HC Deb 04 December 1945 vol 416 cc2069-73
2. Sir William Darling

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if his attention has been drawn to the achievement of Professor Vladimir Zobolofsky, President of the Ukrainian Academy of Architecture, in the manufacture of china building bricks whereby 96,000 houses had been built in one year; and if he will consider similar plans to secure the same achievement for Scotland.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Buchanan)

On the information presently before me I am satisfied that this method of building is not one which could be adopted in Scotland, but perhaps the hon. Member would let me have any further details in his possession.

Sir W. Darling

Is the Under-Secrctary of State aware that in an official document from the Russian Embassy delivered to me at this House particulars were given of this great Soviet achievement?

Mr. Buchanan

So far as we have examined it, we are not satisfied that this method is suitable for Scotland, but if the hon. Member has any further information I will be pleased to examine it.

Mr. Malcolm Macmillan

Will the Minister assure us that he will take full cognisance of all the political associations of the hon. Member for South Edinburgh (Sir W. Darling)?

3. Lieut.-Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many houses have been completed in Glasgow since 1st June, 1945; and how many have been started.

Mr. Buchanan

Since 1st June, 1945, 239 permanent and 67 temporary houses have been completed. The numbers now under construction are 647 permanent and 164 temporary. Those started since 1st June, including some houses which have been completed, number 351 permanent and 212 temporary.

Lieut.-Colonel Hutchison

May I ask the Minister whether the houses he designates as completed are in fact occupied?

Mr. Buchanan

"Completed" means that so far as temporary houses are concerned we have completed our work and handed them over to the local authority. With regard to permanent houses, I anticipate that they will all be occupied.

5. Mr. McKie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of houses in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright reconditioned under the Rural Housing Acts.

Mr. Buchanan

At 30th June, 1945, the latest date for which figures are available, 1,025 houses had been reconditioned under these Acts in the Stewartry.

Mr. McKie

Is the Minister not now impressed by the fact that the deleterious effect of the Government of which he is a distinguished Member is bound to have effect in discontinuing rural housing in the Stewartry?

Mr. Buchanan

It all depends upon the angle from which you look at this; for instance, if you found out that 119 were reconditioned by owner-occupiers, the total grant being £10,430, and 906 by the landlords, who were getting £84,000, that might alter the hon. Member's view.

7. Mr. A. Anderson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the number of serviced sites for temporary houses in the Burgh of Motherwell and Wishaw; the number of temporary houses supplied to date; and the estimated rate of future delivery.

Mr. Buchanan

There are serviced sites for 206 temporary houses in the Burgh; 56 temporary houses are under construction and 43 additional houses have been delivered to the site. For the sites already serviced, it is estimated that deliveries will be made at the rate of 20 houses per week.

II. Mr. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that the employment of large numbers of workmen on the sub-dividing of large private houses is preventing the corporation of Edinburgh from completing the work on municipal housing schemes; if he is satisfied with the way in which licences are granted in Edinburgh for private building; and if he will make a statement.

16. Mr. Gilzean

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that licences continue to be freely given in Edinburgh for houses for sale and for garages, whilst labour is unavailable for the purpose of building houses to let; and will he take steps to remedy this position.

19. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that large derequisitioned houses in Edinburgh are being sold and sub-divided into flats for sale at speculative prices; that plenty of labour is available for this work whilst labour cannot be obtained to erect corporation houses; and will he take steps to ensure that the Government's policy for houses to let is implemented.

Mr. Buchanan

I am informed that licences for the sub-division of 53 large houses and for the provision of five garages in Edinburgh have been granted by the corporation and that work has not yet been begun on about 400 new-houses for which tenders have been approved. I have accordingly at once asked the corporation to consider the suspension or reduction of the licensing of works of sub-division until better progress has been achieved with their own housing schemes.

Mr. Hoy

Is the Minister aware that there are 146 houses at present under construction which are being held up because of the lack of plasterers?

Mr. Buchanan

As the hon. Member has heard from my answer, I have asked Edinburgh to reconsider this matter with a view to seeing if some of the labour cannot get on with the housing scheme.

Mr. Willis

Is the Minister aware that sub-divided houses are being made to sell at prices between £2,000 and £3,000, and that this seems to be directly against the aim of the Government, which is to obtain houses at a cost of £1,200 and produce houses for less?

Mr. Gilzean

Will the Minister take steps to implement the last part of my Question; will he take steps to remedy this?

Mr. Buchanan

The position is that Edinburgh Corporation, which is the licensing authority at the present time, has been written to asking it to reconsider the matter. We had better await Edinburgh's reply before we can consider what further action we can take.

Sir W. Darling

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, in the winter season particularly, in Scotland he will get more housing accommodation made available by the sub-division of existing houses than the erection of new houses, and will the Minister further that policy?

Mr. Buchanan

I will only say that. I think that good progress has been made in Scotland, in certain parts, particularly in permanent housing, and I hope that Edinburgh will not lag in that particular matter.

Mr. Willis

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter again.

20. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the latest available figures of the total number of dwelling houses made available by requisitioning in Edinburgh and Glasgow, respectively.

Mr. Buchanan

Up to 30th November, 34 houses had been requisitioned in Edinburgh for conversion into 55 separate dwellings. The corresponding figures for Glasgow are 198 and 575 respectively.

Mr. Willis

Will my hon. Friend examine the situation as revealed by these figures, and take all possible steps to ensure that the Edinburgh Corporation uses its vast powers of requisitioning to provide houses for the people instead of providing them for speculative builders?

Mr. Buchanan

My hon. Friend can take it that as far as we at the Scottish Office are concerned, every encouragement is being given to Edinburgh to requisition for the purpose of private dwelling houses.

30. Major Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland on how -many permanent houses has building construction actually been commenced in Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Dumbartonshire, respectively, since 1st August last.

Mr. Buchanan

The numbers of permanent houses begun since 1st August in the. Landward and Burghal areas of Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Dumbartonshire are 158, 148 and 79 respectively.

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