§ Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)
I beg to move Amendment 112, in page 69, line 18, to leave out "and" and to insert" or (c)".
I think that it would be convenient to take at the same time Amendment No. 113, in line 18, to leave out from "authority" to "that" in line 19.
§ Mr. Speaker
It raises a different point, but probably it would be convenient to take them together.
§ Mr. Stewart
It is, in a sense, a different point, but the two Amendments together would produce a certain effect on the Clause, and it is that effect which I want the House to consider. It is true that we could make one Amendment
47 without the other, but the arguments for the two are very closely related, and they are also related to what we were discussing a little while ago on Amendments 109, in Clause 60, a id 110 in Clause 61.
We were there discussing tie problem of the landlord who is both scrupulous and elusive. Similarly, we are discussing him on these Amendments, but we are here concerned not with identifying or punishing the landlord but with protecting his tenant. I hope that the changes which we propose will coma end them-selves to the Government because, in a sense, they pay the Government a compliment in that they recognise that the Government have produced n the Bill the instrument of the control order, which is a very useful instrument indeed, chiefly because of its immediacy of action.
By the use of the control order, if certain circumstances apply the local authority need not bother al all about whether the house is owned by Mr. Waters or Mr. Brady, or w tether Mr. Waters and Mr. Brady are two persons or one. The local authority can simply go ahead and take to itself the powers and responsibilities of being the landlord of the property.
That is a very useful instrument, but it is our view on this side of the House that the circumstances in which that instrument can be used are at present too narrowly drawn in the Bill. We believe that it will be helpful, and that it will help to fulfil the Government's own intentions, if by means of these Amendments we widen the range of circumstances in which the instrument of a control order can be used.
The way in which we propose to do it is as follows: as the Clause stands, a control order can be used only on multi-occupied property. That runs all through the Bill, and that we do not attempt to change. Indeed, if we did, it would take us outside the scope of the Bill. We made efforts in that direction in Committee which were unsuccessful for that reason.
We admit, then, that the control order applies only to multi-occupied property. It also follows from the Clause that it can operate only where the multi-occupied property is one or which an 48 order under the 1961 Act either has been or could be made. One or other of those conditions must be fulfilled. In addition, the local authority must be satisfied, or it must appear to the local authority, that the living conditions in the house are such that it is necessary to make the control order to protect the safety of the persons living in the house.
As the Clause stands, both conditions have to apply. The dwelling must be one on which a 1961 order either has been made or could be made, and it has to appear to the local authority that it is necessary, because of the living conditions in the house, to make the control order The effect of our Amendments would be that it would not be a question of both those conditions having to prevail but that the control order could be made if either of those conditions prevailed. We no longer read" (a) or (b) and (c)" but "(a) or (b) or (c)".
§ The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Sir Keith Joseph)
I agree that the second Amendment should be taken with the first, but surely the second Amendment has a larger effect, because the wordsthat the living conditions in the house are suchwould be left out of the Bill.
§ Mr. Stewart
Indeed. I am not omitting that point. I am at the moment discussing the effect of the first Amendment. I shall deal with both, but I cannot mention both in the same sentence.
First of all, the Amendments would ensure that the control order could be made if it appeared to the local authority that it was necessary to do so to protect the safety, health and welfare of the tenants. That condition alone under our Amendments would be a reason, whether or not the house was one on which a 1961 order either had been or could be made.
Further, as the right hon. Gentleman has pointed out, we do not require that it should appear to the local authority necessary to make the control order for purposes of safety, health and welfare solely because of the living conditions in the house. It might well be that it was necessary to take action to protect 49 the safety of the persons living in the house not necessarily because of the living conditions in the house but because of the behaviour of the landlords. If, for example, the tenant is subjected to the grosser forms of intimidation of which there has been shocking evidence, then, we feel, it should be possible to make the control order to protect the safety of the tenants, irrespective of what the living conditions in the house are like.
It no doubt often happens that the kind of landlord who uses Alsatian dogs is also the landlord whose premises are in a scandalous condition, but we feel that if either of those circumstances obtained it should be possible for the local authority to make the control order. If it has before it clearly evidence of gross intimidation by the landlord, it should not be restrained from making the control order by the fact that the premises are not such that one can say that the tenant's safety or health are in danger because of the living conditions in the house. I hope that I have made clear what the scope of our Amendments is.
I will now say a few words about their necessity. I take, first, the words "safety, welfare or health". I have already dealt with the safety of persons living in the house. I do not wish to dwell unduly on the grosser forms of intimidation which have been practised. The right hon. Gentleman will tell me that these, fortunately, are of rare occurrence, that there has been, one hopes, some decline in their frequency since public inidignation was focused on them in the summer of last year, and that no doubt the Milner Holland Committee may be suggesting fundamental remedies later.
All that no doubt is true, but it is none the less desirable that there should be a clear and obvious safeguard when landlords behave in this manner. This is a valuable safeguard, because at the same moment it inflicts punishment on the landlord and protects the tenant. It deprives the landlord of his property and puts the tenant beyond his reach.
It may be said that the right answer to the grosser methods of intimidation is ordinary proceedings through the 50 police courts, but we all know full well how unrealistic that remedy can be. The acts may be done when there are no witnesses other than the victims, or, if there are neighbours who might be witnesses, they themselves may be in dread. In such a circumstance the right remedy is a remedy which makes it literally impossible for the offender to commit the offence again.
It is not only safety. It is health and welfare. Here I want to refer to the case brought up at Question Time a short while ago by my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) of three ladies who had served on them a document which purported to give them notice, although they were, in fact, controlled tenants. It may be said—I think that this is what the Minister argued on that occasion—that these ladies had nothing to fear; they were, in fact, controlled tenants; the law protected them. I agree that for a young or middle-aged person who is active and capable easily of getting information there are no great terrors in being served with a notice to quit that has no legal validity.
However, to an elderly person, to one who is not able to get about a great deal and not therefore constantly in touch with people who find it easy to get advice, to one of a nervous disposition, to someone in ill health or physically incapacitated—I have known a notice of this kind served on a blind man in his eighties—it can be a very serious threat. It is frightening to be suddenly led to suppose that one has no security and may have to get out in four weeks.
There is no excuse at all for the commission of this offence, for, while the tenant may be excused for not always knowing whether he is legally protected, I cannot imagine any good reason that could be given by a landlord for not knowing whether property he owned was or was not controlled.
§ Sir K. Joseph
I follow the hon. Gentleman's argument, but there is a small point of detail which it would help if he cleared up now. Let us imagine the blind man or other disabled person who is put under some such pressure. By the hon. Gentleman's Amendment he must trigger off the control order in the same way. By the same 51 process by which he would trigger off the control order he will surely discover from the local authority, or indirectly, that he is totally protected. The real danger in all these cases is that, for understandable reasons, such people do not approach authority and, therefore, are not aware of their real rights. Would the hon. Gentleman deal with that?
§ Mr. Stewart
Yes. Let us take what happens as the law now stands. Such a notice is served on such a person. What is quite likely to happen is that he looks desperately round and manages to make some arrangement. He finds a relative who is able to put him up. Out he goes, never knowing that he need not have gone. There are the premises in vacant possession for the landlord, and nicely enhanced in value in consequence.
I admit that, with our Amendment passed, such a person might still do that and the local authority might never hear of it until it is too late. But I ask the House to notice the difference that our Amendment makes. As the law now stands, if the tenant behaves in the manner I have described the landlord gets away with it completely. Whenever the local authority finds out, either before or after the tenant moves, there is no penalty it can inflict. The landlord is in the happy position in that, if his gamble succeeds, he gets the house with vacant possession. If it does not succeed, he loses nothing.
Under our Amendment the landlord runs the risk if he does that of having a control order made on the house. If that is the law, landlords are much less likely to try this gamble on. It is true that they might be successful in some cases, for the reason that I have described; the thing might never be triggered off. But landlords run the risk that, if they are not successful, if word of what is happening gets out, a control order may be made on their premises. It seems to me to be right, to say the least, that a landlord who behaves in this manner should be a risk of a penalty of this kind.
