HC Deb 17 May 1944 vol 400 cc159-60
10. Mr. Astor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will institute an inquiry into the practicability of Great Britain supplying, after the war, simple pre-fabricated houses to relieve the serious housing situation which will be caused in France and other allied countries by allied military and air action.

Mr. Eden

The capacity of this country to produce pre-fabricated houses is likely to be fully occupied in meeting the needs of our own people. The supply of emergency housing in liberated areas is only part of the general question of how the essential needs of these areas, on liberation, can best be met. This general question is under consideration.

Mr. Astor

Is my right hon. Friend aware that by next winter thousands of French families may be homeless and in grievous danger of suffering through the action of our Forces; does he realise that it would be not only a practical form of help, but a sound basis for Anglo-French friendship, if such aid could be given; and will he look into the matter very seriously?

Mr. McGovern

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that there are hundreds of thousands of people in this country who are without houses?

Mr. Eden

We all deeply regret that any devastation is to be caused in France, but many French people also understand that there has been very wide devastation in this country.