HC Deb 17 November 1953 vol 520 cc1550-2
20. Mr. Timmons

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications have been received for modernisa- tion under the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1949; and how many have been approved.

Commander Galbraith

My right hon. Friend has been consulted by local authorities about the improvement of 700 houses, and proposals covering 342 of these had been approved at the end of September. At the same date, local authorities had approved applications from private persons covering 3,540 houses. I have no information about the total number of applications received by local authorities.

Mr. Timmons

Can the Minister say whether it is the local authorities who are responsible for retarding progress with these applications? I have a number of complaints that the local authority restricts and retards their progress.

Commander Galbraith

Of course, it is for the local authority to approve the grant.

25. Mr. Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many houses have been modernised under the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1949, and the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1952, by private landlords, owner occupiers, and owners of tied houses, respectively.

Commander Galbraith

Up to 30th September, 1953, local authorities had approved applications for improvement grant from private persons covering the modernisation of 3,540 houses. I regret that separate figures for the three categories mentioned by the hon. Member are not available.

Mr. Ross

Will the Under-Secretary try to get us the figures for private landlords and for the owners of tied houses? After all, we have had special legislation for this and we should be able to get the information.

Commander Galbraith

It would mean asking for a completely new return and I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we do not think it worth while.

Mr. Woodburn

Is it not misleading to suggest that that is all that has been done since 1949? Is it not a case that after the Act was passed, owing to the need for new houses, it was impossible for some time for the Department to give permission for this kind of work to be done, and will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman tell us when permission started to be given for the modernisation of houses which would give us a more accurate idea of the rate of progress?

Commander Galbraith

If the right hon. Gentleman will put down a question on the subject, I will try to answer it.