HC Deb 25 July 1974 vol 877 cc1968-70

Lords Amendment: No. 127, in page 124, line 22, at end insert— (" (1A) In paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of that section (declaration by borrower as to use of land, etc.)—

  1. (a) for the words "and the land" there shall be substituted the words "that the amount of the loan will not exceed the appropriate limit determined under section 24A of this Act and that, before the expiry of the period of 12 months beginning on the date referred to in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the land"; and
  2. (b) for the words from "being the borrower" to "one of them)", in the second place where those words occur, there shall be substituted the words "or persons in such circumstances that the residence condition in section 24B of this Act is fulfilled";
and at the end of that paragraph there shall be added the words "and (d) in a case where the specified person or persons named in a declaration under paragraph (c) above is, are or include the borrower all or any of the joint borrowers, that if the borrower or, in the case of joint borrowers, any of them is married and is not treated for income tax purposes as living apart from his spouse, the borrower or, as the case may be, each of those joint borrowers and (in either case) his spouse have signed and delivered to the lender a declaration either that there is no existing loan—
  1. (i) the whole or any part of the interest on which is payable (whether alone of jointly with any other perscn) by the spouse; and
  2. (ii) in respect of which an option notice for the time being has effect or in respect of which a claim for relief has been or is to be made under section 75 of the Finance Act 1972 (relief for payment of interest), and
  3. (iii) which relates to, or was made with a view to the repayment of a previous loan which related to, land used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a dwelling (not being the dwelling to which the declaration under paragraph (c) above relates) which is that spouse's only or main residence or a caravan so used, or that such a loan does exist but the spouse intends that, within the period of 12 months 1969 beginning on the date referred to in paragraph (b) above, the dwelling referred to in sub-paragraph (iii) above will cease to be the spouse's only or main residence.")

Mr. Freeson

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this we are to take Lords Amendments Nos. 128 to 144.

Mr. George Cunningham

With great respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I suggest that when the Question is being put every effort should be made to see whether a Member wishes to speak—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I apologise if I missed the hon. Gentleman. It was not intentional. I was concentrating on the difficulty of getting the procedure right.

Mr. Cunningham

I understand that, but this sort of thing often happens to Members in the House. [Interruption.] This is the British House of Commons, not a ward Labour Party—or something like that. The way that consideration of the Bill is being conducted is scandalous for a national legislature. One almost has to use force in order to get attention or get in on the discussion.

I wish to draw attention to Amendment No. 140, which relates to compulsory purchase orders. As I understand it this amendment extends the period during which a possession order may be suspended while a compulsory purchase order is being considered. I am grateful to the Government for responding to the amendment which I moved in Standing Committee, but I would like to be able to understand the extent to which they have gone beyond what I suggested in Standing Committee. Am I right in thinking that if a compulsory purchase order is quashed by a court or refused by a Minister, the suspension of the possession order immediately lapses?

11.15 p.m.

If the Minister approves the compulsory purchase order—this is the point on which I am uncertain—the suspension is to continue for three years. This would mean that if a local authority acquired a property by compulsory purchase, for three years the tenants of the local authority would be secure. If I have that right, I think that they would be the only tenants of a local authority who would have security of tenure. Since this is an odd situation, I want to be certain that I have it right. I can see reasons for doing it, but I am not sure that my understanding is correct.

Second, is the period of three years subject to the wishes of the court? Let us suppose that the court, while the CPO was being considered, gave a possession order to the previous private landlord and suspended it and then the compulsory purchase order was confirmed. Would the suspension then continue for three years, whether the court wanted it to or not, or would the court somehow have a right to terminate the suspension during that period?

Mr. Freeson

My hon. Friend asked, first, whether the amendment would mean that, in addition to the security which a tenant would have between the time that a compulsory purchase order was applied for and the time that it was confirmed, he would have three years thereafter. The answer is "Yes". The answer to his second point is that the court would have the discretion that it would have if the order for possession were being sought for the first time.

My hon. Friend referred to the case in which a possession order has been sought but not executed and a local authority has applied for and received a compulsory purchase order and has had it approved by the Secretary of State. The position of the court in such a circumstance is discretionary. Similarly, in the situation that I have described, there would be the same discretion as if the order for possession had been applied for for the first time prior to the CPO being applied for.

Question put and agreed to.

Remaining Lords amendments agreed to.