Clause 20. — (Rent Assessment Committees.)

Orders of the Day — Rent Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th June 1965.

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Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes 12:00 am, 30th June 1965

I beg to move Amendment No. 39, in page 13, line 15, to leave out "For each registration area".

This Amendment deals with another problem that arose in the Standing Committee, where there was a good deal of criticism of the flexibility the Clause allowed for panels to cover more than one registration area. As a result, it was suggested by, I think, the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page), that if we were to remove these words from Clause 20 and leave Schedule 2, as it finally is, the main operating part of the Bill, matters would, in this respect, be a little less confusing than the present draft.

I would only add that since then a rather more flexible system of dealing with panels and rent assessment committees has been allowed in an Amendment to Schedule 2, but perhaps that could be better discussed when we come to that Schedule.

Photo of Mr James Allason Mr James Allason , Hemel Hempstead

I sympathise with the intention behind the Amendment, but we are still left with subsection (6) of Clause 19, which seems to bear very closely on it. I suggested in Committee that those words would help us out of the difficulty that had arisen but, unfortunately, under Clause 45(3) it is restricted to Scotland. It appears that it is now no longer intentionally restricted to Scotland, so I would suggest that at another stage subsection (6) of Clause 19 might go into Clause 20 or, alternatively, be struck out altogether. At the moment, it is hanging out on a limb, as it were, as a result of this Amendment.

Photo of Mr Norman Cole Mr Norman Cole , Bedfordshire South

I wonder whether we could not with efficiency and convenience either put the remaining words into the previous Clause but one or somewhere else? I am still in a fog, because when I refer to Schedule 2, mentioned in this Clause, I find that paragraph 2 speaks of … a panel for each registration area … We therefore seem to have come full circle back to the same point. With all respect, I am not sure where we shall finish up.

If we bear in mind what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Allason) about grouping of registration areas, where are we? A little more thought is required here. Perhaps the Government might be inclined to clarify the situation in another place.

Amendment agreed to.