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I hoped that the Minister of Housing and Local Government would rise. Is he so ashamed of this miserable little Bill and of throwing out this Amendment that he cannot even defend it? I am not surprised that he cannot defend it. The Joint Parliamentary Secretary introduced some irrelevant points about landlords. We are not dealing with them; we are not, indeed, dealing with purchasers outside a very narrow compass.
These purchasers were given benefits in the 1957 Act for very good reason. What is the logic of depriving them of it? I will quote the right hon. Gentleman an incident that occurred in the past fortnight. One of my constituents came to see me on Saturday, 4th December. He had purchased his property in 1947. He had heard that there was an intention to make a clearance order on the area. Had he not come to see me on 4th December he would now be £1,000 less well off. Because I saw that he would otherwise be deprived of his rights, I took him to see the town clerk, who was only too willing to advise his council to purchase the property during last week. If that constituent had not come to me on 4th December he would have lost £1,000. He did not know that this Bill was going through and that the Government intended to deprive him of that money. The right hon. Gentleman cannot defend this Bill. If he cannot accept the Amendment we must divide the House.