HC Deb 12 April 1934 vol 288 cc487-9
67. Mr. TINKER (for Mr. KIRK-WOOD)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of local authority houses for which tenders have been approved each month since January, 1933, up to date; and the number of houses for which tenders have been approved each month for the same period under the guarantee Section 3 of the 1933 Act?


As the answer to the first part of the question involves a tabular statement, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. It will be observed that the number of tenders approved for March of this year is for 1,429 houses, the highest since March, 1933. Of these 1,183, the highest number on record, are for slum clearance houses. As regards the second part, tenders for the erection of houses under Section 3 of the Act of 1933 do not require the approval of the Department of Health. One scheme for the giving of guarantees to enable the erection of houses under the section has been submitted and is now under consideration.


Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied with the progress that is being made in this matter; and does he not consider that there is a call for some other action in view of the failure of this Act to work?


In the first place, I should not describe the progress made under the Act of last year as a failure. The Government are considering with great care a campaign against overcrowding, and, in view of the special prevalence of overcrowding in Scotland, particularly anxious care has been taken to see that the proper remedies are found there.

Following is the statement:

NUMBER of local authority houses in tenders approved each month from January, 1933, to 31st March, 1934 (inclusive).

Month and Number of houses included in tenders approved.

January 1,694
February 1,278
March 1,791
April 542
May 1,032
June 1,337
July 1,057
August 1,054
September 494
October 448
November 979
December 905
January 870
February 1,254
March 1,429
Total 16,164

68. Mr. TINKER (for Mr. KIRK-WOOD)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many local authorities in Scotland have refused to build houses under the 1933 Act because of the reduction in the subsidy from £9 to £3 per annum; how many municipal houses are now being built by local authorities under the 1933 Act; and what action does the Government intend to take to enable local authorities to build houses to relieve overcrowding and to provide for the normal growth of the population?


Intimation has been received that 17 local authorities in Scotland are not prepared to build houses under Section 1 of the Act of 1933 because of the reduction in the amount of the subsidy. Up to date tenders have been approved for the erection by 20 local authorities of 812 houses under the Section and of these 350 were under construction at the 3lst March, 1934, the latest date for which information is available. As regards the last part of the question, local authorities already have powers to build houses for the purposes referred to. As the hon. Member is aware, measures for dealing effectively and expeditiously with the problem of overcrowding in Scotland are at present being considered by the Government in consultation with representatives of local authorities.