HC Deb 08 July 1943 vol 390 cc2278-9W
Mr. Summers

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the fear of being unable to obtain possession of their house after the war, due to the experience of the control system, frequently prevents owners from letting their houses; and whether he is prepared to consider some amendment of the control to alleviate the present shortage of accommodation?

Mr. E. Brown

I have no reason to suppose that any material number of houses are being kept unoccupied for this reason, especially since the court in pursuance of Section 3 of the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions (Amendment) Act, 1933, and Section 3 of the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions Act, 1939, can grant to an owner an order for possession of his house for occupation as a residence for himself without proof of alternative accommodation, unless the court is satisfied that greater hardship would be caused by granting the Order than by refusing to grant it. As regards the last part of the Question, it is clearly not in the national interest that houses should be kept empty, but the solution may be not to amend the control but to exercise more widely the powers of requisitioning. This is a subject on which I shall, as stated in reply to a recent Question, make an announcement as soon as possible.