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

Part of 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 Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead 12:00 am, 26th March 1957

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.