HC Deb 27 July 1933 vol 280 cc2752-4

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that there is a shortage of houses in the Gorebridge area of Midlothian and that a number of persons who have been unable to obtain real houses are compelled to live in Army huts; whether he will urge the local authority to take steps to deal with the shortage; and whether, in approving any housing proposals submitted by the local authority, he will secure that when the new houses are being let a preference is given to those who are at present living in Army huts?


Representations have recently been received regarding the unsatisfactory housing conditions under which certain families are living in the Gorebridge area, but except for the case of one family who are living partly in a single room and partly in a small hut nearby, and who lave now been offered the tenancy of a Council house at an early date, I am not aware of families being compelled to live in Army huts. The County Council have been urged by the Department of Health to submit proposals for the erection of houses to replace unfit houses which should be demolished or closed, and to deal with cases of overcrowding in their area. With regard to the last part of the question, I cannot give such an assurance as is suggested.

Captain RAMSAY

May I ask, in view of the fact that this family has received many assurances during the past 18 months that they will be moved into a fresh house at an early date and yet are kept in an Army hut all the time, if the hon. Gentleman can give me an indication of what he means on this occasion by "an early date"?


My information is that a house has been definitely offered to and accepted by the family. Tenancy will begin, I think, in September.

Captain RAMSAY

Thank you, Sir.


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that a petition calling for an inquiry under the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1930, has been received by the Department of Health for Scotland, Edinburgh, from the ratepayers of the parish of Terregles, Kirkcudbrightshire; whether he has yet arranged for the holding of the inquiry; and, if not, will he endeavour to arrange for the inquiry to be held at the earliest possible date?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The Department of Health are arranging for one of their housing Inspectors to visit Terregles in order that my right hon. Friend should be furnished with the information required before any decision is taken.