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Clause 15—(Amendments Of Housing Act, 1949)

Volume 529: debated on Thursday 8 July 1954

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Lords Amendment: In page 13, line 42, leave out "ten" and insert "fifteen."—[ Special Entry.]

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

Those who followed our debates will remember that we had considerable difficulty about what was the proper expectation of life of a house for which an improvement grant was to be made. I was so anxious, as I am and as all the Government are, to get on with this rather cheap way, compared with the cost of new building, of getting proper accommodation, that I was anxious to reduce it from 30 years, which seemed to us an unduly high limit, and I argued for 10. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite argued for 20. By one of those arrangements which seem particularly suitable in a revising Chamber, it has been agreed that it should be 15. Although I know that that does not meet all that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite asked for, I hope that they will feel that we have gone some way to meeting them, and that we may leave it to the wisdom of the local authorities how they operate the improvement grant system with this little extra latitude allowed to them.

As the right hon. Gentleman has pointed out, we wanted 20 years. We moved an Amendment to that effect in Committee. It was not carried. Another place suggests 15 years. We preferred 20 to 10 and we prefer 15 to 10, although we still prefer 20.

Question put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 14, line 4, leave out "a period equal to the period" and insert:

"whichever is the shorter of the following two periods, that is to say—
  • (a) thirty years; or
  • (b) a period equal to that.—[Special Entry.]
  • I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

    This Amendment is little more than a drafting Amendment. It is to put the position of a leaseholder in correspondence with that of the improvement grant system.

    Question put, and agreed to.