HC Deb 02 February 1956 vol 548 cc1163-85
Mr. Robert Jenkins (Dulwich)

I beg to move, in page 7, line 37, at the end to insert: and that the local authority of that exporting area nominated that person to the authority providing the dwelling as being a person in need of housing accommodation.

The Chairman (Sir Charles MacAndrew)

I think that it would be for the convenience of the Committee to consider, with this Amendment, the Amendment in page 8, line 3, to leave out from "determine" to the end of line 4.

Mr. Jenkins

In Clause 5, the Minister takes power to increase subsidies in certain circumstances. In this Clause, the Minister seeks to take power to recover moneys under certain circumstances. From subsection (1, a and b) it will be seen exactly in what circumstances he proposes to endeavour to recover the money.

The prime object of the Minister in putting this Clause in the Bill is to recover contributions which he has in fact paid out and which he considers the local authority ought to pay. The Amendment seeks to add—and I should like the Committee to appreciate the last four or five words, which are the important ones—after "section" in line 37 and that the local authority of that exporting area nominated that person to the authority providing the dwelling as being a person in need of housing accommodation. Section 12 (2) of the New Towns Act, 1946, empowers the Minister to make grants to new town development corporations of such amount of money as may be approval by the Treasury for the purpose of enabling the corporation to defray expenditure other than expenditure properly chargeable to capital account. In Section 2 (2, a) of the Town Development Act, 1952, as we propose to amend it by the First Schedule of this Bill, authorises the Minister to make contributions to the council of the receiving district under that Act towards its expense of providing houses for persons coming from the area of some other local authority up to an amount not exceeding £8 in any one year.

Clause 9, as it stands, deals with the position where the Minister has paid an annual payment under either of the two powers which I have mentioned in respect of a dwelling provided by a new town development corporation or a receiving authority under the Town Development Act for the purpose of relieving congestion or over-population in an exporting area, and after 1st April next the dwelling is first used after its completion to accommodate any person who, in the words of paragraph (b), line 35, … in the opinion of the Minister came there from an exporting area … In other words, in the event of a person coming from one local authority area to another, the Minister's opinion has to be sought, and he must approve whether that person comes from the exporting area to the importing area.

In those circumstances it is suggested that the Minister would be able to recover from the local authority of that exporting area either a sum equal to one half of his payment or contribution in respect of that dwelling in that year or the sum of £4, whichever is the less.

This new idea of dealing with contributions between one area and another cuts right across the existing arrangements whereby exporting authorities at present nominate persons as tenants of houses provided by the receiving authority. Normally the exporting authority would nominate as persons in need of housing accommodation only those who are on their waiting list and whom they would regard as being in need of accommodation. That is to say, they would in fact nominate to the receiving authority or the town development corporation persons living in their area from whose rehousing the exporting authority would derive some benefit.

8.0 p.m.

Clause 9 goes much further than that, and would include people in respect of whom the exporting authority would feel itself under no obligation at all to provide housing accommodation. For instance, they might easily be tenants of privately-owned houses with the benefits of the Rent Restriction Acts. Again, they might be owner-occupiers of premises whose housing needs are amply suited in the exporting area. They can go over the borders without being nominated by the authority exporting them to the receiving authority and yet, under the Bill as at present drafted, my hon. Friends and I are advised that the Minister can in fact obtain £4 from the exporting area.

In other words, we are, by the Amendment, endeavouring to make abundantly clear that unless—as at present is the case—the exporting area nominated the tenant—and it would nominate a family only if there was need for housing—the Ministry could not recover contributions from the exporting area. The exporting authority would regard it as most unjust that it should be required to make any contribution in respect of other people.

If such people are required in a new town or receiving area because of some industrial qualification which they happen to possess, there is not the slightest reason why the exporting authority should bear any part of the cost of rehousing them. The exporting authority has not asked them to go and in many cases will not know that they have gone, but eventually the exporting authority will receive a demand from the Minister that it should pay £4 a year in respect of those people.

It does not follow that because they have ceased to occupy a dwelling in the exporting authority's area the property of the area is in any way relieved, because it is perfectly possible that some one may leave an exporting area to go to a receiving area and create a vacuum which is immediately filled although the local authority has no control over its filling. An owner-occupier in one area who wants to go somewhere else may well sell his house to a person living inside or outside the area and who was not on the local authority's housing list and who would have no chance of being rehoused by it.

