HC Deb 15 February 1954 vol 523 cc1634-5
25 and 26. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Attorney-General (1) whether he has now concluded his inquiries into the problem of anonymous or fictitious owners of leasehold properties collecting rents, but refusing to do repairs to property on which rent is paid;

(2) what have been the results of the further investigations by the Director of Public Prosecutions into the illegal activities of slum landlords operating under fictitious names from accommodation addresses.

The Attorney-General

The Director of Public Prosecutions has completed his inquiries. A warrant for the arrest of Arthur Bertram Waters was issued on Thursday and executed this morning.

Mr. Fletcher

It would not be right for me to comment upon that answer in view of the fact that the matter is sub judice. We welcome the energetic steps which are being taken, but will the Attorney-General consider taking powers to require agents, in all cases, to disclose the names of the landlords for whom they are collecting the rents?

The Attorney-General

It would be even less right for me to make any comment upon that supplementary question.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Apart from the information given by the Attorney-General just now, is he aware that this slum racket continues to be operated with impunity at 77, Gloucester Place, W.1, where two very dubious individuals—one, Mr. W. E. Leslie, and a new arrival, Mr. A. G. Bainton, a solicitor—continue to operate? Will he ask the Director of Public Prosecutions to examine their activities?