HC Deb 20 December 1954 vol 535 cc2408-9
8. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Attorney-General if the Government will waive arrears of rent at present due to the Crown in respect of properties previously owned by companies incorporated in Eire.

The Solicitor-General

As my right hon. and learned Friend informed the hon. and gallant Member on 6th December, I expect that the validity of the decision of the Court of Appeal in Morelle Ltd. v. Waterworth will be tested in legal proceedings shortly. One of the questions before the court will be whether rent is payable to the Crown, and I cannot make any statement about this aspect of the matter at present.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

As the companies operated by Arthur Bertram Waters are not legally entitled to collect the rents and the Crown refuses to collect them, will the Solicitor-General give an assurance that the Crown will not expect all arrears to be paid by the unfortunate tenants, if, as we all hope, the Crown is unsuccessful in its attempt to secure restoration of these properties to Arthur Bertram Waters, the slum racketeer in question?

The Solicitor-General

The hon. and gallant Gentleman's question postulates the existence of the very right in issue. I hope that I can reassure him as to the speed in this matter by telling him that the Crown, having been invited to appear as amicus curiae in another current action, is going to do so.