My right hon. Friend earlier said that he was most anxious to give the maximum amount of discretion to local authorities, and I think that on the facts as stated—and I have very little more to say—one can see that a new system is in fact being arranged as between the exporting and importing authorities. As a result, the exporting authorities will be mulcted of large sums of money in many cases.

The Amendment accordingly seeks to limit the liability of exporting authorities to contribute in respect of houses provided for persons who have been nominated by them and from whose rehousing they may expect to derive some benefit. I move the Amendment in the hope, as on the last Clause, that the Minister will concede that the Amendment is fair and just. It would seem that here is an injustice to an authority which cannot guarantee that the family going to the other area is in need of housing. Unless the Amendment is adopted, the provision will be unfair and unjust to local authorities generally, and I therefore ask the Minister to accept the Amendment.

Mr. John Parker (Dagenham)

I should like to give general support to the Amendment. My own Amendment seeks to draw attention to a particular point which concerns my constituency. It is that we in Dagenham are in the peculiar position of having two-thirds of the houses in the area belonging to another local authority, mainly the L.C.C. However, the West Ham Town Council also has a considerable estate there. That means, as the Bill is at present drafted, that it would be possible for the Dagenham Council to have to pay a contribution for people who leave L.C.C. houses to go to new towns such as Basildon, or Harlow, or one of the expanding towns, which are quite likely to be developed in Essex with its growing industrialisation, under the Town Development Act, 1952.

We feel it would be very unfair indeed that we should have to pay for people from the L.C.C. houses who went to those new towns, because the greater part of the vacancies of the L.C.C. and West Ham estates are, of course, filled not by the Dagenham Borough Council, but by the London County Council and the West Ham Council who bring people from London and West Ham to fill those vacancies. It is true that we have an arrangement for a small number of vacancies on the L.C.C. Estate in Dagenham to be allocated to Dagenham, but that is nothing like the total number of vacancies in any one year, and this arrangement only lasts from year to year and has no permanency.

We feel that the Clause should be amended to make it clear that we in Dagenham should not have to pay for L.C.C. tenants who move to new towns when we do not have the filling of the vacancies. It would be quite possible in such circumstances for the Minister to include some other arrangements to allow the local authority on the spot to fill such a vacancy. However, that would be an additional complication and we would rather have the present Clause tidied up in such a way to make it clear that the local authority on the spot, if there happens to be an estate in its boundaries belonging to some other local authority, will not have to pay for people moving from the other local authority's estate to a new town. For we are advised that would be the case under the Clause as at present drafted.

I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will clear up this point and, if necessary, either accept one of the Amendments or bring forward an Amendment on Report stage to make it clear not only that Dagenham will not have to pay for L.C.C. or West Ham tenants who go to a new town, but will give it wider effect so that in no case of a person moving from an estate belonging to some other local authority to a new town will the authority on the spot have to pay for that tenant.

Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)

I should like very briefly to support the Amendment. Unamended the Clause is intolerable, like every other Clause in the Bill, but unless the Amendment is accepted, more serious injustices and iniquities will be caused to what are called exporting authorities. I think it is significant that the provisions of this Bill have been subjected to scathing criticism not only from hon. Members on this side of the Committee but from the supporters of the Government. Not only is this a thoroughly bad Bill, thoroughly badly drafted, but this particular Clause, of all the Clauses, indicates the deliberate intention of the Government to weight the scales heavily against congested areas where the authorities are faced with the gravest housing problems.

What affects the London County Council affects also the Metropolitan boroughs within its area. There may or may not be something to be said for the existing system under which some contributions are exacted when people nominated by the London County Council from its own waiting list are housed in the new towns. I do not think that there is anything favourable which may be said, and when we come to discuss the Clause I shall argue against it on principle. But as the hon. Member has pointed out, with great? cogency and with a number of pertinent illustrations, this proposal goes much further. The Minister would be enabled, without reference to the exporting authority, to exercise a completely arbitrary choice and take someone from an exporting area and place him in a new town.

