I think my hon. Friend will find that stated in the Clause. The object of this provision is to cover the case where the tenant abroad is too late in giving his notice of disclaimer, but is not unobtainable and can give instructions to the person mentioned.
Let me explain the present construction of Clause 5. Under Sub-section (1) an application may be made by the tenant himself within a reasonable time after his return. Under Sub-section (2) where the tenant cannot be found and it is not reasonably practicable to obtain instructions, and the applicant is a proper person to exercise the rights on behalf of the tenant, the court may, if it thinks fit, direct that those rights may be exercised. Who is the proper person, whether a relative or a solicitor, is, I think a matter for the court. As I understand it, it would be proper for the court to allow the tenant's agent, or the estate agent who is managing his property, or any person who is authorised by the tenant, to act. If this Amendment is inserted the words "made on behalf of the tenant" would obviously include the same class of person. It would not be limited to solicitors, but would include anyone who is deemed a proper person.
Lords Amendment: In page 7, line 47, at the end, insert new Clause A (Adjustment of rights as to certain buildings and fixtures).
I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
Under the procedure which we have varied by passing a number of Amendments to omit various provisions in the Bill, the tenant would have been allowed to remove fixtures within one month of the end of the requisitioning period and to get a share of the compensation which is enhanced by the value of fixtures. We did not think that that went far enough, and the new Clause covers the case where a lease has come to an end not by disclaimer on the part of the tenant but by the ordinary effluxion of time or the terms of the lease. In those circumstances a tenant may be barred from removing fixtures, and we have dealt with that position. We have also dealt with the position where it is not fixtures which are concerned but buildings which the tenant would have the right to demolish and remove were it not for the requisitioning being a fact. To answer the point made by the hon. Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Garro Jones) that was one of the main reasons why this new Clause was introduced and why the alteration had to be made in the Title. A very hard case was brought to our attention in which a tenant was unable to remove a building on the land because it was requisitioned and the landlord was therefore getting compensation rent of a very considerable amount and not sharing it with the tenant. We felt that that sort of position ought to be dealt with even at the risk of taking the procedure which my hon. Friend has criticised.
Then perhaps it may be possible for my hon. and learned Friend to say why it has been necessary to amend the Title. I think the House would be very glad to know what was the reason for this very unusual procedure of making an Amendment in the Title to the Bill. We might have spent a considerable time in debating it, and I should be glad to know the purpose of it.
With regard to procedure, perhaps I might respectfully draw the attention of my hon. Friend to the possibility that he might receive enlightenment from a perusal of Standing Order No. 34. With regard to the other point which has occurred here, the proposed new Clause, as I have already explained, deals with fixtures. It embraces fixtures on requisitioned property which
has not been disclaimed as well as on property which has been disclaimed. Therefore it seemed clear that there should be included in the Title the words:
for the adjustment of the rights of the parties to such leases with respect to certain buildings and fixtures.
to make it clear that the Bill deals not only with disclaimed property but with property which has not been disclaimed. I appreciate my hon. Friend's very wide-awake, watch-dog activity on these occasions, but if he considers the Title now with the object of the Bill and the proposed new Clause in mind, he will see that, on the merits and apart from the technicalities, there is no difficulty placed in the way of hon. Members.