§ Mr. Stewart
At least. This Amendment is concerned with immediate prac- 52 ticality rather than with ultimate justice. We are more concerned with making it less likely that landlords will behave in this manner than weighing up exactly what penalty they deserve for so doing.
For these reasons, there is good reason for making these Amendments. I know it might be asked: would not this be a case for giving local authorities power to make control orders generally where a landlord behaves in a grossly anti-social manner and for the power not to be restricted merely to houses in multiple occupation? I agree that that is so, but we cannot do that in this Bill.
Much trouble would be saved if the legislation proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Paddington, North (Mr. Parkin) to make evictions impossible without a court order were enacted. If that were done and if it were generally known that that were the law, there would be far less trouble of this kind. However, we cannot make such a provision in this Bill. I think it reasonable, however, to do what we can in the Bill by establishing this principle at least for houses in multiple occupation.
We have a strong case for the Amendment. If anyone should be inclined to oppose it, may I remind whoever it might be of words that came from the Government Front Bench just now, that nobody holds a brief for landlords of this kind. Let us make sure that nobody will hold such a brief in the discussion of this Amendment and let us hope that it will be accepted by the House.
§ Mrs. Joyce Butler (Wood Green)
The Minister will know that I have been concerned on this question of control orders with a number of cases in my constituency. I support the two Amendments, particularly the second of them, because I am not satisfied that, even so far as we have gone with the Bill at this stage, we have yet covered the difficulty in the cases I put to him.
My hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) has pointed out that, if the Amendments are accepted, local authorities will be able to make control orders either in enforcing, the 1961 Act or wherethe safety, welfare or health of persons living in the house".53 is concerned. Under the Clause as it stands it is necessary for the local authority to be satisfied that the living conditions of the house are unsatisfactory. I have taken this point up with the Minister before and have pointed out that there queries are being raised about the phrase, because what is meant by "unsatisfactory"? In other words, it is a question of proceeding under the 1961 Act.
§ Mrs. Butler
The Minister has already been given examples. One such example led him to introduce the new Clause which we discussed last Thursday.
§ Mrs. Butler
The right hon. Gentle man indicates that he understands the sort of case I have in mind. In Park Avenue, Wood Green, a number of families were given notice to quit by the landlord, but when the local authority sought to take action under the 1961 Act difficulties immediately arose.
§ Sir K. Joseph
Further to that, there can be no doubt whatever that if the control order powers under the Bill had been available when that landlord acted, then the living conditions there would certainly have been such as to justify the local authority stepping in summarily and protecting the tenants.
§ Mrs. Butler
Nevertheless, the local authority was in doubt about the phrase concerning the living conditions being unsatisfactory.
My attention has also been drawn to another case about which the Minister knows. At 7, White Hart Lane, the landlord took very precipitant action in removing window frames, cutting off the electricity supply, and so on. Before he had taken that action the house was in a satisfactory condition. This is the difficulty I have in mind and the local authority is bound to hesitate before taking action. I see the Minister shaking his head in disagreement, but I can assure him that what I say is true and that local authorities are extremely concerned about correctly interpreting "unsatisfactory living conditions."
54 To accept the Amendments would not extend the principle of the Clause, a principle which has already been discussed and accepted by the Government. They make the position clearer. Unless the right hon. Gentleman makes the position clear beyond any doubt—and if he insists t pat in cases where local authorities are n doubt they must fall back on the old compulsory purchase order procedure—he must appreciate that something must be done to meet the cases which do not fall within the scope of the control order procedure. There will be some cases where the time lag will make it impossible for the local authority to catch the landlord.
I have just been given notice of a case in my constituency concerning a house which in multi-occupation. Five families were living there and when the local authority tried to implement the 1961 Act it had great difficulty in trying to find the landlord. Examples of this happening elsewhere have already been given. The note I have received from my local authority states that the tenants had rent books issued to them by Global Agencies, although the rent was being collected by a person alleged to be Mr. Gunraj. When the matter was taken up with Global Agencies the local authority etas informed that the letting of the premises had taken place by the former manager, without their authority, and that he had been dismissed.
The council proceeded to serve official notices on Mr. Gunraj who, it is alleged, then went to Switzerland. Upon examination of a dent book it was ascertained that a Mr. Stone, who is, apparently, the proper owner, had on three occasions collected the rent and signed the rent book. After the service of official notices and examination of the Land Registry, notices were served on the free-holders, Cedarville Investment Ltd., and it was ascertained that Gunraj Enterprises was the lessee on a five-year lease. Action was ultimately taken by Cedarville Investments Limited—Mr. Stone—and foreclosure obtained through the court. Everybody in the house was then given a written letter requesting possession, and all the families have now been evicted.
Unless this sort of case can be brought within the scope of the control order procedure difficulties will continue; and I 55 suggest that this sort of case will not be able to come within that procedure effectively unless the two Amendments we are discussing, particularly the second, are accepted. If the local authority tries to make a compulsory purchase order in the sort of case I have cited, four weeks will have to elapse during which the tenants can remain in occupation following a notice to quit being served. That period may elapse before the local authority can succeed in pinning down the owner of the property on whom to serve a compulsory purchase order.
It is important, therefore, that the Minister should accept the Amendments, or amend the Clause in another way, so that the control order procedure is made applicable to cases of this kind and so that doubt does not exist in the minds of local authorities on this issue. The only alternative is for the right hon. Gentleman to extend the compulsory notice to quit period for a longer time so that the local authority will be able to trace owners and take the necessary action. I hope, however, that the right hon. Gentleman will follow the course suggested by my hon. Friend and accept the Amendments.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Laurence Pavitt (Willesden, West)
Like my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Butler), I wish to address myself mainly to the second Amendment we are discussing, although I hope that the Minister will accept both Amendments because the case argued by my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) strengthens the principle of the Clause.
The Minister has asked for specific cases. He will be aware of the case which recently came to light in my constituency where a tenant was served an eviction notice. The tenant took the matter to the tribunal and his case was upheld. At that point the tenant was not evicted, of course, but there followed swingeing increases in his electricity bills—and they led to the tenant's eviction. I appreciate that the Minister has written to me explaining that in that case the landlord acted illegally and that the tenant should have resisted final eviction and stayed. Nevertheless, this widening of the powers of local authorities sug- 56 gested by my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham would prevent this difficulty. I hope, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendments so that cases of this kind are easily dealt with by local authorities.
My hon. Friend the Member for Fulham referred to intimidating landlords, the question of living conditions being the operative point, particularly when we consider some of the not so black cases of intimidation by landlords. I will not again refer to the case of snakes being put in the bath or itching powder in the bathroom. The right hon. Gentleman will be aware of that case of two years ago. Cases of that type have not occurred to anything like that extent recently, but pressure is inevitable when there exists legislation like the 1957 Act, which caters for the decontrolling of premises. Landlords, particularly the more unpleasant types, are bound to want to get rid of tenants so that they can greatly increase their rents.
I hope that the Minister will appreciate the force of the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham about the basic need for a feeling of security on the part of people who are living in controlled property, particularly the elderly. They have great fear when they are served with notices to quit, even if such notices are meaningless—as my hon. Friend pointed out—and there is often constant pressure on them to move out. This pressure may not be as bad as being attacked by an Alsatian dog, but particularly for an elderly person, life is intolerable when, night and day, they are reminded that they are not wanted. These cases come to my attention every Friday evening at my constituency "clinics".
From all points of view the Amendments would give added strength to the Bill and enable local authorities to act without worrying about whether or not they are within their rights. They would strengthen and widen the Clause in a desirable way and I hope that the Minister will accept them.
§ Mr. MacDermot
If the Minister proposes to recommend to the House the rejection of the second Amendment, I should like to know why he wants left in the words…that the living conditions in the house are such…57 that my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) proposes should be left out.
Take the example given a moment ago by my lion. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Butler), in which an order has already been made under Section 12 of the 1961 Act and, in consequence of that, the landlord then serves notice to quit and tries, with intimidation or without it, to get rid of the tenant. The Minister said in his intervention that he felt confident that in such a case the existing wording of the Clause would be satisfied, namely, that the local authority would be able to say that the living conditions of the house were such that it was necessary to make the control order.
