HC Deb 14 April 1920 vol 127 cc1657-8
17 Lieut.-Colonel Sir J. NORTON-GRIFFITHS

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether his attention has been drawn to a decision of the judge of the Marylebone County Court upon an application to convert a large private dwelling house in Porchester Gate into two or more tenements, that Section 27 of The Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1919, referred only to houses for the working classes; can he take steps to alter this; (2) whether, in view of the shortage of housing accommodation for all classes of the community and the number of large houses unoccupied, he will introduce an amending Act so as to extend the benefits of Section 27 of The Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1919, to all classes?


My attention had not been previously drawn to the case referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend. I will endeavour to obtain a report of the case, and will then consider whether it is necessary or desirable to take any action in regard to it.


Will the right hon. Gentleman read the judgment if I send it to him, and will he receive a deputation with a view to putting all classes on more or less the same basis?


I shall be glad to read the judgment. With regard to a deputation, I should like to consider precisely what the subject is. It may be one on which I have already received deputations.


Having regard to the fact that the word "working classes" is frequently employed in legislative measures, will the right hon. Gentleman lay down who are the working classes? Is he aware that the type of people who are penalised under this question are infinitely more impecunious than the usual recognised working classes?


That may be, but I entirely decline to attempt to define them.

Colonel ASHLEY

Is it a fact that when these large houses are cut up into two or three dwellings they are very unsatisfactory, and it is far better to go on with the new building programme than tinker about with old houses.


That may be true, but at the same time a certain amount of additional accommodation has been provided in this way.