HL Deb 23 March 1964 vol 256 cc1043-58

2.51 p.m.

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this House do resolve itself into a Committee on the Bill.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Craigton.)


My Lords, I think we have some reason to complain to Her Majesty's Government because of the way this Business has been timed. As your Lordships know, this Bill was in one form introduced in the last Parliament. It was then redrafted and introduced in another place, and since then it has been so much altered that from day to day one could never tell which form the Bill would take, so it was not possible for us to study its contents until it left another place. Since then, not last Thursday but on the Thursday before that, we had the Second Reading. Now we are to have the Committee stage to-day, on a Monday.

On the day following the conclusion of the Second Reading, when I received my Parliamentary Papers, I immediately sent them to Scotland to my advisers who are members, but country members, of the Law Society. I wanted to learn two things particularly. I wanted to be clear on points of law, and I wanted to be quite certain that I had not overstated anything in what I said to your Lordships on the Thursday. Although I got an immediate answer it was not received by me until the following Thursday, in this House—it had been sent to me here in order that I might get it in time. The Amendments had to be tabled on Friday, and to-day we have to take the Committee stage. Monday is the most difficult day in the whole week for Scottish Peers to attend. I believe that only two trains run from Scotland on a Sunday, and many of us live at large distances from our railhead. Many of us are not wealthy and do not have anybody who can take charge of our car and take it home when we have reached the railhead. It is most difficult, therefore, for Scottish Members of your Lordships' House to attend here on a Monday. I am bound to say that I think it shows little consideration for Scottish Members for the Government to put down the Committee stage for a Monday, and I feel that I am perfectly right to make that point before your Lordships decide whether or not we go into Committee on this Bill.


The Question is, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.


My Lords, is there no reply from the Government?


My Lords, I appreciate the difficulty of my noble friend Lord Saltoun and my other noble friends. This is a matter of the choice of the order of Business. I realise that it has been most difficult for us to fit in this important Bill. I would say to your Lordships, as most of you know, that we have given every possible assistance that we can, in, I agree, the fairly short time available, in the drafting of Amendments. There will later be the Report stage, and those who feel aggrieved and have not been able to put down Amendments they want will live to fight another day on Report and on Third Reading.


My Lords, on that I would only remark that two of our Scottish Members are unable to be here to-day.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The LORD MERTHYR in the Chair.]

Clause 1:

Assimilation of heritage to moveables for purpose of devolution on intestacy

1.—(1) The whole of the intestate estate of any person dying after the commencement of this Act (so far as it is estate the succession to which falls to be regulated by the law of Scotland) shall devolve, without distinction as between heritable and moveable property, in accordance with—

  1. (a) the provisions of this Part of this Act, and
  2. (b) any enactment or rule of law in force immediately before the commencement of this Act which is not inconsistent with those provisions and which, apart from this section, would apply to that person's moveable intestate estate, if any;
and, subject to section 36 of this Act, any enactment or rule of law in force immediately before the commencement of this Act with respect to the succession to intestate estates shall, in so far as it is inconsistent with the provisions of this Part of this Act, cease to have effect.

THE EARL OF PERTH moved, in subsection (1), after "estate" where the word first occurs, to insert: excluding any land over ten acres in extent used for agricultural purposes.

The noble Earl said: I beg to move the first Amendment which stands in my name and that of two other noble Lords. Before I move the Amendment, I would say that of course I echo very much the feeling of Lord Saltoun on the point of our having been rushed. But I would add that I appreciate the degree to which the Government have tried to help us, and indeed have helped us, on some of the drafting in this quite short time. I am particularly glad to hear the point made by Lord Craigton, that there will be a Report stage and that he will recognise—I hope it will be generally recognised—that if we have to do more than we usually do on a Report stage in the way of suggested Amendments, the reasons for it will be accepted, and that we shall not have the Report stage on a Monday. I have had several letters from various Scottish Peers who have said that they cannot come on Mondays. I would therefore ask the House to try to arrange for the Report stage to be taken on a day other than a Monday. With those words I should like to turn to the Amendment.

