HC Deb 22 January 1957 vol 563 cc17-8
25. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will make a statement regarding the future of rent tribunals.

Mr. H. Brooke

I have nothing at present to add to the statement made by my hon. Friend who is now Financial Secretary to the Treasury, in debate on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill on 20th November last.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the continued vacillation of both preceding Governments and, presumably, the present Government, with regard to this matter has made it almost impossible to get effective work done through the rent tribunals? Is is not high time that a statement should be made?

Mr. Brooke

I do not agree at all. I am not vacillating. It was the party opposite which originally put the Act dealing with rent tribunals on the Statute Book, and it was the party opposite which made it temporary.

Mr. Mitchison

Is the Minister aware that his own party used rent tribunals for a new purpose under the 1954 Act? Is is not about time that he told us whether the Government's policy is to encourage the useful work that these cheap tribunals are doing, or the reverse?

Mr. Brooke

As the work of rent tribunals may be affected by the Rent Bill itself, surely the right course of priorities is first to get the Rent Bill through.

Dame Irene Ward

In view of this very complex matter, will my right hon. Friend now consider the advisability of dealing with this whole problem by regions rather than by an overall policy, which seems to give rise to a great many additional complications?

Mr. Brooke

That is a supplementary question which goes a long way beyond the Question on the Paper.

Dame Irene Ward

I wanted to ask it on Question No. 24.

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