HC Deb 25 May 1954 vol 528 cc189-90
19. Captain Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what approach he has made to local authorities to give special consideration to housing applications submitted by Regular Service men who cannot get on any housing list because of their lack of residential qualifications; and what further steps he proposes to take.

Mr. J. Stuart

I am sending my hon. and gallant Friend a copy of a circular which was sent to local authorities some time ago drawing their attention to the recommendations of the Scottish Housing Advisory Committee on this matter. I have no reason to believe that local authorities generally are not giving sympathetic consideration to applications of this kind, but if my hon. and gallant Friend is aware of any cases of hardship I should be glad to look into them.

Captain Duncan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the English Ministry has referred this matter to its housing advisory committee and, as Scottish Service men sometimes wish to settle in England, and English Service men sometimes want to settle in Scotland, will he appoint a liaison officer to the English committee, so that this may be treated as a United Kingdom matter?

Mr. Stuart

I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that we have not overlooked this matter in Scotland. I did take a personal interest in it and we issued a circular on the subject to local authorities in 1952. My hon. and gallant Friend will also find that it is discussed fully in the Scottish Housing Advisory Committee's Report on "Choosing Council Tenants." But it is a matter for local authorities to allocate houses, and I cannot actually interfere.