HC Deb 13 December 1955 vol 547 cc979-80
6. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that under the Requisitioned Houses Act a local authority is liable to pay to the owner of a requisitioned house five times the net annual compensation rent plus dilapidation allowances, and that the total of these is frequently far greater than the market value of the property; and if he will amend the Act so as to prevent such a waste of public money.

Mr. Sandys

I have received no evidence to support the hon. Member's general assertion.

Mr. Collins

Is there not in particular areas, especially in the Metropolitan boroughs, evidence of the facts stated in my Question? If the evidence is brought to the Minister's notice, will he, instead of wasting public money on private landlords, not give the money to local authorities in those areas to provide housing for people in need?

Mr. Sandys

I will gladly consider any information which the hon. Member cares to send me. He is, of course, aware that the choice of the houses in respect of which these offers are to be made rests entirely in the hands of the local authorities.

24. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Govern- ment how many houses are still requisitioned by local authorities in the London area and elsewhere.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. W. F. Deedes)

The number of requisitioned properties held on 30th September, 1955, was 45,782 in the London area, and 9,594 elsewhere.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

In view of those figures, and with more housing cuts on the way, is it not quite ridiculous to expect local authorities in the London area to end requisitioning by 1960? Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that in Lambeth, for example, there are still more than 10,000 on the waiting list and more than 3,300 still occupying requisitioned houses?

Mr. Deedes

No, I cannot accept that. There has been a temporary delay in the progress of the scheme, but the number should rapidly increase as families are transferred from requisitioned properties, to enable those properties to be released, to others retained on the authorisation of my right hon. Friend.