HC Deb 10 May 1965 vol 712 cc1-3
1. Mr. Evelyn King

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources whether, in the proposals he will bring forward for a Crown Land Commission, he will devise nomenclature to distinguish between the phrase Crown Land, as used in the older sense, and any land which may subsequently be vested in the new Land Commission.

The Minister of Land and Natural Resources (Mr. Frederick Willey)

Yes, Sir.

Mr. King

In view of the fact that confusion will be caused by the use of the word "Crown" in this highly controversial piece of party legislation based on nationalisation, will the Minister undertake not to bolster it up by using the name "Crown"?

Mr. Willey

This is a piece of necessary legislation which will be generally welcomed, but I appreciate the point which the hon. Gentleman has raised.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is the Minister aware that there is a striking difference between the phraseology and nomenclature in English law and that in Scottish law, which is derived largely from and based on Roman law? Will he take that into account for the benefit of the ordinary citizen who will have to construe any Measures which he introduces?

Mr. Willey

I am aware of that, but I would ask my hon. and learned Friend to address his observations about Scottish law to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

7. Mr. Jackson

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources, if he will now announce the setting up of the Land Commission; and if he will make a statement.

10. Mr. Bence

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources if he will take steps to enable local authorities to acquire land for essential house building at reasonable prices.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources (Mr. Arthur Skeffington)

My right hon. Friend will be introducing legislation to set up a Land Commission and to deal with the problem of land prices as soon as possible.

Mr. Jackson

Can my hon. Friend tell me whether during the period in which this legislation is being prepared there has been any drying up of the land available for building development?

Mr. Skeffington

No, Sir. We have no such evidence.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Will this legislation be preceded by a White Paper? If it is, in order to keep himself in the fashion will the Minister have the White Paper debated and then be prepared to listen?

Mr. Bence

Is my hon. Friend aware that if a White Paper were issued on land prices it would be found that in the last 15 years land prices have rocketed nearly 1,000 per cent. and that huge fortunes have been made out of land? Will he do something to stop this exploitation of people's needs for housing by stopping this racket in land prices?

Mr. Skeffington

The rise in the cost of land is common knowledge and the only way of dealing with it is by the legislation which my right hon. Friend has in mind.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Will the hon. Member be good enough to answer my question as to his right hon. Friend's intention about a White Paper?

Mr. Skeffington

I apologise to the right hon. Gentleman for not answering the whole of his question, but I do not altogether understand the second part of it. On the purely factual part of the question, it is intended to publish a White Paper.

Mr. A. J. Irvine

Arising out of the supplementary question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Dunbartonshire. East (Mr. Bence), will my hon. Friend at least agree, so that we may have it on the record, that it is entirely wrong that when a local authority compulsorily acquires land for housing or other social purposes it should have to pay, within the compulsory acquisition price, that element of value which derives from the planning permission which it itself gave?

Mr. Skeffington

This view is entirely shared by the Government.