HL Deb 04 June 1964 vol 258 cc605-37

4.0 p.m.

House again in Committee.


I am sorry that my noble friend Lord Jellicoe is not here, because I am going to quote a few sentences from what he said on Tuesday and I shall ask my noble friend Lord Hastings to explain to me exactly what the Government have in view. We have been told that this Bill is intended to deal with two matters in particular: one is the bad living conditions in many places, and the other is Rachmanism. My noble friend Lord Jellicoe said [col. 478]: I am sure that we in this House are all anxious to cut at the root of what is sometimes, I think, loosely termed ' Rachmanism '. By Rachmanism is meant the exercise of illicit pressure in order to induce persons living in rent-restricted property voluntarily to evacuate it because life is intolerable in those circumstances. Later, my noble friend said [col. 479]: I myself strongly suspect that where we find Rachmanism … we should also find conditions bringing the house within the orbit of Part II of the 1961 Act. By this he means, of course, those bad housing conditions which, as he says, are objective. But it does not in the least follow that where Rachmanism is being applied the conditions of the flat which the landlord covets are necessarily such as to bring it within Part II of the 1961 Act.

Let me give a case which, though imaginary, is not a bit beyond the revelations which have come out recently. Suppose there is a house in which three families are living and where the house conditions are not really extremely bad but where one decent family is enjoying conditions of rent protection. Let us suppose that the landlord, a new Rachman, arranges for two prostitutes to live in the rooms above and for West Indian immigrants who play musical instruments all day and night to live underneath. These are two expedients that were adopted, and in addition there was the introduction of savage Alsatian dogs. It would be perfectly possible, and even probable, for these things to be done in the case of a house where the actual living conditions were not bad enough to bring it under Part II of the 1961 Act.

My noble friend Lord Jellicoe, answering my interruption in which I pointed out that these tenants might be too ignorant to know of their legal rights of remedy in the courts or might have been completely intimidated, said [col. 480]: I was saying that the compulsory purchase order operated at the instance of the local authority, just as this control order would be operated if applicable. I should have thought that a compulsory purchase order, which takes a property away forever from the landlord, was a more drastic step to take than a control order. Yet we are told that the Government take the view that a compulsory purchase order in these circumstances would be more appropriate than a control order. I do not understand why that should be so. My noble friend Lord Hastings said during the Second Reading debate that it was inappropriate to apply the control order procedure because it would not be appropriate for a local authority to make up their minds as to whether intimidation and coercion were being brought to bear. Surely that is exactly what would be necessary if they sought to operate a compulsory purchase order for this particular reason. His right honourable friend in another place gave an assurance that he would be willing to give sympathetic consideration to compulsory purchase order applications if there was a danger of homelessness resulting.

I should like to know from my noble friend exactly how this compulsory purchase order procedure is going to be operated and why it is open to less objection than to apply for the less drastic control order in the kind of case to which I have referred. These are quotations from the Government; and I should like to know exactly how this procedure is going to operate. As things are, it appears to me that there is great force in what the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, said. However effective that procedure may be in respect of bad slum conditions, this remarkable evil of Rachmanism, intimidation and coercion, will not be fully met under the present wording of the Bill.


I think it is probably the wish of the noble Lord who moved the Amendment that I should intervene at this moment. I appreciate his speaking so briefly and putting his case and what he is aiming at so clearly. I must confess, especially after I have heard what my noble friend Lord Molson has just said—and, indeed, what he said on Tuesday as well—that when I was listening to the debate on Tuesday there was something that worried me. This was that the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, and my noble friend Lord Jellicoe seemed, to some extent, to be arguing at cross-purposes. I was particularly worried that this should derive from the fact that the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, had read into some words I had uttered on Second Reading a meaning which I believe they did not contain. I shall seek to prove in a few moments to the satisfaction of the Committee that they did not contain the meaning that the noble Lord thought they did.

Before I do that, I would say that I think the noble Lord is under the false impression that here we are arguing only about a form of words. Although I do not wish to turn this discussion into a study in semantics, I myself was a bit confused by a few words spoken by the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, in his closing remarks on Tuesday, when he said [col. 482]: I say 'or on (c).' But if we had the word 'and' it would make it clear. I was not sure when I read that whether he was suggesting it did not make much difference whether it was "or" or "and"; but, from his speech to-day it is clear it does make a great deal of difference. Here, in fact, is not merely a difference of words. We are arguing this afternoon about a fundamental difference of approach and, indeed a difference in intention.

The noble Lord criticised Part IV of the Bill, and Clause 69 in particular, attributing to them pretentions which they do not and never did possess. He is criticising the Bill for not doing something which, in fact, it does not set out to do wholly in the way that he would wish, but only partially. I shall come to that in greater detail in a moment. Nevertheless, I contend that Part IV, based on the criteria of Clause 69, does set out to achieve something very important and that it will succeed in achieving its aim.

May I turn back to this question of words and of what I said on Second Reading? The noble Lord has quoted what I said perfectly correctly, but has declared that it was his clear impression that, by these words, the clause meant to deal with what he describes as Rachmanism over the whole field, wherever Rachmanism may exist. I think it is only fair that I should draw his attention and the attention of your Lordships to the paragraph immediately preceding those words. If I may quote a few lines, I said [col. 958]: The other aspect of this matter is that the powers given to local authorities should be powers which they are competent to exercise. That is a convincing reason for attaching the control order power firmly to physical and living conditions; for this is something that local authorities are fully equipped to judge and measure. Then I finished the paragraph, a few lines later, with these words: Local authorities are not equipped to try issues which raise matters of evidence as to threats of violence and the like. These are matters for the courts of law. Those words immediately preceded what I said about the noble Lord's doubts as to whether the Bill had sufficient powers for bringing about what he wished to see in respect of eviction. Then I quoted words out of Clause 69. If the speech is read in its proper context, I do not think it can be claimed that I was saying that those words in Clause 69 would operate exclusively and comprehensively on their own, out of context with the rest of the clause, and I think that the preceding paragraph makes it very clear that the powers are intended to be conditional on the first part of the subsection, paragraphs (a) or (b), as the case may be, of Clause 69. If the noble Lord was under the impression that I was lifting the whole meaning of these words out of the context of Clause 69, I can only say that I am sorry if I conveyed that impression, but on reading my speech again carefully I do not think that such an impression is justified.

