My hon. Friend is entitled to return to the charge in this matter. I personally wish to make progress in this area. I shall be meeting some of the leading representatives of the interests affected to discuss possible ways forward and I think that there may be more news on this subject shortly.
Is my hon. Friend aware that the Law Commission produced its report as long ago as 1988— indeed, I asked my hon. Friend a question about it as long ago as May 1993, and my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, North-East (Mr. Thurnham) tried to introduce a private Member's Bill on the subject? Is he further aware that there are some cases of real hardship? Several lease assignments ago, people were called on to meet obligations involving rent increases of which they were not even aware. Will my hon. Friend pledge the Government to support any amending legislation, from whatever source it might come?
I am aware of the hardship and I take no pleasure in the fact that my hon. Friend has had to ask the same question twice. I admire the efforts of my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, North-East (Mr. Thurnham), who is sitting behind my hon. Friend. The Government would certainly help any private Member's initiative to deal with the matter.