Lords Amendment:In page 24, line 20, leave out from "but" to end of line 21 and insert:
comprises separate dwellings, two or more of which do not
I beg to move, That this House cloth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment. I think that it would be for the convenience of the House, Mr. Speaker, for this and the two succeeding Amendments to be taken together. In line 25, to leave out from "but" to end of line 26 and insert:comprises separate dwellings, two or more of which areand in line 27, to leave out "is" They all refer to the same subject.
§ Mr. Speaker
Yes, that will be for the convenience of the House.
The House will recall that Clause 21 was recommitted and that two further categories of building were added to the Bill; tenement dwellings not necessarily in individual multiple occupation, but having shared w.c.s and washing facilities and blocks of flats where individual flats are in multiple occupation.
There arose a question of interpretation. My hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) maintained that it could be held under subsection (1, b) that to come within the ambit of the Bill each dwelling in a block of flats must he in multiple occupation. My hon. Friend went on to suggest that it could be interpreted in similar terms in relation to tenement buildings in respect of the sharing of the facilities. This Amendment is designed to remove all possible doubt about the position and I recommend it for acceptance by the House.
§ Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)
There is only one point I wish to get clear. The wording of the Bill, as unamended, is:…a building which is not a house but in which there are two or more separate dwellings which do not each have a sanitary convenience and personal washing facilities…578 I understand that to mean that clauses 12 to 15 of the Bill apply where one has a house where there are two or more separate dwellings and in which each does not have the sanitary convenience and washing facilities. That is to say, in order to have the Bill applied to it, the house must have no sanitary conveniences and washing facilities in any of the separate dwellings.
As I read the Amendment, it would be a building which is not a house but which comprises separate dwellings-…two or more of which do not each have a sanitary convenience, etc.That would mean that if one had a house in which, say, there were three separate dwellings and one of them did not have a sanitary convenience—but only one—then Clauses 12 to 15, under this Amendment's wording, would not apply. One could not say that two or more do not have a sanitary convenience; only that one would not have that facility.
That means, therefore, that that house—say, with three dwellings in it but with only two sanitary conveniences—would have been covered under the unamended Bill but under this Amendment, which comes from another place, it will not he covered. That seems to have that result and the Minister did not refer to it. I am not quite sure why that should be the case.
It would seem that the previous situation was that the number of sanitary conveniences and sets of washing facilities had to be equal to the number of sets of dwellings if Clauses 12 to 15 were not to apply. Under the Amendment from another place the number of sanitary conveniences could be one less than the number of dwellings—and still Clauses 12 to 15 would not apply. I do not see why that should be so and the explanation the Minister gave in presenting the Amendment did not seem to cover that point.
§ Mr. Rippon
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) has raised a point to which I had not directed my attention. It certainly appears to raise what may prove to be a point of difficulty.
The original Clause as drafted, and which the hon. Gentleman appears to 579 prefer, contained a much greater objection to which my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) referred; that it could be interpreted to mean that if one had a tenement building or block of flats one had to have regard to the position in each. In this case it is certainly true that one must have two or more. It is unlikely that there would be a block of flats in which circumstances such as those described by the hon. Member for Fulham arose. I should have thought that the Amendment introduced in another place very much strengthened the Clause—which this House dealt with on recommittal—and covered as many contingencies which are likely to arise in circumstances of this kind.
§ Mr. Graham Page
Taking the example adduced by the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) of three dwellings in a house with one having no sanitary conveniences, if that tenant had no access to other sanitary conveniences in the house the matter could be dealt with under the Public Health Act as a dwelling without sanitary conveniences. If he has access to other sanitary conveniences in the house then there will be two conveniences in that house of three dwellingswhich do not each have a sanitary convenience … accessible …only to the tenant of the dwelling.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.