What I have tried to do in this Amendment is to achieve what I believe is generally desired; that is, to ensure that an agricultural estate is not included as part of the overall estate when somebody dies intestate. As your Lordships know, at the present time on an intestacy the agricultural estate is left out. It goes through the rule of primogeniture and the probability is that one person can inherit and run the estate in the future. But under the present proposal all that will almost certainly come to an end. The noble Lord, Lord Craigton, said that it may be possible for the family to carry on, and so arrange things among themselves that they will be able to keep the farm within the family. I feel that this is more than doubtful, and I should think that in 99 cases out of a 100 what will happen is that the estate will have to be sold and the family connection with the land will disappear. I would recall to your Lordships the remarkable example of family connection—I am talking of the small farms—with land as we have seen it in the past. This was instanced by Lord Saltoun on Second Reading, when he spoke of three farms within a short radius (five miles, I think it was) of his home, which had been in the families for as long as fourteen generations. He also referred to others where the period was slightly less. Those examples relate to just a small part of Scotland.

If the Bill goes through as it stands, then that particular family tie with the land is going to disappear. I recall that we are told that the main background to this Bill, the reason for it, is the Report of the Committee set up under Lord Mackintosh as far back as 1949. I would also recall that Lord Mackintosh, when studying this particular question, came out quite firmly on the need for some special arrangement to ensure that when the small farmer who had a long history with his land died, there was a chance of its going, in one way or another, to a sole heir. He was very specific about this. He said—and I quote, for the benefit of those who were not in the House during the debate on Second Reading: In the absence of special provision the change in the general law of succession above proposed might have far-reaching and unfortunate results on agricultural interests and on the social structure of our countryside generally. And he added: Such a result in our opinion would be socially and nationally undesirable …". In the Bill as it stands to-day there is no provision to avoid these results. I know that an attempt to meet this point was made in an earlier draft of the Bill, but the provision was found to be so complicated that it was withdrawn. But complication should not be regarded as a reason for failing to do something which Mackintosh and so many of us feel desirable. Unless something is done on these lines, the Bill will have most unfortunate results, in that it will often end a long family tie with the land.

I would stress to your Lordships that what we are talking about is, by and large, the small farmer who has been with his land for many centuries. We are not talking about the rich landowner for whom it is relatively easy; he makes a will or otherwise disposes of his land. It is the small man about whom we are worrying. When we were discussing this subject on Second Reading my noble friend Lord Craigton said he had looked at a great many figures, and they showed that, out of some 9,000 intestate estates in 1961, perhaps only three would have been affected. I am afraid I am not moved by whether the number was one, three or thirty-three. The fact is that there are some people who for a lifetime have been associated with the land and who will be affected by this Bill if it goes through as it stands. It may be that in 1961 only three people would have been affected, but perhaps had one taken 1962 or 1960 one might have found different figures—perhaps ten or a dozen who would have been affected. So I am not impressed by the argument that in 1961 only three were concerned.

In my Amendment I have suggested a holding of 10 acres or more. If it would help, I should be ready to change the figure to 50, or even 100, acres. If we have a figure of somewhere about that size, I cannot see why it should not be possible to accept an Amendment in this form, so as to ensure that in the case of the small farmer who for many generations has been on his land, and who for some unfortunate reason did not make a will, in some way or another the opportunity is given to the family to continue to have the farm as a single unit. Again on Second Reading my noble friend Lord Craigton raised various technical difficulties, if I may so refer to them, in relation to this matter. All I will say, in reply to him, is that if there is a will there is undoubtedly a way to get over these technical difficulties. I would ask the Government a simple question. Do they or do they not want, if they can, to keep the small farmer in these cases, with the chance of succession going to his family, or do they not care? Only on that basis can we judge the worth either of this Amendment or of some other Amendment. I have no particular brief for the exact words on the Order Paper. However, I greatly believe in the purposes behind them. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 1, line 7, after ("estate") insert the said words—(The Earl of Perth.)


In support of my noble friend Lord Perth in his Amendment, it is proper to point out that in every draft of this Bill introduced into Parliament there were a great many clauses designed to protect agricultural land. They were all found to be unworkable and were eventually torn out of the Bill. This meant that the Bill was to be passed without any consideration at all of agricultural land. What it boils down to is that this Bill is all right for the towns, but does not suit the conditions of the country. Therefore, either it should be amended or its operation should be limited to the towns. If its operation is limited to the towns there would perhaps be a few exceptions which would raise difficulties in the country, but there would not be very many and in general the people of Scotland would be better served.

