New Clause A. — (Recovery of Possession of Dwelling-House for Residence by Owner or His Widow.)

Orders of the Day — Rent Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 November 1965.

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Lords Amendment No. 10: In page 10, line 29, at end insert new Clause "A": A.—(1) Where a person has purchased or become the owner of a dwelling-house with vacant possession and intends to occupy it within five years from the date of obtaining vacant possess and has let the dwelling-house on a regulated tenancy and the conditions mentioned in subsection (2) of this section are satisfied, then if—

  1. (a) apart from the Rent Acts the landlord would be entitled to recover possession of the dwelling-house; and
  2. (b) the court is satisfied that the dwelling-house is required as a residence for that person or his widow, and the said five years have not elapsed;
the court shall make an order for the possession of the dwelling-house, whether or not it would have power to do so under section 3 of the Act of 1933, and section 5(2) of the Act of 1920 shall not apply in relation to the order.(2) The said conditions are—
  1. (a) that not later than the commencement of the tenancy (or if the tenancy was created before the commencement of this Act, not later than six months after the commencement of this Act) the landlord has given notice in writing to the tenant that possession may be recovered under this section; and
  2. (b) that the dwelling-house has not since the commencement of this Act been let by the said person on a regulated tenancy with respect to which the condition mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection was not satisfied."

8.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Clause got into the Bill during the Report stage in another place where it had also been under consideration in Committee. The principle was also discussed during our proceedings. This represents the best attempt that could be made to deal with an admittedly difficult problem—that of people who want to acquire a house for their retirement and wish to be able to get possession of it when they retire without going to the court to establish greater hardship.

As my right hon. Friend said when we were considering the Bill earlier, he would be glad to achieve a formula to deal with the retirement problem if he could do so. We considered it very carefully and concocted as many different varieties of possible provisions as we could find. The main difficulty is in getting a definition of retirement—for instance, something which would exclude a person who retired, started work again and retired once more. We could not find any really satisfactory way of limiting such a provision to retirement.

The noble Lords who concocted this new Clause found themselves in the same difficulty. They have not been able to find any definition of retirement for the purpose of the Bill. The new Clause in fact has nothing to do with retirement. It deals with a quite different point—the right of getting possession after a short period of letting. The Clause begins by specifying a period of five years within which the new owner would be entitled to recover possession under certain conditions. This in itself, however, presents certain difficulties as to intention and how it is to be established.

First, the owner has to establish that it is his intention to occupy the house within five years. Then the court must be satisfied that the house is required as a residence for himself or his widow during the five years. Then there are certain conditions similar to those in the Government's Clause 14, including the provision that not later than the commencement of the tenancy he must have given notice in writing that he might want to recover the house under this new Clause.

Any reasonable person advised by the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page), as a reasonable people always would be, would of course serve notice under subsection (2,a) as a matter of course. It would then be heads he won and tails he did not lose, because if he wanted the house, he would have given notice and would come within the Clause, and if he did not want it, he would not have suffered, although the tenant would have had uncertainty and lack of security during the five years. What the Clause really says is that any person who has not occupied the house before—that case is covered by the previous Clause—could get possession of the house within five years if he wanted it for his own occupation, but without having to prove greater hardship. There would therefore be a substantial breach of the principle of security of tenure as established in the Bill and the 1933 Act.

That is why my right hon. Friend feels that, although there is a genuine problem, the problem of people who know that they will have to leave their place of employment and need to find some other home, this suggested provision goes much wider than that. It would use the special problem of retirement much more widely than intended and would make a substantial inroad into the 1933 Act, an inroad which would be unjust, because that Act balances the claims of the tenant, who has the house and whose home it is and who may have been there for a number of years, and the owner who wishes to occupy the house under this Clause, he would be able to do so without any possibility of the court judging between the comparative hardship in the two cases.

I could not advise the House to accept the Amendment, because it is not limited to houses bought for retirement, but is in fact a provision for giving possession to an owner who wants to live in the house within five years. That is a fairly long time during which a tenant may suddenly find himself faced with eviction. Having to serve notice would not be a protection for the tenant, because notice would be served in almost every case and such tenants would then be in a special position in that they would not know what security they had.

It may be that redrafting would get over another difficulty, but with the present form of the provision it would be difficult to disprove the owner's intention to occupy. He might be able to persuade the county court judge that he intended to occupy and then, having obtained possession, he could sell with vacant possession. That would be an abuse of the intentions of the provision. The period of five years is somewhat arbitrary from the point of view of people who are intending to retire. In some cases it would be too short and some people would want to have a certainty of having a place when they retired and would require longer than five years. The arguments which have been advanced in support of the retirement Clause are not met by this provision except for comparatively few people.

The state of play at the moment is that there is already a good deal of protection for people who want to get possession. There is the substantial concession which we have made when the purchaser occupied the house before letting it. If it is let furnished on a fixed term tenancy, the tenant cannot stay on with security of tenure after the tenancy has expired. The provisions of the 1933 Act cover all cases where the owner wants the house for his own use and can establish greater hardship. Therefore, the courts have a good deal of scope for intervening to protect the owner-occupier in these cases.

This provision would go too far beyond the common ground of retirement to make it wise to accept it. I repeat that this is a confession of failure on our part, on the part of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite and of another place. We have all tried to find a definition of retirement which would work, but we have been unable to do so and the attempt in this Amendment carries with it implications which are far too wide to make it desirable to include this provision.

Photo of Mr Oscar Murton Mr Oscar Murton , Poole

I am astonished, indeed amazed, to hear the Parliamentary Secretary admit a confession of failure on the part of his party to find a suitable provision to meet this need. We discussed this matter at great length in Committee in an effort to meet the difficulty of the person who before retirement obtains a house in the locality where he wishes to end his days. In my constituency, as in that of many other hon. Members, particularly along the South Coast, this is a very common occurrence. Over the years people have been buying houses in anticipation of their retirement and, while continuing to live in the Midlands or in London, have put tenants into those houses until the time came to retire.

In these more delectable areas there is a shortage of accommodation of this type. Someone who is fortunate enough to be able to retire to a pleasant place and who gets his eye on a house, perhaps some years off retirement, will not have the property secure for him when he eventually retires from his full-time occupation if the Bill goes through without this provision.

8.30 p.m.

This state of affairs does not prove any hardship to a tenant who may be put into a house on such understandings. One must remember that this house has to be obtained in the first place by the owner with vacant possession. He is not buying a house with a sitting tenant. Therefore, any tenant who goes into a house under these conditions does so with his eyes open. If, as things are in this Clause, matters are not sufficiently watertight, might I suggest that they can be so made? If a tenant becomes rent-regulated, then there will presumably be a lease which will be determinable within some period after five years.

