HC Deb 07 May 1924 vol 173 cc416-7

asked the Minister of Health what is the best available information as to the total number of working-class houses completed by all agencies in each of the calendar years 1921, 1922 and 1923?


It is not possible to state the total number of working-class houses completed by all agencies in each of the calendar years in question, as figures are not available showing the number of houses erected by private enterprise without State assistance over the whole period. The numbers of houses erected with State assistance were:

1921 86,669
1922 88,999
1923 19,185
During the year ended 30th September, 1923, it is estimated that over 39,000 houses of not more than £26 rateable value in the provinces and £35 in the Metropolitan Police district were completed.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that until we have had these figures giving the total number of houses built in each year, we have no basis of comparison as to what increase in output is offered in the Building Industry Report? Cannot he make another effort to get them?


May I ask, for the purposes of clarity, whether it is not a fact that the figures the right hon. Gentleman has given are the figures for England and Wales alone, and do not include Scotland?


These figures are for England and Wales alone. With regard to the first supplementary question, I wish to say that the figures mentioned in the Building Industry Report are figures which relate to houses of a subsidy type and are to be compared with the figures of houses of that type I have given here, and it is not suggested that the number of houses of a larger type which have been produced in the last year should be reduced in future.


Is it not a fact that in the Report of that Committee there is a specific statement that if private enterprise builds more houses, the number of houses proposed in the Report will be correspondingly reduced?


Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House how many houses he anticipates will be completed under his own Act for 1924?

Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

Does not the right hon. Gentleman get complete figures for all houses built from the reports of the medical officers of health every year, and cannot he, therefore, get the complete figures asked for in the original question?


Hon. Members are inclined to confuse two sets of houses. Take the year for which we have not detailed information, the houses erected without assistance from the State are houses which, on the information we have were not built for letting, but if they were for letting the smallest would be let at net rates of from £32 10s. to £45 a year. There are not the class of houses which it is generally assumed that people with incomes of less than £3 a week can afford to occupy.