If that is more than just guesswork, it would seem that the Minister is assuming that the effect of the words in the Clause would be the same as the effect of the words in the 1961 Act which would provide the basis for an order under that Act. However, when one compares Section 12 of the 1961 Act with this Clause the tests seem to be rather different. For example, under the Section 12 order the local authority has to be satisfied that the premises, or part of it,…is in an unsatisfactory state in consequence of failure to maintain proper standards of management…When a local authority is trying to make up its mind whether to make a control order—which is a serious step to take, and one which, if the local authority takes it wrongly, may involve it in heavy costs in subsequent legal proceedings ceedings—a matter that will cause it to hesitate is whether the conditions that satisfy the tests of being in an unsatisfactory state for the purpose of Section 12 of the 1961 Act would equally pass the test in court proceedings of being conditions that are such that it is necessary to make a control order.…in order to protect the safety, health or welfare of persons living in the house.These are different words, and, because of that, a court would tend to construe them as meaning different things.
If the first Amendment is rejected and we are considering the second Amendment on its own, then, before the local authority would be able to make a control order at all it would have to be satisfied that the requirements of 58 the 1961 Act were fulfilled so that it could make an order under that Act; be satisfies, in other words, that the state of the premises was sufficiently unsatisfactory for that purpose. If, in addition to that, the local authority also feels on any ground that it is necessary to make a control order to protect the safety, welfare or health of persons living in the house, why should it not be allowed to make the order?
The Minister asks for examples, but I would invite him to give an example of a case in which paragraphs (a) and (b) would be satisfied, and where (c) would be satisfied if the second Amendment were accepted, yet where he thinks that it would be wrong to give the local authority power to make the control order.
§ Mr. B. T. Parkin (Paddington, North)
I was rather astonished to hear the Minister resist the Amendments. Above all, was I surprised to hear a repetition of the observation, "Either it cannot be true, or will not be true very shortly, so please give me examples." The Minister at any rate knows—however thinly attended the debate was—that in the last major debate on housing, on the Third Reading of the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill, he heard from me in the early hours of the morning a succession of examples of the kind he declared did not happen—
§ Sir K. Joseph
I am not seeking to deny things, but this is, as I shall seek to show, rather a complicated affair, and in trying to answer it helps me to know what particular cases hon. Members have in mind.
§ Mr. Parkin
I am very relieved to hear that statement, because I felt sure that after having had an opportunity of studying examples, and reflecting on arguments, the Minister would come back with at least a workable alternative proposal. I am sure that he does not wish to let the Bill leave our hands merely as a "Sanitary Inspectors (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill". I am sure that he wants to catch up on all the points that he himself announced were to be covered when the Bill was first printed—that this was to be a Bill against Rachmanism.
59 I have to repeat to the right hon. Gentleman that Rachmanism is not about plumbing, but about intimidation and eviction, and that unless he gets into the Bill a weapon that the local authorities can use against the man who is illicitly trying to secure evictions he will have failed in the purpose of the Bill and we shall have failed to convince him with the examples that are constantly coming into our hands.
The right hon. Gentleman will recollect that in that Third Reading debate on the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill I offered him three examples of lawyers' letters which were indistinguishable the one from the other. One came on behalf of Rachman, and one came on behalf of a rascal who was concealing the fact that he was acting on behalf of his father and had received a large sum of money to house the man he was then purporting to evict. The third was a lawyer's letter that I have already used in this House, so I need not rub salt in the wound. I still maintain that each of those lawyers should have been in the dock, accused of conspiracy to demand with menaces with intent to steal, because that is what such a letter is; it is an attempt to deceive a tenant into leaving a tenancy, the security of which should be guaranteed to him.
The Minister and his advisers, who framed the Bill, thought in terms of surveys and registers and the job to be put on the already overburdened public health officers of local authorities. It is possible to do a survey fairly quickly by counting the number of toilets and seeing how they relate to the number of inhabitants in the house, but it is quite impossible for a local authority to take the initiative, and send someone round to ask, "Is the landlord kind to you, or does he make rude remarks when you pay the rent?" It is impossible to make any kind of general survey of these elusive attitudes.
I can give the Minister three further examples that have come into my hands this weekend. One of them has occurred in the area of what I think is now called Camden and may begin to have an influence on the opinion of electors. This happened to a young man employed on the lower rungs in an organisation in which, in due course, he is likely to have 60 a substantial position and a substantial income. He has a wife and a daughter. He was one week behind on a rent of eight guineas—
§ Mr. Parkin
Eight guineas—for one room.
He came home from work to find a note from the landlord saying, "I am not disposed to chase the rent. I have relet your room. I want you out by mid-day tomorrow. "He found his wife in a state of collapse—
§ Mr. Frank Allaun
My hon. Friend will excuse my interrupting—I am only a provincial lad—but is he suggesting that it is possible to get eight guineas a week, and more, for a single room in London today?
§ Mr. Parkin
I am not an expert in the rents payable in the constituency of the previous Minister of Housing, but I have no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to supply my hon. Friend with information about the success of the Rent Act.
I will give another example that came to my knowledge this weekend, which is, to me, more tragic. It is the case of a Maltese immigrant, a respectable, skilled and reasonably well-paid pastry-cook living in one of the Rachman houses in St. Stephen's Gardens, Paddington. It was owned by one of the Rachman associates, who is still alive and prospering. This immigrant and his family paid £9 a week for a room and kitchen. But they were not allowed to stay there very long. Interesting things about the rent book were that £36 rent was payable in advance and there were £43 in fees, and so on, in relation to the letting of this squalid accommodation. After a few weeks the family was thrown out. It may well have been thrown out because the landlord is a man of high moral principles, because, in the meantime, her husband—and I do not know the details, though I can well understand the general influence of our way of life on such a man—was by now in prison. This is the kind of broken, demoralised family that results from the working of the Government's policy.
61 We have had these two examples this weekend, since I last had the opportunity of pressing this matter on the right hon. Gentleman. In the one case there was a perfectly successful young man in Hampstead who had every hope of being able to pay his way. He got married too soon, they had a child too soon, he was paying too much, he got one week behind with the rent, and he had to be out by the next day. The terrible thing was that such was the distress of his wife that they went.
This is the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart)—that they go, that they think they will have enough to do to find accommodation and they ask themselves what point there is in going to court to fight for another month, assuming that they can employ lawyers. What about the thick file I passed to the Minister with that wonderful record of the softening up of a tenant of the Church Commissioners? The end of that was most tragic, because the barristers and solicitors withdrew. They said that the judge would grant possession, and he did. This was not a case of a house where the public health inspector would have to see whether there was a bath or toilet.
This kind of trouble is still going on. I have not come here to repeat arguments and old cases. These are cases from last week's mail. I hope that I shall not have to say all this many more times and that today the Minister will say that he accepts that on equal terms with plumbing he has to find a way of dealing with intimidation and the illicit eviction of tenants. I hope that he will today answer a question which I asked last time we debated this matter. I hope that he will say whether he has given, or will give, thought to finding a formula which can be transferred to a rent book giving someone who is taking alternative accommodation the same controlled right of tenancy that he had in the dwelling which he has had to vacate.
I had not intended to speak on this occasion, which I observed was one when the intimidation problem would be raised, because I was sure that the Minister would say that he had the answer. I have been disappointed with 62 what the right hon. Gentleman said at the beginning of the debate. I hope that now he will say something very different before we part with the Amendments.
§ Mr. Frank Allaun
Whilst the Amendment would do a little to help, would my hon. Friend agree that, as long as the Rent Act still exists, the astounding and terrible things which he has told us will continue quite legally?
§ Mr. Parkin
I have not been making my speech to my hon. Friend, but to the Minister of Housing, who is a Tory, who is devoted to certain principles and who is a man who honestly had not known about these things. I am beginning to wish that the right hon. Gentleman had looked a little more carefully and a little sooner at these matters. I am trying to extract from him a workable policy within the framework of his own philosophy and of the Bill, which is the best that we can hope from the present Government.
