HC Deb 14 November 1950 vol 480 cc1553-4
42. Mr. McInnes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that in Glasgow there are almost 400 families living in properties condemned by the city engineer as dangerous to public safety; that the local authority is unable to re-house the people; and what steps he proposes to take to alleviate the dangers and hardships to these families.

Mr. T. Fraser

It is for Glasgow Corporation, with their knowledge of all the facts, to decide which families in the city should be rehoused, and my right hon. Friend does not propose to interfere with their discretion.

Mr. McInnes

Is my hon. Friend aware that this local authority has already rehoused over 2,000 families from similar properties, that there are in the city 35,000 families living in property unfit for human habitation, that there is a waiting list of 94,000 applications and that these figures call for some drastic action?

Mr. Fraser

The figures do not entitle my right hon. Friend to interfere with the right and prerogative of local authorities to select tenants for new houses.

Major Lloyd

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware of the terrible indictment by the people of Scotland in the wording of the Questions put to him by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Central (Mr. McInnes)?

Mr. Ellis Smith

An indictment of hon. Members opposite.

Major Lloyd

Is the Under-Secretary not aware that the local authorities are frustrated at every turn by his regulations?

43. Mr. McInnes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of private contractors who have failed to implement their contracts with the Glasgow Corporation for the building of houses in that city since September, 1946.

Mr. T. Fraser

I am informed that 42 contracts, involving 24 contractors, were terminated for one reason or another during the period referred to.

Mr. McInnes

Is my hon. Friend aware that in order to encourage private contractors to build houses in the City of Glasgow, this local authority did not, during the difficult post-war years, impose any kind of penalty clauses in their contracts, and that this lamentable failure on the part of private contractors makes a mockery of the parrot cry "Set the builders free?"

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

Can we be told what was the complexion of the local authority concerned at that time?