Motion made, and Question proposed.
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £10, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1924. for the Salaries and Expenses of the Scottish Board of Health, including Grants and other Expenses in connection with Housing, Grants to Local Authorities, etc., sundry Contributions and Grants in respect of Benefits and Expenses of Administration under the National Health Insurance Acts. 1911 to 1922, certain Grants-in-Aid, and certain Special Services arising out of the War.
This Supplementary Estimate is required in order to enable us to get money in respect of houses to be erected under the provision of the Housing Act of 1923, which may be completed before 31st March, 1924. By Section I of that Act the Board are empowered to contribute towards the ex- 2101 pense of local authorities in the building of houses by private enterprise. The second Section prescribes the amount of the contribution of £6 per annum for each house, except that where the expenses are incurred by the local authority are less than the value of the amount in assisting private enterprise, the contribution is reduced accordingly. It is not anticipated that the number of houses, which will be completed before the 31st March, 1924, and in respect of which contributions will be payable, will exceed 100. This will necessitate an expenditure by the Board of a sum of £600. There will, however, be a saving of at least. £590 on the Vote for the current year in respect of capital grants under the Housing (Additional Powers) Act, 1919. The amount in the Supplementary Estimate is only £10—the difference between £600 and £590. This Supplementary Estimate corresponds to one item in the Ministry of Health Vote. As regards the progress made on the 31st January, 1924, the local authorities have provided loans for the erection by private enterprise of 941 houses, of which 641 were under construction and 18 have been completed. Of the houses to be erected by local authorities tenders have been approved for 1,501 houses and 349 were under construction. This supplementary sum of £10, which I am asking, will provide the necessary sum to enable the Board of Health to meet the contribution for the houses that will be required by the 31st March, 1924. As regards the first Estimate, it is one, for an equally modest sum and I hope that we will not have as much discussion from hon. Members as we have had on the last one. Some of the discussion on the last Vote was irrelevant, as was pointed out.
§ Whereupon the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod being come with a Message, the Chairman left the Chair.
§ Mr. SPEAKER resumed the Chair.