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Clause 1. — (Rent Limit of Controlled Houses.)

Orders of the Day — Rent Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th March 1957.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth 12:00 am, 26th March 1957

I beg to move, in page 2, line 1, to leave cut "or shared accommodation".

This is a very simple Amendment which I can put briefly to the House. As the Clause was originally drafted, the rent of a controlled dwelling might be the equivalent of twice the gross value, or whatever the appropriate multiplier might be, together with an addition for the value of shared accommodation—that is, accommodation shared either with the landlord or with another tenant. When the Bill was first produced, it was not clear whether the hypothetical rent of such a tenancy, on which the gross value is based, would reflect the value of the shared accommodation, but it has now been clearly established from the Inland Revenue that the value of shared accommodation would he reflected in the gross value for rating purposes. This Amendment will protect tenants in circumstances such as I have described from, in effect, having to pay for shared accommodation twice over.

Photo of Mr Gilbert Mitchison Mr Gilbert Mitchison , Kettering

That seems reasonable.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

I beg to move, in page 2, line 4, to leave out "mentioned in the forgoing subsection" and to insert: on the rent recoverable under a controlled tenancy for any rental period.

Photo of Sir Charles MacAndrew Sir Charles MacAndrew , Bute and North Ayrshire

This Amendment and the two Amendments in line 13 should be taken together. I shall not call the second Amendment for a Division.

Photo of Mr Reginald Bevins Mr Reginald Bevins , Liverpool Toxteth

This Amendment is also a reasonable proposition, although, perhaps, less simple than that which I last moved. Subsection (3) of the Clause says, in substance, that where the present rent exceeds the rent limit fixed under subsection (1), then the rent shall be the rent current at the commencement of the Act as distinct from the rent limit provided for in subsection (1). To read that as meaning the rent limit set out in subsection (1) would render subsection (3) meaningless. I am advised that no court of law would construe it in that way. It is the case that there has been a good deal of heart-searching on both sides of the House as to exactly what was meant by this provision and whether it was expressed in the right way. My right hon. Friend has two Amendments on the Order Paper—this and an Amendment in line 13—which remove all possible ambiguities.

The end of subsection (3) will read, allowing for these Amendments, the rent limit shall be the rent recoverable as aforesaid subject however to the provisions of the foregoing subsection. The words "as aforesaid" clearly refer to what goes before in subsection (3); that is to say, to …the rent recoverable for the basic rental period… The word "foregoing" clearly refers back to subsection (2). I appreciate that my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Mr. Hay), and perhaps one or two other hon. Members, are not entirely happy with the wording as it was—or even, maybe, as it is now proposed—but my right hon. Friend has been into this on more than one occasion—indeed, during the last twelve hours—and I am assured that the wording as now presented does convey what we mean to say.

5.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Hay Mr John Hay , Henley

I have listened with great care to what my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary has said. It is perfectly true that subsection (3) contains a tremendous ambiguity and that even at this late stage something has to be done to try to put it right. My difficulty is that I cannot altogether see that the two Amendments in his name do that. As I read it, the first one would only alter the statement that the rent limit is to be subjected to adjustment from time to time under Clauses 3 and 5 of the Bill. The ambiguity arises in subsection (3), where it says that where under a controlled tenancy which is current at the commencement of the Act the present rent recoverable is greater than what would be the rent limit if one ascertained it under the new provisions of subsection (1), …the rent limit shall be the rent recoverable as aforesaid, … It has been pointed out in a number of quarters, that "as aforesaid" might refer back either to the words in line 10— …the rent recoverable for the basic rental period…. or to line 11— …the rent limit for that period if ascertained under subsection (1) …. I see the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) shaking his head, but I put this forward because I think there is that ambiguity and that it should be cleared up. I do not think there could be any more simple way of clearing it up than by accepting this Amendment to leave out the words "as aforesaid", and to insert for the basic rental period. It would then read: Where under a controlled tenancy current at the commencement of this Act the rent recoverable for the basic rental period exceeds what would be the rent limit for that period if ascertained under subsection (1) of this section, the rent limit shall be the rent recoverable for the basic rental period, but subject to adjustment and reduction… and so on.

I think that that would clear it up beyond a peradventure, but I am a tyro in these matters, and my right hon. Friend is advised by those who know all about drafting, as we have often learned to our cost here in the past. Therefore, although I do not press my Amendment, I ask my right hon. Friend to look at the matter very closely in order to make sure that no one will be misled or, more particularly, forced to go to court and incur the expense of litigation. I hope that, unless he is quite satisfied on that point, he will take steps to clear it up.

Photo of Mr Gilbert Mitchison Mr Gilbert Mitchison , Kettering

We objected to this subsection at some length in Committee. We divided on it. We still object to it, but these seem to be drafting Amendments intended to make the meaning of the Government clearer. We do not feel it appropriate or, indeed, in order to enter into a discussion on the merits of the subsection in our discussion of these Amendments. Honestly, as between the various draftsmen, we would rather they fought it out behind the scenes than to take time when there is a Guillotine.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made:In page 2, line 13, leave out from "aforesaid" to "the" in line 14 and insert: subject however to the provisions of ".—[Mr. Bevins.]

