Before I call the first Amendment, I think that it would be for the convenience of the Committee if we were to discuss with it Amendment No. 3, in page 1, leave out lines 12 to 16 and insert:
as if the year nineteen hundred and fifty-five wherever it occurs were replaced by the year nineteen hundred and sixty".
and Amendment No. 5, in line 17, leave out "the said".
Amendment No. 3 is the substantive Amendment, and that which I have just moved is a paving Amendment to Amendment No. 3. The substantive Amendment does two things. First, it deletes the limitation on claims under Clause 1 (1, b) to the 1955 purchasers. That alone would leave the present possible claimants intact. But it also seeks to extend the period to 1960, so that claims to the supplement can be made by purchasers who purchased not only during the period 1939–55 but in the five following years, 1955–60. In order to make my argument on this point I will remind the Committee briefly of the present law. In general, it is that no more than site value compensation is paid for a house in a clearance area when it is compulsorily purchased, but those who purchased between 1939 and 1955 who are owner-occupiers are entitled under the present law to market value, notwithstanding that their house comes within a clearance area, provided that it is compulsorily purchased within the next fortnight.
The Bill extends that fortnight by five years for a select few: those who purchased between 1950 and 1959 and who did not have 15 years' enjoyment of their homes. That is how the Bill stands and that is the point which we seek to amend. The Amendment would retain the existing law indefinitely for the benefit of the 1939 to 1955 purchasers and extend that benefit to those who purchased between 1955 and 1960. It is that last point which I wish to argue now. That of retaining the benefit of the existing law for those who purchased between 1939 and 1955 is raised on the next Amendment on the Order Paper. It would be best, therefore, I think, if I confined my argument on the present group of Amendments to the extension of benefits to the purchaser between 1955 and 1960.
I would first question the usual justification for paying only site value for a house in a clearance area, which is that no owner should be paid for something which is not fit to live in as it is therefore worthless. However, case after case has been quoted in the House which proved the irrelevancy of that argument. Houses in clearance areas have been valued by the district valuer at £500, £1,000 and £2,000. Clearly, it is not true that, merely because a house is within a clearance area, it is worthless.
There was a report in the Sunday newspapers yesterday of Mr. Bill Ralph of Wolverhampton, who had been offered £50 for his house by way of compensation on compulsory purchase because it was in a clearance area, yet his neighbours in a similar house had been offered £950. There, perhaps, is the measure of the difference between those entitled to market value—in this case £950—and the man entitled, because he bought without the 1939–1955 period, to site value only and who gets only £50.
The real argument to justify giving only site value was put by the Joint Parliamentary Secretary during the Second Reading debate. He said:
It might be said that the answer is to give everyone market value, but we believe that that would be wrong. Slums were recognised as a problem long before an effective attack was made on them. All attempts to deal with them founded on financial obstacles until the site value rule was introduced. It is fundamental to an effective slum clearance and has been recognised to be so by successive Governments ever since it was introduced in 1919."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th November, 1965: Vol. 720, c. 853.]
In other words, we do not pay market value because, if we did, slum clearance would be too expensive. I believe that that is the real justification for saying that we pay only site value.
Therefore, let us be frank with the owner. By not giving him market value for his property, we are asking him to subsidise slum clearance. I heard the Joint Parliamentary Secretary say that that was unfair. But that was exactly what his hon. Friend said on Second Reading—that slum clearance can be carried out only if we have the site value rule, otherwise we run up against financial obstacles all the time and it would be too expensive. If that quotation from the Joint Parliamentary Secretary is not sufficient, may I quote from column 856 of the OFFICIAL REPORT:
… the site value rule must be maintained. Its merits are celar. A slum-clearance programme which has to deal with the 770,000 unfit houses shown in local authorities' returns earlier this year simply cannot be conducted on any other basis.
This disposes of the high moral humbug about not paying a man for rubbish. We can, therefore, deal from the practical point of view with these questions: from how many owners shall we demand this sort of subsidy and how many owners
can we afford to let off? In the past we decided that we could let off the owners who purchased between 1939 and 1955. If I may quote again from Second Reading, the Joint Parliamentary Secretary said:
But Parliament decided in 1956 that special treatment was justified for owner-occupiers who bought their houses between the outbreak of war when slum clearance was suspended and the end of 1955 when its resumption was announced."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th November, 1965; Vol. 720, c. 852–6.]
This was the line drawn in 1955 merely because slum clearance was announced at that time.
The Conservative Government at that time, in passing the legislation, drew that line and said that as from the time the legislation was announced, it would apply to purchasers before that date. Otherwise the legislation would have said to all and sundry, "If you buy within the next few years or after this period you will get full market value". The right thing at that time was to say that full market value would be given to those who purchased up to that date.
But the announcement did not immediately make houses available. Merely by announcing a provision of this sort we do not put one single brick on another brick. It does not make any more houses available. People still had to find somewhere to live and, as cases have shown, they continued after 1955 to buy houses in the twilight areas. There has been no distinction between those who purchased between 1955 and, say, 1960 and those who purchased between 1950 and 1955. There may be some argument for saying that by 1960 slum clearance was so obvious and house purchase had become a little easier that those who bought in the twilight areas after 1960 did so with their eyes open, but I think that the dividing line of 1955 now looks rather fictitious. It is a dividing line which was made merely by the announcement of that legislation.
It was quite right then to draw a line there and to say that there would be payment of compensation to those who purchased before that date. But we can look back now and say that people who bought at least in the next five years were riot speculators in slum property. Indeed, the speculators were frightened off by the 1956 Act. They knew the terms of the Act. The people who bought during the period 1959–60 were the same type of people as those who had been buying for the previous five or 10 years. They bought for the same reason; to have a roof over their heads at a time of considerable difficulty in housing. I suggest that we can safely bring them into the fold now and treat them on the same basis as the purchasers in 1939 and 1955.
Before the Committee comes to a decision in this matter I wish to call attention particularly to Amendment No. 3 and to comment on it in relation to one of the towns which has this problem very much in the forefront of its housing difficulties.
As I see the position—and this follows from what I said on Second Reading—it would be consistent for my hon. Friends to accept the view that there is a difficult position here in respect of those mainly small, humble people who sought to find owner occupation in an effort to get out of a bad condition of housing into something less bad. Certainly up to 1960—and I believe it is continuing now—they have had resort to the next best thing they could get, which was owner-occupation after 1955. We are now saying that those who bought houses of this character after that date did it with their eyes open, but I am not prepared to believe that the hundreds of people whom I know, many of them in towns like Oldham, deliberately, consciously and wilfully entered into this kind of ownership without making many inquiries. Nor do I believe that we can now say that slum clearance has reached such a stage that we can set a dividing line as tight as this.
Towns like Oldham, Manchester, Liverpool and others cannot possibly at this stage take the view that owner-occupiers who, having in good faith at a fairly recent date—after 1955—done the best they could in the circumstances, should be rewarded with purely site value when, from our personal knowledge from visiting this kind of property, we can see that there has been a manifest and proud endeavour to make the most of what is, perhaps, after all, property which should go out of occupation at some time or another.
On Second Reading I raised a practical problem which is still before us. It is that if one has authorities with immense jobs of this sort to be tackled there must be a period between which they can overcome the difficulty. For example, there are 15,000 such houses to deal with in my constituency. Are we to take it that all 15,000 must be dealt with by one stroke of the pen overnight, which appears to be implied in the Bill? Clearly it would take a considerable time and, in my constituency, probably a period of 10 to 15 years would be needed.
Do we take it that in respect of houses which are somewhat substandard but which are not some of the worst, we are to say to these owner-occupiers that they should not invest in this kind of property and that, if they do, they will get only site value? I suggest that there is here a straightforward case for the Government reconsidering the matter or at least giving an assurance about early legislation—or, better still, for the Minister to say that more appropriate words will be inserted in another place to incorporate the principle which I have adduced and with which Amendment No. 3 is concerned.
On Second Reading my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government said:
I should make it clear that we regard this as a stop-gap Bill.
