HC Deb 17 June 1952 vol 502 cc976-7
30. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that the Ashton-in-Makerfield Urban District Council is demanding that purchasers of houses under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act insure their property against fire in a named insurance company, and that the ground land lord specifies another company, thus involving purchasers in double insurance; and, since the Ashton-in-Makerfield Urban District Council threatens to withdraw the mortgage unless double insurance is effected, what steps he is taking in the matter.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I am in correspondence with the local authority on this matter and will let my hon. Friend know the result in due course.

Mr. Shepherd

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the feeling that the course pursued by the local authority in this case is most unreasonable and will he assure the House that similar insistencies will not be made by other local authorities?

Mr. Macmillan

I think I would rather await the result of my inquiries.

Mr. Tom Brown

Is not the Minister aware that when I put a Question on this matter I received from him and his Department a very prompt, well-considered and courteous reply? Is it not a fact that the matter can only be dealt with by the local authority concerned?

Mr. Macmillan

I am glad to have the hon. Gentleman's bouquet.

Sir W. Darling

Is the Minister aware that when an insurance company is advancing money for developing a house of this description, it is not unusual to make a condition of the insurance of the house as part of the bargain?

Mr. Bottomley

Is it not right that the local authorities should look after their ratepayers' interests, and that the grievance, if there is one at all, is against the ground landlord?

Mr. Macmillan

If the matter can be settled amicably it had better stay where it is.