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

I beg to move, in page 2, line 19, at the end to insert: (5) This section shall not apply to any dwelling-house in relation to which an application under section one of the Act of 1949 either—

  1. (a)has been made since the Housing Rents and Repairs Act, 1954, came into force and before this Act comes into force, or
  2. (b)can be made on or after the date on which this Act comes into force.
(6) The rent recoverable in respect of such a dwelling-house as is mentioned in the last foregoing subsection for the rental period comprising the commencement of this Act shall, notwithstanding the repeals effected by this Act, remain the rent recoverable in respect of that dwelling-house for any rental period for which it is neither increased nor reduced by the determination of a Tribunal under the Act of 1949.(7) The proviso to section one of the Act of 1949 (which provides that an application to determine a reasonable rent for a dwelling-house shall not be made if a previous such application has been made in respect of that dwelling-house) shall no longer have effect and references in the Act of 1949 to a standard rent shall be construed as references to the standard rent on the day before the commencement of this Act. I think it would be for the convenience of the Committee if, at the same time, we were to take four consequential Amendments. Those consequential Amendments are: in page 14, line 44, after "1939", to insert "The Act of 1949"; in page 16, line 8, at the end to insert: Tribunal" has the same meaning as it has for the purposes of section one of the Act of 1949, in page 31, line 47, at the end to insert: 25. Sections five and six of the Act of 1949 (which relate respectively to registers of determinations and to tribunals for the purposes of section one of that Act) shall apply for the purposes of this Act as they apply for the purposes of section one of that Act, and in page 38, line 17, to leave out "Sections one, four, five and six".

This Amendment has a rather strange history. The matter was raised in Committee, and although in Committee we were subjected to the Guillotine during the major part of the proceedings, we were, at this time, subject only to the trickery of the Government. It was the predecessors of the present Minister and the present Parliamentary Secretary who so organised business as to deny any reply on this at that time.

What happened was that the hon. Member for Oldham, East (Sir I. Horobin) was in the midst of one of his, if I may say so, more brilliant sentences, when he was interrupted by the closure of one sitting. When the Committee again met in order to hear the completion of that sentence, to our surprise neither was the hon. Member allowed to complete his sentence—as I am sure he was eager to do—nor did the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary rise to make any comment. In fact, they took a snap Division, thus denying the Committee any sort of consideration of this proposal at all. That, of course, is why we are. considering the matter again today.

The Bill has the effect of sweeping away a large part of the rent tribunal procedure, and this Amendment seeks to restore, to some extent, that procedure, which has been found to be of such great value to the large mass of tenants up and down the country. It is true that this Amendment refers only to the rent tribunal procedure provided in Section 1 of the 1949 Act, but that is a very considerable amount. I was looking at the last available report of the Ministry, which shows the large volume of work which is being done under Section 1 of the 1949 Act by the tribunals. Unless this Amendment is passed, that will be swept away.

For example, I noticed that during 1955 there was a sharp increase in the tribunals' work—very naturally, because the party opposite extended their field of operation by the 1954 Act. That Act enabled approaches to be made by both parties. That, indeed, was the case before, but what was new was that it enabled the rent tribunals to agree an increase of rent as well as a reduction where they thought it suitable. Very naturally, that resulted in a large number of further applications being made to them by landlords in addition, of course, to the still very considerable number of applications by tenants.

I notice that the right hon. Gentleman who treated us so scurvily in Committee is now sitting on the Front Bench. I am very grateful to him for coming to consider this matter and, perhaps, even to let us have his views of this question which, as I was explaining to the House, he refused to let us have when we were dealing with the matter in Committee. It will be very interesting to hear the views of the Minister of Defence in addition to the views of the right hon. Gentleman who has succeeded him as Minister of Housing and Local Government.

There was in 1955 a rapid increase in the number of cases under the Landlord and Tenant (Rent Control) Act, 1949. In fact, the number of cases received during the year was over 4,000 for 1955, compared with 2,500 the year before. There is no doubt that these rent tribunals are being used to a very large extent and are proving of great importance. But, of course, that does not concern the Minister. He wishes to sweep them away, and by these provisions we are now considering he has swept away a good half of the work of the rent tribunals. That is a very serious matter indeed.

Why cannot the Minister accept the very modest proposals which are made in this Amendment? It proposes, in effect, that in the case of all new lettings since 1939, the date provided for in the 1949 Act, the question of rental should go before the rent tribunal if either tenant or landlord so wishes. I would stress that, under the present law, it is possible for the rent to be either increased or reduced. There can be no suggestion of unfairness here. It is the responsibility of the rent tribunals to settle what they regard as the reasonable rent, and it has, moreover, been the common view up and down the country that these tribunals have done an exceedingly good and useful job.

In what I might almost call excessive fairness, we make the further proposal that the proviso in the 1949 Act which said that a second application could not be made to a rent tribunal should, in effect, be deleted. This means that second applications can be made. One would have thought that that would have been an advantage, even in some cases to landlords as well as to tenants. It is making the position open to take account of changing circumstances. It seems to me that it is a perfectly valid, fair and reasonable proposal to advance, that tenants, instead of being denied their rights of independent arbitration by a rent tribunal, should have those rights preserved really as they are at present.

When this matter came before the Committee—I put it in that way, since we were denied any opportunity to discuss it—my hon. and learned Friend rightly urged upon the Committee that here was the case where tribunals are required to determine a reasonable rent, yet the Government were saying that any such determination of reasonable rent is to be set aside. That, in effect, is the situation. I must confess that I am no clearer in mind after the Parliamentary Secretary tries to explain it than I am before he starts, but, as I read the Bill, I understand the position to be this. Where, in advance of the Bill coming into operation, a rental has been determined which is higher than the rent limit set by the Bill, then that higher rent has to operate. If, on the other hand, a rental is determined, either by a tribunal or by agreement, which is below the rent limit fixed by the Bill, then the rent limit fixed by the Bill shall operate. The result is that the landlord is to have it either way, which is surely quite the most outrageous travesty of justice.

5.45 p.m.

