§ 64. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the President of the Local Government Board, whether he has received resolutions passed at the Annual Conference of the Workmen's National Housing Council held at Bristol, on 4th September, on the subjects of fair rents and security of tenure courts and rural housing; and what action he proposes to take thereon?
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
My right hon. Friend has received the resolutions referred to. As regards the question of fair rent and security of tenure courts, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply of the President of the Board of Trade to the hon. Member for the Bridgeton Division 315 of Glasgow on the 15th July last. My right hon. Friend can hold out no prospect of legislation on this subject at the present time, and I think the hon. Member will agree that legislation on the lines suggested is unlikely to be regarded generally as non-contentious. So far as rural housing is concerned, my right hon. Friend has in fact been suggesting that local authorities should proceed on the lines contemplated by the resolution of the Workmen's National Housing Council, but he does not find that local authorities generally are prepared to act on the suggestion. They are disposed to regard the position as so abnormal at the present time that any scheme formulated now will probably need such serious revision when the times comes for its execution as to involve waste of labour. In some cases also, local authorities point out that it is impossible to give effect to the suggestion with their depleted staff.
§ Mr. THORNE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in many parts of the country where there is congestion in consequence of the troops being stationed there, the landlords are taking advantage of the situation and raising rents; in some cases as much as 3s. a week?
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
Yes, Sir; we are aware that in some cases rents are being raised, where there is a very great demand exceeding the supply, but it is not general.