HC Deb 07 February 1933 vol 274 cc39-40

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Health whether the Government's programme for slum clearance is limited to 12,000 houses a year?


No, Sir. No limitation of the sort is imposed in the Government's programme for the clearance of slums. It is intended, by the concentration of assistance from subsidies on slum clearance, and by encouraging the more active administration of the Act of 1930 by the responsible local authorities, to raise the rate of clearance as much as possible, without any arbitrary limitation. The figure of 12,000 houses a year was referred to by me as the estimated number for which, in the light of experience of the working of the Act, it is reasonable to make provision in the Estimates for the coming year, which will be the first year of intensified effort to accelerate the rate of clearance. It is expected that after the first year the rate will be increased.


If any of the local authorities are prepared to go on with schemes for the clearance of slum areas, will the Department give them some encouragement to get on with the work as speedily as possible?


Every possible encouragement will be given by the Department, as I have just said, to the more active administration of the Act of 1930.


Do I take it then that in connection with slum clearance in the city of Liverpool, if an application were made for 3,000 houses, the Minister would be prepared to grant sanction for such clearance?


The hon. Member must not ask me, in reply to a question without notice, to give a decision on a particular case. I can only state now what the general principles of administration will be.