40. Mrs. Butler
asked the Minister without Portfolio if he will seek to amend the Legal Aid and Advice Act, so as to make legal aid available at hearings by a rent officer or a rent assessment committee.
§ Sir Eric Fletcher
I do not think that it would be appropriate to provide legal aid for the parties to be represented at consultations before a rent officer. This would require legislation.
My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor has power under the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949, to make regulations to extend the legal aid scheme for proceedings before the rent assessment committees when they are set up. However, I would expect that the parties to proceedings before these committees would normally be able to present their cases satisfactorily without legal representation, and, if need be, they would be assisted in this by the committees.