I am not using this occasion to make remarks about the Rent Act. It may well be that the advice that I urge upon the Minister will still prove inadequate, but that does not mean that he should refuse to adopt these measures. He should snatch at every piece of information and every advice that he can find to restore some confidence in the good intentions of the Government.
The right hon. Gentleman has done a surprising thing in the last few weeks. All these years we have been prepared to say, "Not even he"—meaning we all know who—"could really have envisaged the results of the Rent Act as shown in the Rachman affair". No one could believe it. Nobody intended it, and surely we all want to put it right. But now the right hon. Gentleman has formally and solemnly re-endorsed the policy of creeping decontrol, which is a standing temptation to every landlord to secure evictions other than by the normal process of departure and death. I beg the right hon. Gentleman not to pull distasteful faces at that, otherwise I shall have to begin all over again.
It will not do for the right hon. Gentleman to pretend that these things are not happening. They are happening every day of our Parliamentary lives. This is an irresistible temptation 63 to try to get more possession. It is a method by which the bad landlord can get rich quicker than the good landlord who wants honestly to use all the grants and the rest of the provisions in this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman must accept that, having endorsed once again the policy of creeping decontrol, he should be spending more time in dealing with the possibilities of eviction than in dealing with toilets and other amenities.
§ Mr. Albert Evans (Islington, South-West)
I was encouraged to speak when the Minister asked for actual cases to illustrate the point of the Amendments. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman welcomes such cases, so that he can see this matter from the point of view of the tenants and that of those of us who have to face these problems in our constituencies. Although, on another occasion, he seemed to suggest that we did not know the facts of life in these matters, I take it that he is now quite sincere in welcoming evidence of actual cases being given to the House.
The Amendments mean that we wish to give the local authority power to make a control order on grounds that may not appear to be material. We wish to allow the local authority to make a control order if it thinks that it needs to protect the safety, health and welfare of people in the house. It might well be that the house is technically passable, that the fabric is not all that bad, but that the question of the safety, health and welfare of its occupants is a serious matter.
I should like to illustrate this point. A house in my constituency was bought about three years ago by a new land-lord. He immediately set out to make the lives of the tenants quite intolerable. He had a key and he walked in and out of the house at all times of the day and even after midnight. He proceeded to bring as many as five or six of his colleagues into the house. These men pushed their way in and proceeded to march about the place, to use the sanitary conveniences, and generally to make themselves troublesome and difficult and to disturb the right of the tenants to peaceful occupancy. That happened. It went on week after week. Technically, it was arguable whether 64 or not the condition of that house was in bad condition.
§ Mr. Evans
Yes, certainly. This Clause deals with that type of house, and may I say that we are now dealing in the Clause with the worst kind of house that one finds, particularly in the older parts of London.
We plead with the Minister to recognise that such cases do arise where the local authority may not be able to point out with any certainty that part of the fabric requires any great attention, but where it knows from information supplied to it—and in this case the information was quite sound and came from more than one source—that although the fabric may not be very bad, nevertheless, to use the words on which we wish to hang our Amendment, the "safety, welfare and health" of the occupants of the house are in danger and need to be protected.
§ Sir K. Joseph
I am puzzled. Was this property a controlled property? If not, the landlord could have given notice, could he not, instead of seeking to force the tenants to leave?
§ Mr. Evans
Most of this house was controlled property and the people living there had been there for a long time. I repeat that it is a deplorable type of property, but in this case it was arguable whether or not on technical grounds, on grounds of the deterioration of the fabric, amenities, the supply of water, and so forth, the local authority would be justified in going to the length of imposing a control order. The council had information about what was going on in the house, about the activities of this rather brutal landlord and his colleagues, and it would appear to any reasonable person that, apart from the material state of the house, there was the question of whether the lives of the occupants needed protection.
I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman that although cases of this kind may be few, they certainly exist. There are cases where the council would be fully justified in placing a control order on a house solely on the grounds that the activities of the landlord made unhappy the lives of the occupants. In 65 such a case the council would be quite justified in putting a control order on the house.
The right hon. Gentleman asked for information of particular cases and I rose merely to give him this information. I want him to tell us, if he will, what local authorities can do when faced with cases of this sort. Do not such conditions justify a council in putting a control order on a house?
§ Sir K. Joseph
This has been an important debate and I am sorry for dealing with a relatively trivial matter before I answer it. I wish to ask permission to put right a very unusual error in the OFFICIAL REPORT of Our last proceedings. I am on record as saying:Of course, any Housing Minister is honestly wicked while a shortage remains…"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th April, 1964 Vol. 692, c. 1267.]Just in case any hon. Members opposite wanted to ask my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister whether that expressed Government policy, I should like to put on record what I said. What I said was:Of course, any Housing Minister is on a sticky wicket while a shortage remains."*5.15 p.m.
This is quite a debate to try to answer, and I shall endeavour to deal with all the points which have been made. It allows me to introduce at the very start what is the key factor here, and that is the condition of shortage. Even hon. Members opposite, with all their undoubtedly sincere fervour, cannot wave that away. The hon. Member for Paddington, North (Mr. Parkin) said that creeping control was a standing temptation to the bad landlord. I must say that it is, in fact, rent control that is the temptation. The example given by the hon. Member for Islington, South-West (Mr. A. Evans), in the speech which he has just made, proves this In conditions of shortage there are bound to be temptations to give security to some people, and the Government have thought it right to do that. But to give security for some people makes it harder for others to get accommodation.
What we have to do is to increase the accommodation. That is why, behind all this discussion, I hope that it is in
* [Note: This correction has been made in cot 1267.]
66 the minds of hon. Members that we are dealing with an extremely serious short-term problem, the answer to which is the proper distribution of jobs and homes to which the Government's contribution is the South-East Study. I will leave that back ground and proceed now to the points made. I always take the speeches of the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) very seriously, but never more seriously than when he starts them with a compliment to myself.
Let me try to unwrap what these Amendments are about. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman will dispute this analogy. What they are about are houses that are decently managed, that are multi-occupied, but which, for multi-occupied houses, are reasonably equipped—not one lavatory for every family, not one bath for every family, because they would not be multi-occupied if there were, but with a reasonable amount of sanitary accommodation, with a reasonable facility for fire escape, and, as I say, decently managed and with good living conditions. We are asked to consider how to protect the safety, welfare and health of tenants in this sort of multi-occupied property.
The hon. Member for Fulham—
§ Mr. MacDermot
Surely, what the right hon. Gentleman is developing at the moment is the answer to the argument for both Amendments being taken together. Is that right?
§ Sir K. Joseph
Yes, I shall deal with them both together and separately.
The hon. Member for Fulham acknowledged the weapon which we are discussing here and which the Amendments seek to extend. A control order is a very powerful weapon indeed. The advice I am given is that it is the most powerful invasion of property rights in peace time since the dissolution of the monasteries. I have not checked this myself, but that is the advice I am given.
§ Sir K. Joseph
In peace time, I said. It is limited to multi-occupied property, and limited in the way which the Committee has described, to multi-occupied
67 property which justifies the use of the 1961 Act and where the living conditions are such as to justify the summary intervention of the local authority for the protection, safety, welfare or health of the tenants. These are the three backgrounds which I want to state—first, shortage; secondly, that the Amendments ask us to deal with the safety, welfare and health of the tenants, if decently and well equipped, in multi-occupied property where good living conditions are provided; and thirdly, what the Bill provides.
I now want to come on to the living reality behind this. I think that the hon. Member for Paddington, North will agree that landlords who take advantage of shortage and who "sweat" property generally provide bad value for money. They provide bad living conditions with inadequate sanitation and other conveniences and they charge a lot for it. It is quite true that Rachmanism is more than bad plumbing, but it is also true that Rachmanism exists in order to make money. One makes money in this sort of activity by providing bad conditions and charging what might make sense in good conditions. Therefore, it is absolutely improbable that these sort of people would operate, when they have provided good conditions and decent management, and then harry and intimidate the tenant.