May I turn to this question of Rachmanism? Here, again, I think we may find a misunderstanding between the two sides of the House and even between my noble friend Lord Molson and the Government. On Tuesday, the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, said, as reported in the middle of col. 482: When we talk about Rachmanism, I would define it particularly as the evil of intimidation of tenants by one means or another so as to get them out. He made his definition rather clearer on Second Reading, when he said: When we talk of Rachmanism we are not talking so much of houses which are in a bad condition and overcrowded, although that is a factor; we are talking of cases where the landlords get rid of their tenants by intimidation or by other means where they cannot do so by lawful means. In this Bill we are in fact talking entirely about houses in a bad condition and overcrowded. The Bill is, in fact, dealing with bad and overcrowded houses, and not with the question of Rachmanism, as defined in the way the noble Lord has defined it, nor with intimidation in general.

I think the noble Lord will agree with me that the practices widely attributed to Rachman last summer were of two kinds. First, he tried to dislodge the controlled tenants, and then, having got the houses unoccupied, or mainly unoccupied, he got a sweated income from them by letting them in multiple occupation and getting high rents for extremely squalid conditions. So the reported practices have two elements: getting the people out and getting a higher income subsequently.

Last summer, in a debate on the Rent Act, 1957, the Opposition sought to prove that the operations of Rachman were connected with the Rent Act, but, in fact, it came out that the operations in St. Stephen's Gardens were reported as all having taken place in the early 1950's, before that Act. It was the existence of the pre-1957 control that tended to create such a wide margin of profit between the existing controlled houses and uncontrolled occupation by lodgers or licensees. The racket con- -silted, in fact, of taking houses which were not in multi-occupation and turning them over to multi-occupation. Therefore, by approaching this subject to-day with houses in multi-occupation as the starting point, the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, has really left out half the problem with which we have to deal in meeting Rachmanism.

The Government fully recognise the dual nature of this problem and are seeking to meet it in two ways. The problem of evictions and subsequent profiteering is really the problem of acute housing shortage. There is also the general matter of landlord-tenant relationships which is not limited to multi-occupied property. The Government have therefore taken the view that the evidence on the mismanagement of rented house property needs to be dug out and evaluated by a high-powered independent Committee. As your Lord-ships know, that Committee was appointed and is now working under the chairmanship of Sir Milner Holland. The Committee have been asked to report as soon as possible, and when the Government have their report they will be able to form a well-based view on what needs to be done over the whole field of rented housing, whether in multiple occupation or not; and this Bill deals only with multi-occupation.

The second point of attack of the Government is on the conditions that exist in houses in multi-occupation dealt with in Part IV of the Bill; and that is what we are discussing this afternoon. When these control order clauses came before the scrutiny of Parliament last November, my right honourable friend pointed out that a great deal had been said about people being crammed into bad property at exorbitant rents; and it was said at that time that these landlords did not hesitate to use violence or the threat of it, or other barbarities, to stop complaints or to drive out tenants. Yet, at the same time, it was admitted that it was difficult to get clear evidence about them. My right honourable friend pointed out that the common factor was the bad living conditions, because if the living conditions were not bad, there would not then be the profit by which the racketeers were said to live.

This, then, provided a basis for summary action by the local authority in multi-occupied houses where the living conditions were so bad as to be a danger to residents' safety, health or welfare. This phrase "living conditions", which would be omitted as a result of the Amendment of noble Lords opposite, is of prime importance in this clause, because it has been framed in such a way as to give local authorities scope for taking into consideration other things besides structural defects or the bad state of the house susceptible to control under Part II powers of the 1961 Act. They would be able to take into consideration such things as undue habitual rowdyism and, for example, as mentioned by my noble friend Lord Molson, the habitual use of a part of a multi-occupied house for the purposes of prostitution. The legal advice is that these words "living conditions" would enable the local authority to take these matters into consideration when dealing with multi-occupied houses which were also in a condition to require powers being used under Part II of the 1961 Act.

To summarise the reasons why we do not see our way to using the control order against intimidation on its own, there are two objections which have emerged in the course of our debates. The first is that the control order operates only on a limited class of rented house property. if the existence of the evil of intimidation can be substantiated by the Milner Holland Committee, the Government will want to tackle it over the whole field where it exists. The second reason, as my noble friend Lord Jellicoe has pointed out, is that it is a perilous business to upset the system of checks and balances that any democratic Parliament would wish to associate with a summary power of this kind, substituting a subjective for an objective test.

Finally, there is a further and really fundamental objection to the alteration of the control order power in the way that the noble Lord and his noble friends want. It is simply that in its general conception and shape the control order is not a good weapon against the land-lord who uses intimidation. After all, the control order consists of an immediate, but only a temporary, entry into stewardship for the maximum of five years. If a landlord is so bad that he tries to intimidate his tenants, then nobody can guarantee that he will have changed his spots in five years' time. This, I think, is the answer to my noble friend Lord Molson, as to why compulsory purchase powers should be used. We feel that the control order is not a suitable or adequate weapon against such a landlord, who, after he gets repossession of his property, can continue to intimidate. If this sort of intimidation is so clear that evidence is obtainable, the tenant or the local authority, as the case may be, can go to the court (the local authority would have to make the application) for a compulsory purchase order, because it would be triggered off by the threat of homelessness that such action by an evil landlord would create.

I hope that that explains to my noble friend why in these cases it is advisable to resort to what he has described rightly as a more drastic and final power of compulsory purchase, to try to stop a landlord who is merely intimidating, but not otherwise managing his property badly, rather than leaving it to a control order. The purpose of Part IV of the Bill is to alleviate and correct squalid conditions, and to do so over a temporary period; it is not to take away from the landlord his possession. But if he is of such a nature that that is the only solution, then we must resort to the final drastic step—under a different Act—of compulsory purchase powers. I hope that gives the answer that my noble friend wants.

In advising your Lordships therefore to reject the Amendment, the Government point out once again that this clause is only one of three measures which they contemplate using against bad landlords. The control order to rescue tenants of multi-occupied houses from bad living conditions is the first of our weapons of attack. That is what Part IV of this Bill deals with. At the same time, in the context of multi-occupied houses, it deals with a part of the evil of Rachmanism—but linked with the bad conditions of the house itself, which otherwise would come under Part II of the 1961 Act. The second weapon is this compulsory purchase against a landlord which I have just explained to my noble friend Lord Molson.

