HC Deb 23 June 1953 vol 516 cc1674-5
37. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether the Cardiff City Council have submitted to him their means test proposals for rent charges on houses built with Government and local subsidy; and what representations he has made to the Cardiff City Council on this question.

Mr. H. Macmillan

No, Sir. The fixing of rents of council houses is a matter solely for the council concerned.

Mr. Thomas

Is the Minister aware that I am not surprised that he tries to avoid any responsibility in this matter, but there is a widespread belief in the City of Cardiff that this is simply means of blackmailing people into buying council houses and that it is not due solely to the financial income of the authority? Will the right hon. Gentleman look at the matter again?

Mr. Macmillan

I will of course look at anything the hon. Member asks me to look at, and I shall be glad to discuss the question with him, but the statutory obligation of the fixing of rents-and this is not the only case of its kind-rests with the council, and not with me.

Mr. Gower

Is it not the case that similar schemes have long been brought forward by local authorities of all kinds of political complexions in other parts of the country and that the model of these schemes is in Plymouth?

Mr. Macmillan

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Thomas

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the last reply, I propose to raise this matter on the Adjournment at the first opportunity.

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