§ 3. Sir D. Robertson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that Mr. J. Downie, a native of Thurso, who returned there with his wife and two children after fifteen years' service as a Regular in the Royal Air Force, has been living in a condemned house for three years without sanitation, while his application for a council house remains unfulfilled; if he is aware that this treatment is not in accordance with 3 Government policy on the provision of housing for ex-Service men as announced by the Minister of Housing and Local Government and himself on 1st and 8th March, 1955, respectively; and what action he is taking.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. James Stuart)
I understand that Mr. Downie's application for a house was received by the town council only on 10th October, 1955. I have explained to the hon. Member, who was good enough to write to me fully about the case, how Mr. Downie stands in relation to the council's scheme for letting houses, and the extent to which the council take service with the Forces into account in selecting tenants.
§ Sir D. Robertson
Will my right hon. Friend accept my assurance that I have in my hand a telegram from Mr. Downie stating that he and his wife are prepared to swear on oath that they made their application in writing and lodged it with the Thurso Town Council in November, 1953? Will my right hon. Friend please look into the affairs of this council, which, obviously, has no idea at all of the statements that were made in regard to the prior claims of Regular ex-Service men and their families for housing?
§ Mr. Stuart
I assure my hon. Friend that I have given him the best information I can obtain, but I will certainly look into the matter again. I sympathise with the view, which is widely held, that any period spent in the Services should count towards residential qualification.