HL Deb 28 April 1987 vol 486 cc1433-4

8.23 p.m.

Lord Morton of Shuna

My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of the Bill is to allow the Register of Sasines to be produced in a new format instead of in bound volumes as is at present required. As I understand it, it is a measure which has the support of the Government, the management of the registers of Scotland, the trade union side, the Law Society of Scotland and of this side of the House. We should all be grateful to Mr. Michael Martin, the Member of Parliament for Glasgow, Springburn who steered the Bill through another place.

The Register of Sasines was set up in 1617 and there have since been various Acts of Parliament to change the method of recording deeds. The Bill is designed to further the same aim. The immediate aim is to switch the production of entries to microfiche, but if future technology seems to offer a better service in other formats, that could be introduced by statutory instrument. That is the purpose behind giving the Secretary of State power to make regulations prescribing the method of operation of the register. It will make the register more efficient. In those circumstances, I commend the Bill to your Lordships' House. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a second time—(Lord Morton of Shuna.)

Lord Cameron of Lochbroom

My Lords, I am pleased to have an opportunity to declare the Government's support for the Bill, and in doing so to thank the noble Lord for introducing it in this House and his friend Mr. Martin for introducing it in another place. As the noble Lord said, the purpose of the Bill is to allow welcome improvements to be made to the methods of registration and storage applicable to the Register of Sasines. It offers benefits to users and producers of the register. As he clearly demonstrated, legislative reform is required to improve the property registration process.

The Bill, as the noble Lord said, will allow continued reform and refinement in the future through the power that is given to the Secretary of State to make regulations. It will allow us to move forward in the future as modern office technology develops. I therefore also commend the Bill to your Lordships.

Lord Morton of Shuna

My Lords, in the absence of any opposition, I think that it would be superfluous to say anything other than that I commend the Bill to the House.

On Question, Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

Baroness Hooper

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure until 8.35 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

[The Sitting was suspended from 8.27 until 8.35 p.m.]