I would suggest that, in our eyes, this would meet the objection of the Govern- ment on this matter. Even supposing that the owner were unfortunate enough to die before he took possession of his house, I am quite certain that, in a short period of five years, his widow would be prepared to wait until the lease was determined before she went into occupation. The new Clause is very narrow in scope. Our noble Friends in another place purposely made it narrow in scope. There is no question of ownership being claimed by any member of this man's family other than his own widow. It does not extend to his children, and therefore there can be none of the objections raised, as in the case of the other Clauses.

It is also limited in operation. It is for five years only. While I am prepared to believe that there will not be a great volume of people for whom this legislation would provide, it is, nevertheless, a very desirable Clause. It will meet a requirement which will cover a large number of places in England, within retirement areas, such as Poole, Torquay, Folkestone and Brighton. I recommend that it should take effect.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

I entirely agree that a person who has retired should be safeguarded, if at all possible, against the possibility of not being able to occupy his house. What hon. Members on the other side of the House have overlooked is the fact that it is a hardship for a person who is retiring soon, or who has retired, not to be able to occupy a house which is his. Consequently, as it has not been possible to draft a Clause to meet those specific cases, the owner of the house starts with the presumption in his favour. Sitting on this Front Bench are some gentlemen learned in the law, who have practised law for a very considerable time. It is not beyond the ingenuity of a lawyer to advise his client that, if he wants to let a place which he intends to occupy himself on retirement within the five years, he should let it to someone who cannot possibly, or is not likely to suffer as great a hardship as that person who retires and who wants occupation of that house.

There are not so many houses available for occupation that one cannot pick and choose, to a considerable extent, the tenant one wants to place in the house. Therefore a landlord who has purchased a house for this purpose will not find very considerable difficulty in getting someone as a tenant who would not endure serious hardship if, in the course of five years, he were asked to go elsewhere.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

I see the hon. Gentleman shaking his head. That is the position. One can pick one's tenants, particularly for this kind of house—I do not say in every case—[Laughter.]—I do not know why hon. Members opposite are amused. I am sure that they would agree that a person who was suffering very severe hardship should not be dispossessed.

Photo of Sir Albert Costain Sir Albert Costain , Folkestone and Hythe

If the hon. Member fears the hardship Clause, is he aware of the other Clause in the Bill?

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

If I am not, I ought to be. I have been dealing with these matters for very many years. I do not say that I know the Bill thoroughly inside out, but I know the basis of the question of hardship to which I am referring and I know how it has been interpreted by the country over the years.

This Clause is not consistent with the tenor of the Acts which provide security of tenure. Quite contrary to that, if accepted, it would mean, as my right hon. Friend rightly says, that every person who purchased a house would be able to insert a Clause and would be advised if he intended to occupy the house at any future time—[An HON. MEMBER: "It says 'five years'."] I know that it says five years, but the intention in the mind of the individual at the time that he purchased may very soon alter. He may retire seven, eight, or nine years afterwards. Anybody buying a house is likely to insert a Clause in the agreement when he lets the house to the effect that he would want to occupy it within five years for his retirement. The Clause would destroy the tenor of the Acts dealing with security in the sense that practically every house bought with vacant possession subsequent to the insertion of the Clause in this Act would contain a proviso against it. In my view, that would be a serious matter.

The Bill is intended to restore—and hon. Members opposite had better listen to this very carefully—the security which, in many cases, they destroyed by the 1957 Act. They must not overlook the fact that the Bill reintroduces protection for tenants who were protected before the 1957 Act but who were deprived of security by it. A Clause of this nature would give an additional right to landlords who otherwise would not be able to obtain possession. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Yes, indeed. The Rent Acts applied to tenancies. The 1957 Act destroyed the protection of the house. In consequence, a large number of houses became decontrolled and there was creeping decontrol which today is very serious for many tenants. By the Clause it is sought to place a restriction upon those tenancies, apart from others, which were protected before the vicious 1957 Act was brought into force. We strongly resent that.

If hon. Members opposite can find a word to cover the short point which they have in mind, that is an entirely different matter, but a wide Clause of this nature would mean further decontrol over and above the creeping decontrol which came in with the 1957 Act. In these circumstances, I advise the House to vote against the insertion of this proposal in the Bill.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

I hope that I am in order in congratulating you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, on your recent elevation on the first occasion when I have spoken since you have occupied the Chair, and also in saying that my pleasure at seeing you in the Chair would be complete were it not allied with a slight tinge of sadness at no longer having your company on this bench.

The objections which have been made to the new Clause are extremely valid. When we discussed the same matter in Committee of the House, we talked specifically about the case of retirement. Indeed the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Murton) addressed his remarks entirely to that case. As, however, the Joint Parliamentary Secretary has said, another place has found it so difficult to frame a definition of retirement that it took the simple way out and left that word out of its new Clause.

I am not a lawyer and I find it difficult to understand where this great difficulty lies. I thought that in the original form in which the Bill appeared in this House, it could have been easily interpreted by the county courts. If, however, greater experts than I say that this is not possible, I accept it from them; and as the Joint Parliamentary Secretary has repeated it on many occasions, I suppose that I must accept what he says. Nevertheless, it is rather a pity that the Government did not consider my suggestion, which I made at the time, that the concession should be limited to certain groups of people who could be easily defined.

We have had sympathy expressed in all parts of the House for people in certain occupations who have to buy a house in anticipation of retirement. I suggest that if the Government considered applying the Clause to those people alone, they could frame a definition comparatively simply. We have talked about policemen, firemen, nurses and matrons and others in hospitals. All these are people who occupy accommodation owned by their employers as part of the terms of their employment. Surely, it would be possible quite easily to overcome this problem of retirement and framing a definition. I realise that it is too late now, but I put forward the suggestion in the hope that it may percolate through the Joint Parliamentary Secretary's mind and come forward, perhaps, as a small amendment to the Bill in the next Session of Parliament.

My suggestion is that we limit a concession of the kind which is made in the new Clause to persons who occupy accommodation provided by their employers and the date of whose relinquishing the accommodation is well known in advance. We know that a person who is employed as, say, a fireman will retire at, I think, the age of 60. Similarly, a policeman has a fixed date for retirement. At the time when he comes to retire, the police or fire authority or the hospital would say "It is harsh, but you must give up your accommodation", which he might have occupied for many years. It is those people in the main who have to purchase houses in anticipation of retirement. This was my suggestion at the time, and I thought that it found a certain amount of favour in the eyes of the Government. If one were to do this one would cover the vast majority of the cases which hon. Members have in mind.

