HC Deb 27 July 1965 vol 717 cc369-72
Mr. Corfield

I beg to move Amendment No. 4, Clause 1, in page 1, line 11, to leave out paragraph (c) and to insert: (c) persons claiming to be or found to be owners of such land or becoming the owners thereof by virtue of this Act.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

It will be convenient to discuss, at the same time, the three Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Gentleman and the names of some of his hon. Friends, Amendment No. 1, in page 1, line 8, after "is", insert "claimed to be".

In line 10, at beginning insert "claims to".

In line 11, at beginning insert "claims to".

Mr. Corfield

Amendments No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 are exactly the same as Amendments which were discussed in Committee and I shall not waste time discussing them now. But at this stage in registration the rights required to be registered can only, by the nature of things, be claims to rights and do not become rights by the process of the Bill until that process becomes final under Clause 10.

It therefore seems to us, with respect to our mother tongue, that it would be a good idea to say what we mean and not what the draftsman has got into the habit of murdering the English language with. I still maintain that this is what we should do. No doubt the Minister will tell us that there are great drafting difficulties. I do not want to waste time repeating what was said in Committee. I accordingly turn to Amendment No. 4, which is a variant. This has even more substance because, by virtue of Clause 10, when the ownership of land is registered under Clause 1 (1,c) we are specifically told that a person having registered himself as an owner means nothing in terms of his establishing any form of title. We had a really long debate on that point in Committee, and it was mentioned in the Second Reading debate. The Minister convinced us that, odd as it seems, that it was a sensible thing to do, in view of the fact that this was not the type of legislation or procedure which should affect such a complicated thing as title—especially title to a common, which tends to be more complicated than anything else. But the corollary seems to us to be that it makes bigger nonsense than ever to use the term "ownership of such land" as an item to be registered under Clause 1(1).

We have, therefore, proposed a new paragraph (c) in respect of which I willingly admit that I am indebted to the Minister, having picked his brain on this, as he has picked my brain on one or two other matters. Persons, in the ordinary sense, do not become owners under the Act, but certain local authorities do, under the Interpretation clause. We are mutually agreed that this is satisfactory and I hope that the Minister will accept the Amendment.

Mr. Willey

As the hon. Member said, Amendments Nos. 1, 2 and 3 would be unacceptable because they would require consequential Amendments which have not been put down.

Mr. Corfield


Mr. Willey

This is a fact. If the hon. Member feels that these Amendments should be accepted he should have put down the consequential Amendments.

I hope now to be able to restore the harmony of the House. As he has said, Amendment No. 4 covers the point raised in Committee, when we conceded that there might be a disadvantage in not making it clear that title was not afforded as a result of registration. For this reason, I hope that the House will accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.