HC Deb 17 February 1944 vol 397 cc325-6
26. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Health whether he will take immediate steps to end the anomalies that have arisen owing to the war in the incidence of the present rent laws on house owners and bring the present situation to an end.

Mr. Willink

I have received representations that the Rent Restrictions Acts create anomalies and react unfairly on owners of house property. I am, however, satisfied that the fullest inquiry into the position must precede any attempt to amend existing legislation and, as my hon. Friend knows, an Inter-Departmental Committee is now actively carrying out a thorough investigation.

Sir W. Smithers

In view of the fact that a learned judge has said that he finds it difficult to thread his way through the quagmire of legislation, and that many small investors are being subjected to great loss and difficulty, will my right hon. and learned Friend speed up the inquiry and come to a decision as soon as possible, because thousands of people are affected?

Mr. Willink

It is exactly for these reasons and others that the Committee has been appointed. It is working very hard; it has already met four times and is meeting again next week.

28. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Minister of Health when he expects to receive the Report of the Rent Restrictions Committee.

Mr. Willink

I am unable to say when the Committee will present its Report, but in view of the very wide scope of its terms of reference, it is unlikely that its inquiries can be concluded in the near future.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that we are now getting into a position in which tenants of small properties are living in much better financial circumstances than the owners of those properties, and will he do his utmost to expedite the report of the Rent Restrictions Committee so that public attention can be directed to the difficulties that small property owners are experiencing due to the rising cost of living?

Mr. Willink

Certainly, Sir.