§ 7.32 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I have to move that this Bill be now read a third time. I want to say only two words. When the noble and learned Earl, Lord Jowitt, was speaking on the Second Reading of this Bill, he made special reference to a whole chain of Acts called the Tithe Acts and asked me whether they could not be considered for the purpose of consolidation by the Com- 862 mittee over which I preside and of which he is a member. I promised to look into the matter. I had intended to write him about it, but thinking he might be here, I considered that it would be more convenient to mention it in the House, so that it might go on the record. The position is this. These numerous Acts relate to tithe rent charge, often referred to as tithe. Tithe rent-charge was abolished in 1936, as to something like 95 per cent. of that charge. The only remaining operation of the Acts is on a residuum of antique rights so peculiar that they were excepted from the abolition in 1936—rights with which some of your Lordships are familiar, particularly in the north, such as rents on "gated and stinted pasture," "corn rents" and so on. Consolidating the Tithe Acts would be a very big task and would certainly not be worth while, in view of the tiny extent of their remaining operation. It is hoped to abolish most of these oddities under a power to do so given by the Act of 1936. I hope that information will satisfy the noble and learned Earl. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a third time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed, and sent to the Commons.