8.45 p.m.

Quite obviously, if I am an ordinary employee of an industrial firm I already have somewhere to live. Before my retirement I am an owner-occupier or I am a tenant of a local authority or I am a tenant of a private landlord, and when the time comes for me to retire I may have bought another house in Poole, but I am not going to be thrown out on the streets if I cannot occupy it immediately.

Therefore, I would urge upon the Government that there is a great distinction between the two types of case. In the first case a person has to relinquish his accommodation at the time of retirement. In the second case, it is not a great hardship to have to hang on in the house one occupies as an owner-occupier or as a tenant of a local authority or of a private landlord. I wish that a definition along those lines could be framed.

I am not prepared to accept the Lords Amendment as it stands. While everyone has talked about retirement no one has addressed himself to the fact that the Lords Amendment nowhere mentions that word. I would certainly not like to see such a wide extension of the power of a landlord to get out of the provisions of the Bill. I am convinced by the arguments which have been put that many people who really do not intend to retire would try to use the proposed Clause and give notice of their intention that they intend to reoccupy property within the period of five years—because they do not have to convince a court that they will retire at the end of five years: it does not say that here; and I fear that there would be large-scale evasion of the Measure if we were to pass the Lords Amendment in its present form.

However, I do appeal to the hon. Gentleman to consider very carefully what I have said to see if there is a way round the difficulty of drawing up a statutory definition of retirement.

Photo of Mr David Weitzman Mr David Weitzman , Stoke Newington and Hackney North

One appreciates the idea behind this Lords Amendment, and certainly if the condition of housing in this country were different from what it is now and if tenancies could be obtained more easily one would very much support an Amendment of this kind, but, after all, one ought to look at this matter from the practical point of view.

As I read the Lords Amendments there are two types of case which would be affected. First of all there is the case where the tenancy has been created, a regulated tenancy exists, and where a person has purchased a house within five years; the Bill comes into being, and under subsection 2(a) of this new Clause a notice is given not later than six months after the commencement of the Bill. In that case we have a very difficult question, which a court would have to tackle, of proving that the purchaser of the house had the intention to occupy it within five years. That is always a very difficult matter for a court to interpret, and that could be the first difficulty which would have to be got over.

The second point with regard to that type of case is that we get a person who says, "I purchased the house within five years; I intended to occupy it within five years. I now give notice within six months of the commencement of the Act that I want possession of it." Why in a case like that should the court not apply the ordinary principles of considering the position of the landlord and considering the position of the tenant, comparing them together, and dealing with them on the ground of greater hardship? The hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) mentioned hard cases where people purchased houses in anticipation of retirement. That, surely, is the type of case where a county court judge, presented with the facts, could well judge the question which would be the greater hardship, that of the tenant or that of the individual who purchased the house with a view to retirement.

Let me consider the second instance to which this Clause applies. In this instance a person purchases a house and intends to occupy it, or says that he intends to occupy it, within five years and creates a regulated tenancy. It has been said—and it is an extremely important point—that every lawyer who makes an agreement of that type will advise his client to put in as a precaution a clause stating, "I intend to occupy this house within five years". He would be a stupid lawyer if he did not advise his client to do that, and there one has an example of how the insertion of such a clause provides people with a chance of evading the provisions of the Bill. They will have the opportunity of putting in that clause. They may or may not intend to occupy the house, but they will put in that provision as a precaution, and, having created the tenancy, at a later date they will ask for possession. They will point to the clause and say, "Look at the agreement. We inserted a clause that we intended to do it. That is prima facie proof of our intention", and then, if they prove that they desire possession, the only thing the county court judge will be able to do is decide whether, under subsection 1(b), he is satisfied that the residence is required for that person or for his widow. The question of the tenant's conditions and of his hardship will not arise at all.

Surely to state that is to state objections which make it impossible to accept an Amendment of this kind. Moreover, as my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner) said, this is really inserting a new provision in favour of landlords in a Bill, the primary object of which is to try to restore a measure of security to tenants. We do not want to extend the law in that way, and I hope that the House will reject the Amendment.

Photo of Sir Albert Costain Sir Albert Costain , Folkestone and Hythe

I wonder whether the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) has really read the Amendment. It refers to a person having purchased or become the occupier of a dwelling-house with vacant possession. We are talking here of a house which somebody has bought and which he has the right to occupy. We are taking nothing away from tenants. My hon. Friend the Member for Poole (Mr. Murton) referred to the situation in his constituency. A similar situation obtains at Folkestone where people want to buy a house for their retirement.

Photo of Mr David Weitzman Mr David Weitzman , Stoke Newington and Hackney North

I had not forgotten that. He bought it with vacant possession, but he did not choose to occupy it. He granted a tenancy.

Photo of Sir Albert Costain Sir Albert Costain , Folkestone and Hythe

I am glad that the hon. and learned Gentleman has made my point even stronger than I could. There are a number of people who want to retire to Folkestone. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner) has left. On other occasions in this Chamber I have pointed out to him that when somebody moves to Folkestone he vacates a house at Leicester. We are talking about a person who has bought a house with vacant possession. He can move in when he likes. He is not depriving anybody of anything.

The point which the Parliamentary Secretary has not made is that according to this provision a person who buys a house must leave it vacant until he retires. Do hon. Gentlemen opposite want houses to remain vacant until people retire to them? The hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) said that many people know when they are going to retire. They know that they will retire within four or five years, or perhaps even within one or two. Should they wait until the moment they retire before they buy a house, or should they buy a house now and let it to somebody who can make proper use of it?

The Parliamentary Secretary has another bright idea. He says that a person who buys a house for his retirement ought to live in it at weekends, because once he has become an owner-occupier he has rights under the Bill. Does he want him to live in for a weekend to establish his right under the Bill? Certainly under the previous Clause he has that right.

The hon. Member for Leicester, who on every occasion that I have heard him speak in the Chamber has advanced a wonderful ideal about a hardship clause, is a proper gambler. He says that a house owner must pick a tenant who in five years' time will have less need for the house than that owner. I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman is not here. He is a learned Gentleman well versed in the law of landlord and tenant, but how on earth an owner can pick a tenant whose need for the house in five years' time is less than his own, I really do not understand. If the Clause is rejected, we are left with the alternative that a person who wants to buy a house must do so at the moment of retirement and then move into it, or he must live in it for a weekend, and no one will object. If he lives in it for a weekend as an owner-occupier, he has special rights under the Bill, It does not matter about the cost of living in it for a weekend. That satis- fies hon. Members opposite. It must be remembered that we are still speaking about a house with vacant possession and not a house depriving anyone of anything. The alternative is to pick the hon. Gentleman's extraordinary tenant.

