HC Deb 08 July 1943 vol 390 cc2241-2
29. Mr. Wakefield

asked the Minister of Health whether private enterprise, in their plans for post-war housing, should proceed on the assumption that there will be a Government subsidy similar to that granted to local authorities?

Mr. E. Brown

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply, of which I am sending him a copy, which I gave on 1st July to a Question on this subject by my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton (Mr. Craven-Ellis).

Mr. Bossom

What is the size of this subsidy? Will it be made irrespective of total costs?

Mr. Brown

If the hon. Member will read the former answer, of which I will send a copy to him also, he will see that his question does not arise.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

What is the underlying motive of subsidising local authorities and placing them in a more favourable position than private enterprise?

Mr. Brown

It was found after the last war that there is a field of operations for private enterprise in which it can do its work and build the houses.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Could the right hon. Gentleman not tell the House whether he is seriously considering offering building subsidies to private enterprise?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps I had better read the answer which I gave: No, Sir, I would remind my hon. Friend that despite the absence of subsidy large numbers of houses were built by private enterprise during the years before the war."—[OFFICIAL, REPORT, 1st July, 1943; col. 1762, Vol. 390.]

Mr. Wakefield

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether that means that the amount of subsidy given to local authorities is the measure of their inefficiency for building houses compared with private enterprise?

Mr. Brown

Not at all. It means that the vital experience of 20 years after the last war proved that there was a field in which local authority operation was the right operation and another field in which private enterprise was the right operation.

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