HL Deb 21 April 1994 vol 554 cc349-50

Read a Second time.

Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[Mr. Butterfill.)

Bill immediately considered in Committee; reported, without amendment; read the Third time, and passed."—[Official Report, Commons, 18/3/94; col. 1297.]

It is for that reason that I express the gratitude of this House to the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, for the very detailed way in which, with great clarity, he told us the purpose of the Bill, the Second Reading of which he moved. We have listened to him with great respect.

We in this House know what the Bill is about and that it is a good Bill. The Law Society, of which I am proud to be a member, as is the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, did a great job of work for ordinary people in this country who, when they purchased their houses, were put in great difficulty, especially when the land was unregistered, as the noble Lord mentioned. The Law Society hated the idea of such purchasers being burdened by questions from mortgagees which meant that a lot of further investigation of the title and satisfaction of those requests had to be carried out.

This is a good Bill which will, I am sure, have the Government's support. In those circumstances, although it may not be passed in this House with the rapidity with which it passed through the other House, I hope that it will have a very swift passage.

7.26 p.m.

Viscount Goschen

My Lords, I too would like to extend thanks to my noble friend Lord Coleraine for taking this important Bill through this House, and to my honourable friend the Member for Bournemouth, West for taking the Bill through another place.

As has been said, the Insolvency Act 1986 rightly enables assets transferred at an undervalue, or given in preference before an insolvency, to be recovered for the benefit of creditors. However, members of the ordinary house-buying public are, at the moment, being put to unnecessary expense and inconvenience because of these provisions. In many of the cases, they are being required to take out insurance against title if they become aware of a previous transaction at an undervalue.

The Bill gives additional protection to innocent third party purchasers and will greatly reduce this burden, while maintaining safeguards for creditors.

The Government welcome the Bill and are pleased to give it their support.

7.27 p.m.

Lord Coleraine

My Lords, I am grateful for the unstinting support that has been given to the Bill by my noble friend Lord Goschen and by the noble Lord, Lord Mishcon, speaking from the Dispatch Box opposite. I ask the House to give the Bill a Second Reading.

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

Baroness Trumpington

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure until eight o'clock.

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

[The Sitting was suspended from 7.28 to 8 p.m.]