§ 30. Mr. John E. Haire
asked the Minister of Health how many three-bedroom, two-bedroom and one-bedroom houses have been built since 1945; and whether he proposes any change in this ratio.
§ Brigadier Prior-Palmer
Is not the Minister aware of the difficulties which certain local authorities are experiencing in getting permission from his regional officers? Will he circularise his own regional officers about this?
§ Mr. Bevan
The hon. and gallant Gentleman is completely wrong. I have reported to the House of Commons about this. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman is not aware of it I will send him a copy of HANSARD, from which he will see that it has been made clear for a very long time indeed that the regional office does 1113 not control the design and nature of the dwellings put up by local authorities but only makes an examination to see whether the tenders are unreasonably high.
§ Sir Richard Acland
Does the local authority get a numerical increase in its housing allocation if it builds a high proportion of small houses? If not, would it not be a good idea to encourage them to build larger numbers of smaller houses?
§ Mr. Marlowe
Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Haire) now supports a proposal which he himself voted against the other night?
§ Mr. Bevan
That is, of course, to assume that we are hearing of one-bedroom and two-bedroom houses for the first time. As I have already shown, we have built 75,000 two-bedroom houses and over 24,000 one-bedroom houses. The Opposition are only wakening up to the facts of what has already been done.
§ Mr. Nicholls
Would the Minister agree that that circular which he sent out last year would have had a greater effect if the allocation to the local authorities were by cash rather than the number of houses?
§ Mr. Speaker
That is a much wider question. All that this Question asks is how many houses were built.