24. Mrs. WARD
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that a disparity exists in many local government areas between the rents charged by the local authorities for houses recently erected by them and for those erected by them some time ago; and whether, with a view to removing the dissatisfaction caused thereby, he will consider the desirability of issuing a Departmental circular to local authorities recommending that by a method of pooling, or otherwise, they should render such rents as uniform as can practically be done?
Sir H. YOUNG
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, the disparities resulting in part from variations in building cost, and in part from differences in the conditions prescribed by the several Acts under which 1647 subsidies are payable. Such a pooling of rents as is suggested in the second part of the question would involve the raising of rents which are at present low as well as the reduction of rents which are at present high, and, in view of the needs of the less well paid working classes, I should not be prepared to encourage a general arrangement of this kind. I am sending my hon. Friend copies of circular letters already issued to local authorities which deal with this matter.