HC Deb 04 February 1947 vol 432 cc1558-9
30. Mr. McGovern

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if his attention has been drawn to the action of Messrs. Spiers and Knox, House Factors, Bridgeton Cross, Glasgow, who sold two or three 2-room and kitchen houses at or adjoining 596 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, recently; that one of these houses has been unlet for two months; that Messrs. Spiers and Knox are asking the sum of £970 for this house which is nearly 60 years old; and, as overcrowded tenants have asked for one at present empty and have been refused, if he will requisition this house and all houses empty in similar circumstances.

Mr. Buchanan

I am informed that the facts are substantially as stated. Prompt action was taken to requisition a vacant house at 608, Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, which, I understand, is the one referred to in the question. I am prepared to consider with a view to requisitioning, any similar cases in which small houses are being kept vacant for possible sale.

Mr. McGovern

May I ask the hon. Gentleman if he would urge the Secretary of State for Scotland to have a complete inquiry into the number of houses in Glasgow of small type which have been offered for sale; if he is aware that whole groups of tenants are being asked to make an offer for their houses, and that shopkeepers are being driven out of their shops on the option of paying exorbitant prices? Is he also aware that this attack on small businesses, coming from the Tory landlords of Glasgow, is resented?

Mr. Buchanan

I am concerned about the people who, I understand, have been asked something in the region of £900 for these houses. I am also concerned about not keeping these houses vacant, and I have taken prompt action, without the loss of a day, to take over houses that have become vacant. With regard to the question of shops, that is certainly a matter (01 the Secretary of State, who has heard the Question and will, no doubt, consider it.