§ (1) An increase in the rent of a dwelling-house to which the principal Act applies payable in respect of the extended period or any part thereof which would but for the principal Act be recoverable, shall be recoverable if or so far as the amount of the increase does not exceed ten per centum of the standard rent:
§ Provided that no such increase shall be due and recoverable if the sanitary authority of the district in which the house is situate on the application of the tenant certifies that the house is not reasonably fit for human habitation or is not kept in a reasonable state of repair, nor in any case until the expiry of four clear weeks after the landlord has served upon the tenant a notice in writing of his intention to increase the rent, and informing the tenant of his right to apply to the sanitary authority for such a certificate as aforesaid.
Lords Amendment: In Sub-section (1), leave out the words
ten per centum of the standard rent
and insert instead thereof the words
for the period from the passing of this Act until Lady Day nineteen hundred and twenty, ten per centum of the standard rent, and for the period from Lady Day nineteen hundred and twenty until the date of the expiration of this Act twenty-five per centum of the standard rent.
§ Mr. FISHER
I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
248 This Amendment raises a question which formed a matter of very extended discussion in this House. Hon. Members will recollect that an Amendment was moved from the benches opposite to reduce the increase proposed under the Bill from 10 per cent. to 5 per cent., but this Amendment would increase the rent by 10 per cent. as from the passing of the Act until Lady Day, 1920, and allow a further increase of 25 per cent. until the expiry of the Act. The Amendment, in fact, goes very far beyond the recommendation of Lord Hunter's Committee, which laid it down that the increase of 10 per cent. should not take place until six months after the conclusion of peace, and the additional 25 per cent. eighteen months after the Declaration of Peace. There is no disinclination on the part of Members of this House to realise the position of owners of house property. It is generally agreed that they are subject to greatly increased burdens in the way of taxation and in the cost of repairs, and it is true that Lord Hunter's Committee recommended an ultimate increase of 25 per cent., but it must not be forgotten that the rise was not to take place for a period of three years, and that it was to be accomplished in two stages—the 10 per cent. stage first, and the additional 25 per cent. eighteen months after the Declaration of Peace. It is the hope and belief of the Government that there will be no further necessity for this exceptional form of legislative protection after Lady Day, 1921, and the Government have consequently agreed that this protection should operate for the duration of the Bill. In view of that fact we do not think we can possibly ask the House to agree to this particular Amendment. After the spring of 1921, should it become apparent that this legislation must be extended, and if there should be no relief with regard to the scarcity of houses, the position will be again before the Government and they will consider whether owners of house property will then be entitled to any further increase of rent. But, in view of the short period to which this Bill is to be extended, we do not think we should be entitled to grant an increase exceeding the 10 per cent. which stands in the Bill.
§ Mr. MARRIOTT
I do sincerely hope that the House will not accept the guidance of the Government in this particular matter. This is a matter, as indeed my right hon. Friend has admitted, not of 249 principle but of detail—detail on which it would be in no way derogatory to the honour of this House to give way. The principle of this Bill is, as I believe, entirely unsound. That is admitted on every hand. But, unsound though it be, it is generally accepted by all parties in this House as a necessary emergency measure in principle. Everybody agrees that you must protect tenants against a minority—I believe a very small minority—of greedy and unscrupulous landlords. That is generally, and, I believe, universally, admitted. But there is another principle which, I hope, is accepted with equal unanimity in all parts of the House. The principle is this, that you should do something to mitigate the plight—in many cases the very pitiable plight—of owners of small house property. I cannot help thinking that even now the House very imperfectly apprehends the class of landlords with whom, in the main, this Bill is intended to deal. They are not the bloated millionaires, the bloated landowners who are supposed to be exclusively represented in another place. That is not the class of landlord with whom this Bill is intended to deal. It is intended to deal in the main with small investors in small house property. Many of these small investors are people who have worked very hard all their lives who have laid by a small amount of savings. In many cases they are weekly wage earners, and in some cases small tradesmen. They perhaps live in one of the houses they have purchased, and probably devote the evening of their lives to managing the small property they have acquired.
