HC Deb 20 July 1944 vol 402 c341
36. Mr. Storey

asked the Minister of Health whether, on account of the shortage of houses and the fluctuating standards upon which many rural houses were scheduled for clearance or demolition before the war, he will instruct local authorities to include all such houses in the comprehensive survey which he recently ordered and include in the Government's proposals for the amendment of the Housing (Rural Workers) Acts, power to revoke a clearance or demolition Order in respect of any house which the survey shows can be reconditioned.

Mr. Willink

No, Sir. For some itme after building can be resumed, efforts will have to be concentrated on the building of new houses rather than on slum clearance, and many unfit houses may, unfortunately, have to continue in occupation for some time. But the houses to which my hon. Friend refers have all been found, after careful consideration, to be unfit for habitation and incapable of being brought up to a proper standard for any expense their owners were willing to incur, and I should not be justified in suggesting action which might perpetuate bad housing conditions for longer than may be necessary.

Mr. Storey

Is it not a fact that many of these houses were condemned on surveys that were quite inadequate, and would it not be advisable to keep these houses, in view of the great shortage that will exist?

Mr. Willink

I have indicated that it will not be likely, immediately after the war, that we can do away with these houses.