HC Deb 26 January 1972 vol 829 cc1393-4
46. Mr. Leonard

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many organisations representing council tenants requested meetings with him or his Ministerial colleagues to discuss the effects on tenants of the Housing Finance Bill.

Mr. Amery

Six, Sir.

Mr. Leonard

Does not that reply indicate that the excuse which Ministers have given that representatives of council tenants are asking for too many deputations to be received to discuss the Bill is utterly bogus, and does it not further indicate the contempt which Ministers are showing to council tenants in imposing this harsh and repressive Measure on them without any consultation whatever?

Mr. Amery

On the contrary, I think the hon. Gentleman shows himself to be a bogus statistician. Others have not asked because we made it clear that we should not receive them.

Mr. Tom Boardman

Is my right hon. Friend aware that hon. Gentlemen opposite are making grave misrepresentations and distortions about the effect of the Bill? Does he not consider it right to give the maximum publicity to the beneficial effects of the Bill and so to avoid groundless fears being caused to tenants?

Mr. Amery

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. My right hon. Friend and I are doing everything we can to explain the Bill to the public. I have no doubt that events will fully justify our forecasts and show how bogus are the claims of the Opposition.

Mr. Crosland

Is the Minister aware that by far the most serious misrepresentations about the Bill have been made by the Secretary of State for the Environment in a recent "Panorama" programme and when meeting a deputation of tenants from his constituency? If Ministers would stop giving totally untruthful accounts of the likely effects of the Bill, everyone would be much better off.

Mr. Amery

Having listened to the right hon. Gentleman in Committee over many hours, I find it difficult to believe that anyone could make more misrepresentations than he has done.