§ 38. Mr. Gibson
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what powers are enjoyed under his Regulations by local authorities to deal with the overcrowding of houses by landlords who exploit the housing needs of coloured immigrants in London.
§ Mr. H. Brooke
Section 90 of the Housing Act, 1957, empowers local authorities—in London both the London County Council and the metropolitan borough councils—to serve notices upon landlords fixing, at their discretion, the number of people who may sleep in a room. Appeal lies to the county court.
§ Mr. Gibson
In view of the difficulties which this problem is creating in some of our towns, will the right hon. Gentleman call the attention of local authorities to these powers and ask them not to wait until complaints are made by white people, which is what they are doing at the moment?
§ Mr. Brooke
The hon. Member himself has a local authority background. These are discretionary powers already enjoyed by local authorities, who do not, I think, need any direction from me.
§ Mr. Mitchison
Has the right hon. Gentleman any suggestion to make to local authorities as to where the surplus occupants of overcrowded houses are to live?
§ Mr. Brooke
That is clearly something which a local authority must take into account when considering the exercise of its powers.