HC Deb 24 October 1944 vol 404 cc15-6
32. Mr. McKinlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that the Rosneath Estate has changed hands on two occasions since 1941, that on both occasions tenants of dwelling-houses have been faced with the request to purchase their dwellings, that the price asked on the first occasion was 20 years' purchase; that the new proprietor through a firm of Liverpool solicitors has repeated the request; that some of the dwellings are tenanted by men serving overseas; and will he take steps to safeguard the occupiers from eviction if others purchase their homes.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. T. Johnston)

I am aware that the estate of Rosneath, Dumbartonshire, was sold in 1941 and has again been sold since that date. I am informed that after each sale, the tenants of dwelling-houses and other properties on the Estate were invited to purchase the premises they occupied, but that no fixed prices were specified. On the first occasion several small houses were sold. Complete information about the tenants is not readily available but the mother of a prisoner of war in Germany is known to be the tenant of one house. As regards the last part of the Question, if, as I assume, the houses are controlled under the Rent Restrictions Acts the tenants will be protected against eviction in terms of these Acts notwithstanding any transfer of ownership.

Mr. McKinlay

May I take it from my right hon. Friend's answer that there was no need for Hitler to invade this country —he could have bought it? [HON. MEMBERS "Oh."] It is all right; your friends are not mine. May I also take it that there is no need for this bogus speculation in property in Scotland by people from South of the Border, with war-swollen profits?

33. Mr. McKinlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that the owners of Rosneath Estate ignore requests from tenants to have repairs carried out on their dwellings, thus depriving them of the full use of the accommodation; and if he will take steps to have these repairs carried out.

Mr. Johnston

No information has come either to the Scottish Office or the local authority about the cases referred to, but if the hon. Member will furnish me with any evidence in his possession on the subject I shall have inquiries made.

Mr. McKinlay

Is my right hon. Friend aware I have been complaining about this for almost two years, and that this firm have a new technique? They simply ignore letters sent to them asking them to execute repairs.

Mr. Johnston

That is not the point in the Question, but neither the local authority nor the agricultural executive committee has any information as to the allegations in the Question. As I say, if my hon. Friend will give me information I will have inquiries made.

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