HC Deb 16 May 1935 vol 301 c1872
33. Mr. HALES

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the demolition of 16 houses situate in George Street, Hanley, owned by one Elijah Jones, on which there was an existing mortgage of £1,128; and whether he will say what compensation can be made, having regard to the fact that the property was in good tenantable repair before the order for demolition was made?


Yes, Sir. These houses were included in a Clearance Order submitted to me under the Housing Act, 1930, by the Stoke-on-Trent City Council and confirmed by me with certain modifications in February, 1934. The properties were unfit for habitation. There is no legal authority for the payment of compensation to the owner for the demolition of these properties.


But, does not my right hon. Friend agree that this man spent everything necessary upon this property to put it into good order, that his whole life's savings disappeared in a night, and that the security on which the money was advanced has now disappeared, and he is left with this intolerable debt for the rest of his life?


My hon. Friend will recognise that I cannot give a full account of a particular case in reply to a supplementary question, but it was the case that, in this particular instance, the premises were totally unfit for human habitation.


When they took over the houses should not they have taken over the debt?