§ 20. Dr. CLAYTON
asked the Minister of Health what steps he proposes to take to mitigate the hardship incurred by certain persons in the Moreton area of Wirral, in view of the fact that less than 10 years ago they submitted plans for houses to the Wirral Rural District Council and, after having these plans approved, built these houses and in many cases entered into obligations, such as mortgages, and that the area has now been absorbed by the Wallasey Corporation, who now propose to demolish these houses without compensation, merely offering accommodation in council houses at rents impossible for these persons to pay?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Mr. Ernest Brown)
It is presumed that my hon. Friend is referring to certain clearance orders which have been made by the Wallasey Corporation under the Housing Act, 1930. These orders have been the subject of the prescribed local inquiry and my right hon. Friend is satisfied that with certain modifications the areas concerned have properly been declared to be clearance areas. In these circumstances, my right hon. Friend is afraid that he has no power to take action in the direction suggested by my hon. Friend.
§ Dr. CLAYTON
In view of the hardship which is being felt by the interpretation of the 1930 Housing Act, will it not be possible to insert a new Clause in the Town and Country Planning Bill so that these people can receive fair treatment?
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that this district is one of the most insanitary areas in the country, and that it is time that it was cleared out.
§ Mr. BROWN
As my hon. Friend is aware, there is no power at the moment to do that. As he knows, in cases of special hardship the corporation have power under Section 41 of the Act of 1930 to make a reasonable allowance for displaced persons for removal expenses or for loss or disturbance of busines.
§ Lieut.-Colonel MOORE-BRABAZON
Will the hon. Gentleman make it clear that they were impelled to action by Statute and not from any inclination of their own?
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Is it not clear, although houses were put up 10 years ago, that it must have been an insanitary district then?