No regard need be paid to whether the individual selected was in need of rehousing or was on any housing list, or whether his removal to a new town would relieve congestion in the exporting area. In densely congested areas in some London boroughs people may be moved without relieving congestion at all, because it is a notorious fact that, at any rate within recent years, the housing problem in London boroughs has been accentuated and aggravated by the uncontrolled influx of people into London not only from all over this country, but from overseas. There is no power to control that, and it is becoming a very serious problem. The question of priorities arises and people may be moved to new towns regardless of the merits of their claims for accommodation.

Under the present law the Minister may have power to do that and may decide to exercise that power. But surely it is heaping iniquity upon iniquity if the Minister also claims a completely arbitrary power to impose a charge upon the area from which such people come. I would give the Minister one illustration. I know of people from Lancashire and from Ireland and other places overseas who have settled recently in Islington. They may remain for a short period and have merely squeezed themselves into some already overcrowded flat or tenement. Those people may be selected and given a house in a new town. If that happens, why should the area in which they have sojourned for so short a period be saddled with a financial burden?

Not only is this Clause thoroughly objectionable in principle, but unless there is some amelioration it will produce grave injustices, and I hope that the Minister will accede to the representations which have been made to him.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Sparks

I agree with what has been said by my hon. Friends. I regard this as one of the most reactionary Clauses in the Bill. It is most unjust and unfair, both to local authorities and those people on their housing lists. The right hon. Gentleman is saying to people on the housing lists of local authorities, "No more housing subsidies for you. Housing subsidies are to be abolished." To local authorities he is saying, "You need not make any rate fund contribution to your housing scheme. Make the people on the housing list pay more rent. There is to be no help from us at all."

Some individuals who may come to a new town may not have been on the housing list of the exporting authority. They may have had ample accommodation or they may be owner-occupiers. They may not have lived in the area from which they come for as long as a month. In fact, there is no residential qualification attaching to this. The Minister does not lay down that a person need reside in an area for a specific time. When he arrives at the new town he is merely asked where he comes from, and that local authority has imposed upon it the obligation to contribute at least £4 a year for ten years although it may have no knowledge at all of the individual. I consider that most unfair to the people on the housing lists of local authorities.

I do not think that any local authority would mind making a rate fund contribution to rehouse a family on its waiting list, were that family desperately in need of accommodation. But once the right hon. Gentleman departs from that principle, and opens the door to individuals with no housing need and no residential qualifications, I suggest that it is most unfair. The Clause provides for the contribution to be paid in respect of the house provided by the Development Corporation, or under the Town Development Act, for the purpose of relieving congestion or over-population in the areas of other local authorities. But one of the great weaknesses of the Government's policy is that although such individuals move from congested areas to new towns, whether or not they are on the local authority housing list, the fact remains that the congestion may not be relieved in the great majority of cases. The places which they vacate are promptly filled by other people moving in.

Mr. Albert Evans (Islington, Southwest)

It is a continually repeating process.

Mr. Sparks

Yes. Soon after the new person moves in he may get a job in a new town and go there, thus making room for someone else. Theoretically, a constant succession of people could move into the new towns in that way, bypassing the housing lists of local authorities, or any residential qualifications. This would be a ridiculous situation.

We know that people come here from various parts of the Colonies. They are British subjects, and we must welcome them. But many come here looking for jobs, and if they go to new towns and get jobs, even if they have been in the country for only a month the local authorities from whose area they have come have to contribute for ten years in respect of their rehousing.

The Parliamentary Secretary ought to accept the Amendment, because it is a proposal of the A.M.C., an organisation which represents local authorities. I am quite sure that the Amendment would not have been moved but for the fact that great apprehension exists amongst all the authorities which have housing and over-population problems. They all feel that this is a most unfair and unjust proposition, both to themselves as local authorities and to the people on their housing lists.

If the Minister is anxious to expedite the flow of people from the congested areas into the new towns he can do so. He will find that those local authorities which have this almost insoluble housing problem will be only too glad to take whatever measures they can to facilitate the transfer and rehousing in new towns of some of their worst cases. This would involve not only closer co-operation with town development corporations and local authorities under the Town Development Act, but the very closest co-operation with the owners of new industries—industrialists and other people who are building factories and other places of commercial activity in new towns.

