§ Mr. NIELD
asked the President of the Local Government Board (1) whether his attention has been called to the action of certain property owners in the western districts and suburbs of London to defeat the provisions of the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act, 1915, by the sale of houses within the protection afforded by that Act to purchasers who are, under present conditions, willing to pay an enhanced price for possession; and whether, to prevent this attempt to avoid the provisions of the Act, he will introduce an amending Bill to limit the operation of Section 1, Sub-section (3), of the Act to those landlords who were owners at the time of the passing of the Act, or to give discretionary powers to the County Court or the justices before whom an application for an order of eviction or for possession may come to withhold such order for the duration of the War and for such reasonable period there- 605W after to tenants who have regularly paid their rent and performed the conditions of their tenancies; and (2) whether he is aware that in the western districts of London and the suburbs houses which are within the provisions of the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act, 1915, are being sold at enhanced prices with possession, and that thereby tenants who otherwise are entitled to the protection of that Statute have received notice to leave houses which they have occupied for years and are unable, owing to the demand for houses in the neighbourhood, to get other premises and are in jeopardy of being compelled to leave the district in which all their interests are centred; and whether he will introduce an amending Bill to prevent these evictions during the period of the War?
The point raised by these questions, which is admittedly one of some difficulty, is receiving careful consideration.
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he will provide a return of all ejectment orders applied for and granted in County Courts and in Police Courts since the passing of the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act, 1915, with the reasons for which such applications were made and granted?
§ Sir G. CAVE
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I regret that it is not possible to give the Return asked for, which would involve a long inquiry and would impose a great deal of labour on Registrars of County Courts and clerks to justices.