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Clause 4—(Determination Of Questions By Land Court)

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 5 July 1961

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I beg to move in page 3, in line 40, after the first "the", to insert "Secretary of State or the".

This is really a tidying-up Amendment. In Committee, we excluded from the general jurisdiction of the Laid Court any questions of fact decided by the Commission in the discharge of its duties either under the 1955 Act or this Bill when it becomes an Act. There are certain duties put upon the Secretary of State both in the 1955 Act and in this Bill, in relation to determining questions of fact, and it logically follows that they should be excluded from the jurisdiction of the Land Court too, although that would not have any effect on its jurisdiction on any question of law.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In line 40, after second "of", insert "his or".—[ The Lord Advocate.]

9.30 p.m.

I beg to move, in page 3, line 44, to leave out "the foregoing subsection" and to insert:

"the Landholders Acts (in their application to the crofting counties) or the Act of 1955 or this Act".

I think that it would be convenient to discuss with this Amendment the Amendments to the First Schedule, in page 24, line 26, leave out "subsections" and insert "subsection", and in page 24, leave out lines 35 to 37.

That will be convenient.

The purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that the Register is kept up to date. In order to ensure that, the Land Court must report any relevant decisions to the Commission. The Land Court has a certain jurisdiction under the Landholders Acts and the Act of 1955, as well as under the Bill, which might affect matters in the Register. The object of the Amendment is to ensure that when the court deals with these matters the decision is reported to the Commission in order to enable the necessary amendments to be made. The Amendments to the Schedule are consequential.

Amendment agreed to.

I think it will be for the convenience of the House to discuss with this Amendment the Amendments to the First Schedule, in page 25, lines 37 and 44.

Yes, that will be convenient.

The object of subsection (3) was to repeal certain provisions of Section 21 of the Act of 1886, which gave the Land Court jurisdiction to deal with things like boundaries and marches between crofters' holdings and certain other matters. It was thought that, in view of the provisions of Clause 4 (1), Section 21 could be repealed. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) raised a question about whether the repeal should in fact be made. I have looked into the matter and I think that it would be better to leave the provisions of the 1886 Act standing so as to make it clear that any questions arising under the Landholders Acts on marches, boundaries, and so on, are to be decided by the Land Court.

Therefore, the Amendment deletes subsection (3), and Section 21 of the Act of 1886 will remain as it stands. The two Amendments to the Schedule are corollaries to this. Their purpose is to ensure that if questions arise under the Landholders Acts they will be taken to the Land Court under Section 25 of the 1911 Act: and not under this Clause. It is merely to ensure that there is no overlapping jurisdiction between the two.

Amendment agreed to.