I beg to move, in page 71, line 12, at the end, to insert:and the value of an interest, as calculated for the purposes of section twenty-five of this Act, or of that section as applied by section forty-eight of this Act, may be a minus quantity.This is a drafting Amendment which, in effect, transfers to the general Clause on calculation of value the minus value provisions contained in Clauses 21 (1) and 49 (4), which form part of the provisions deleted by the Amendments in Clause 21, page 25, line 11, and Clause 49, page 49, line 16.
§ Mr. Thomas Steele (Dunbartonshire, West)
Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give us an illustration of how this will operate? I am interested in the minus quantity. We have this afternoon had some clear and simple illustrations of how these things work from my hon. Friends the Members for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser) and Motherwell (Mr. Lawson). 1238 We would be glad if the right hon. and gallant Gentleman would give us an example.
The hon. Member will surely remember that I spent a long time yesterday giving examples in connection with the minus quantity. He will remember that on Recommittal I discussed an agricultural value of £50 and a value with planning permission of £200, and brought the amount, after dealing with feu duties and one thing and another, to a minus quantity of £150, which then became plus £150 because there were two minuses in the calculation. I cannot think of any more examples.
§ Mr. Steele
I very carefully read what the right hon. and gallant Gentleman said yesterday, but I am afraid that I could not work out the sum from the figures which he gave.
§ 4.45 p.m.
I regret that, but it really is not my province to teach the hon. Member, who knows perfectly well that two minuses make a plus, any further mathematical calculations. This is a rather difficult subject to deal with. The figures which I gave showed the situation created by the 1919 code, which is excellent in every way except in this matter where minus quantities are brought into account. It was to correct this that we moved an Amendment on Recommittal, and this drafting Amendment is consequent upon that Amendment.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Am I to take it that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman is now answering the point which I put yesterday about the road hauliers—that we lose when we sell to the road hauliers and then we lose when we compensate them? Does it mean that we finish up with a plus?
§ Mr. Lawson
There are difficulties arising in connection with the feu-duty. To whom would the compensation be paid? Would it be paid to the owner of the feu? If so, does payment of the compensation mean that his right to feu the land is wiped out entirely or over a limited period of time? If not, why should he be paid compensation?
The superior does not come into this at all. There is 1239 another Clause in the Bill dealing with the position of the superior, and perhaps the hon. Gentleman will refer to it.
§ Amendment agreed to.