HL Deb 15 March 1933 vol 86 cc1173-9

Rules for Determining the Price to be Paid.

3. Except in the case of the Eastern National Omnibus Company Limited, the allowance to be made in respect of goodwill shill he ascertained by multiplying by five the average net profits of the part of the undertaking taken user ascertained in the following manlier: —

  1. (a) there shall he ascertained in the case of each company the average net profits 1174 per car mile from the operation of stage and express carriages, or in the case of the Maidstone and District Motor Services Limited, of public service vehicles for the three financial years last preceding the date of the passing of this Act, (after meeting all proper charges including adequate provision for the replacement or renewal of all assets subject to depreciation or obsolescence, which provision shall in the case of vehicles be calculated at the rate of twelve and one half per cent. per annum on the first cost);

VISCOUNT BERTIE OF THAME had on the Paper six Amendments to this Schedule to leave out the word "per" ["per car mile"] and to insert in its place the words "for each." The noble Viscount said: Surely, "per mile" reads more like a quotation from a grocer's price list than from an Act of Parliament. Such an atrocity appeared in the form of "per day" in another Act and the Minister in charge of the Bill was good enough to rectify such an abortion. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 155, line 5, leave out ("per") and insert ("for each") —(Viscount Bertie of Thame.)

THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY

The words "per car mile" are well understood by operators of means of transport and by statisticians and accountants, and are practically a term of art. To alter them as proposed by this Amendment might lead to confusion and misunderstanding.

VISCOUNT BERTIE OF THAME

A good many words are understood by the various people the noble Marquess has mentioned which would not be put into an Act of Parliament because they would not be fit.

THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY

It is felt that if we accepted the words of the noble Viscount they would lead to confusion and misunderstanding, therefore I am unable to accept his Amendment.

On Question, Amendment negatived.

Eighth Schedule agreed to.

Ninth Schedule [Provisions with respect to the Railway Rates Tribunal]:

THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY moved, after paragraph 1, to insert: () An additional member of the tribunal shall hold office for such term not less than three years nor longer than seven years as the Minister may determine at the time of his appointment but on vacating his office after expiration of the term thereof he shall be eligible for re-appointment. () If an additional member becomes, by reason of illness or other infirmity, temporarily incapable of performing the duties of his office, or if the office of an additional member is vacated before the expiration of his term of office, the Minister may appoint some other fit person with the like qualifications and, in the case of the additional member appointed after consultation with the Advisory Committee, after the like consultation, to discharge his duties during such incapacity or pending the filling up of such vacancy for any period not exceeding six months at one time and the person so appointed shall during that period have the same powers as the additional member in whose place he is appointed.

The noble Marquess said: For the purposes of their jurisdiction under this Bill there will be added to the Railway Rates Tribunal two additional members one being experienced in London local government and the other in financial affairs. The additional paragraphs to be added by this Amendment provide as to their duration of office (not less than three or more than seven years). They also provide for filling a temporary vacancy due to illness of an additional member on his vacation of office.

Amendment moved▀× Page 156, line 25, at end insert the said paragraphs —(The Marquess of Londonderry.)

LORD JESSEL

May I ask the noble Marquess whether these members of the tribunal will be honorary or will they be paid?

THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY

These additional members, I am informed, are not paid.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY

The next Amendment is a drafting Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 156, line 27, after ("twenty-two") insert ("Section twenty-four except subsection (4) thereof") —(The Marquess of Londonderry.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Ninth Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Schedules agreed to.

Fourteenth Schedule [Provisions as to Determination of Compensation, Payable to Officers and Servants]:

THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY moved, after paragraph 6, to insert the following new paragraph: () In the case of an officer or servant of any other undertaking transferred in whole or in part to the Board by this Act (other than the Metropolitan undertaking), the Board or the arbitrator in computing the length of his service for the purposes of the award of compensation shall take into account all his service after the age of eighteen years, being continuous service whether with the undertaking or part of the undertaking, as the case may be, in whose service he was immediately before the appointed day or with any other passenger transport undertaking which has been acquired by, or absorbed in, that undertaking.

