§ 11.24 p.m.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I beg to move, in page 2, line 16, to leave out the word "twenty," and to insert instead thereof the word "thirty-five."
In view of the arrangements which have now been made. I do not intend to keep the Committee more than a moment, and I would suggest that we might, at the same time that we are discussing this Amendment, consider also the two following amendments in the name of myself and other hon. Members:In page 2, line 17, leave out 'twenty-six pounds five shillings' and insert' thirty pounds'; andIn page 2, line 18, leave out 'thirteen' and insert 'twenty.'Then one Division might perhaps suffice. The point of these three Amendments is that the figures of £20 in the Metropolitan Police District or the City of London area, of £26 5s. 0d. in the Scottish area and of £13 in the provinces should be increased to the figures named in the 1713 Amendments, in the first case, £35 instead of £20, in the second £30 instead of £26 10s. and in the last case, £26 instead of £13. The reason for these Amendments is that we consider the figures in the Bill to be too low. We are satisfied that the economic conditions, and the situation with regard to houses, are such that we cannot afford at this moment to decontrol houses that have a small rateable value. Between April, 1931, and September, 1932, there were, in categories "A," "B" and "C" respectively 30,000, 50,000 and 225,000 houses decontrolled, making 305,000 houses decontrolled in 16 months—the identical number of new houses built during that period. Take category "C," while there were 225,000 houses decontrolled in the 16 months only 100,000 houses were erected. The rate of decontrol of houses with a rateable value of £13 is very rapid and likely to cause apprehension to tens of thousands of people.
If the right hon. Gentleman will consider for one moment the changed economic conditions in 1933, as distinct from those that operate in 1930, when the Marley Committee received their evidence, he will observe that there is no adequate reason for a change at this moment. I suggest therefore that the figures in these Amendments ought to be inserted in the Bill instead of those which are now there. No property-owner could object if the Minister accepted these Amendments, because the reasons must be well known, especially to every hon. Member of this Committee.
§ 11.28 p.m.
§ Sir P. HARRIS
Anybody with any knowledge of the history of this figure of £20 knows that in 1933 it is far too small and cannot be justified on any reasonable grounds. That limit was fixed as long ago as 1869 by the Poor Rate Assessment Collection Act, and it still operates, in spite of the increases in value that have gradually taken place from 1869 to 1914, while the jump since 1914 in the value of working-class houses has thrown the figure entirely out of scale. Take, for instance, cottages on the housing estates of the London County Council. Their rateable value is upwards of £32, which is a figure that could not be justified, when used in 1933. When we are recognising the necessity for control of a certain class of house, and if 1714 we are to put a valuation figure in the Bill, I suggest that that figure be based on something less prehistoric than a valuation of 1869. I know that the Minister will take cover behind the Marley Committee's Report. Lord Marley is a very useful person, and I am sorry that hon. Gentlemen opposite have to take responsibility for him. The Government must not consider the Report as shelter for an Act of Parliament. We are considering, not a Report, but an Act of Parliament, and, in the light of the information that I have, I am satisfied that this figure is much too small. Since 1914, of course, the figures have been going up at a tremendous rate, and, since the Marley Report, the pressure at the lower end of the scale has been tremendous. The shortage is real, and control must be continued. I suggest that the Minister ought to make a concession here and arrive at some figure which he can justify in relation to the facts of the present time.
§ 11.31 p.m.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
I should like the Minister to be good enough to deal with a point that has been put to me. In Manchester, the average rent of a house of a rateable value of £13 was 7s. 8d. in 1914. It is now 12s. 1¼d. The rateable values in the several districts of Manchester differ, and I will give the rents based on the £13 calculation, to show that, if the £13 is continued, people living in some parts of Manchester will not be able to avail themselves of the control. In North Manchester, the figure is 12s. 2¼d.; in South Manchester, 11s. 11¾d.; in Withington, 12s. 3¼d.; in Gorton, 11s. 9d.; in Levenshulme, 12s. 3¾d., and in Moss Side, 12s. 4d. That is to say, if the £13 is allowed to remain in the Clause, there will be three districts in Manchester, with the same class of houses, within the limit, and three outside it. It would be very unfortunate if the £13 were allowed to remain and to divide a city like Manchester into those two categories. It may be that there are other towns in the same position, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will enlighten us as to what will be the effect of the figure of £13.
§ 11.33 p.m.
Sir H. YOUNG
The substance of the Amendment is, of course, to extend the 1715 number of the Class "C" houses. As regards what I may call the lay-out of the provisions as between the Clauses, it is not, as I have already explained, the intention of the Government to depart from the scheme laid down in the Bill. I hope the hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) will bear with me patiently when I say that it is a scheme which was laid down in the report. I am not going to take shelter behind the Committee because it is a recommendation of the Committee, but, when a recommendation of the Committee happens to be a sensible and obvious recommendation, I am certainly not going to depart from it merely because it is a recommendation of the Committee. What is the basis of that recommendation? The Committee took as the dividing line for Class "C" houses the recognised compounding limit, that is to say, the limit of rateable value below which the local authority can require the owners of houses to be liable for the rates on the houses.
