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Clause 6—(Exclusion Of Land Let Under Emergency Powers, &C)

Volume 477: debated on Monday 17 July 1950

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10.2 p.m.

I beg to move, in page 3, line 40, after "to," to insert:

"any parcel of land attached to a cottage, and the said provisions, other than those of section two, shall not apply to."
This Amendment and the next two Amendments on the Order Paper can be taken together, since they deal with the same subject.

During the Committee stage an Amendment was moved to ensure that allotment holders of land occupied by local authorities, say, a park or a playing field, which had been let as allotments under Defence Regulation 62A, should be entitled to compensation for growing crops and manure at whatever time of the year the tenancy came to an end, just the same as an ordinary allotment holder under Clause 2 of this Bill. The Amendment also sought compensation for disturbance, as laid down in Clause 3. It was made clear by the supporters in Committee that the same principles should apply to land requisitioned under Regulation 51. I readily undertook to reconsider the whole question between then and the Report stage after the submissions of hon. Members in all parts of the Committee.

There is something to be said for putting these allotment holders in the same position as ordinary allotment holders as regards compensation for crops and manures if the tenancy is terminated during the winter months. In common with others, they were appealed to crop not only for summer vegetables but also for winter vegetables, and so it does not seem unreasonable that, if their tenancy should be terminated during the winter months, they should enjoy the benefits under Clause 2. On the other hand, there seems to be no valid reason why compensation should be paid for disturbance under Clause 3. They knew from the beginning that when the Regulation expired or the land was required for its original purposes, they would have to give up that land.

However, I think it is fair to provide compensation for growing crops and manures at whatever time of the year the tenancy is terminated, and this series of Amendments sets out to achieve that. I am sure these Amendments represent the feeling expressed in all parts of the Committee and I hope, therefore, that the concession granted by them will be readily approved.

We had some discussion during the Committee stage on this point. It was raised from both sides of the Committee and we are glad that the Minister has seen fit to meet us considerably in the way we want. We understand that the three Amendments fulfil the purpose we had in mind of the inclusion in Clause 2 of provisions which are binding upon temporary allotment holders. We are grateful to the Government for meeting us in this way.

I also welcome the concessions which have been made. I want to put one point to the Minister. I have had strong pressure from the allotment holders in my constituency regarding the two dates which appear in the Bill concerning the termination of allotments. Do the concessions now announced mean that if seeds, manures and other things are on the allotments at the time of the determination of notice in the spring compensation will be paid?

Yes, that is the importance of the Amendment. Whereas previously, if the tenancy was terminated between April and September, a person would secure compensation for growing crops and unexhausted manures, in the new circumstances he will be able to receive compensation for growing crops or unexhausted manures throughout the whole 12 months.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 3, line 42, leave out from "1939" to "and" in line 43.

In page 4, line 6, after "Act" insert:

"apart from section two thereof."—[Mr. T. Williams.]

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended ( in the Standing Committee and on re-committal), considered.