§ (1) Where, upon, an application by any party to a contract for the construction of any building or work or for the supply of any materials for any building or work entered into before the fourth day of August, 1914, the Court is satisfied that, owing to the prevention or restriction of, or the delay in, the supply or delivery of materials, or the diversion or insufficiency of labour, occasioned by the present War, the contract cannot be enforced according to its terms without serious hardship, the Court may, after considering all the circumstances of the case and the position of all the parties to the contract and any offer which may have been made by 694 any party for a variation of the contract, suspend or annul the contract on such conditions (if any) as the Court may think fit.
§ (2) Where upon an application by any party to any contract the Court is satisfied that, owing to any restriction or direction imposed or given by or in pursuance of any regulation made under any enactment relating to the defence of the realm, any term of the contract cannot be enforced without serious hardship, the Court may, after considering the circumstances of the case and the position of the parties to the contract and any offer which may have been made by any party for the variation of the contract, suspend or annul the contract or stay any proceedings for the enforcement of the contract or any term thereof or any rights arising thereunder on such conditions (if any) as the Court may think fit.
§ Lords Amendments:
§ In Sub-section (1), after the word "contract" ["suspend or annul the contract "], insert the words "or stay any proceedings for the enforcement of the contract or any term thereof or any rights arising thereunder,"—Agreed to.
§ At the end of same Sub-section add the words, "For the purpose of this Subsection where an offer made before the fourth day of August, nineteen hundred and fourteen, was binding on a contracting party if accepted within a specified period expiring after that date and was so accepted after that date the contract shall be deemed to have been entered into before that date."
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
§ Mr. KING
I should like to know from the Solicitor-General in regard to these Amendments whether they only bear out and confirm, and strengthen if possible, the concessions which he so generously made with such great approval when the Bill was before this House? If we might have a, word or two to reassure us, I am sure it would facilitate business.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Gordon Hewart)
There are three classes of Amendments with which the House is now concerned. There is, first of all, the largest class, which carries further the relief that was sought to be given in this House. There is, secondly, a small class of Amendments, which I think I may fairly call drafting Amendments, that alter and improve the phrasing without altering the substance; and, thirdly, there is a particular Amendment which undoubtedly modifies by way of compromise a concession that was made in this House. That is on Clause 5, and it may be that on that Amendment, when it is reached, it will be proper that a word of explanation should be offered. I think in what I have said I have in substance covered the inquiry of my hon. Friend (Mr. Hogge) also.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Lords Amendments:
§ In Sub-section (2), after the word "contract" ["any party to any contract"], insert the word "whatsoever." —Agreed to.
§ Leave out the words, "any regulation made under."—Agreed to.
§ After the word "realm" ["relating to the defence of the realm"], insert the words '' or any regulation made thereunder, or owing to the acquisition or user by or on behalf of the Crown for the purposes of the present War of any ship or other property.' —Agreed to.
§ At the end of Sub-section (2), insert the words "This Sub-section shall apply to any obligation relating to the supply of water, heat, light, traction or power arising under any Act of Parliament, or Order having the force of an Act of Parliament, in like manner as it applies to a contract, except that it shall not be lawful for the Court to annul any such obligation."—Agreed to.