I can well understand the Minister or his Parliamentary Secretary making out a case that, where determinations have been made long years ago, some alteration has to take place. But, after all, we are here discussing determinations made by rent tribunals in some cases as recently as a few months ago, or just a few years ago—anyhow, since the war and the development of this procedure. No one can possibly say that those determinations are out of date. Even if they were, there is procedure under our Amendment enabling them to be reconsidered by the tribunal.

All of us are surely agreed that the procedure of the tribunal is a simple one which does give to the average tenant a feeling of justice which he certainly does not expect to get in any other way. As all my hon. and right hon. Friends have made clear, the average tenant does not like being taken or taking anybody else to the courts. He is not in the habit of doing that. He is frightened of the procedure. Whereas, on the whole, the procedure of the rent tribunals is informal, simple, and, therefore, highly desirable.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Oldham, East will, I am sure, give us his support, because he has said, in relation to an earlier Amendment about which he was speaking to the House a moment or two ago, that he very much preferred civil procedure, by which I understood him to mean that he liked to see cases of this kind dealt with in this more informal manner rather than by trying to take them through the courts. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that he will support us, and all the more, because he was so brutally stopped from speaking what was on his mind when the matter was considered in Committee. I feel sure that we have the welcome support of Members opposite.

Irrespective of the views of the hon. Member for Oldham, East, I would say that if this Amendment be not accepted by the Government, then a quite impossible situation will be created; the Government will be denying to people in the country the assurance of, by definition, a reasonable rent determined by an independent body, namely, the tribunals which have had the approval of people of all political persuasions up and down the country. We fear that there is in the mind of the Government an intention to destroy this kind of procedure, but any such act on their part will merely serve to drive deeper into the minds of people in the country the feeling that what hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite are after is not any kind of fair play for tenants but merely a determination to ride roughshod over their views and ensure the supremacy of the landlords' claim for a higher rent, whether it be just or not.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

I beg to second the Amendment.

It is a matter about which both sides of the House must surely agree that there can be no reasonable answer. The case is perfectly clear. When we were discussing the 1949 Act, it was plain that there was a flaw in it in respect of rentals charged for the first time after the war. It is not always that the House comes to a right conclusion, but there is not the slightest doubt that on that occasion it came to the only conclusion which can be considered reasonable, namely, that a body of independent people should make up its mind, taking everything into consideration, whether a rent is a reasonable one or not.

The procedure, which is known to sonic—probably all—of us, is that the tribunal sends out a notice, asks for particulars of the property concerned. gets every single detail, makes an appointment in most cases to see the property, knows the locality, knows what the rentals ought to be and judges from every angle, taking all the facts into consideration, not what the rent should be, but what the reasonable rent should be.

I cannot believe that the Minister will say that he wants to ask for an unreasonable rent. That would be absurd. He is trying to convince us that the Bill is reasonable and that the rentals which subsequently will become payable will be reasonable. He says that the law of supply and demand and of everything else will operate and everything will be fine, but the fact is that he is not certain yet.

The Minister is taking a tremendous risk. As some of his hon. Friends have said, it is not a certainty by any means. The Ridley Committee, for example, said that properties should not be decontrolled until we were sure that there was a reasonable possibility of other accommodation being available. That is the kind of circumstance which would be taken into consideration by the tribunal. Consequently, when the tribunals come to the conclusion that a rental is reasonable, there is no question of anyone curbing them within certain limits. All that they have to do is to decide whether the rent in all the circumstances is reasonable.

Can the Minister honestly say that there is not a sinister motive behind the whole of the Bill if he is not prepared to accept a proposal to allow the functioning of these independent tribunals, comprising people who are not curbed in any way and who deal with these matters without any question of party? Hon. Members know that the tribunals, from their own knowledge, judge what is a reasonable rent and what is not, and not what is to be the standard rent or the recoverable rent according to rules which have been laid down by people who may not understand all the circumstances.

If the Minister refuses our request, the country will realise the truth of what we have been saying, that the Bill is nothing but a racket to try to obtain, when accommodation is not available, exorbitant, unreasonable rentals at the expense of tenants who can ill afford to pay them and who will be placed in such desperate plight that they will pay whatever rent is demanded of them, reasonable or unreasonable, and mainly unreasonable.

I ask the Minister to take these points into consideration and not to allow himself, in spite of pressure that might come from behind him, to do something which is unreasonable, as he would be doing if he did not insist upon the payment of a reasonable rent but allowed unreasonable rentals to be demanded.

Photo of Mr Albert Evans Mr Albert Evans , Islington South West

I am sure that the Minister, at least in his moments of reflection, would he relieved if he could know that the rents of properties would in future be fixed upon a reasonable basis. Some of the nightmares that he must now he enduring from the possibility of unreasonable rents being demanded when the Bill is in operation would be avoided if he could so arrange his Bill that rents were fixed upon a reasonable basis.

Our Amendment suggests a way by which the rent of the type of property that we are considering should be fixed upon a reasonable basis by an impartial tribunal of specialists. One would have thought that the Minister would be ready to accept it if only to cover this small category of properties. The Amendment applies only to those houses which have been let for the first time since the operation of the 1954 Act. It goes hack no further than that. Therefore, the rents which have been fixed for those properties for the first time were fixed impartially by the tribunals, which had power to raise or lower the rents as they thought reasonable.

The Amendment applies also to houses which are let for the first time in the future. There will be difficulties about houses of that type when they become empty and pass out of control and are let for the first time under the new basis. One would have thought that the Minister would be happy that the rents of those houses could be determined by an impartial tribunal, and I hope that he will see the sense of the Amendment.

