HC Deb 23 May 1946 vol 423 c504
5. Mr. Lever

asked the Minister of Health whether he will extend the provisions of the Rent Restriction Acts to safeguard tenants not at present protected from unreasonable demands for increased rents under threat of eviction, in view of the fact that a date has now been given for the termination of leases for the duration.

Mr. Bevan

The question of extending the scope of the Rent Restriction Acts will be considered in connection with the general review of the provisions of those Acts, but I can hold out no prospect of early legislation.

Mr. Lever

In the meantime, will my right hon. Friend do something for the innumerable working and middle-class tenants who have no protection, by compelling or impressing upon local authorities the need for much freer use of their requisitioning powers than has hitherto been the case?

Mr. Bevan

I have on many occasions impressed on local authorities not only the need to requisition premises to provide accommodation for those without it, but also the effect of requisitioning upon the price of houses.

Mr. Leslie Hale

Would the Minister consider appointing a Select Committee on this matter with a view to the codification and rationalization of the Rent Acts and the provision of a comprehensive scheme for the future?

Mr. Bevan

There was a committee on this matter which has reported. At the moment our main difficulty is not wisdom but time.