asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what machinery is at his disposal to estimate the number of individual lets of furnished apartments and the number of lessee families involved in Scotland as a whole or in any particular area; whether he can state these numbers now; when such figures became available; what steps he proposes to take to keep check of any increase or decrease in the number of such lets in the future; and whether he will furnish an annual return to Parliament indicating any change which has taken place in this respect?
No machinery is available for making estimates of the number of individual lets of furnished apartments, either in Scotland as a whole or in any particular area. The provision of an annual return to Parliament would involve a disproportionate amount of labour for already overburdened local authority staffs.
In view of the great possibility of new rent courts being set up, which will cause hundreds if not thousands of owners of property to cease letting furnished premises, is it not vital in the interests of thousands of families that the Minister should take note of what is happening?
My hon. Friend put his point with great pertinacity during the Committee stages of the Bill, when Parliament decided otherwise.
Would the Minister find out how many valuable sub-lets the hon. Member for East Fife (Mr. Henderson Stewart) has?
The Minister is raising a different point altogether. I am raising a new point. What machinery has he to check the likely results of this Bill?
There will be no such likely results of our Bill.
In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise this matter on the Adjournment at the first opportunity.