HC Deb 09 May 1950 vol 475 cc184-6
27. Lieut.-Colonel Elliot

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will now make any further statement as to the number of houses to be built under private licence in Scotland; and as to any further discretion to be allowed to local authorities in this connection.

29. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what relaxation of the regulations governing the issue of licences for the building of private houses he proposes to make.

Mr. McNeil

It is too soon to come to any conclusions about the concessions which I announced in reply to the hon. Member for Springburn (Mr. Forman) on 29th March, but I will review the position again in six months or thereabouts.

Lieut.-Colonel Elliot

Seeing that the right hon. Gentleman's colleague, the Minister of Health, made a statement which certainly brought great satisfaction to a number of people, why is this satisfaction to be denied to the people of Scotland even for six months?

Mr. McNeil

As the right hon. and gallant Gentleman knows from his experience of both offices, the position of building in Scotland, particularly in relation to the proportion of private enterprise housing, is very different from that in England, and I would not think that the remedy applicable in England need necessarily be applicable in Scotland. At any rate, I suggest to him that I ought to give this scheme a run and then look at the results.

Lieut.-Colonel Elliot

Since the right hon. Gentleman announced his scheme, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced what he held out as a concession. Is it to be taken that this concession applies only south of the Border? After all, it is generally supposed that the housing shortage in Scotland is at least as great as that in England.

Mr. McNeil

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman knows that I have already given an indication of how I mean to apply, in my best judgment, to meet the needs of the community, the concession which the Chancellor has announced.

Mr. Rankin

Will my right hon. Friend remember that in the City of Glasgow there are 95,000 people at the moment on the waiting list of the Corporation for houses, and that most of those people simply could not pay the prices demanded by the private profit-making builders?

Captain Crookshank

But they would like the houses all the same.