§ 25. Mr. WHEATLEY
asked the Under-Secretary to the Scottish Board of Health, if he is aware that syndicates have been formed in Glasgow for the purpose of buying up blocks of shops in which shopkeepers have built up valuable businesses, and then intimating to each shopkeeper on the expiry of his lease that he must purchase his shop at a price far beyond its former value or give up possession of it, thus leaving him with the alternative of sacrificing the goodwill of his business of handing over a sum equal, perhaps, to more than half the value of the goodwill to the speculator in property; and whether he will consider bringing shops within the scope of the new Rents Restrictions Bill which the Government are expected to introduce at an early date?
§ Captain ELLIOT
I have no information as to the circumstances referred to in the first part of the question. As regards the latter part, it is not proposed to bring shops within the scope of the Bill.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
In the event of my being able to furnish the hon. and gallant Gentleman with information as to the acuracy of the statement made here, will he consider the protection of these men from landlordism, as he proposes to protect tenants in dwelling houses?
§ Captain ELLIOT
If the hon. Member can also furnish me with information showing that none of these shopkeepers raised their prices from pre-War during the period since the declaration of War in 1914, I shall be very glad to consider it.
§ Mr. HARDIE
Is not the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that this block of buildings, from the entrance to the Caledonian Railway in Union Street, terminating at the entrance in Gordon Street, was recently bought by a syndicate, and that fabulous prices have been asked for these buildings?