HC Deb 15 October 1946 vol 427 cc763-4
11. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation for the protection of traders in Scotland as is provided in England under the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1927, or by what other means does he propose to achieve this end.

Mr. Westwood

When the English Act was passed in 1927, the exclusion of Scotland was deliberate—there did not happen to be a Labour Secretary of State for Scotland—but the then Secretary of State undertook to consider its extension to Scotland if any widespread demand was made. There has been no widespread demand. The matter merits and will receive consideration, but there is no immediate prospect of legislation.

Mr. Willis

May I take it from that answer that when an opportunity occurs, this omission in the law of Scotland will be remedied?

Mr. Westwood

I have already indicated that the matter is receiving consideration because we think it merits consideration, but I can give no promise with regard to legislation.

Mr. Janner

When my right hon. Friend is considering this matter will he bear in mind that the Landlord and Tenant Act is not half sufficient to protect those whom it intends to protect, and will he give his colleagues the benefit of his advice in order to make it a really good Measure instead of the Measure that it is at present?

Mr. Westwood

My hon. Friend can rest assured that so far as possible we always take into account all relevant considerations.

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

What is the value in giving the matter consideration if there is no prospect of legislation?

Mr. Westwood

I was dealing with the immediate prospects. If we find that it is absolutely necessary there might be time, possibly not next year nor the year after, but some time, to introduce legislation.