asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that certain owners of rent-controlled dwellings are sending circular letters to their tenants urging them to pay immediate increases of rent on the representation that the Rent Restriction Acts are to be amended in the near future to legalise such increases; and whether he will consider instituting prosecutions for attempting to obtain money by false pretences in such cases.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General is aware of the case to which the hon. and learned Member refers. Grossly misleading as was the particular letter to which the hon. and learned Member has drawn his attention, my right hon. and learned Friend does not think that it comes within the purview of the criminal law. He is, however, certainly prepared to consider, with a view to a prosecution, any case of this kind in which there is evidence that an increase in rent or a so-called voluntary contribution in respect of some possible future permitted increase in rent has been sought to be obtained by means of any fraudulent representation as to an existing fact.