The way in which the thing works is more or less this. Say, for the sake of illustration, that one of these small investors has saved £1,000. He buys house property to the extent, not of £1,000 but of £3,000, raising, of course, the difference —two-thirds—on mortgage. From that small property he may expect, perhaps, to get a gross rental of £150 a year. Deduct from that £150 a year, say, one-sixth, which is the totally inadequate statutory allowance for repairs, reducing the net rental, therefore, to £125. He insures his house at, I suppose, 1s. 6d. per £100, which will reduce it further by 45s.—to £122 15s. That is his net rental before he has touched his mortgage interest. Before the War, on property of that kind, a great many people were able to raise 250 mortgages at about 4½ per cent., which, on the £2,000 borrowed, would be £90, reducing the net rental before the War to £32 15s. I submit to the House that that is a perfectly typical case. Now let us see what is the position of that small landlord as affected by the Bill as it left this House. Under the Bill he might be able to raise his gross rental, if he were able to satisfy—as I quite agree he ought to satisfy—the provisions in regard to the repairs and so on—if, I say, he were fortunate enough to get his 10 per cent. increase, he would be able to raise his gross rental to £165. His repairs, by general admission, instead of costing £25 a year, would certainly cost him about £50. I will ask the House to remember that the mortgage interest may be raised to anything not exceeding 5 per cent. under this Bill as it left the House. The interest, therefore, would not be £90 a year, but would be £100 a year. His insurance would similarly be doubled, if he were a prudent person wanting to replace his property in the event of fire. The total result, I believe—I have not worked out the figures—is that it would be reduced to about £10 10s. So that, whereas before the War he was in receipt of a rental of £32 15s., he would be in receipt afterwards of a rental of £10 10s. That would be the operation of the Bill if he were fortunate enough to get the maximum 10 per cent. increase allowed by the Bill as it left this House.
What is the proposal which has been made in another place? Their proposal, I submit, with all deference to what has been said by my right hon. Friend, is substantially in accord with the proposals of the Hunter Committee. I quite admit the validity of what was said by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Education in regard to the period covered by the Bill, but in principle the Amendment adopted in another place and sent down to this House is that which was embodied in the recommendations of the Hunter Report. What was said by the Minister in charge of the Bill in another place? The Noble and learned Lord said that the whole matter had been most carefully considered, and that the proposals of the Government were the result of compromise and discussion between persons who understand these things very well. The persons who understand these things best were the people who were selected by the Ministry of Reconstruction to serve on the Committee under the chairmanship of 251 Lord Hunter, and their recommendation was, to all intents and purposes, identical with the Amendment which has been sent down to this House from another place. Therefore, I would venture to ask the House to accept that Amendment on three grounds—on the ground of authority, on the ground of equity, and on the ground of expediency. The authority was a Committee of experts who presented an all but —though not quite—unanimous Report. There was in the Hunter Committee a minority of two members, who, I believe, were supposed specially to represent the tenants' interest in the matter. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] Yes; and I will venture to call the attention of the House to the recommendations, not of the majority, but of the minority of the Hunter Committee.
The minority saidWe are in favour of allowing rents to rise sufficiently to meet increased expenditure on repairs.4.0 P.M.
That is the Report of the minority. Will any Member of the House get up and say that that recommendation is met by the Bill as it left this House? [An HON. MEMBER: "Yes!"] Well, I shall be very glad to hear it argued in detail. [An HON. MEMBER: "It has already been!"] I listened to the Debate carefully and I was entirely unconvinced by anything that was said on that particular point, and I believe that the majority of people outside this House were unconvinced; but I am willing to be convinced if it can be proved that the 10 per cent. is a sufficient allowance to cover the increased cost of repairs. I shall be glad to have my figures controverted, if it is possible to controvert them.
There is one other point in the Report of the Hunter Committee. They admit, they emphasise the fact that "the first increase of 10 per cent. would largely pass to the mortgagee." That is a point almost entirely ignored in the Debates in this House. As the Bill left this House there was an allowance of an extra ½ per cent. so long as the total did not exceed 5 per cent. for mortgage interest. That is the limit. That is to say, if it was 4½ per cent. in pre-war days it will rise to 5 per cent. under the provisions of this Bill. That was the assumption on which I gave the figures to the House. Now here you have the minority Report admitting 252 that the mortgage interest would by itself absorb the 10 per cent. increase in rent. How then can it possibly be contended that the 10 per cent. is also sufficient to cover the admitted increased cost of structural and other repairs? On that ground then I venture to make a very earnest appeal to the House to give some serious consideration to the Amendment which has come down to us from the other House.
