HC Deb 31 May 1938 vol 336 cc1816-7
36. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in how many cases during the past year applications from county councils for approval of grants under the Housing (Rural Workers) Act have been refused by the Department of Health on the ground that indoor water supplies were not provided; in how many cases applications not providing for indoor water supplies were approved; and to what extent the absence of water supplies curtails developments under this Act?

Mr. Colville

Local authorities have submitted to the Department statements in connection with individual applications for grant under the Acts only since 1st January, 1938. Five of the 673 statements which have been received indicated that the reconstructed dwelling would not have an indoor water supply. In three cases the Department raised no objection to the giving of grant and in two cases they withheld their consent. In the cases covered by the statements referred to, therefore, the absence of water supply has not resulted in any appreciable curtailment of work under the Acts.

Mr. Stewart

Does the Secretary of State agree that there would be a great extension of the use of this Act if water were available in many of the rural parts of Scotland?

Mr. Colville

Yes, I agree that a deterrent in going forward with the proposals in the Act is that there is no water available in certain cases.

39. Mr. T. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what additional progress has been made in the building of working-class houses in Scotland as a result of the formation of the council composed of representatives of the building industry and his Department as compared with the year 1935–36?

Mr. Colville

I am satisfied that the consultations which have been taking place between the representatives of the building industry and of my Department are producing beneficial results, but it is too early to attempt to measure these results in terms of output of houses. The number of houses completed by local authorities in the first four months of 1938 was, however, 5,326 as compared with 4,765 and 3,989 for the corresponding periods of 1936 and 1937 respectively.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the Department doing anything to try to eliminate the floating factors which run away with £ 70 on each house that is built?