Finally—this will be later, but as soon as we possibly can—there will be an intensive study of such evidence of malpractice as the Milner Holland Committee can discover and evaluate, and of whether over this field of rented property, which is fundamentally a question of the relationships of landlords and tenants, the protection against oppression or intimidation which the law gives needs to be extended or improved. I hope that I have explained to the satisfaction of your Lordships the precise purpose and intention of this Bill, and the precise views of the Government over the whole aspect of this problem. With this explanation, I trust that the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, will be satisfied that the Government are seeking to achieve a considerable improvement in conditions as a result of Part IV of the Bill, but at the same time are resting on powers which they believe to be both sensible and practical. We do not think it is practicable to embrace the whole problem of Rachmanism in this Bill under Part IV when, in fact, what we are dealing with is a limited class of rented property; that is to say, houses in multi-occupation.

4.30 p.m.


I think we can say that the noble Lord, Lord Hastings, has given us a very clear exposition of this clause and of the Government's intentions here. It differed markedly, if I may say so, from that given by the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe. The noble Lord shakes his head, but it certainly differed in one particular way. The noble Earl said that the local authorities, in applying a control order, must have a very hard criterion on which to operate, and that that criterion was to be the physical condition of the premises. I see that the memory of the noble Lord, Lord Molson, is the same as mine. I was very pleased to hear that the noble Lord, Lord Hastings, has broadened this. I think he is right to do so, because the words are "living conditions", which surely mean something more than the physical condition of the premises. I have always been worried about how a local authority would interpret the phrase "living conditions" in this clause, because a great deal turns on it. I agree that this is a very important Amendment, and a very important issue.


Before the noble Lord goes further (I do not like to interrupt him in his stream of thought), I think it is necessary to point out that although I may have widened the definition of "living conditions", I must remind him of the difference between the little words "and" and "or.", because the criterion is still to be based on the physical conditions of the house, as well as the living conditions in it. The living conditions alone will not suffice if it would not otherwise be possible to take action under Part II of the 1961 Act. I must clarify that.


As I understood it, the noble Lord, Lord Molson, gave us the example of premises where the landlord, in order to intimidate, does two things. He makes the living conditions intolerable, although the structure itself is reasonable. As I again understood the noble Lord, this would be covered by the Bill. Am I correct in this? That is what he said.


I do not think I said that. At that moment I was interpreting the meaning of "living conditions" in that part of the clause which is subsequent to paragraphs (a) and (b), and would be (c) in the Amendment. I was not divorcing it—as I did not, I contend, divorce it in my Second Reading speech from the conditions necessary to be fulfilled under (a) or (b), which are the hard criteria referred to by my noble friend Lord Jellicoe; that is, the physical conditions of the house.


In fact it would not fulfil the criteria of the case of the noble Lord, Lord Molson. The noble Lord is misleading us in saying that this would catch the case mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Molson.


I will read my own speech again carefully to-morrow, but I am confident that I said that, in relation to a multi-occupied house which a landlord was otherwise managing well and keeping in decent condition (although it seems inconceivable that this situation would be possible), the fact that there was some alleged form of intimidation would not by itself be sufficient unless it was possible to take action under Part II of the 1961 Act. If the noble Lord will read my speech again to-morrow, I think he will find that I made that clear to the noble Lord, Lord Molson. That is why I insisted so much on the necessity for the compulsory purchase order in respect of people who would seek to evict tenants by this means, and why an authority would have to resort to a compulsory purchase order and could not act merely under a control order.


The example that I gave—and I should like a "Yes" or "No" answer on this point—was that for the purpose of obtaining possession of rent-restricted property, a landlord like Rachman put in prostitutes to live in some of the rooms and West Indians playing noisy instruments by day and by night in other rooms. Would that constitute "living conditions" which would enable a control order to be used or not?


I thought I had made that quite clear, and I am sorry if I did not. That would constitute "living conditions" in the context of Clause 69 which, taken together with "physical conditions", would enable, under (a) and (b), a control order to be made. If the physical conditions warranting action under the 1961 Act did not exist, then "living conditions" alone would not enable a control order to be made. That is where we are thinking of the wider aspect of Rachmanism with which we propose to deal as a result of the findings of the Milner Holland Committee.


I think this has made the situation absolutely clear, and that is why I think we drew our Amendment right. I think we were right in putting in "or" instead of "and" and making it (c), and then taking out the words "living conditions", because it is precisely the case mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Molson, that we desire to see dealt with by this method. I think it is a very good method. I think the invention of the control order is a very good method indeed, and the Government deserve to be congratulated on it; above all, for the reason of its speed, because in these cases the intimidation acts quickly. When the matter was discussed in another place any number of examples were given of constituents who had cleared out very quickly as a result of intimidation. Very often where a young couple have a baby, the wife comes home, the steam is turned on in this sort of way and they clear out. It is intolerable. This control order seemed to us such a good thing to apply in such cases—far better than a C.P.O., which is a slow machine, although, as the noble Lord has said, in the long run it is absolute. Five years is good enough, because during that time of local authority stewardship that house will be cleaned up and made a good job of.

I hope very much that noble Lords on both sides of the House will feel that this is right. I was going to suggest, if it would meet the noble Lord's case, that instead of the words "living conditions", we should have "physical and social conditions", because that would have covered the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Molson. But it is quite clear that that is not enough, because once again it will become "physical conditions" owing to the operation of (a) and (b), unless we can get (c) without the qualifying (a) and (b). We really must ask the Committee to accept our view that this is what ought to be done in the interests of the people.


I appreciate what the noble Lord has said. The Government intend to deal with this—but not in this Bill, because we do not think it practicable. The local authorities are qualified to judge physical conditions—they do it every day of their lives. They have an objective test which they make, and if in addition to that, there are these bad living conditions, of the sort described by the noble Lord, Lord Molson, and others, they will take that fact into account and deal with them at the same time. But we simply cannot try to deal in this Bill with the whole field of intimidation, which is not limited to multi-occupied property. It is a matter for the law courts, and I am sure noble Lords opposite will agree with that. The Government, therefore, based on the report they will receive, intend to bring in amending legislation respecting landlord and tenant rights—their responsibilities, liabilities and obligations towards each other—which will deal with the who1 field, and decisions on these matters would then be a matter for the courts.

