HC Deb 14 July 1952 vol 503 cc1785-6
8. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Attorney-General whether, in view of the speculations taking place in reversions of long leases, he is yet in a position to make any statement of Government policy.

The Attorney-General (Sir Lionel Heald)

I have nothing to add to the replies which I gave on 12th May.

Mr. Donnelly

Is not this the same answer which we have been getting ever since this Parliament assembled? Did not the party opposite promise at the General Election to do something about leasehold reform? What does the hon. and learned Gentleman mean by so shaming his colleagues by now openly admitting that they promised something when they did not know when they were going to do it?

The Attorney-General

I think the hon. Member is well aware from previous Questions he has asked that the Leasehold Property (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1951, does not expire until the midsummer of 1953 and that it has been stated that legislation will be introduced in due course to take its place. It is not possible to make a statement about legislation which is not possible until next Session.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Does the assurance still hold good that there is to be other legislation on the Statute Book before the present legislation conies to an end?

The Attorney-General

I thought I had already made that clear.

12. Mr. Callaghan

asked the Attorney-General, in view of the Government's promised legislation on leaseholds, what guidance hon. Members should give to their constituents who are now being offered the freehold of small properties held on long leases which are shortly due to fall in.

The Attorney-General

I am not in a position to say what form the legislation will take and in any event I do not think it is appropriate for me to advise hon. Members on matters of this kind.

Mr. Callaghan

Does the Attorney-General realise that we are grateful to him for promising us, almost for the first time, that there is to be legislation next Session and that if he adheres to that promise we shall now know what to advise our constituents to do?

The Attorney-General

I think it is quite clear that what I have said in regard to legislation is exactly what I have said whenever I have been asked Questions. It is that before the present legislation expires other legislation will have to be introduced to take its place.

Mr. Callaghan

In view of the urgency, is there any chance that reason will prevail and that we can get this legislation before we have to deal with the Transport Bill?