HC Deb 29 July 1943 vol 391 cc1774-5
60. Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Minister of Health whether it is intended in local authority post-war building to subsidise the house or the occupier; and on what grounds is the decision based?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Ernest Brown)

The subsidy at present payable under the Housing Acts is related to the house and not to the occupier, As regards the future, I would refer my hon. Friend to the statements made on 3rd June and 17th March last, of which I am sending him copies.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Would it not be desirable that occupiers should have any subsidy which is required instead of local authorities, who selected, as they did after the last war, the best of the tenants, leaving the poorer tenants to herd into over-crowded slums?

Mr. Brown

That raises the whole basis of the Housing Acts.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Is it not a fact that many local authorities chose the poorer classes of people to occupy their houses? If the hon. Member for Southampton (Mr. Craven-Ellis) wants to know where they are, let him ask me.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

Is not what the hon. Member for Southampton (Mr. Craven-Ellis) said entirely contrary to the facts?

Mr. Brown

As I have just said, this raises the whole problem of the Housing Acts.

66. Mr. McEntee

asked the Minister of Health whether he is now in a position to state what subsidy it is proposed to pay to local authorities on houses built by them and let to tenants at an approved rent after the war; and will he consider paying a similar subsidy to private builders provided they build houses of a standard approved by his Ministry and to be let to tenants for a period of time and at a rent laid down by him?

Mr. Brown

The answer to both parts of the Question is "No, Sir." As regards the first part, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply, of which I am sending him a copy, which I gave last week to my hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths).

77. Mr. Wakefield

asked the Minister of Health whether private enterprise will be given the same subsidies as those paid to local authorities if it undertakes to clear the slums, abate overcrowding, and give preference to persons who are occupying insanitary or overcrowded houses with large families or living in unsatisfactory conditions at rents in appropriate cases similar to those charged by the local authority?

Mr. Brown

I can assure my hon. Friend that I would not refuse to consider proposals from any responsible body willing to undertake the building of houses subject to the conditions he has mentioned. As my hon. Friend knows, the clearance of slums and the abatement of overcrowding involve matters other than the provision of new houses, and the wide powers required for these operations have been conferred by Parliament on local authorities. The difficulties of giving similar powers to non-elected bodies might well prove insuperable.

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