Clause 12. — (Meaning of "office Premises".)

Part of Ballot for Notices of Motions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th April 1965.

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Photo of Mr Roy Wise Mr Roy Wise , Rugby 12:00 am, 14th April 1965

I therefore beg to move Amendment No. 38, in page 14, line 9, at the end, to insert: but in this section 'office premises' shall not include store rooms". I move the Amendment merely to get from the Government an understanding of their reading of the position concerning the definition of "office premises". The Joint Parliamentary Secretary will recall that in Committee he made a brave effort to extend the definition of "office premises" by moving an Amendment to insert a rather omnibus proviso at the end: (without prejudice to the generality of any reference to use as an office)", which, as far as I can make out, included pretty well everything, of all kinds. That Amendment was defeated in Committee.

On that occasion, the Joint Parliamentary Secretary said: … it is necessary to have some idea about what is meant by 'office purposes'. Therefore, if hon. Members turn to subsection (5) they will see the definition of 'office purposes'."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee D. 23rd March, 1965; c. 573.] Subsection (5) is clear and succinct. It states: In this section 'office purposes' includes the purposes of administration, clerical work, handling money, telephone and telegraph operating and the operation of computers". That is right and we are prepared to accept that as it is in the Bill. It appears, however, that nearly all this group of Amendments which we are discussing come outside the definition of subsection (5), which specifically says nothing about fire escapes, lavatories or anything of that kind.

May we assume that the definition of "office premises" is strictly that given in subsection (5) and nothing else, and that an office development permit will not be needed for these extra things covered by the Amendments? I should very much like to have the Minister's opinion on this.