§ Mr. Manuel
Will the Minister recognise that this whole matter is tied up to Sections 14, 15 and 19 of the 1961, Act? If he reads Sections 14 and 15 and sees the repairs and alterations which are necessary, he could not say that they are reasonable living quarters.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The hon. Gentleman is not following me. I was saying that the Amendments are needed only where the 1961 Act cannot be invoked—that is to say, where neither Section 12 which relates to good management, Sections 14, 15 nor 16 can be invoked. If the conditions are bad the control order powers apply, provided that living conditions also are bad. I think I carry the House with me so far.
§ Mrs. Butler
Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that if the 1961 Act can be invoked, the living conditions are automatically bad? This is the nub of the question.
§ Sir K. Joseph
I have to be careful here because there could be marginal cases. The 1961 Act could be invoked for a very marginal justification, I suppose, in which case the living conditions under the later part of the Clause could be tolerable. I shall try to deal with this problem in a few moments.
Obviously if there are grossly bad failures of works or management, the 1961 Act can be invoked and the living conditions would also be bad. Also if the 1961 Act provisions were needed in general—not marginally at all—certainly the living conditions can be assumed to be bad. I shall come to the case which the hon. Lady the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Butler) so effectively put.
At this stage I ought to explain why the Government cannot, even after all the reasons that I have given, advise the House to accept these Amendments. What would be the harm? I have a lot of reasons, but let me first mention this one. This is a very drastic power, and the more drastic a power is, the more carefully it should be circumscribed. We are going to give this power to 1,500 different local authorities with honourably and understandably different levels of judgment. It seems to me that if we accept these Amendments, we are going to give them the power to impose control orders on property which is decently managed, though multi-occupied, which is well-equipped and where the living conditions are good. They will have the power to impose control orders for the safety, welfare and health of the tenants for any old reason they wish.
§ Sir K. Joseph
It is one thing to ask whether I trust local authorities. Of course, the Minister of Housing is always defending local authorities and saying that he must trust them, and he does; but this is not to argue that Parliament should provide an unprecedented power without limiting it in some way. What the two Amendments in combination would do would be to remove all limits, except subjectively, from the local authorities. There would remain no objective limitation whatsoever. The conditions would be good, and so would the management and the equipment. The objective limitation disappears altogether.
§ Mr. A. Evans
Surely the local authority has got to satisfy itself that the safety, welfare and health of the persons living in a house are in danger? The local authority would not go in for any old reason. The Minister would not act in an irresponsible way, and neither would the local authority. I suggest that in many of these cases one has to trust the good judgment of the local authority.
§ Sir K. Joseph
We are seeking to pass a Statute, and it seems to me that we must put objective guidance to the local authorities.
§ Mr. Parkin
The right hon. Gentleman has spoken feelingly about his responsibility in giving powers to local authorities. Is it not the case that his Government gave to landlords powers, unpredecented for half a century, to throw out people from their dwellings for any old reason they wished? Is it not time the right hon. Gentleman paid more attention to constructing a code of behaviour for landlords rather than worrying himself about a code of behaviour for tenants?
§ Sir K. Joseph
.: No, I do not accept that at all. The rent control was imposed because of the war. It was not in the natural conduct of affairs. Normally what we hope to have is a surplus of dwellings so that tenants have a choice of dwellings so that tenants have a choice. This is what we are working towards again. Since the Rent Act was passed, the acceleration in the rate of family and household formation—do not let hon. Members dispose of these real problems so easily—younger marriages and longer survival have made the problem worse. It is a problem that remains.
Let me get back to the argument. These Amendments start on the assumption that the conditions are good. Hon. Members seek to give examples of where a control order is needed to protect the tenants, although the conditions are good, and the management, equipment and accommodation are good. Against what do they want the Government to protect the tenants? There are two or three different dangers. There is first the possibility that the landlord simply does not like the tenant. This comes very near to a landlord-tenant quarrel. Hon. Members from time to time have 70 sent me cases asking for the invocation of the local authority powers, and when I have been in touch with the local authority the confidential reply has been, "This is six of one and half a dozen of the other. There is a quarrel between this landlord and his tenant." I do not think the House would feel that there is a case for using this sort of control order power in such circumstances.
Then there is the case where the landlord wants to get rid of the tenant in order to get a higher rent—and this is the most frequent reason—as in the case put by the hon. Member for Islington, South-West, though in that case the tenants were completely protected if they relied upon the protection given by the law.
Here I have to say to the hon. Member for Wood Green—because this is her case—that the compulsory purchase order procedure by the local authority is a safeguard and it is a much stronger safeguard since the new Clause which the House accepted last Thursday. The only weak less in the compulsory purchase order procedure to deal with the sort of case which the hon. Lady put forward, where management, accommodation and living conditions are good, but where the landlord of multiple-occupied property empties his house, is that in four weeks, which is the protection given to tenants within which they need not accept an eviction notice, the local authority may not be able to identify the owner so as to serve a compulsory purchase order.
As the House will remember, we have been over this ground before. My hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) was absolutely right last July when he said that if a local authority wished to serve a compulsory purchase order and could not identify the owner then it could under that procedure pin the order on the premises. It would be a sufficient service of the compulsory purchase order, within the four weeks during which tenants are given protection, if it did that. That would invoke the new Clause which gives the tenant security, subject to a court order, for a period up to nine months, while the compulsory purchase order is going to the Minister. I am not saying that my hon. Friend was right in suggesting 71 that the pinning of the notice on the premises would suffice for a summary acquisition under compulsory purchase order procedure. It is only part of the compulsory purchase order procedure which can be invoked in just the case which the hon. Member for Wood Green gave as an example.
At this stage, I must meet the point put by the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun), who raised a number of serious and important examples of what may well be abuses, and as he knows, I have taken different action on each of them. But I do not know whether the property concerned was multi-occupied. If it was multi-occupied, I am almost certain that it would have lent itself to the 1961 Act procedure. I am sure that that sort of property is not adequately equipped with all the works that the 1961 Act requires, and therefore the control order would be invoked if it was multi-occupied property. If it was not multi-occupied property, the Amendments would be irrelevant.
As for the case referred to by the hon Member for Paddington, North—which was previously raised by him during the debate at about 3 o'clock in the morning some three months ago—I am pursuing the evidence of sharp legal practice which he then gave to me in the House. Again, this does not necessarily tie up with multi-occupation or these Amendments. It is a different problem which I must pursue, if necessarily, quite separately. I am willing to do so, and I am doing so.
I hope that I have shown that so far there has not been any evidence whatsoever that in the cases covered by these Amendments there is a danger that we can block in this way. If the living conditions are good, if the accommodation is adequately equipped in multi-occupied property, the compulsory purchase order protects the tenant from eviction if there is a threat of it. If those conditions are not good, if the accommodation is not properly equipped, the control order bites.
Now I come possibly to the hardest case of all, but there is one matter that I should like to deal with first. They have not been mentioned today, but it has been very much in my mind, that 72 some examples have been given of bad landlords who, in their desire to get controlled tenants out, cut off the gas or the electricity. I want to reassure hon. Members that in such circumstances the control order would be able to bite in multi-occupied property, because any such conduct by the landlord would be bad management, sufficient to invoke Section 12 of the 1961 Act and would certainly be bad living conditions as specified in line 18 of page 69 of the Bill. So let no one have a worry on that account.
There still remains the case, perfectly fairly put by the hon. Member for Fulham, where, despite all these remedies being available, a sharp landlord gets what he wants because the tenant, understandably, particularly the elderly or the blind tenant, gives in. I want to bring it home to hon. Members, as the hon. Member for Fulham fairly admitted, that not even these Amendments would be of any jolly use if the tenants will not react to the landlord's demands. If a tenant reacts to the landlord's demands or behaviour and they come under Clause 68, then the control order applies. If the tenant reacts to the landlord's demands and they do not quite come under Clause 68 for one of the reasons that I have given, either the tenant is fully protected—that is the case of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington, South-West—or a C.P.O. can be applied—that is the case which the hon. Member for Wood Green gave as an example. Ultimately, we depend upon the tenant using his rights. That is equally true of the man to whom the hon. Member for Paddington, North referred, the £8 a week tenant, who because his wife, understandably again, was intensely worried, left at once without examining what his rights were or going to the local authority. We cannot, whatever we do in Statutes, protect people who will not trigger off the various procedures available to them.
