Schedule 2. — (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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11.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes

I beg to move Amendment No. 92, in page 30, line 15, at the end to insert: for such areas, comprising together every registration area, as the Minister may from time to time determine". This is one of a series of Amendments to which I referred when we were discussing the parent Clause. I said that the matter would come up later in our discussion. The Amendment, and several others, cover Schedules 2, 3 and 4 and I asked the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) to have a copy of the Schedules as redrafted to see how they worked out. I will, therefore, explain in general terms rather than in detail the effect of the Amendment.

The effect is that it will be possible for the Minister to have a more flexible arrangement in regard to the rent assessment panel areas. He will be able to have one panel covering a number of rent assessment areas and two vice-presidents. It is not intended that, as a general rule, there should be two vice-presidents in each case, but it is likely that in London it will be necessary, and the Amendment gives my right hon. Friend power to make that arrangement.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I thank the hon. Gentleman for having had the courtesy to let me have a draft of the Schedules as they will appear. With the aid of them I was not able to detect any manifest error in the provision and, therefore, I could not profitably ask the House to reject the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In line 16, leave out paragraph 2.—[Mr. MacColl.]

Amendment proposed: In line 23, leave out "two" and insert "one".

—[Mr. MacColl.]

Photo of Mr Norman Cole Mr Norman Cole , Bedfordshire South

I merely wanted to ask whether, in this respect, one person could act in respect of two offices.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In line 24, leave out from "president" to end of line 25 and insert: of the panel, and one or more such persons to act as vice-president or vice-presidents".

In line 27, leave out "registration".

In line 29, leave out from "area" to second "or" in line 30.

In line 31, at end insert: or, as the case may be, one of the vice-presidents".

In line 34, after "vice-president" insert: (or, as the case may be, one of the vice-presidents)".—[Mr. MacColl.]

Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes

I beg to move Amendment No. 100, in page 30, line 40, after "may", insert: with the consent of the parties". This Amendment arises out of a discussion we had when the present drafting of the Bill was criticised because it enabled the president to arrange that the chairman sit alone. This was felt to be unwise in view of the fact that this was a tribunal against which there was no appeal.

I put the other point of view that in some circumstances, where there was general agreement, people would want to have a case taken. I suggested that it might be limited to cases where the parties consented, as in civil proceedings on matters of negotiation between the parties where there was no question of criminal charges.

I hope that this will seem to be a reasonable arrangement, and one which will enable unnecessary hold-ups to be avoided.

Amendment agreed to.