§ (1.) Her Majesty the Queen may, by Order in Council, declare, as respects any county or part of a county mentioned or defined in the Order, that, on and after a day specified in the Order, registration of title to land is to be compulsory on sale, and thereupon a person shall not, under conveyance on sale executed on or after the day so specified, acquire the legal estate in any freehold land in that county, or part of a county, unless or until he is registered as proprietor of the land.
§ (2.) In this section the expression "conveyance on sale" moans an instrument executed on sale by virtue whereof there is conferred or completed, a title under which an application for registration as first proprietor of land may be made under the principal Act.
§ (3.) The title with which a proprietor of freehold land is registered in pursuance of this section shall be not less than a possessory title; but nothing in this section shall prevent 327 any person from being registered with any other title if the Registrar is satisfied of his title.
§ (4.) It shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council to revoke or vary any Order made under this section.
§ (5.) In the case of every Order proposed to be made under this section, notice shall, six months before the Order is made, be given to the council of the county to which such Order is proposed to be applied. A draft of the proposed Order, together with the name of at least one place within or conveniently near to the county where a district registry office will be established, shall accompany the notice, and shall also be published in the Gazette.
§ (6.) If within three months after receipt of the draft the county council, at a meeting specially called for the purpose, at which two-thirds of the whole number of the members shall be present, resolve, and communicate to the Privy Council their resolution, that in their opinion compulsory registration of title would not tend to facilitate or cheapen the transfer of land in their county the Order shall not be made.
§ (7.) The first Order made under this section shall not affect more than one county.
§ (8.) Except as to a county which shall have signified through its county council, pursuant to a resolution of such council passed at a meeting at which two-thirds of the whole number of the members shall be present, its desire that registration of title shall be compulsorily applied to it, no further order shall be made under this section until the expiration of three years from the making of the first Order.
§ (9.) Any Order made under this section shall be made with due regard to the utilisation (if practicable) of any land registry existing in the county to which compulsory registration is proposed to be applied or in any adjoining county.
§ (10.) For the purposes of this section the word county shall have the same meaning as in the Local Government Act 1888, and shall include a county borough; and the word county council shall include the council of such borough.
§ (11.) The City of London shall be a separate county, and the mayor, aldermen, and commons, in common council assembled, shall be deemed the county council thereof; and for the purpose of this section the representation of the said city on the London County Council shall not be computed in the number of the county council not entitled to vote.
§ (12.) Proceedings in regard to any proposed Order may be taken at any time after the passing of this Act.
§ * MR. SYDNEY GEDGE (Walsall)
moved to insert after the word "county" the words "and such county shall not be the County of London." He said that the Lord Chancellor, in moving the Second Reading of the Bill in another place, had said that it was proposed by the Measure to proceed by the most gradual steps and to put its provisions into operation in a limited area only, so 328 that Parliament might be guided in future legislation on the subject by the light of experience. It was now, however, proposed that the experiments should be tried in the administrative County of London. Undoubtedly the County of London was a limited area, but so was England, and, for that matter, the world itself, but it was an area that contained the greater part of the wealth of the country. It had evidently been the original intention of the framers of the Bill that the "limited area" in question should contain a due proportion of agricultural land, whereas the administrative County of London consisted exclusively of houses and building land. There was nothing in the Bill to prevent the Privy Council from issuing an Order bringing the provisions of the Measure into operation in any county within three months from next week. In his opinion those provisions ought not to come into operation until the new County Council was elected. The effect of the operation of the measure would be to put a stop to the transfer of land in Greater London for a long period. He appealed to the Government and to the House to require that the experiment to be carried out under the Bill should be tried in the first instance in a really limited area, not in the enormous area of the county of London. He begged to move the amendment which stood upon the paper in his name. ["Hear!"]
