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Lord Dubs: My Lords, the Minister has answered the arguments relating to my amendment on this occasion. The noble Lord, Lord Monson, suggested that this was a matter for primary not secondary legislation. I would agree with him if it were possible to devise a scheme for self-management short enough and succinct enough to be appropriate for primary legislation. All my efforts, with a lot of help from experts outside, suggest that this is a difficult undertaking which would probably require a Bill in itself rather than it being part of a larger Bill. It is the sheer difficulty of such an undertaking that has led me to believe that giving the Secretary of State powers might be a better way forward.

As to the Minister's comments, tenants would not wish to have the right to self-management unless they felt that they could do better than was being done in their block of flats. It would defy logic for tenants who were content about the quality of the management of their flats to say, "Nevertheless, good as the management is, we want something different". Tenants would only wish to move into self-management if they felt that there would be an improvement in their circumstances. That logical position must underpin any approach to the issue.

The Minister said that the Government can only interpret the amendment in their way. That is the whole point. It gives the Government the ability to go on interpreting in the way that they wish, up to the point where they actually take the powers given them in this particular amendment. Because it is open to the Government to decide whether to use the power, when to use it, how to use it and for which tenants, it gives them a complete hold on whether they move forward at all. Even if the power were on the statute book and the Government then said that it was difficult to apply, they simply would not move forward.

The amendment meets all the Government's criticisms. I can see that the Government are not going to concede the point and, therefore, I should like to test the opinion of the House.

17 Jul 1996 : Column 881

5.56 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 26) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 91; Not-Contents, 135.

Division No. 3

CONTENTS

Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Barnett, L.
Bathurst, E.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Broadbridge, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Chapple, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Craigavon, V.
Dahrendorf, L.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B. [Teller.]
Desai, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L. [Teller.]
Eatwell, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fisher of Rednal, B.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Glenamara, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grey, E.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McCarthy, L.
McGregor of Durris, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNair, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marsh, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nelson, E.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Richard, L.
Robson of Kiddington, B.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell, E.
Seear, B.
Shaughnessy, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thurso, V.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whaddon, L.
White, B.
Wigoder, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.

NOT-CONTENTS

Ailsa, M.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Balfour, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Berners, B.
Biddulph, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bowness, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brentford, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Caithness, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Chorley, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coleraine, L.
Colwyn, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.] Crickhowell, L.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dilhorne, V.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donegall, M.
Downshire, M.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elibank, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gainsborough, E.
Gibson-Watt, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Gisborough, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Greenway, L.
Hacking, L.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L.
Halsbury, E.
Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hemphill, L.
Henley, L.
Hesketh, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hooper, B.
Hothfield, L.
Howe, E.
Huntly, M.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Inglewood, L.
Jeffreys, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kinnoull, E.
Leigh, L.
Lincoln, Bp.
Lindsay, E.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McConnell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.] Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Macleod of Borve, B.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monk Bretton, L.
Monson, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Montrose, D.
Mottistone, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Pender, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Pym, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Romney, E.
Saint Albans, D.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Savile, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selsdon, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sherfield, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Stockton, E.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Sudeley, L.
Tebbit, L.
Trumpington, B.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wharton, B.
Wilcox, B.
Windlesham, L.
Wise, L.
Wolfson, L.
Wynford, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

17 Jul 1996 : Column 882

6.5 p.m.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 27:


Before Clause 89, insert the following new clause--

Application of right of first refusal in relation to contracts

(".--(1) After section 4 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (relevant disposals) insert--
"Application of provisions to contracts.
4A.--(1) The provisions of this Part apply to a contract to create or transfer an estate or interest in land, whether conditional or unconditional and whether or not enforceable by specific performance, as they apply in relation to a disposal consisting of the creation or transfer of such an estate or interest.

17 Jul 1996 : Column 883


As they so apply--
(a) references to a disposal of any description shall be construed as references to a contract to make such a disposal;
(b) references to making a disposal of any description shall be construed as references to entering into a contract to make such a disposal; and
(c) references to the transferee under the disposal shall be construed as references to the other party to the contract and include a reference to any other person to whom an estate or interest is to be granted or transferred in pursuance of the contract.
(2) The provisions of this Part apply to an assignment of rights under such a contract as is mentioned in subsection (1) as they apply in relation to a disposal consisting of the transfer of an estate or interest in land.
As they so apply--
(a) references to a disposal of any description shall be construed as references to an assignment of rights under a contract to make such a disposal;
(b) references to making a disposal of any description shall be construed as references to making an assignment of rights under a contract to make such a disposal;
(c) references to the landlord shall be construed as references to the assignor; and
(d) references to the transferee under the disposal shall be construed as references to the assignee of such rights.
(3) The provisions of this Part apply to a contract to make such an assignment as is mentioned in subsection (2) as they apply (in accordance with subsection (1)) to a contract to create or transfer an estate or interest in land.
(4) Nothing in this section affects the operation of the provisions of this Part relating to options or rights of pre-emption.".
(2) In section 4(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (relevant disposals: excluded disposals), for paragraph (i) (certain disposals in pursuance of existing obligations) substitute--
"(i) a disposal in pursuance of a contract, option or right of pre-emption binding on the landlord (except as provided by section 8D (application of sections 11 to 17 to disposal in pursuance of option or right of pre-emption));".
(3) In section 20(1) (interpretation), in the definition of "disposal" for "has the meaning given by section 4(3)" substitute "shall be construed in accordance with section 4(3) and section 4A (application of provisions to contracts)".").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 27, I wish to speak at the same time to Amendments Nos. 28, 29, 30, 101, 109 and 117. I wonder whether the noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, might find it convenient if I also referred to his Amendments Nos. 102 to 108.


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