§ 20. Mr. DUNCAN GRAHAM
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the complaint of residents in the rural areas of the counties of Moray and Nairn of the lack of housing accommodation; the number of houses that have been built by the local authorities in these two counties in each of the past three years; and whether the local authorities have any difficulty in securing land for building purposes from any of the local landowners?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Skelton)
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the second part, the County Council of Moray built no houses in 1931, and 11 and 10 houses in 1932 and 1933 respectively, while the County Council of Nairn built no houses in 1931 and 1932, and four in 1933. As regards the last part of the question, my right hon. Friend's attention has not been drawn to any difficulty such as is referred to. I may add that, on the information before him, my right hon. Friend was not satisfied with the adequacy of the five years' programmes submitted for the two counties. He accordingly communicated with the 1026 county councils, and investigations and discussions are at present proceeding in the matter.
§ 21. Mr. GRAHAM
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that at the annual meeting of the Scottish National Housing and Town Planning Committee, held at Peebles on 2nd March, 1934, a resolution was passed that private enterprise under present circumstances is unable to erect houses for the working classes at reasonable rents, and that many local authorities in Scotland are unable to do so because of the small subsidy provided by the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1933; and whether he will take steps to augment the subsidy and thus make possible the provision of houses, as contemplated by the Act, without unduly burdening the local authorities?
§ 24. Major Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to a resolution passed by the Scottish National Housing and Town Planning Committee to the effect that private enterprise is unable to erect houses to be let to the working classes at reasonable rents, that many local authorities are unable to do so with the modified subsidy provided by the Housing Act of 1933, and that a housing subsidy varying in accordance with local conditions is required; and whether he proposes to introduce legislation for this purpose before the end of the present Session?
§ Mr. SKELTON
My right hon. Friend is aware of the passing of the resolution referred to. The subsidy of £3 a house under the Act of 1933, which is available only in Scotland, is intended to encourage the provision of houses for low-paid wage-earners living in overcrowded conditions. As the right hon. and hon. Gentlemen are aware, measures for dealing with the whole question of overcrowding are at present under the consideration of the Government, who recognise the special situation of Scotland with regard to this problem.