HC Deb 23 October 1956 vol 558 cc471-2
23. Wing Commander Bullus

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a statement as to the progress of slum clearance in England and Wales.

Mr. Sandys

During the first half of this year, some 17,000 slum dwellings were demolished or closed, and about 46,000 people were rehoused. This is an increase of about 50 per cent. over the figures for the corresponding period of last year. During the first nine months of this year local authorities have designated clearance areas involving over 33,000 houses and over 100,000 people, which is double the rate for last year. All these figures show that the slum clearance drive is steadily gathering momentum.

Wing Commander Bullus

While thanking my right hon. Friend for those most encouraging figures, may I ask him whether they do not indicate that his decision to give a higher subsidy was a correct one and that that policy is paying?

Mr. J. Silverman

If the Minister is so anxious to promote slum clearance, why is it that the Ministry has refused to confirm four orders made under the slum clearance legislation by Birmingham Corporation?

Mr. Sandys

I cannot answer questions about individual slum clearance orders. All I can say is that we are confirming orders at an ever accelerating rate.

Mr. Mitchison

Are not the figures now given by the right hon. Gentleman rather less than what the local authorities proposed to do before the Government embarked on what they called their slum clearance programme?

Mr. Sandys

Whatever the local authorities may have said they were going to do, it was the result of being asked by the Government to make a review of their slum clearance problems and to draw up programmes.