HC Deb 17 October 1946 vol 427 c1041
29. Mr. Royle

asked the Minister of Health if he is prepared to consider making regulations to compel the sale of all new houses, built by private enterprise, through the local authorities.

Mr. Bevan

Conditions as to the sale price of houses are included when licences are issued and safeguards for their observance are provided in Sections 7 and 8 of the Building Materials and Housing Act, 1945. Local authorities have in addition power to purchase houses and, further, can make arrangements for the erection of houses for them by private builders who are not able to undertake contracts on the usual basis. These provisions should ensure the object which my hon. Friend has in view.

Mr. Royle

Would my right hon. Friend believe that many of the houses are being sold by the exchange of money in addition to the maximum price, and does he feel that the preventive provided by the local authority's action might be better than the doubtful queueing up at the law courts?

Mr. Bevan

If I could agree with the first part of my hon. Friend's question, I would admit that a breach of the law had occurred and I should therefore have to take action against those responsible. My hon. Friend will realise if he looks at the answer that there are very heavy penalties indeed for charging any additional price.