HC Deb 27 March 1957 vol 567 cc1292-9

Amendments made: In page 29, line 25, after "in," insert "subsection (1) of."

In line 26 leave out from "1954" to end of line 29, and insert: subject however to the provisions of subsection (2) of section one of this Act."—[Mr. H. Brooke.]

Mr. H. Brooke

I beg to move, in page 30, line 47, after "to," to insert: the Landlord and Tenant (Rent Control) Act, 1949, and. The object of the Amendment is to remove doubts as to whether local authorities in England and Wales have powers to prosecute for premium offences.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Janner

I beg to move, in page 31, line 17, to leave out from the beginning to the first "for" in line 18 and to insert: the first day of September, nineteen hundred and thirty-nine. Almost at the twelfth hour we have come to an Amendment which, in the view of my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself, is of extreme importance, as it discloses the fallacy of the policy which the Government are adopting in the Bill. The sore which is being exposed by the Amendment is something which will stir the country into very violent reaction to the Measure proposed by the Government.

The purpose of the Rent Acts was to avoid hardship to those who could least bear it. That has been recognised since 1915. The purpose of the Acts was to prevent bad and rapacious landlords—I do not say "all landlords"—from extracting from tenants sums of money for rents which they could not possibly resist as no other accommodation was available for them. During the last forty years the Rent Acts have been intended to protect people from being ejected from their premises if no other accommodation was available to them.

The Amendment is designed to restore a position which the House almost unanimously accepted in 1939, which was that if a person, knowing that the Rent Acts prevailed, purchased a house in the hope that at some future time he might be able to obtain it on the ground of hardship to himself, he was unable to apply to the courts for possession on such a ground.

This is no longer the red herring that it was intended to protect widows, spinsters and all the rest. This is the hard fact of the man who purchased—not a person to whom premises have been bequeathed, but a man who purchased—a controlled house at a cheaper price because it was controlled. He has no right whatsoever to complain about being led up the garden path because he could not get possession on the ground of hardship.

It is a piece of effrontery on the part of the Government now to give to the person who bought a house for speculative purposes an advantage which not only should he not get but which he never expected to get. He bought this commodity with all its defects, knowing full well that he would have to let at a proper rental, that he could not turn the tenant out, and that even if the tenant left the house would still remain under control. Consequently, he paid a price which took account of all those considerations.

Of all the terms contained in the present Bill, nothing is more damaging, nothing is more sinister, than this attempt to remove a protection which has existed hitherto, and to give a landlord a very considerable advantage which, in the aggregate, will amount to very many millions of pounds. In every case, the landlord will be able to get at least from £200 to £300 more for his property, as a consequence of this Bill, than he would have been able to get before. He will be able to turn out the tenant on the ground of greater hardship to himself, and within a few months, or a year, the house having been decontrolled as a result, he will be able to sell on the open market a decontrolled house. It is a monstrous imposition.

Mr. Mitchison

I beg to second the Amendment.

Mr. H. Brooke

This Amendment is tantamount to one which was defeated in Standing Committee. We have repeated what has been done in, I think, seven previous Acts—brought more up to date the time before which a landlord would have had to buy his house if he were, under certain conditions, to be able to claim possession from the court. The hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner) modestly did not mention this fact but, of course, his Amendment is one for perpetuating hardship. It is essential to realise that because, if the owner's hardship is not at least as great as that of the tenant, and if he fails to satisfy the court that it is reasonable to make the order, there will be no chance of the court granting possession.

What the hon. Member is seeking to do is to withhold from the court the possibility of determining where the greater hardship lies. I find it quite impossible to understand how a man with human feelings, such as the hon. Member——

It being half-past Ten o'clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 262, Noes, 224.

