§ 40. Mr. NEIL MACLEAN
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that, owing to a trade dispute over which they have no control, the corporation of Glasgow will be delayed in completing certain building schemes within the time limit for obtaining the higher subsidy and that there is a possibility of a heavy financial loss; what representations have been made by the Glasgow Town Council on the matter; and whether it is proposed to take steps to extend the period in which the subsidy can be obtained?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Skelton)
The corporation have reported that they anticipate that, owing to the dispute referred to, the completion of a number of houses which they are at present building will be delayed till after the 30th June next, in which event subsidy at the rate of £3 instead of £9 per house will be payable; and they have made representations in favour of extending the period allowed for the completion of the houses in question. My right hon. Friend regrets that he can hold out no hope that legislation such as would be necessary to give effect to this suggestion will be introduced. The hon. Member will recollect that, when the Order fixing the period for completion was before the House, I undertook that the Department of Health would facilitate the transfer of the maximum number of uncompleted houses to the Act of 1930 under which a generous subsidy is available. That undertaking, of course, still holds.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Since the total loss which will be sustained by the Glasgow Corporation will amount to over £250,000 and will fall upon the citizens of Glasgow, and as the contractors are indemnified against any loss sustained by a direct clause in their contract, will the hon. Gentleman reconsider the matter and see to it that the Glasgow Corporation do not 353 lose a capital sum of £250,000 in respect of a dispute over which they have no control?
§ Mr. SKELTON
Without entering into the questions raised by the second supplementary question, I would say to my hon. Friend opposite that I am aware that there will be a loss to the Glasgow Corporation, but, on the other hand, a large number of houses under the 1924 Act have been built by them at a rate of contribution which I understand is definitely less than that contemplated under the Act. It has also to be taken into consideration that a considerable number of the houses in question are capable of being transferred to the 1930 Act, and I do not think that the hardship is one that would necessitate the legislation that would be involved.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Is it not the case that the deputation which waited upon the Scottish Office prior to the Whitsuntide Recess made is perfectly clear to them that the offer of the Corporation to the men who were on strike had not been accepted by any large body of men, that the loss they are likely to sustain is the figure I have stated, and that the impression left on the House by the supplementary question of the hon. Member for Catheart (Mr. Train) is not a correct one.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am answering the question on the assumption that the figure of 2,000 houses or thereby would turn out to be correct.