If we were to accept the recommendations of the Government, the result would be a number of vacant houses at Poole, Folkestone and other places, because the Government have not the foresight to see tthat if they want to bring in controls they are restricting the occupation of houses.

Photo of Sir Anthony Meyer Sir Anthony Meyer , Eton and Slough

Like the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock), I find it difficult to understand why the Government have difficulty in defining what is meant by "retirement". We have put up a large number of suggestions to them. I myself put up one, but it was ruled out of order because it involved expenditure. I suggested that a register should be kept where a person could register one house that he wanted to keep for his retirement. If the Government really want to find a way of doing it, I am sure that they can. I cannot understand why we have to bother about defining "retirement" so strictly. Is it so very unreasonable that an owner of one house should be able to establish his right to recover possession of it? Hon. Members opposite talk as if it is a problem of mass ownership of large numbers of houses and of one man establishing a claim to move into twenty different houses at once for owner-occupation. That is pure moonshine. It is one man, one house, and I cannot think it unreasonable for one man to establish a claim to move into a house of his own.

I fully agree that the Lords Amendment does not adequately cover the cases that we have in mind, but it is the best so far and, since there is no indication that the Government are ready to substitute something which will genuinely cover the case of a man who wants to provide for his retirement, I hope that they will let the Clause go through, inadequate as it is.

Photo of Mr James Allason Mr James Allason , Hemel Hempstead

We had an Amendment down on Report stage which would have met the case of retirement, but, as I remember, the principal objection to it was the danger of bogus retirement. It was said that a man might retire a number of times over in order to get vacant possession of a series of houses. We have now the objection to a rather wider Clause which does not mention retirement, that there would be bogus use made of it. I do not accept that that danger exists.

First of all, let us look at whether it is right to extend the Clause. We intend principally to cover retirement, but is it so terrible that it also covers the position of a man who wants to move to another part of the country because he has a job in prospect, say, in Scotland but is not moving for a year or so, and he decides to buy a house in Scotland with the intention of moving into it when his job takes him there? Is it so very dreadful that he should be allowed to let the house for the short period during which it would otherwise be vacant on the understanding that he can regain possession in order to move to Scotland?

9.0 p.m.

I have no objection to this Clause being extended, but the Clause is very necessary as otherwise the owner of the house has various alternatives. One alternative is to leave the house vacant until he wants to occupy it. That is very undesirable in all respects, as the Government quite clearly feel, because they have met the objections in regard to the owner-occupier in Clause 14.

It is also open to the owner to move in and occupy the vacant house. It would be interesting to hear the Parliamentary Secretary's views on genuine occupation as referred to in Clause 14. Whether to move in for the weekend with a camp bed and a frying pan would be deemed to be occupation for the purpose of Clause 14, I do not know. I rather think that somewhat better occupation would be necessary, which means that the new owner would be put to very considerable expense in moving into the house in order to register himself as the owner-occupier of his new house and then go back to his other house and be protected by Clause 14. I think that anyone would agree that that is a rather expensive and unnecessary way of meeting the difficulty.

Another choice, which the Parliamentary Secretary mentioned, would be to let the house furnished, but not everyone wants to buy a complete fresh set of furniture for a house into which he intends to move in a year's time when he has already got a set of furniture in his own house. That is another undesirable and expensive way of dealing with the problem.

The next alternative is that proposed by the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner), who suggested that the owner should deliberately find a tenant who would be in less need when the time came than the owner himself—

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

I did not say that at all. I said that the tenants would flock to the landlord, not that the landlord would have to look round.

Photo of Mr James Allason Mr James Allason , Hemel Hempstead

The definite suggestion was that the tenant to be selected should be the one with least ground of hardship, so that the man with four or five children would stand no hope of a tenancy. The suggestion was that the landlord should find someone, preferably a bachelor, so that when the time came it would be obvious whose need was the smaller. It is a most improper way of going about affairs to encourage lettings to those with the least degree of hardship rather than to those with the greatest degree of hardship.

The Parliamentary Secretary objected that this would be a great breach in the principles of the 1933 Act. The principles of the 1933 Act are there to protect the tenant against the landlord who wants possession—probably the landlord who has just bought, because if the landlord has recently had vacant possession he is unlikely to have let, and is about to take it back again. In the circumstances of 1933 the great danger was the new landlord who purchased a rent-restricted house with the express intention of getting it for himself. The moment he bought the house, he applied to the court for possession. Here it is right that there should be the test of greater hardship, because why should a landlord who has just bought be able to dispossess the tenant?

This is a very different case from the genuine case of a man wanting to live in future in another part of the country. That man buys a house with vacant possession, and has to decide whether or not to let it. If he lets it, there is an entirely different position from that under the 1933 Act. I do not agree that this would be a great breach of the 1933 Act.

The Parliamentary Secretary is always terribly worried about bogus claims, but he does not seem to have much respect for the courts. The court has to be satisfied that the dwelling-house is required as a residence for the person concerned. If he has obtained it by a bogus transaction, the court will be aware of that. It will not be beyond the wit of the Ministry to ensure that in the event of it turning out that by bogus means and false pretences the landlord has got possession, he shall not be allowed to obtain vacant possession for the purpose of selling it. That is all we want to ensure. I am certain that the bogusness can be dealt with. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will think about this matter again.

Photo of Mr Alexander Hendry Mr Alexander Hendry , Aberdeenshire West

Throughout debates on this Bill, the underlying theme has been that it is a humanitarian Measure designed to prevent hardship and injustice. All the thought up to now seems to have been for tenants. The attitude of hon. Members opposite opposite in this discussion appears to be that a landlord by nature is bad and the tenant is a poor, helpless person who requires protection in all circumstances. I suggest that very often there is greater hardship to a landlord.

This possibly is a case which would not come within the scope of the 1933 Act. With all deference to the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner), for whose activity in these matters I have great respect, there seems little possiblity of any subterfuge or injustice in this matter. A man acquires a house with vacant possession and lets it to a tenant on the distinct understanding that the let is temporary. He is simply deferring the vacant possession, which he has deliberately acquired, until a certain event takes place. There seems no possiblity of any abuse because the owner must satisfy the court that he requires the house for his own occupation. This is not a case of someone buying an enormous block of flats and deciding to live in each flat in turn. It is a case of a man who buys an individual house specifically for his own occupation. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to consider cases where this takes place.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

What the hon Member is in fact saying is that what has prevailed throughout the continuance of the whole of the Rent Acts from 1915 onwards is that a person who purchases a house wanting to occupy it later should be entitled to occupy it irrespective of hardship.

