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Clause 71—(Interpretation)

Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 13 July 1954

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I beg to move, in page 77, line 11, at the end, to insert:

"compulsory acquisition" does not include the vesting in a person by an Act of Parliament of property previously vested in some other person.
The Amendment deals with another legal point, namely, the definition of compulsory acquisition. As a result of Clause 6 having been applied to the vesting of the property of road haulage undertakings under the Transport Act as if that vesting were a compulsory acquisition, it is desirable to point out in the definition that vesting by Act of Parliament is not to be regarded generally as compulsory acquisition. If this were not done, anyone purchasing such property from the authority in whom it is vested might be disqualified from claiming compensation under Part II of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in page 77, line 13, at the end, to insert:

"in the same capacity," in relation to entitlement both to a claim holding and to an interest in land, means entitled to one only of the following capacities, that is to say, beneficially, or as trustee of one particular trust, or as personal representative of one particular person;
"interest in land" means only an interest in fee simple or a tenancy.
This Amendment again deals with legal matters and I am sure that those who are interested in the Bill from a legal point of view would wish a few words to be said about it. The hon. and learned Member for Leicester, North-East (Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas) raised one or both of these points. The first concerns the expression "in the same capacity,". That has to be read in conjunction with certain Amendments which we have made to Clauses 6, 8, and 9. The definition now includes the substance of what was previously Clause 9 (3).

The second concerns the definition of "interest in land." The definition now makes it clear that only owners of an interest in fee simple or a tenancy can claim compensation under Parts II and V of the Bill in respect of depreciation caused by planning restrictions, or receive any share of the unexpended balance under Clause 35 where there is a compulsory acquisition. The meaning of the word "interest" was questioned by the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, North-East, whose absence I very much regret. He raised the matter in Committee and my right hon. Friend promised to consider it after an Amendment had been moved to Clause 34. The matter is now dealt with.

The interest need not be a legal interest. It might be an equitable interest. The definition, of course, would debar the owner of an easement from claiming. That seems right and proper, certainly so far as Part III is concerned, and, as far as I am aware, it is also correct in Part II. Rent charges have been mentioned once or twice in our discussions. The owners of those are dealt with under Clause 68.

I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for his reference to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, North-East (Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas). I would hesitate to come into conflict with the Attorney-General on a legal point, but I am informed that "in the same capacity" is a term well known and in every-day use in the courts and that to define it here would be likely to lead to some legal trouble. If the Attorney-General can disabuse me on that point, we shall be only too pleased to let him have the Amendment.

I will certainly do so. The hon. Member seems more advanced on that point than I am at the moment, but I will undertake to look into the matter. His suggestion may very well be right.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in line 21, at the end, to insert:

"previous apportionment" in relation to an apportionment for any of the purposes of this Act means an apportionment made before the apportionment in question, being—
  • (a) an apportionment for any of the purposes of this Act as made, confirmed or varied by the Lands Tribunal on a reference thereto; or
  • (b) an apportionment for any of the purposes of this Act which might have been referred to the Lands Tribunal by virtue of any provision of this Act but in the case of which the time for such a reference has expired without its being so required to be so referred, or which was so referred but in the case of which the reference was withdrawn before the Tribunal gave their decision thereon; or
  • (c) an apportionment made by or with the approval of the Central Land Board in connection with the approval by the Board of an assignment of part of the benefit of an established claim under subsection (2) of section two of the Act of 1953.
  • This Amendment is a definition of the expression "previous apportionment" and is moved mainly for the purpose of clarification. The definition inserted here replaces a provision previously in subsection (5) of Clause 14 and in subsection (4) of Clause 31. The opportunity has been taken to rectify an omission in the form of words previously used which did not cover cases where a reference was made to the Lands Tribunal but was withdrawn. These are now covered by paragraph (b).

    Amendment agreed to.

    Further Amendment made: in line 45, at end, insert:
    "means an amount ascertained in accordance with sections eighteen and nineteen, and ' original unexpended balance of established development value.'"—[Mr. H. Macmillan.]

    I beg to move, in page 77, line 48, after "include," to insert "marriage or."

    The effect of this Amendment is that marriage settlements are to be treated in the same way as gifts.

    Amendment agreed to.

    I beg to move in page 79, line 14, at the end, to insert:

    "and in relation to an interest in land conveyed or assigned without a preliminary contract, are references to the conveyance or assignment."
    This Amendment is to meet a point made by the Law Society. It adapts Clause 6 to cases where an interest in land was sold without a preliminary contract. In such cases the question of qualification as to date under Clause 6 (3) is to be settled by reference to the date of the conveyance or assignment.

    Amendment agreed to.