Clause 7. — (Determination of tenancies in holdings excluded on account of building value.)

Orders of the Day — Northern Ireland Land Bill. – in the House of Commons on 15th March 1929.

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Lords Amendment:

In page 7, line 15, leave out the word "twenty-five," and insert instead thereof the word "thirty."

Photo of Colonel Sir Vivian Henderson Colonel Sir Vivian Henderson , Bootle

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

It would be for the convenience of the House if I explained very briefly the whole of the Lords Amendments which we are about to consider. The hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Tomlinson), who was on the Committee which dealt with this Bill, will remember that he moved certain Amendments in order to try to improve the position of the tenant under this particular Clause. I informed him then that I was in the nature of an agent, so far as the Bill was concerned, and that I could not accept any Amendments unless satisfied that they were agreed Amendments which had been referred to both sides in Ulster. When the Bill reached another place, representations were made on this question, and the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland called together a further conference of both sides. As a result of that conference, it was agreed to increase the basis of compensation from 25 and 30 to 30 and 35 times. It was also agreed that the buildings on the holdings should be entitled to a separate system of valuation, and that both the landlord and the tenant should, if they desired it, have a right of appeal to what corresponds to our County Court, and the further right of appeal, if necessary, to the Court of Appeal. That statement really embodies the whole of these Lords Amendments. I understand that they are accepted by both sides in Ulster, and that they were accepted by all parties in another place. I hope, therefore, that the House will agree to them.

Photo of Mr Robert Tomlinson Mr Robert Tomlinson , Lancaster

As the Under-Secretary has said, when this matter was before the Committee, I put down Amendments in the interests of the unbought tenants. The Under-Secretary pointed out at the time that if I pressed the Amendments the Government might regard this as a controversial Bill, and that that would jeopardise it. On the assurance given by the Under-Secretary that he would consider the matter further, I withdrew my Amendments. I wish now to acknowledge the way in which the hon. and gallant Gentleman has fulfilled his promise. Although the Amendments dealing with the point I raised do not go as far as I would like, they do go some distance in the desired direction, and the unbought tenants are in a much better position and have a right of appeal to the Court if not satisfied with the compensation that they get. I greatly appreciate the spirit in which the matter has been dealt with by the Under-Secretary.

Question put, and agreed to.

Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.