HC Deb 05 December 1946 vol 431 cc484-5
34. Mr. King

asked the Minister of Health what proposals he has to ease the lot of those who are being refused a house by local authorities on the ground that they have not lived long enough in the district; to what office these men should apply; and if he is aware that men who have done long service in the Armed Forces are being penalised for that reason because, on account of their service, they could have had no fixed place of residence.

Mr. Bevan

I would refer my hon. Friend to the general statement made by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary of my Department on the Motion for the Adjournment on 21st November, and to Circulars 109/45 and 176/45 issued to local authorities, copies of which I am sending to him.

Mr. King

Is not the present position that we must all go and live where we lived in 1939? Would the Minister not agree that, in order to ease our economic problem, the correct answer is that a man must live where he works, and would the Minister draw the attention of local authorities to that fact?

Mr. Bevan

I have already answered that by saying that I have called the attention of local authorities to it, but, obviously, local authorities are able to provide houses in accordance with need in these circumstances, far better than if there were only houses for sale.

Mr. Marples

If details of hardship are sent to the right hon. Gentleman, will he bring a little pressure to bear on local authorities to try and remedy such hardships?

Mr. Bevan

Certainly, Sir.

Mrs. Leah Manning

Will my right hon. Friend look at this question, again because it is a matter of many people going back to areas—such as West Ham —and upsetting the whole planning of the areas because they cannot get houses where they want to get them?

Mr. Bevan

I realise that there are difficulties. Attempts are being made to bring about cooperation with the London authorities in order to reduce them, and discussions are now proceeding.

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