§ Where the Minister approves the proposals of a local authority in relation to the provision of houses in the area of another local authority and any difference arises between those authorities with respect to the carrying out of the proposals such difference may be referred by either authority to the Minister, whose decision shall be final and binding on the respective authorities.—[Mr. P. Harris.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. P. HARRIS
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
This is a very simple proposal which I hope the Minister will accept. What it does is to prevent delay. I have had considerable experience in the working of the various Housing Acts since the War, 1554 including both the Addison scheme and the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Lady wood (Mr. N. Chamberlain), and owing to varying views as to by-laws sometimes the occupation of houses already constructed has been hold up for many weeks and even months. That does not suggest any blame on the authorities concerned. Local authorities of large towns have often to develop estates outside their area, and sanitary authorities, though having equally good standards, often have varying standards. The same applies to roads. I do not suppose that there is any greater difference of opinion than in the best road surface suitable for a housing estate. While there is really no serious difficulty between the authorities, the development of an estate is often held up for weeks because of a difference of opinion between the two road engineers concerned. The same applies to the construction of sewers. The ideal kind of sewer is a very controversial matter. Sanitary authorities have their own different standards, and there is no generally accepted standard throughout the Kingdom. This is a very practical way of avoiding friction when one authority goes into the area of another, and of avoiding at the same time that delay which has taken place all over the country. I suggest that this arbitration would save the Minister a great deal of anxiety and trouble, and would get the houses rapidly occupied in order to relieve over-crowding.
§ Mr. GILBERT
I beg to second the Motion.
This new Clause particularly applies to London, where the London County Council have to go outside the county in order to put up housing estates. It is common knowledge that they have housing estates in Essex and in Croydon and in various other districts. The standards of many of the local authorities are quite different from the standard of the London County Council, and in case of a dispute arising, as has happened in the past, it is very desirable that arbitration should he allowed as proposed by this new Clause.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.1555
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The fourth of the new Clauses—(Provision of houses for persons displaced by Metropolitan borough councils)—is not selected.