The hon. Baronet complained that the figure was fixed a long time ago, and that is true, but I do not think it is a relevant circumstance. The relevant circumstance is that it is working very well to-day, and that it has been continued and is still adopted as a limitation for the purpose of defining what may be called the class of the smallest wage-earners' houses. It is working well to-day and it was accepted by the Committee for the purpose. If I had to search about for a practical method, I should be quite at a loss to find any other. If you were to extend the class upwards in accordance with the Amendment, you would be reducing the class of "B" houses, which correspond to the middle range of wage-earners' incomes, overlapping both those who require houses to let and houses to sell. Also it is a class in which supply is overtaking demand but has not yet overtaken it. It would not be practical nor in accordance with the facts of the case
§ to cut into that class from the bottom any more than to cut into it from the top. I believe this dividing line of the compounding limit which was chosen by the Committee is still the most practical line that can be suggested. The hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. R. Davies) put cases in Manchester. I do not believe there is such an arbitrary distinction as that which he seems to have in mind. I cannot say how it will affect this house or that, but, taking it in general, it will be found that the class of house which it is desired to include in this freshly protected class is the class that coincides with those that fall below the compounding limit. If we leave that dividing line, we shall be at a loss to find another practical line.
§ 11.37 p.m.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
The right hon. Gentleman has made no reply to the figures that I gave, where in 16 months there has been in "A" class houses an increase of 10 per cent. in the number of houses decontrolled, in Class "B" 25 per cent. and in Class "C," the lowest of all, approximately 33 per cent. Surely the corresponding limit ought not to be like the laws of the Medes and Persians, immovable even though an obvious injustice will remain.
§ 11.38 p.m.
Sir H. YOUNG
I do not desire to disregard any contention that is advanced by hon. Members opposite. I did hot refer to the hon. Member's argument because it seemed so strongly to support the Government's case.
§ Mr. R. DAVIES
Does the right hon. Gentleman dispute the fact that the £13 limit will act in such a way that three rating districts in Manchester will be outside it and three others inside it?
§ Question put, "That the word "twenty" stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 237; Noes, 60.1719
|Division No. 116.]||AYES.||[11.39 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Beit, Sir Alfred L.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Balniel, Lord||Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Bateman, A. L.||Bird, Sir Robert B.(Wolverh'pton W.)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Blindell, James|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Borodale, Viscount|
|Bossom, A. C.||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ratcliffe, Arthur|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Hornby, Frank||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Horobin, Ian M.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Horsbrugh, Florence||Remer, John R|
|Broad bent, Colonel John||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Renwick, Major Gustav A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks., Newb'y)||Hums, Sir George Hopwood||Robinson, John Roland|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G, T.||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Burnett, John George||Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romford)||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Jennings, Roland||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Carver, Major William H.||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Ruthertord, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Ker, J. Campbell||Salt, Edward W.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Kimball, Lawrence||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||Knebworth, Viscount||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Christie, James Archibald||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Scone, Lord|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Law, Sir Alfred||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Leckie, J. A.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Cooke, Douglas||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Slater, John|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Lewis, Oswald||Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Liddall, Walter S.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Cross, R. H.||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Dickie, John P.||Mabane, William||Soper, Richard|
|Donner, P. W.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Drewe, Cedric||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Spans, William Patrick|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||McKie, John Hamilton||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Dunglass, Lord||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Stevenson, James|
|Eastwood, John Francis||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Stones, James|
|Edge, Sir William||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Storey, Samuel|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Martin, Thomas B.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Elmley, Viscount||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Stuart, Lord C. Crichton.|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Mitchell, Harold P.(Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Molson, A. Hugh Eisdale||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Falle Sir Bertram G.||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Moreing, Adrian C.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Morrison, William Shephard||Templeton, William P.|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Munro, Patrick||Thompson, Luke|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Gibson, Charles Granville||Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||Nunn, William||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||O'Connor, Terence James||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Goff, Sir Park||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Warrender, sir Victor A. G.|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Ormiston, Thomas||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Palmer, Francis Noel||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour.|
|Graves, Marjorie||Pearson, William G.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Grimston, R. V.||Peat, Charles U.||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilst'n)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hales, Harold K.||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Pike, Cecil F.||Womersley, Walter James|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Pybus, Percy John||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'oaks)|
|Harbord, Arthur||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totness)||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Lieut.-Colonel Sir Lambert Ward|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||and Commander Southby.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Rankin, Robert|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)|
|Banfield, John William||Curry, A. C.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur|
|Batey, Joseph||Daggar, George||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)|
|Bernays, Robert||Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)|
|Briant, Frank||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Groves, Thomas E.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Dobbie, William||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Buchanan, George||Edwards, Charles||Hall, F. (York. W.R., Normanton)|
|Cape, Thomas||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Harris, Sir Percy|
|Hicks, Ernest George||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Hirst, George Henry||Logan, David Gilbert||Price, Gabriel|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Lunn, William||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Janner, Barnett||McEntee, Valentine L.||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Jenkins, Sir William||McGovern, John||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Mainwaring, William Henry||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Kirkwood, David||Maxton, James||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Milner, Major James|
|Lawson, John James||Nathan, Major H. L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Leonard, William||Parkinson, John Allen||Mr. John and Mr. Duncan Graham.|
§ 11.49 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
I beg to move, in page 2, to leave out lines 19 to 30, and to insert instead thereof the words:Provided that the said Section two shall not apply to any such dwelling-house whereof the rateable value on the appointed day exceeds the respective amount aforesaid if the tenant has sub-let part or parts of the dwelling-house into lettings which constitute each such part a separate dwelling-house to which the principal Acts apply, and has retained a part for his own use or occupation, the rateable value of which on the appointed day did not exceed the respective amounts aforesaid.This Amendment is intricate and deals with perhaps the most intricate part of the whole Bill. I will explain to the best of my ability what appears to me to be the intention of the Proviso in Clause 2, and then explain the intention of the Amendment. As I understand it, the Proviso deals with houses which have been let to a tenant who has himself sub-let the house into sub-tenancies. Apparently the position at the present time is that if the landlord has a house which was sub-let into separate tenancies prior to 1923, those tenancies became decontrolled. If he sub-let the house after 1923 the tenancies were not decontrolled. Consequently, those houses which have been let by the landlord himself entirely into sub-tenancies are still under control under the Acts and will continue to be under control even when this Bill has passed into law. The danger of this proviso is that, in houses which have been sublet and the tenant has sublet his portion again into sub-tenancies, those sub-tenancies, no matter how many they may be, will become decontrolled as and when they fall into the hands of the landlord, even though the rateable value or recoverable rent of each of those sub-tenancies is below the figure mentioned in the Clause. In other words, a large number of tenements at present occupied by the working classes, which would not be 1720 within the Bill if they were single houses, are automatically to become decontrolled.
