HC Deb 07 December 1951 vol 494 cc2701-3
Mr. Emrys Hughes

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if his attention has been drawn to the disturbances outside Glasgow City Corporation Chambers yesterday protesting against the sale of corporation houses, and what action he proposes to take to prevent further disturbances.

I wish to apologise for the short notice which I have given on this Question, but, owing to the lapse of time, it has been very difficult to make contact.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Commander T. D. Galbraith)

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend expects to receive immediately a police report on what happened yesterday. My right hon. Friend is assured that the Chief Constable will take all necessary steps to prevent a breach of the peace.

Mr. Hughes

Would the hon. and gallant Gentleman take into consideration the fact that the best action to prevent a breach of the peace is to realise the tremendous feeling which there is in Glasgow, with its huge waiting list, about the injustice in regard to the sale of these houses?

Commander Galbraith

The hon. Gentleman will be well aware, I think, that in taking the decision which it did, the Corporation was acting under an Act passed by the recent Government. The power is given by Section 65 (1, b) of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1950.

Mr. Cyril Bence

Is the Minister aware that in my constituency and the neighbouring burgh of Clydebank there are a number of privately-owned tenement houses? If the sale of these Corporation houses in Glasgow continues, the pressure to occupy these tenement houses while people in Clydebank are being re-housed by the Clydebank Burgh Council will exacerbate the problem of the burgh of Clydebank in re-housing their present citizens.

Commander Galbraith

That, I think, is a different question.

Mr. Niall Macpherson

Can the Under-Secretary tell the House who organised these disturbances, and whether an inquiry is being made into this aspect of the matter? Will he say what is his view of this method of proceeding against legislation of which one disapproves?

Commander Galbraith

No, Sir. I have no information. My right hon. Friend will have to await the report which he expects to receive from the Chief Constable.

Mr. A. Woodburn

While not condoning any breach of the peace in a matter of this kind, can the Under-Secretary say whether the Glasgow Corporation are not acting in flagrant disagreement with the assurance given by the Secretary of State the other day, that whole blocks of new houses would not be withdrawn from their original purpose of being let to the people and would, indeed, be offered to people who are prepared to jump the queue?

Commander Galbraith

The right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that this matter has not yet been submitted to my right hon. Friend, and it would be quite wrong for me to pre-judge any decision that he might reach.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

I think we ought to get on. This is a Private Member's day, and I do not want it to be overtaken.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Buchan-Hepburn.]

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