HC Deb 25 February 1941 vol 369 cc363-4
53. Mr. W. H. Green

asked the Attorney-General whether resulting from promised active consideration it is the intention of the Government to introduce legislation to afford some protection to tenants of houses rendered uninhabitable by enemy action from the payment of full rent for such houses?

The Attorney-General (Sir Donald Somervell)

The answer is, Yes, Sir, I have already stated m reply to previous Questions that the Government are proposing to introduce further legislation to that contained in the Landlord and Tenant (War Damage) Act, 1939, to deal with the rights of those whose houses have been damaged through enemy action. The particular instance to which the hon. Member refers will be dealt with in this legislation.

Mr. Green

While I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for his reply, will he appreciate the need for expedition, in view of the distressing conditions under which thousands of these tenants are now labouring, as a result, in some cases, of living in their shelters while the full rent is being demanded for their houses; and, further, will such legislation include ground rent as well as house rent?

The Attorney-General

Of course, I cannot anticipate what will be in the legislation. I do appreciate that this is a problem wih which it is desirable to deal as quickly as possible, but I am sure the House will also appreciate that the War Damage Bill at present before Parliament has its effect on this problem, and it is impossible to come to a final decision until we see what form the Bill will take.

Sir W. Davison

Will the Attorney-General pay attention to the special case of boarding-house keepers who have suffered so much?

Mr. Craven-Ellis

May I ask the learned Attorney-General whether, in a case occurring in Southampton, where the tenant has been summoned and judgment has been given, the tenant, who has no money with which to pay, can seek protection under the Emergency Powers Act?