HL Deb 26 February 1929 vol 72 cc1093-4

Order of the Day for the Second Heading read.


My Lord, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. I hope that, even at this late hour, your Lordships will be good enough to give a Second Reading to a Bill which has already been passed in another place and which has the agreement and support of the Government of Northern Ireland, the Government of this country, and the landlords and tenants concerned. The whole object of the Bill, which in some of its clauses is complicated, is to remedy what is admitted to be an injustice as regards tenants who purchased under the Act of 1925. Under that Act the appointed day was the 28th May, 1929, but there were so many estates and tenancies which came under the purview of the Commission that it was found quite impossible to finish the rather complicated process which had to be accomplished before the Act could come into force by the date named in the Act—namely, four years from the passing of the Act, or the 29th May of this year. In consequence of that, there are 19,000 tenants who will be deprived of the benefits under that Act through no fault of their own, but simply through the fact that the Commissioners found it impossible to complete the details required by the Act in the time specified.

The object of this Bill is to remedy that. No blame is attached to any person for this failure. The lowest estimate of the number of tenancies to be dealt with was 23,000 and the highest estimate originally was 29,000, but, when the Commissioners began to go into the facts of the case, they found that there were no fewer than 38,000 of these tenancies which had to be dealt with under the Act. There was naturally among the tenants a great deal of dissatisfaction when they feared that they were going to lose the benefits of an Act which bad been agreed to by all parties. Although the Bill itself is somewhat complicated, the main facts are not in dispute and, having regard to its having been agreed to by all the parties concerned, I shall say no more at this late hour, but will ask the House to be good enough to give a Second Reading to the Bill, leaving the details to be discussed later on, if necessary.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Desborough.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

House adjourned at ten minutes past seven o'clock.