Town and Country Planning (Scotland) [Money]

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 1954.

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Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 84 (Money Committees).— [Queen's Recommendation signified.]

[Sir CHARLES MACANDREW in the Chair]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make provision with respect to Scotland for compensation and other payments by reference to claims for payments under section fifty-five of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, 1947, and to amend certain provisions of that Act, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid (in this resolution referred to as "the Act"), it is expedient to authorise—

  1. A. The issue out of the Consolidated Fund of sums for the making by the Secretary of State and the Central Land Board (in this resolution referred to as "the Board") of such payments by reference to such claims as aforesaid as are authorised to be made under the Act in respect of acts done or events taking place before the commencement of the Act.
  2. B. The raising of money by the Treasury, in any manner in which they are authorised to raise money under the National Loans Act, 1939, for the purpose of providing sums to be issued as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, or of providing for the replacement of sums so issued.
  3. C. The repayment of sums issued as mentioned in paragraph A of this resolution, together with interest thereon—
    1. (1) by the payment into the Exchequer by the Secretary of State, out of moneys provided by Parliament, of annual instalments, of principal and interest combined, and
    2. (2) by the payment into the Exchequer of any sums recovered by the Secretary of State or the Board under the Act in respect of such payments as are mentioned in paragraph A of this resolution.
  4. D. The issue out of the Consolidated Fund of sums paid into the Exchequer as mentioned in the last preceding paragraph, and the application of such sums, in so far as they represent principal, in redemption or re payment of debt, and, in so far as they represent interest, in payment of interest otherwise falling to be paid out of the permanent annual charge for the National Debt.
  5. E. The payment out of moneys provided by Parliament—
    1. (1) of sums for the making by the Secretary of State of payments under the Act in respect of restrictions on development of land taking effect after the commencement of the Act;
    2. (2) of the administrative expenses of the Secretary of State and the Board under the Act;
    3. (3) of any sums repayable by the Board under the Act in respect of development charges relating to the winning and working of minerals;
    4. (4) of any increase attributable to the provisions of the Act in the sums which under any other enactment are payable out of moneys so provided.
  6. F. The cancellation or reduction, by virtue of the Act, of liabilities in respect of—
    1. (1) a development charge where an equivalent deduction is made by reference to that charge either from any payment such as is mentioned in paragraph A of this resolution which would otherwise become payable, or from such a claim as aforesaid;
    2. (2) development charges in respect of the provision of accommodation for agricultural workers.
  7. G. The payment into the Exchequer of any sums other than those mentioned1 in paragraph A, C or E of this resolution received by the Secretary of State or the Board under the Act and not required by the Act to be dealt with in any other way.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

7.10 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Marcus Upton:

I am sure that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury would not like the Committee to accept this Money Resolution "on the nod." I am sure he will be able to provide the Committee with a little information on the financial implications involved. The Bill itself falls into six parts, and in respect of four of them the Committee is asked to accept various financial commitments. The only information about actual amounts that the Committee is given is that the amount involved in Part I is not likely to exceed £2 million.

We are also informed that no estimate can be made of the financial liability involved in Parts II, IV and V, but we are given slight comfort in the fact that the liability under these headings is not likely to be very heavy. However, I think the Committee would like to know from the Financial Secretary what exactly he is asking it to accept. I am sure he has the information at his disposal to enable the Committee to accept this Motion with an easier conscience than would otherwise be the case.

Photo of Mr Charles Hobson Mr Charles Hobson , Keighley

I should like to support my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) on this point, because I think it is necessary that we should be informed whether the Money Resolution provides compensation for the British Electricity Authority in view of the complications that may arise on Clause 2 in regard to the wholesaling of electricity. I think we are entitled to have some information on that because it would make the passage of this Resolution much easier.

The Chairman (Sir Charles Mac-Andrew):

I think the hon. Member is ahead of time. We have not yet reached the Financial Resolution to which he is referring.

Photo of Mr William Hall Mr William Hall , Colne Valley

Surely we are to have some sort of statement. I realise that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury may not have come here armed with the information for which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) has asked, but my recollection of a previous and better Government was that there was always somebody on the Treasury Bench to give the information which the Committee required. Surely we are not going to accept this Resolution completely blindfold. The amount involved is considerable and it runs into several millions. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Scotland will agree with me when I say that we are entitled to be told what is involved in this Resolution and to be given some idea of the meaning of the various parts of the Resolution, which are extremely complicated.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Surely we are going to get some information about the financial implications of this Resolution. I do not understand why the Lord Advocate went away at this stage of our proceedings. We are entitled to have a clear statement of what is involved here.

Photo of Mr William Hall Mr William Hall , Colne Valley

Might I make a suggestion? There are three Ministers from the Scottish Office on the Government Front Bench and if they took it in turn they could explain fully what the Financial Resolution involves. What the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State does not know about it can perhaps be supplied by his right hon. and gallant Friend and his hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretaries of State for Scotland.

Photo of Mr James Stuart Mr James Stuart , Moray and Nairnshire

This request for information has been raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Glenvil Hall), and his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) who were not present in this Chamber when the Bill itself was under discussion. The object of this Money Resolution is fully set out in the terms of the Motion on the Order Paper. Obviously we have to operate the Bill which has received its Second Reading, and it is necessary to make financial provision to do so. That is the object of this Money Resolution, with which I hope the Committee will now agree.

Resolution to be reported tomorrow.