HC Deb 20 March 1951 vol 485 cc2276-7
13. Mr. Alport

asked the Minister of Local Government and Planning how many applications have been received from local authorities by his Department to alter the existing ratio between houses built by the council and those built under private licence; and on how many occasions he has given his approval for this to be done.

Mr. Dalton

Seventy-five, of which five have been approved.

Mr. Alport

Would the right hon. Gentleman say on what principles he approves or otherwise of applications? Is he aware that the regional officers do not encourage, and in fact discourage, local authorities from submitting applications of this kind?

Mr. Dalton

I am not sure, on the last part of the supplementary question, whether that is so. I have said several times since I have occupied my present office that I am quite willing, on case shown, to increase the ratio. There is no abstract principle in the matter. It is just a question of what representations local authorities make.

Sir Waldron Smithers

Is the Minister aware that in the areas of the Orpington District Council and the Dartford Rural District Council builders tell me that they have men and materials to build several hundred houses in a year, but that they are not allowed to do so?

Mr. Dalton

I do not think that can be true, but if the hon. Gentleman will give some hard evidence, I will look into the matter.

Sir W. Smithers

Will the right hon. Gentleman grant the licences?

Mr. Dalton

Let me see the evidence.

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