As it is, this Bill as it comes before your Lordships applies to the whole of Scotland, with one notable exception. It does not apply to agricultural lands which are under the Scottish Land Court and which can amount to as much as 50 acres, and very often do. If this Bill excepts agricultural land up to 50 acres, why should it not except agricultural land of a greater acreage? That is the whole point. There will be far less difficulty over this Bill if the Government accept this proposal. I had another argument to put forward on this; I will urge it when I think of it.


My two Scottish noble friends are unfortunately not here this afternoon. Therefore, not being a Scot, I felt that it would be best, in the circumstances, if I took some advice from my friends in another place, which I did. I think that this Amendment would be recognised as being of a wrecking character. It certainly will place a grave limitation on the scope of the Bill because it will exclude all farm lands of 10 acres or more.

I should have thought that there is much within the Bill generally which the Committee would wish to see. I was surprised to understand from the Second Reading debate that, if a person died without making a will, then within Scottish law (if I understand it aright) the land would pass to the son; and, in spite of the fact that the wife may have been married to the person in question for many years, if perhaps she were not on a very friendly relationship with the son she could be dismissed or removed from the house without any difficulty; she would have no claim to continue to live in the house. I should not have thought there would be any wish to continue that sort of position. Whether the provisions in the Bill provide the right balance between children and the wife is not at the moment in dispute, but if this Amendment were to be passed, or even if there were this limitation as to the size of the property, we should be excluding a part of Scottish property which should be covered by the Bill. I hope that the Government will not accept this Amendment.


I should like to say that the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, is mistaken, because in this Bill, so far as agricultural land is concerned, the house and the property do not go to the wife; the farm is to go on. The only other point is this. I beg the noble Lord, Lord Craigton, and the Government to consider very carefully what the effect is going to be. I know that it will be a gradual effect, but what will be the effect on public opinion in Scotland if the result of a farmer's dying intestate will be that the family will go out of the farm and that the farm will be broken up and sold? The disturbance of these old tenancies and possessions is a thing which would have a very big effect on public opinion, and no member of any of these families wishes for a law that would bring that into effect.


Basically, this Amendment, as your Lordships realise, seeks the retention of primogeniture and male preference in certain circumstances. As the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, said, this would run counter to the principal recommendation of the Mackintosh Report, but not only, as the noble Earl, Lord Perth, seemed to say, to the Mackintosh Report. It also runs counter to views expressed as long ago as the 'twenties by the Society of Writers to the Signet and by the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow—views since adopted by the Law Society of Scotland, the central body set up in 1949 for the solicitor branch of the legal profession. There is no doubt at all that the retention of primogeniture and male preference for the large number of properties covered by the Amendment, or which would be covered even if the area were altered, would be unacceptable to the professional bodies whose members, in the ordinary course of their business, are most closely in touch with the making of wills and the administration and winding up of estates.

Moreover, the retention of these rules would be quite out of line with the development of succession law in the majority of the countries of Western Europe and North America. This was studied by the Mackintosh Committee, who found that the feudal system of primogeniture and male preference had at one time figured in many of these legal systems but had gradually been abandoned in favour of rules of succession which made no distinction between males and females or between the firstborn and other children. Scotland has fallen behind in this process of modernisation. In England, primogeniture and male preference were abandoned forty years ago. They were abandoned, moreover, for all classes of property that we should call heritable, including agricultural land, and there is, so far as we know, no suggestion that either the agricultural industry or the countryside generally have been any the worse.

To sum up, the Amendment would strike at the basic principle of the Bill—namely, that persons in the same degree of relationship to the intestate should share equally in the estate without distinction between male and female or older and younger. The very substantial departure from the principle now proposed would be unacceptable not only to legal opinion but also to the bodies that have for so long sought succession rights for women. Nor would it be acceptable in another place.