When such people are thinking of building new factories, workshops or other places of work in new towns, they should ascertain exactly how many workers they will require, and the kind of work they require to be done. If they supplied that information to local authorities I am quite satisfied that their needs could be satisfied from the housing lists of those authorities, because those lists contain the names of men and women who are qualified for all kinds of work which will have to be done in new towns as well as in other industrial areas.

I trust that the hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment. If he does so I can assure him that it will not retard in the slightest degree the development of our new towns, or schemes for development areas, and it will remove an injustice to the people on housing lists of local authorities and also to the ratepayers.

Mrs. Joyce Butler (Wood Green)

The brief point I want to make in support of the Amendment is that the number of families rehoused although not on the waiting lists of local authorities can often be quite large. A little while ago I asked the Minister for figures in connection with families rehoused from Middlesex in the new and expanded towns. In reply he said that of about 4,000 families who had been rehoused in that way since the introduction of a certain Circular in 1953, only 400 had been rehoused as a result of that Circular.

The Circular referred to what is known as the industrial selection scheme, by which local authorities could nominate to new and expanded towns people who were willing to be employed in certain categories of work. It was a tie-up between local authorities and industry. According to the Minister's figures, out of 4,000 families rehoused, some 3,600 were outside local authority waiting lists. There may have been a few of this number who were on housing waiting lists, but they were all rehoused outside this scheme. That is a very large number. Although this industrial selection scheme is in operation, it is not working at all well, but it could be made to work effectively if the Minister so wished. All the industrial needs of these new and expanded towns could be met from families on the housing waiting lists of local authorities.

In the Circular which introduced the scheme the Minister indicated that, if possible, he would prefer that all the houses should be filled by nominees of the Exporting authorities, since they would be the people most in need of houses. Yesterday the Minister refused to allow additional financial help to local authorities to make their own arrangements for buying land and settling families from their housing waiting lists. Today it would appear that he is refusing to allow them to relieve their housing waiting lists in the most effective way—through this industrial selection scheme—by giving these financial grants to families who are being rehoused outside the housing waiting lists of local authorities. That may not be his intention, but that is how it would seem to work out.

I support the Amendment because it is totally unfair to the already overburdened and congested authorities to be asked to bear this financial burden in respect of families of whom many are not in great housing need at all.

Mr. Lindgren

I want to emphasise a point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Butler), although I do not go all the way with her. I shall explain why. The balance of this supposedly fifty-fifty arrangement seems all wrong. Experience has shown that when a firm moves into a new town 80 per cent. of the workers who are already with that firm move in with it, and the balance of 20 per cent. is left to be filled by other labour. Whatever scheme is introduced there will be difficulties. During the period of office of the Labour Government we had what we called a linkage scheme, in which we tied up a certain number of local authorities with certain new towns.

8.30 p.m.

It fell down. It always must fall down, because it is concerned with a redistribution not only of population but of industry. The skill of the worker has no attachment to the place in which he resides or to his housing conditions. I concede the point that has been made by a number of hon. Members that very likely the whole of the 80 per cent. who moved with their firms from their places of residence were fairly adequately housed when they moved.

Mr. Sparks

My hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Lindgren) seems to base his argument on 80 per cent. of the workers going with their firms. Will he qualify that, if he can, by relating the figure to the industries that may transfer from one area to another and close down their factories? Quite a lot of new industries, in addition to old ones, go to the new towns, and they have to recruit 100 per cent. of their labour.

Mr. Lindgren

My reference to the 80 per cent. was in relation to those who leave factories in a congested or nonconforming area, say London, and go to a new town. The general experience has been that 80 per cent. of the workers move with their factory while 20 per cent. say that they will get another job. The factory closes down, and the 20 per cent. have to find employment. Even where a new factory is started about 50 per cent. of the workers come from some of the other factories of the firms. They are key workers, although that term seems to extend much wider than the normal use of the expression.

We are dealing with a 20 per cent. make-up labour force which does not move with the firm. In the Labour Government's linkage scheme, and in the new industrial selection scheme which has taken its place, there is an effort to get these people off the housing lists of the local authorities. That has been difficult. A fellow moves to the job and he may have a brother or a brother-in-law. He introduces him to the works manager or the personnel manager and the relative is taken on. When that sort of thing goes on local authorities and Government Departments cannot very well interfere.

