HC Deb 01 May 1962 vol 658 cc804-5
13. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he has now received the evidence he sought from the professional bodies concerned in South Wales concerning the operation of the current leasehold laws; and whether he will make a statement.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Dr. Charles Hill)

I have received reports from three out of the four bodies consulted, and I hope to have the fourth very shortly. I intend to publish a summary of the four reports as quickly as I can.

Mr. Thomas

Does this mean that we can look forward to an early decision by the Minister to set free owner-occupiers who are at present being held to ransom by ground landlords? Is the Minister aware that there is a growing impatience in Wales with the length of time that he is taking to collect his evidence? He has already had about six months in which to collect it.

Dr. Hill

It means, as I have said, that the report of the four experts, or rather the report on their reports, will be published, and thereafter the Government will reach a decision.

Mr. Thomas

Can the Minister indicate to owner-occupiers how long they are likely to have to wait, because important decisions have to be taken by them whether to renew leases under blackmail terms or not? How long will they have to wait before the Government make it clear whether they are going to do something or not?

Dr. Hill

I cannot add to the Answer that I have given.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Is not the Minister aware that this matter has been bandied across the Floor of the House for many years? In the last four or five years many promises have been given by right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench opposite. In view of the urgency of this question, especially in the older industrial parts of South Wales, will the right hon. Gentlemen do all that he can to expedite a final statement on the position?

Dr. Hill

In due course a statement of the Government's conclusion will be made. In the meantime I am informing the House of the impending publication of the experts' report.

Back to