I appreciate that, and that is why I trust that the Minister will give serious consideration to this matter and do something about it in another place. My hon. Friend added:
It is a Bill which we are basing largely on the 1956 Act and making some improvements on it, but basically we are accepting the approach to that Act at the moment. That does not mean that we are wedded to it or that we think that this is a final solution."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th November, 1965; Vol. 720, c. 891–2.]
The ideas behind that Act were the ideas of the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) and the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys). These may have been commendable ideas
from hon. and right hon. Members opposite at that time, but I ask spokesmen from the Government Front Bench not to commend them to me, because on this side of the Committee we want w examine the position now, regardless of the bad record of the former Government.
Many hardships arise out of this situation which cannot be dealt with except by amendment of this Bill here or in another place or by some other approach. If the Minister says now that he cannot concede the principle for which I plead I can understand it, though I should be disappointed, and if he says that the well-maintained grant system affords an opportunity to meet the difficulty I can go some way with him. Recently in Oldham an area of 966 houses was cleared and it may be useful to the House to know that in a large area of working class houses 81 well-maintained grants were made. The sums varied from £35 to about £140, but I cannot give the average figure.
If we cannot meet the problems of people who made the necessary inquiries but are still being caught by the uncertainty of communication from the town clerk, we should not discourage them from moving from bad accommodation to more satisfactory but, inevitably in the long run, unfit accommodation. Where there is clear evidence that people came into ownership after proper consideration, that there has been owner-occupation and good husbandry, with money spent to make the best of an indifferent job, it is the duty of the Committee, and certainly of my hon. and right hon. Friends, to face the situation and show hope of legislation in due course to deal with it.
Incidentally, I would point out to the Committee the contradiction that, under the cold logic of the Bill, if one has one of these houses in an area declared unfit, there is a site value only for the house, but if the house is combined with a shop and the owner-occupier also operates the shop, he gets compensation for disturbance. Is this a justifiable distinction? I do not think that it is deliberately drawn to have that effect, but it should be noted in passing. If I or anyone else here has a house and shop combined in an area of this type and the fellow next door is only a householder owner-occupier, regardless of the fact that he has taken just as much care of his property as I have, having bought since 1955. I shall get additional compensation because I happen to be a shopkeeper as well as owner-occupier. Such a distinction cannot be sustained. It may not necessarily be there wilfully, but it is there none the less.
I ask the Minister to consider the implications of Amendment No. 3 and to appreciate that, regardless of the politics of it, there is a real case for this set of circumstances to be met. I should prefer no date to be written in. I would rather have the criterion settled by reference to the period when the property was bought and the activities of the local authority in first initiating steps to redevelop and later acting on the operative order. But the principle is the same.
Will the Minister assure us that he will seriously consider this question and, in the manifold activities of his Department, find an opportunity within coming legislation this year to remedy this key anomaly? I shall be even happier, of course, if, after hearing the debate on these Amendments, he can remedy it in another place on this Bill.
I support these three Amendments, particularly Amendment No. 3 even though it does not go as far as I should have liked. Last Session, in co-operation with my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Gurden), I was instrumental in introducing a Bill to offer market value compensation for all property acquired. But if this principle can be extended to those who purchased property between 1955 and 1960, that property having now been declared unfit, some of the anomalies which will otherwise arise can be avoided.
Many purchasers expected that their properties would have a far longer life than they now find they have. Although development plans are regularly brought up to date and purchasers employ solicitors to carry out a search, the assurances which are given as to the life of a particular property cannot be absolute. In many areas, redevelopment depends on the possibility of the local authority acquiring the property. Sometimes one area is redeveloped much earlier than was expected, and another may be put off till the end of the plan period, and the consequence is that a property which the purchaser and even the local authority expected to have a life beyond 15 years has to be redeveloped sooner.
It is not fair to say that, if someone has purchased property which is unfit, he does not deserve market value. Standards of fitness should as far as is humanly possible, be absolute—a house should be regarded as fit or unfit according to certain standards—but the pressure on housing in industrial towns such as my constituency, because of the shortage of municipal houses and of houses in general, is such that standards of acceptability are far lower than in more favoured districts. A purchaser may well have to accept a lower standard house in a large city than he would accept in a more comfortable market town. Equally, he may have to purchase a lower standard house because the high prices in our cities make that the only sort of house within his means.
If we offer him site value only, then the loss is relatively greater. It was suggested that the real reason for offering site value was to reduce the cost of slum clearance. I would point out that if one gives site value only, a house-owner will almost certainly need to take part of that precious asset—a municipal house belonging to the local council. If he is offered market value, there is a good chance that he will become an owner-occupier again. Certainly, if the cost, in finance, is increased by giving fie market value, the social cost is probably far lower.
I would ask the Minister, in order to avoid the unnatural anomalies which will otherwise occur when a house on one side of a street may be included for redevelopment and a house in exactly the same condition on the other side may not be developed for a number of years, to reconsider this or at least hold out a hope that he will keep this matter under close consideration and surveillance so that if these anomalies do arise we shall have early amending legislation.
Frankly, I feel rather unhappy about this provision. I suppose that the justification for the attitude adopted by the Government is that people in 1955 were warned that there would be slum clearance and if they bought in that knowledge, they clearly ought to be paid upon the basis of site value. But I do not think it is right to assume that when they bought in 1955 they bought with knowledge of that fact. I am aware of cases of real hardship. I have regard to the fact that when the Parliamentary Secretary spoke about this matter he referred to it as a stopgap measure, and I hope that the Minister might look at it again.
There are obviously cases where real injustice might be done, cases of people who bought houses not knowing of slum clearance, and who expected to live in their houses for many years. That is the only point I desire to make, but I think that it is a rather important one and I hope that the Minister will look at this matter more carefully before rejecting entirely the suggestions put forward in these Amendments.
The hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) mentioned that this was a stopgap measure. I must remind him that unless something is done very quickly indeed, in a matter of weeks or days, it will be too late, because a lot of people will not qualify for reasonable payment for their houses. I would suggest to the hon. and learned Member that he might have shaken the Minister and woken him up while he was saying these important things, because he has gone to sleep and is not really taking this very seriously.
I feel that this basic rule which has been quoted, that an unfit house should not qualify for market value, is unsound. It is demonstrated to be unsound because certain houses which are acknowledged to be unfit in some respects, can have a market price paid for them. It is clearly demonstrated in this Bill that it is a question of time—when the house is bought, how long it was owned and occupied, that is the criterion. I agree with the hon. and learned Member that this is obviously most unfair. If these Amendments are accepted it simply means that market value will be paid instead of site value in certain cases. What are the Government afraid of? It means that one will get market value for a house which is supposed to be unfit and therefore it can only be a price which is commensurate with the type of property. If it is a slum house and it is paid for at market value, it can only be a very low value by any valuer. It cannot be very much. Why rob the person of the extra money which would enable him to find other decent accommodation in which to live?
We know that local authorities take over these houses which are supposed to be unfit, and yet some of them spend £100, £200 or £300 on them and then put tenants in them for years and years, showing that the houses can be made fit to live in quite reasonably. If this is possible, and it has been demonstrated in Birmingham that the houses can be made fit and reasonable to live in, why not give the owner-occupier the chance to put the house right for himself?
What happens is that the corporation takes over the house for a mere few pounds and the occupier, who was previously the owner, who had paid a reasonable price for the house, has to pay a full rent to the local authority for a house of this kind. This is what the Bill perpetuates. Could anyone imagine anything more unfair?
The Government Front Bench surely cannot feel that that is justified. This has been shown to be a matter which cuts across parties, because throughout the past 10 years or more hon. Members, from both sides, have repeatedly said that it is a most unfair principle to take houses for merely site value. Their owners then have no money with which to purchase a reasonable house in which to live.
The hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Gurden) and the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Peter Griffiths) have underlined the cogent and compelling reasons put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Mapp) for comprehensive legislation dealing with all the anomalies of the clear- ance of slum property. There is no doubt that such legislation is urgently needed. I have this kind of property in my constituency, as my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East has it in his. Great anomalies arise within the same street, as my hon. Friend has mentioned, between the business user and the person who has a home and no shop. Those arguments do not support the Amendments that has been put forward by the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page).