Under the normal financial arrangements made by the Labour Government for several new towns, because the development corporations had no rate fund we gave them a national subsidy, in addition to their normal rate contribution. Where the local authority provided a tenant for the scheme in the 20 per cent. cases, and the tenant came off the housing list, we asked the local authority for the £4 contribution. That suggestion was enthusiastically accepted. The new town is a national project, an attempt by the nation to redisperse the population. We therefore accepted on a national basis financial obligations in regard to it.

Where there was a local obligation, the local authorities gladly accepted it. To bring this down now to a fifty-fifty basis is out of all proportion to the number of people who are moved. On the basis of housing need the Amendment ought to be accepted, and I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will do so.

Mr. Powell

It may be convenient if I deal first with the narrower point raised by the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker). He drew attention to the fact that the maximum sum of £4 may, in the peculiar circumstances of the constituency which he represents, be recouped from a local authority which is not the authority mainly being assisted by the operation of decongestion represented by the new town or by town development.

There is very great force in that argument. I should like to assure the hon. Member that we shall look to see whether there is any practicable way of meeting it. It would not be possible to accept the hon. Gentleman's Amendment as it stands, for that would leave the authority from whom the contribution is to be recovered quite undetermined; so that, in theory at any rate, the Minister might charge the sum to Carlisle or Aberystwyth. However, we will see whether we can find some way of ensuring that the operation is fair in exceptional cases such as that of the hon. Member's constituency.

In dealing with the major subject of this debate which was initiated by my hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. Robert Jenkins), I think it would be convenient for the Committee to have in mind as clear a picture as possible of the different types of operation with which we are dealing under this Clause and the associated Clause 8, and the different circumstances and conditions which apply.

Clause 8 (2) and Clause 9 deal with the relationship between importing and exporting authorities and the Exchequer in regard to the expenses incurred in providing houses for overspill population in new or in expanded towns. It has always been recognised that importing authorities which undertake to build for overspill will need help, over and above the Exchequer subsidy preserved—and indeed increased—by Clause 3, in the early years of the development, when the income tends to lag behind the expenditure which has been incurred.

Exporting authorities have power to contribute under the Town Development Act, 1952, or, as the case may be, under the Housing Act applied by the New Towns Act. The present practice, as many hon. Members have reminded the Committee, is for exporting authorities to pay the equivalent of a rate fund contribution, usually for ten years, for houses provided for tenants nominated by them from their housing lists.

Where the overspill scheme is closely linked with the congested towns, and where it is possible, therefore, for the exporting authority to nominate all, or a very high proportion of, the tenants from its housing waiting list, there is no reason why the extra contribution should not be paid entirely by the exporting authority for its nominees, whether or not they are moving to a job in the new area. In such cases the Exchequer will not pay the £8 contribution. Existing undertakings of the kind which I have been describing are preserved by the provisions of Clause 8 (2).

In Clause 9 we deal with a different kind of case—the case where the population from a congested area includes a high percentage of people who are not nominated. This arises when a town is being developed to take industry as well as population—the sort of development which we are all anxious to encourage. In such cases it is inevitable that considerable numbers of people move to the expanded' or to the new town who are not nominated by the exporting authority. The labour requirements of industry have to be met. But it is still the fact that the workers who move out with the industries, or are recruited by them, may have been in overcrowded or unfit houses before the move, or they may actually have been occupying houses belonging to the housing authority of the area from which they came. In all those cases it seems fair that the exporting authority should make a contribution.

Mr. E. Fletcher


Mr. Powell

Because it is on a par with the rehousing of nominated tenants: because they are families of the type which the exporting authority is in any case under a duty to rehouse. They are part of that authority's rehousing obligation.

Mr. Fletcher

They may be people from overseas who are temporarily resident in what the Minister calls the exporting area.

Mr. Powell

I think the hon. Member misunderstood me. I said "in all those cases." That is not all the cases of people who move with the industry or are recruited by the industry, but all the cases where those emigrants to the new or expanded towns come from overcrowded or unfit houses or are council tenants. In all those instances it is surely fair that the exporting authority should make a contribution, because the rehousing of these people pro tantoreduces the housing burden and obligation of the exporting authority.