I suppose that some 8,000 or 9,000 houses have already been dealt with in this manner since the 1954 Act came into operation. My hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) spoke of some 4,000 of them in 1955, and it is a fair assumption that another 4,000 or so were dealt with in 1956. We are dealing, therefore, with roughly 8,000 houses, the rents of which have been fixed by the tribunals over those two years, and we are dealing with the houses which will be let for the first time in the future. In dealing with this small category of houses, the Minister has the opportunity——

Photo of Mr Gilbert Mitchison Mr Gilbert Mitchison , Kettering

May I point out to my hon. Friend that the Amendment relates to any house which has been first let after the outbreak of war? That is to say, it will cover much more than he has in mind, although it will, of course, include those he has mentioned.

Photo of Mr Albert Evans Mr Albert Evans , Islington South West

The Amendment relates to an application which has been made to the tribunal since the Housing Rents and Repairs Act, 1954, came into force…

Photo of Mr Gilbert Mitchison Mr Gilbert Mitchison , Kettering

Will my hon. Friend read the next paragraph?

Photo of Mr Albert Evans Mr Albert Evans , Islington South West

It seems to me to apply to first lettings in the future. It is fair to say that the Amendment would not extend back to those houses which were let at the time when the tribunals could only reduce rents and not increase them. I should have thought it would be fair if it were restricted to houses let after the operation of the 1954 Act, because prior to that time the tribunals could not increase rents but could only lower them, and could not assess upon a fair basis.

However that may be, I hope that the Minister will avail himself of the Amendment and so allow the rents of this comparatively small category of houses to be assessed on a fair basis. I hope he will consider the matter in that light and will agree that the Amendment provides a method of getting the rents of these houses fixed on a reasonable basis by an informal tribunal.

Photo of Mr Gilbert Mitchison Mr Gilbert Mitchison , Kettering

The Amendment relates to a very large body of houses the standard rent of which, for the purposes of the Rent Acts, was fixed by a letting after the outbreak of war. It therefore relates to all houses which were first let as the result of moves during the war— and there were a great many such moves —when owner-occupiers, for reasons of work or service, let their houses for the first time. It also relates to all houses built during—there were not many—or since the war. It therefore covers a very large body of houses indeed.

6.0 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman's predecessor, when asked how many houses were covered, replied that he did not know. We must take it, therefore, that the Ministry, as occasionally happens, does not know how many houses it is talking about or what proportion they form of the whole. I am sure it would be agreed at once that it is a considerable proportion. The object of the Amendment is to take the machinery started by Section 1 of the 1949 Act for determining a reasonable rent, and determining it before a tribunal, and using that machinery for determining the reasonable rent of these houses.

It is quite true that the machinery was started by the 1949 Act, but it was limited at that time to fixing a reasonable rent lower than the standard rent. And it was the Tory Government and the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor who, by the 1954 Act, gave the tribunals power to fix a rent higher than a reasonable rent if they so wished. The consequence is that at the moment, in relation to this large body of houses, the tribunals have the right to fix a reasonable rent, and, though there is some guidance in the Act as to what is a reasonable rent, there is even more guidance to be extracted from the rules, which the tribunals have evolved in dealing with a large number of cases, and which occur to some extent in reported cases concerning these determinations. I will not trouble the House about that, but it can be taken that "reasonable rent" is not entirely a hit-and-miss matter. There are some rules about it.

The House can also take it that a reasonable rent does not necessarily mean a free market rent because, as has been said about these cases, the object of giving this power to fix a reasonable rent was to avoid the unreasonableness of free market conditions. What is a reasonable rent will no doubt differ in different cases, having regard, among other things, to the position of the landlord. I say that to reassure hon. Members opposite. These tribunals are not bodies just for fixing what they think is right for the tenant to pay. They are concerned with both sides of the question, and, naturally, they will fix a reasonable rent having regard to these matters. It will be a different rent in different parts of the country. It may be a different rent in different parts of London and it may be different in the provinces, and so on.

The Bill fixes a rent by reference to gross rateable value. That is in one sense a pretty rigid test, because, if it is assumed that the gross rateable value is rightly assessed, then in each case the rent limit would be in relation to that rigid figure. It will be a multiple, according to the position about repairs, of the gross rateable value of the house. The tribunal goes beyond that.

I put it to the House with real earnestness—and I hope that it will be considered fairly and with due regard to the fact that we are dealing with human beings—that that limit cannot always be right. Indeed, it will be an accident of it fits in with the personal circumstances of different cases. By means of the Amendment we are asking why the Government should abolish the machinery which the Tory Government themselves in 1954 invited and empowered to deal with the whole question of reasonable rents. This is machinery which has been used again and again, and, broadly speaking, to an increasing extent during recent years, though there have been fluctuations between one year and another.

The answer sometimes made to this, and to similar questions about county courts, is, "We should give them too much to do." In this instance the remedy lies in the Minister's own hands. He has power to appoint more tribunals if it is necessary to do so, and although many people complain if they do not have a high-powered judge sitting every time on a tribunal, why should we, in a matter of this sort, compel people to travel in the Rolls Royce of judicial decisions when they would much prefer to go along in the old "tin Lizzie" of tribunals, if, with respect to tribunals, I can use that analogy. What is wanted is not consistency, but the human element, which tribunals have tried successfully to introduce, and regard to the all-important fact that people, and tenants in particular, are frightened to go to courts, but are not, on the whole, frightened of tribunals.

If we look for a logical reason, and it is not wholly a logical affair. the answer is that the tribunals are much less formal and that they cost much less, though my feeling about legal costs always is that, whatever we may say about them, the apprehensions about them are very often worse than the costs themselves. Surely, in a matter of this sort we do not want to debar people from using this tribunal machinery. We do not want to tie them down to the rigid rule of an Act of Parliament.

