§ 32. Mr. MacKENZIE LIVINGSTONE
asked the Minister of Health whether the benefits of the proposed housing scheme will be available for Scottish smallholders who either build their own houses, or have them built for them, at their expense, by the Board of Agriculture under a land settlement scheme; and, if not, whether he will take steps to see that these men are not excluded?
Mr. STEWART (Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health, Scotland)
The subsidy proposed under the Housing (Financial Provisions) Bill is intended to be provided only in the case of houses built for letting, and accordingly would not be available for the class of builders referred to. Such persons would, however, continue to be eligible for the assistance from local authorities provided 1937 for in Section 2 of the Housing, Etc., Act, 1923, and would be able to apply for loans from the Board of Agriculture under the provisions of the Small Landholders Acts.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these houses are required to be let to these smallholders?
If they are houses that are being built to be let, then undoubtedly they will come under the Bill; but as far as the crofters are concerned, I understand that the houses are being built by crofters to be occupied by the crofters themselves.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Are we to understand that the crofter is less deserving, simply because he is a crofter, than any other person?
§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
Is it not a fact that no provision is made for crofters under the new Housing Bill?
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
If a local authority or an individual desires to build these houses to be let to smallholders, will they be eligible?
Yes, undoubtedly, they will come under the provisions of the Bill. In reply to the question of the hon. Member for Barrow (Mr. D. G. Somerville), I may say that already these crofters are having provision made for them on a somewhat generous scale. There is a sum of £30,000 per annum available for them for building houses— £l5,000 out of the agriculture fund and £15,000 under the Land Settlement Act.