These are general considerations. It is true, I agree with my noble friend Lord Perth, that the Mackintosh Committee were apprehensive about the effect of their recommendations on agriculture, and that they made special proposals for the disposal of agricultural units which, for reasons which your Lordships understand, do not now figure in the Bill. But I make two points. The first is that the Mackintosh Committee did not recommend the retention of primogeniture and male preference for owner-occupied farms. Under their scheme, the value of an owner-occupied farm would have been included with the rest of the intestate estate and shared among the heirs. The special arrangement, found too complicated to enact, was that the descendants of the deceased in order of seniority would have been given the opportunity of acquiring the farm from the other heirs, but—and this is the important point—only on payment of its value. This is quite different from the suggestion here of primogeniture, which gives the heir-at-law a right to the heritage without any obligation to buy out the other heirs. Even the Mackintosh Committee, which clearly felt great concern for agriculture, did not recommend that primogeniture should be retained for agricultural land.

The second point is that it is now known that the fears expressed by Mackintosh for agriculture were a good deal exaggerated, for we now know that it is very rare for a farm of any size to fall into intestacy. Moreover, we are not justified in assuming that, in the few cases (and they can be only a few cases, whether you take the year 1961, 1962 or 1963) when farms fall into intestacy after the Bill becomes law, they will necessarily have to be put on the market. Various circumstances may prevent this. There may turn out to be only one person entitled to share in the estate; or, if there are more than one, agreement may be reached between them that one of their number may take the agricultural land, possibly against a financial adjustment of the kind contemplated by Mackintosh. Thus, the small number of agricultural intestacies that seem likely to occur will in all probability lead to an even smaller number of cases in which, by reason of the intestacy, agricultural land is forced on to the market. The noble Lord, Lord Saltoun, said (I think I have him right) that the Bill excepts land that comes under the Land Court. He is not quite right, I think. The Bill does not apply to tenancies of crofts only: it applies to all other land. Crofting tenancies are in a class apart.

It is also relevant that, under present law, the heir-at-law who takes the farm does not take a share of the moveables; so to-day he can finance the operation of the farm only if he has other resources. If he has no such resources, he must collate the heritage in order to obtain a share of the moveable intestate estate, and when he does so the situation so created is pretty much that created by Part I of the Bill. I assure the Committee that the whole argument that the Bill will lead to the dispossession of farming families is, in fact, greatly overstated, and I would ask your Lordships to reject the Amendment, which undermines the basic principle of the Bill.


Could I ask my noble friend two questions? One is this. Suppose this Amendment is rejected. Will he make sure that as wide publicity as possible is given to the fact that this law has been altered in the event of a farmer dying intestate, so that farmers will therefore be encouraged to make a will? Secondly (and this is more technical), in the case of joint tenancies—ordinary farms, not crofts—where both the farmer and the son are in the tenancy, am I right in thinking that, under this Bill, the other sons who are not in the tenancy will have an equal share in the livestock and the equipment of the farm, and will this not make it very difficult for the son who is in the tenancy to continue the farm?


On the second point, the noble Duke is talking about tenancies, and not owner-occupied farms?




On that, under the Bill the executor has to find one tenant from those entitled under Clause 2 of the Bill, so that it will be for the executor to get together with the family and make, as it were, a "fair deal" as to who is to have the farm and how they are going to adjust the share of the moveables. On the other point, I think the answer is Yes; so far as it is proper for Her Majesty's Government, we will do what we can to see that that matter is carried out.


I certainly do not want to bring in a wrecking Amendment, if that is what this Amendment amounts to. On the other hand, I put the Amendment down for a very good reason, and that is that I think there is a problem here to which we have not found the answer. We have not found the answer to it, partly because it is very difficult and partly because we have had no time. We heard earlier of the very short while in which we hake had an opportunity to consider this matter. There is a problem here. I do not want to insist on primogeniture. I would be only too ready to accept some form of arrangement, some form of amendment, which would ensure seniority—that is to say, preference for the wife or the children in the order of age, or some other sort of arrangement. I am not trying to stick just to the one thing, and insist that it should be as it is to-day.

However, having said that, I may very well, at the time of Report, wish to try to find some way around this difficulty, which is not only something which we are pressing; I know we have had a wealth of names of people who want it the other way. What about the National Farmers' Union? Do they come out on the side of the Government here? I do not think so. Generally, I think that there is a problem here to which we ought to try to find an answer.