My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) put his finger on the problem when he talked about cases of hardship. As the hon. Member for Smethwick has said, there are occasions when a local authority has changed its mind after 1956 and, therefore, a person who has bought after that date finds himself without compensation although at the time of purchase he did not know the position. Such hardship cases exist and it is a great pity that there is no provision in legislation whereby a local authority can help such cases.
There are, however, other people who bought a property after 1955 and at the time of purchase well knew that their house was, or was likely to be, included in a slum-clearance scheme. They bought after the magic date of 13th December. They went to a solicitor and were advised by him that their house would, or might well, come under a clearance scheme.
It occurs to me that it may be a helpful suggestion that machinery be devised in this way, that where a person has bought without knowledge that there would be slum clearance, or that the property would be likely to be subject to a slum-clearance scheme, he ought to be paid such and such an amount. Something on those lines might be more satisfactory.
In that I would entirely agree with my hon. and learned Friend. What I am seeking to point out to the Committee is that the Amendment put forward by the hon. Member for Crosby does not do that. It is much too clumsy a tool. It lets in everybody who bought between 1955 and 1960, regardless of whether they knew or not, and they would all be entitled to receive the full market value compensation. There are many cases of people who bought after 1955 who got quite considerable abatement of the purchase prices well knowing that fact. Such cases exist.
Although there is a need for comprehensive legislation on the question of compensation for slum clearance, I would repeat that this Amendment would act in a grossly unfair manner. Indeed, I am surprised that the hon. Member has put forward this Amendment.
In the Second Reading debate, as he will recall, and as will the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), there was a great deal of agreement between the two sides of the House on the question of those who purchased between 1939 and 1955 and who found themselves not covered by the provisions of this Bill. I do not think anyone on this side was saying that people beyond 1955 should receive compensation.
When this Bill was first introduced I looked up what the magic date of 13th December was, and I chanced upon the Second Reading debate of 28th March, 1956. Hon. Members are now advancing the case of people who bought after 1955. The then Parliamentary Secretary, the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), again would seem to be at some variance with his hon. and right hon. Friends, because he said in that debate:
It must have been acquired for owner-occupation before 13th December last. This is clearly right and necessary. A later qualifying date would clearly be out of the question.
He gave reasons why, and said:
I think it will be agreed, therefore"—
for various technical reasons—
that it is right that no house acquired for owner-occupation after the announcement of the contents of the Bill should be able to qualify."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th March, 1956; vol. 550, c. 2163.]
Indeed, it was agreed. On neither side of the House was the proposition denied. It was not until today that the proposition was denied. It was reconsidered in 1958 and put into the Act of that year. Had hon. Members genuinely believed in the need of these people they could have amended that Measure then, but they did not amend it then. Now we have this rather clumsy Amendment which would enable people, who bought with the full knowledge that their house would be
subject to slum clearance, to receive full compensation at the expense of the local authority. It is far too clumsy an instrument, although I would entirely agree with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North that those who bought without such knowledge are indeed hardship cases and that the local authority should be entitled to assist them.
I wonder if the hon. Member would agree, first, that it was clearly right at the time to try to discourage people from buying property in the expectation of getting full compensation, but that this discouragement, in fact, failed because a great many deserving people are not the sort of people who keep abreast of what is going on and with the laws we pass, and that there are, for instance, old people who get a bit muddled about these things? I wonder if he would agree that people who bought after 1955 are in many cases the ones who are most unfairly treated because they are not even getting 15 years' uninterrupted enjoyment which seems to be the philosophy of the Bill before us.
All I would say on that point is that some people who bought after 1955 had knowledge through their solicitors of conditions in their areas, and there was an abatement in the purchase price as a result of that knowledge. There are other cases like those mentioned by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North where the local authority has changed its mind. There are the cases that I mentioned in Second Reading where, because of the way that the business was transacted, the purchaser has never been told of the existence of a slum clearance area. There should be provision for local authorities to assist in such cases, but the Amendment is not the way to do it.
The Amendment comes somewhat late in the day. The Opposition were in government until about a year ago, and they had opportunity to legislate right until the year 1964 and deal with the problem. But they choose to wait until they are in opposition to deal with it. Many people who come within the period between 1955 and 1960 have already been dispossessed at site value, and nothing has been done about it. One wonders why they have waited until they are in opposition, and whether they are not simply playing at politics to get the votes of certain people.
I do not know. I would remind him, through his Parliamentary Secretary, that I have been in communication with him and have had long correspondence about this particular question, because the whole of the law relating to compensation is full of anomalies. I recognise that there are difficulties. It is not any easy thing to legislate about. The hon. Gentleman is aiming at the man who bought with his eyes open. Sometimes it goes deeper than that, and there are many cases of people who deliberately buy property which they know is going to come down, in order that in due course they may get the key to a municipal house. It is as simple as that, and I do not know the answer to it.
If an Amendment as comprehensive as the present one is going to be introduced, does it mean that such a person will get his municipal house constructed at the expense of the ratepayer at a cost of £3,000 or £3,500 and, at the same time, get full market value for his house? Obviously that would be manifestly unjust.
There are many problems like that. At the same time, there are other problems, and mention has been made of site value. But what is site value? It may interest the Committee to know that there is one law for the rich and one for the poor. The big slum owner with a block of 20 or 30 houses is compensated at a rate 20 times per square foot more than the small owner. That has been established by the High Court overruling the Lands Tribunal in the case of David v. Leeds Corporation. The ratio of that decision is supposed to be that because the small individual house is on its own, it cannot be developed within the existing byelaw, and therefore the owner gets a contemptuous amount for his house. It was formerly about £2, but now that compensation is upon the basis of annual value it amounts to about £10.
That is ridiculous. It is a decision of the courts, but how can it be justified upon any moral basis? I have been trying to persuade the Minister, who is probably advised from Whitehall about the matter, that the point should be legislated upon and that that sort of anomaly should be dealt with. It is legal nonsense, and I do not see why it should be tolerated. I do not care what justification Whitehall finds for this. I suggest that the Minister should look sympathetically at this problem.
I know that there are all sorts of difficulties in the Amendment, but I hope that the Minister will promise to deal with this matter. If he cannot deal with it by way of an Amendment on Report, let us be told that there is going to be early legislation to deal with this matter comprehensively so that people may have justice.
I hope that in obtaining advice on this matter the Minister will not just go across the road or to the horse box and consult his advisers. Let him go to Birmingham and to other places and find out that this is a human problem. If he realises that it is not merely a legal and technical problem but a human one, I am sure that it will not be long before legislation is forthcoming.
This matter has been fairly well discussed, and I would not detain the House were it not for the fact that I am often on the receiving end of this problem. This is something with which I, as a country solicitor, frequently have to deal.
The action of solicitors in this matter has been mentioned, and it is not inappropriate that I should tell the House what is the normal experience in these matters. First, if one has a defined slum-clearance zone made and registered by the local authority in its local land charges register, the situation is comparatively easy. One advises the prospective purchaser that he runs a considerable risk of losing his capital, but there are many situations in which one cannot ascertain any precise information from the local authority, and one is thrown back on guesswork. One may, from one's knowledge of the neighbourhood, know that the local authority's slum-clearance programme is working towards the area concerned, and, if one does, of course one tells the potential purchaser and allows him to make up his mind about the risk. But there is no means of ascertaining firmly and definitely what the risk is, and, as slum clearance is a progressive matter, as the worst slums are cleared away, so the local authority goes forward to deal with the next worst slum, which by then has become the worst one.
There is a very strong argument for having from time to time a shifting date in the final period at which full compensation will be paid. I know of many cases where I have told people not to buy a house, yet they have still done so. They have done it because, perhaps, they are living in one room. Perhaps a man, his wife, and two children are living in one room and sharing the kitchen, and they have to walk 40 yards up the yard to the lavatory. Even a slum house is better than those conditions.