Mr. Lindgren

I admit that that is a valid point if the man working in a factory is living in a council house and then leaves it and the council has the vacant accommodation, but, as the hon. Member for Dulwich (Mr. Robert Jenkins) pointed out, the worker who moves with the factory is nine times out of ten not a council tenant but the tenant of some other landlord. In such a case the local authority has no control over the re-let. He may have been an owner-occupier who sells his house, in which case he is not concerned about who takes his house but about getting back the money he paid for it.

Mr. Powell

I intended to deal with the point made by the hon. Member for Dulwich and others, but I carry the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Lindgren) with me to this extent—that in so far as these people, moving out with industry or for industry and having life and employment in the new and expanded towns, have been living in unfit or overcrowded houses or are council tenants, it is fair that a contribution should be made by the exporting authority, even though the authority has not in fact nominated these people.

On the other hand, it would result in frightful administrative complexity if we were to try to sort out with all the authorities of exporting areas the circumstances of each individual family which moved out under one of these schemes. We must therefore tackle this problem on broad lines, and I ask local authorities to look at the matter in that light.

The solution proposed in the Clause is that where a new town or a town development scheme provides for the reception of industry and population from congested areas, the Exchequer will pay an extra contribution, normally £8, additional to the £24 subsidy for all houses occupied by persons coming from congested areas, whether or not their names have been put forward by an exporting authority. In all those cases the importing authority receives the £24 subsidy under Clause 3 and will receive the Exchequer contribution, normally £8, either under Section 2 of the Town Development Act, 1952, or under the Housing Acts, as applied by the New Towns Act.

In a town development scheme the Exchequer undertakes to make this payment—that is, the £8—only during the first ten years, but the Government are prepared to look at the position at the end of that ten years and to continue some additional payment if it then seems to be necessary.

Clause 9 enables the Exchequer to recover one half of these contributions from the exporting authority from whose area the first tenant of any house came. Perhaps at this point I might deal with the question asked by the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. E. Fletcher) and one or two others. They asked what we meant when we said, "He comes from an exporting area." They asked, "Is it necessary for him to have been there only for a night or for a month? Is he a bird of passage or is he a permanent resident?"

I would refer the Committee to the terminology of the Clause, which, in line 35, leaves it to the opinion of the Minister to determine whether, for the purposes of the Clause, the person concerned came there from an exporting area; and that is clearly a discretion which any Minister would endeavour to exercise in a reasonable manner.

Mr. Sparks

The Clause does not say anything about that.

8.45 p.m.

Mr. Powell

The Minister has to be satisfied that for the purposes of the sort of considerations and payments involved under Clause 9, it is fair to regard the person as coming from the area of the exporting authority. This equal division of the extra contribution between the Government and the exporting authority, this 50–50 division, is thought to be a fair reflection of the relief of housing needs which will be obtained by development of this kind, and the adoption of a broad basis will avoid the need for a detailed examination of individual cases.

Of course there may be intermediate types between those in which practically all the tenants are nominated and those in which there is a substantial movement of industry and an appreciable part of the population is not nominated. For example, there might be a scheme in which the majority of the tenants would be nominated by the exporting authority but a small proportion of them would come out with the industry. In such a case it is contemplated that the arrangements under Clause 9 would apply to the industrial overspill but not to the nomination scheme. We must look at individual schemes as they arise and see what is fair and appropriate. These new arrangements will operate in relation to houses first occupied after 1st April next.

The effect of the Amendment proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich would be to limit the liability of the exporting authorities so that they paid one half of the contributions made by the Minister only where they nominated the tenants. That would not only be foreign to the general conception of the relief which this kind of development affords to the congested exporting areas, but it would also create gross unfairness between two exporting authorities. It would mean that an authority dealing with its overspill under a nominated scheme—under one of the schemes covered, for example, by Clause 8 (2)—would find itself paying the full rate contribution for each of the first ten years, whereas if it dealt with its overspill—the same type of person—under the types of development covered by Clause 9, it would be paying a maximum of only £4.

Mr. Lindgren

Surely the hon. Gentleman would agree that there is a big difference between the two schemes? I take London County Council as a convenient example. Where London County Council makes a scheme with a receiving authority under the Town Development Act it is in control of that scheme and the tenants the whole time, but when it is a question of a new town the tenants who go in and, for want of a better phrase, make up the labour force of the industry, are not under the control of London County Council except for such industrial development of the new town as is, for the convenience of the Ministry of Labour, made up from its housing list.

