§ 54. Mr. C. BATHURST
asked whether, in view of the fact that house property owned by the State enjoys immunity from the provisions of the Public Health Acts and the Housing of the Working Classes Acts, and that in consequence difficulties sometimes arise between local sanitary authorities and State officials as to whether such house property is fit for human habitation and ought to be closed or demolished, and that administrative action in the interests of public health while taken against a private individual can only be adopted as against the State as the result of a voluntary concession, and seeing that in the Forest of Dean and elsewhere the system has proved bad for cottagers. State officials, and local sanitary authorities alike, the Government will introduce a Bill subjecting as a matter of course such property to the provisions of the above-mentioned Acts?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Herbert Lewis)
Although the Crown is not bound by the Acts referred to by the hon. Member, it has for some time past been the rule, as regards all properties under the management of the Commissioners of Woods, whether in the Forest of Dean or elsewhere, to comply 1132 voluntarily with the requirements of the local sanitary authorities just as though the Crown were bound, and I am not aware that this system has proved a bad one, nor do I see that there is any necessity for the suggested legislation on the subject.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Sir Stafford Howard, the ex-Commissioner of Woods and Forests, has long held and expressed the view that all Crown properties ought to be brought under the operation of the Public Health Act?