I have been in slum houses condemned without scruple by the Ministry's inspector where one could eat a meal off the floor. So often it is not the property but the tenant who creates a slum, and the variants of how people will deal with housing conditions which are by no means ideal are tremendous. If they have pride, one can get Buckingham Palace for 5s. a week. If they have not, it is a pigsty deserving to be condemned. This type of purchaser comes from the most saving, most careful and cleanest section of the community, and when he is told that he can have "well maintained" payment, that is certainly no substitute for proper market value.
As I think has been intimated, in many cases there is not a lot of difference between full market value and slum-clearance value when the property involved consists of 20 houses in a row in a neighbourhood near a town centre. In these cases I do not think that any of us wants to waste any sympathy, but I know of, and can add to, the hardship cases which have been quoted in this House. Everyone knows that they exist. Old-age pensioners are swindled out of their savings by this law while their next-door neighbours may be receiving full market value, although they may have purchased their properties only two years previously. We cannot justify that in the name of social justice.
This is an attempt to put the matter right, limited by the scope of the Bill. I am in sympathy with much of what hon. Members have said, not strictly within the purview of the Bill, which is of a very limited nature. If we can accept the Amendment and go forward for a full revision of the law affecting compulsory purchases in relation to owner-occupiers we shall be doing a good job in our capacities as back benchers on both sides of the Committee.
This problem is one which the Government should solve now. If they have arrested creeping decontrol let them accept the creeping benefit to owner-occupiers, because, as this problem extends into the future on an ever-increasing scale, as it will do—because houses which we would think quite satisfactory to live in nevertheless fail to comply with Ministry standards; practically everything built before 1914 fails to comply with those strict standards—we can in this way do justice to some part of the problem by accepting the Amendment.
I believe that the Amendment is being put forward to create a situation in which local authorities pay far in excess of the real value of slum property in terms of compensation to owner-occupiers. For many years there has been an argument that local authorities should pay more for unfit properties than is laid down under the Housing Acts, and these Amendments follow that line of argument.
I want to deal with the question of the circumstances in which people purchase unfit houses. It is not true that local authorities suddenly descend on people and tell them that their houses are unfit. As a member of a local authority for some years, and chairman of a housing committee, I consistently have investigations made concerning the conditions of property in my borough. At some time notices are served, and would-be purchasers are often advised to go to a solicitor, who sometimes advises them not to purchase the property. Furthermore, one has to employ a surveyor before a mortgage can be arranged. The surveyor is competent to tell any would-be purchaser of a house whether there is internal light and proper facilities for storing food, or whether the conditions of the house put it in the category of unfit property. These are statements of fact.
The hon. Member says that local authorities do not know. I have already said that local authorities carry on a continuous investigation. At any one time the possibility of a compulsory purchase order may not be in the mind of the local authority. In a few months' time, it may be in their minds. Therefore, the sanitary inspector carries out his survey and prepares the information on the basis of which the application is made to the Minister. This is the position. If professional gentlemen—whether solicitors or surveyors—carry out their job, they are in a position to advise the possible buyer of the condition of the property and whether, under the Housing Acts, it is unfit. Surely that is accepted by both sides of the House.
I want to draw attention to a matter which I have already drawn to the attention of the Minister. During the 30 years that I have been connected with housing matters, and now, a considerable number of working men and women have purchased their own small houses. In one scheme that I have seen, there are about 10 owner-occupiers. I have been amazed at the standard of fitness and comfort within these houses, which are designated unfit for human habitation. But among these 20 or 30 houses, there is a number of houses which were purchased in the London mart as a commercial and business proposition.
As I have said before in the House, if any landlord buys property and it is considered unfit for human habitation, he should be dealt with as if he had bought a load of plums and tomatoes which were unfit for human consumption. In the latter case, the local authority directs that the goods offered for sale should be destroyed: the owner gets nothing at all and might be prosecuted. In the case of slum property, where landlords have battened on the housing problem, the property should be taken over and site value paid. But in the case of owner-occupiers—people who have bought their property and live in it and keep it up to reasonable standards—something should be paid to recompense them for what they have put into it.
One may either be paid site value for unfit houses, or there is a payment for well-maintained houses. Some of the little places which I saw are remarkably well-maintained, but the owners receive no well-maintained payment because the inspector does not consider that the properties satisfy the requirement. These Amendments will not deal with this problem. It is not a question of when they were purchased, but of whether the standard which the inspectors are applying in their reports to the Minister take into account the case of the person who has paid £800 or £900 and, in many cases, has fitted his own bathroom.
In one little house I know, the owner had fitted his own bathroom. In another, there was a beautiful Persian rug on the floor, and I feared that the dear old lady who owned it, who likes a glass of Guiness, might have too many one night when somebody offered her £1 for the rug, which was, in my opinion, worth £50. In this house, which was marked "Unfit for human habitation", I saw a mural. These Amendments will not deal with this sort of problem.
My hon. Friend—who is nodding his head, I hope in agreement with me—should look into this question of whether the standards which are laid down under the Housing Acts should be applied in the case of owner-occupiers, who ought to have consideration for what they have done in the houses, and whether the inspector who conducts the inquiry should take this into account.
This is a very real, human problem, and I am glad that the hon. Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Mapp) raised it in the way he did. His constituency is very near mine, and this problem is common to both. It is especially true of a large number of houses in Lancashire mill towns which were built many years ago, the conditions of which are, in many cases, shocking.
Under the present laws—I do not care who passed them—there is great injustice. I feel that this Amendment will go a substantial way to meet this injustice and, if the Government will not accept it, I hope that we shall get adequate assurance tonight that something appropriate will be done. Lancashire Members realise the injustice done to a large numbers of owner-occupiers in these older cotton towns.
There are one or two points about the Amendment which I feel I ought to comment on before looking at the particular principle behind this debate. I am not saying this in an impertinent way, but I am not sure how far the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) intended the sense of some parts of that Amendment and how far he made a slip.
The first point is that the Amendment does confine the Bill to cases where orders were made before 13th December of this year. The effect of it would be that the Bill would not apply to any order made in future. Therefore, some of the passionate remarks made about the wickedness of our Bill and the narrowness of the Bill dissolve. If we pass this Amendment the effect would he to take out of protection people in cases where the order was made in future.
The other point is rather subtle. It deals with a little quirk of the present legislation which, I confess, I had not realised existed until I studied it with some care recently. At present, if one is in occupation on, say, 13th December, 1955 and still owned the property on the day when that order was made, then one is entitled to supplementary payment. Under that hon. Member's Amendment, one would also have to be in occupation on the day the order was made. I am not saying that that may not be an improvement in some ways. There is the difference.
I do not want to ride off on a narrow interpretation of the Amendment, although I agree with hon. Members who have asked "Why stop at 1960?". If there is a case for going beyond 1955, and there is a logical reason which the Government of the day accepted that date, then one may not like it, one may not think it desirable. But it is logical in that it was based on the view that that was the date when slum-clearance started again and, therefore, any later date was open to difficulties, such as have been put forward in this debate. One may get people moving in to get council houses or cases where market value is pushed up because somebody was offered a completely unfit house, or a potentially unfit house, to buy and said he could not afford £1,500 for that house. Then, the vendor might say that he need not worry because he would get the full market value for it. Therefore, it was only a question of buying it for a short time and reselling it to be sure of getting his money back. There is a risk of market values of individual properties being inflated.
There is no doubt that the Opposition have not a leg to stand on. They introduced a Bill as a temporary Measure, designed to deal in a temporary way with a temporary problem. They prepared no alternative Measure for dealing with compensation when in office. They did nothing until they found themselves in opposition, and suddenly they then became aware of the problem. Some hon. Members opposite have not taken that view but have been consistent in their criticism of it, but in the main the Opposition have not a leg to stand on.
But, as my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Mapp) said, I ought to go a little further than South-West Wolverhampton for my political and social philosophy. I accept that rebuke; we must see this as a problem and not merely as a debate. My hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East spoke as a Lancashire Member about these houses. My right hon. Friend commented on exactly the same point after he had been to Rochdale. It is a little churlish to say that my right hon. Friend does not know the housing situation when he is most assiduous in visiting large and small towns and when he has seen many of these examples. After visiting Rochdale he said exactly the same as my hon. Friend has said; my hon. Friend's phrase was that there is a manifest and proud endeavour to maintain the standards of the house, however humble it may be. To some extent that is dealt with across the whole range of owner-occupied property because of the possibility of getting extra payment if the property is well maintained.