Photo of Mr Alexander Hendry Mr Alexander Hendry , Aberdeenshire West

I suggest that the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West, should read the Amendment now before us and should read the previous Acts. Under the previous Acts the landlord would not be entitled to get possession of the house even for his own occupation unless he could show hardship, but he did not have to prove that he had already owned the house with vacant possession. Under the Amendment the condition precedent is that he must have had vacant possession. The only difference between this position and Clause 14 as originally approved by this House is that under the original one he had to live in it.

I ask the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to consider certain circumstances. It may be physically impossible for the owner of the house to occupy it himself in the initial stages. During the recent Recess I was in South Arabia, where many British civil servants are serving the Federal Government under the most insecure circumstances imaginable. Some of them are constituents of mine. I spoke to them and to their friends. They were all very worried about the possibility of getting housing accommodation in this country when their present tour of duty ends. That may be next month or in five years' time. Nobody knows how long they will be continued in their overseas occupation.

These people are to a large extent buying houses and ordering houses to be built here at the moment. Many of these houses are being built in my constituency which, like Poole and other places on the South Coast, is a highly desirable area to retire to. Many of these people have ordered houses and it is physically impossible for them to take themselves from South Arabia to Aberdeenshire to occupy these houses purely to bring themselves within Clause 14. These people will have no protection whatever, unless the new Clause is inserted. I plead with the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to take into account the circumstances of these people who are in as bad a position as any tenant could possibly be.

I have dealt with the prospective landlord. I should like now to deal with prospective tenants. I do not know what type of solicitor's practice the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West has. It may or may not be the same as mine. Mine is a country practice where I to a very large extent act as a factor for houses. In other words, people come to me and say, "I have a house. I would like a tenant for it, but only for a short period".

I know from my own personal experience that there are many people who are only too willing and anxious to take knowingly a tenancy for a short period. I let such a house last week. I let it to a person who had his name on the waiting list of a local authority. He knew full well that some time within the next two years he would get a local authority house, but in the meantime he had to have somewhere to live. He was perfectly content to take a house which I had available for a definite period of two years. This is a very fair proposition. The tenant knows exactly where he is. The landlord knows that at the end of two years the house is there for him if the time has come for him to occupy the house.

There are hundreds of these cases. They are not all people who are on local authority lists. They are people who may have a temporary job in the locality and who want a residence there for a short period. I am sure that the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West knows that there are such people. These people are willing to take such tenancies with their eyes open. What is secured is justice, not only for the owner of the house, but for the prospective tenant of the house, without hardship to anybody.

I have mentioned the case of overseas civil servants. Their plight is very serious indeed. They are completely uncertain as to the future. Anything we can do, either in this Bill or in any other Bill, to help these people is well worth doing.

There are many people besides them. I will instance two cases, one from my own constituency and one not very far from it, which have taken place in recent months. The first was a case of a schoolmaster who died comparatively young leaving a widow. In anticipation of his retirement he had bought a house to which he was hoping to retire in due course. The tenant understood full well that this was to take place. He was not sure when the schoolmaster would retire or whether he would move to another school.

The widow found herself in a very parlous condition. She was requested by her late husband's employing authority to find accommodation elsewhere. In this case the house had never been occupied. It was not the family home. It had been bought with vacant possession specifically for the teacher and his wife to retire to. Unless this suggested new Clause or something very like it is inserted in the Bill, that widow will have no protection whatsoever. There will be a far greater injustice to the widow than there ever would be to the tenant.

9.15 p.m.

The second case—I will be brief because I do not wish to delay the House—concerns a farmer who was getting on in years and whose mother-in-law died and left a nice little house in an adjoining market town. It was a desirable property to which to retire, although it had never been the family home of either the farmer or his wife. Nevertheless, the house had sentimental connections for them, it having been the home of the wife's mother, and the farmer had to decide what to do about the property. It would not have been judicious for him to have moved into the house, it being five miles away from his farmhouse, and he therefore did not wish to occupy it until his retirement.

He was faced with the problem of what to do. The house having sentimental connections, he and his wife did not want to give it up, so as he would not be requiring it himself for two, three or five years, he could either leave it unoccupied or let it on a short-term basis. Should he leave it unoccupied, rotting away, or should he—as he could with the greatest of ease—let it to a tenant who was prepared to accept it on a short-term basis? That tenant would obviously keep it in order while he was in occupation and, at the same time, the property would be providing much-needed accommodation as a temporary measure for that tenant. These are the sort of cases where hardship arises.

Photo of Mr David Weitzman Mr David Weitzman , Stoke Newington and Hackney North

The hon. Gentleman has cited two pathetic cases. Would he not agree that these are cases with which the county court judge could deal under the hardship provisions?

Photo of Mr Alexander Hendry Mr Alexander Hendry , Aberdeenshire West

Why should the landlords in such cases be asked to go to that trouble? If there is vacant possession, why should the landlord not be able to decide the course which is best for the property as well as for himself and the tenant? I have not been speaking of rapacious or Rachman-type landlords but of perfectly normal lettings. A landlord in the position I have described knows that he can get a tenant who, with his eyes open and having taken advice, is prepared to occupy the property on a short-term let. That must be advantageous to both the owner and the tenant. No injustice arises.

There are many cases such as those I have described, but I return to the plight of the overseas civil servant, for his plight is extremely parlous. I appeal to the Minister, on their behalf, if on no one else's behalf, to think again on this issue and adopt the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Mark Carlisle Mr Mark Carlisle , Runcorn

I am becoming thoroughly sickened by the synthetic expressions of sympathy which are permeating from the Government Front Bench. We have heard from the Parliamentary Secretary that the Government admit that a genuine problem exists. We have been told time and again by the Minister that he is greatly sympathetic to the people who buy houses which they intend to occupy when they retire. We are then told—and we were told this throughout the Committee stage, on Report, and again today—that the Government have sympathy with these people, when the truth is that they are not in the slightest interested in these people's interests and rights.

If the object of the Bill is to stop tenants from being required to pay exorbitant rents and to give security of tenure to tenants who might otherwise be evicted so that rapacious landlords can obtain further rent increases, do not the Government appreciate that there is a distinction between the landlord who lets for a profit and the man whom the Amendment is designed to affect? I am speaking of the man who buys a house with vacant possession and who wishes to live in it himself eventually but who, rather than leave the house unoccupied for a period of up to five years, wants to let it at a reasonable rent to a tenant who is anxious to rent it for that period.

After everything that has been said by the Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister, I cannot see why they object to a man letting a house in which he intends to live at some time in the future to a tenant who is prepared to rent that house for that period, knowing that at the end of it the owner will wish to occupy it himself. Why should not the owner have that set out in the Clause so that he knows that he is entitled to recover possession? If the Government are sincere when they say that they are sympathetic to these people, why will they not accept the Amendment?

