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Lord Williams of Elvel: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation of why the Government believe that de minimis provisions are not appropriate. I am bound to say that I first took the line which the noble Viscount, Lord Ullswater, took in Committee; that a de minimis provision was right. I have subsequently been advised by people who know better than I do that there should be at least a proper discussion of the de minimis provision.

I must read most carefully what the Minister has said and take advice on it because I am still unconvinced that there should not be some provision. How one formulates

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it I know not at the moment. It is a matter to which I may return on Third Reading or it may be taken up in another place. In the light of the Minister's explanation, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 150A not moved.]

Clause 106 [Right to refer disputes to adjudication]:

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 151:

Page 60, line 37, leave out ("for resolution by an adjudication procedure") and insert ("to adjudication pursuant to a procedure").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, Clause 106 explains why construction contracts are defined and dealt with at such length by providing for an adjudication procedure. In Committee your Lordships spent some time on the language used in connection with adjudication, in particular whether it was appropriate to refer to a resolution to be achieved through adjudication since that suggested a permanent outcome.

I was teased by that and believed that there must be a way around it, laterally or perhaps diagonally. Therefore, I suggest that instead of providing for,

    "the right to refer a dispute ... for resolution by an adjudication procedure",
the clause might provide a right to refer the dispute,

    "to adjudication pursuant to a procedure".
I beg to move.

7 p.m.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, this is the second time that we have seen the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, worried about the word "resolution". She moved another amendment to remove it in Committee. The noble Baroness continues to believe that "resolution" means something which is final; she has not accepted my assurance that this is not necessarily so.

It may be worth repeating that adjudication must have force to resolve disputes. The process is not intended to generate advice or recommendations which parties may or may not choose to accept: it is intended to produce a decision with which parties must comply. The word "resolution" is here quite appropriate.

I also pointed out in Committee that parties would be free to agree whether the decision should be final and binding, or effective for a more limited period. However, I know that noble Lords were suspicious of these assurances when they saw the description of the scheme for construction contracts. This suggested that an adjudicator's decision should have permanent effect unless parties agreed otherwise.

We have considered the views of noble Lords who sought to remonstrate with us on this point, in particular the noble Lords, Lord Howie, Lord Williams and Lord Berkeley. We have also taken into account representations which have begun to emerge from the industry on our description of the scheme. We have concluded that it would be right if disputes which are subject to scheme adjudication could normally be re-opened at practical completion of the contract, and

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we propose to amend scheme proposals when we consult following Royal Assent. I trust that noble Lords will now go to supper with a light heart. In particular I believe that my words should soothe the noble Baroness's fears that something dark and sinister lurks behind the word "resolution". I hope therefore that she will not press her Amendment No. 151.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, my concern was a good deal less than that of other noble Lords who spoke. I addressed the matter as something of an intellectual exercise and I have not lost a great deal of sleep in relation to it. I was merely hoping to be helpful to the process of what is agreed to be a non-party political matter.

I am sorry that my intellect has not shone. I am very grateful for the assurances given about the different approach to the workings of the scheme which, after all, is the substantive matter. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The Earl of Courtown: My Lords, I beg to move that further consideration on Report be adjourned. In moving that Motion, I suggest that further consideration on Report begin again not before 8.5 p.m.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Bill [H.L.]

7.3 p.m.

Report received.

Clause 1 [Meaning of "trust of land"]:

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern) moved Amendment No. 1:

Page 1, line 17, leave out subsection (3) and insert--
("(3) The reference to land in subsection (1)(a) does not include land which (despite section 2) is settled land or which is land to which the Universities and College Estates Act 1925 applies.").

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 1 is the first of a group of nine amendments, the others being Amendments Nos. 2, 4, 13, 14, 33, 34, 36 and 37. The amendments are very closely interlinked and, with your Lordships' leave, I think it would be appropriate to speak to the whole of this group together in moving Amendment No. 1. This group of amendments will make changes in respect of charitable, ecclesiastical and public trusts involving land, argued for at Second Reading by the noble Lord, Lord Meston, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Kinnoull. The amendments are supported by the Charities' Property Association and the Charity Commission.

The Bill presently draws no distinction between charitable trusts and what may be termed "private" settlements, where land is limited in succession for individuals. As the Bill is presently drafted, all settlements in existence at the time of commencement

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would remain untouched by the new regime and subject to the Settled Land Act for as long as they remain in existence as settlements. It has been cogently argued, however, that charities would benefit from the more flexible trustee powers conferred on trustees of land, and that while it would not be right to convert existing "private" settlements into trusts of land and change the position of the tenant for life, there is no such problem in the case of charitable trusts. This group of amendments therefore provides for existing charitable, public and ecclesiastical trusts to become trusts of land on commencement, with two exceptions which I shall explain in a moment.

Amendment No. 2 inserts in Clause 2 of the Bill a new subsection which provides that land held on charitable, ecclesiastical or public trusts shall not be settled land after commencement of the Act (and therefore is no longer subject to the Settled Land Act 1925), even if it was settled land before commencement. Because of the all-embracing definition of a trust of land in Clause 1, this will have the effect that charitable, public and ecclesiastical trusts will be trusts of land, whether created before or after commencement of the Act. Amendment No. 1 provides an exception for land to which the Universities and Colleges Estates Act 1925 applies, so that the trusts of land regime will not apply to such land. This is because land to which that Act applies is in an unusual position, having never been subject to the Settled Land Act scheme but rather having its own detailed, self-contained scheme, and representatives of those who deal with such land have indicated that they would prefer to continue to operate in accordance with that separate scheme.

Amendment No. 4 provides that subsection (1) of Clause 8, which allows the powers of trustees of land to be restricted or excluded by the disposition creating the trust, shall not apply in the case of charitable, ecclesiastical or public trusts. This restores the present effect of Section 106 of the Settled Land Act 1925 for charitable trusts which become trusts of land, in response to concerns expressed by those responsible for the administration of charities, including the Charity Commission.

Amendments Nos. 13 and 14 ensure that the definition of a,

    "trust of proceeds of sale of land",
in Clause 17 meets the new approach under which some trusts now subject to the Settled Land Act will become trusts of land on commencement: the wording will ensure that proceeds of dispositions made before commencement in such settlements will be covered.

Amendment No. 33 ensures that the changes effected by this group of amendments do not apply in relation to the deeds of settlement for the Chequers Estate and the trust instrument for the Chevening Estate, which are set out by statute. The settlements of those two estates are in a very unusual position in that they are not charitable, ecclesiastical or public trusts within Section 29 of the Settled Land Act so as to be part of the class of trusts which this group of amendments sets out to effect; but they are not "private" settlements in the ordinary sense either. Those responsible for administering these

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settlements believe it would be better for them to be treated for the purposes of the Bill like private settlements, so that they will remain subject to the Settled Land Act in the same way as at present, since it would be a very complex and delicate task to amend the statutory deeds.

Amendment No. 34 replaces the present provisions of paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Bill with new provision to ensure that certain requirements relating to dealings with charity land in Section 29 or the Settled Land Act 1925 will continue to apply under the trusts of land regime as they do at present.

Since there is now to be no difference between existing and new charitable trusts for the purposes of the Bill, Amendment No. 34 simply reproduces the necessary parts of Section 29 for those trusts which fall outside the Charities Act 1993, together with the provisions of Section 29 concerning dealings by managing trustees. This means that both Section 29 and the words in Sections 37 and 39 of the Charities Act 1993 which exclude it from applying to charities within that Act can be repealed altogether. Those repeals are effected by the provision inserted by Amendments Nos. 36 and 37. With that lengthy preamble, I beg to move Amendment No. 1.

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