§ 1. Mr. NEIL MACLEAN
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many local authorities in Scotland have presented schemes under the Housing (Rural Authorities) Act, 1931, the number of houses proposed to be built; and what schemes he has approved and the number of houses included in the approved schemes?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Skelton)
Fourteen county councils in Scotland have submitted applications for a special contribution under the Housing (Rural Authorities) Act, 1931. The number of houses covered by these applications is 1,748. As the Act provided that applications could be made at any time before the 30th November, 1931, and as the amount of money available for distribution is a fixed sum, the advisory committee appointed under the Act have not been in a position to dispose of any of the applications, and accordingly none of the proposals submitted has yet been approved.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Will the hon. Member tell me whether he is still considering these schemes; or has his Department dismissed them entirely?
§ 4. Mr. TEMPLETON
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is prepared to take steps, by legislation or otherwise, to ensure that without unnecessary delay and expense tenants are enabled to insist on landlords carrying out the necessary repairs in contemplation of which they were given an increase of rent in the last amendment of the Rent Restrictions Act?
§ Mr. SKELTON
The question of the enforcement of repairs is one which, along with other matters relating to the Rent Restriction Acts, will be considered by the Government in the light of the report of the Departmental Committee which was recently issued.
§ Mr. TEMPLETON
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this condition of the increased rental is notoriously neglected by the owners of house property in the West of Scotland?
§ Mr. SKELTON
The hon. Gentleman will recollect that the tenants even at present have certain remedies in their own hands. Where the house is certified, I think I am right in saying, that the tenant, if he is sued for payment, can put in a certificate as presumptive though not conclusive evidence that the house was not, and is not, in a reasonable state 907 of repair. And my hon. Friend will find that there are other remedies, which I will not go into at present.
§ Mr. N. MACLEAN
Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House whether the Government have in mind any return being made by the house owner or the factor as to the amounts taken by them in the 25 per cent. for repairs, and how much has been expended by them in repairing the houses?
§ Mr. SKELTON
As regards what is in the mind of the Government, I cannot at this moment say; and, as regards the general question, I should require notice.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
If the hon. Gentleman will make inquiries into the condition of those houses to which the question refers, he will find that the statement made in the House of Commons is absolutely true.