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

I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has returned to the Chamber. He will by now have had a report from the Parliamentary Secretary of the strong expressions of view which have been given during the debate. I think that the right hon. Gentleman did not hear the Parliamentary Secretary's speech. Having a great respect for the hon. Gentleman, I can only say that I have never heard from him a more lame and inadequate performance, arguing what, intelligent man that he is, he realised was a rotten case. He began by saying that he was full of sympathy and very sorry that something could not be done to help the people whom the Lords Amendment would help, and it was a confession of failure both by the Government and by the Opposition that nothing could be done.

To begin with, this is a problem created by the Government. Under the law as it now stands and will stand until the Bill receives the Royal Assent, there will be decontrol in these cases because this Amendment affects only cases in which the landlord has abtained vacant possession so that, under the 1957 Act, there would be decontrol. It is, therefore, a problem created by the Government.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

The right hon. Gentleman's Government.

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

No, created by the present Government. I understand the hon. Gentleman's doubt. They will not be the present Government for long. I am speaking of the Government as of 1st November, as the Americans put it.

It is not good enough for the Parliamentary Secretary to say, "We are very sorry for these people. It is a confession of failure that we cannot do anything for them, but we happen not to like this new provision which"—this was his rather curious expression—"got into the Bill somehow in another place". He used another curious phrase and said that it had been concocted in another place. In fact, there is a problem here, and the other place has put before us a practical proposal for dealing with it. Whether it is perfect or not is not the issue. Is it the best solution to the problem, or must we say that it is too difficult and we will not even try to solve it?

The hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock)—I have already mentioned he is under some strain at the moment—gave an extraordinary performance. I suppose that it was a demonstration of the new "Lib-Lab" alliance. Throughout the Committee stage of the Bill, the hon. Gentleman's heart had bled for the people here concerned—I think that he had even found one who lived in Orpington—and he had been passionate in their defence. Today, he said, "I suppose that the Government are right and we had better not try to do anything".

The story which the Parliamentary Secretary told in support of inaction was an appalling one. He told us that it would be difficult to prove the desire of the owner to occupy the premises. But the desire of the owner to occupy premises and the question whether he was really seeking to do so has been one of the main questions which the courts have been dealing with in the past forty or fifty years under the previous Acts in deciding the balance of hardship. It is ludicrous suddenly to suggest that, in present circumstances, it has become impossible.

Photo of Mr Norman Cole Mr Norman Cole , Bedfordshire South

Would my right hon. Friend also like to address his intelligent mind to the fact that no one in this world short of a lunatic would buy a house with vacant possession to let and with the rent officer standing at his elbow to lower the rent?

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

There is always much in what my hon. Friend says from his practical experience.

There is the argument that this would be open to abuse. How on earth is it to be open to abuse? If a man says, "This is my house, of which I have had vacant possession, and I want to occupy it", is it suggested that the courts will go on giving him possession of a series of different houses in response to that plea? One of my hon. Friends put it very vividly. If one believes this view, someone who owns a large block of flats might be able to persuade a gullible judge that he wishes continuously or in succession or simultaneously to occupy personally every flat in the block. But no court would listen to that plea in respect of more than one house. The Joint Parliamentary Secretary knows that as well as anybody else in this House.

This talk of abuse is no more than an excuse for doing nothing. Why is this considered to be such a difficult thing to do? Why did the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner) say that this was contrary to the whole tenor of the Bill? If he looks at Clause 14 as is stands, he will see very similar provisions, so similar that the unscrupulous landlord wishing to abuse this Clause has only to go into occupation of the house for a bit to get the advantages of Clause 14 which the Government are not trying to take out. Therefore, so far from being contrary to the tenor of the Bill, it is wholly consistent with the line that it takes. All it does is to suggest that people who either cannot or are too scrupulous to go through the farce of temporary occupation should have the same rights in obtaining possession of the house to which they want to retire as those which we have accepted under Clause 14 in respect of those who have actually been in the house and have then gone abroad.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman does not want to mislead the House. All I said was that it was contrary to the tenor of the Rent Acts, not this Bill.

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

That does not seem to me to be a very powerful argument. We are engaged in discussion of this Bill, which is admittedly—indeed, the Minister claims it as a merit—very contrary to the tenor of the previous Rent Act. Goodness knows why he claims that but he does. If that is so, the argument by the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West surely has no validity at all.

The simple point is that these are premises of which the owner has obtained vacant possession. If we do not have a Clause of this sort, owners who intend in due course to occupy their houses simply will not let them. There is absolutely nothing in the Bill to compel them to do so. They will keep them empty and be able to go into them when they want to do so. The houses will deteriorate, the local authorities will lose the rates and the country will lose a certain total of accommodation.

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

It is not nonsense. I have come across cases in which solicitors in these circumstances are properly and wisely advising their clients not to let a tenant into occupation during the interim period before the owner desires to occupy the premises. The hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) knows that if he were consulted professionally he would give the same advice to his clients.

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

I am dealing with the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North if the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Maxwell) will contain himself for a moment. The hon. and learned Gentleman knows that this is the advice that, as a lawyer, he would give his client. He knows that that is the advice that is being given.

Thus, the situation is that we are getting accommodation which could be occupied to the benefit of the tenants, to the benefit of the owners, to the benefit of the local authorities and to the benefit of the rates but which is likely in certain cases to be left vacant because the Government will not provide a method under which occupation could be regained.

Photo of Mr Robert Maxwell Mr Robert Maxwell , Buckingham

Is it not the case that solicitors are giving that advice not for the reason mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman but because the owner wishes to sell the house and make a profit on the sale?

9.30 p.m.

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

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has been following the argument with his usual attention. We are here concerned solely with a house which has come into the possession of a person who wishes, in due course, to occupy it. Surely the one course, if one wishes to occupy a house, is not to sell it. I do not think the hon. Gentleman has helped the House particularly on this issue.

I put this in all seriousness to the Minister, because of all the new Clauses we have dealt with today this one raises the most serious human issues. A great many people—I hope that there will be more as our standards rise—will be able to make provision for a home to which to retire. Whether they be tenants of No. 10 Downing Street or of tied cottages or of police houses, many people buy houses to which to retire. This is a serious problem for them. My own postbag has had more letters on this subject than on any other. It is a real and serious human problem that has been created by the Government.

