HC Deb 08 November 1971 vol 825 cc642-3
35. Mr. Michael Cocks

asked the Attorney-General when he expects to receive the Law Commission's report on rent charges on freehold land.

The Attorney-General:

My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor expects to receive this report during 1972.

Mr. Cocks:

I thank the Attorney-General for that reply. Will he use his good offices to expedite the report as it is eagerly awaited in the South-West by tens of thousands of people who regard this system as a racket? All the time there is delay this racket is spreading like a foul disease to new estates that are being created throughout the area.

The Attorney-General:

The hon. Gentleman appreciates that this is a complex matter. It is now in the hands of the Law Commission. The Law Commission has a heavy programme, but it is hoped that it will let us have its recommendations, its report and its reflections on this issue during the next year.

Mr. Marks:

Is the Attorney-General aware that this pernicious practice, which was confined to Manchester and Bristol, is now extending over a wide area? A Bill to cut the spread of this practice was objected to during the last Session by hon. Gentlemen opposite. Does the Attorney-General not think that, as the final submissions went to the Law Commission months ago, there ought to be more haste in dealing with this matter?

The Attorney-General:

I shall not comment on the system itself, because I want to wait and see what the Law Commission proposes. I hope sincerely, as does the hon. Gentleman, that the Law Commission will be able to report early in 1972. I cannot say when it will be, save that it will be during the course of that year.