§ Mr. SNELL
asked the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that tenants of houses on the Government estate at Eltham who are in arrears with their rent on account of unemployment are being summoned before the Court and being ordered to pay the rent regularly, together with 1s. a week to pay off arrears; and that most of these tenants are utterly unable to do so, and are consequently under threat of eviction; and whether, having regard to the present difficulty in obtaining employment, he will give instructions that until trade improves no action shall be taken against tenants against whom there was no complaint when they were in employment?
§ Sir J. BAIRD
Generally speaking, action is only being taken in the cases in question where I am convinced either that the tenants are hopelessly in arrear and have no prospect of meeting their obligations under their agreements, or where I am satisfied that the tenants are making no serious efforts to pay their rents. There is a long waiting list of applicants for houses, and it would be unfair, not only to these applicants but also to the other tenants who do pay their rents, as well as to the taxpayer, to allow tenants to occupy houses rent free for indefinite periods such as is suggested.