HC Deb 21 May 1957 vol 570 cc1005-6
1 and 3. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he is aware that in some local authority areas no houses have been built for many years and that, in consequence, families in need of new housing accommodation in such areas have no hope of getting it; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy this situation;

(2) how many of the local authorities who have stopped building houses have done so because their housing problems have been solved; and how many have done so because of financial difficulties.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. John Maclay)

I have no specific information as to why particular local authorities stop building. It is probable that some of the smaller ones, in rural counties and small burghs, feel they have met current needs. The hon. Member has written to me about one authority. If he will give me information about any other areas I shall have inquiries made.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Joint Under-Secretary has very often said that most of these authorities stopped building because housing needs are satisfied, and I presume that he has statistics to bear out that statement? Would the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that, so far as the Burgh of Culross in my division is concerned, he will not stand in the way of the confirmation of the compulsory purchase order which is now standing between them and getting houses via the Scottish Special Housing Association?

Mr. Maclay

The hon. Member will realise that I cannot give an advance decision on something which has not come my way; but he has had a very full explanation in a letter, which I hope showed him the position as it stands today.

Mr. T. Fraser

If the right hon. Gentleman finds that some authorities have in fact stopped building houses although there is an outstanding need for additional houses, will he assure us that he will not hesitate to exercise his default powers?

Mr. Maclay

I should need to have full information before I committed myself to a reply on a matter like that.

Back to
Forward to