I really do not think it can be seriously suggested that it should be left to 1,500 different local authorities, with different ways of judging these matters, to decide whether there is sufficient intimidation or proof of intimidation, to take that subjective test and to exert the control order as a result of it, irrespective of the physical conditions of the house. That, we think, is not the local authority's business. It is the business of the law, which would have to be amended in order to deal with the situation comprehensively.


Will my noble friend answer this question? If the local authorities in this particular case are not considered suitable for applying the control order, how does it come about that they are capable of applying a compulsory purchase order?


The compulsory purchase order, I think, results from habitual practice where there is hard evidence to be found, and it would not be taken to the courts unless it did exist. But the point is that, although the local authority might be right in a particular case if they were allowed to obtain a control order solely because of the bad living conditions, to use the phrase of the clause, endangering the safety, health and welfare of the persons living in the house", it would be wide open to them to make control orders for that reason alone on insufficient evidence and, as my noble friend said yesterday, simply because they did not particularly like the landlord—irrespective of the real justice of the case.

We do not think that that is the sort of power to give to local authorities. They have already been given extremely drastic powers of immediate entry and management of the house against all corners, including mortgagees, a matter which is dealt with under succeeding Amendments. It would not be wise to put them in a position where they might exercise, and could exercise, these powers against a landlord against whom they should not be exercised. This is, surely, a matter for the courts; and, of course, a compulsory purchase order and the reasons for it has to be tested in the courts. Therefore I hope my noble friend will see the argument that you cannot really give these extremely drastic powers to local authorities and at the same time give them the power of taking action against a landlord divorced from the objective test of the physical conditions of the house.


There is also an appeal to the court against control.


I think the noble Lord has, at any rate, succeeded in one thing With his multiplicity of words he has made quite clear that it is not the intention of the Government to deal with Rachmanism in this Bill.


Not to deal with the noble Lord's definition of Rachmanism, I would say.


Not to deal with the definition of the noble Lord, Lord Hastings, if you like. The noble Lord did not disagree with me on my definition of Rachmanism; he is only saying that it cannot be dealt with in this Bill. The issue between us really is which is the better instrument for dealing with Rachmanism: by means of a control order under this Bill or by means of a compulsory purchase order. All his talk about subjective tests applies equally to a compulsory purchase order as it does to a control order. The local authority has to make up its mind, according to the noble Lord, on the evidence which is submitted to it of intimidation, Rachmanism, or whatever you like to call it, whether or not it should make a compulsory purchase order. I suggest to the Committee that the local authority is equally capable of making up its mind whether there should be a control order. The difference between the two is that in one case it can be done now under this Bill; and if the Government are really serious in their intention to deal with it, why cannot they do so in this Bill?

I suggest that where there is this intimidation it ought by itself to be a ground for making a control order, regardless of the physical condition of the house. In the case of a compulsory purchase order there is a public inquiry, if the owner requires it, and time is taken, but in the case of a control order the local authority step in. But that is not necessarily the end of the matter. If the landlord feels he is being unjustly treated, he can still appeal against a control order, and it will still be for the Minister, I think, to decide whether the local authority wrongly made the control order. But, at any rate, the local authority act instantaneously. They come in and take possession of the house and manage it, and the tenant is thereby protected, but if there is a compulsory purchase order the tenant has no protection. While the machinery of the compulsory purchase order is going on it is possible to evict the tenant.


Not under Clause 68, which makes it impossible to evict a tenant for twelve months.


Surely that cannot be so. The mere threat of a compulsory purchase order does not give that protection. But whether or not that is so, I do not base my case necessarily on that. The machinery of a control order is


I move this Amendment in order that I may express the hope that, in view of the closeness of the vote on the last Amendment in this Committee, the Government will be prepared to look at that matter again. It is a very difficult question and it may well be that the language of the Amendment could be improved upon. But I hope when the noble Lord looks at the Division List he will find that those who supported the speedy and effective and can be dealt with in this Bill. I suggest that if the Government are serious they should accept the Amendment. I do not think we can discuss it profitably any longer—I see that the Whip shakes his head; maybe he is having some difficulty in keeping his team available—and I propose to divide the Committee on it.

4.50 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 41; Not-Contents, 43.

Airedale, L. Killearn, L. Shannon, E.
Alexander of Hillsborough, E. Kinnoull, E. Shepherd, L.
Amwell, L. Latham, L. Silkin, L.
Brocket, L. Listowel, E. Sinha, L.
Burden, L. [Teller.] Longford, E. Somers, L.
Champion, L. [Teller.] McNair, L. Stonehaven, V.
Douglas of Barloch, L. Mansfield, E. Stonham, L.
Falkland, V. Meston, L. Summerskill, B.
Fraser of North Cape, L. Molson, L. Taylor, L.
Gaitskell, B. Ogmore, L. Walston, L.
Gardiner, L. Peddie, L. Williams, L.
Henderson, L. St. Just, L. Willis, L.
Henley, L. Samuel, V. Wise, L.
Hobson, L. Shackleton, L.
Ailwyn, L. Drumalbyn, L. Ilford, L.
Alport, L. Dudley, E. Jellicoe, E.
Atholl, D. Dudley, L. Lansdowne, M.
Auckland, L. Ebbisham, L. McCorquodale of Newton, L.
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Effingham, E. Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Bessborough, E. Ferrers, E. Merrivale, L.
Blakenham, V. Fortescue, E. Milverton, L.
Bridgeman, V. Fraser of Lonsdale, L. Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Clitheroe, L. Goschen, V. [Teller.] Soulbury, V.
Coutanche, L. Greenway, L. Spens, L.
Croft, L. Grenfell, L. Stuart of Findhorn, V.
Denham, L. [Teller.] Hanworth, V. Swinton, E.
Derwent, L. Hastings, L. Wakefield of Kendal, L.
Devonshire, D. Horsbrugh, B. Wolverton, L.
Dilhorne, L. (L. Chancellor.)

Resolved in the negative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.

Amendment are not confined to one Party and that it is a matter which is well worth further consideration. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 74, line 7, leave out ("and") and insert ("(c)").—(Lord Silkin.)


I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 69 agreed to.

Clause 70 [General effect of control order]:

5.0 p.m.