It is impossible to know how many of those tenements are going to be involved. In my own borough we have 43,242 assessments, but there are only 39,084 dwelling-houses, which means that there is a considerable number of sub-lettings which are not complete dwelling-houses in the ordinary sense. There is no method at the present time of recording how many thousands or even hundreds of thousands of such tenements exist, particularly in London. We are afraid that, if this proviso is allowed to remain, it will result in a very large number of people being dispossessed who under normal circumstances, if they occupied an ordinary dwelling-house, would still be allowed to remain in possession under the Act. We consider that is not right. If a landlord has sublet a house of his own accord, those tenants are protected, whereas, if a tenant has sublet to people similarly placed, those sub-tenants are not protected. Consequently, we think that, in those circumstances, we ought to be given an opportunity of having this Amendment accepted, particularly as there is no possible method of calculating how many people will become dispossessed if this proviso is not accepted in this way.
The second part of the Amendment is merely to supplement the portion of the Amendment which relates to the proviso being deleted. If you delete the proviso, it means that all the tenements in the house, other than the portion the original tenant retains, will become controlled or rather continue to be controlled. In order to have the complete house controlled, we say it is not only necessary to have the rest of the house controlled but also the portion of the house that remains in the hands of the tenant himself. It is drafted in such a 1721 form as to enable the whole house, even though above these figures, to be retained under control if the rateable value of each tenement is below those figures. It would be unreasonable not to admit that a principle, which applies to dwelling-houses let singly or sublet by the landlord into smaller tenements, should also apply to these numerous tenements which are now to be decontrolled even though below the figure mentioned. We submit that, in order to follow the logical sequence of things and in order not to deprive a very large number of people of the protection of the Acts, this proviso should be amended accordingly.
§ 11.55 p.m.
Sir H. YOUNG
I believe that I can remove the apprehension of the hon. Member. He spoke of sub-tenants being dispossessed under the Bill. No subtenant who at present has protection can, under the Bill, be dispossessed; the protection which he now has remains. Sitting tenants will have the same protection they have at present; there can be no question of their being dispossessed. When the landlord has re-let his house in the form of Class "C" dwellings, where he has by his own volition created these "C" class dwellings, they will remain under full protection during the continuance of control. As to the case where the creation of "C" class dwellings in an "A" class house is the act of a sub-tenant, in that case all sitting tenants or sub-tenants will not be affected, their protection will remain as at present. The only case in which decontrol comes into force is where such "C" class dwellings created by a sub-tenant in an "A" class house fall back again into possession of the landlord; when there is no sitting tenant there. Since it is not the landlord who has created these "C" class dwellings, probably they were created over his head, without his knowledge and against his will by the sub-tenant, it is not fair that there should be control against him when they fall into possession. Let me specify actual conditions under which they may fall in, and the Committee will see that there is little cause for apprehension as to a decrease in the pool. As long as the superior tenant remains they will be protected, there can be no 1722 decontrol of any of the sub-let parts, no matter how many changes of subtenant there may be. A sublet part of a controlled house can only become decontrolled, and so diminish the pool, when the superior tenant has gone and the landlord comes into actual possession of the sublet part. Thus, so far as sublet parts of "B" class houses are concerned, the superior tenant must have gone, whereupon the sub-tenants become direct tenants of the landlord, and, after that, individual tenants must have left also before the pool can be diminished at all.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ 11.59 p.m.
§ Mr. JAMES DUNCAN
I beg to move, in page 2, line 25, after the word "effected," to insert the words:without the consent of the landlord.I will do so very shortly owing to the lateness of the hour.
On the Second Reading of the Bill the Minister of Health, dealing with Class "C" houses, the small houses for wage-earners, of which there are 5,700,000, said:Of these, 1,500,000 are already free, and there are no less than 4,100,000 which we propose to stabilise for five years—to keep controlled for five years."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th December, 1932; col. 58, Vol. 273.]The same day on the next page he said that "the Bill was stable as regards Class 'C' houses." The Parliamentary Secretary in the "News-Letter" again emphasised this point. In an article on lath February, 1933, he said:The Bill ensures that for the next five years there shall be no further decontrol of the cheapest class of controlled houses, over 4,000,000 in number, irrespective of changes of tenancies.This proviso does not carry out the Minister's intentions. There are, however, many cases where a landlord wants to resume control in order to put his property in order, and that is the reason why I did not support the Amendment just moved by the hon. Member for Whitechapel. That is a reasonable course to pursue. My Amendment is designed to deal with the case of the landlord who wants to get control of his property when the tenant has sub-let without his consent. Where the landlord is living in the house—it may be an "A" or "B" 1723 house—and his sub-tenants are definitely "C" tenants they are protected for five years. I want to make it possible for the landlord to get control over those houses which have been sub-let without definite consent in cases where the landlord does not live in the house. I think that that would carry out more closely the intentions of the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary and keep a larger number of "C" houses in the "pool" than at present. It would be fair as between the landlord who wants to do his best for his property and the type of landlord who lets his property down, with consent to sub-let.