My hon. Friend also said that he would rather have no date at all—and I think that that is sensible, because whatever date we have, there is still the subsequent catastrophic drop in value. There was a case for the date 1955, but now the date must be fixed arbitrarily. One might say 1961 or 1961½—it would not make much difference to the hon. Member for Crosby. But if we have a date, then one man gets full market value, whatever that may mean, and the next day he would not get full market value.
The hon. Member has not put down such an Amendment. I am looking at the problem as it exists, and I have been charitable to the hon. Member's Amendment by not making detailed points of criticism of it.
Consistently over the past few months we have said that we recognised that a major problem arises due to a number of new situations. First, as slum clearance proceeds the horror examples of slums become fewer, less obvious, and, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) said, the test appears more arbitrary; one becomes much more dependent on the length of the inspector's foot than on any clear and objective test which anyone can see to be fair. The second difficulty arises from an extention of owner-occupation due to the decline of private landlordlism, something which many of us consider has led in many ways to an improvement in the condition of houses.
The third factor in the situation—which, again, we have mentioned previously—is that we have the Central Housing Advisory Committee looking at the problem of the standards of fitness. Hon. Gentlemen opposite asked why the Government did not do something about the problem immediately on gaining office instead of waiting until half-past eleven tonight. I wish to make it perfectly clear that my right hon. Friend asked the Central Housing Advisory Committee to look at this problem a considerable time ago. The Committee has been working on it very hard for some months.
To think aloud about the matter, one must try to find a way somehow to get away from the arbitrary distinction between unfitness, on the one hand, and fitness on the other. It means at present that if one happens to be on one side of the inspector's findings the golden key lets one in for full compensation, but if one happens to be on the other side—if there are one or two factors short in the standards of fitness—one finds oneself getting a very low level of compensation. If one could find a more continuous grading of houses one might be a good way towards solving this problem.
I do not think that merely saying, "The market price for every house that is owner-occupied will be paid" is the answer at the moment. "Market price" is an arbitrary term and I fear that the hon. Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Talbot) and I will never reach agreement on what is a proper market value. I suspect that we have very differing views about that.
We must see that exploitation does not occur in respect of compensation. We must prevent the artificial inflation of prices and prevent in some cases a conspiracy to defeat the public good. In this connection, the hon. Member for Crosby was a little unfair to say that the only justification for this action was that it reduced the cost of slum clearance. Nobody has ever said that. It was not a question of this suddenly arising with someone thinking, "We had better hatch up a cheaper compensation method to get the costs down". Back in 1919, when the first consistent housing policy was being framed, the principle was laid down that compensation would be paid at site value where property was unfit. Anything that moved away from that principle has been dealt with on a basis of it being a special difficulty.
The way the debate has gone shows that there may be a case for looking into the Ark of the Covenant—though I believe that one gets struck dead if one looks inside it, which would be an undesirable thing We must consider this whole matter not on the basis of this representing a wholly arbitrary distinction, for this is, by its nature, a stopgap Bill which keeps the matter on its legs, so to speak, so that we may deal with the present position this way until we can look at the wider situation.
The Parliamentary Secretary said with truth that this was a stopgap Bill but, as he will gather from the general unhappiness on both sides of the Committee about the effect of the Bill, the trouble is that it does not stop the gaps. It would not be fair to suggest that one should criticise the Bill because it does not deal with all the wider matters which the Parliamentary Secretary said the Government were thinking about. But within its scope, and dealing with the problem with which both sides of the Committee are faced in respect of these particular owner-occupier cases and categories of people who purchased houses about this period, the trouble with the Bill is that it does not stop that gap either.
It does not help to deal with the matter for the Parliamentary Secretary to say that if we are going to make the basis purchase up to 1960 then why not take it right up to the present day. There may be a good deal to be said for that. I will tell the Committee why we selected 1960. We thought that within the time period in which the Bill would operate this would deal with the majority of hard cases. Purchases after 1960 are unlikely to give rise to hard cases in respect of compulsory purchase in the near future. The main problem is tackled by dealing with cases up to 1960, but we certainly would not want to rest on that.
If the Committee will accept the Amendment there will automatically be further stages of the Bill during which if the House wishes to take out 1960 and go further and bring the period up to the present date there would be no criticism from this side of the Committee. But the choice before us at this moment is not that. The choice is either to make this Amendment at the last effective stage of putting amending matter into the Bill and consider whether 1960 goes far enough, or to go back to the position of the Bill when introduced and leave no remedy in respect of cases where purchase took place after 1955.
There is a good deal of force in the argument, which has been put from both sides of the Committee, that in the 1955–60 time term there would be some cases which would not be particularly meritorious because those who purchased must have known that there would be a slum clearance scheme affecting the property in the near future. It is difficult for any of us to quantify those cases, and if it is said that there are many extremely hard cases in respect of purchases between 1955 and 1960 we are put in the position, if we do nothing about it, of having caused unnecessary hard cases because if we did something some people would benefit without being particularly meritorious.
Looking at the matter objectively, we are not on the whole dealing with people who buy houses with the aid of expensive professional men. We are dealing with people who, ex hypothesi, buy poor houses which for that reason are included in a few years in a slum clearance scheme. It is a pretty safe generalisation that the majority of the people who bought these houses bought them without the best professional aid. All our experience in our constituencies confirms that. It is a bad argument, therefore, that we should not deal with real cases of hardship about which hon. Members have told the Committee. We are dealing here with owner-occupiers. We are taking somebody's home and unless we extend this Bill within its scope as reasonably far as we can—and I suggest that we should do that by dealing with purchases up to 1960—we shall give to all who purchased after 1955 no more than site value for a building which, whatever else it may be, was their home. I find that a somewhat repulsive prospect. If we leave the Bill as it is, we shall—I ask the Committee to face this—inflict unnecessary hardship and injustice on a certain number of people.
My hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Peter Griffiths) put a powerful further argument. If we pay market value in these cases, we put a man at least some way in the direction of buying another home for himself. If we do not, we make it almost certain that he will have to take a council house and reduce the stock of council houses available for others. Quite rightly, the right hon. Gentleman does not give permission for a local authority to proceed with a slum clearance scheme unless it gives an undertaking to rehouse in council property the people displaced. But that does mean that they go in front of the queue on the waiting list. If, by being so careful to ensure that people who may have had reason to suspect that a slum clearance scheme was coming shall have only site value, we make quite certain that one more person will be put at the top of some local authority's waiting list, to the detriment of those already on it, do we really do so much social good?
For both those human reasons, the fact that one is taking somebody's home for what is, generally speaking, a negligible figure and forcing him to find another, and the fact that, from the social point of view, one is adding to the burden of the local authority as a housing authority and to some extent counterbalancing the relief to its obligations under its clearance scheme, this is a matter which we must press. The choice before the Committee is either to leave the Bill as it stands or to
Every hon. Member who has spoken has admitted that the law will be unsatisfactory and cause hardship if the Bill is left as it is. The Amendment will not remedy everything—it may not go as far as some of us would wish—but it will take care of a good many of the hardest cases and, what is more, leave the way open for further improvement such as the Government, with all their resources can provide. That is the clear choice before the Committee, and, for my part, I am prepared to go into the Lobby in support of the Amendment.