LORD SILKIN moved, in subsection (3), to leave out "one month" and insert "one year". The noble Lord said: Clause 70 deals with what follows after a control order has been made. One of the consequences is that the local authority can give security of tenure for not more than one month at a time to the tenant.


Will the noble Lord deal with Amendment No. 66 as well?


Yes, I will deal with No. 66 at the same time. What the Amendment seeks to do is to give to the tenant the right to stay in possession for one year. The control order is of course effective for five years, and it is only right that a tenant should feel secure for a period of more than one month once the control order is made, and that the period of notice should be not four weeks but a longer period. Amendment No. 66 suggests six months. I do not think this needs a great deal of advocacy. If the intention of the control order is to ensure that no improper changes are made in the tenancy, then I think it is right to extend the period of one month to a year, and the period of notice from four weeks to six months. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 75, line 28, leave out ("one month") and insert ("one year").—(Lord Silkin.)


Her Majesty's Government feel that this Amendment is unnecessary, for two reasons. The first is that there is a proviso attached to subsection (3) which enables the local authority to create longer leases or tenancies with the agreement of the landlord. That, of course, could be a most useful bargaining counter when the local authorities are contemplating the termination of a control order. They can negotiate with the owners with a view to leaving the tenants' position secured for an agreed period.

In addition, under Clause 83(2) if the county court propose to revoke a control order they may, quite irrespective of the landlords' or owners' agreement, authorise the local authority to create leases or tenancies of up to six months' duration before the property is handed back. For these two reasons, we feel that this Amendment is unnecessary; the position is already safeguarded. But apart from that we feel that this Amendment is wrong. After all, Part IV of the Bill is an instrument for rescuing tenants or other residents from bad living conditions which exist in multi-occupied houses, and it is not primarily a device for creating long rights of occupation before the local authority's surrender of control. If it were that, then it would provide a backstairs method of imposing a version of rent control on the owner. That is not really the purpose of the Bill.

Difficulties arising out of such a possibility are, for example, that even if the local authority were to make an order which, on appeal, was revoked by the court, they could still have created long tenancies or leases pending the appeal, and that situation could not be undone immediately. If, for example, the dispossessed proprietor were himself a lessee on a short lease, or a tenant, the creation of long-lived rights of occupation by the local authority might not even operate against him but against his superior landlord, who might be entirely innocent of the mismanagement or neglect of the house.

Finally, it could nullify the provisions of Clause 82(6) whereby a ground landlord who wishes to undertake desirable works of redevelopment may apply to the court for the order to be revoked on that ground. Of course if it were subject to this long tenancy he would not be able to go ahead with his redevelopment works. So there are technical reasons as well why the Government feel that they cannot accept this Amendment, apart from the fact that we feel, for the two reasons that I gave, that it is unnecessary.


In regard to this particular Amendment, I feel that neither Her Majesty's Government nor the Opposition are right. I agree with the Opposition that one month is too short a period for a tenancy, but, on the other hand, I consider that a year is ridiculously long. Would the noble Lord, Lord Hastings, take this back and, between now and the Report stage, arrange for an intermediate period which would be acceptable to both sides, rather than have the extremes for which the points of view have been put forward just now?


Perhaps the noble Earl did not hear me say that the court has power, on revoking a control order, to authorise the local authority to grant leases or tenancies up to six months before handing over. That is already in the Bill.


The noble Lord has given a number of reasons for not accepting this Amendment, some good and some bad. I should like to read them all carefully, and possibly I shall come back to this on Report with the suggestion made by the noble Earl, Lord Mansfield, that perhaps a year is too long, and certainly that one month is too short. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 70 agreed to.

Clauses 71 to 73 agreed to.

Clause 74:

Periodical payments to dispossessed proprietor


(5) For the purposes of the references in this section to the gross value of the house— (c) if the house consists of or forms part of more than one hereditament, the gross value shall be ascertained by determining the gross value of each hereditament or part as if it were a separate house and aggregating the gross values so determined, and any dispute arising under paragraph (b) of this subsection shall be referred for decision by a valuation officer appointed under the enactments relating to rating.

(6) In this Part of this Act, "dispossessed proprietor" means the person by whom the rents or other periodical payments to which the local authority become entitled on the coming into force of the control order would have been receivable but for the making of the control order and the successors in title of that person; and if different persons are the dispossessed proprietors of different parts of the house, compensation payable under this section shall be apportioned between them in such manner as they may agree (or as may, in default of agreement, be determined by a valuation officer appointed under the enactments relating to rating) according to the proportions of the gross value of the house properly attributable to the parts of the house in which they are respectively interested.

(7) This section shall apply to Scotland subject to the following modifications:—

  1. (a) for the references to gross value, to the valuation list and to a hereditament there shall be substituted respectively references to gross annual value, to the valuation roll and to lands and heritages;
  2. (b) in subsection (5), paragraph (c) shall not apply, and for the words from "shall be referred" to the end there shall be substituted the words "shall be determined by the sheriff on the application of either party";
  3. (c) in subsection (6), for the words "be determined by a valuation officer appointed under the enactments relating to rating" there shall be substituted the words "be determined by the sheriff on the application of any of such persons".

LORD HASTINGS moved, in subsection (5), to leave out "any dispute arising under paragraph (b) of this subsection shall be referred" and insert: if any dispute arises under paragraph (b) of this subsection, the local authority or the person claiming the compensation may by means of a reference in writing submit the dispute".

The noble Lord said: Amendments Nos. 67 and 68 go together; Amendments Nos. 69 and 70 are the Scottish equivalent, and are therefore consequential. With your Lordships' permission, I will take them all at the same time. In fact, they are not much more than drafting Amendments. They deal with the compensation as between two or more proprietors of a house in multi-occupation. It is thought it would be as well for the references to the valuation officer to be made in writing, so as to ensure that the facts basic to the determination of valuation—for example, the extent of the dispossessed proprietor's occupation—shall be on record between the parties, and that it shall be a matter of certainty whether the valuation officer is or is not required to act. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 79, line 17, leave out from ("and") to ("for") in line 18 and insert the said words.—(Lord Hastings.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


This Amendment is moved formally.

Amendment moved— Page 79, line 28, at end insert ("and on a reference in writing,").—(Lord Hastings.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


This Amendment, too, is moved formally.

