HC Deb 27 October 1966 vol 734 cc1562-3
Mr. Graham Page

I beg to move Amendment No. 180, in page 138, line 33, at end insert:

investigation than is normally carried out in conveyancing work. In answering the second, the solicitor would have had to get elaborate instructions from his client, and on both of them he would have had to get elaborate instructions from the vendor.

The really unsavoury part of this is that there are criminal penalties for not completing the form correctly. To place difficult questions like that in the form was laying both the solicitor and his client open to criminal prosecution if they failed to complete the questions.

After discussion with parties concerned, such as the Law Society and the Ministry, a form of words has been found which put the questions satisfactorily into one question. Those words appear in the Amendments. I would rather do without them at all, but because I know that the Minister requires them to make the Bill work—we have, of course, cooperated throughout to make the Bill work, much as we hate it; this is the last chance on Report that I shall get to say this, so perhaps the Minister will bear with me—here is a bit of machinery for the Bill. It is a horrible Bill, but we will provide the machinery and try to keep it oiled so that the machine will work. I hope that the House will accept the Amendments.

Mr. Willey

I rise only to say that the Government accept this Amendment, and that I am much obliged to the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) for his co-operation and assistance. I forgive his last partisan remarks, and I should like to record our appreciation of the very hard and diligent work which he and his colleagues have put in during our consideration of the Bill. This is a very heavy piece of legislation, and it is a remarkable achievement to have got it through Standing Committee in 21 days and Report stage in two days.

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for the co-operation which he has given, though not giving his agreement to the Bill.

Mr. Graham Page

If I am still in order, may I pass the bouquets back across the Dispatch Box? We appreciate the courtesy which we have had from the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary throughout this Report stage. Although we have fought over the content of the Bill, we have co-operated in the procedure of the Report stage and earlier in Committee. I hope that the happy relationship which there has been between the two sides will not be taken against us or as any retraction from our dislike of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 139, column 1, to leave out line 5.

In page 139, column 2, to leave out lines 3 to 14 and to insert: 'For the word "or" where it last occurs there shall be substituted the words" and (viii) of the information given to the transferee or lessee by any local authority in reply to any request made in connection with the transaction whereby that authority was requested to state what entries (if any) relating to the land to which the transaction relates were shown in any register kept by that authority under section 19(4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1962 or (where the land is in Scotland) under section 12(5) of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1947"'.