It is a terrible indictment of either the efficiency or the goodness of heart of the Government that they accept this problem, which they have themselves created, and simply say that they cannot solve it. Another place has made a good and practical attempt to solve it. I suggest that we retain it in the Bill and—here I pick up the right hon. Gentleman's own arguments—if it is found to produce difficulties let him come forward with an Amendment in the next Session.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

It is true, as the right hon. Gentleman says, that the problem we are dealing with was created by the Bill. I can sum it up by a simple syllogism. The late Government abolished security of tenure with the Rent Act, 1957. We have been wicked enough to restore security of tenure with this Bill. And now we are being blamed for not creating means of ending security of tenure. I think that it would now be convenient to formulate my view concisely because we have argued this ad nauseam and now we need to sharpen the issue on which we are voting. This Clause has important principles in it.

The right hon. Gentleman mentioned retirement towards the end of his speech. This was interesting because by then one had almost forgotten that this was supposed to be what the Clause was about. The origin of the Clause lies in one sense in the history of the Bill. We faced the problem of whether the special case of retirement could be met. Obviously, we now do not have creeping decontrol but creeping recontrol, or regulation. In cases where certain problems arise, we have made various exceptions to full security for the tenant in certain conditions. The last Amendment I spoke to concerned the problem of owner-occupiers, and I explained why the Government did not feel entitled to go either narrower or wider than what was in the Bill.

I am afraid that the same is true on this occasion. I looked up what I said last time and the passage which refers to this came after a very moving speech by the hon. Member for Dorset, South (Mr. Evelyn King), who asked whether it was not possible for someone who bought a house with vacant possession for his retirement and who subsequently let it to have special provision made for him. I said: …. I come to the problem that was raised by the hon. Member for Dorset, South about retired people. This is in reference to new Clause No. 11. I have a great deal of sympathy with the aims of this Clause, and if I could find a formula for dealing with this problem I would be almost as tempted to deal with it as I would be to deal with the problem of the agricultural cottage and say that the farmer should be allowed the right to get entry to his house if he is letting it rather than leaving it empty between agricultural tenancies."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th June, 1965; Vol. 715, c. 334.] The House will observe that that is a new Clause which I shall be moving in a few minutes. I said "almost as interested". If we could get a genuine Clause, as for the Clause which we have worked out—if someone in another place could have worked out a Clause dealing with the problem of retirement, I would have seriously considered it.

But no one can pretend that this Clause deals with the problem of retirement when "retirement" does not come into it. We tried ourselves and I know that no one has found a way to write a Clause which genuinely gives to people who want to use a house for retirement the right to go there, without giving it to thousands of people who do not want to retire. We tried and the other place tried and out of it has come a Clause which has nothing to do with retirement. It is a Clause of quite a different kind. It is a Clause which says that if a house is purchased with vacant possession at any time within the next five years, then there shall be a period when the tenant shall not have security of tenure. It means that those who purchase with vacant possession shall for a period be allowed to deny to the tenant the security which we want to give him.

There are conditions in which I could agree with that, if there were a possibility of a Clause for genuine retirement, such as the Clause we had about the manse or the Clause about the farmer with the agricultural cottage. Those were the three which I wanted. I wanted to get it for retirement as for the other two, but we have not got it for retirement. It is now admitted by another place and by right hon. Gentlemen opposite that no Clause can be drafted to provide only for those genuinely wanting to retire, in which case this is a Clause of a totally different sort. This gives the right not only to those who genuinely want to retire, but to anyone who purchases, and that is a very different Clause and bears no relation to my pledge or to the intentions in another place. This is a Clause which simply drives a great wedge into the security of tenure which we are trying to provide for the tenant.

Once again we have a very simple division in the House between those who on margin look after the tenant and those who on margin look after the owner-occupier, or in this case the landlord who wishes to be an owner-occupier after letting his house for a certain period. The Opposition hold the view that in certain conditions he should not have to fulfil the security of tenure obligations towards his tenant which we believe should normally be there. It is because no effort has been made to show that this Clause refers only to retirement and because it was thought of originally only in terms of retirement—

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Will the right hon. Gentleman say why it was impossible to do as I suggested in the debate to which he has referred and limit this right to those occupying accommodation under the terms of their employment, such as policemen and firemen and so on, when there is a definite date of retirement and when accommodation has to be vacated under the terms of employment?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

All I can say is that the Clause that we are now discussing does not make any pretensions to do that. What we have to discuss is the Clause before us, and this Clause does not even try to do that. I feel that it is very unjust of the right hon. Gentleman to throw these things across. He knows perfectly well that we have tried each of the three

Division No. 274.]AYES[9.40 p.m.
Abse, LeoFletcher, Ted (Darlington)Lomas, Kenneth
Albu, AustenFletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)Loughlin, Charles
Alldritt, WalterFloud, BernardLubbock, Eric
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Foley, MauriceMabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Armstrong, ErnestFoot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich)McBride, Neil
Atkinson, NormanFoot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)McCann, J.
Bacon, Miss AliceFord, BenMacColl, James
Bagier, Gordon A. T.Galpern, Sir MyerMcGuire, Michael
Beaney, AlanGarrett, W. E.McKay, Mrs. Margaret
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony WedgwoodGarrow, AlexMacMillan, Malcolm
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Grey, CharlesMacPherson, Malcolm
Binns, JohnGriffiths, David (Rother Valley)Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Bishop, E. S.Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Boardman, H.Griffiths, Will (M'chester, Exchange)Manuel, Archie
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics S. W.)Hale, LeslieMapp, Charles
Boyden, JamesHamilton, James (Bothwell)Mason, Roy
Bradley, TomHamilton, William (West Fife)Maxwell, Robert
Bray, Dr. JeremyHamling, William (Woolwich, W.)Mayhew, Christopher
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hannan, WilliamMellish, Robert
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)Harper, JosephMendelson, J. J.
Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan)Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)Millan, Bruce
Buchanan, RichardHart, Mrs. JudithMiller, Dr. M. S.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Hattersley, RoyMilne, Edward (Blyth)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Hazell, BertMolloy, William
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. JamesHeffer, Eric S.Monslow, Walter
Carter-Jones, LewisHenderson, Rt. Hn. ArthurMorris, Charles (Openshaw)
Coleman, DonaldHerbison, Rt. Hn. MargaretMorris, John (Aberavon)
Conlan, BernardHobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Sheffield Pk)
Corbet, Mrs. FredaHolman, PercyMurray, Albert
Cousins, Rt. Hn. FrankHooson, H. E.Neal, Harold
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Horner, JohnNoel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Crawshaw, RichardHowarth, Robert L. (Bolton, E.)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. AnthonyHowie, W.Norwood, Christopher
Crossman, Rt. Hn. R. H. S.Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Ogden, Eric
Cullen, Mrs. AliceHunter, Adam (Dunfermline)O'Malley, Brian
Dalyell, TamHynd, H. (Accrington)Orbach, Maurice
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)Hynd, John (Attercliffe)Orme, Stanley
Davies, Harold (Leek)Irving, Sydney (Dartford)Oswald, Thomas
Davies, Ifor (Gower)Janner, Sir BarnettOwen, Will
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Jay, Rt. Hn. DouglasPadley, Walter
Delargy, HughJeger, George (Goole)Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Dell, EdmundJeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St. P'cras, S.)Palmer, Arthur
Dempsey, JamesJohnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Pargiter, G. A.
Diamond, Rt. Hn. JohnJohnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)Park, Trevor (Derbyshire, S. E.)
Doig, PeterJohnston, Russell (Inverness)Parker, John
Driberg, TomJones, Dan (Burnley)Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Duffy, Dr. A. E. P.Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Dunnett, JackJones, T. W. (Merioneth)Pentland, Norman
Edelman, MauriceKelley, RichardPerry, Ernest G.
Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly)Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)Popplewell, Ernest
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Lawson, GeorgePrice, J. T. (Westhoughton)
English, MichaelLeadbitter, TedProbert, Arthur
Ensor, DavidLee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
Finch, Harold (Bedwellty)Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Rees, Merlyn

