoch Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Maddan, Martin Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L. Vane, W. M. F.
Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark) Redmayne, M. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Rees-Davies W. R. Vickers, Miss Joan
Markham, Major Sir Frank Remnant Hon. P. Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.
Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E. Renton, D. L. M. Wakefield,Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Marshall, Douglas Ridsdale, J. E. Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Mathew, R. Robertson, Sir David Walker-Smith Rt. Hon. Derek
Mawby, R. L. Robson Brown, Sir William Wall, Patrick
Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Ward, Rt. Hon. C. R. (Worcester)
Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Roper, Sir Harold Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Moore, Sir Thomas Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Morrison, John (Salisbury) Russell, R. S. Webster, David
Nabarro, C. D. N. Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Nairn, D. L. S. Sharpies, R. C Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Neave, Alrey Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Wolrige-Gordon Patrick
Nicholls, Harmar Speir, R. M. Wood, Hon. R.
Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch) Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.) Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Noble, Comdr. Rt. Hon. Allan Stevens, Geoffrey
Noble, Michael (Argyll) Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Oakshott, H. D. Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm Mr. Finlay and Mr. Whitelaw
Ainsley, J. W. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Mahon, Simon
Albu, A. H. Gibson, C. W. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersd, E.)
Bacon, Miss Alice Greenwood, Anthony Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mason, Roy
Benson, Sir George Grey, C. F. Mellish, R. j.
Beswick, Frank Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mikardo, Ian
Blackburn, F. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mitchison, G. R.
Blenkinsop, A. Hale, Leslle Monslow, W.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G. Hamilton, W. W. Morris, Percy (Swansea W.)
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Hannan, W. Mort, D. L.
Boyd, T. C. Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.) Moss, R.
Brockway, A. F. Hastings, S, Moyle, A.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hayman, F. H. Mulley, F. W.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Healey, Denis Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Burton, Miss F. E. Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis) Oliver, G. H.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Herbison, Miss M. Oram, A. E.
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hewltson, Capt. M. Oswald, T.
Callaghan, L. J. Hobson, C. R. (Keighley) Owen, W. J.
Carmichael, J. Holman, P. Palmer, A. M. F.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Holmes, Horace Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Champion, A. J. Houghton, Douglas Parkin, B. T.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hoy, J. H. Paton, John
Cliffe, Michael Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Pearson, A.
Coldrick, W. Hunter, A. E. Peart, T. F.
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Hynd, H. (Accrington) Pentland, N.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Popplewell, E.
Cronin, J. D. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Prentice, R. E.
Crossman, R. H. S. Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Cullen, Mrs. A. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Probert A. R.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Janner, B. Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Randall, H. E.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Jeger, George (Goole) Reeves, J.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech(Wakefield) Reynolds, G. W.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Deer, G. Kenyon, C. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Diamond, John Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancrat, N.)
Dodds, N. N. Lawson, G. M. Ross, William
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Short, E. W.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) Lewis, Arthur Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Lindgren, G. S. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Logan, D. G. Skeffington, A. M.
Edwards, W.J. (Stepney) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) McAlister, Mrs. Mary Slater, J. (Sedgefield)
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) McCann, J. Smith, Ellis (Stoke S.)
Fernyhough, E. MacColl, J. E. Snow, J. W.
Finch, H. J. (Bedwellty) Mclnnes, J. Sorensen, R. W.
Fletcher, Eric McKay, John (Wallsend) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Foot, D. M. McLeavy, Frank Sparks, J. A.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Spriggs, Leslie
Stonehouse, John Warbey, W. N. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Weitzman, D. Woof, R. E.
strauss, Rt. Hon. George (vauxhall) Wells, Percy (Faversham) Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Wilkins, W. A. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Sylvester, G. 0. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery) Zilliacus, K.
Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn Williams, W. T. (Barons Court) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Viant S. P. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.) Mr. John Taylor and Mr. Rogers.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.