Adjournment (Summer)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd August 1965.

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Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington 12:00 am, 3rd August 1965

That is quite right. This is why I hope that the Conservative Opposition will support what I say. In Committee, they complained of the long delay there would be under the procedure laid down before fair rents were fixed. Now there will be a further lapse of three or four months before we can even establish the machinery under the terms of the Bill.

This is a very serious matter for both landlords and tenants. It is serious for tenants because they do not know exactly where they stand. The hon. Member for West Ham, North has said that he is advising his constituents to wait until the Bill reaches the Statute Book, and then they can go, with their landlords, to the rent officer, and he will arbitrate between them and decide what is a fair rent, and following that they can appeal to the rent assessment committee if no satisfaction has been achieved.

On the other hand, there is the landlord with controlled properties whose rent cannot be revised until the rent officer has dealt with all properties which were decontrolled under the 1957 Act. That is a point about which many hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House feel very strongly. They say it is grossly unfair that a landlord who has let his house at a controlled rent for many years should have to wait a further period before there can be any prospect of revision in spite of the fact that the Conservative Party was not committed to any further measures of decontrol had it taken office last October.

For all those reasons, I appeal to the Leader of the House to treat the Rent Bill as quite different in character from anything else which has been advanced to him as a reason for not accepting the Motion. I do not mind about all the rest. I agree that there is machinery for the House to be recalled if any urgent financial crisis happens during the Recess. That does not worry me at all. I am sure that that is well taken care of. But the needs of my constituents, whether landlords or tenants, which are to be satisfied by this most important Bill will be neglected by the Government unless they give us the half day for which I ask.