§ 23. Rear-Admiral ADAIR
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether there is a rent strike going on at the Rosyth Garden City; and, if so, what is the cause of it and what is being done to bring it to an end?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Yes, Sir. We are aware that for some time past a number of the tenants of the Garden City have refused to pay rent until a reduction of 50 per cent. has been granted. The Scottish National Housing Company, which owns the houses, recently came before the Sheriff's Court with a view to securing the eviction of twelve of these tenants. The sheriff granted a decree of ejection against the men, in respect of whom an eviction order had been asked. The sheriff postponed execution until 2nd September, in the hope, no doubt, that an accommodation between the parties might be arrived at.
The cause of the trouble is the allegation that the rents are unduly high. They were carefully considered by the Admiralty, who cannot agree that they are excessive for the accommodation provided. The houses fall into three classes. Those with three rooms are rented at from 6s. 7d. to 7s. 6d. a week, exclusive of rates; those with four rooms, at from 7s. 3d. to 9s. a week, similarly; those with five rooms, at from9s. 2d. to 11s. 3d. a week, similarly. Bathrooms and sculleries are provided in all houses, in addition, and are included in the rent. I ought to add that it has only been possible, having regard to the abnormal cost of labour and materials, to fix these rents with Treasury assistance.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The houses were built during an abnormal period, and the Treasury bore half the increased cost of 1278 labour and material. Even then, considering the accommodation provided, I think the rents charged are fair and compare very favourably with those charged to other dockyard workers.