HC Deb 22 July 1919 vol 118 cc1297-8

For the purpose of assisting in the preparation and carrying out of schemes under this Act, the Local Government Board may, with the consent of the Treasury, acquire and hold lands and buildings, erect buildings, and dispose of any lands or buildings so acquired or erected.

Lords Amendment:

After the word "Act" ["under this Act"] insert the words or for the purpose of securing the immediate provision of dwelling accommodation in the area of any local authority pending the preparation of a scheme by such authority.

—Agreed to.

Lords Amendment:

After the word "buildings" ["erect buildings "] insert the words alter, enlarge, repair and improve buildings.


I think this is a privilege Amendment. The Clause provides that the Local Government Board may acquire and hold lands and buildings, and then the Amendment proceeds to enlarge that considerably by putting in the words, "alter, enlarge, repair and improve buildings," which may increase the cost and mean a further charge on the Exchequer, and that is a matter which is reserved for the House of Commons.


May I point out with great respect that these words might not in many cases necessarily increase the charge because it might be more economical to alter existing buildings than to build new ones? Apart from that question these words were worded to carry out what was the desire in Committee and on Report as to the power of the Department in this matter. I think the Amendment is of great value, and an improvement to the Bill, and on that account I hope that the House will not insist on its privilege. These words will enable us to deal in an expeditious and adequate manner with a very large number of empty houses or houses suitable. I believe it is one of the most valuable Amendments added to the Bill, and in the hope that the House will not insist on its privilege. I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords-in the said Amendment.

Question put, and agreed to. Lords Amendment:

At the end, insert the words and for such purposes the Board may exercise any of the powers of a local authority under the Housing Acts in regard to the acquisition and disposal of land and buildings.

—Agreed to.