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Clause 21—(Application Of Sums Received From Commission Under Last Preceding Section)

Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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I beg to move, in page 25, line 10, at the end, to insert:

"Provided that a body mentioned in Part I of the Third Schedule to this Act may enter into an agreement with the Commission to pay to the Commission a sum agreed between them in respect of such agreements disclaimed by the Commission as may be specified in the first mentioned agreement, and upon the payment of the sum so agreed the liability, if any, to pay the sums mentioned in paragraph (a) of this Subsection in respect of the disclaimed agreements so specified shall become a liability of the Commission to the exclusion of the body."
This deals with a narrow point, but one of some importance. Hon. Members will remember that, under Clause 15, agreements can be disclaimed, and, if they are, the matter does not rest with the Commission, but with the body that entered into the agreement, and that also applies to payments under the disclaimed agreements, by virtue of the Frustrated Contracts Act, 1943. Hon. Members will see that payments made to the body under the preceding Clause and payments which the body will receive under the disclaimed agreements, have to be applied in accordance with a certain priority of payment. The first priority, which is set out in Subsection (1, a) of the Clause provides for payment of any sums legally due from the body to any other person under the disclaimed agreements. It may turn out, and, quite frequently, will turn out, that it will not be easy to ascertain precisely the amount due under the terms of the disclaimed agreement from the body. It may take some time to work out the precise obligations of the body and to ascertain the precise sum. That being so, the result would be that payments that are later in the order of priority would be delayed, and the object of the Amendment is to prevent that delay occurring. What the Amendment does is that it states that where the body has an obligation under a disclaimed agreement, the following arrangement may be entered into. On payment of an agreed sum by the body to the Commission, the Commission will assume liability to discharge that payment under the disclaimed agreement, and, the body concerned having discharged its obligation under Subsection (1), could proceed and allocate payments in accordance with the successive items of priority. In other words, this is an arrangement designed to obviate delay and make a settlement easier, and to facilitate the position for all parties concerned in the winding up of a body. I ask the House to say that the Amendment is an improvement to the Clause, to assist the convenience of a great many people concerned in one way or another with disclaimed agreements.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 25, line 24, after first "of," insert "and the proviso to."—[ Mr. Barnes.]