HC Deb 05 August 1943 vol 391 cc2428-9
5. Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Minister of Health whether he will amend Section 46 of the 1925 Housing Act, which was re-enacted in the Schedule to the Housing Act, 1930, and thereby remove the injustice imposed on property owners by this legislation and also one of the causes which has led to the delay in quickly dealing with slum property?

Miss Horsbrugh

No, Sir, my right hon. Friend is not prepared to introduce legislation to upset the principle embodied in Section 46 of the Housing Act, 1925, which was affirmed by Parliament in the Housing Act, 1930, and re-affirmed in the Housing Acts, 1935 and 1936. My right hon. Friend cannot accept the view indicated in the closing part of the Question.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Is not the hon. Lady aware that properties valued under the Act in question have been valued at only site value, whereas a few months previously they were valued for Estate Duty at £2,000 or £3,000 in excess; and are not these methods likely to cause delay in dealing with slums?

Miss Horsbrugh

I realise that the statutory provisions to which the hon. Member refers are that when a house is no longer fit for human habitation it has to be demolished and Parliament has agreed on successive occasions that the valuation shall be the amount of the site value.