§ 12.4 a.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I am sorry that it is impossible to accept the Amendment. My right hon. Friend the Minister has just explained the reasons for making a distinction between the case where the sub-let is with the consent of the landlord and where it is the act of the tenant. To introduce this necessity that the landlord should have given or withheld his consent is impossible. In 99 cases out of 100 the landlord has no say in the matter at all. It is quite impossible to open up Part II of the Bill to each single case, as to whether the landlord has or has not withheld his consent, or whether he has withheld it unreasonably.
§ 12.5 a.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
I am not at all satisfied with the explanation which has been given. The answer given to me on the previous Amendment was to the effect that these people were letting without the consent of the landlord. When the hon. Member moves this Amendment, which goes half-way to meeting the point raised in reply to me, we are told that it is not a question of whether the letting is or is not with the consent of the landlord. I think the Committee ought to insist upon this matter being made clear. The intention of the Bill is to put outside the power to decontrol those dwelling-houses which are under the rateable values specified. If that provision is to apply to a series of dwelling-houses in a row, why should it not apply also to a series of dwelling-houses which are above each other, in a perpendicular direction? 1724 If it is necessary in the case of one, it is necessary in the case of the other. If it is not necessary at all, there is an end of the matter. If there is to be decontrol by a gradual process, in accordance with the Act of 1923, let us have it all round. If the idea is that these houses which are below these figures are to remain controlled, then, obviously, it must apply to both the categories I have indicated. The request made by the proposer of the Amendment is a reasonable one, and I would ask the Committee to accept it even if the Government are not prepared to do so. They must stand by one principle or the other. If the principle is as they state it, then it must apply to the case of several houses which are situated above each other, as well as to the case of several houses which are situated beside each other, in a horizontal position.
§ Mr. JANNER
That is exactly what I am trying to explain. There is no difference from this point of view, that the poor fellow in a tenement which had been sub-let, would find it just as hard to get into another house, as the man in the other kind of house, if he were dispossessed.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I am interested in what the hon. Member says and when he mentions the word "tenement" he sends a shiver through us. Is his point that the tenement differs in this respect from the other houses?
§ Mr. JANNER
No, I say that they are exactly the same. If a house is sublet in different parts, each of those parts becomes a dwelling-house within the meaning of the Act—just as if they were a row of houses. An important consideration is that we have not yet been told how many houses are going to be affected by this point. In my constituency we have a considerable number, and it is a serious thing if the principle of control is not to apply to these dwellings, in the same way as it does to rows of houses in other districts, where, perhaps, it is not so much required. I ask the, Committee to accept the Amendment, or, possibly the Minister before the Report stage would consider extending this matter so as to include the whole of these tenements.
§ 12.8 a.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I rise to put a question to the Lord Advocate. Tenements have been much referred to in this discussion. I think the Scottish tenements are secure, as far as the Measure gives any security at all. I think the tenement in Scotland is treated as being separate altogether, and is not covered by the point raised by the hon. Member in regard to England. But I would like to know from the Lord Advocate if the tenement in Scotland, that is, the individual tenement up a tenement "close" is treated as an individual house and not as being sub-let?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I have no hesitation in giving the hon. Member the assurance that the individual house in the tenement is a "house" for the purposes of this Measure.
§ Sir P. HARRIS
If it is let by the landlord, yes. If it is let by the tenant, it is not. It is to ensure that point that we insist on the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That those words he there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 57; Noes, 210.1727
|Division No. 117.]||AYES.||[12.10 a.m.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Mainwaring, William Henry|
|Banfield, John William||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W).||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Bernays, Robert||Grundy, Thomas W.||Maxton, James|
|Briant, Frank||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Milner, Major James|
|Buchanan, George||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hirst, George Henry||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Holdsworth, Herbert||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cocke, Frederick Seymour||Janner, Barnett||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jenkins, Sir William||Price, Gabriel|
|Daggar, George||John, William||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kirkwood, David||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Dobbie, William||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Lawson, John James||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Edwards, Charles||Leonard, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Lunn, William||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||McGovern, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Sir Percy Harris and Mr. Llewellyn|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Goff, Sir Park|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Carver, Major William H.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Graves, Marjorie|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||Grimston, R. V.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Christie, James Archibald||Guy, J, C. Morrison|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Hales, Harold K.|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Conant, R. J. E.||Hanbury, Cecil|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cook, Thomas A.||Hanley, Dennis A.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Cooke, Douglas||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Balniel, Lord||Cranborne, Viscount||Harbord, Arthur|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Craven-Ellis, William||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bateman, A. L.||Cross, R. H.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Hornby, Frank|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Dickie, John P.||Horobin, Ian M.|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Donner, P. W.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Drewe, Cedric||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Duckworth, George A. V.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Eastwood, John Francis||Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)|
|Blindell, James||Edge, Sir William||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.|
|Borodale, Viscount||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Jennings, Roland|
|Bossom, A. C||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato|
|Boulton, w. W.||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Falls, Sir Bertram G.||Ker, J. Campbell|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Kimball, Lawrence|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Fox, Sir Gifford||Knebworth, Viscount|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Gibson, Charles Granville||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Burnett, John George||Gledhill, Gilbert||Leckie, J. A.|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Glossop, C. W. H.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Glyn, Major Ralph G. C||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Pybus, Percy John||Spens, William Patrick|
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Stevenson, James|
|Mabane, William||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Stones, James|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Rankin, Robert||Storey, Samuel|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Ratcliffe, Arthur||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Strauss, Edward A.|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|McLean, Major Sir Alan||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton.|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. sir M.||Remer, John R.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Renwick, Major Gustav A.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Martin, Thomas B.||Robinson, John Roland||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Ropner, Colonel L.||Templeton, William P.|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel||Thompson, Luke|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Runge, Norah Cecil||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Moreing, Adrian C.||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Salt, Edward W.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Morrison, William Shepherd||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Munro, Patrick||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Scone, Lord||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour.|
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Nunn, William||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|O'Connor, Terence James||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Skelton, Archibald Noel||Wills, Wilfrid D|
|Ormiston, Thomas||Sister, John||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Palmer, Francis Noel||Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Pearson, William G.||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Womersley, Walter James|
|Peat, Charles U.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Perkins, Walter R. D.||Somervell, Donald Bradley||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Petherick, M.||Soper, Richard|
|Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bilst'n)||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Pike, Cecil F.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Sir Frederick Thomson and Major|
§ 12.20 a.m.