For all these reasons, I must say that the case has not been proved for the necessity of extending these very strong powers without giving them some objective limitation. We have in the Bill protected the people who are in danger of being evicted during the compulsory purchase order procedure. We have imposed these strong control order powers. I would point out to the House that the vast 73 bulk of the complaints that have come to me and all the publicity have been associated with the sweated multi-occupied property where bad value for high money has been blackmailed out of tenants by bad landlords. In all those cases, the control order bites, and where the control order does not bite the compulsory purchase order procedure or the existing rights of the tenant should be adequate protection. I hope that the Amendments will not be pressed.
§ Mr. MacDermot
Would the right hon. Gentleman perhaps answer me a question which I put to him before on the assumption that we are considering the second Amendment alone? All his arguments so far have been directed to answering the arguments of both the Amendments being taken together. If one considers the second Amendment alone, then one is dealing with the case where there is either bad management or the place is not adequately equipped because the conditions in either (a) or (b) still have to be satisfied. In such a case, why does he also want the requirement that the local authorities are satisfied that the living conditions are such that it is necessary to make a control order to protect safety, welfare or health?
As to the conditions of the house, surely either (a) or (b) is sufficient, and if that is satisfied then he can trust the local authorities with a general power that they must also be satisfied that it is necessary to make a control order to protect safety, welfare or health on quite general grounds, without confining it to living conditions.
The right hon. Gentleman may recall that I was asking him to give an example where the conditions would be sufficiently had to satisfy either (a) or (b), but where it would not be safe to trust the local authority with a general power and he would also require them to be satisfied that the living conditions required a control order.
§ Sir K. Joseph
I am sorry that I did not play that volley back earlier during my main speech, as I should have done. It is not I who have put down Amendments. The hon. Member for Fulham has put down two Amendments and he asked that the House should consider them both together.
§ Sir K. Joseph
I am very willing—indeed, I am anxious—to consder any cases where it can be shown that the tenant needs protection in multi-occupied property which will escape any one of the different safeguards—control order procedure, compulsory purchase order or the invocation of existing rights—which I have mentioned. It is for hon. Gentlemen who back these Amendments either severally or in combination to show such cases. It is not for me to give examples.
I am advised that the example given by the hon. Lady the Member for Wood Green would be covered by a compulsory purchase order. The hon. Lady was so advised, too. The only problem was identifying the owner on whom the order would be served, and I have given an answer to that. I must, therefore, ask that, if the Government are to consider any change at a later stage, evidence must be given to back the second Amendment on its own even if evidence cannot be given to justify the two together.
§ Mr. Erie Fletcher (Islington, East)
I want to meet the right hon. Gentleman on his own ground and give him some further instances which have not yet been considered but which justify the Amendments. Hitherto, we have been dealing with cases of intimidation or victimisation by landlords, the Rachman type of case, in regard to which the Minister has argued that the tenant already has sufficient protection either under the Clause as it stands or under the compulsory purchase order procedure. The right hon. Gentleman began by saying that the main question with which we are dealing arises in shortage. He went on to say that the operation of the Clause is confined to houses in multi-occupation and we have got to consider cases which are both well-managed and adequately equipped and in which the tenant is not exposed to any excessive demands for increased rent.
In view of his impatience to hear about it, I shall give the Minister examples of a type of case which seems to me to cause great hardship particularly in Islington and other parts of London. This is the case in which a landlord deliberately and vexatiously leaves rooms in his house unoccupied for a very long time. One such case came to my notice on Friday. In my 75 constituency in Islington, there is a family consisting of husband and wife and three children—two boys of 14 and 7 and a girl of 12—occupying one room where they all sleep and a kitchen which they share with a mother-in-law. Their tenancy is rent-controlled. They can afford to pay more rent than they are paying. There is no complaint that the house is not adequately equipped and, therefore, the house does not fall within the compulsory purchase provisions.
For years and years, this family has been begging the landlord to let them have possession, at, of course, an increased rent, of some of the three unoccupied rooms in that house. Instead of doing so, the landlord has consistently refused, as he is entitled to do. The result is that this family of five is living and sleeping in conditions of desperate overcrowding.
The Minister knows very well that, with the best will in the world, neither the London County Council nor the borough council can find accommodation in that class of case, because they have to give priority to applicants on the housing list whose conditions are bad because of dampness and all the rest.
§ Sir K. Joseph
I think that I can dispose of this quickly. I must leave myself free on the merits of any particular case, but, in general, it is open to a housing authority to make a compulsory purchase order on a house if it can by that means increase its housing stock. I cannot comment on the particular case which the hon. Gentleman has put, but that is a weapon which is generally available.
§ Mr. Fletcher
The Minister knows that it is not, in practice, used in this type of case. We are here trying to strengthen the provisions which are open to local authorities to give protection and better facilities to families placed as this one is in Islington. I am arguing that, if the Amendment were accepted, it would be open to the local authority under the Clause to make a control order—that is what we want; we want to use this procedure, not the compulsory purchase order—so as to bring within the control of the authority rooms in houses in multi-occupation which are deliberately 76 kept vacant year by year thereby causing families living in other parts of the premises to continue to live in conditions of serious overcrowding.
This is not an isolated example. It is typical of several in Islington and elsewhere which have come to my notice recently. It was not a type of case dealt with by the right hon. Gentleman in his speech. I believe that, if the Amendment were accepted, it would enable local authorities in such cases to use powers under the control order procedure because, by taking possession of vacant rooms which have been vacant for a long time, they could thereby be taking stepsto protect the safety, welfare and health of persons living in the house.This is one reason, apart from the others which have been mentioned, why I support the Amendment. The Amendment is necessary in cases of this kind, apart from all the others, in order to prevent the disreputable and vexatious practice of landlords in various parts of London deliberately keeping rooms in a house empty year after year.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Fletcher
Landlords are aware of the shortage. They know that, in time, they may be able, by one means or another, to get possession of the remainder of the house and thus be able to deal with it to their financial advantage. But this is an anti-social reason. It seems to us all wrong that, in conditions of acute shortage, whatever the reason may be, landlords should have the power to do it. I have thought for a long time that the only remedy for this kind of abuse is to give the local authority power to step in and take possession.
The right hon. Gentleman tells us that it can be dealt with under the compulsory purchase procedure. I very much doubt that there have been any cases in which those provisions have been used in the circumstances such as I have mentioned of part of a house being kept unoccupied. It is essential that, if the abuse is to be dealt with satisfactorily, local authorities have the power which we are asking that they be given by the Amendment.
§ Mr. MacColl
The right hon. Gentleman began by saying that he always distrusted my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) when he paid him a compliment. I am always alarmed when the right hon. Gentleman tells us, as he often does, that his speech will be a long one. I never find that the right hon. Gentleman's most incisive and clear speeches are those which take him some time to deliver. In this case, he revealed a state of hopeless confusion about what is essentially a fairly straightforward question.
The right hon. Gentleman taunted us by saying that we could not easily dispose of the problem by what we proposed. We do not for a moment think that we can dispose of the real problem by this Amendment taken by itself. Our whole attitude to the problem is that we have got to increase the number of different instruments which are available. We must increase the flexibility of the instruments so that the local authority has a variety of instruments which it can use in different situations.
It is not our fault that we were not able to make a more direct approach to the problem. We tried by a new Clause to strike in terms of criminal proceedings at the whole problem of intimidation, but we were not able to pursue this within the context of the Bill. We must, therefore, look at the matter within the narrow limits of the control order procedure, which not we but the Minister constructed, and see what changes can be made in the definition of the Clause to make it more suitable for the real purpose.
The right hon. Gentleman says that our proposal would give discretion to 1,500 local authorities. That is a little disingenuous. In the first place, he started by saying that this was only a temporary problem. I do not believe that it is. I do not believe that even the South-East Survey or a host of regional surveys will really solve the problem of the housing shortage as easily as that. This is a problem which will be with us for a long time. I am not complacent about it and I am not terribly optimistic about it.
