Oral Answers to Questions — Frustrated Contracts.

– in the House of Commons on 18th June 1942.

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Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

asked the Attorney-General whether, in view of the decision in the case of Fibrosa Société Anonyme v. Fairbairn Lawson Coombe Barbour, Limited, and the previous recommendations of the Law Revision Committee, he proposes to introduce legislation to secure an equitable apportionment of prepaid sums which will have to be returned when a contract is frustrated?

Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

The statement of the law embodied in the decision of the House of Lords in the case to which my hon. Friend refers raises a number of questions of great importance and technical difficulty. They are under consideration by my Noble Friend the Lord Chancellor and myself with a view to the preparation of legislation on the subject, if, on a further examination, it should appear proper and if Parliamentary exigencies permit.

Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

Will my right hon. and learned Friend agree that until there is legislation this decision will create nearly as much hardship as it will prevent?

Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

That is a matter of opinion. I agree that this decision does raise a number of problems, which we are considering, to see whether legislation could be prepared, and could be submitted to the House, under present circumstances.

Photo of Captain Leonard Plugge Captain Leonard Plugge , Rochester Chatham

May I ask my right hon. and learned Friend how soon the decision as regards new legislation to which he has just referred will be arrived at?

Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

I could not say that.