Shepherd asked the Minister of Health if he has given consideration to the statement made by Mr. Michael Marcus, chairman of the East London Rent Tribunal, that applicants to that tribunal suffered serious physical injury at the hands of landlords or their hirelings; and what action is proposed to protect applicants.
My attention has been called to this statement. Applicants suffering or fearing such assaults should report the matter to the police who will do all they can to assist.
But is the Minister able to say that this statement was accurate?
It is not competent for me at the moment to make any comment upon whether it is accurate or inaccurate. All I can say is, that these persons are protected by law if they appeal to the law.
Surely, if the Minister appoints these chairmen it is his duty to see that they do not issue statements which alarm the public?
I do not want to interfere with these chairmen too much.
In view of the serious nature of the statement made by the chairman of the tribunal, has the Minister asked him on what evidence he based that statement?
It is not necessary for me to do so. If citizens fear assault, or if they have been assaulted, they can make use of appeal to the law. I am not going to interfere with these tribunals unnecessarily.
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether, since this statement, there have, in fact, been any such appeals from persons who claim that this statement is true?
I have not heard of any