instances which he gives. We had the three examples, the farmer who wanted to lease the agricultural cottage in the intervals between its being used for an agricultural labourer; the manse, and thirdly, the retired person. We succeeded in the first two, but neither he nor I has found any solution to the problem of clearly framing a Clause dealing with retirement which would not give it to a host of other people. It is for that reason that I would like to see this Clause turned down.

Question put, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment":—

The House divided: Ayes 213, Noes 175.

Rhodes, GeoffreyStones, WilliamWeitzman, David
Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Stross, Sir Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)Wells, William (Walsall, N.>
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)Summerskill, Hn. Dr. ShirleyWhite, Mrs. Eirene
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)Swain, ThomasWhitlock, William
Rose, Paul B.Swingler, StephenWilkins, W. A.
Ross, Rt. Hn. WilliamSymonds, J. B.Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'c'tle-on-Tyne, C.)Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Silkin, John (Deptford)Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Silkin, S. C. (Camberwell, Dulwich)Thorpe, JeremyWillis, George (Edinburgh, E.)
Silverman, Julius (Aston)Tomney, FrankWilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Skeffington, ArthurTuck, RaphaelWilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)Urwin, T. W.Winterbottom, R. E.
Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)Wainwright, EdwinWoof, Robert
Small, WilliamWalden, Brian (All Saints)Zilliacus, K.
Solomons, HenryWalker, Harold (Doncaster)
Soskice, Rt. Hn. Sir FrankWallace, GeorgeTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Steel, David (Roxburgh)Warbey, WilliamMr. Alan Fitch and
Mr. Harry Gourlay.
NOES
Agnew, Commander Sir PeterGlover, Sir DouglasMott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Astor, JohnGoodhew, VictorMurton, Oscar
Atkins, HumphreyGower, RaymondNeave, Airey
Awdry, DanielGrant, AnthonyNicholls, Sir Harmar
Balniel, LordGresham Cooke, R.Nicholson, Sir Godfrey
Batsford, BrianGrieve, PercyNugent, Rt. Hn. Sir Richard
Bell, RonaldGriffiths, Peter (Smethwick)Onslow, Cranley
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)Harris, Reader (Heston)Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Berry, Hn. AnthonyHarrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)Page, R. Graham (Crosby)
Bingham, R. M.Harvie Anderson, MissPeel, John
Birch, Rt. Hn. NigelHastings, StephenPercival, Ian
Black, Sir CyrilHay, JohnPitt, Dame Edith
Blaker, PeterHeald, Rt. Hn. Sir LionelPowell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Box, DonaldHendry, ForbesPrior, J. M. L.
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J.Hiley, JosephQuennell, Miss J. M.
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir EdwardHill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Braine, BernardHirst, GeoffreyRawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Brinton, Sir TattonHobson, Rt. Hn. Sir JohnRoots, William
Brooke, Rt. Hn. HenryHogg, Rt. Hn. QuintinRoyle, Anthony
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)Hordern, PeterRussell, Sir Ronald
Bruce-Gardyne, J.Howe, Geoffrey (Bebington)Scott-Hopkins, James
Buck, AntonyHunt, John (Bromley)Sharples, Richard
Bullus, Sir EricHutchison, Michael ClarkShepherd, William
Buxton, RonaldIremonger, T. L.Sinclair, Sir George
Carlisle, MarkJones, Arthur (Northants, S.)Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)
Carr, Rt. Hn. RobertJoseph, Rt. Hn. Sir KeithSmyth, Rt. Hn. Brig. Sir John
Cary, Sir RobertKaberry, Sir DonaldSpearman, Sir Alexander
Chataway, ChristopherKerby, Capt. HenryStainton, Keith
Chichester-Clark, R.Kerr, Sir Hamilton (Cambridge)Stanley, Hn. Richard
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Kilfedder, James A.Studholme, Sir Henry
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)Summers, Sir Spencer
Cooke, RobertKirk, PeterTalbot, John E.
Cooper-Key, Sir NeillKitson, TimothyTaylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Costain, A. P.Lagden, GodfreyTaylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Courtney, Cdr. AnthonyLambton, ViscountTeeling, Sir William
Crawley, AidanLangford-Holt, Sir JohnThatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir OliverLegge-Bourke, Sir HarryThomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)
Crowder, F. P.Litchfield, Capt. JohnThomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Conway)
Cunningham, Sir KnoxLloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Curran, CharlesLongbottom, Charlesvan Straubenzee, W. R.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryLongden, GilbertVaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.Loveys, W. H.Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Digby, Simon WingfieldMacArthur, IanWalker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Dodds-Parker, DouglasMcLaren, MartinWall, Patrick
Eden, Sir JohnMcNair-Wilson, PatrickWard, Dame Irene
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Maitland, Sir JohnWeatherill, Bernard
Errington, Sir EricMarten, NeilWebster, David
Eyre, ReginaldMathew, RobertWells, John (Maidstone)
Farr, JohnMaude, AngusWhitelaw, William
Fisher, NigelMawby, RayWills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles (Darwen)Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Fletcher-Cooke, Sir John (S'pton)Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Foster, Sir JohnMeyer, Sir AnthonyWoodnutt, Mark
Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Mitchell, DavidTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gammans, LadyMonro, HectorMr. Francis Pym and
Gibson-Watt, DavidMore, JasperMr. R. W. Elliott.
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)Morgan, W. G.