Amendment moved — Page 79, line 40, leave out from ("from") to second ("shall") in line 41 and insert ("'and if any dispute' to the end there shall be substituted the words 'and any dispute arising under paragraph (b) of this subsection'").—(Lord Hastings.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


This Amendment also is moved formally.

Amendment moved— Page 79, line 44, after ("words") insert ("and on a reference in writing").—(Lord Hastings.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 74, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 75 [Scheme listing works involving capital expenditure]:

5.10 p.m.

LORD TAYLOR moved, in subsection (3), to leave out "shall" and insert "may". The noble Lord said: This Amendment is concerned with the scheme which the local authority have to make after a control order has been applied to a property, and it is a very complicated business that has to be gone through. The local authority take over the house from the landlord who is failing to do his duty properly, and then have to indulge in a large amount of clerical and administrative work in financial estimation before they complete what they are required to do in this clause. In particular, they have to make estimates of the capital works needed to make the house a decent place, and also say how many people should live in it when it has been made decent. They then work out an elaborate balance sheet showing how much money they expect to get from the tenants in rent, how much they have to spend on improving the property, how much in administration, and how much they are going to pay over to the owner of the property from time to time. On that information he can make an appeal.

We feel that this scheme is extremely elaborate and imposes an enormous burden on a local authority. Whilst it was not unreasonable to expect them to make an estimate of capital costs and perhaps of the number of people who ought to live in the reconstituted house, to make a detailed balance of the situation, showing all the expenditure upon and all the revenue for such a property, and to have to do this as a condition of making a control order, is taking it a little far and making it rather hard for the local authority. I am by no means sure that the word "may" in our Amendment is in the right place. Having examined this, I should like it to be further down the subsection, after paragraph (b), making the first two paragraphs mandatory and making the estimates of balances a voluntary exercise on the part of the local authority.

In brief, this is the reason why we want to simplify this complicated procedure— so that there shall not be any inhibition in making control orders where they are needed. It may be said that it will be a little unjust for a tenant of a property which is being taken over not to know his own precise situation at the earliest possible moment. I should have thought that perhaps he himself is not without guilt, and if at the end of the financial year he knew his situation in relation to the balance for the first year's working of the scheme, that ought to be good enough. But that he should know it all in advance and have these estimates from a local authority, thereby putting the authority to a great amount of work, seems to be going out of one's way to protect somebody who has not done his duty by society. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 80, line 17, leave out ("shall") and insert ("may").—(Lord Taylor.)


I appreciate that the noble Lord may think that this is putting a lot of work on the local authority. No doubt it is, but I am afraid that this way of operating the scheme is fundamental, and merely to give discretion to a local authority to make a scheme whether it likes it or not would disastrously upset the whole procedure. These surpluses on revenue account, or in short the "settled surpluses," become a fixed write-down figure by which the local authority, under Clause 76, are periodically to reduce the capital debt due to them for works undertaken in the house. It will thus settle how much of the cost of capital works is to be regarded as recouped from revenue on the one hand, and on the other hand left over to be recovered later on from capital under Clause 76(4).

There are two main advantages of this system. The first is that it obliges the local authority to set out the whole of the financial aspects of their proposed management for everybody to see, and therefore it is an important and essential part of the appeal machinery when people are appealing on the grounds that costs and estimates are excessive, and so on. One cannot have that procedure without striking a balance sheet of this nature. Again, it should not be forgotten that, by making the unrecovered capital debt recoverable by legal charge against all interests, the Bill jeopardises ground landlords and mortgagees, who may be innocent of the evils the control order is designed to remedy. It is only fair to such people that they should see how their interests are to be affected.

Secondly, it puts the local authority under a certain discipline. We feel that this is necessary. Since they have to write off the capital debt at a fixed figure derived from the scheme, they cannot, except at their own risk, manipulate the rent income so as to produce a nil revenue surplus and, as a result, leave the whole capital debt recoverable from a possibly blameless superior landlord or mortgagee, later on, after the control order is revoked. I think your Lordships would agree that that would not be reasonable. It would be possible to recover considerable sums of capital outlay—one cannot say whether it would be the major part or the lesser part—out of revenue during the process of management and reorganisation. The Amendment would eliminate these advantages and would not only nullify the whole recovery procedure but also complicate the appeal procedure. I hope therefore that the noble Lord will not press this Amendment.


While I am inclined to agree with the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, that these proposals are distinctly complicated—and I think unnecessarily so—I feel that the Government are absolutely right and that it would be highly undesirable to suggest to local authorities that they should undertake large and expensive schemes without letting themselves and the ratepayers know what they are in for. I cannot imagine anything more unsatisfactory. Although I should like to see these provisions distinctly less complicated than they appear in the Bill, I do not think that your Lordships would be justified or wise to accept this Amendment.


I see the point of what the noble Lord, Lord Hastings, is saying, but it is the complexity involved in what they have to do which is worrying me, and also, apparently, the noble Earl, Lord Mansfield. I wonder whether the noble Lord would look at it again? When he was speaking I found it quite difficult to follow the processes which had to be gone through and which he was describing. Of course the local authorities should not make a loss on these transactions; it should not be a burden on the ratepayers. I do not agree with the noble Earl who has just spoken. This should be a self-balancing operation, and at the end of the day there should perhaps be some money to be recovered from the original owner—or perhaps not, depending on how much the local authority was able to charge up to capital costs as it went along. Can the noble Lord hold out any hope of simplifying this clause, or is it really as simple as it can be?


I can inquire, of course. I feel sure that local authorities have been consulted about this matter. But I would just draw the noble Lord's attention to Clause 79(2). There is a right for a local authority or any person having an interest in the house to apply to the county court at any time for a review of the estimate of these surpluses. So if something has gone wrong, they can go to the court and get it altered, so that neither side would run into unnecessary financial difficulties.


I thank the noble Lord. We will not press this Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

5.21 p.m.

LORD MESTON moved, at end of subsection (3), to insert: (d) state what monies are lent and outstanding on the security of any property or properties subject to the control order, and the persons or bodies by whom such money has been lent. The noble Lord said: If it is convenient to Her Majesty's Government, I shall discuss Amendments Nos. 71A and 71B together. I am very much obliged to the noble Lord for indicating that that can be done. As your Lordships know, when a control order is made the proprietor becomes a dispossessed proprietor and he virtually disappears from the scene for a period of about five years. Someone—for example, a building society—may have lent money on the security of a mortgage on the house which is the subject of a control order.