We have heard singularly little from the right hon. Gentleman or his predecessor about the reason why they are abolishing this rent tribunal jurisdiction. We are driven to the conclusion, against our own wishes, that when it is a question of looking after the landlords' rights in property the Government on the whole prefer the unreasonable to the reasonable, provided that it is better for the landlord. We do not want to think that, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will reassure us by leaving the tribunals to do their job and by leaving the question of a reasonable rent for this large body of houses to be determined by those who have done the job pretty well in the past and. I repeat, have done it at the instance of the right hon. Gentleman's own Government.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

I had not the honour of being a Member of Standing Committee A on 18th December, more than three months ago, when the Committee reached a decision on a similar Amendment. Therefore, I am not in a position to say why it was that no Opposition spokesman other than the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) spoke to the Amendment in order to force a reply from the Government before the Division was taken. It may have been, of course, that the Opposition was anxious to avoid what happened today, that is, duplicate and differing interpretations from different hon. Members of what their own Amendment means. As against the hon. Member for Islington, South-East (Mr. A. Evans), I entirely agree with the hon. and learned Member for Kettering about the meaning of the Opposition Amendment.

Photo of Mr Gilbert Mitchison Mr Gilbert Mitchison , Kettering

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that, but I want to reassure him about our motives. We passionately wanted to hear the. end of the sentence which the hon. Member for Oldham, East (Sir I. Horobin) had begun in Standing Committee. We have not heard it yet.

Photo of Sir Ian Horobin Sir Ian Horobin , Oldham East

The hon. and learned Member would be surprised.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

Clearly Parliament has lost a gem.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

The hon. Member for Oldham, East (Sir I. Horobin) was saying: …whilst honestly applying their minds to these matters, they do come to the most—".—[OFFICIAL. REPORT, Standing Committee A,13th December, 1956; c. 144.] On that word "most" the hon. Member stopped. Perhaps he will tell the House later what he was about to say.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

If I do not pursue that, I assure the House that it is because I must have regard to the. Guillotine and must assist the Opposition by not spending further time on this interesting speculation.

The hon. and learned Member for Kettering and I have agreed that the Amendment is designed to prevent dwellings let for the first time since 1949 from becoming subject to the rent provisions of the Bill, unless they have been the subject of application to a rent tribunal before the commencement of the 1954 Act.

The case, as I understand it, which has been outlined to the House, is that rent tribunals fix reasonable rents, and, therefore, if we legislate to depart from that, the new rents will, on that evidence, be unreasonable. Let us go back over the history of this matter. In those days, after the end of the war, there was a feeling, and it was widely shared, that there were certain cases in which extortionate rents had been demanded and obtained, and that some machinery was desirable for mitigating that. The Labour Government of the time, which had a special love for the rent tribunal idea, decided that the rent tribunal would be an appropriate machine or device for deciding what a reasonable rent should be. In the first instance, until 1954, rent tribunals only had power to reduce rents.

Of course, under this Bill, a quite new situation arises. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] A much more logical and sensible situation arises. Up till now, there has not been any general and systematic method of adjusting rents over the whole field in the light of economic circumstances. The rent tribunal applied to certain classes of houses, and there was nothing else. Now, under this Bill, we are using—and I think there is common consent that it is a sensible idea—the new valuations as a basis for a formula for fixing maximum controlled rents. That is to say, the situation for which the rent tribunal was devised has been overtaken by the new system which we are establishing by Clause 1 of this Bill.

That is the reason why I could not advise the House to accept this Amendment, for everybody is agreed that there has been a chaotic system in the rent field. If we can now get the arrangement under Clause I established as the generally prevailing system, we shall iron out much the greater part of the anomalies that have hitherto existed. If we were to accept the Amendment we should be opening the door to other fresh anomalies that would not be in line with what we are doing for all other kinds of rents.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

I am rather interested in the explanation which the right hon. Gentleman is giving, because he is saying precisely the opposite to what was being said in 1949. This is the very point which we are raising, and it was raised in 1949. Although there were controlled rents then, there was also an opportunity for people to put a reasonable case for a reduction of that rent in spite of the fact that there were such controlled rents. That is what we are asking for.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

It is now 1957, we have got these new 1956 valuations, and we are seeking to fix maximum controlled rents according to those new valuations.

Hon. Members have suggested that the rents fixed by the tribunals are reasonable, and that, therefore, anything else is unreasonable. I understand that they have made a further point that rents fixed by the tribunal might be either above or below the rent limits fixed by Clause 1 of this Bill, and feel that it was unfair to the tenant and unduly favourable to the landlord that, if the rent fixed by the tribunal was higher than the rent limit, it should stay, but if it was lower, it might be raised to the rent limit.

6.15 p.m.

Of course, hon. Members cannot have it both ways. If the argument is that every rent fixed by a rent tribunal is reasonable, hon. Members must be arguing that in those cases where the rent fixed was above the rent limit set by the Bill, then what the Government are doing is to set the maximum unreasonably low. The Opposition must choose between these two arguments. They cannot possibly use both simultaneously. If they do, they destroy themselves.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

The right hon. Gentleman is surely making a mountain out of a mole hill. What we are clearly saying here is that we are perfectly prepared to accept the tribunal's ruling about a reasonable rent. Whatever figure the tribunal decides upon we are prepared to accept.t, and we say it is reasonable. We are even allowing the tribunal to have second thoughts if the matter is referred to it for the second time. What the Minister is saying is that if the tribunal sets a rent limit higher than that in the Bill, the higher limit would stand, but if below, then the higher rent limit is to stand. The Minister wants to have the higher figure for the landlord, whichever way it goes, and we say that we will accept whatever figure the tribunal decides upon.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

I am not trying to make mountain out of a molehill. What I am trying to make is a piece of smooth-running machinery out of an old "tin Lizzie." It is because I believe that the system established by Clause 1 will be fairer and will do more to iron out anomalies that I must advise the House to reject the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Thomas Brown Mr Thomas Brown , Ince

Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves this question, I want to put to him a point of view which 1 hope will receive his sympathetic consideration, because the Bill now before the House seeks to abolish rent tribunals and the Amendment now under discussion seeks to continue them.

