Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1974 Jul 30 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

HC S 3R [Rent Bill (Lords)]

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: House of Commons
Source: Hansard HC [878/736-37]
Editorial comments: 0338-42.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 425
[column 736]

3.38 a.m.

Mrs. Thatcher

The hour is late, so I shall be brief.

The Bill came before the House for its Second Reading only three weeks and one day ago. It was a rushed Bill and now bears all the hallmarks of a rushed measure. It would have been far better if my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) and the Opposition team had had much more time properly to scrutinise the Bill. We should then not have needed now to be talking, on both sides of the House, of producing amendments to the Bill in the next Session. Both sides of the House and R. Freesonthe Minister have already made such references.

I reject the assertion of the hon. Member for Mitcham and Morden (Mr. Douglas-Mann) that the points that we have made are legalistic. They are not. They frequently come from human cases [column 737]where the landlord has a right to regain possession of his property in certain circumstances. They are circumstances in which, if they occur, Labour hon. Members and Ministers would wish to regain possession of their property and attempt to do so. These are human points and human cases. Tomorrow there will be the general batch of letters raising a lot more cases and suggesting many more amendments. The difference between us is that hon. Members opposite do not recognise that a landlord has equity and the right to a reasonable solution to his problems. If they did recognise that, they would acknowledge the need for amendments of the type we tabled.

Again on the question of the effect on the suply of accommodation there is a fundamental difference between the two sides. The Government side believe that all the needs of the rented sector should be met by the public sector only. We reject that contention. We believe that there is a place in our society for the good private landlord and, further, that those who seek accommodation would benefit from the provision which the private landlord could and would make if he had the incentive.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Cook) will remember that on Second Reading I gave details of the case of a constituent of mine who had converted his home to a number of flats and in the end had to sell the property because the rent he was allowed to charge was not sufficient to service the loan. That was the case of someone who would have provided accommodation if he could have obtained a reasonable return and possession.

I am tempted to continue but will not do so. I have made our position clear. We hope in due course to pass the requisite amendments ourselves.