HC Deb 11 April 1918 vol 104 cc1638-9
61. Major HUNT

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that aliens, some of them of military age and some hostile to this country, in order to get away from air raids, are depriving our own people of housing room in the towns and villages near London, and that these same aliens are crowding our own people out of the railway trains, he will at once take steps to remedy this injustice and injury to our own people in our own country?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. Inquiry has been made of the police in the districts concerned, and I understand that the reports of the movement of aliens away from London have been exaggerated. My hon. Friend is aware that the Increase of Rent Amendment Bill has passed the House of Lords, and, if accepted by this House, it will afford some protection to the tenants of the smaller houses. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has under consideration the question of railway accommodation, and, so far as my own Department is concerned, I have communicated with the local authorities of districts alleged to be affected from the point of view of overcrowding and possible risk to health.


Do the Government intend to give the House the very earliest facilities for passing the Bill relating to housing rents?


That question shall be put to my right hon. Friend.


Can the light lion. Gentleman say when this Bill will be taken?


As soon as the Government can possibly afford time.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a large number of magistrates in the country have already given a delay of a month in view of the Easter Recess, and of the fact that the Bill from the Lords was to be considered immediately? As that has been delayed by the Man-Power Bill, will he make it his duty to see that the Bill is introduced very soon after the Man-Power Bill?


I can say nothing more than that it will be introduced as soon as possible.


Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to consider the advisability of refusing railway permission to issue season-tickets to aliens unless they are on work of national importance?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the extreme urgency of this question, not only in regard to small houses but middle-class houses?

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