HC Deb 11 November 1943 vol 393 cc1281-2
45. Mr. Lipson

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give time for the consideration of the Motion on Housing, standing in the name of the hon. Member for Cheltenham?

[That in the opinion of this House the way in which the housing problem in England and Wales during the war has been, and is being, mishandled by the Ministry of Health calls for the transfer of this service to another Ministry to deal with it more effectively.]

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)

No, Sir. No time will be given for a Debate on this Motion. The Ministry of Health does not and cannot in time of full war mobilisation possess the facilities which are necessary for a satisfactory handling of the domestic housing problem. I cannot hold out the slightest hope that peace-time requirements can be met as they should be under present intensifying war conditions.

Mr. Lipson

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the Ministry has made the best possible use of such accommodation as is available?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, I am.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is the Prime Minister aware that thousands of young people are getting married and have no homes to go to? Surely that is a serious situation in war-time. How can we fight the war when people have nowhere to lay their heads?

The Prime Minister

We are in the middle of an intense man-power stringency—nearly 1,250,000 more urgent approved needs than our population enables us to meet. I have to think of the overriding priority of war needs and to provide for many needs which must take precedence even over those which naturally commend themselves most to our inclination.