HC Deb 06 July 1948 vol 453 c197
42. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to requisition large houses of more than to rooms, not normally occupied by their owners, for the purpose of the re-housing of people in the same district who are now living in overcrowded conditions and in houses declared by the medical officer of health as unfit for human habitation.

Mr. Woodburn

I am prepared in suitable cases to exercise my powers under Defence Regulation 51 in respect of all unoccupied houses, whether large or small.

Mr. Hughes

While thanking the Minister for his reply, might I ask whether he would encourage this process by making arrangements at Holyrood Palace, which is occupied for only a few weeks in the year, to be occupied by some of the 30,000 people waiting for houses in Edinburgh?

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Minister, when considering the value of having individual families in the Palace, consider also using the gardens for home cultivation instead of, as at the present time, for a mad scramble by tea chasers?

Mr. Mathers

As an alternative suggestion, does not my right hon. Friend consider that if the bats were cleared out there would be accommodation in a number of belfries?