HC Deb 11 March 1943 vol 387 cc857-8
54. Mr. Rostron Duckworth

asked the Minister of Health the gross cost of subsidising the 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 houses it is proposed to build after the war as a matter of urgency on the basis of the subsidisation which was approved under the last Housing Act?

Mr. E. Brown

The various rates of subsidy referred to were payable only in respect of dwellings provided for slum clearance, for the abatement of overcrowding and for agricultural workers, and it is not possible to say at present what number of houses included in the estimate mentioned in the Question would be eligible for subsidy.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the cost of subsidising houses which were erected after the last war amounted to no less than £1,600,000,000, and is he going to put a similar imposition on the country when this war is over?

Mr. Brown

I have already said it is not possible to make an estimate.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Is the Minister aware that there is no object more worthy of subsidy than homes for the people?

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Why cannot the houses be built without a subsidy?

Mr. Thorneycroft

In view of the urgent housing needs, will the Minister give an assurance that questions of this character will not be allowed to prejudice his future policy, and will he give special consideration to Manchester in this matter?