I am told that the number of existing rented houses actually being sold is small. On the other hand, over 20,000 new houses were completed during the first nine months of this year for letting, against 15,400 in the same period last year. The number of houses for renting, therefore, far from diminishing, is increasing.
§ Mr. Patrick Maitland
Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that the Lanarkshire County Council has recently refused to allocate licences for private building?
The hon. Member's suggestion would involve a close control over the selling price of houses which seems neither practicable nor desirable.
§ Mrs. Mann
Is the Minister aware that local authorities have the power to take over houses and that, in taking them over, they need not pay these exploitation prices? Would the hon. and gallant Gentleman encourage local authorities to do that where he knows that the prices are really sheer exploitation?
§ Mrs. Cullen
Is the Minister aware that in my constituency single houses in tenement buildings are being sold, and will he take immediate steps to do something to stop this ramp at the expense of homeless people?
Might I remind the hon. Lady that the recent Labour Government found it impossible to accept 760 the recommendations of the Morris Committee?
§ Mr. Woodburn
Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman consider the granting of time to my hon. Friend the Member for Dunbartonshire, West (Mr. Steele) to bring in a Bill to prevent the sale of houses?
The right hon. Gentleman knows that that question should be addressed to another source.