§ 58. Mr. Rhys Davies
asked the Minister of Health whether he will inquire into the complaints from Salford that repairable houses, damaged by enemy action in December, 1940, are still unrepaired; what similar complaints he has received from other parts of the country; and what steps he proposes to take in view of the housing shortage to see that such repair able dwellings are made fit for human habitation?
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Horsbrugh)
First-aid repairs of war-damaged houses, to which the Government have given the highest building priority, have been practically completed throughout the country, and my right hon. Friend has received no significant complaints on this score from Salford or elsewhere. He desires to see the highest possible standard of repairs carried out to the greatest possible number of houses but the question of repairs over and above first-aid repairs is a difficult one since such work must compete, in demands on labour and materials, with the construction of aerodromes, war factories, hostels for munition workers, and other work vital to the war effort. My right hon. Friend has, however, arranged, in collaboration with my Noble Friend the Minister of Works and Buildings, that, in the absence of heavy raiding, as much labour and materials as is possible shall be made available for this further repair work and my officers are in consultaiton in the matter with the Salford Corporation.
§ Mr. Davies
Supposing a local authority does not take steps to repair these repairable dwellings, what can the Minister do to speed them up?
§ Miss Horsbrugh
I have said that the officers are in consultation, and I think we shall get a report from the officers of the Ministry as to the condition of the houses.