The Minister went on to say that this was a temporary problem. It is also a problem which affects only local 78 authorities which have houses in multi-occupation in their areas. A whole host of local authorities do not have this problem; they are not faced with these difficulties. On the whole, as the right hon. Gentleman often tells us, it is in the large authority areas, the big urban areas, that this is an acute problem.
What is the weakness of the present definition of a control order? I want to consider the matter, because I find myself somewhat at odds with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Derby, North (Mr. MacDermot). It is rather dangerous to try to cross swords with my hon. and learned Friend, but the Minister and I have this in common: we are both rather bastard lawyers. Therefore, possibly we are entitled to look at this problem without worrying too much about what comes from the experts.
What the Minister was saying was that a management order was necessary only in conditions where the property was not decently managed. We must look at the words which the right hon. Gentleman paraphrases as "decently managed" Section 12 says:If it appears to a local authority that a house which…is let in lodgings…is in an unsatisfactory state in consequence of failure to maintain proper standards of management".and so on. In other words, it is not possible to bring the house within the mischief of Section 12 and the local authority cannot make a management order under it unless the house is affected. There is no mention of the state or conditions of the tenants. The Section is directed to the state of the house as affected by bad management. If the management does not clear up the slops or remove the paper after the Saturday night binge on the common staircase, the local authority can point to something and say, "There is something wrong with the house and we can intervene". But if the staircases are clean but the tenants are absolutely terrified and live in mortal fear of what will happen to them, there is nothing to bring the house within Section 12.
When against that background we look at Clause 68 the first thing which we find is that two conditions have to be fulfilled. First, either that an order has been made under the 1961 Act, or could be made, and, secondly, that the 79 living conditions are such that it is necessary to make the order to protect the safety, welfare and health of the people in the house. That is why my hon. Friend is right in saying that we must have these two Amendments together, because we have to do two things. First, we have to get rid of the conjunctive and put a disjunctive in its place so that these are alternative conditions and not supplementary conditions which have to be fulfilled. Secondly, we must cut out the reference to "living conditions" in line 18 to make the Clause more general.
The Minister says that we must have some kind of objective test for these drastic powers. The trouble about having an objective test is that immediately we rule out from protection conditions which affect the morale of the tenant but which do not necessarily affect the cleanliness or sanitary conditions of the house. That is precisely what my hon. Friend the Member for Paddington, North (Mr. Parkin) meant when he said that Rachmanism was not about plumbing.
We must look mainly at three things. First, there are the outright threats of violence. There is the case where the landlord either directly himself or through his hired thug threatens to beat up the tenants unless they do what he says and all sorts of other things in order to protect himself from proceedings. Secondly, there are threats of eviction and the landlord, as soon as there is the whisper of trouble, immediately gives notice to quit.
But there is a third difficult problem which we must tackle, and that concerns wilful deception about the status of the tenants and their legal rights. There is a whole line of operations in this respect. There is the writing of the letter to the tenant saying that he is not subject to the Rent Act protection when he is. There is the letter which is written when somebody gets an order to do certain works or there is a proposal to inspect and which says, "The local authority is ordering us to get you out". What is meant is, "The
§ local authority is ordering us to manage your property a little more humanely and decently". These are the sorts of problems which arise and which do not necessarily affect the physical conditions of the house but which should be subject to protection.
§ The Minister says, "If the tenant will not play, what can you do about it, even if you know that?" The point is that here there is a means whereby one can take the initiative. The Member of Parliament, the councillor, the public health inspector all know what is going on in these houses. They know the fear and terror being struck into the people in them, but because the people are too scared even to go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau because of the risk of reprisals no one cat take the initial step. This would provide an immediate lead for the local authority, without waiting for formal complaints, to move in with this drastic power to which the Minister has referred.
§ What is happening is very clear. The Minister is fighting a rearguard action to keep the Rent Act. That is really what is behind all this. The right hon. Gentleman spoke on Thursday about the need to increase compulsory purchase orders. Now we have what he describes as the most drastic intervention in the rights of private property owners since the dissolution of the monasteries.—[Interruption.]—All right, in peace time. I will not quarrel with a Fellow of All Souls about history, but whether the dissolution of the monasteries took place in conditions of peace, I do not know. The Minister will throw overboard all these absolutely vital principles—he said that it was embarrassing for Tory Ministers to have to do it—in order to keep the sacred right of the landlord to oppress and persecute the tenant for the sake of what he calls a free property market but what we call extortion and slavery.
§ Question put, That "and" stand part of the Bill:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 206, Noes 169.83
|Division No. 69.]||AYES||[6.0 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Ashton, Sir Hubert||Barter, John|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)||Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)|
|Allason, James||Balniel, Lord||Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)|
|Arbuthnot, Sir John||Barber, Rt. Hon. Anthony||Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Biffen, John||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)|
|Bingham, R. M.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Partridge, E.|
|Bishop, Sir Patrick||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Peel, John|
|Bossom, Hon. Clive||Hay, John||Percival, Ian|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John||Hiley, Joseph||Pitt, Dame Edith|
|Braine, Bernard||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Brewis, John||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Hobson, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Holland, Philip||Pym, Francis|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Hollingworth, John||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Hopkins, Alan||Ramsden, Rt. Hon. James|
|Buck, Antony||Hornby, R. P.||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Bullard, Denys||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.||Rees, Hugh (Swansea, W.)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Burden, F. A.||Hughes-Young, Michael||Roots, William|
|Campbell, Gordon||Hulbert, Sir Norman||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)|
|Carr, Rt. Hon. Robert (Mitcham)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Iremonger, T. L.||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Seymour, Leslie|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||James, David||Sharples, Richard|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Shaw, M.|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Jennings, J. C.||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Smyth, Rt. Hon. Brig. Sir John|
|Cleaver, Leonard||Joseph, Rt. Hon. Sir Keith||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher|
|Cole, Norman||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Stainton, Keith|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kershaw, Anthony||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Coulson, Michael||Kimball, Marcus||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Kirk, Peter||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Kitson, Timothy||Tapsell, Peter|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Curran, Charles||Leavey, J. A.||Teeling, Sir William|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Temple, John M.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lilley, F. J. P.||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Dance, James||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Thomas Sir Leslie (Canterbury)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Litchfield, Capt. John||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'n C'd field)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Drayson, G. B.||Longbottom, Charles||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Duncan, Sir James||Loveys, Walter H.||Turner, Colin|
|Eden, Sir John||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Elliott, R. W.(Newc'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||McAdden, Sir Stephen||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||MacArthur, Ian||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Farr, John||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Walker, Peter|
|Finlay, Graeme||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute & N. Ayrs)||Walker-Smith Rt. Hon. Sir Derek|
|Fisher, Nigel||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Wall, Patrick|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Maitland, Sir John||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Freeth, Denzil||Mawby, Ray||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Gammans, Lady||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Mills, Stratton||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)||Miscampbell, Norman||Wise, A. R.|
|Goodhew, Victor||Montgomery, Fergus||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Gower, Raymond||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||Morrison, John||Woollam, John|
|Green, Alan||Neave, Airey||Worsley, Marcus|
|Gurden, Harold||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie|
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Osborn, John (Hallam)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Mr. McLaren and Mr. Batsford|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)|
|Ainsley, William||Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Dempsey, James|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Brockway, A. Fenner||Dodds, Norman|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Doig, Peter|
|Barnett, Guy||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Duffy, A. E. P. (Coine Valley)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Carmichael, Neil||Ede, Rt. Hon. C.|
|Bence, Cyril||Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Edelman, Maurice|
|Benn, Anthony Wedgwood||Chapman, Donald||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Cliffe, Michael||Edwards, Walter (Stepney)|
|Benson, Sir George||Craddock, George (Bradford, S)||Evans, Albert|
|Blackburn, F.||Cronin, John||Fernyhough, E.|
|Blyton, William||Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Fletcher, Eric|
|Boardman, H.||Dalyell, Tam||Foley, Maurice|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Darling, George||Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)|
|Bowles, Frank||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Forman, J. C.|
