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House Tenancies, Rural Areas

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 26 May 1949

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40.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the hardship which is being caused to working class families by the practice on the part of industrial and agricultural interests of buying occupied houses and then appealing for possession on grounds of business necessity; and if he will introduce legislation to prohibit this practice.

Representations have been made on this matter so far as premises required for agricultural purposes are concerned. The position is governed by Section 3 and paragraph (g) of the First Schedule to the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions (Amendment) Act, 1933, and can be considered only as a part of the general review of that legislation.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in agricultural areas it is becoming increasingly common for workers in other industries necessary to the countryside to be displaced for the purpose of housing agricultural workers; and is he also aware that this will cause disproportionate development in the economy of the countryside if it is persisted in?

I am aware that this practice is developing more in the rural areas than elsewhere for reasons that are obvious to hon. Members in all parts of the House, but we cannot deal with this problem in isolation from an Amendment to the Rent Restrictions Acts as a whole.