HC Deb 13 December 1945 vol 417 cc589-90
13. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Health the number of applications made for houses by local authorities; the number of houses in course of erection; and the number approved.

Mr. Bevan

Local authorities have applied for authority to invite tenders for 81,007 houses and have been authorised to invite tenders for 78,301 houses. Tenders for 25,676 of these houses have been accepted. The number of houses in course of erection will not be known until returns are received from the local authorities in the New Year.

Sir W. Smithers

Will the Minister say how that answer squares with the promises made in such wholesale fashion by the Socialist Party at the General Election?

Mr. Bevan

When these figures are announced they will prove that the Government have accelerated their housing programme far more than they might have been expected to do if hon. Members opposite had been in office.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Can the Minister say if the plans of the local authorities are making more rapid progress through the bottleneck of Ministerial approval, which appears to average three months?

Mr. Speaker

This was the sort of question that might well have been put down for a written answer. The supplementaries are not really relevant.