HC Deb 19 July 1966 vol 732 cc351-2
4. Mr. Goodhew

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government when he will introduce an Order under Section 35(5) of the Rent Act, 1965, to prevent orders for possession of local authority houses being obtained under the Small Tenements Recovery Act, 1838.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Robert Mellish)

My right hon. Friend will make an Order when he is satisfied that the county courts are able to take on the additional work involved.

Mr. Goodhew

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Small Tenements Recovery Act, 1838, is regarded as most unsatisfactory, particularly by magistrates who have to enforce it, since they are obliged to give possession orders without hearing evidence as to extenuating circumstances? Can the hon. Gentleman hasten the matter so that justice can be seen to be done as well as be done?

Mr. Mellish

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman's remarks. It is my right hon. Friend's intention to do exactly what the hon. Gentleman asks, and I am pleased to tell the hon. Gentleman that, in spite of the pessimism of the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) when the Act was going through the Committee stage, county courts are now able, ready and willing to receive this extra work and my right hon. Friend will be making arrangements for them so to do.

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