HC Deb 22 April 1947 vol 436 cc795-6
37. Mr. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement as to the Report of the Scottish Housing Advisory Committee on the modernisation of existing houses.

Mr. Westwood

Yes, Sir. This Report was published last week, and copies were sent to all Scottish Members. I should like to take this opportunity of thanking the Scottish Housing Advisory Committee for the careful study which they have made of the problem of the modernisation and improvement of existing houses in Scotland. Their conclusions and detailed recommendations will be of great assistance to the Government in considering this important subject. While a majority of the members of the Committee recommend that grants and /or loans for modernisation purposes should be made available to private persons, local authorities and housing associations, a minority are opposed to grants being given out of public funds to private persons and consider that these facilities should be extended only to local authorities. There is no possibility of Parliamentary time being found for legislation during the present session, and, as the House is aware, the Government intend that during 1947 available labour and materials should be concentrated on the completion of new houses. I am, however, considering the Committee's recommendations in detail and will make a further statement as to the Government's intentions before the Session ends.

Mr. Rankin

Would my right hon. Friend say whether modernisation includes keeping many of these houses from falling down?

Mr. Westwood

No, Sir. That would not be modernisation. No sensible local authority would agree to provide funds, either from themselves or the State, for houses which ought to be demolished. There is good property which could be modernised and this Committee went fully into the matter and made recommendations based upon it.

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