§ MR. MILDMAY (Devonshire, Totnes)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will consider the advisability of making provision that on the return of refugee owners of house property to Johannesburg they should not be liable for payments in respect of rent, rates, and consumption of water for the period of time during which, in their absence, their houses have been occupied by the Boers.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
The position of refugee owners of house property in Johannesburg has been under the consideration of His Majesty's Government, and it is possible that further legislation may be necessary. I am, however, advised that lessees of houses who were driven out when the war broke out would under the Roman Dutch Common Law, and also under a proclamation issued at the beginning of the war by the late President, be exempted from the Payment of rent for the whole of the period during which they were deprived of the beneficial occupation of the property leased. Proclamations have been issued to facilitate the recovery of furniture, etc., which has been removed, and for the trial of actions for recovery of money paid for water rates. The question of rates is one on which I have not full information, and I will make further inquiry.