asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has reached a decision on the need for persons practising as estate agents to be registered, licensed, or both; and if he will make a statement.
Last November my right hon. Friend informed the professional bodies which had submitted proposals to him that Her Majesty's Government had an open mind on the principle of registration and considered that their draft Bill required further examination before Parliament was asked to consider it. Discussions on the details of the Bill are proceeding.
Is it not becoming increasingly clear every day that most reputable estate agents and the professional organisations which represent them are becoming convinced that some legal safeguards are required against these bogus people who are now operating in property?
Yes, it is with considerations like that in mind that three very important and respected professional bodies decided to get together to promote a Private Member's Bill. That Bill was found to be technically defective when it was due for presentation to Parliament, but, of course, it will have a later opportunity of being presented.
If that is the only difficulty, why do the Government not do it themselves instead of leaving it to private enterprise?
In this Session we already have a large and valuable programme of legislation.