If I and my friends do not press the Amendment at this time, I would ask the Government two things. One is that they be more specific on how they intend to make known the change in the law to farmers as a result of this Bill going through, if it goes through in its present form or if it should be slightly altered. I should like to have a clear answer—if not to-day, then perhaps at a later date—on this point. If it goes through, I think it is of the greatest importance that all farmers should be aware of it—not merely by their friends telling them, but by Government action to inform them that the change in the law has taken place, as the noble Duke has just said.

My second point is that I would hope the Government would try with us to find a way of introducing a provision which will give effect to what Mackintosh wanted. If I could have those two assurances from the Government, then I should not wish to press this Amendment at the present moment.


My noble friend has asked me to be more specific on how to make this matter known. I have given the noble Duke an assurance that I will do what we properly can do. But I should observe that, so far as I am informed, most Scottish farmers do make wills. So far as the other question is concerned, my noble friend knows that the Government have for weeks and weeks now been trying desperately and honestly to give effect to what Mackintosh wanted without making a system so difficult to operate that we should never arrive at a conclusion. If my noble friend has any suggestion to make in the immediate future, we will give the greatest help to him, as we have done in the past, in trying to arrive at a solution.


I wonder whether my noble friend, before the next stage of this Bill, would give some further consideration to the point raised by the noble Duke, as it seems to be one of particular relevance.


I am sorry but I thought that I had answered that.


I have nothing further to say except that, with the Committee's permission, I would beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 [Rights of succession to intestate estate]:

Rights of succession to intestate estate


(2) References in the foregoing subsection to brothers or sisters include respectively brothers and sisters of the half blood as well as of the whole blood; and in the said subsection "prior relative", in relation to any class of person mentioned in any paragraph of that subsection, means a person of any other class who, if he had survived the intestate, would have had right to the intestate estate or any of it by virtue of an earlier paragraph of that subsection or by virtue of any such paragraph and section 5 of this Act.

THE EARL OF PERTH had given Notice of two Amendments in subsection (1): to omit sub-paragraph (e) and re-insert the paragraph after paragraph (f). The noble Lord said: These Amendments raise, I hope, a relatively simple point, although I think that no Amendment to a Bill of such a legal character can be simple. The object of the Amendments is to change the order of succession to some extent. Whereas at the present time, in the list that we see in Clause 2 of who inherits an intestate estate, we have the position that the widow (or husband, for that matter), or their brothers or sisters, will inherit property before a first cousin, I am anxious that the first cousin should come in before the relatives of the wife or husband. May I explain what I particularly have in mind? One of the spouses of a marriage may die intestate and there is the problem of the property; and if certain of the earlier classes of relative do not exist, then the property can go to the brothers or sisters of the wife or husband who have no interest in the property, who perhaps do not live in this country and whose first thought may be to get rid of it. I should have hoped that in such a case the first cousin should succeed to the property, rather than these distant relatives who have no interest. This is the purpose of the Amendments, and I hope they will meet with the Committee's approval.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 36, leave out sub-paragraph (e).—(The Earl of Perth.)


May I say one word first about what the noble Lord, Lord Craigton, said at the beginning: that there was always a Report stage. He apologised for choosing a day on which very few Scottish Peers could attend by saying that there is always a Report stage. I accept that gladly; but with this proviso: that, should it seem to be necessary, the Committee will consent to the Recommitment of the Bill, instead of letting it go through to Report stage, so that we can really get down to discussing it.

In supporting my noble friend's Amendment all I wish to say is that it is entirely in line with Scottish feeling in the country, all the way up from farm servant to proprietor. The provisions of this Bill will, I think, cause a good deal of astonishment in Scotland when they become known. I do not know whether the Government think that the best way to win an Election is to administer a series of electric shocks to the public; but they are certainly going to do this in Scotland over this Bill. One important point, which I think was not made by the noble Earl, Lord Perth, is that very often a widow marries again and conveys the property out of the family. When that happens it administers a great shock to public opinion, in that it offends what Scottish people look on as decent—and that is all the more so if there are relatives like cousins. That, I think, is an argument in favour of my noble friend's Amendment.


