§ 4. Mr. Henderson Stewart
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland upon what facts he based his decision to encourage local authorities to allow their house tenants to take in lodgers or sub-let; and if he is aware of the confusion which this announcement has caused to local authorities throughout the country.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
I am not aware of any confusion in this matter. The position is that I recently took the opportunity of suggesting to local authorities that they might wish to consider modifying any prohibition on lodgers and sub-tenancies at least for particular categories, so far as that can be arranged without creating over-crowding. The need to get the maximum mobility of labour for the defence programme and the provision of accommodation for Festival visitors seem to call for the best possible use being made of our housing resources.
§ Mr. Stewart
Is it not possible for the hon. Gentleman to answer the Question? Surely he could not have made such a recommendation to the authorities without some figures. How many houses in Scotland does he think, for example, are not already overcrowded? How many could make available facilities for such sub-tenants? Without those figures, surely the hon. Gentleman should not have made such a statement.
§ Mr. Fraser
The hon. Gentleman says I ought to have given some figures. If the local authorities ask me to give some figures, we shall be able to give them the figures which the local authorities themselves gave to the Housing Advisory Committee. We know the figures they have already themselves provided and have made suggestions as to how better use may be made of local authority houses.
§ Mr. Stewart
The hon. Gentleman has referred to the offer of the local authorities figures. As I was seeking precisely that information, would he kindly give the House those figures?