The noble Marquess said: This Amendment is designed to meet a point raised by Sir Stafford Cripps during the Committee stage of the Bill in another place. It will require the Board or the arbitrator in computing length of service for the purposes of compensation to count continuous service with the undertaking from whom the person was transferred to the Board and any other undertaking which has been acquired by or absorbed in that undertaking. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 167, line 2, at end insert the said paragraph —(The Marquess of Londonderry.)

LORD PONSONBY OF SHULBREDE moved to amend the proposed Amendment by leaving out the first "by" and inserting "or discontinued by or in pursuance of.' The noble Lord said: do not know if the noble Marquess can accept this Amendment. My object is merely to make the wording in consonance with the wording of Clause 73 (b) which reads: — £ the running of any service which the company is required to discontinue, or ii) between the said date and the date of such transfer to the Board or discontinuance.£

The words which I propose to insert are: "discontinued by or in pursuance of." Perhaps the noble Marquess will be good enough, if he cannot deal with the matter now, to consider the matter before Report and in that case I could put the Amendment down again.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment moved£ Line 2, leave out ("by") and insert ("or discontinued by or in pursuance of")—(Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede.)

THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY

In form, I am given to understand, this Amendment is incorrect, for there are no undertakings being discontinued by or in pursuance of this Act. The Government Amendment to the Fourteenth Schedule which Lord Ponsonby seeks to amend, deals merely with the manner in which length of service shall be computed for the purpose of an award in respect of a claim for compensation made under the provisions of Clauses 72 and 73 of the Bill. I am not sure that I fully apprehend at what the noble Lord is aiming in his Amendment, and I suggest that he might communicate with me before the Report, stage so that if need be the point can be dealt with then.

LORD PONSONBY of SHULBREDE

After what the noble Marquess has said I will withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD PONSONBY OF SHULBREDE moved to leave out of the proposed Amendment all words after "years" and to insert "during which lie has been regularly employed in or about any undertakings which have provided passenger transport services within the area comprised in the London Passenger Transport Area." The noble Lord said: This point, as the noble Marquess has stated, was raised by my right honourable friend Sir Stafford Cripps in another place, but the Amendment which the noble Marquess has put on the Paper does not to my mind quite satisfactorily carry out the promise made by the Attorney-General. I would draw the attention of the noble Marquess to the wording of a similar Schedule to the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1926. The Fourth Schedule to that Act provides that: £ in computing the period of service of any officer, service under any authorised undertakers shall be reckoned as service under the authorised undertaker in whose employment he is at the time when the loss or relinquishment of employment occurs £

The Amendment proposed by the noble Marquess covers those members of the staff who are transferred because their employer has transferred his undertaking, but there are cases of employees who find situations with other concerns to better their positions and have there- fore transferred their activities of their own volition without any break of service. It is in order to cover those people that I beg to move this Amendment.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment moved— Line 6, leave out from ("years") to end and insert ("during which he has been regularly employed in or about any undertakings which have provided passenger transport service within the area comprised in the London Passenger Transport Area") —(Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede.)

THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY

This Amendment which the noble Lord has moved is, as he says, similar to, one moved by Sir Stafford Cripps, but I think he will remember that on that occasion the Attorney-General expressly said that the Amendment went too far. I gather from what the noble Lord has said that he does not think that in this Amendment the undertaking which the Attorney-General gave has been fully implemented. I will certainly go into that matter between now and the Report stage. The object of the Government Amendment is to secure that persons who have changed their employment since the introduction of the Bill merely through a change in the legal character of their employers, brought about by an amalgamation or absorption, shall be able to count service prior to the amalgamation or absorption as being continuous with their service after that event. Lord Ponsonby's Amendment would extend this privilege to all regular employment with any passenger transport undertaking in the London area and would thus enable men who had changed their employment for reasons of their own or through dismissal to claim compensation on the basis of their aggregate service. The provisions of the Bill as to compensation are based generally on the precedents of the Railways Act, 1921, and the Local Government Act, 1929, and it is not considered that the principles of those Acts in this connection should be further extended. I shall be very glad if the noble Lord will communicate with me before the Report stage and he can raise the matter again then if necessary.

LORD PONSONBY OF SHULBREDE

I am very much obliged to the noble Marquess. I am sure he will agree with me that we want to avoid any chance of hardship in the case of those employees who have to be dismissed. I beg leave to withdraw.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Fourteenth Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Fifteenth Schedule agreed to.

Sixteenth Schedule: