HC Deb 05 March 1924 vol 170 cc1385-6

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that houses have been, and are being, built by corporations in the Midlands at an exclusive price not exceeding £350, and, if so, why it is estimated that the average cost in future will be £500?


I am aware that a number of local authorities in the Midlands have, during the last six months, let contracts for the erection of houses at a price of £350 or less. These contract prices, however, do not include the cost of land and road and sewer construction. The average cost of houses included in contracts let by local authorities in England and Wales during the month of January, excluding the cost of land and road and sewer construction was, for non-parlour houses £384, and for parlour houses £445. The figures of £500 to which the hon. Member refers should be looked upon as an average all-in price for different kinds of houses to be built on varying sites in different districts, and was quoted for purposes of an illustration of the kind of basis which the Government has provisionally adopted in considering the financial and other implications of their scheme.


Is it not a fact that during the last two months the cost of house building in this country has gone up considerably?


Yes, but I can assure the hon. Member I am not responsible for that.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Lord Privy Seal stated a short time ago in this House that the £500 was for structure alone, and are we now to understand that the £500 was intended to include the cost of land, and also drainage and roadmaking?


I am sure the right hon. Gentleman does not want to create any difficulties between me and my colleagues, but the reply which I have given may be taken as the Government's view of the situation.


Are we to understand then, that, as usual, there is a difference of opinion among the Members of the Government?

Forward to