§ Mr. LUNN
I hope the Government will maintain the position it has taken up and resist this Amendment. I do not suppose any amount of argument would convince the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken against his will. This matter was fully discussed on the 11th, and many of us on this side of the House at all events thought that no increase should be allowed. The House divided as to whether the increase should be 5 per cent. or 10 per cent., and I think the House should stand by that decision. It seems to me that the lessons of the War have not had much weight in another place, and that now, as they have always been, they are the whole-hearted defenders of vested interests. The appeal in the King's Speech seems to have been overlooked by them and in this, the first Bill that they send back to this House since the War, they have shown their interest in the same way. Personally, I see no necessity for such a place, and I would not mind if they were to be removed.
§ Major Earl WINTERTON
I think it would be a great pity if it went out that those who sit on this side of the House agree with conclusions at which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Marriott) was obviously trying to arrive at in his speech. I must say I find myself far more in sympathy with what has fallen from the hon. Member opposite. I cannot understand at this time of day the motives which have induced another place, after a Bill of this kind has been discussed as carefully as it was in this House and after all the facts for and against a proposal which the Government made in the Bill were sifted as they were, to insert this Amendment. 253 I must say I cannot see any reason why this House should agree with the Lords Amendment, and I think that the arguments which have been used by the spokesman of the Government, the Minister of Education, on behalf of the Government proposal, are quite unanswerable. I only rise to make it clear that if my hon. Friend has sympathisers on this side of the House they are by no means confined to the majority of those who sit here.
§ Mr. A. LYLE-SAMUEL
I think it was altogether appropriate that it should be the representative of the City of Oxford who supports the Amendment which has been sent to this House. The eagerness of the city of Oxford for social reform has not been prominently pronounced before, and the hon. Member for the City of Oxford would have been more frank if he had represented the case on behalf of the big landlords, which, of course, was the position taken up in another place.
§ Mr. LYLE-SAMUEL
I heard the Debate. May I put it in another way? I think this House would not unfairly assume that it was not a special care for small landlords which induced another place to take the view it did. The hon. Member asked for the sympathy of the House on behalf of small landlords. He gave a case, and said he would be glad if anyone could dispute it. It was a case of a small investor, the industrious man who had saved £1,000. He used the phrase, "Having reached the evening of his life he hoped to be able to look after the bit of property he had been able to provide for himself." Having saved £1,000 he buys a bit of property, and he raises two-thirds on mortgage. He buys a piece of property for £3,000. The hon. Member, as I understand him, said that that property would produce £150 a year. I venture to say that it would produce from £250 or up to £300. I go further and say that when the hon. Member tells us that the 10 per cent. will hardly cover the increased cost of the raised rate of interest alone, he is surely trifling with the House.
§ Mr. MARRIOTT
I was giving that not as my own opinion. I was quoting that from the minority Report of the Hunter Committee.
I think the hon. Member might well take his own opinion. I am quite satisfied with mine. This is matter of simple arithmetic. A half per cent. increase on £2,000 is £10 a year. A 10 per cent. increase on the part of the landlord on property bringing in £300 is £30 a year.
It is my figure, and anybody who knows the value of small property will know that my figure of £250 to £300 is well within the mark. There are many Members in this House who have had a large experience of small property, and I think they will agree that I am well within the mark. [Mr. MARRIOTT dissented.] When the hon. Member speaks, about the Amendment being substantially in accord with the Report of the Hunter Committee. I say that it is vitally in disaccord. I would urge the Government to be adamant on this question. I can-imagine nothing more unfortunate than that at a moment like this, when the nation is "so tense," in the phrase of the Prime Minister, and when there is "so much inflammable material about," that in another place some people should make a plea for their class against the interests, of the community. I think there is nothing which the House is more anxious to do than to satisfy hon. Members who represent the Labour party that we will stand by them and secure their interests at a time when we and not merely they think we ought to have an entire revolution in the housing system of the working classes.