Mr. Powell

The hon. Member for Wellingborough has already agreed with me in so far as those persons who go to the new towns are persons from unfit or overcrowded houses or council tenants who might be nominated in a nomination scheme. By restricting this Clause to nominated tenants we should be introducing a quite unjustified discrimination between the case of housing an overspill family under a town development scheme not attracting Exchequer subsidy and housing it under a scheme which did attract Exchequer subsidy.

My hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich said that the movement of these families to new and expanded towns represented no relief to the exporting area because the vacuum was immediately filled, but that is no argument at all, for it applies equally where a tenant is nominated under a nominated overspill arrangement. That difficulty, therefore, confronts us even in cases where it is admittedly fair that the full contribution should be paid by the local authority. Whichever way we look at the matter, we are confronted with this old problem of preventing the vacuum from being filled or completely filled again. That applies to this type of scheme and to any other, and is really no argument in either direction.

Mr. Sparks

If that is the case, why does the Clause contain the words for the purpose of relieving congestion or over-population in the areas if we are not relieving it either way, by the Minister's method or by the local authority's nomination scheme?

Mr. Powell

The words are in the Clause because for an Exchequer subsidy to be payable at all under the Town Development Act, 1952, the Minister has to be satisfied not only that the town development is town development within the meaning of the Act on a substantial scale, but also that the provision of the accommodation will relieve congestion or over-population in certain areas there specified. It is a pre-condition of the Exchequer subsidy being payable that, broadly viewed, the scheme must be such as to relieve congestion or overpopulation.

I hope that the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks) will not ask the Committee to go back upon the principle of the Town Development Act and ask us to abandon the hopes which most Members of the Committee attach to it. The fact remains that whether the decanting—I had to come to that word at last—occurs under the arrangements referred to in Clause 8 or under the arrangements in Clause 9, we are equally confronted with the difficulty of the vacuum which at present is so often filled again.

Therefore, against the background of these new and expanded towns and their purpose, and bearing in mind that many of the people who go to live in them are directly or indirectly contributing to the

solution of the housing problem in the congested areas, I ask the Committee to agree that a roughly fair assessment of the extent to which the exporting authority's housing duties are assisted is to assess the contribution at one half of the rate fund subsidy. I ask the Committee not to narrow the application to nominated tenants and so to produce the unfair and illogical results to which I have called attention.

Mr. Lindgren

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for his undertaking to look into the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker), but the rest of his observations on the Amendment moved by his hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. Robert Jenkins) are unsatisfactory to us. In view of the lateness of the hour, however, we shall not argue the matter further but will carry it to a Division.

Question put, That those words be there inserted:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 151, Noes 192.