§ Mr. RHYS
I beg to move, in page 2, line 31, to leave out the words:let as a separate dwelling immediately before the passing of this Act.There has been a good deal of confusion of thought in regard to this Clause, and different interpretations have been placed on it. Some correspondence has taken place between the organisation in which I am interested and the Ministry of Health, as it was felt that this correspondence would simplify proceedings in the Committee stage. It has been stated by the Ministry that, if a house has become decontrolled under the 1923 Act, it cannot come into control again unless it is let as a separate dwelling house immediately before the passing of this Bill, and therefore any separate registration is not necessary. It may be the correct interpretation of the Bill that no separate registration is necessary, but there are many experts who think that a different interpretation can be placed on the Clause as it is drafted. I suggest, therefore, that the Minister should undertake to re-draft the Clause to give effect to his expressed intention, and to save future litigation in the courts.
§ 12.22 a.m.
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
I am glad my hon. Friend has raised this point to give 1728 us an opportunity of clarifying the position. If the hon. Member will refer to Clause 1, he will see that the Acts, as amended, are applied to every dwelling house to which they applied immediately before the passing of the Bill. Under Sub-section (3) of Clause 2, where a landlord has a house let as a separate dwelling at the passing of the Act and wishes to claim that the house is decontrolled, he must register that house within three months. That means that the only person who has to register any house is the landlord of a house let as a separate dwelling, if he claims that it was decontrolled before the passing of this Act. The owner-occupier need not register at all. If these words were omitted it would mean that every owner-occupier, in order to prove his house was decontrolled, would have to register. I am sure that is just what my hon. Friend wants to avoid, and I hope with that explanation he will be satisfied.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ 12.24 a.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I beg to move, in page 3, line 1, after the word "application," to insert the words:with the written consent of the tenant that the dwelling-house is decontrolled.1729 We seek to provide that, when the landlord is making an application for a house to be placed on the register, the tenant should be consulted first, and should, in effect, give his written consent to the statement that the house is decontrolled. I think that safeguard is necessary from the tenant's point of view. The tenant himself cannot possibly be aware of the house being decontrolled, and we think that before a house is decontrolled the written consent of the tenant or the occupier should be obtained.
§ 12.25 a.m.
Sir H. YOUNG
Part of the contention of the hon. Member is correct, that the tenant should be informed when he is secure, but the second part, that the tenant's consent should be necessary, is going a great deal too far. By the mere act of a tenant's will that might prevent a house being registered, and so secure its re-control. The effect of that probably would be to secure the re-control of all decontrolled houses, which is surely beyond the intention of the Bill. I think the Clause in its present form goes as far as it is possible to go.
§ 12.26 a.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I expected that we should be told something like that, that the Amendment goes too far, but the Minister's reply does not get over the first point, that the tenant is not consulted on the matter. While I have not the slightest doubt that our Amendment went much too far for the Minister, the substantial point has not been met. I would like the Solicitor-General to tell us whether there is any part of this Clause under which a landlord must consult or inform the tenant. I know there is a subsection later that places on the landlord the onus of seeing that register is kept open to public inspection at the Town Hall or the offices of the Council. But think what this safeguard means to the tenant in Glasgow or Liverpool, or any of
§ the big cities, which have a radius of 15 miles and where there is one office in the centre of the town. The register is to be kept there, and that is the only place where the tenant or occupier can find out whether his house is controlled or not. Suppose a tenant's name is placed on the register wrongly. The only way I know of remedying that is by an action in the courts to have the name taken off. Occupiers of working class houses cannot take court actions very readily. It is almost an impossibility for them. If you cannot give them the protection I want, there should at least be some responsibility placed on the authorities under this Clause to inform the occupier, so that he can take action before court proceedings become necessary. I hope the Solicitor-General or the Minister will concede the point that the tenant or occupier should first be informed before the name may be taken off the register.
§ 12.29 a.m.