The point of view that I hold, after an examination of rent tribunals, is that they have performed a very useful purpose, and that, while in 1949 and again in 1954, the people used to go into this business with great trepidation, having regard to the results of the consideration given to applications, the rent tribunals have now to a very large degree satisfied the people who have made application to them. We find that approximately 90 per cent. of the applications resulted in the rents being reduced; the other 10 per cent. of applicants had their rents increased, and that has happened in the last few years.

I am not concerned about that and am not finding fault with the decisions given by the rent tribunals. What I am concerned with at the moment—and there are other hon. Members on this side of the House who come from mining areas—is that the people living in the mining areas are suffering to a very large extent from damage to their property caused by mining subsidence, and they are reluctantly compelled to go to the rent tribunal to get a reasonable rent fixed. If in this Bill the Minister is to take away from them their right to go to the rent tribunal, these people will be placed at a great disadvantage in comparison with people living in normal property.

Therefore, I think the Minister ought to have regard to the unfortunate position in which these people are placed. It is quite true that they may be able to go to the local authority and get a certificate of disrepair, but, unfortunately, if they do, the landlord cannot repair the property because of the shocking state it is in, and the tenants are compelled to go elsewhere. They have no recourse to any tribunal. They may be able to go to the county court, but imagine a tenant living in a house—of which there are many in my division—where he can neither open the windows nor shut the doors, and has to go to bed without locking up because the condition of the property is so bad that he cannot do so.

Therefore, the Minister should have regard to the conditions under which some of our people are living. Instead, he is attempting to take away something which—I was about to say that people have enjoyed, but they have not enjoyed it—has afforded to them a great deal of protection, namely, the protection hitherto afforded to them of making application to the rent tribunals. I will not repeat the argument advanced by my hon. and right hon. Friends, but I make a special plea to the right hon. Gentleman, to his Parliamentary Secretary and to his Department to give sympathetic consideration to this point before finally rejecting the Amendment.

Photo of Mr John McKay Mr John McKay , Wallsend

We are dealing here with something of vital importance to the ordinary citizen. In my study of political philosophy I have always understood that law is the outcome of civilisation, and that law is made for the definite purpose of giving freedom to the better types of men and also to penalise the evildoer.

There is a critical situation in this country about the housing of our people, and in dealing with that we are dealing with one of the fundamental necessities of the family and of human welfare. Men and women and their families have to tighten their belts on occasion and take less rations than they ought to receive. To some extent, they can meet economic difficulties, hut a house is a fundamental need of the family.

We know that law is expected to give greater freedom for the best activities of mankind, but the political philosophy of the Government is to give greater freedom in the charging of rent. Even if that philosophy of freedom can be extended to this subject, the question arises whether, on a mater which affects every household in the country, it is right to allow landlords absolute freedom to charge what rents they wish.

That is the great weakness of this Bill. There may have been a need to revise rent legislation, but it does not follow that in the process of giving more freedom the Government should throw away their responsibilities to their fellow men, particularly the poorer sections of the community. Surely the responsibility of the Government is to ensure that in giving greater freedom in charging rent there should be some protection given to the masses of the people from the evildoers? Yet, unless a similar Amendment to this one is made in the Bill, it will give practically wholesale freedom on a question of fundamental importance to the people.

Therefore, on the general ground alone that there should be substantial protection for tenants and a definite restriction placed upon those who would take advantage of such a situation, I urge the Government to accept the Amendment. As the Bill stands, it allows any landlord who has no concern for humanity or morality to take advantage of the circumstances under which people are living.

The Minister has said that he believes in freedom and that rents should be governed by supply and demand, but has the tenant who is given notice to quit or notice to pay an increased rent any real freedom? Of course he has not. He may be confined to a given district because of his work, or there may be other important factors which make it necessary for him to retain the house, even if an extortionate rent is demanded. I believe, therefore, that this Amendment, which gives some protection to the ordinary people who may have been exploited, is an important one.

Photo of Mr Charles Gibson Mr Charles Gibson , Wandsworth Clapham

I do not understand the arguments put forward by the Minister for rejecting this Amendment. They seem to me to be as unreal as the arguments we used to get from the first Parliamentary Secretary when this Bill was introduced. It may be the fruits of keeping bad company, but we expect more humanity in the minds of those who are handling this question, especially from one who lives near the Vale of Health, as does the right hon. Gentleman.

The Minister suggested that the Bill was an attempt to bring order out of chaos. All I can say is that he has not been to many meetings at which people have been asking questions about the Measure. They will be in a dreadful muddle when it becomes operative because, as the Minister knows and as we have heard again this afternoon, there is still no agreement amongst the lawyers as to what certain parts of it mean.

We are asking that there should be some machinery not only to guarantee the landlord a fair rent, but to give the tenant a sense of justice and fair play. That is precisely what the rent tribunals have done. During the Committee stage, some of us gave the number of cases heard by the tribunals. In some cases the tribunals raised the rent; in many more they reduced the rent after careful and expert consideration of all the facts. It seems to me that there could hardly be anything fairer than the way in which the rent tribunals have performed their work.

