HC Deb 29 June 1950 vol 476 cc2437-40
22. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that licence was given by the Cardiff Rural District Council for a new wing to be added to a large house in Lisvane, although two people only are housed in this property, and that the same council granted per mission for the building of stables for four riding horses; and, whether he will take action to prevent this misuse of man power and materials until the housing shortage has been solved.

Mr. Bevan

I have made inquiries of the Cardiff Rural District Council, and it would appear that the first part of the Question relates to a licence which was granted by the council on 10th October, 1949, to enable a small additional family unit of accommodation to be provided for an aged mother and invalid sister. As regards the second part of the Question, the council state that no such building work has been licensed by them.

25. Brigadier Rayner

asked the Minister of Health whether he will now grant licences outside the local authority quota of private enterprise licences for the rebuilding of houses burnt down since the end of the war.

Mr. Bevan

No, Sir. Such cases should be covered by the arrangements for private building licences which I announced on 4th May, and I am always prepared to give special consideration to an exceptional case.

33. Brigadier Clarke

asked the Minister of Health if he will give licences to private individuals to build houses in their spare time as a co-operative nonprofit making scheme.

Mr. Bevan

I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given to the hon. Member for Solihull (Mr. M. Lindsay) and the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Alport) on the 11th and 25th May respectively, of which I am sending him copies.

Brigadier Clarke

Will the Minister support this suggestion? I have not seen the answers to which he refers me, but will he agree that this is an excellent way of getting extra houses built for the same labour?

Mr. Bevan

It makes the same demand on materials.

40. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Health if, in view of the fact that the Rural District Council of Dart-ford have at least 856 families on their housing waiting list, and that local builders have men and building material which is not being used, he will allow that council complete freedom to issue licences for houses up to about £1,400 per house.

Mr. Bevan

No, Sir. The rural district council still have a considerable amount of house building in hand and there is no justification for allowing them to exceed the normal licensing quota.

Sir W. Smithers

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that similar conditions to those mentioned in the Question prevail in the area of the Orpington Urban District Council and that, owing to his policy there are many family tragedies? Why is he deliberately stopping the building of houses when men and materials are available?

Mr. Bevan

Is the hon. Member aware that the authority have 189 houses under construction and 92 others in approved tender but not yet started, and that the number of building workers in the area are three painters and 14 labourers?

43. Mr. Bevins

asked the Minister of Health if he will state, in the case of Liverpool, the total number of houses for which he will approve tenders or for which the council may issue licences during the current year.

Mr. Bevan

The outstanding allocation is 1,770 houses, in addition to the 3,417 houses already in hand at 31st December, 1949. I will review the allocation in the light of the progress made by Liverpool.

Mr. Bevins

How does the Minister reconcile that answer with his recent statement that the figure of 1,770 was totally inaccurate? Secondly, may we take it that if Liverpool makes an application for a new allocation it will be sympathetically considered?

Mr. Bevan

Since the war, the Liverpool Corporation have not in one single year built as many houses as we have asked them to do.

Mr. Bevins

That is a complete evasion. My question was whether, if Liverpool applies to the Minister for a further allocation, the application will be sympathetically considered?

Mr. Bevan

If the hon. Member had been listening he would have heard that I said at the end of my reply that I would review the allocation in the light of the progress made by Liverpool.

Mrs. Braddock

Is it not a fact that Liverpool is 811 houses behind its allocation?

Mr. Bevan

As I have already said, Liverpool Corporation have been allotted all the houses they were able to build.

74. Mr. Arbuthnot

asked the Minister of Health the reason for his requirement that local authorities should not be given the power to transfer building licences if they find that the person to whom they have been granted has failed to exercise them within a reasonable time; and whether he will withdraw this prohibition.

Mr. Bevan

There is no general prohibition of this kind, but if the hon. Member has any particular case in mind and will let me have details I will inquire into it.