|Division No. 4.]||AYES||[11.38 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Edelman, Maurice||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||English, Michael||Johnson, James(K'ston-on-Hull,W.)|
|Alldritt, Walter||Ennals, David||Kenyon, Clifford|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Ensor, David||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Lawson, George|
|Bagier, Cordon A. T.||Evans, loan (Birmingham, Yardley)||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Fernyhough, E.||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)|
|Binns, John||Fletcher, Sir Eric (Islington, E.)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Blackburn, F.||Floud, Bernard||Loughlin, Charles|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||McBride, Neil|
|Boardman, H.||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)||MacColl, James|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. w. (Leics S.W.)||Freeson, Reginald||MacDermot, Niall|
|Boyden, James||Galpern, Sir Myer||McKay, Mrs. Margaret|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Garrett, W. E.||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)|
|Bradley, Tom||Carrow, A.||Mackie, John (Enfield, E.)|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Ginsburg, David||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan)||Gourlay, Harry||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & Fbury)||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)|
|Buchan, Norman (Renfrewshire, W.)||Gregory, Arnold||Manuel, Archie|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Grey, Charles||Mapp, Charles|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Marsh, Richard|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Hannan, William||Mason, Roy|
|Coleman, Donald||Harper, Joseph||Maxwell, Robert|
|Conlan, Bernard||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hart, Mrs. Judith||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Craddockk, George (Bradford, S.)||Hattersley, Roy||Millan, Bruce|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hazell, Bert||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. R. H. S.||Heffer, Eric S.||Molloy, William|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)||Morris, John (Aberavon)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Horner, John||Murray, Albert|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Newens, Stan|
|de Freitas, Sir Geoffrey||Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)||Norwood, Christopher|
|Delargy, Hugh||Howie, W.||Oakes, Gordon|
|Dell, Edmund||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Ogden, Eric|
|Dempsey, James||Hunter, Adam (Dunfermline)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Doig, Peter||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Oram, Albert E. (E. Ham, S.)|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Jackson, Colin||Orme, Stanley|
|Driberg, Tom||Janner, Sir Barnett||Oswald, Thomas|
|Duffy, Dr. A. E. P.||Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Dunn, James A.||Jenkins, Hughes (Putney)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Dunnett, Jack||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Perry, Ernest G.||Silkin, S. C. (Camberwell, Dulwich)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Popplewell, Ernest||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Prentice, R. E.||Skeffington, Arthur||Whitlock, William|
|Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Slater, Mrs Harriet (Stoke, N.)||Wigg, Rt Hn. George|
|Probert, Arthur||Small, William||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Pursey, Cmdr. Harry||Soskice, Rt. Hn. Sir Frank||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Redhead, Edward||Swingler, Stephen||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Rees, Merlyn||Taverne, Dick||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Reynolds, G. W.||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Rhodes, Geoffrey||Thornton, Ernest||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Richard, Ivor||Tinn, James||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Robertson, John (Paisley)||Tuck, Raphael||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Urwin, T. W.||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Rose, Paul B.||Varley, Eric G.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Rowland, Christopher||Walden Brian (All Saints)|
|Sheldon, Robert||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Short,Rt. Hn. E. (N'c'tle-on-Tyne,C.)||Weitzman, David||Mr. John McCann and|
|Silkin, John (Deptford)||Wellbeloved, James||Mr. Alan Fitch.|
|Agnew, Commander Sir Peter||Gardner, Edward||Mayer, Sir Anthony|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Gilmour, lan (Norfolk, Central)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Glover, Sir Douglas||Mitchell, David|
|Astor, John||Glyn, Sir Richard||More, Jasper|
|AtKins, Humphrey||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles|
|Awdry, Daniel||Goodhart, Philip||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Baker, w. H. K.||Gresham Cooke, R.||Murton, Oscar|
|Barlow, Sir John||Griffiths, Peter (Smethwick)||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Batsford, Brian||Gurden, Harold||Nugent, Rt. Hn. Sir Richard|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Page, R. Graham (Crosby)|
|Biffen, John||Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||Peel, John|
|Bingham, R. M.||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Percival, Ian|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Pitt, Dame Edith|
|Box, Donald||Hastings, Stephen||Pounder, Rafton|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J.||Hawkins, Paul||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Brewis, John||Hendry, Forbes||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Higgins, Terence L.||Redmayne, Rt. Hn. Sir Martin|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Royle, Anthony|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick||Hooson, H. E.||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Buck, Antony||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame P.||Shepherd, William|
|Carlisle, Mark||Howe, Geoffrey (Bebington)||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Hunt, John (Bromley)||Smyth, Rt. Hn. Brig. Sir John|
|Chataway, Christopher||Iremonger, T. L.||Stanley, Hn. Richard|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth,W.)||Johnson Smith, G. (East Grinstead)||Talbot, John E.|
|Cooke, Robert||Jopling, Michael||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow,cathcart)|
|Cooper, A. E.||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Temple, John M.|
|Costain, A. P.||Kershaw, Anthony||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Kilfedder, James A.||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon,S.)|
|Crowder, F. P.||Kimball, Marcus||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Walder, David (High Peak)|
|Curran, Charles||Kirk, Peter||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Davies, Dr. Wyndham (Perry Barr)||Kitson, Timothy||Wall, Patrick|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Webster, David|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. w. F.||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Whitelaw, William|
|Doughty, Charles||Longbottom, Charles||Williams, Sir Rolf Dudley (Exeter)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Lubbock, Eric||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||MacArthur, Ian||Wise, A. R.|
|Elliott, R. W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross& Crom'ty)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Mackie, George Y. (C'ness & S'land)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Eyre, Reginald||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Wylie, N. R.|
|Fisher, Nigel||McNair-Wilson, Patrick||Younger, Hn. George|
|Forrest, George||Maddan, W. F. M.|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Mawby, Ray||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gammans, Lady||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Mr. Martin McLaren and|
|Mr. Francis Pym.|
I beg to move Amendment No. 2, in page 1, to leave out lines 9 to 16 and to insert:
as if in the said paragraph 4(1) the words has been purchased' were replaced by the words become liable to be purchased'".
If it would be for the convenience of the Committee, Mr. Bowen, may we take at the same time Amendment No. 6, in page 1, line 21, leave out subsection (2)?
I am obliged.
The main question on the Amendment is the one discussed fairly fully on Second Reading: that is, the retention within the benefits of the 1956 legislation of those who purchased between 1939 and 1955. It is true that the Amendment deals with a small definition point by using other words to define that which is in Section 1(1,a), but that is a minor point on which I need not spend much time.
The main object of this Amendment is to retain the benefit of present law for those who purchased their properties between 1939 and 1955, not merely, as the Bill would have it, for those who purchased between 1950 and 1955. Even in respect of those the Bill makes limitations. I can see absolutely no justification at all for depriving the 1939…55 purchasers of their right under the present law to market value for their property, if it is taken away from them by compulsory purchase. The whole basis of the 1956 legislation, which gave that benefit, was to give relief to those who had bought their houses during the war and shortly after the war, who had had to find in extremely difficult conditions, at that time a roof over their heads.
Really, whatever possessed the right hon. Gentleman to throw those people overboard at this time I cannot conceive. They are not the hated landlords we are talking about in this case—if the right hon. Gentleman would give me his attention for a moment. I was saying that I cannot understand why he had thrown those people overboard. These are owner-occupiers who are a class whom he has politically clasped to his bosom recently, and yet he goes out of his way to reject them from this Bill. They are not even business men of whom he could say, "They can look after themselves; they are quite capable of doing it".
The extraordinary thing is that if this Bill is passed as it stands the business man will be able to claim compensation at market value and the home owner will not be able to claim it, because in paragraph 6 of the same Schedule to the Act, just two paragraphs after that with which we are dealing now, the owner-occupier or lessee occupier of a house which is used wholly or partly for business is already in the position in which we want by this Amendment to put the home owner. The man who owns a house which is partly used for business purposes has only to show that he was in possession of it on 13th December, 1955, whenever he purchased it before that time, and that at the time when it was compulsorily purchased from him he was carrying on business and had an interest in the house, and in that case he gets the full market value. His benefit does not run on to Monday fortnight. It lasts for the whole of his life.
If that is to be left as the law, then does it not completely knock the bottom out of every argument for excluding the home owners who purchased between 1939 and 1955? How will the right hon. Gentleman be able to stand up in future and say, "Yes, the business tenant can get market value whenever prior to 1955 he purchased. But you home owners, no —only if you purchased between 1950 and 1955, that short period of five years, and then only if you have not had more than 15 years' life in your house"? This really is the most extraordinary aspect of Government policy. I do not wonder that this Bill was not put into the Queen's Speech if that is the sort of policy put before the Committee tonight.