Division No. 91.] AYES [10.30 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Garner-Evans, E. H. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Aitken, W. T. George, J. C. (Pollok) McAdden, S. J.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Gibson-Watt, D. Macdonald, Sir Peter
Alport, C. J. M. Glover, D. Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Godber, J. B. McKlbbin, A. J.
Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Mackle, J. H. (Galloway)
Anctruther-Gray, Major Sir William Good hart, P. C. McLaughtln, Mrs. P.
Arbuthnot, John Gough, C. F. H. Maclay, Rt. Hon. John
Armstrong, C. W. Gower, H. R. McLean, Neil (Inverness)
Ashton, H. Graham, Sir Fergus Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain (Enfield, W.)
Astor, Hon. J. J. Green, A. MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)
Atkins, M. E. Gresham Cooke, R. Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)
Baldwin, A. E. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Maddan, Martin
Balniel, Lord Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Barber, Anthony Gurden, Harold Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)
Barter, John Hall, John (Wycombe) Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
Baxter, Sir Beverley Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.w> Marshall, Douglas
Beamish, Ma). Tufton Harris, Reader (Heston) Mathew, R.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Mathew, R.
Bevint, J. R. (Toxteth) Harrison, Col. J, H. (Eye) Maude, Angus
Bidgood, J. C. Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Mawby, R. L.
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.
Bishop, F. P. Harvie-Watt, Sir George Medlicott, Sir Frank
Body, R. F. Hay, John Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.
Bossom, Sir Alfred Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Moore, Sir Thomas
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Mott-Radolyffe, Sir Charles
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nabarro, G. D. N.
Boyle, Sir Edward Henderson-Stewart, Sir James Nairn, D. L. S.
Braine, B. R. Hesketh, R. F. Neave, Airey
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Hicks-Beach, MaJ. W. W. Nicholls, Harmar
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Brooman-White, R. C. Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'oh)
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Hlnchingbrooke, Viscount Nugent, G. R. H.
Bryan, P. Hirst, Geoffrey Oakshott, H. D.
Bullus, Wing Commander, E. E. Hobson, J. G. s.(War'ck & Leam'gtn) O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Burden, F. F. A. Holland-Martin, C, J. Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Butcher, Sir Herbert Holt, A. F. Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Butler, Rt. Hn. R.A.(Saffron Walden) Hope, Lord John Osborne, C.
Carr, Robert Hornby, R. P. Page, R. G.
Cary, Sir Robert Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Chichester-Clark, R. Horobin, Sir Ian Partridge, E.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence Peyton, J W. W.
Conant, Ma). Sir Roger Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Cooke, Robert Howard, John (Test) Pike, Miss Mervyn
Cooper, A. E. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hughes-Young, M, H. C. Pitman, I. J.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Hulbert, Sir Norman Pott, H. P.
CorfleM, Capt. F. V. Hurd, A. R. Powell, J. Enoch
Craddook, Beresf ord (Spelthorne) Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Crouch, R. F. Iremonger, T. L. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Profumo, J. D.
Cunningham, Knox Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Raikes, Sir Victor
Currie, G. B, H. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Rawlinson, Peter
Dance, J. C. G. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Davidson, Viscountess Joseph, Sir Keith Remnant, Hon. P.
D'Avigdor-Goldsmld, Sir Henry Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot Renton, D. L. M.
Deedes, W. F. Kaberry, D. Ridsdale, J. E.
Digby, Simon Wingfield Keegan, D. Rippon, A. G. F.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Kerby, Capt. H. B. Robertson, Sir David
Doughty, C. J. A. Kerr, H. W. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
du Cann, E. D. L. Kershaw, J, A. Roper, Sir Harold
Dugdale, Rt, Hn. Sir T. (Richmond) Kirk, P. M. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lagden, G. W. Russell, R. S.
Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Lambert, Hon. G. Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Langford-Holt, J. A. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Elliott, R. W. Leavey, J. A. Shepherd, William
Erroll, F. J. Leburn, W. G. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Farey-Jones, F. W. Legge-Bourke, MaJ. E. A. H. Soames, Christopher
Fell, A. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Spearman, Sir Alexander
Finlay, Graeme Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Speir, R. M.
Fisher, Nigel Linstead, Sir H. N. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Llewellyn, D. T. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Fort, R. Lloyd, MaJ. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Stevens, Geoffrey
Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale) Longden, Gilbert Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Freeth, Denzil Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick) Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Storey, S. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H. Webbe, Sir H.
Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray) Vane, W. M. F. Whitelaw, W.S.I.(Penrith & Border)
Studholme, Sir Henry Vaughan-Morgan, J. K. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington) Vickers, Miss Joan Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Taylor, sir Charles (Eastbourne) Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Temple, John M. Wade, D. W. Wood, Hon. R.
Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.) Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway) Wakefield, Sir Waved (St. M'lebone)
Thompson, Kenneth (Walton) Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Thornton-Kemsley, C. N. Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth) Mr. Redmayne and Mr. Richard Thompson
Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.) Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Turner, H. F. L. Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Alnsley, J. W. Hannan, W. Oram, A.E.
Albu, A. H. Harrison. J. (Nottingham N. Orbach, M.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Hastings, S. Oswald, T.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Hayman, F H. Owen, W J
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Healey Denis Padlley, W. E.
Awbery, S. S. Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis) Paget,R. T.
Bacon, Miss Alcee Herbison, Miss M. Paling, Rt. Hon. (Dearne vallely)
Baird, J. Hewitson Capt. M. Palmer, A. M. F.
Balfour, A. Hobson, C. R. (Keighley) Pannell. Charles(Leeds, W.)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Holman P. Pargiter, G. A.
Benoe, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Houghton, Douglas Parker, J.
Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Parkin, B. T.
Benson, G. Hoy, J. H. Paton, John
Blackburn, F. Hughes Cledwyn (Anglesey) Pearson, A.
Blenkinsop, A. Hughes, Emrys, (S. Ayglesey) Peart, T. F.
Blyton, W. R. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N) Pentland, N.
Boardman, H. Hunter, A. E. Plummer, Sir Leslie
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Hyrnd, H (Acorington) Popplewell, E.
Bowles, F. G. Hynd, J. B. (Atteroliffe) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Boyd, T. C. Irvine, A, J.(Edge Hill) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Probert, A. R.
Brockway, A. F. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A Proctor, W. T.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Janner, B. Pryde, D. J.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Randall, H. E.
Burke, W. A. Jeger, George (Goole) Rankin, John
Burton, Miss F. E. Jeger, Mrs. Lena(Holbn & St. Pncs, S.) Redhead, E. C.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.> Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Reeves, J.
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Reid, William
Callaghan, L. J. Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield) Rhodes, H.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Jones, David. (The Hartlepools) Roberts, Rt Hon. A.
Chapman, W. D. Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Chetwynd, G. R. Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Coldrick, W. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) King, Dr. H. M. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Lawson, G. M. Ross, William
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Ledger, R. J. Royle, C.
Cronin, J. D. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Short, E. W.
Crossman, R. H. S. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Cullen, Mrs. A. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Skeffington, A. M.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Lewis, Arthur Slater, Mrs. H (Stoke, N.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lindgren, G..S. Slater, J. (Sedgefield)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) MacDermot, Nlall Smith Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Deer, G. MoGhee, H. G. Sorensen. R. W.
Delargy, H. J. MoGovern, J. Sparks, J. A.
Dodds, N. N. Molnnes, J. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Stewart. Michael (Fulham) Steele, T.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. c. MaoMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Stonehouse, J.T.
Edelman, M. MaoPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Stone, W.(Consett)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) Mahon, Simon Strauss, Rt. Hon. George(Vauxhall)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Malnwaring, W. H. Summerskill Rt Hon. E.
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mallalieu, E. L. (Bring) Swinger, S. T,
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Mallalieu, J. P. w. (Huddersfd, E.) Sylvester, G. O.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Mann, Mrs. Jean Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Taylor,Jonn (west Lothian)
Fienburgh, W. Mason, Roy Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Finch, H. J. Mayhew, C. P. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Fletcher, Eric Mellish, R. J. Thornton, E.
Forman, J. C. Mitchison, G. R. Timmons, J.
Galtskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Monslow, W. Tomney, F.
Greenwood, Anthony Moody, A. S. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Usborone, H. C.
Grey, C. F. Moss, R. Viant, S. P.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Moyle, A. Warbey, W. N.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mulley, F, M. Watkins, T. E.
Hale, Leslie Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Weitzman, D.
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)
Hamilton, w. W. O'Brien, Sir Thomas
Oliver, G. H.
Wells, William (Walsall, N.) Williams, David (Neath) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
West, D. G. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery) Woof, R. E.
Wheeldon, W. E. Williams, Ronald (Wigan) Yates, V. (Ladywood)
White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw) Zilliacus, K.
Wilcock, Croup Capt. C. A. B. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Willey, Frederick Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Holmes and Mr. Wilkins.

Mr. SPEAKER then proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Questions on Amendments, moved by a member of the Government, of which notice had been given, to the remaining part of the Bill.

Amendments made:

In page 33, line 1, at end insert:

28. Where a repayment has been or will be made under section twelve of the Clean Air Act, 1956, in respect of an improvement the reference in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section two of the Act of 1920 to the amount expended on the improvement shall be construed as a reference to that amount diminished by the amount of the repayment.

In line 22, at end insert:

(3) Paragraph 9 of the First Schedule to the said Act of 1954 shall have effect as if at the end there were added the following subparagraph— (c) if or in so far as the cost thereof has been or will be repaid under section twelve of the Clean Air Act, 1956".—[Mr. J. N. Browne.]