§ 90. Mr. STANIER
asked the President of the Local Government Board if the information regarding how many cottages are wanted in each rural district council of England and Wales has now been all collected; and, if so, could the information be published in the form of a White Paper?
§ 92. Mr. ELLIS DAVIES
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether, if local authorities borrow money under the Housing Act, the houses so built will be the property of the State, or whether they will be erected at the cost and risk of the local authority; and, if the 164 latter, whether the undertaking given by the late President of the Board, in a letter addressed to the present Postmaster-General in December last to the effect that houses then built by the local authority-would be taken over by the State, is now cancelled?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The letter which my predecessor addressed to Mr. Henry Hobhouse, to which no doubt my hon. Friend refers, related exclusively to rural district councils. Houses built by the local authority would, in ordinary circumstances, remain their property; but the Housing (No. 2) Act of this Session empowers the Government to give effect to the undertaking which was given in that letter should the local authority so desire. On the question whether that undertaking should extend to houses the building of which may be sanctioned after the new Act has been passed, no decision has yet been reached.
§ 100. Mr. STANIER
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture if the Board are now prepared to make Grants to suitable societies constituted in accordance with the new Housing Act, 1914, to enable them to build in their rural districts, and, if so, on what conditions?
§ Sir H. VERNEY
The terms on which loans will be made to authorised societies under the Act are being considered, and will be announced at an early date.
§ 101. Mr. STANIER
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether, if a county committee for war relief make themselves into a committee to carry out the new Housing (No. 2) Act, 1914, they can apply for a Grant to build cottages in rural districts; whether this would be favourably received; and whether the Board carry out all formalities with the Development Commissioners and the Treasury for schemes in rural districts?
§ Sir H. VERNEY
As the Act provides for advances by the Board only to a local authority or an authorised society within the meaning of the Act, the procedure suggested in the first part of the hon. Member's question is not feasible, but if the committee formed authorised societies under the Act they would be 165 eligible for advances. Any action required to be taken under the Act by a Government Department in regard to housing in agricultural districts will be carried out by the Board.