§ MR. CLYNES
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been drawn to a report presented to the last meeting of the Oldham Trades and Labour Council showing that, largely on account of extensive mill building in recent years, there is a great scarcity of suitable dwelling-houses for the working classes in the Oldham district, and alleging that more than 10,000 persons live in a condition of overcrowding, and that many insanitary evils and a higher rate of infantile mortality have thereby resulted; and whether he can take action to press upon the local authorities of the district the necessity of immediately exercising municipal powers at present unused to ensure a better supply of suitable houses and the erection of other premises on more methodical and improved lines.
§ MR. BURNS
I have seen a newspaper account of a meeting of the Oldham Trades and Labour Council, held within the last few days, at which the report mentioned was read. I do not gather whether the report has been sent to the Town Council of the borough, but if not this should be done at once. I will communicate with them on the subject to which it relates. I may add that if the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Bill now before Parliament becomes law, Part III. of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890, which enables local authorities to provide houses, and which at present is only adoptive, will be put in force throughout the country, and a statutory complaint can be made to the Local Government Board if the local authorities fail to exercise their powers under that Part in cases where they 1272 ought to have been exercised, and the Board would then be empowered to take action.