HC Deb 13 May 1952 vol 500 cc1083-4
17. Mr. R. Brooman-White

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will introduce legislation to prevent any company or association raising money from the public in anticipation of houses being provided for contributors, without adequate safeguards that licences will be obtainable and that building can in fact be undertaken.

Commander Galbraith

Machinery exists for the investigation of the affairs of a company or association registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893, and I have no reason to suppose that it is inadequate.

Mr. Brooman-White

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that the Scottish Co-operative Housing Association, which has nothing to do with the Co-operative movement, has been raising sums of money from small contributors, and that, under the terms, if these contributions are not kept up, the money already paid is forfeited? Is he aware that a number of people have already lost their money, while a number of others are in doubt whether to maintain their contributions or cut their losses?

Will my hon. and gallant Friend look into the matter and see if some statement can be made in order to clear up whether this Association is attempting to meet the grievous housing needs of the people or merely exploiting those needs?

Commander Galbraith

I have heard of some of the activities of this Cooperative Housing Association, but I would suggest that it is for the members of the Association to take action.

Mr. William Ross

Might it not be the case that the members of this company have taken too literally the words of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Joint Under-Secretary when he said that the Conservative Party were going to sweep away the licensing system?

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