HC Deb 13 October 1915 vol 74 cc1284-5

asked the Minister of Munitions if his attention has been called to the action of certain property-owners in. Glasgow and on Clydeside in making extortionate increases in the rents of working-class houses; whether he is aware that considerable industrial unrest is threatened in consequence; and whether he has any powers under the Munitions Act to deal with this matter?

The MINISTER of MUNITIONS (Mr. Lloyd George)

I have received many representations on this subject, and I am informed that the unpatriotic course adopted by certain house-landlords in taking advantage of the national need to extort increased rents in munition areas is aggravating the labour unrest in certain districts. I have, therefore, directed my officers in these localities to make immediate inquiry into the matter and report to me.

I am not sure that the Munitions Act is applicable to the case, but should the allegations of an unjustified increase of rentals of munition workers owing to war conditions prove to be substantiated, the Government will not hesitate, if necessary, to ask Parliament for any powers required to deal with the situation.