HC Deb 26 November 1964 vol 702 cc1685-6
Sir J. Hobson

I beg to move, Amendment No. 47, in page 4, line 43, at the end to insert: (3) Any proceedings in the High Court by an owner against an occupier for possession of premises to which this Act on the date on which it comes into operation applies and in which no order or judgment has been made or given by the High Court before such date shall be transferred to the appropriate county court; the Rules of the Supreme Court and of the county court shall provide for the transfer of the pleadings and files therein to the said county court and for the continuation of the action in such county court. I can deal with this point shortly. It is surprising that the Government have introduced a Bill which contains no transitional provisions of any sort or description. This is a matter of some comment to show the way in which the Bill has been put together.

I am glad that the Minister has returned. He was good enough to say on an earlier Amendment that he would consider the position of cases in the High Court where judgment had been given and it would appear, unless steps were taken, that it would fall to the ground and would not be enforceable. I am glad that he has done that. This raises an additional point where proceedings have been started in the High Court and have not yet been completed. Surely there ought to be some arrangement by which they can be continued in the appropriate county court without all the costs, which may be considerable, up to that stage, being thrown away and the unfortunate parties who have incurred them having to begin again from the beginning. In view of the attitude which the Minister took on completed proceedings, I hope that he will give some assurance in respect of pending proceedings.

Mr. MacColl

I am sure that my right hon. Friend will include this matter in any further consideration which he gives to this situation, but it is not too easy because, in the first place, it is difficult for the High Court, in making the order, to know what the net annual values were for the purpose of transposing the case to the county court. I understand that it would not necessarily have the information.

In the second place, there are already facilities whereby an action which is lodged in the High Court can be transferred to the county court, and it may be possible for the parties to use that machinery. There are drafting difficulties about providing more than that, but I am sure that my right hon. Friend will see whether anything more can be done.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment made: In page 5, line 6, leave out "removal or" and insert "removing or warrant".—[Mr. Wylie.]

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.