§ 59. Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the Prime Minister how it is proposed under the Government Housing Bill, bearing in mind that only £3,000,000 will be available for the provision of cottages by 2109 the Government in rural districts and the consequent sporadic and piecemeal treatment of the housing problem, to prevent irresistible political pressure being brought to bear upon the Government to erect cottages in certain districts and neglect others equally deserving of their sympathetic activities?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Perhaps the hon. Member would address this question to the President of the Board of Agriculture, who is in charge of the Bill referred to.
§ 63. Mr. WEIGALL
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he can now say what action he proposes to take in reference to the Report of an inspector of the Board on the housing conditions in the rural district area of Horn-castle, Lincolnshire, issued over seven months ago, seeing that under the provisions of the Government Housing Bill none of the ninety-two cottages which the Report states are urgently required can be provided for agricultural labourers?
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
I have had further inquiries made in the district in regard to the ability of persons to pay an economic rent for cottages, and have addressed a letter to the rural district council on that matter. I cannot agree with the statement contained in the latter part of the question.
§ Mr. WEIGALL
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in districts like these, if the cost of cottages is kept as low as possible and the highest rent charged which economic conditions of the agricultural industry will allow, that there will be a loss of between £2 and £3 per annum per cottage, and how is that to be met by the Government Bill?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I sent an inspector down to make a further investigation, and it was found that in the localities in which he made the investigation that it was quite possible to obtain an economic rent.
§ Mr. WEIGALL
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that all that that means is that there must be an uneconomic wage in order to pay an economic rent?
§ 92. Sir JOHN SPEAR
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if, under the Government Housing Bill, police constables will be regarded as Government employés and houses be built for them?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Runciman)
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would allow me to answer that next week.