HC Deb 06 July 1948 vol 453 cc196-7
41. Lieut.-Commander Clark Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will extend the same powers to local authorities in Scotland to grant licences for the building of houses by free enterprise as have been granted to local authorities in England and Wales.

Mr. Woodburn

No, Sir. I regret that the number of houses still uncompleted in Scotland is too large to make it possible for me to allow local authorities to issue licences without my prior approval. Approval will generally be limited to houses for miners, agricultural workers and certain key workers in industry, but I am prepared to give consideration to any special cases not coming within these categories, in which local authorities feel that the issue of a licence is justified.

Lieut.-Commander Hutchison

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree it is rather undesirable that local authorities in Scotland should be denied discretionary powers possessed by local authorities in England and Wales?

Mr. Woodburn

There is no point in issuing any further licences to build houses while we have such a large number started but not completed.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does the Minister's original answer mean that he will grant an extension in the case of people who wish to build houses for themselves, to live in—single houses?

Mr. Woodburn

If they come under my definition of "special cases," yes.