Dealing first with Amendment No. 71A, I would submit that this is such an important matter that a scheme made under Clause 75 should specify precisely, what monies are lent and outstanding on the security of any property or properties subject to the control order, and the persons or bodies by whom such money has been lent. Passing on now to Amendment No. 71B, I should like to know what happens if, during the existence of the control order, the terms of the mortgage are not complied with by the mortgagor. In most cases the dispossessed proprietor will be the mortgagor, although not necessarily so, and I want to know what will happen if the local authority, who have dispossessed the proprietor, who have taken over the premises, do not keep up the terms of the mortgage. Can the building society in those circumstances enter upon the property under the terms of their mortgage, and sell the property and reimburse themselves for the monies which they have lent? I think that the true answer is that they might have to spend £10,000 on law cases which would eventually come to your Lordships' House.

I want to avoid that happening, and I want to suggest that the mortgagee —for example, the building society— should have the right to go to the county court, and that the county court should be able to make such an order as it thought fit for the purpose of maintaining and enforcing the security. The local authority who made the control order would be respondents to the application. I may say that throughout I have mentioned the building society, but this applies equally to any chargee or mortgagee who has lent money upon the security of a house which is the subject of a control order. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 80, line 42, at end insert the said paragraph.—(Lord Meston.)

5.24 p.m.


If the noble Lord will forgive me, before I reply to his Amendment I should like to take this opportunity of apologising to noble Lords opposite for not being here when we resumed our discussion of the Amendment on which we divided. I explained the reason to the noble Lord, Lord Silkin: I am afraid that I was irretrievably committed to other business. But I do apologise as we were in the middle of our discussion when we adjourned.


We might have carried the Amendment if the noble Earl had been here.


I think it is extremely fortunate that I was not here: I think we might well have lost the Division. We should not have had the advantage of my noble friend's advocacy. I must also apologise to myself for coming back into our discussion at this particular moment, on matters of such legal complexity that I find them very difficult to follow.


There is no one in your Lordships' House who can answer these questions better than the noble Earl can.


I am going to have a "crack" at it, but I do not suggest that I shall necessarily get it right. I will try here to explain briefly to noble Lords the position as I understand it. I gather that the noble Lord's Amendment is really designed to give the county court jurisdiction to safeguard the maintenance and enforcement of the mortgagee's rights of foreclosure, for example, and sale in the event of the mortgagor's default. I am grateful to the noble Lord for having clarified that.

I think it would be useful—in fact, the noble Lord has invited me to do it—if I explained briefly the mortgagee's position in such circumstances. Plainly, as the noble Lord has recognised, his rights are impaired, since by Clause 70 the control order will give the local authority possession of the house against all the world. His right of foreclosure, therefore, will be subject to this. This means that he can only take over and sell the mortgagor's right: first, to receive compensation during the order, and, secondly, to come back into possession at the end of it. I would, however, remind the noble Lord that Clause 74(3) gives the mortgagee a more direct access to the dispossessed proprietor's compensation. It is deemed to be comprised in the mortgage or charge, so that he can move to get possession of the compensation just as, save for the control order, he could move to get possession of the property itself.

I should be the first to grant that there may be cases in which the dispossessed proprietor's compensation, which is half the gross value, will not be enough to cover the mortgage repayments, and then the mortgagee may have difficulty in getting the balance of the repayments from the dispossessed proprietor. Frankly, I think that this is something which cannot be helped. The compensation, as noble Lords know, has been deliberately set at a level low enough to permit a margin of income for the rectification of the squalor that caused the control order to be made; and plainly, in our view, the interests of the people living in these bad conditions must come first. I do not think it would be practicable to provide that the compensation should be increased to a level sufficient to cover the repayments due under any mortgage—and that for a very simple reason: that this would simply leave it open to the Rachmans of this world to secure a guaranteed income at a "sweated" level by fixing up a "front man" with a fake mortgage. That is what we think would happen in these cases.

That is the position, and I have tried to put it as bluntly as I can. One might take the view, feeling sympathetic towards the mortgagee, that I should go some way to meeting the noble Lord on his point here. But I am afraid that I cannot do so—for two reasons. First, his Amendment at least seems to put the interests of the mortgagee before those of the people who are being oppressed by the bad living conditions; and I am sure that no public-spirited mortgagee would want that. Secondly, assuming that the Amendment is designed, as I think the noble Lord's Amendments are designed, to enable a mortgagee to recover physical possession of a house for the purposes of sale, the mortgagee might then well sell it into hands in which the bad living conditions could develop all over again, and we should have to start the whole cycle once more. That is the position as I understand it, and it is for those reasons that I cannot advise the Committee to accept the noble Lord's Amendments.


I must say that I am rather disappointed at the attitude taken up by the Government in this matter. When premises have been mortgaged, the mortgagee has the first right. If we are going into questions about how many people sleep in a room, how many people are oppressed and so forth, it is quite hopeless. After all, the mortgagee may be a building society, which has only the money of the people who invest in it. I can talk about the poor widow and all sorts of things if you like, so as to offset the sentimental observations which have been made on the other side, but I want to make it quite clear that where money is lent on mortgage, on the security of a house which is the subject of a control order, those people come first. Indeed, it will be disastrous if they do not come first. It is absolutely hopeless to allow somebody else to come in and take a place before the mortgagee. It makes absolute nonsense of the Common Law and of the law relating to mortgages. It is absolutely unknown. If the Government wish to do that, then I say that the Act of Parliament should specifically say that the Common Law and the law as to mortgages is abrogated, and that a local authority which makes a control order takes priority over everybody and can do what it likes. That is quite sensible: but, in the absence of anything like that, the Committee will find that, as the Bill stands at the present moment, there will be thousands of pounds spent upon litigation—and I have no objection! But, as no one is in favour of this Amendment, it remains for me to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 75 agreed to.

Clauses 76 to 81 agreed to.