In face of leaving that business class to get compensation they cannot still maintain the right to exclude purchases during the 1939 to 1955 period. These are the purchasers who bought in extremely difficult conditions in the war and those who bought under shortage of accommodation for a few years after the war. Those are the people for whom the legislation was originally intended, and those are the people who are now being cut out by the present Bill.
While not being able to support the rather intemperate language of the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page), I have considerable sympathy with the sentiments behind the Amendment which he has moved.
It so happens that, by a strange circumstance, the London borough of Haringey, of which my constituency is a part, holds its next council meeting on 13th December. On the agenda for that meeting, the council seeks approval for a compulsory purchase order for a slum clearance area. One of the houses in that area is owned by a widow whose husband purchased the leasehold interest on 15th May, 1950. As the Clause now stands, it means that because the council is meeting on 13th December, the widow will not be entitled to the lull compensation which the Bill is seeking to give to other owner-occupiers, and she will lose something like £1,000 because the council did not happen to be meeting the day before.
That is a particular case, and one would not argue from a particular case to the general. But there must be many other similar cases, and there must be many other people who are going to be affected by slum-clearance schemes and compulsory purchase orders in the coming months and who will not get the full compensation to which other owner-occupiers will be entitled.
Before my right hon. Friend replies to the Amendment, I would ask him to consider if something can be done for that particular group of people who purchased properties between 1939 and the operative date of 1955, to enable them to enjoy the privileges which the Bill is seeking to give to many other owner-occupiers. We attempt to do it at a very late stage, but I still hope that my right hon. Friend will find some means of doing it, because it will strengthen the Bill considerably.
Nearly all of the arguments that applied to the previous Amendment apply here, and every hon. Member who spoke on the last Amendment supported the idea that, instead of the Bill, we should have something quite different and, in any case, that we should have Amendments. If one examines the Parliamentary Secretary's words tomorrow morning in HANSARD, it will be seen that even he put forward the points that, as the Bill stood, it does not meet the complaints that are being made and certainly does not solve the problems and ought to be amended. That is really what his speech amounted to. Yet he sat down without giving any hope that the Bill would be amended.
I am surprised that the hon. Gentlemen opposite who made very reasonable appeals to him did not rise again or make any effort to get something promised, if not at the present time, later on. We did not get anything at all; yet they calmly went into the Lobby to vote against their own speeches, and all the common sense that they had put forward went for nothing. They had appealed earlier to the Minister for the promise of amendment; yet nothing has come forward.
I think that this is the moment when, across the political floor, they could do something about it if they wished. They could at least draw a further promise from the Minister, but if they do as they did on the last Amendment we shall probably meet with failure for a long time to come, and we shall have these anomalies going on.
The Bill merely perpetuates the difficulty in which we have been for a long time. I accept that my party probably could have done something about it, but I warn the Minister that this sort of Bill creates slums, because a lot of people who see no hope of getting compensation when the day comes for compulsory purchase do not spend money on their houses to keep them in decent condition. This is bound to create slums. I could show the Minister areas in Birmingham where slums have been created simply because people knew that they were not going to get decent compensation at the end of the day. I ask the Minister to accept the Amendment, or at least to promise that he will put something into the Bill which will go some way towards alleviating this difficulty.
I support what my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Joyce Butler) said about the Amendment. I share the concern which has been expressed on both sides of the House about the people referred to in this debate. As I said during the Second Reading debate, I think that considerable injustice will be created by fixing a deadline in 1950, because a situation will be created in which next door neighbours may well be treated differently.
Two neighbours may have bought their houses in successive years, one in 1949, and the other in 1950, one before the operative date, and one after it. It may well be that the house bought in 1949 is in better condition than the one bought in 1950. Nevertheless, the owner of the former will not qualify for market value supplement. This will create a deep sense of injustice in the minds of those who are forced to suffer as a result of this arbitrary date, and I do not think it is justified as an arbitrary fixed line. I think that the Opposition have raised this matter for party political reasons. I am not suggesting that that is so in the case of all hon. Gentlemen opposite, but the fact that hon. Members on both sides of the House are concerned about this arbitrary date is something that I hope my right hon. Friend will not overlook.
If it were possible to consider some sort of sliding scale whereby the market value supplement would diminish as time went by, this would create some means by which people would not be treated differently, and in such a marked manner, just because they bought their houses a few months prior to the operative date. I think that hon. Members on both sides are particularly concerned that 1950 may, as a result of this Bill, form a great divide and create a considerable sense of injustice in the minds of those who suffer as a result. Therefore, even at this late stage I ask my right hon. Friend to reconsider the question and see whether there is some way in which we can tackle the problem so as not to detract from the great merit of the Bill which hon. Members have recognised, despite the facts to which the Amendment refers.
I think that this point about business premises is something of a red herring because the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) worked himself up into an uncontrolled passion about the infamy of treating business premises in a better way than residential ones. The distinction was drawn in the 1957 Act. That has always run. We are not altering that at all. But we are amending it as regards residential premises, where the entitlement to a supplementary payment would have expired at the end of this year. We are extending it—so we are to some extent lessening the distinction, and not exaggerating it.
The main point is that the original idea behind this legislation was to give a person at least 10 years' possession of his house. But it was inconsistent, because it went back to 1939. Therefore, if a person was in the 1939 class he got 26 years' enjoyment of his house before he got site value whereas a person at the other end of the scale—the 1955 end—got only 10 years. This was extremely unfair as between different owner-occupiers. We are saying that the sensible way to get justice as far as possible is to give everybody 15 years' enjoyment. It is fairer to do that than to give some people 26 years and some only 10.
The proposal is that people who have not yet had 15 years' occupation will go on until they have had it. But there is no point in giving the people who have already had 15 years' occupation a permanent right to greatly increased compensation. There is a case for having a look at the whole method of assessing compensation, but there can be no case for picking on the people who purchased between 1939 and 1955 and saying, "You, although having had 26 years' enjoyment of your property, will be entitled to extra compensation whenever an order is made concerning your property." That would simply exaggerate the difference between them and the people who are not going to come within the terms of the Bill.
This is where I came in before. I interrupted the hon. Member in the debate on the Second Reading, when the hon. Member said that he thought that the Government were giving everybody 15 years' enjoyment. The people who purchased after 1955 are not getting 15 years' enjoyment, and the Minister has refused to accept an Amendment which would give them 15 years—or have I misheard the Minister?
No—the hon. Member has been right on both occasions. We spent a long time discussing people who bought after 1955, and we settled it that they did not come within the terms of the Bill. We are now talking about the people who come within the terms of the Bill. Under the Bill they will get 15 years' occupation, whereas under the Amendment the people who have already had their 15 years will not just get another five years; they will go on for ever having rights which the later people do not have. That would seem unreasonable.
This is not good enough. I cannot see the logic in it. It does not matter how many years of enjoyment a person has had in his house. At the time, whether in 1965, 1967 or 1968, in respect of this man who bought his house as an asset—and it may well be his most important asset—it is wrong to say, "We are going to take your house away because you have had so many years' enjoyment". It does not make sense to me, and I do not see how it makes sense to the Minister. I ask him to look at the question again. It is like his saying that all men who have reached the age of 50 should be shot. When they said that it was unjust, his argument would be, "You have had 50 years' enjoyment, what are you complaining about?" It is precisely the same sort of logic. It may be logic to the Minister, but it is nonsense to me. It would be the most sensible thing, merely as a matter of managing the Bill, to have extended the operation of the 1956 Act by five years. That would have saved the Parliamentary Secretary a good deal of trouble and argument.
This is, I am sure, the feeling of hon. Members on this side of the House as well as on the other. I hope that my hon. Friend will look at this matter again. I suppose, if this goes to a vote, I will support him, but frankly—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]—I am not happy about the matter.
