HC Deb 07 November 1933 vol 281 cc22-3

asked the Minister of Health the number of local authorities that have submitted schemes for slum clearance, and the number that have been approved by his Department?

37. Mr. HICKS

asked the Minister of Health what progress has been made in slum clearance?


My right hon. Friend understands that the questions refer to the later stage of schemes included in resolutions and orders under the Housing Act, 1930, and not to the earlier stage of submitting programmes in response to my right hon. Friend's Circular of 6th April last. As to the former, up to 31st October, 236 local authorities in England and Wales submitted to the Minister resolutions declaring 1,265 areas, comprising 32,839 houses, to be clearance areas; 878 clearance and compulsory purchase orders affecting 23,012 houses, were submitted for confirmation, and 619 Orders made by 139 local authorities, affecting 13,133 houses, were confirmed; in addition, 1,013 houses were purchased by local authorities for demolition without a Compulsory Purchase Order.


Will the hon. Gentleman be good enough to tell the House whether the Minister is satisfied with the progress made in this direction?


My right hon. Friend was not satisfied. That is why he reversed policy and issued the Circular.


Will the hon. Gentleman tell us what the Department are doing for the purpose of speeding up the local authorities and getting on with the work of finding men jobs all over the country?


May I ask where the hon. Gentleman has been during the last six months?


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that schemes that were presented over two years ago have been passed only within the last two or three weeks, and is he satisfied with that rate of speeding up?


That may be true, but the policy has now been changed, and we are speeding up. We inherited a problem, and we are speeding up. My right hon. Friend is to make a statement at a later stage to show what a remarkable response is coming from the local authorities, and how the problem is being attacked.