HC Deb 13 February 1947 vol 433 cc503-4
19. Mr. M. Lindsay

asked the Minister of Health whether he will reduce the rental of 7s. 6d. per week required of squatting families, in view of the discomfort that many of them are living in.

Mr. Bevan

These rents are fixed by the local authorities managing the camps. If the hon. Member has any particular case of hardship in mind I will make inquiries.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Has the right hon. Gentleman issued any instruction or circular to local authorities giving them directions?

Mr. Bevan

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Hudson

Will he be kind enough to put a copy in the Library?

Mr. Bevan

Certainly, Sir.

Mr. Eccles

Is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman has told certain local authorities, that the rent should cover the costs of the services provided? If that is so, is he aware that, working on that basis, the Calne and Chippenham Rural District Council had to charge the squatters at Hardenhuish Camp 12s. a week for huts in which there was only one window and no decent accommodation at all?

Mr. Bevan

I will certainly make inquiries into those cases if the hon. Member will let me have details.

Mr. James Glanville

Is it not a fact that if hon. Members opposite had built as many houses after the first world war as the Labour Government have built, squatting would never have occurred?