38. Mr. T. THOMSON
asked the Minister of Health if he will include in the Rent Restrictions Acts amending Bill a Clause empowering local authorities to require property owners to let for immediate occupation all unoccupied dwelling-houses in their area, seeing that the powers which local authorities possess to purchase such property take considerable time to put into operation and there is immediate need for more housing accommodation;
§ 62. Sir J. BUTCHER
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that, in some industrial areas, owners of houses are deliberately keeping houses unoccupied and thereby aggravating the shortage of housing accommodation; whether he is aware that the remedy of compulsory purchase by the local authorities, as provided by the Housing, Town Planning Act, 1919, is wholly inadequate to meet these evils; and whether he will take care that the new Rent Restriction Amendment Bill is drawn up in such a form as to provide for these cases or to permit of amendments being moved to meet these cases, or whether he will bring in special legislation on the subject?
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this matter is receiving his immediate consideration, as it is very urgent?
§ 42. Mr. CAPE
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Prestatyn (North Wales) Council has recently issued a certificate entitling a builder to the building subsidy under the Housing (Additional Powers) Act, 1919, in respect of a house which is to be used only as a week-end or holiday residence: 2059 whether it is the settled policy of the Government to grant subsidies in respect of houses without any consideration of the use that will be made of them; and whether an amending Bill will be introduced to restrict the payment of subsidies to houses in respect of which a guarantee of continuous occupation can be given?
§ Dr. ADDISON
The Housing (Additional Powers) Act does not place restrictions on the use to be made of houses in respect of which subsidies may be paid. I am, however, considering what measures can be taken to prevent the owners of dwelling houses from keeping them unoccupied.