I agree very much with what the hon. Member for Birmingham, Aston (Mr. Julius Silverman), with whom I am not always in complete agreement said when he referred to the Parliamentary Secretary's speech as just not good enough. After all, when it was announced during the debate on the Address in reply to the Gracious Speech that the Government would introduce a Bill on this subject, it was generally thought, outside and on both sides of the House, that some additional period, beyond what was a fortnight ahead when my 'non. Friend moved the Amendment and is now less than a fortnight ahead, would be given to all the people covered by the original Act.
It was with some surprise that we discovered, on studying the Bill, that it did nothing of the sort, that it was not, for the great majority of people covered by the original Act a stopgap Measure at all, that it was a stopgap Measure only for that group of people who acquired their houses between 1950 and 1955, and that it did nothing to alter the Bill's effect, in a fortnight, in depriving of market price those who purchased between 1939 and 1950—that is, by far the greater number of beneficiaries under the original Act.
It is a mockery to describe as a stopgap Measure something which does not raise a finger to help the great majority of people whom hon. Members on both sides and opinion without want to see helped, even if only temporarily. As I said earlier, no one would hold it against the Minister that he did not in this Measure—urgently needed as it is—reform the whole complex system of compensation. Of course it would be unreasonable to expect that, but it is surely unreasonable of him not to continue at least for a time the occupation of all the people covered by the original Act, most of whom stand to lose that cover in respect of Orders made after a fortnight from now.
It is not good enough for the Parliamentary Secretary to trot out again the argument that 15 years is what everybody is entitled to and nobody is entitled to any more. As my hon. Friend pointed out, he forgot that argument altogether on the previous Amendment, when we were talking about people who bought their houses between 1955 and 1960. They were not to be given 15 years: they were not to be given anything. Therefore, we are left, even on the Parliamentary Secretary's own showing, with this curious period of demarcation, that those who acquired their homes before a certain date get at least 15 years of occupation, but it terminates sharply then. Those who acquired their houses after that time get nothing at all.
This is not good enough. I think that the Committee was very struck by the fitting illustration given by the hon. Lady the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Joyce Butler). One's sympathy went out, not only to the owner of that house but to the members of the local authority who will be faced with an agonisingly difficult decision when they meet in a fortnight, unless the Committee deals—as it can now, if it so wishes—with this issue.
It was said that the Amendment was put forward on partly lines and for party Purposes. Anyone can make that comment. It does not, I think, absolve the Committee, or any one of us as individuals, from making up our minds on the merits and subject matter of the law. It lies in the power of this House, if it wishes, to secure, at least for a time forward, that all people who have their homes taken from them under these schemes, who had cover under the original Act, shall continue to get the market price for their homes. That will give the Minister all the time he wants to deal
with the broader system of compensation and, therefore, whether this scheme or system can be merged into a better and more comprehensive one. If the Committee decides to annul the Amendment, then the Act falls on 13th December and responsibility for that will rest clearly on the shoulders of those who oppose this Amendment.
|Division No. 5.]||AYES||[12.16 a.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Gourlay, Harry||Oram, Albert E. (E. Ham, S.)|
|Alldritt, Walter||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Orme, Stanley|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Gregory, Arnold||Oswald, Thomas|
|Atkinson, Norman||Grey, Charles||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Hannan, William||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Binns, John||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hart, Mrs. Judith||Popplewell, Ernest|
|Blackburn, F.||Hattersley, Roy||Prentice, R E.|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Hazell, Bert||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Boardman, H.||Heffer, Eric S.||Probert, Arthur|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics S.W.)||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry|
|Boyden, James||Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)||Redhead, Edward|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Horner, John||Rees, Merlyn|
|Bradley, Tom||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan)||Howie, W.||Richard, Ivor|
|Brown, R. W.(Shoreditch & Fbury)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Buchan, Norman (Renfrewshire, W.)||Hunter, Adam (Dunfermline)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Carmichael, Neil||Jackson, Colin||Rowland, Christopher|
|Garter-Jones, Lewis||Janner, Sir Barnett||Sheldon, Robert|
|Coleman, Donald||Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n& St.P'cras,S.)||Short.Rt.Hn.E(N'c'tle-on-Tyne,C.)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Silkin, John (Deptford)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Silkin, S. C. (Camberwell, Dulwich)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Johnson,James (K'ston-on-Hull,w.)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Kenyon, Clifford||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. R. H. S.||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Lawson, George||Small, William|
|Dalyell, Tam||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)||Soskice, Rt. Hn. Sir Frank|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Swingler, Stephen|
|de Freitas, Sir Geoffrey||Lomas, Kenneth||Taverne, Dick|
|Dell, Edmund||Loughlin, Charles||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Dempsey, James||McBride, Neil||Tinn, James|
|Doig, Peter||McCann, J.||Tuck, Raphael|
|Donnelly, Desmond||MacColl, James||Urwin, T. W.|
|Driberg, Tom||MacDermot, Niall||Varley, Eric G.|
|Duffy, Dr. A. E. P.||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Dunn, James A.||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Mackie, John (Enfield, E.)||Weitzman, David|
|Edelman, Maurice||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Wellbeloved, James|
|English, Michael||Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Ennals, David||Manuel, Archie||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Ensor, David||Mapp, Charles||Whitlock, William|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Marsh, Richard||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Evans, loan (Birmingham, Yardley)||Mayhew, Christopher||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mendelson, J. J.||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Fletcher, Sir Eric (Islington, E.)||Millan, Bruce||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Floud, Bernard||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Morris, John (Aberavon)||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)||Murray, Albert||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Freeson, Reginald||Newens, Stan||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Norwood, Christopher||Zilliacus, K.|
|Garrett, W. E.||Oakes, Gordon||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Garrow, A.||Ogden, Eric||Mr. Ifor Davies and|
|Ginsburg, David||O'Malley, Brian||Mr. Joseph Harper.|
|Agnew, Commander Sir Peter||Gammans, Lady||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Gardner, Edward||Mitchell, David|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Astor, John||Glover, Sir Douglas||Murton, Oscar|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Glyn, Sir Richard||Nicholis, Sir Harmar|
|Awdry, Daniel||Gresham Cooke, R.||Nugent, Rt. Hn. Sir Richard|
|Baker, W. H. K.||Griffiths, Peter (Smethwick)||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Batsford, Brian||Gurden, Harold||Page, R. Graham (Crosby)|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Peel, John|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Percival, Ian|
|Biffen, John||Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||Pitt, Dame Edith|
|Bingham, R. M.||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Pounder, Rafton|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Box, Donald||Hastings, Stephen||Pym, Francis|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J.||Hawkins, Paul||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Hendry, Forbes||Redmayne, Rt. Hn. Sir Martin|
|Brewis, John||Higgins, Terence L.||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Royle, Anthony|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame P.||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Howe, Geoffrey (Bebington)||Shepherd, William|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick||Hunt, John (Bromley)||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Buck, Antony||Iremonger, T. L.||Smyth, Rt. Hn. Brig. Sir John|
|Carlisle, Mark||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Stanley, Hn. Richard|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Chataway, Christopher||Johnson Smith, G. (East Grinstead)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Chlchester-Clark, R.||Jopling, Michael||Talbot, John E.|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow,Cathcart)|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth.W.)||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Cooke, Robert||Kershaw, Anthony||Temple, John M.|
|Cooper, A. E.||Kilfedder, James A.||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kimball, Marcus||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon,S.)|
|Costain, A. P.||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Crosthwaite Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Kirk, Peter||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Crowder, F. P.||Kitson, Timothy||Webster, David|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Curran, Charles||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Whitelaw, William|
|Davies, Dr. Wyndham (Perry Barr)||Longbottom, Charles||Williams, Sir Rolf Dudley (Exeter)|
|d'Avigdor-Golclsmid, Sir Henry||Lubbock, Eric||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||MacArthur, Ian||Wise, A. R.|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross&Crom'ty)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Doughty, Charles||Mackie, George V. (C'ness & S'land)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Drayson, G. B.||McLaren, Martin||Wylie, N. R.|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||McNair-Wilson, Patrick||Younger, Hn. George|
|Eyre, Reginald||Maddan, w. F. M.|
|Fisher, Nigel||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Forrest, George||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Mr. R. W. Elliott and|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Mr. Jasper More.|