HC Deb 25 July 1946 vol 426 cc209-10
39. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the shortage of housing in the Orpington area, he will give increased facilities for private builders to supplement the programme of the local authority in accordance with the arrangements announced in his Circular 92/46

Mr. Bevan

Any proposal received from the Orpington Urban District Council for the erection of houses under the arrangements described in Circular 92/46 will receive immediate and sympathetic consideration.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when we shall have the next lot of figures showing the respective achievements of private builders and local authorities?

Mr. Bevan

I thought the right hon. Gentleman was aware, as almost every other citizen is aware, that they get them at the end of each month.

Mr. Hudson

For the information of citizens of the country and of the House, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether they will show a drop compared with last year?

Mr. Bevan

The right hon. Gentleman might await the figures, but I would point out to him that we are giving slightly more information and more houses than the party opposite did.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a large deputation from the Orpington area waited on his Parliamentary Secretary—

Mr. Stokes

Large by weight or by numbers?

Sir W. Smithers

—and that the real reason for the delay was the inability of four Ministries to agree? Is he also aware that over 2,400 families are waiting for accommodation and that private builders are not allowed to get on with the job of building houses?

Mr. Bevan

In my reply I have already informed the hon. Member that private builders can build as many houses as they like to build for the Orpington District Council, if the Council will make application.