HL Deb 30 June 1921 vol 45 cc907-9

Read 3ª (according to Order).

Clause 1:

Apportionment of tithe redemption annuities.

1.—(1) An order of apportionment of an annuity charged on any land under section four of the Tithe Act, 1918, or under this Act, may be made by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, under sections ten to fourteen, inclusive, of the In-closure Act, 1854, on the application of any person interested, according to the provisions of the inclosure Acts, 1845 to 1882, in the land charged or any part thereof, without the concurrence of ally other person, and in any such case the provisions of those sections shall apply with the exception of the proviso to section eleven and the words "so far as the same has been apportioned upon the lands of persons interested and making application as aforesaid" in section thirteen.

(2) In any ease to which this Act applies the Minister may, on the application of the person interested as aforesaid in the annuity which is apportioned by the Order, require, as a condition of making the Order, that any apportioned part of the annuity which does not exceed the yearly sum of two pounds shall be redeemed forthwith.

(3) Such fee as the Treasury may sanction shall be payable to the Minister by an applicant for an order under this section upon the issue of the order.

(4) An apportioned part of an annuity shall be a land charge within the meaning of the Land Charges Registration and Searches Act, 1888.

LORD STUART OF WORTLEY moved, at the end of the clause, to insert the following new subsection— (5) The expenses necessarily incurred in the registration of an apportioned part of an annuity under the said Act or the Land Transfer Acts, 1875 and 1897, shall be treated as part of the expenses incident to the apportionment.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I rise to move as shortly as possible the Amendment which stands in my name. This Bill is brought forward in the very proper interests of the landowner who may wish to clear his title by getting rid of his obligation of tithe, by redeeming the tithe upon an estate, and who may effect such a redemption in a way which may be called in gross, and may thereafter wish to sell in detail. For that purpose, he may wish to apportion the terminable annuity which I represents the capital sum by which the tithe rentcharge may have been redeemed in smaller sums than the total sum, proportionate to each small piece of his estate, which he may be disposing of to a plurality of buyers. That is a very proper and, no doubt, desirable transaction, and one which is entirely in the interests of the landowner, who is seeking to redeem his tithe rentcharge.

On the other hand, the other party to the proceedings will be subjected, and nothing which your Lordships' House can do can prevent his being subjected, to collecting a large number of small sums, at a comparatively great cost, instead of receiving a single sum from one owner at practically a very small cost. The least we can do is to say that the expense of registering and otherwise putting through this redemption and this apportionment, which this Bill will effect, should fall upon the party who gets the benefit of this apportionment. That is the effect of my Amendment, and I submit it with much respect as one which is required in common justice. I have only one more point to make. It might be regretted that this Amendment would expose the Bill to the risks inherent in the difficulty of finding time for discussion of it when it reaches the other House. I believe I shall not be going too far when I say that the Minister of Agriculture will not be indisposed to extend to this Bill that kind of protection, or assistance, or countenance, which gets over the difficulties of finding time for discussing this very proper and necessary Amendment.

Amendment moved— Clause 1, page 2, line 6, at end insert the said new subsection.—(Lord Stuart of Wortley.)


My Lords, I cannot raise any objection to the Amendment moved by my noble friend. I was very glad to hear his view that the Minister of Agriculture will assist this Bill, because, as your Lordships are aware, it has already been through all its stages in another place, and I sincerely hope that it will become law this session. But unless it were given facilities by the Ministry of Agriculture, I was rather nervous that, if an Amendment were moved in this House and the Bill went back again to the House of Commons, it might not pass this session. I should like to ask my noble friend, Lord Ancaster, if he will do his best to persuade the Ministry of Agriculture to give this Bill every facility.


My Lords, I hope the noble Lord will accept this Amendment, moved by Lord Stuart of Wortley, because I think it is a fair and just Amendment, and one which should be inserted. Of course, I fully recognise the difficulty in which the Bill is placed. If we accept the Amendment at this stage, the Bill will have to go back to the House of Commons, and there might be a chance of its being thereby lost. I will only say, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, that I saw him before the sitting of your Lordships' House, and that he definitely promised that he would do his very best to try' to get the Bill through another place this session. I hope that, with that assurance, the noble Lord will accept the Amendment.


I am very much obliged to my noble friend.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.