HL Deb 05 August 1947 vol 151 cc979-81

Clause 78, page 90, line 35, at end insert— ("or, (c) that the land together with any land contiguous or adjacent to such land was on the seventh day of January, nineteen hundred and forty-seven, or would then have been but for circumstances arising out of the emergency which was the occasion of the passing of the Courts (Emergency Powers) Act, 1939, in the course of development as a residential, commercial or industrial estate and that the proposed development is or would be immediately practicable but for such circumstances as aforesaid and that there is a demand for such development.")

page 91, line 19, leave out from ("application") to end of line

page 91, line 25, at end, insert ("which has been supported by such plans or particulars as were required to be furnished under the said Acts or the said bye-laws or other enactments, as the case may be, being an application in respect of development which was or would have been but for circumstances arising out of the emergency which was the occasion of the passing of the Courts (Emergency Powers) Act, 1939, immediately practicable at the date of the application and for which there was at such date a demand for such development which it was the intention of the applicant to satisfy")

The Commons disagreed to these Amendments for the following Reason:

Because the said Amendments would unduly extend the scope of the Clause.


My Lords, in Clause 78, page 90, line 35, we inserted these words extending the definition of dead-ripe land. Of course, the effect of an extension of the definition is indirectly to increase the £300,000,000, because you can either increase the £300,000,000 directly by adding, say, £50,000,000, or you can make the £300,000,00 cover a smaller number of cases; that is to say, you can exempt certain properties from Part VI payments and from paying development charges. That is rather a matter within the province of another place, although I am not suggesting that we have not a right to make whatever Amendment we like. In those circumstances, I rise to move that this House do not insist on the said Amendments.

Moved, That this House do not insist on the said Amendments to which the Commons have disagreed.—(The Lord Chancellor.)


My Lords, the first Amendment and the second, which was consequential, were down in my name when they were divided upon in this House. I think it would be inaccurate to say that they increase the amount of the £300,000,000, but what they do is to decrease the amount which the Chancellor of the Exchequer might get by development charge later on in return for his £300,000,000. With a huge Budget surplus on the first four months of this year such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer declared to another place, why on earth he should be so niggardly in a matter of this sort only those who perhaps have the acquaintance of Dr. Dalton will know. Be that as it may, our main object in moving these Amendments was not to increase the amount that the ordinary landowner would get out of the £300,000,000. It was the very simple proposition that in the case of dead-ripe land, as we call it—at any rate, let us call it that, not using terms such as "land which is not quite ripe for building," because it is obviously quite ripe for building—the extra procedure which will be brought about by this Bill before there can be necessary housing development on that land, should be avoided.

That was the point we had in mind when we moved those two Amendments. Whether there is enough labour to build the houses, even if they get these sites, I do not know; but at any rate this is one other hampering effect on building, and I am only sorry that the other place and the Government do not accept the friendly gesture showing them a way to get more houses built for the people. That was our object in moving these Amendments. As the other place have turned it down, we can say no more. It is the Government's job to build houses. We are sorry they did not take this way of doing some of it more quickly. They have not, and we can only point out that we offered it. My advice to noble Lords, therefore, is not to insist on the Amendments.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

4.2 p.m.