59. Mr. SIMON
asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the importance of concentrating all housing efforts in the removal from the slums of the poorer families who cannot afford the rent of 1167 parlour houses, he will consider abolishing the subsidy under the 1924 Housing Act as regards parlour houses?
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I am anxious that great efforts should be made to provide better accommodation which will be available for poor families living in bad conditions, but I do not consider that the activities can or should at present be limited to this aspect of the housing question. There is a need for the building of more houses by local authorities apart from the question of dealing with slums. And while I think that the greatest need is for houses of smaller type, I do not consider that local authorities should be debarred from building parlour houses, or that subsidy should not be available for such houses in proper cases.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are very many cases of small families with incomes round about £8 a week living in these parlour houses, and that the very poorest families in the slums have to contribute through the rates to the subsidy on these houses, and will he take some steps to end this serious injustice and waste of public money?
Sir GEORGE HAMILTON
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree with the question that the abolishing of the subsidy would reduce the cost of the houses?
§ Mr. HARRIS
Does the right hon. Gentleman think it good to raise the general standard of houses throughout the country, and is not the parlour house, therefore, on the whole a good thing?