HC Deb 14 November 1917 vol 99 cc378-9
45. Major DAVIES

asked the Prime Minister whether, because of the prices charged for housing sites by the owners of building estates and the conditions imposed by these owners, the work of public utility societies and other housing agencies is hampered in Wales; whether a large proportion of Welsh authorities have made mention of this in their replies to the Local Government Board circular; and whether he proposes to initiate legislation in order to facilitate land acquisition by these bodies?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I have had the replies so far received from the Welsh local authorities .examined to see how far the suggestion in the last part of the hon and gallant Member's question is borne out by the:facts. I find that 74 per cent. have neither experienced, nor do they anticipate, any difficulty; 9 per cent. more do not answer the question as to difficulty in connection with land, and it may perhaps be assumed that they have experienced no very specific difficulty. No doubt, however, there are cases of real difficulty, and I may state that the general question of the acquisition of land for public purposes is now under consideration by a Sub-Committee appointed by the Minister of Re-construction.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at the conference of the representatives of trade unions and local authorities, held at Cardiff on Saturday last, resolutions were passed declaring that the best method of making land available was by taxing land values; and will the Government consider that method of approaching the question?

Commander WEDGWOOD

Although 74 per cent, do not anticipate any difficulty, does that mean that they are prepared to pay the landlord's price?


I cannot say what is in the minds of those 74 local authorities.