Of course, this Amendment would mean that many landlords would not get double the gross rateable value as the rent for their houses because their houses would not be worth it. The House ought to know that during the Committee stage it was admitted from the Government side that even the landlord of a house which is unfit to live in, which is known to be unlit to live in, but which has not yet reached the stage where it becomes part of an order for slum clearance, can charge double the gross rateable value, and, if he says that he will carry out all the repairs, he can charge 2¼ times the gross rateable value.

6.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

The landlord cannot get any increased rent at all until that house is in proper repair.

Photo of Mr Charles Gibson Mr Charles Gibson , Wandsworth Clapham

Of course he can. This only illustrates how difficult it is to deal with the Minister. The tenant must get the certificate of disrepair—and the tenant who understands the Bill and can handle all the prescribed forms in it will be a first-class lawyer who could get a good job in the courts anywhere. Even the professional organisations do not understand it. To say that the landlord cannot get an increase in rent because the house is not in repair is nonsense on the reading of the Bill. Unless a certificate of disrepair is given—and even then he can

take months over it —the landlord can get the maximum rent lain clown in the Bill. Does the Minister deny that?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

The hon. Member was speaking of a house which had been declared unfit by the local authority.

Photo of Mr Charles Gibson Mr Charles Gibson , Wandsworth Clapham

The Minister must not do that sort of thing in the House of Commons. I did not say that. I said it was a house known to be unfit, but which had not yet reached the stage of being in an order for clearance under a slum-clearance scheme.

The Minister knows that local authorities have returned to him a list of 800,000 houses which are unfit to live in and which ought to be pulled down, but that, so far, only about 350,000 of them have reached the stage where they are in orders for slum clearance, for pulling down and rebuilding. The remaining 450,000 are unfit, but the landlord might charge a rent of double the gross rateable value. That is according to the Bill.

No rent tribunal such as we are suggesting would think of allowing the landlord of such a house to charge the rent which the Bill will give him. The Amendment is a fair and reasonable proposition and I am amazed that the Minister should have trotted out the arguments which he has used in an attempt to have it rejected. I hope the House will agree to it.

Question put, That those words be there inserted in the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 232, Noes 276.

