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Clause 15—(Disclaimer Of Agreements)

Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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I beg to move, in page 16, line 16, to leave out "or obligations."

Yesterday, I indicated a series or Amendments, all with the same purpose, as I did not wish to make a speech upon each. This Amendment is consequential on those other Amendments.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in page 16, line 44, at the end, to insert:

"or arising by reason of the frustration thereof."
This Amendment remedies a difficulty which exists in the Clause as it stands. Clause 15 (3) provides that a disclaimed contract shall not vest in the Commission. Any contract vests in the Commission, but when one comes to Clause 15 (3) one finds certain contracts which are not in approved form, can be disclaimed by the Commission, and these contracts do not vest. In the event of a contract being disclaimed under the provisions of the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act, 1943, certain rights arise. Money which has been paid by one party to another under the contract can be reclaimed. What the Amendment seeks to do is to provide that not merely shall the disclaimed contract not vest in the Commission, but also that those rights which arise by the virtue of the contract being disclaimed shall not vest in the Commission, but remain in the body whose undertaking is taken over.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in page 17, line 21, at the end, to insert "or varied."

This is to exempt from disclaimer any contracts entered into in the ordinary way of business by the railway companies before January, 1947; from which date the Minister has stated that he would be prepared to exempt from disclaimer any contracts entered into in the normal course of business. In order to make the matter absolutely correct Subsection (5) should be altered by the words in this Amendment, and the subsequent two Amendments. Perhaps, for simplification, I had better read Subsection (5) as it will now appear:
"Nothing in this section applies to any agreement for, or contained in, a lease or other tenancy or any agreement made, or varied, whether before or after the passing of this Act, with the previous consent or subsequent approval of the Minister "—
Those are the key words—

"given in writing either generally or specially."
I do not think that there can be any controversy about this.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 17, line 23, leave out "in writing," and insert "or subsequent approval."

In line 23, after "given," insert "in writing."—[ The Solicitor-General.]