HL Deb 01 September 1939 vol 114 cc936-7

Read 1a.

10.18 p.m.


My Lords, when the last War occurred restrictions on increases of rent and rates of mortgage interest and prevention of eviction were not introduced until some months had elapsed, but the Government have decided in the light of experience that it is most desirable that restrictions should be brought into force at once in the present emergency. The restrictions introduced in 1915 were modified in many ways by subsequent War and post-War legislation, and at the moment there are still some millions of the smaller houses in the country which are controlled. The present Bill continues to control the rent of those houses at present controlled and provides that there shall be no further decontrol of such houses by the landlord obtaining vacant possession.

In the same form the Bill extends control to all houses now in existence (except those belonging to housing authorities) whose rateable value does not exceed £100 in the Metropolitan police district, £75 elsewhere in England and £90 in Scotland. Houses belonging to housing authorities do not come within the scope of the Bill because their rents depend upon different conditions with which I need not detain your Lordships. The Bill therefore will bring under control houses previously decontrolled and new houses erected since 2nd April, 1919, which will include the vast majority of houses in the country—all except a very small minority of large houses. The form of the Bill and the way in which it will work is familiar to the people and the Government have formed the conclusion that this Bill is necessary. I ask your Lordships to pass it, and I beg to move that it be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Duke of Devonshire)

On Question, Bill read 2a: Committee negatived.

Bill read 3a, and passed, and a Message sent to the Commons to acquaint them therewith.