HC Deb 11 May 1950 vol 475 cc546-7
5. Mr. Marlowe

asked the Minister of Health what investigations his Department has made into the number and condition of rent-controlled houses which are falling into disrepair by reason of the fact that the controlled rent does not provide sufficient funds to carry out the necessary maintenance; and whether he will give the approximate number of such houses.

Mr. Bevan

I have caused no investigation of this kind to be made. The second part of the Question does not therefore arise.

Mr. Marlowe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that early in this Session he said there was no intention by His Majesty's Government to introduce legislation to deal with this problem? In view of the fact that this is a very urgent problem and is known to be so by those who have studied the matter, how can he say that it is not proposed to introduce legislation if he has not studied the problem himself?

Mr. Bevan

The Question on the Order Paper is not about legislation, but about the investigations I have made into the number and condition of rent-controlled houses. That would involve a very large staff indeed, and would cover a large number of rents. We are not proposing to do it.

Mrs. Jean Mann

When the right hon. Gentleman gets time to make the investigation will he try to discover whether allowances have been made in the budgeting for repairs by these owners, or whether they merely kept all that was profitable?

Mr. Bevan

The standard controlled rent contains a proportion for repairs and also for voids, and there are now no voids and have not been for many years.