HC Deb 31 July 1941 vol 373 c1536
57. Sir Percy Hurd

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the difficulties of local authorities in carrying out his injunction to prosecute in cases of alleged rent profiteering, often arise from inability to prove the standard rent, and from the cumbrous procedure involved in proof; and whether the necessary fuller powers can be given to local authorities in this matter?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Ernest Brown)

I have no evidence that the difficulty to which my hon. Friend refers is a general one. The existing law provides for the fixing of the standard rent in cases of doubt by the courts, and I do not consider that any amendment of the law on this point could usefully be made.

Sir P. Hurd

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware of the tedious proceedings, which delay action by local authorities? Can he not devise means to shorten the period of delay?

Mr. Brown

If the hon. Gentleman will bring the facts of particular cases before me, I shall be glad to look into them.

Mr. Stokes

Will the right hon. Gentleman arrange that excessive rents shall be subject to 100 per cent. Excess Profits Tax?