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Volume 389: debated on Thursday 20 May 1943

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asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that under the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions Act, 1939, the standard rent of flats which were empty at 1st September, 1939, may often be fixed by reference to the highest rents charged at peak periods following the last war when demand exceeded supply; and whether he will amend the Act to equalise the rents of such flats, and of similar flats, which were tenanted at that date, and so to protect tenants of all similar flats irrespective of the dates of their leases?

I am aware that anomalies sometimes arise under the existing law in regard to the standard rents of similar dwellings, and, as I have previously stated, the point has been noted for consideration when amending legislation is undertaken. I am not quite clear, however, what type of case my hon. Friend has in mind and perhaps she would be good enough to send me details.


asked the Minister of Health whether he will give an assurance that all classes of property protected under the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions Act, 1939, will still receive legislative protection after the expiration of that Act, in order to prevent exorbitant increases of rent while a shortage of fiats and houses still exists?

I am not at present in a position to indicate the nature of any legislation which may be proposed to replace the Act to which my hon. Friend refers, which does not expire until six months after the termination of the present emergency. I recognise the close association between this problem and the supply of housing accommodation.


asked the Minister of Health whether he will print a White Paper explaining and giving full particulars about rent, in view of the complication of the subject as disclosed in the broadcast by Mr. Douglas Houghton, on Saturday night, 15th May, at 6.30 o' clock?

I am already considering the best means by which these most informative talks can be printed and will let my hon. Friend know the result as soon as a decision has been taken.