46. Major BARNES
asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that 300 tenants of houses over £35 in rental are under notice to quit in Newcastle-on-Tyne, he will take immediate steps to prevent ejectment orders being issued?
§ 47. Mr. ROWLANDS
asked the Prime Minister what action the Government propose to take to meet the case of the tenants who have received notice to quit or the alternative to buy the houses they occupy?
§ 53. Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that, since the Armistice, many landlords are giving notice to their lessees to repaint and decorate houses in accordance with the terms of the leases; whether he is aware that this would, at the present moment, cost more than twice the usual 215 price; and whether, seeing that the men would be better employed in more essential work, he can see his way to make an Order postponing this work except in cases of sanitary or other urgent necessity?
§ 54. Sir RICHARD COOPER
asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that the Increase of Rent Act, 1915, does not protect tenants against the danger of eviction at the approaching quarter-day, he will afford them temporary protection by prohibiting the sale of any house property at a price exceeding twenty-five times its rateable value in 1914, and by prohibiting any rent being charged for house property in excess of 33⅓ per cent. above its rateable value in 1917?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)
I have no information on the subject of the question of my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham, but am having it inquired into. The Government have decided to introduce a Bill to prolong the duration of the Rent Restriction Act until the expiration of one year from the termination of the present War, but after the time when the present Act would have expired, to allow rent to be increased by not more than 10 per cent. and the rate of mortgage interest to be increased by not more than one half per cent. with a limit of 5 per cent. The Government have also decided to extend the operation of the Act to houses whose rateable value at the commencement of the War did not exceed £55, with corresponding values in the provinces and Scotland. With respect to houses of this class and mortgages thereon no increase made after to-day will be allowed which will make the rent more than 10 per cent., or the rate of mortgage interest more than one half per cent., above that charged at the beginning of the War.
Mr. KENNEDY JONES
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are a great many tenants awaiting eviction in March?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The answer I gave shows that they will not be able to ask a higher rent than that which is now being charged.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
No, I do not think so, but it must be obvious that we cannot argue it by way of question and answer. I am sure the House will understand that it is not desired to take the building of all houses out of private enterprise, of which there is a danger.