HC Deb 05 December 1946 vol 431 cc480-1
17. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that many people who were forced to move from their home towns during the war are now finding it impossible to obtain accommodation in the towns to which they have been evacuated and that local councils are refusing to include them in their priority waiting lists for houses, so that many are separated from their families with no prospect of reunion; and whether he has any proposals for meeting this situation.

Mr. Bevan

The attention of local authorities has already been directed to the need for reviewing the conditions of any residential qualification laid down for their district in the light of circumstances such as those described by my hon. Friend. If she will let me have particulars of any specific cases she has in mind, I will be glad to look into them.

Mrs. Castle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I have already sent his Department a case of this kind where a man has to be separated because he has been evacuated and, although sympathy is expressed by the Department, it is said there can be no solution to this problem? Will my right hon. Friend make more stringent representation on the matter?

Mr. Bevan

In this matter the local authorities are self-governing bodies and I cannot accept, all the while, suggestions made by the House that I should give instructions to local authorities on matters that lie within their own purview. However, I am asking them to be a little more elastic in the interpretation of their powers.