§ Mr. DINGLE FOOT
It seems to me that the hon. Member's method goes very much further than the point he is trying to meet. We should all agree that the landlord ought immediately to inform the tenant.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I hope we shall not get into a discussion of the position of the tenant, because that arises on the next Amendment I propose to select. I would like the hon. Member's Amendment to be considered as raising the separate point of the tenant's consent.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I do take the point that there should be, before an application is placed on the register, the consent of the tenant.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 33; Noes, 212.1731
|Division No. 118.]||AYES.||[12.31 a.m.|
|Banfield, John William||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||McGovern, John|
|Cape, Thomas||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Hirst, George Henry||Mainwaring, William Henry|
|Daggar, George||Jenkins, Sir William||Milner, Major James|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||John, William||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kirkwood, David||Price, Gabriel|
|Dobbie, William||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, Charles||Lawson, John James||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Leonard, William||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Lunn, William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||McEntee, Valentine L.||Mr. Maxton and Mr. Buchanan.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Adama, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Grimston, R. V.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Rankin, Robert|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Hanley, Dennis A.||Ratcliffe, Arthur|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Hartington, Marquess of||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Renwick, Major Gustav A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Holdsworth, Herbert||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Hornby, Frank||Robinson, John Roland|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Horsbrugh, Florence||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Beaumont. M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romford)||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Bernnys Robert||James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Jennings, Roland||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Blindell, James||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Borodale, Viscount||Johnstor, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Salt, Edward W.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Ker, J. Campbell||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Kimball, Lawrence||Scone, Lord|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Knebworth, Viscount||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Briant, Frank||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Law. Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A.(C'thness)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Leckie, J. A.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Slater, John|
|Burnett, John George||Liddall, Walter S.||Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-In-F.)|
|Campbell, Edward Tat well (Bromley)||Lindsay. Noel Ker||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Soper, Richard|
|Carver, Major William H.||Mabane, William||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Spens, William Patrick|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D||McKie, John Hamilton||Stanley Lord (Lancaster. Fylde)|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Stevenson, James|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Stones, James|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Storey, Samuel|
|Cooke, Douglas||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Martin, Thomas B.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Crookshank. Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Cross, R. H.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Sueter, Bear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tfd & Chisw'k)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Drewe, Cedric||Moreing, Adrian C.||Thompson, Luke|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Morrison, William Shepherd||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Eastwood, John Francis||Munro, Patrick||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Edge, Sir William||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Nunn, William||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||O'Connor, Terence James||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Ormiston, Thomas||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Palmer, Francis Noel||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Pearson, William G.||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Peat, Charles U.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Gibson, Charles Granville||Petherick, M.||Windsor Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Pickering, Ernest H.||Womersley, Walter James|
|Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Pike, Cecil F.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Pybus, Percy John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Graves, Marjorie||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Lieut.-Colonel Sir Lambert Ward|
|and Major George Davies.|
§ 12.40 a.m.
§ Mr. J. REID
I beg to move, in page 3, line 2, after the word, "dwelling-house" to insert the words:as a decontrolled house and shall send to the tenant of such house by registered letter 1732 a notification of such application in the prescribed form.This is the first of a series of Amendments designed to achieve a certain purpose, and it would conduce to brevity if I tried to explain in a few sentences 1733 the general purpose of them. The Bill, as it stands, provides that Class "C" houses are to be deemed to be controlled unless the landlord applies for registration. Registration, however, settles absolutely nothing at all. It is only the first step towards ultimate litigation in the courts at some time in the future. It occurs to us that it would be very easy by a small modification of the scheme of the Clause to make that registration settle once and for all in nine-tenths of the cases whether the house was or was riot decontrolled. It is clear that, in the case of at least nine-tenths of the houses, where the landlord applies for registration, the house is, in fact, decontrolled because in the majority of these cases the tenant has been paying a rent higher than the full controlled rent for a number of years, and it would not be in his mouth to say in any court that he objected to the house being regarded as a decontrolled house. Therefore, in the majority of cases there would be no difficulty at all in the registration being regarded as final and in a certificate of decontrol being issued. The first step before a tenant can be foreclosed by any entry in the register must necessarily be an intimation to the tenant that this procedure is going on. The Amendment will ensure that the tenant will have proper intimation that registration is desired. Then, if he get that intimation, there will be two courses open to him. He can assent to this intimation in silence, in which case a subsequent Amendment provides that his silence shall after a certain time be taken as acquiescence in decontrol and a final certificate shall issue. In all the cases I have just mentioned there can be no hardship because the tenant knows perfectly well the house is decontrolled and has recognised that fact by paying a higher rent than the controlled rent.
I propose that the intimation shall take the form of a formal document giving the tenant full warning of his rights and saying that, if he chooses to object, he can keep the matter open. If he acquiesces, the case will be foreclosed. Any tenant then, by the expenditure of a penny halfpenny stamp and writing a letter to the local authority, will be able to keep the matter open. Suppose the tenant does keep the matter open, if he has been paying more than the controlled rent, he will not be listened to in a law 1734 court, and the only tenants who will keep the matter open will be tenants who are not paying more than the controlled rent. In those cases it will really be a purely academic question whether the house is controlled or not, if the rent charged is no more than the controlled rent.
The Amendment will serve two purposes. Firstly, it will foreclose the matter in the majority of cases by the issue of a certificate of control. In other cases it will keep the matter open, and there the question is entirely academic, and so it will not, in fact, lead to any serious amount of legislation. This scheme has the advantage that it does achieve finality, because it is very difficult in selling or letting a house to negotiate when you do not know if it is under control or not. In the interests of the tenant and certainly of the landlord, it is desirable to achieve finality. In other cases, where it is not possible to achieve finality, the matter will be kept open, but those cases will be no worse than the other cases under the Bill.
§ 12.46 a.m.
