HL Deb 03 April 1963 vol 248 cc532-3

2.43 p.m.


My Lords, on behalf of the Lord Chairman, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a—(Lord Airedale.)


My Lords, I wish to say just a few words on this Bill—I shall not keep your Lordships long—as a certain point of principle arises on it. On February 28 I raised a question by way of an Instruction to the Committee. This Instruction was not accepted, but we had a lively and interesting debate and, I think, one which was well worth while. The point at issue arises over Clause 33 of the Bill, which provided for permission to the authority to pay ex gratia any person a sum of money as they think fit towards any loss, or in respect of any personal hardship, which, in their opinion, he sustains, or is put to, by reason of his having to quit the land. The Select Committee considered this matter, and after hearing evidence, and argument of counsel on both sides, came to a decision on the lines requested in my Instruction. The new Clause 33 now reads as follows: (1) The Authority shall pay to any person displaced from any land acquired under this Act such sum as will be equal to the loss or expense which such person sustains or is put to by reason of his having to quit the land and by reason of any personal hardship which he sustains. (2) Any difference as to any sum payable tinder the foregoing subsection shall be determined by a single arbitrator to be agreed upon between the parties to the difference or in default of such agreement appointed by the President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. I rise to-day to thank the noble Lord, the Lord Chairman of the Committee, and the noble Lords who were members of the Committee, for the action which they took. It would have been a considerable hardship if they had not substituted this clause which has now been inserted in the Bill. This provision constitutes a considerable precedent, and in regard to both this particular Bill and any future Bill which affects land compulsorily acquired for any purpose, such as the one in this Bill, will be of great benefit to those who are to be dispossessed. Once more, on behalf of the farmers of Montgomeryshire who are to be affected, I thank the noble Lords.


My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Lord for those kind words, and I will see that they are drawn to the attention of the Lord Chairman of Committees and also to the Chairman and members of the Select Committee.

On Question, Bill read 3a and passed, and sent to the Commons.