HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 cc1690-3
14. Mr. McLean Watson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in how many cases has notice to remove from their houses been served on tenants of the Scottish National Housing Company at Rosyth; and whether steps are being taken to ensure that alternative accommodation will be available for the displaced families?

Mr. Elliot

Notices to remove at Whitsunday have been served on 12 tenants whose houses are required for Admiralty employés for whom they were primarily built. I am informed that the houses are not controlled and that no obligation rests on the company to provide other accommodation. I am, however, in touch with the local authority with a view to seeing what can be done to mitigate any hardship that may arise.

Mr. Watson

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the houses that are to be affected are the dearer rented houses, and as the Scottish National Housing Company have had difficulty in getting these houses filled originally, will he do what he can to make sure that no inconvenience or as little inconvenience as possible will be given to these tenants who are going away?

Mr. Elliot

The hon. Member will find that in the last part of my answer.

20. Mr. Anstruther-Gray

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made to date in the building of houses by the housing association for the Special Areas?

Mr. Elliot

The association have approved sketch plans for about 600 houses, which will be built at Tannochside, Carluke, Holytown and Douglas, in Lanarkshire. At a very early date the detailed plans will be submitted to the county council and, where necessary, to the superiors for their approval. The association are making every effort to hasten the commencement of actual building.

Mr. Anstruther-Gray

Are the association investigating the possibilities of building many more houses?

Mr. Elliot

I think they are. They do not regard this as the final programme.

Mr. Buchanan

Does this apply to all Scotland? The right hon. Gentleman has only given information about Lanarkshire, but am I to take it that this association's work is confined to Lanarkshire?

Mr. Elliot

So far, yes, but it does not restrict itself to Lanarkshire, and several other county and town councils have asked for houses to be erected in their areas.

22. Mr. Davidson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the total number of houses with a yearly rental between £35 and £45 in the Maryhill, Kelvingrove and Hillhead divisions of Glasgow, respectively?

Mr. Elliot

Figures in the Valuation Roll (which gives actual rents in the case of let houses) show that the total number of houses referred to is as follows:

Maryhill 633
Kelvingrove 1,783
Hillhead 1,593

Mr. Davidson

Does that reply refer only to let houses?

Mr. Elliot

No. The other rents are estimated, but actual rents are given in the case of let houses.

21. Mr. Mathers (for Mr. Robert Gibson)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that, of the insured members of the building trade aged 16 to 64 years in Greenock, 31.9 per cent. were unemployed at 13th December, 1937, and 25.3 per cent. at 17th January, 1938; that there is a serious shortage of housing accommodation there; and whether he has any proposals to make to the local authority for the purpose of increasing the housing accommodation available?

Mr. Elliot

I am aware that the figures are substantially as stated, but they include both skilled and unskilled workmen. The hon. and learned Member will be aware that one of the difficulties affecting housing progress at present is a shortage of bricklayers, and I am informed that on 14th February, the latest date for which information is available, there were no bricklayers unemployed in Greenock. With regard to the second part of the question, the Corporation have under construction or waiting commencement over 2,000 brick houses and they are considering the possibility of accelerating their building programme by the use of alternative methods of construction which make a minimum demand on the services of bricklayers.

Mr. Mathers

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the provision of sufficient workers to increase the output of houses in Scotland is very largely a matter of organisation; and is that organisation beyond the wit of his Department?

Mr. Elliot

It is a matter for the organisation of the trade itself. There is a joint council in existence for that purpose.