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
There may be some misapprehension in the minds of the Committee as to the exact purpose for which this registration has been put in the Bill. Let me briefly state how it operates under the Bill and what will be the change under the Amendment. Under Sub-section (2) of Clause 2 of the Bill it is the duty of a landlord of a Class "C" house, if he claims it to be decontrolled by virtue of Section 2 of the Act of 1923, to register with the appropriate local authority within three months, but in any subsequent proceeding relating to that house, if it is proved that no such application was made, that particular house is to be regarded as recontrolled. The hon. and learned Member wants to alter the Bill in that respect. He wants to provide that, when the landlord applies for the registration of a decontrolled house, he shall at the same time notify the tenant. Then the tenant is given one month in which to register an objection with the local authority. If he does not register an objection, then that house is automatically deemed to be decontrolled. Obviously the method which is in the Bill is in the interests of the tenant. The method of my hon. Friend is more the interests of the landlord. He may not mean that, but it will turn out like it—
§ Mr. J. REID
I was not proposing to alter the scheme whereby the tenant shall be deemed to be controlled if no application is made. That remains the safeguard of the tenant under the Bill. I was proposing, in cases where there was no injustice to the tenant, to do some justice to the landlord by settling it.
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
I realise that. Under our procedure, when the landlord registers a decontrolled house, the tenant who will have the advantage will not be the sitting tenant but a prospective tenant. He has only to go to the register, and, if it is on the register, then apparently that house is decontrolled. If, however, it turns out that it is not decontrolled, he can go to a court of law. If a house is not on the register and three months have elapsed since the passing of the Act, he knows for a fact that that house is controlled. Therefore, it is of great benefit to any prospective tenant of a house to know that, in fact, the house is controlled. There are certain provisions with regard to late registration, but even there the tenant is protected.
What will be the effect of my hon. Friend's Amendment? There will be a new kind of decontrol created. If a tenant has not complained within a month, there will be a new kind of decontrol as it were by silence. It might even be decontrolled by ignorance, because these matters are very complicated, and it may be that only Parliamentary draftsmen and the Solicitor-General really understand it. But I am quite sure that the majority of tenants will not realise that they can register objections within a month and that the house has then a status permanently fixed if they fail to object. You might even get decontrol by collusion between landlord and tenant. Therefore, for all these reasons, I think the hon. and learned Member will see that the Government form of registration is really in the interests of prospective tenants. Otherwise, a number of doubtful cases would slip through simply owing to ignorance or the silence of the tenant.
§ Amendment negatived.
Amendment made: In page 3, line 5, after the word "that," insert the words:
but for the provisions of the said Section two of the Act of 1923 the principal Acts would have applied to the dwelling-house and that."—[Sir H. Young.]
§ 12.52 a.m.
§ Mr. LLEWELLYN-JONES
I beg to move, in page 3, line 10, after the word "application," to insert the words:made within six months after the passing of this Act.This proviso is to enable a landlord who, for some good reason, has originally taken steps to register the fact that a house is decontrolled to the local authority, to apply to the county court and get a certificate from the court to register the house. There ought to be some time limit. It is unreasonable that a landlord should be able to go on for an unlimited time without taking this step. Therefore, I suggest that the words "made within six months" should be inserted.
§ 12.53 a.m.
Sir H. YOUNG
I do not think that this Amendment will be a very simple one. The landlord will apply in three months. If he does not, then the court of jurisdiction may say that he had not a suitable opportunity of doing so. It is possible to realise circumstances that might render much more than even six months necessary, and the court can judge whether the circumstances are reasonable. Having given the court jurisdiction, we ought to trust the jurisdiction to that court, and not seek to impose arbitrary limitations on it.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ 12.55 a.m.
§ Sir HENRY CAUTLEY
I beg to move, in page 3, line 20, at the end, to insert the words:Provided that in all cases where the landlord registered a dwelling-house as having been decontrolled on or before the appointed day such registration shall be conclusive evidence of the decontrol of such dwelling-house.This is an attempt to bring some finality into this procedure and some reciprocity to the bringing of litigation. As has been pointed out, under Subsection (2) an obligation is put on the landlord to apply for registration, and, if he does not apply within three months, the house is subject to decontrol. That is the penalty for the landlord. If, on the other hand, he applies for registration, he gets nothing for doing so. The question whether the house is subject to control or not remains perfectly open and can be litigated at any moment. The 1737 tenant is protected by the methods provided for obtaining registration and by the penalty for any false statement made in so doing. Under Clause 8 the Minister can prescribe a form in which the application is to be made—that is to say, he can require what particulars are to be given, and this Sub-section says that it has to be made on the form that he has prescribed. Sub-section (5) says that if any person, with intent to deceive, knowingly makes any false statement he shall be liable to a fine or £10 or to imprisonment. It has been rightly stated that any landlord knows whether the house is decontrolled or not. The statements that are required are such that if he cannot fulfil them he cannot get decontrol. With a view to avoiding the continual chance and certainty of litigation, and settling once and for all whether a house is decontrolled or not, I submit that the words I propose to add settle that, if the landlord does not apply for registration, the house is not subject to decontrol. If he does apply, and he has to do that on statements rendering him liable to prosecution if they are false, it shall be subject to control.
§ 12.59 a.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
It is impossible to accept this Amendment. The Parliamentary Secretary has already explained what the object of our registration scheme is. It is simply as a warning to any prospective tenant that he shall not go into a house under the belief that it is a controlled house, when in fact it is decontrolled. It is quite impossible to accept this Amendment, making registration conclusive of the fact of decontrol.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ 1.0 a.m.
§ Mr. LLEWELLYN-JONES
I beg to move, in page 3, line 20, at the end, to insert the words:Notice shall be given by the landlord of such dwelling-house to the tenant thereof not less than fourteen days before the hearing of such application is to be heard, such notice to be in the prescribed form and to contain full particulars of the reason alleged for the failure to make application for the registration of the dwelling-house.I think this Amendment is a reasonable one and one which the Government should accept.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
We cannot accept the Amendment. We cannot be giving notice to prospective tenants whom we know nothing about.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ 1.2 a.m.
