HC Deb 04 December 1947 vol 445 cc551-2
24. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the difficulty of implementing at an early date the provisions of the Ridley Committee on Rent Control, he will introduce legislation to consolidate the law at present contained in nine Rent Restriction Acts.

Mr. Bevan

The advantage to be derived from a consolidating Measure at the present stage would not be commensurate with the time and labour involved in its preparation and I think it better to wait until the Acts can be amended.

Mr. Janner

Can my right hon. Friend indicate whether the recent statement of the Lord Chancellor, to the effect that no legislation on this subject is going to be introduced this Session, is final or whether the Government are prepared to reconsider the position?

Mr. Bevan

My hon. Friend is aware of the legislative programme for this Session. It was stated in the Gracious Speech. If he wishes to ask whether time can be given for another Bill, he must put a Question down either to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House or to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

Mr. Berry

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the anomalous position of, and the hardship suffered by, the tenants of Crown property, who are at present excluded from the provisions of the Rent Restriction Acts?

Mr. Bevan

When we have time for a Bill dealing with this matter, all these points will be taken into account.

Mr. Fletcher

Is my right hon. Friend aware that if he is not going to introduce legislation to consolidate this chaotic legislation, it makes it the more urgent that legislation on the lines recommended by the Ridley Committee should be introduced as soon as possible?

Mr. Bevan

As I have said, the question whether time can be afforded for a Bill is a matter not for the Minister immediately involved, but for my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister or my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House.