§ Mr. RENDALL
I would remind the Noble Lord behind me that, whilst landlords of small properties are not allowed to increase their rent by law, we are now enacting that large property owners may be allowed to increase their rent. I have in my own Division a landlord who is increasing the rents of his farm tenants by about 40 per cent. The sole reason for this Bill is that you cannot build houses and that you have to inflict some burden, some unusual penalty, on a particular class of persons in the country. That is admitted. The whole point is, if you are going to put that penalty on a particular class, ought you not to see that the community bears any penalty which that particular class must bear for the good of the community? If you want their property you must buy them out. If you do not, you must at least see that they are not in 255 a worse position. I take this point of what the 10 per cent. actually means. I want to take a rather simpler example than the one taken by the hon. Member for the City of Oxford. I want to take the example of a house rented at £30 a year. It is admitted by everybody that the actual cost of repairs of that house before the War was £5 a year—one-sixth of the rent. It is not denied that the cost of repairs has doubled, consequently the cost of repairing this particular house has gone up to £10.
§ Mr. RENDALL
Let us suppose there is a £400 mortgage on that house, and suppose that it was at 4½ per cent. That is now raised to 5 per cent. The owner has also got to pay an increase of £5 in doing repairs, so that he has to pay £7 a year more under the operation of the Bill. Having seen what he has got to pay, let us see what he is going to get. He is going to be allowed to increase his rent of £30 by this 10 per cent., making him £33. He is going to pay away £7 more than before, and towards that £7 this Bill is going to give him £3. He is, therefore, going to be £4 worse off. Personally I defy anybody in this House to contradict the absolute truth of that statement. I am quite aware that some hon. Members and others may say, "But the landlord has not done the repairs to the house." Yes; but you are now making him under this Bill. He is not to get the 10 per cent. unless he does the repairs. That argument, therefore, has no weight at all.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Does the hon. Gentleman suggest that anybody here is going to be better off than before the War?
§ Mr. RENDALL
Nobody is going to be, in a general way. It is true enough that many persons are not better off, unfortunately; but, at all events, a great number of persons are better off through the War. The great bulk of the wage earners of the country have had their wages increased, equal probably to the extra cost of what they have to buy.
§ Mr. RENDALL
Of course, there are bad landlords, especially—I am quite prepared to agree against myself—amongst small owners who are not very well off. I fully admit that. After all, however, you 256 are dealing with the average decent owner in the main. We admit that there are certain black sheep—people who do not do their duty. If it be a fact, which is, perhaps, not altogether true, that repairs have not been done during the last four years as fully as they ought to have been, that fact is all against the owner, because if he had had them done any time two or three years ago they would have been done much cheaper than now. The repairs that have been left undone are all piling up, and have been waiting for labour and for material to be set free. I am speaking now of what I have been discussing in the way of business during the last few weeks in connection with the houses in which I am interested. These are of various kinds. I can truthfully say that if we could have done the repairs four years, three years, or two years ago, they would have been done far cheaper in respect to materials, bricks, and so on, and labour would have been much cheaper—what labour there was. But these four years of accumulations have to be attended to, and at the moment materials can hardly be got. If it is got it is quite 100 per cent. up to 300 per cent. above pre-war price, while, in nearly all these cases, labour is, at least, 100 per cent. above prewar price. Therefore, I say when you know that you are going to pass a Bill to make it the law of the land actually to take from men part of their prewar income—and this is the point I am really making!—if you are going to interfere with their trade, or business, or property, at least you should see, for the good of the community if you require their services, that you do not throw upon them a burden which will put them in a worse position than they were before the War.
If my figures are right, and I am quite certain they are, for I have been into them most closely, I would recapitulate briefly that for an actual increased payment of £7 a year you are allowing £3, and therefore leaving the small owner of a house, rented, say, at £30 a year, £4 worse off than before the War, and this at a moment when every trader, every tradesman, and every manufacturer has the right to charge more for, and get more, for all the things he sells, and when wages have gone up! I therefore venture to think that if we do not accept this Amendment from another place we shall be doing what is not right. Of course, I know we do not like being told here by another place what we are to do, but I think there are cases 257 where the other place is able to advise, because Members there take more care and more trouble over the matter. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] Hon. Members will pardon me, but I am sure that those hon. Members of this House who Mere present at the Debate a week or two ago here would be surprised how very few Members of this House have read the Hunter Report. It was not quoted and it would appear that it had not been read by many hon. Members. I am quite certain that in the other place the majority had read that Report. After all the Report was not that of landowners, but it was a Report specially prepared by the Ministry, by the Government. I venture to think this Amendment should be approved of. We shall be told, I fully admit, that we are going back upon what we did the other day, but I still maintain, if we do accept the Lords Amendment, we shall not be doing anything more than putting the owner of small property in exactly the same position as he was before the War.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. Gentleman who addressed the House from the opposite benches (Mr. A. L. Samuel) suggested that we ought to be very careful what we are doing because the country was in an inflammable state, and it was a bad time to bring forward matters which might look as if a certain class was legislating for its own interests. That seems to me to be an extraordinarily bad argument, because it amounts to this: If anybody is in an inflammable state and likely to be disorderly you are not to do the right or the just thing; you are to do whatever appeases that inflammable and disorderly person. A more foolish doctrine could never be brought forward. It was that doctrine which led to the French Revolution. It is that doctrine which, if allowed to go on here to the extent which the hon. Member opposite undoubtedly wishes, will lead to a revolution here.
§ Mr. LYLE-SAMUEL
May I interrupt to say that I do not accept the interpretation put on my remarks by the right hon. Baronet?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The House can judge of that. The hon. Member said that it was class legislation from another place. I should have thought there were very few of the Noble Lords in another place who held small property of the description referred to in this Bill, and, as the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Rendall) said, if you hold property of a higher description, 258 well, then, you can raise your rent. The hon. Gentleman also said that he did not accept the figures of my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford. He said that where you invested £3,000, the return nominally would probably be nearer £300 than anything else. I think I am not misinterpreting the hon. Member there.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Well, I think the hon. Gentleman said £250 to £300, and he suggested 10 per cent. as the interest on such an amount. I do not know for certain, but I should have thought it wag very rarely that you could get that sum. I am taking now the present time for it—for I quite admit that if this Bill becomes law it is quite possible that you may buy depreciated property that will pay 10 per cent.—for the effect of this Bill will be to depreciate property. But you are dealing with people who bought property twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. I do not believe it was possible in those days to buy property paying 10 per cent., unless it were leasehold property in a bad state of repair, or with a short lease to run. Let me, however, read to this House an extract from a letter which has been sent to me from the Registrar of the Gateshead-on-Tyne County Court. I would refer it to hon. Members opposite. This gentleman writes:I have met with many cases where the above-named Act [The Increase of Rents Act, 1915] has worked serious injustice to landlords and mortgagees. The landlords are often much poorer than the tenants. They are often the widows and children of men of small means who invested practically all their funds in house property and small tenancies, which are now occupied by munition workers earning very high wages, out of which they could well afford to pay increased rent. In some cases the tenants have sub-let their rooms at rents which would yield a handsome profit on the rent payable to the landlord.This comes, as I say, from the Registrar of the Gateshead County Court, a man who has great opportunities of knowing the real facts of the case, the facts which appeal to people who have to pay increased rent; not the facts of people desirous of getting votes. This is a judicial person giving his experience of actual cases which have come before him:The great increase in the Income Tax, cost of repairs, insurances, the cost of collection, and the cost of living, are telling very heavily upon landlords of that class. They are the majority which come before me. Mortgagees are often of the same class. Their inability to make the most of their investments is looked upon by them 259 as a great hardship, especially when they know that the restriction does not apply to their richer neighbours. I am strongly of the opinion that the Act should not be extended, either as to time or otherwise.R. PRICE.That is a man's experience of what is going on at the present moment. In regard to the actual increase and the questions of the Hunter Report, the hon. Member opposite said that during the Committee stage in this House we divided as to whether the increase should be 5 per cent. or 10 per cent., and he argued from that that it should remain at 10 per cent. That is quite true, but when that 10 per cent. was put into the Bill as it originally passed, the extension of time was limited, so far as I know, to one year. The Hunter Report said that if it was extended for more than one year then something else should ensue. We have extended it for another period than one year; therefore it is only fair that the regulations of the Hunter Report should be embodied, and I commend this to my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate whom I am glad to see listening. I commend this to him because he has a judicial mind. I am sure he will agree with me when I say that if you alter one thing that is dependent upon another thing you must alter the second thing too. That is what the Government have failed to do. That is what the Lords have done for them. Therefore, I sincerely hope that this House will agree with the Lords Amendment.
§ Mr. NEIL M'LEAN
I hope the Government will stand by the position not to accept the Amendment from the other place. We have heard two or three hon. Members stating why they believed the Government should accept this Amendment from the Lords. The hon. Member who has just sat down stated that we should accept the recommendations of the Hunter Report because you had altered a certain part of the original Bill in Committee. I take it that the hon, Gentleman was present on that occasion, but I do not remember that he, at any rate, put forward any suggestions to the Government that they should embody the Hunter Report. What I want to point out here is this, that hon. Members who sit on the benches on this side believe that the 10 per cent. increase which the Bill already gives to the house-owner is sufficient. It is too much in the opinion of some hon. 260 Members here, and I myself am one. I want to ask the right hon. Baronet who last spoke, as well as other Members, when he stated that some houses to which this Act will refer are houses that have been bought twenty, thirty, or forty years ago, to realise the truth that every article that is produced and every article you purchase—clothing, furniture, or food—the longer you consume it and the more you use it the less it becomes in value. On the other hand, the longer you have a house and use it the greater in value it seems to become. It is a reversion of economic value and economic law.
We believe on this side that the house owners are getting more than they are entitled to receive when they are getting this 10 per cent. An hon. Member opposite spoke of the intense atmosphere existing outside this House, but you have to remember and understand that the first Rent Restrictions Act was placed upon the Statute Book as the result of a similar atmosphere outside this House, and you cannot go back to the country after accepting this 25 per cent increase, and carry out your pledges. Under these circumstances hon. Members cannot go back to their constituencies, and especially industrial constituencies, where unemployment is rife, and where there are no longer munition workers earning such very high wages, after accepting a 25 per cent. increase. Even the right hon. Gentleman opposite admits that these munition workers were compelled to let their apartments to other people, and I would remind him that there are no high wages being paid to them at the present time. There are over 1,000,000 unemployed in the country, and if you are going to give a 25 per cent. increase to the landlords you are waving the red flag in the face of those who are creating Bolshevism, and you will be playing into their hands. You will have more rent strikes, and more agitation, and I submit if you do not wish to accentuate the trouble outside, and have the workers protesting and demonstrating, and compelling you again to pass a further Amendment to the Rent Restrictions Act within a very few weeks, you should agree to the Government's proposition, and refuse to accept the Lords Amendment and turn it down. We stand by our original proposal, and we should return this particular provision in the shape in which it left this House.
§ Question put, and agreed to.261
§ Lords Amendment: In Sub-section (1), leave out the word "and" ["due and recoverable"], and insert instead thereof the word "or."—Agreed to.
§ Lords Amendment: In Sub-section (1), after the word "until" ["until the expiry of four clear weeks"], insert the words "or in respect of any period prior to."
§ Mr. FISHER
I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
When this Clause was discussed in the House it was pointed out that although it was clear that the landlord could not raise his rent until after the expiry of four clear weeks, the question was whether after the expiry of that four weeks, he could not recover the arrears. This Amendment has been inserted to make that point clear.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
Lords Amendment: At the end of Clause 4, insert
(v) At the end of paragraph (a) of Subsection (1) of Section two of the principal Act there shall be inserted the following proviso:
Provided that if the rateable value of the dwelling-house on the said third day of August exceeds the standard lent as so defined, that rateable value shall, as respects that house, be deemed to be the standard rent.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
This is an Amendment which proposes to amend Section 2 of the principal Act, but it is one which we cannot accept. In the first place, it does not only apply to the principal Act, but it would have a retrospective effect, and would control the whole of the principal Act as well as any Amendments that may be proposed upon it. It is a dangerous proceeding to adopt an Amendment of that character, and for that reason the Government feel it ought not to be accepted. There is another reason which makes it imperative that this Amendment should be disagreed with. In nine cases out of ten where the rent is less than the rateable value, it means that a low rent may be charged because a premium has been paid. Now the landlord gets that premium, and if he invests it he can draw interest upon it, and therefore, if you give him the same terms you are really giving him the rent twice over. For these reasons the Government feel that the House should disagree with this Amendment.
§ Question put, and agreed to.262
§ Lords Amendment: After Clause 4 insert