HC Deb 17 October 1940 vol 365 cc847-8W
Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention had been drawn to the many ambiguities contained in the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, and the injustice inflicted on tenants and landlords by many of its provisions particularly to the absence of specific reference to premises which are let on lease at a fixed rent, which the Government have taken over, and for which they do not pay the full rent to the lessee; and whether it is the intention of the Government to rectify this inequitable treatment.

Captain Crookshank

I am unable to accept the contention of my hon. and Gallant Friend. The Act provides that the rent payable for requisitioned premises shall be a sum equal to the rent which might be payable by a tenant in occupation of the premises, during the period for which possession of the premises is retained, under a lease granted immediately before that period. In a few cases the rent may be less, but in other cases may also be more, than the rent which was actually being paid at the date of requi- sition, but the basis laid down by the Act seems to be reasonable, in principle. It is of course the case that the amount of the rent which is in fact paid, is an element to be taken into account in assessing the compensation rent. Any ambiguities arising on the interpretation of the Act, if they cannot be settled by agreement, may be referred to the independent tribunal constituted under the Act.