HC Deb 23 May 1946 vol 423 cc504-5
6. Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that many cottages in rural areas have been scheduled by local authorities as qualifying for assistance under the Housing (Rural Workers) Acts, but that work is being held up pending the introduction of legislation already foreshadowed; and whether he will take steps to encourage the owners of such houses to commence at once work for which labour and materials are available.

Mr. Bevan

I do not feel justified in giving special facilities for this work at the present time. When I receive the report which I have asked the Rural Housing Sub-Committee of my Central Housing Advisory Committee to make, I will reconsider the question in the light of their report and of the position in regard to labour and materials at the time.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Will the Minister make an announcement to the effect that, if any legislation is introduced, it would be made retrospective?

Mr. Bevan

There is nothing at all preventing reconditioning from being done now. There is plenty of opportunity for people to recondition their property if they wish to do so. What I cannot agree with is that there is any more need to give subsidies to private property owners in rural areas than in urban areas.

Mr. E. P. Smith

Can the Minister say when he is likely to receive the report to which he referred?

Mr. Bevan

I am hoping to get it quite shortly.