Clause 82 [Termination of control order]:

LORD SILKIN moved, in subsection (1), to leave out "five" and insert "seven" [years]. The noble Lord said: I do not propose to make a great oration about this Amendment. The noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, was not present, but the noble Lord, Lord Hastings, made a great point of the fact that these control orders were of only five years' duration, and that at the end of that period the tenant might be in exactly the same position as he was before, with a bad landlord and so on. We have rather anticipated that argument in our Amendment by suggesting that the period of five years might be enlarged to seven years. It is a maximum period. The language of Clause 82 is that the control comes to an end at the end of five years, and we want to say that it should come to an end at the end of seven years. But it can come to art end earlier if the local authority is satisfied that the premises are in a satisfactory condition, and it can come to an end at the instance of the landlord, by application. Therefore, the period is a limiting period. It is the maximum period during which the control order can be in existence. I think that seven years is a more realistic period than five. I do not want to put the case too high, but I can conceive instances where it will be necessary for a control order to be in existence for longer than five years. I therefore hope that, with the safeguard that it can come to an end earlier if the local authority is so satisfied or on the application of the landlord, the Government will accept this Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 90, line 27, leave out ("five") and insert ("seven").—(Lord Silkin.)


I rather wish the noble Lord had told us a little more why there is this particular magic about seven years here.


It is a lucky number.


Why five, then?


The noble Lord asks me why five. I admit we are playing the numbers game. It is very difficult to make a precise case for five or four, six or seven; bat the purpose of a control order is to enable a local authority to rectify bad living conditions, and I should have thought that, if a local authority could not do that in five years —which, after all, is about the length of the First World War—it is not doing its job very well, or that the house has got into such a bad state, has gone so far "down the drain", that it ought to be pulled down. I should have thought that a period of five years would give the local authority plenty of time to get a grip on the situation.

Although the noble Lord did not say it, I suppose one might say that there may be some landlords against whom possession is being made who are so wicked or untrustworthy that one needs these extra two years. I cannot see that, if a landlord is going to be a hopeless case, he is going to be any less hopeless in his sixth year than in his fourth year. I do not see how the extra two years would help one there. I should have thought that, in that sort of case, in really bad cases, the answer is not a control order at all but a compulsory purchase order.

Here, I should merely remind the Committee that Clause 70 (5) provides expressly that the existence of a control order is not to be prejudicial to the authority's power of compulsory acquisition. Therefore, you can make a control order and, if things still remain appalling, you can then apply for a c.p.o.—and this is expressly provided for. Indeed, my right honourable friend in another place gave an administrative assurance that he, for his part, would be very willing to consider on their merits c.p.os. on houses in respect of which control orders already existed. I do not feel passionately, I must confess, about this matter of five or seven, but I should prefer to rest on five, given this extra power of the c.p.o. which lies behind one all the time. On the whole, that is what I would advise the Committee.


I do not feel passionately about it either, but I should like the noble Earl to think again. For one reason, the local authority may well have a great deal on their hands. Taking the whole of this Bill, with all that is involved in Parts II, III and IV, they will have a great deal on their hands in certain areas; and, while they may make a control order as a matter of emergency, it may not always be possible for them to deal with the matter as speedily as one would like. They may not have the staff; they may not be physically able to deal with it. That is why such a long period as five years was put into the Bill. It may be that even in the five years they will not have been able to get round to carrying out completely all the work necessary, and I should have preferred to give them a longer period. I know that noble Lords are waiting to come on to the next debate, and I do not wish to detain them, but I would suggest that the noble Earl think about it again. I hope he may be able to give me more satisfaction when I put the Amendment down again on Report.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 82 agreed to.

Clauses 83 to 86 agreed to.

Clause 87 [Interpretation and construction of Part IV]:


This is consequential on an Amendment previously agreed. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 94, line 23, leave out ("house") and insert ("premises").—(Earl Jellicoe.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 87, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 88 to 97 agreed to.

5.42 p.m.


I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 97, insert the following new clause—

Improvements to Dwellings occupied by Agricultural Workers

(" . A person occupying a dwelling under a contract of employment within the meaning of section 7 of the Act of 1957 may make representations under section 19 of this Act as if he were a tenant of the dwelling. The cost of any works which in the case of a tenant could be recovered by an increase in the rent may be recovered under the provisions of section 7(3) of the Agricultural Wages Act 1948.").—(Lord Silkin.)


I want only to ask a question on this new clause. It is very similar to but rather simpler than a new clause which was moved in another place. Its purpose was to make sure that agricultural workers were fully covered by the provisions. I think in the earlier clauses and new subsections moved by the Government we have got what we wanted; but I wished to make sure and to ask the noble Earl whether he could give an assurance that agricultural workers were fully covered in respect of their rights to get their dwellings improved and to pay for the improvement in the appropriate manner.


I am in a position to give the Committee that assurance.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clauses 98 to 101 agreed to.

Clause 102 [General interpretation, and temporary modification as regards London]:

EARL JELLICOE moved, at the end of subsection (5), to leave out "This subsection shall come into force on 1st April 1965". The noble Earl said: I should like to move Amendments Nos. 76, 77 and 78 together. Amendment No. 78 ensures that we provide that Part I of the Bill, together with certain clauses in Part V which are linked to it, come into effect on the passing of the Act instead of one month after the Royal Assent. The purpose of these Amendments is a simple one. We propose that the Housing Corporation should begin operating as soon as possible, and there is no reason why the setting up of the Corporation on a statutory basis should be delayed for a month after the Bill is passed. The position is rather different for Parts III and IV, where a good deal of preparatory work needs to be done; but Part I deals with the Housing Corporation which we hope to "get cracking" straight away. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 110, leave out line 12.—(Earl Jellicoe.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 102, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 103 agreed to.

Clause 104 [Short title, citation, repeals, extent and commencement]:


I beg to move formally.

Amendment moved— Page 111, line 14, leave out ("any other provision of this Act") and insert ("the following subsection").—(Earl Jellicoe.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I think this is the last Amendment, and in moving it formally, although I did not play a prominent part in this Committee stage, I should like on behalf of my noble friend Lord Hastings to thank all noble Lords who have taken part and who have made a far more considerable contribution than I am afraid I have. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 111, line 16, at end insert— ("(5) Part I of this Act and the following provisions of Part V of this Act, that is—

  1. (a) section 95, and
  2. (b) sections 100 to 103, except section 102(5),
shall come into force on the passing of this Act; and the said section 102(5) shall come into force on 1st April 1965.").—(Earl Jellicoe.)


My colleagues and I think the noble Earl's remarks most gracious.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 104, as amended, agreed to.

Schedules agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with Amendments.