Division No. 82.]AYES[6.33 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W.Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)
Albu, A. H.Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Callaghan, L. J.Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)Carmichael, J.Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Champion, A. J.Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)
Awbery, S. S.Chapman, W. D.Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Bacon, Miss AliceChetwynd, G. R.Fernyhough, E.
Baird, J.Coldrick, W.Finch, H. J.
Balfour, A.Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)Fletcher, Eric
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury)Forman, J. C.
Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.)Corbet, Mrs, FredaCaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.
Benson, G.Cove, W. G.Gibson, C. W.
Beswick, FrankCraddock, George (Bradford, S.)Gooch, E. G.
Blackburn, F.Cronin, J. D.Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. G.
Blenkinsop, A.Cullen, Mrs. A.Greenwood, Anthony
Blyton, W. R.Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.
Boardman, H.Davies, Harold (Leek)Grey, C. F.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S,W.)Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
Bowles, F. G.de Freitas, GeoffreyHall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Boyd, T. C.Delargy, H. J.Hamilton, W. W.
Braddock, Mrs. ElizabethDodds, N. N.Hannan, W.
Brookway, A. F.Donnelly, D. L.Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)Hastings, S.
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Dye, S.Hayman, F. H.
Burke, W. A.Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Healey, Denis
Burton, Miss F. E.Edelman, M.Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)
Herbison, Miss M.Mellish, R. J.Skeffington, A. M.
Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)Messer, Sir F.Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Holman, P.Mitchison, G. R.Slater, J. (Sedgefield)
Holmes, HoraceMonslow, W.Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)Moody, A. S.Sorensen, R. W.
Howell, Denis (All Saints)Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Hoy, J. H.Morrison,Rt.Hn.Herbert(Lewis'm,S.)Sparks, J. A.
Hubbard, T. F.Mort, D. L.Steele, T.
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Moss, R.Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Moyle, R.Stones, W. (Consett)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Mulley, F. W.Stonehouse, J. T.
Hunter, A. E.Neal, Harold (Bolsover)Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Hynd, H. (Accrington)Oliver, G. H.Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Orbach, M.Swingler, S. T.
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Oswald, T.Sylvester, G. O.
Irving, Sydney (Dartford)Owen, W. J.Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Padley, W. E.Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Janner, B.Paget, R. T.Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhonda, W.)
Jeger, Mrs. Lena(Holbn & St.Pncs,S.)Palmer, A. M. F.Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)Panned, Charles (Leeds, W.)Thornton, E.
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)Pargiter, G. A.Timmons, J.
Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield)Parker, J.Tomney, F.
Jones, David (The Hartlepools)Parkin, B. T.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Jones, Jack (Rotherham)Paton, JohnUsborne, H. C.
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Pearson, A.Viant, S. P.
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Peart, T. F.Warbey, W. N.
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Pentland, N.Watkins, T. E.
King, Dr. H. M.Plummer, Sir LeslieWeitzman, D.
Lawson, G. M.Popplewell, E.Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Ledger, R. J.Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Lee, Frederick (Newton)Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)West, D. G.
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannook)Probert, A. R.Wheeldon, W. E.
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)Proctor, W. T.White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Lewis, ArthurPryde D. J.White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Lindgren, G. S.Randall, H. E.Wigg, George
Lipton, MarcusRankin, JohnWilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
MacColl, J. E.Redhead, E. C.Wilkins, W. A.
MacDermot, NiallReeves, J.Willey, Frederick
McGhee, H. G.Reid, WilliamWilliams, David (Neath)
McGovern, J.Robens, Rt. Hon. A.Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)
Mclnnes, J.Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
McKay, John (Wallsend)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Mahon, SimonRoss, WilliamWillis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Mainwaring, W. H,Royle, C.Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.Woof, R. E.
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)Shurmer, P. L. E.Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Mann, Mrs. JeanSilverman, Julius (Aston)Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Mason, RoySilverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Mayhew, C. P.Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Short and Mr. Deer.
NOES
Agnew, Sir PeterBody, R. F.Crouch, R. F.
Aitken, W. T.Bossom, Sir AlfredCrowder, Sir John (Finchley)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)
Alport, C. J. M.Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.Cunningham, Knox
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Boyle, Sir EdwardCurrie, G. B. H.
Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)Braine, B. R.Dance, J. C. G.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir WilliamBraithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Davidson, Viscountess
Arbuthnot, JohnBromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Deedes, W. F.
Armstrong, C. W.Brooke, Rt. Hon. HenryDigby, Simon Wingfield
Ashton, H.Brooman-White, R. C.Doughty, C. J. A.
Astor, Hon. J. J.Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)du Cann, E. D. L.
Atkins, H. E.Bryan, P.Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Baldwin, A. E.Burden, F. F. A.Duthie, W. S.
Balniel, LordButcher, Sir HerbertEden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)
Barber, AnthonyCampbell, Sir DavidElliott, R. W.
Barter, JohnCarr, RobertEmmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn
Baxter, Sir BeverleyCary, Sir RobertFarey-Jones, F. W.
Beamish, Maj. TuftonChannon, Sir HenryFell, A.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Chichester-Clark, R.Finlay, Graeme
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)Clarke, Brig. Terenoe (Portsmth, W.)Fisher, Nigel
Bennett, Dr. ReginaldConant, Maj. Sir RogerFletcher-Coolie, C.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)Cooke, RobertFort, R.
Bidgood, J. C.Cooper, A. E.Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)
Biggs-Davison, J. A.Cooper-Key, E. M.Freeth, Denzil
Birch, Rt. Hon. NigelCordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Garner-Evans, E. H.
Bishop, F. P.Corfield, Capt. F. V.George, J. C. (Pollok)
Black, C. W.Craddock, Beresford (Speithorne)Gibson-Watt, D.
Godber, J- B.Lambert, Hon. G.Ramsden, J. E.
Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir AlanLancaster, Col. C. G.Rawlinson, Peter
Goodhart, P. C.Leavey, J. A.Redmayne, M.
Gough, C. F. H.Leburn, W. G.Rees-Davies, W. R.
Gower, H. R.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Remnant, Hon. P.
Graham, Sir FergusLindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)Renton, D. L. M.
Green, A.Linstead, Sir H. N.Ridsdate, J. E.
Gresham Cooke, R.Llewellyn, D. T.Rippon, A. G. F.
Grimond, J.Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)Robertson, Sir David
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W.Robson-Brown, W.
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)Roper, Sir Harold
Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Gurden, HaroldLucas-Tooth, Sir HughRussell, R. S.
Hall, John (Wycombe)McAdden, S. J.Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.Maodonald, Sir PeterSchofield, Lt-Col. W.
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)Mackeson, Brig. Sir HarryScott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Harris, Reader (Heston)Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)Sharpies, R. C.
Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)McLaughlin, Mrs. P.Shepherd, William
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)McLean, Neil (Inverness)Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)MaoLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Soames, Christopher
Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Maddan, MartinSpearman, Sir Alexander
Harvie-Watt, Sir GeorgeMaitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)Speir, R. M.
Hay, JohnMaitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir LionelManningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P.(Kens'gt'n, S..
Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.Marlowe, A. A. H.Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Henderson, John (Cathcart)Marshall, DouglasStevens, Geoffrey
Hesketh, R. F.Mathew, R.Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.Maude, AngusStewart, Sir J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)Maulding, Rt. Hon. R.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)Mawby, R. L.Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Hill, John (S. Norfolk)Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.Studholme, Sir Henry
Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMedlicott, Sir FrankSummers, Sir Spencer
Hobson, J. G. S.(War'ck&Leam'gtn)Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Holland-Martin, C. J.Moore, Sir ThomasTemple, John M.
Holt, A. F.Morrison, John (Salisbury)Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Hornby, R. P.Mott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesThomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Homsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Nabarro, G. D, N.Thompson, Lt.-Cdr.R.(Croydon, S)
Horobin, Sir IanNairn, D. L. S.Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame FlorenceNeave, AireyThornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)Nichols, HarmarTiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Howard, John (Test)Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)Turner, H. F. L.
Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Hughes-Young, M. H. C.Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.Tweedsmuir, Lady
Hulbert, Sir NormanNugent, G. R. H.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'gh, W.)Oakshott, H. D.Vickers, Miss Joan
Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.
Hyde, MontgomeryOrmsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D.Wade, D. W.
Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir HarryOrr, Capt. L. P. S.Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Iremonger, T, L.Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. D. C.
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)Osborne, C.Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Jennings, J. C. (Burton)Page, R. G.Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)Watkinson, R. Hon. Harold
Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Partridge, E.Webbe, Sir H.
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)Peyton, J. W. W.Whitelaw, W.S.I.(Penrith & Border)
Joseph, Sir KeithPike, Miss MervynWilliams, Paul (Sutherland, S.)
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir LancelotPilkington, Capt. R. A.Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Keegan, D.Pitman, I. J.Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Kerby, Capt. H. B.Pitt, Miss E. M.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Kerr, H. W.Pott, H.P.Wood, Hon. R.
Kershaw, J. A.Powell, J. EnochYates, William (The Wrekin)
Kimball, M.Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Kirk, P. M.Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Lagden, G. W.Raikes, Sir VictorMr. E. Wakefield and Mr. Legh.