Division No. 101.] AYES [8.51 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W. Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mabon, Dr. J. D.
Albu, A. H. Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) MacColl, J. E.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Fienburgh, W. McKay, John (Wallsend)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Fletcher, Eric McLeavy, Frank
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mahon, S.
Anderson, Frank Gibson, C. W. Mann, Mrs. Jean
Bacon, Miss Alice Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Baird, J. Grey, C. F. Mitchison, G. R.
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Moody, A. S.
Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.) Griffiths, William (Exchange) Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Benson, G. Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm, S.)
Beswick, F. Hamilton, W. W. Mort, D. L.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Hannan, W. Moyle, A.
Blackburn, F. Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.) Mulley, F. W.
Boardman, H. Hastings, S. Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Bowden, H. w. (Leicester, S.W.) Hayman, F. H. Oliver, G. H.
Bowles, F. G. Healey, Denis Oram, A. E.
Boyd, T. C. Hobson, C. R. Owen, W. J.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Holman, P. Padley, W. E.
Brockway, A. F. Holmes, Horace Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Houghton, Douglas Palmer, A. M. F.
Burke, W. A. Howell, Denis (All Saints) Panned, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Burton, Miss F. E. Hubbard, T. F. Pargiter, G. A.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Parker, J.
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hunter, A. E. Parkin, B. T.
Callaghan, L. J. Hynd, H. (Acorington) Paton, J.
Chapman, W. D. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Plummer, Sir Leslie
Clunie, J. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Probert, A. R.
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Irving, S. (Dartford) Proctor, W. T.
Collins, V. J. (Shoredltoh & Flnsbury) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Reeves, J.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Janner, B. Rhodes, H.
Craddock, George (Bradford, 8.) Jeger, George (Goole) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Cronin, J. D. Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pnos, S.) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Deer, G. Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Ross, William
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lawson, G. M. Royle, C.
Dodds, N. N. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lever, Leslie (Ardwlck) Short, E. W.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) Lindgren, G. S. Shurmer, p. L. E.
Silverman, Julius (Aston) Sylvester, G. O. Wilkins, W. A.
Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Taylor, John (West Lothian) Willey, Frederick
Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, w.) Williams, David (Neath)
Snow, J. W. Thornton, E. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)
Sorensen, R. W. Timmons, J. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Sparks, J. A. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Steele, T. Viant, S. P. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Stewart, Michael (Fulham) Weitzman, D. Winterbottom, Richard
Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R. (Ipswich) West, D. G. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Stones, W. (Consett) Wheeldon, W. E. Zilliacus, K.
Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.) White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Pearson and Mr. J. T. Price
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Harris, Reader (Heston) Nabarro, G. D. N.
Ashton, H. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Nairn, D. L. S.
Atkins, H. E. Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd.) Neave, Airey
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Nioolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)
Baldwin, A. E. Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
Balniel, Lord Harvie-Watt, Sir George Oakshott, H. D.
Barter, John Hay, John O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Baxter, Sir Beverley Heald, Rt. Hon, Sir Lionel Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Beamish, Maj, Tufton Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Osborne, C.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Page, R. G.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Partridge, E.
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Hirst, Geoffrey Pilklngton, Capt. R. A.
Bishop, F. P. Holland-Martin, C. J. Pitt, Miss E. M.
Black, C. W. Holt, A. F. Pott, H. P.
Body, R. F. Horobin, Sir Ian Powell, J. Enoch
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Howard, John (Test) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Boyle, Sir Edward Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Profumo, J. D.
Brooman-White, R. C. Hughes, Hallett, vice-Admiral J. Raikes, Sir Victor
Bryan, P. Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Rawlinson, Peter
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Hulbert, Sir Norman Redmayne, M.
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H. Renton, D. L. M.
Butler, Rt. Hn. R.A.(Saffron Walden) Iremonger, T. L. Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Campbell, Sir David Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Carr, Robert Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Roper, Sir Harold
Cary, Sir Robert Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Channon, H. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Russell, R. S.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Corfield, Capt. F. V. Joynson-Hicks, Sir Leonard Sharples, R. C.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Keegan, D. Shepherd, William
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. 0. E. Kerby, Capt. H. B. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, w.)
Cunningham, Knox Kerr, H. W. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Dance, J. C. G. Kershaw, J. A. Spearman, A. C. M.
Davidson, Viscountess Kirk, P. M. Stevens, Geoffrey
D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lancaster, Col. C. G. Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Deedes, W. F. Leather, E. H. C. Storey, S.
Digby, Simon Wingfield Leavey, J. A. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Doughty, C. J. A. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Studholme, H. G.
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T.(Richmond) Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Summers, G. S. (Aylesbury)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Duthie, W. S. Lindsay, Martin (Solihull) Teeling, W.
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Linstead, Sir H. N. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)
Errington, Sir Erio Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.
Farey-Jones, F. W. Lloyd-George, Ma]. Rt. Hon. G. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Fell, A. Longden, Gilbert Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Finlay, Graeme Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick) Touche, Sir Gordon
Fisher, Nigel Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Turner, H. F. L.
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F. Macdonald, Sir Peter Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Foster, John Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Vickers, Miss J. H.
Freeth, D. K. Mackie, J. H. (Calloway) Vosper, D. F.
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Garner-Evans, E. H. Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Walker-Smith, D. C.
George, J. C. (Pollok) Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley) Wall, Major Patrick
Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Gough, C. F. H. Maddan, Martin Whitelaw, W.S.I. (Penrith & Border)
Gower, H. R. Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Graham, Sir Fergus Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr, R.(Nantwich) Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Gresham Cooke, R. Marlowe, A. A. H. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Grimond, J. Marples, A. E. Woollam, John Victor
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Mawby, R. L. Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.
Gurden, Harold Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Harris, Fredercc (Croydon, N.W.) Molson, A. H. E. Mr. Godber and Mr. Barber.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill.