HC Deb 03 March 1920 vol 126 cc422-3

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the cases of alleged hardship inflicted upon persons in all parts of the country by the sale of their houses at excessive prices to speculating syndicates; whether any action is in contemplation to deal with this matter; and whether he will consider the expediency of instituting a general inquiry into the working of the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act and the need for its modification or extension?

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Dr. Addison)

Yes, Sir. A Committee for the purpose suggested has already been set up, and the important point to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers will certainly be considered.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that rents of flats in London have been increased from £l50 to £350, and there has been no public inquiry as to whether these rents are justified or not?


Can the right hon. Gentleman state if there is any London representative on the Committee, and, if not, why not?


I am aware of oven worse cases than those cited by the right hon. Gentleman. Under the law as it stands at present there is no power to deal with the matter. One of the purposes of this Committee is to consider whether we should seek the necessary powers. With regard to second supplementary question, representation by districts would be an entirely false basis.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that occupants of flats will have to leave unless they pay these greatly increased rents, and will this Committee report in time to remedy this undoubted hardship?


We were in communication with Lord Salisbury this morning on that very point, and we shall endeavour to deal with the question in time.

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