HC Deb 05 December 1946 vol 431 cc481-2
18. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Health whether he will issue a table showing the number of permanent houses, including those to be prefabricated, separately, that each local authority is hoping to build during 1947.

Mr. Bevan

I hope to be able to announce shortly a national housing programme for 1947. It will, however, be some time before each local authority's share can be estimated and it will in any event be necessary to leave some elasticity.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

How is it that the right hon. Gentleman is not able to announce a national housing programme for 1946?

Mr. Bevan

The fact is that we are now able to predict with a much greater certainty the supply of labour and material and, as soon as we are able to do so, I will place before the House a programme which they will be able to examine and, I am sure, applaud.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Does that apply to the programme for the completion of houses by the end of this year announced by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Works?

Mr. Bevan

I am able to announce with complete certitude that the 1947 programme will not be retrospective to 1946.

Colonel Ponsonby

Does that mean that many local authorities have already got their plans made for 1947?

Mr. Bevan

It is the fact, as was not anticipated by hon. Members opposite, that local authorities already have got more houses under contract than the building industry can build in 1947.

Mr. Freeman

Can the Minister say whether it is intended to publish this statement before the end of the year?

Mr. Bevan

I hope to be able to let the House know what the proposals are before the Christmas Recess, but there may be some difficulty.

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