The question here is whether the intestate with no children, with no brothers and sisters, no nephews or nieces and no parents surviving, would leave the balance of his estate to a cousin in preference to a wife. He might; I am not sure that he would. In fact I am sure that he would not in every case. We know that in only three or four cases in every thousand would a surviving spouse inherit anything substantial under Clause 2(e). But I see the point of putting the cousin before the wife in the very few cases where this might apply; but it would be by no means the universal wish. But I am in a quandary. Many of our colleagues in another place would have preferred the wife to be higher up in the list—in fact, in paragraph (b). This point of view was pressed to a Division in Committee stage and on Report in another place. Paragraph 2(e) therefore represents a fair compromise to opposing points of view. This is the place in the table of intestate succession recommended by Mackintosh; and we know that in practice it can affect very few of the 9,000 to 10,000 intestate estates every year. Mainly because it cannot be said that the majority of husbands would give preference in these circumstances to the cousin over the wife; and because there was such pressure in another place to put the spouse much higher up the list, I would beg the Committee not to support this Amendment and would ask my noble friend not to press it. I do not pray one final point in aid, but I should point out that in England the surviving spouse enters the succession at the same point as in this Bill.


This is a difficult judgment. The question is, what would the person who died have wished? I believe that he would want the wife to have something but would not necessarily like or wish the wife's brothers or sisters to have it. It is not as if she were not going to get a great deal already. She is well, and rightly, provided for in many of the other clauses of the Bill, and, if I remember the figures, she is going to get at least some £15,000 in any case. So this Amendment is not saying that we are going to leave her destitute: far from it. It is just a question of whether the person who has died had expressed the wish that the wife's brothers and sisters or first cousins should have it. I am told that I must not press this Amendment because there were difficulties in another place—though I do not know that that appears to me very much as an argument.


I can assure your Lordships that I do not intend to imply that the fact that a similar Amendment has been objected to in another place is a reason why your Lordships' House should not vote for it. But it is my duty to tell your Lordships what happened in another place on a point of this nature.


I have nothing more to say. Without more clear support, I am not going to press this Amendment, and I beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

3.31 p.m.

LORD SALTOUN moved to omit subsection (2). The noble Lord said: This Amendment deals with the question of half-blood. I have already explained to your Lordships on Second Reading that I do not like the law of intestate succession of heritage as it exists in Scotland. In Scotland, where women have always owned their own property, have always managed their own affairs and retain their maiden names all through their lives, I do not think that the present law is satisfactory. At the same time, I deprecate this introduction of half-blood, because a woman can go away and marry anybody—Greek, Turk or infidel—and thereby carry away property from the family. I repeat to your Lordships once more that in Scotland the question of family is always allied to property. It may be a very small piece of ground but in Scotland the family is never really utterly divorced from it. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 3, line 20, leave out subsection (2).—(Lord Saltoun.)


The main effect of this Amendment would be to exclude altogether from the line of succession in intestacy the half-blood brothers and sisters of the intestate. This is not a reversal to, but a step backwards from, the existing position. The noble Lord, Lord Saltoun, says that he does not like half-blood taking, but, with our present preference for males, hall-blood brothers and sisters who have the same father as the deceased come into the succession after the full-blood brothers and sisters but before half-blood brothers and sisters who have the same mother as the deceased, who now take half the estate only.

The change made by the Bill is to eliminate the preference for males and give all half-blood brothers and sisters the same succession rights. This is a Mackintosh recommendation, which has been accepted by the legal societies and by another place. It would be a retrograde step from the basic principle of the Bill, even to return to the present practice, and it would be even more retrograde to abolish it entirely and for the first time alter the succession through the half-blood, as does this Amendment. So I would ask your Lordships not to accept this Amendment.


I am perfectly aware of all that the noble Lord has said. I really put this Amendment down to emphasise my view that when tracing back heirship to property, it should always be traced back to somebody who actually owned it or might have owned it. That is how I should like the law of heritable succession to exist. Having made that point, I beg your Lordships' leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave withdrawn.


Perhaps this would be a suitable moment to make a statement. I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved, That the House do now resume.—(Lord Derwent.)

On Question, Motion agreed to, and House resumed accordingly.