§ 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.
§ Mr. Thomas
Can the Minister indicate to owner-occupiers how long they 805 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?
§ 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?