15 JUNE 1929, Page 3

Rent Restriction The French Chamber adopted last week the Govern-

ment's Rent Restriction Bill, by which provision is made for a gradual return to economic rents. The increases allowed would be spread over several years, beginning with a rise of 150 per cent. next month. This matter is no doubt more urgent in France, since the franc has been stabilized at one fifth of its pre-War value, than it is here. But we, too, have got to face it, and the longer this nettle is left ungrasped, the more painfully it will sting when it has to be plucked. Justice and economics, as well as such old-fashioned stuff as the freedom of contract in a free country, are outraged by present conditions, but what makes the matter most urgent here is that no large or genuine scheme for the improvement of housing in slums can be undertaken while our Aent Restrictions Acts prevent even the best of landlords or the most socialistic of local authorities getting control of small houses.