|Boyden, James||Deer, George||Galpern, Sir Myer|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Delargy, Hugh||Ginsburg, David|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Lubbock, Eric||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Gourlay, Harry||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Greenwood, Anthony||McBride, N.||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Grey, Charles||MacColl, James||Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||MacDermot, Niall||Ross, William|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||McLeavy, Frank||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Hamilton, William (West Fife)||MacPherson, Malcolm||Short, Edward|
|Hannan, William||Manuel, Archie||Silkin, John|
|Harper, Joseph||Mapp, Charles||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Hayman, F. H.||Marsh, Richard||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Mason, Roy||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Mayhew, Christopher||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Hilton, A. V.||Mendelson, J. J.||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Holman, Percy||Millan, Bruce||Small, William|
|Hooson, H. E.||Mitchison, G. R.||Snow, Julian|
|Houghton, Douglas||Monslow, Walter||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)||Morris, Charles (Openshaw)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Howie, W.||Morris, John (Abervano)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Hoy, James H.||Mulley, Frederick||Steele, Thomas|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Neal, Harold||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Hunter, A. E.||O'Malley, B. K.||Stonehouse, John|
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Oram, A. E.||Stones, William|
|Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Owen, Will||Stross, Sir Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Paget, R. T.||Swain, Thomas|
|Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Swingler, Stephen|
|Janner, Sir Barnett||Parkin, B. T.||Symonds, J. B.|
|Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Pavitt, Laurence||Taverne, D.|
|Jeger, George||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Pentland, Norman||Thornton, Ernest|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Popplewell, Ernest||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Prentice, R. E.||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Warbey, William|
|Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Probert, Arthur||Whitlock, William|
|Kelley, Richard||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Randall, Harry||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Lawson, George||Rankin, John||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Redhead, E. C.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Woof, Robert|
|Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)||Reid, William||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Rhodes, H.|
|Lipton, Marcus||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Dr. Broughton and Mr. McCann.|
§ Amendment proposed: In page 69, line 18, leave out from "authority" to "that" in line 19.—[Mr. MacColl.]84
§ Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 207, Noes 169.87
|Division No. 70.]||AYES||[6.11 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Carr, Rt. Hon. Robert (Mitcham)||Freeth, Denzil|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Cary, Sir Robert||Galbraith, Hon, T. G. D.|
|Allason, James||Channon, H. P. C.||Gammans, Lady|
|Arbuthnot, Sir John||Chichester-Clark, R.||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)|
|Ashton, Sir Hubert||Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Glover, Sir Douglas|
|Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)||Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)|
|Balniel, Lord||Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Goodhew, Victor|
|Barber, Rt. Hon. Anthony||Cleaver, Leonard||Gower, Raymond|
|Barter, John||Cole, Norman||Grant-Ferris, R.|
|Batsford, Brian||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Green, Alan|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Corfield, F. V.||Gurden, Harold|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)||Coulson, Michael||Hall, John (Wycombe)|
|Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)|
|Biffen, John||Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Bingham, R. M.||Cunningham, Sir Knox||Harris, Reader (Heston)|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Curran, Charles||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)|
|Bishop, Sir Patrick||Currie, G. B. H.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Dalkeith, Earl of||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)|
|Bossom, Hon. Clive||Dance, James||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hay, John|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel|
|Braine, Bernard||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Hiley, Joseph|
|Brewis, John||Drayson, G. B.||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Duncan, Sir James||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Eden, Sir John||Hobson, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Holland, Philip|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Hollingworth, John|
|Buck, Antony||Farr, John||Hopkins, Alan|
|Bullard, Denys||Finlay, Graeme||Hornby, R. P.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Fisher, Nigel||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.|
|Burden, F. A.||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John|
|Campbell, Gordon||Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Hughes-Young, Michael|
|Hulbert, Sir Norman||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. s. L. C.||Stainton, Keith|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Mills, Stratton||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Miscampbell, Norman||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Montgomery, Fergus||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|James, David||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Morrison, John||Tapsell, Peter|
|Jennings, J. C.||Neave, Airey||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Teeling, Sir William|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Temple, John M.|
|Joseph, Rt. Hon. Sir Keith||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Thomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Kerby, Capt. Henry||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Kimball, Marcus||Partridge, E.||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Kirk, Peter||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Kitson, Timothy||Peel, John||Turner, Colin|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Percival, Ian||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Leavey, J. A.||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Pitt, Dame Edith||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Lilley, F. J. P.||Prior, J. M. L.||Walker, Peter|
|Linstead, Sir Hugh||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek|
|Litchfield, Capt. John||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Wall, Patrick|
|Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Geoffrey (Sut'n C'd field)||Pym, Francis||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Longbottom, Charles||Ramsden, Rt. Hon. James||Whitelaw, William|
|Loveys, Walter H.||Redmayne, Rt, Hon. Martin||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Rees, Hugh (Swansea, W.)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Ridsdale, Julian||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|McAdden, Sir Stephen||Roots, William||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|McLaren, Martin||Russell, Sir Ronald||Wise, A. R.|
|Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Scott-Hopkins, James||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Maclean, Sir Fiitzroy (Bute & N. Ayrs)||Seymour, Leslie||Woodhouse C. M.|
|McMaster, Stanley R.||Sharples, Richard||Woollam, John|
|MacmiHan, Maurice (Halifax)||Shaw, M.||Worsley, Marcus|
|Maitland, Sir John||Skeet, T. H. H.||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Mawby, Ray||Smyth, Rt. Hon. Sir John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher||Mr. MacArthur and|
|Mr. R. W. Elliott.|
|Ainsley, William||Foley, Maurice||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Forman, J. C.||Lipton, Marcus|
|Barnett, Guy||Galpern, Sir Myer||Lubbock, Eric|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Ginsburg, David||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Bence, Cyril||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||McBricle, N.|
|Benn, Anthony Wedgwood||Gourlay, Harry||McCann, J.|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Greenwood, Anthony||MacColl, James|
|Benson, Sir George||Grey, Charles||MacDermot, Niall|
|Blackburn, F.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||McLeavy, Frank|
|Blyton, William||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||MacPherson, Malcolm|
|Boardman, H.||Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Manuel, Archie|
|Bowles, Frank||Hannan William||Mapp, Charles|
|Boyden, James||Harper, Joseph||Marsh, Richard|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Hayman, F. H.||Mason, Roy|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwy Regis)||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Hilton, A. V.||Millan, Bruce|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Holman, Percy||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hooson, H. E.||Monslow, Walter|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Houghton, Douglas||Morris, Charles (Openshaw)|
|Chapman, Donald||Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)||Morris, John (Aberavon)|
|Cliffe, Michael||Howie, w.||Mulley, Frederick|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hoy, James H.||Neal, Harold|
|Cronin, John||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Hunter, A. E.||O'Malley, B. K.|
|Dalyell, Tam||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Oram, A. E.|
|Darling, George||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Owen, Will|
|Deer, George||Janner, Sir Barnett||Paget, R. T.|
|Delargy, Hugh||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Dempsey, James||Jeger, George||Parkin, B. T.|
|Dodds, Norman||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Doig, Peter||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Duffy, A. E. P. (Colne Valley)||Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Pentland, Norman|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. C.||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Popplewell, Ernest|
|Edelman, Maurice||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Prentice, R. E.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Kelley, Richard||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Probert, Arthur|
|Evans, Albert||Lawson, George||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry|
|Fernyhough, E.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Randall, Harry|
|Fletcher, Eric||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Rankin, John|
|Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)||Taverne, D.|
|Reid, William||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Rhodes, H.||Small, William||Thornton, Ernest|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Snow, Julian||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Sorensen, R. W.||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Robertson, John (Paisley)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Warbey, William|
|Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Spriggs, Leslie||Whitlock, William|
|Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)||Steele, Thomas||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Ross, William||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Stonehouse, John||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Short, Edward||Stones, William||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Silkin, John||Stross, Sir Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)||Woof, Robert|
|Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Swain, Thomas||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Swingler, Stephen|
|Skeffington, Arthur||Symonds, J. B.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mr. Redhead and Dr. Broughton.|