HC Deb 22 July 1960 vol 627 cc994-5
Mr. Barber

I beg to move, in page 19, line 42, to leave out from the beginning to "the" in line 7 on page 20.

The Amendment removes from the Clause the Chief Registrar's power to vary the list of charges in the Second Schedule, that is to say charges the existence of which need not debar a society from making an advance, despite the fact that the existence of a charge makes that advance a second mortgage. The hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) pointed out in Committee that the power of variation was unlimited. I do not know whether I should go into great detail now, but I think that the purpose of the Amendment is quite clear.

The intention in including the power of varying the Schedule in the Bill as originally drafted was to prevent recurrence of the present position in which some charges are exempted and others are not. After discussion in Committee we considered whether it would be possible to qualify the power of variation in the subsection, as I think was suggested by the hon. and learned Member for Kettering, but we found it impossible to devise a limitation which would be at once real and not too restrictive.

The alternative is to remove the power of variation altogether, which we have done by virtue of the Amendment. This means that in future there will have to be examination of all Bills, public and private, which may involve powers to take a prior charge, to see whether that charge should affect the powers of building societies to make an advance, and, if not, whether it would be covered by the terms of the Second Schedule or whether appropriate amendment of the Second Schedule should be included in that Bill. This may seem a formidable task but it seems the only way to meet the hon. and learned Member's point. We do not believe that it will be an impossible or unreasonable administrative task.

Mr. Mitchison

This seems right.

Amendment agreed to.