Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 69. ( King's Recommendation signified.)
[Major MILNER in the Chair]
Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make fresh provision for planning the development and use of land it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of the following expenditure:—
(1) Any increase in the compensation payable by the Crown under any Act which is attributable to the provisions of the said Act of the present Session— (a) amending the law relating to the compensation payable in respect of a compulsory acquisition of land; (b) repealing enactments providing for the assessment of compensation, other than compensation for the compulsory acquisition of land, in accordance with the provisions of section fifty-seven of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944including any increase which is attributable as aforesaid in the sums payable into the Road Fund out of moneys provided by Parliament in respect of expenses of the Minister of Transport; (2) Any sums required by any Minister for making contributions to local authorities towards compensation paid by them in respect of decisions or orders under the said Act of the present Session, being decisions or orders given or made wholly or partly in the interests of a public service the cost of which is defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament; (3) Any sums required by the Minister of Town and Country Planning for the payment of grants to local authorities in respect of expenditure incurred by those authorities in taking any action under the provisions of the said Act of the present Session relating to the discontinuance of uses of land or the alteration or removal of buildings or works; and the charging on and issuing out of the Consolidated Fund of any expenses incurred in connection with the repayment of stock issued under the said Act."—[Mr. Silkin.]
I should like to ask two or three short questions on this Resolution. I am a little puzzled about the meaning of paragraph 1 (b). The Resolution is intended to deal with an increase in compensation payments as a result of the amendment of the law in relation to compensation. When one looks at paragraph 1 (b) one finds the words
Surely, what the Resolution is intended to deal with is the payment of compensation for the compulsory acquisition of land, and I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Town and Country Planning why those words"… other than compensation for the compulsory acquisition of land."
are expressly inserted. My next point is this. I imagine this Resolution will be the prelude to a recommittal of the Bill. It would be to the convenience of the Committee if the Clauses which are to be considered on that recommittal could be indicated on the Order Paper at the earliest possible date. The third question I wish to ask is whether the Resolution is wide enough now to enable an Amendment to be included to make special provision for the assessment of compensation for the compulsory acquisition of land which is, in its true sense, ripe.". . other than compensation for the compulsory acquisition of land"
I am obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller) for not being violently opposed to this Financial Resolution. I think I can satisfy him on the three points he has raised. On the first, if he will look at paragraph 1 (b) he will see that the words are:
There are two Acts which provide for compensation on the 1939 basis. They are the Civil Aviation Act, 1946, and the Requisitioned Land and War Works Act, 1945. The intention of paragraph 1 (b) of the Financial Resolution is to enable compensation to be paid on the new basis in respect of acquisitions under those two Acts. In other words, it widens the basis beyond the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944. On the second point, the hon. and learned Gentleman is quite right. It is a prelude to re-committal, and I will indicate on the Order Paper the Amendments which are based upon the Financial Resolution. On the third point, I can assure the hon. and learned Member that the Financial Resolution is wide enough. I cannot give him any undertaking as to what will happen on an Amendment which has not yet been put down, but it is wide enough to deal with any such Amendment as he indicated." … other than compensation for the compulsory acquisition of land, in accordance with the provisions of section fifty-seven of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1941."
I am most grateful to the right hon. Gentleman. The first question I raised was largely due to the fact that a comma appears on the Order Paper where it should not.
I had hoped we would have some further explanation from the Minister with regard to the purpose of this amended Money Resolution, because I wished to express my opinion on the matter. Does the Minister propose to give the Committee some reasons for this Amendment? If so, I am prepared to wait and hear what he has to say. Otherwise, I should like to make my observations.
That is a question which will arise on the Bill, and not at this moment.
I could state the broad purpose of this Financial Resolution in one sentence. It is to permit the putting before the Committee of certain new Clauses as a new basis of compensation on the acquisition of land, instead of the 1939 basis laid down in the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944. The actual Clauses are on the Order Paper, and the hon. Member will see that is the form of the new basis of compensation.
Resolution agreed to.
Resolution to be reported Tomorrow.