HC Deb 09 July 1957 vol 573 cc173-4
24. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will make a statement on the progress of his slum clearance programme.

Mr. H. Brooke

The slum clearance programme is well under way. The number of unfit houses closed or demolished has gone up from nearly 20,000 in 1954 and just over 25,000 in 1955 to about 35,000 in 1956. The number of people from these old houses who have gone into new homes was 61,000 in 1954, 75,000 in 1955, and 108,000 in 1956. These figures are encouraging, but slum clearance is so important that I want to see the pace quickened, and I hope that local authorities will intensify the splendid efforts they have already made.

Sir I. Fraser

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether the total amount of building this year will compare favourably with that of previous years?

Mr. Brooke

That is—

Mr. Ellis Smith

And who created the slums?

Mr. Brooke

—a different question which perhaps my hon. Friend will put on the Order Paper. There is no doubt that the amount of slum clearance this year will show an advance on that done in 1956.

Mr. Mitchison

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House when the local authorities will reach the figure which they expected to reach before the Government introduced their slum clearance programme?

Mr. Brooke

All I can say is that the only two successful slum clearance drives in the history of this country have been carried out under Conservative Governments.