HC Deb 22 September 1943 vol 392 cc184-5
23 and 24. Mr. Thorneycroft

asked the Secretary of State for Air (1) whether he proposes, at the earliest practicable moment to provide accommodation at the airport for the personnel at present using the corporation houses and for the speedy return of the houses to their proper use, in view of the general shortage of housing accommodation in Manchester;

(2) whether he is aware that, in September, 1940, the commanding officer at Ringway airport asked the Manchester Corporation to permit, as a purely temporary measure, the use of 50 corporation houses on the Wythenshawe estate for the accommodation of R.A.F. personnel, for whom there was at that time no accommodation available at the Ringway airport and why, in spite of the temporary nature of the arrangement and repeated representations by the Manchester Corporation for the return of the houses, they are still being used by the R.A.F. personnel?

Sir A. Sinclair

I much regret the inconvenience caused to the Manchester Corporation by the continued occupation of this property, which has been due to the acute difficulties of housing Royal Air Force personnel at the station in question. I am now hoping that it may be possible to adapt certain alternative accommodation, and the Town Clerk has been invited to attend an early meeting to discuss the matter.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Will the right hon. Gentleman in giving consideration to this matter make known that it would be easier to build alternative accommodation for the personnel of the Royal Air Force than to deal with the evils arising out of the overcrowding of the civil population?

Sir A. Sinclair

I can only assure the hon. Member that it is not easy to find the labour for building houses at the present time, for the Royal Air Force or anyone else, but I am very anxious to meet the Manchester Corporation in this. We will certainly do our best.

Mr. Kirkwood

Has the time not arrived now for the Cabinet to reconsider their decision to stop house building and get on with house building all over the country? Folk are desperate.

Mr. Speaker

That is another question, far wider than the one on the Paper.