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER,) Isle of Wight
said that the hon. Gentleman had repeated with great emphasis the speech he had made last night and had expressed his fear that the Privy Council might rush the operation of the Bill during the existence of the expiring London County Council. It was evident that the hon. Gentleman had not read Clause 24 of the Bill, under which the provisions of the Measure were not to come into operation until the 1st of January, 1898, before which time no steps whatever could be taken towards putting the provisions into force. The reason why the administrative county of London had been selected for carrying out the experiment proposed to be tried under the Measure, was because there was already existing in it a Register Office 329 under the management of officers of great experience who were well acquainted with the work that would have to be performed in carrying out the provisions of the Bill, and because the County of London was the area in which the best experience could be gained with the least friction. He could not accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
moved to leave out from the word "section" to "order" in order to insert the words "and in any case no other Order shall be made under this sub-section." He believed that that Amendment would carry out the understanding that had been arrived at last night.
§ SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton)
thought the words a considerable improvement, and he was willing to accept the statement of the Attorney General that they carried out the arrangement come to last night, but to prevent any possible misconstruction he wished to state what he understood to be the position. In the first instance the Lord Chancellor might select any county he thinks proper, and there was a distinct understanding that that county was to be the administrative county of London.
§ SIR H. FOWLER
Excluding the City. The Lord Chancellor might give notice to the County Council of London, and they would have the option, within three months, of determining whether or not they would have this compulsion. If they said they would not then the Lord Chancellor would have to select some other county on which to try the experiment; but assuming they did accept it, and assuming the Act to be put in force in London, then no further Order was to be made under this Act at all for three years. Then, at the expiration of three years, no Order could be made by the Privy Council unless and until the County Council asks for it in accordance with the terms of the Act. If the County Council asks for it, and the Lord Chancellor is disposed to advise the Privy Council to make the Order, then the Order shall lie on the Table of either House of Parliament, and, no objection being taken, the Order can then 330 be made; but at the expiration of three years, the County Council asking for it, and Parliament not dissenting, this order can be made to cover any county or part of a county. On the understanding that the words of the Attorney General carried out that arrangement he accepted them.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
said the right hon. Gentleman had with perfect lucidity explained the arrangement come to last night in the House, and which the Government thought would be completely carried out by the Amendment proposed by the Attorney General.
§ CAPTAIN BETHELL (Yorks, E.R., Holderness)
could not see why the first Order should be limited to one county and why the Lord Chancellor should not have several "tries" of his system at the same time.
§ MR. R. B. HALDANE (Haddingtonshire)
said that while he too should like to see the Bill tried on a larger scale, they must take what they could get, and he was well pleased to think that what they had got would provide a thoroughly adequate test of the efficiency of the Bill.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. J. G. BUTCHER (York)
moved to add at the end of Sub-section (8), "and provided that in the case of an Order made under this Sub-section the provisions of Sub-section (6), shall not apply."
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: At the end of Sub-section (8) insert,—
(9) Every Order of Council made under this Section shall, within thirty days from the date thereof, if Parliament be then sitting, or within twenty days from the commencement of the next Session, if Parliament be not sitting, be laid on the Table of both Houses of Parliament, and if within forty days of any Order being so laid an Address in either House disapproving of such Order be carried, such Order shall be void and of no effect."—(Attorney General.)
§ MR. BUTCHER
moved at the end of Sub-section (10) to insert—10a.—(1) In the event of any portion of a county or part of a county as regards which an Order has been made under this section being included in a county borough as regards which 331 no Order has been made under this section, such Order shall cease to be in force within such included portion of the county.(2) In the event of any portion of a county or part of a county as regards which no Order has been made under this section being included in a county borough as regards which an Order has been made under this section, such Order shall apply to such included portion of the county.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
moved to amend the proposed Amendment by inserting after each "in," in the words "a county borough" the words "another county or in."
§ Amendment to the proposed Amendment agreed to; Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
§ Amendment made: Leave out Sub-section (12).—(Mr. Butcher.)