§ As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.
§ Order for Third Reading read.—[Queen's Consent, on behalf of the Crown, and Prince of Wales's Consent, on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall, signified].11.21 pm
§ The Solicitor-General (Sir Patrick Mayhew)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
This short but technically complex Bill gives effect to the Law Commission's report on land registration, No. 125. Its purpose is to simplify and modernise three aspects of the law on land registration which seemed to the commission in need of reform—the conversion of title, the registration and protection of leases and the method of determining the priority of dealings in certain equitable interests in registered land.
At this time of night, I do not think that it would be profitable to detain the House with a detailed explanation of the Bill's provisions. It is enough to say that it has been generally welcomed as a useful measure of law reform which should make the system of land registration easier to understand and operate. I commend the Bill to the House.
§ Mr. Nicholas Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne, East)
Legislation arising from Law Commission reports has a small cult following in the House. The Solicitor-General and I emerge into the Chamber, usually very late at night, to practise our rites. I should like, in that spirit and with your indulgence, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to offer my congratulations and those of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Morris) to the Solicitor-General on his elevation to the Privy Council. As someone who was born in the Solicitor-General's constituency, may I say that I hope that he will take a pride in being thus honoured.
The Land Registration Bill is not contentious, as anyone who has studied the Official Report of the Second Reading Committee and the Standing Committee will readily confirm. The Solicitor-General and I heard in Committee this morning on another matter some hard words about the Law Commission, which were unjustified and came from Poujadist elements.
It is traditional on these occasions to thank the Law Commission. For myself, that is not just a matter of form. In my modest Front Bench responsibilities, I have had an opportunity, of necessity, to gain an insight into the Law Commission's work. My appreciation has grown with my understanding of it and my thanks are sincere.
The Bill is not contentious or wide in its scope. It is a useful and practical reform to simplify and update the law relating to lease registrations and the byways of registered land. I am pleased to commend its passage to the House.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.