§ 31. Mr. Craven-Ellis
asked the Minister of Health whether he will define clearly the field for local authority building?
§ Mr. E. Brown
The field for local authority house-building after the war will, in my view, as was the case before the war, depend to a large degree on the extent to which the housing needs are met by the erection by private enterprise of houses both for sale and for letting. As my hon. Friend knows, the policy of the Government for several years before the war was that local authorities, who are charged by Parliament with the duty of reviewing the housing conditions in their areas and of preparing and submitting proposals to the Minister of Health for the provision of new houses for the working classes, should build houses for the replacement of the slums and the abatement of overcrowding and also for meeting general needs for houses for the working classes in so far as they were not met by private enterprise.
§ Mr. Craven-Ellis
Is the right hon. Gentleman correct in saying that local authorities after the last war built houses for the working people, as the poorest people were neglected? Further, will the right hon. Gentleman restrict local authorities to building houses to let at an economic rental of not more than 8s. a week?
§ 32. Mr. Craven-Ellis
asked the Minister of Health what will ultimately be the total cost to the taxpayer and ratepayer for the, subsidies granted to local authorities for the 1,000,000 houses built by local, authorities between the two world wars?
§ Mr. Craven-Ellis
Has the right hon. Gentleman gone through all the records, because the total cost will be no less than £2,500,000,000. What has influenced the Government to pay subsidies on houses?
§ Mr. Ivor Thomas
Is it not true that private enterprise proved totally incapable of providing the houses?