HC Deb 18 February 1918 vol 103 cc496-7W

asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the effect of Mr. Justice Eve's judgment in re Jobson upon the intentions of the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act to the power of a mortgagee to call in the principal unless the mortgagor consents to pay interest at an increased rate to what has been heretofore paid; and if he will say whether further legislation will be introduced in the matter?


The question docs not state accurately the result of Mr. Justice Eve's judgment. Under Subsection (2) of Section 1 of the Courts (Emergency Powers) Act, 1914, the Court has an absolute discretion to defer the operation of a mortgagee's remedies for such time and subject to such conditions as to the Court seem fit. In the case referred to, Mr. Justice Eve indicated the general rules by which ho was guided in ordinary cases in the exercise of this discretion and stated, among other things, that in certain cases the suspensory period might be extended if the mortgagor was willing, as a condition of obtaining such extension, to increase the rate of interest to 5 per cent. In practice a large number of mortgagors, when they apply for relief under the Act, voluntarily offer to submit to this condition, and any legislative restriction on the power of the Court to impose such a condition for extended relief would deprive mortgagors of the opportunity they now have of offering a consideration which, as a general rule, affords them substantial grounds for seeking and obtaining considerably extended relief. Further legislation upon the matter is not at present proposed.