§ Mr. GEORGE HALL
I beg to move, in page 3, line 20, after the word "dwelling-house," to insert the words:(including particulars as to the rent charged before the principal Acts ceased to apply and the existing rent).The Amendment is self-explanatory, and there is scarcely any need for me to take up the time of the Committee with it. It provides that the local authorities register shall give the particulars mentioned, and the Amendment is so reasonable that we can expect that at this stage the right hon. Gentleman will accept it.
Sir H. YOUNG
We have heard the Amendment put in a reasonable way, but the hon. Gentleman's manner is more reasonable than the matter. The point is that the rent the tenant is going to pay will be told to him by his landlord. I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ 1.4 a.m.
Sir H. YOUNG
I beg to move, in page 3, line 28, to leave out the words "so, however, that," and to insert instead thereof the words:(4) Any such council as aforesaid shall, on application being made to them by any person in that behalf, issue, on payment of a fee not exceeding one shilling, a certificate with respect to any dwelling-house in their borough or district stating whether or not the dwelling-house is registered under this Section and, if registered, the date of registration; and any such certificate shall, unless the contrary is proved, be evidence that application for registration of the dwelling-house has or has not been made by or on behalf of the landlord and, in the case of a certificate of registration, be evidence of the date before which such application was made, so however that neither, a certificate of registration nor other proof of.This Amendment is of a very simple nature. It provides for a fee of a shilling to be charged in respect of a certificate.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In page 3, line 30, leave out the first word "not."
In line 32, at the end, insert the words:
Any document purporting to be a certificate issued under this Sub-section by a
council named therein, and to be signed by an officer of that council, shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such a certificate without further proof unless the contrary is shown."—[Sir H. Young.]
§ 1.6 a.m.
§ Mr. LLEWELLYN-JONES
I beg to move, in page 3, line 36, after the word "registrar," to insert the words "or clerk."
I think this is an Amendment which will be accepted by the Minister.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."1740
§ 1.6 a.m.
§ Mr. MICHAEL BEAUMONT
There is one question which I wish to ask, and it is a very brief one. I wish to ask the Government if they have any idea as to what the extra charge is going to be in respect of this new scheme.
§ 1.7 a.m.
Sir H. YOUNG
The hon. Member will recognise that I have just introduced an Amendment making provision for a shilling charge, and it is hoped that that charge will enable local authorities to recoup themselves for the whole expenditure of keeping these registers.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 195; Noes, 31.1741
|Division No. 119.]||AYES.||[1.7 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Mitchell, Harold P.(Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Fox, Sir Gifford||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Glossop, C. W. H.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Goff, Sir Park||Morrison, William Shepherd|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Munro, Patrick|
|Balniel, Lord||Gower, Sir Robert||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Graves, Marjorie||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Grimston, R. V.||Nunn, William|
|Bateman, A. L.||Guy, J. C. Morrison||O'Donovan, Dr. William James|
|Beauchamp, sir Brograve Campbell||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Ormiston, Thomas|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Hanley, Dennis A.||Palmer, Francis Noel|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Harmon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Pearson, William G.|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Harvey, Major S. E (Devon, Totnes)||Peat, Charles U.|
|Bernays, Robert||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Perkins, Walter R. D.|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Petherick, M.|
|Borodale, Viscount||Holdsworth, Herbert||Peto, Geoffrey K, (W'verh'pt'n, Bilst'n)|
|Bossom, A. C.||Horsbrugh, Florence||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Hudson, Capt. A. u. M.(Hackney, N.)||Pike, Cecil F.|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Janner, Barnett||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jennings, Roland||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Burnett, John George||Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Rankin, Robert|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Ratcliffe, Arthur|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Ker, J. Campbell||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Kimball, Lawrence||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Knebworth, Viscount||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Remer, John R.|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)||Renwick, Major Gustav A.|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Leckie, J. A.||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Cooke, Douglas||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Liddall, Walter S.||Robinson, John Roland|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel|
|Cross, R. H.||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Mabane, William||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||McCorquodale, M. S.||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Drewe, Cedric||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||McKie, John Hamilton||Scone, Lord|
|Duncan, Charles (Derby, Claycross)||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Eastwood, John Francis||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Martin, Thomas B.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Evans, R. T, (Carmarthen)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Slater, John|
|Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Somervell, Donald Bradley||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Soper, Richard||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.||Templeton, William P.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Thompson, Luke||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Spens, William Patrick||Thorp, Linton Theodore||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Womersley, Walter James|
|Stevenson, James||Turton, Robert Hugh||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Stones, James||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Storey, Samuel||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Stourton, Hon. John J.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Strauss, Edward A.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.||Major George Davies and Mr.|
|Strickland, Captain W. F.||Watt, Captain George Steven H.||Blindell.|
|Banfield, John William||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||McGovern, John|
|Buchanan, George||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mainwaring, William Henry|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Hirst, George Henry||Maxton, James|
|Daggar, George||Jenkins, Sir William||Milner, Major James|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Kirkwood, David||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Price, Gabriel|
|Dobbie, William||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, Charles||Leonard, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Thomas (York., Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Lunn, William|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Duncan Graham and Mr. John|
§ Ordered, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and leave to sit again."—[Captain Margesson.]
§ Committee reported Progress; to sit again To-morrow.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.1742
§ It being after half-past Eleven of the Clock upon Tuesday evening, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
§ Adjourned at a Quarter after One o'Clock.