HC Deb 01 April 1958 vol 585 cc1000-1
6. Mr. Teeling

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs why his Department gave the Brighton Council to understand two months ago that it was not prepared to support it if it decided to exercise its powers, which he must approve, to purchase property compulsorily, where it was deemed the landlord was acting unfairly; and whether this remains his policy.

Mr. H. Brooke

My hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. In a letter sent to Brighton Corporation on 30th December, 1957, of which I am sending him a copy, it was informed that if an order for compulsory purchase of house property within its area were submitted for my confirmation, it would be considered on its merits.

Mr. Teeling

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is some other misapprehension? Is he also aware that, as I understand the position, representatives of the council came up to the Ministry of Housing, and certainly went away with the impression that they would not be encouraged to exercise these powers if they wanted to?

Mr. Brooke

I have a copy of the letter here, dated 30th December, written to the town clerk, and it does not seem to me to be capable of any misinterpretation.

32. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what action he proposes to take to see that adequate compensation is given to those whose property is scheduled for future compulsory purchase.

Mr. H. Brooke

I am making a thorough study of this problem together with others relating to compulsory purchase.

Mr. Ridsdale

Will my right hon. Friend say whether this will be covered by the Bill presented by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Captain Corfield)? Is he aware that I have already taken up the matter with the Prime Minister and that there is a need for early action on it, because unnecessary hardship is being caused to a very well deserving section of the community?

Mr. Brooke

I assure my hon. Friend that my original Answer was given in all sincerity, and I trust that he will take it in that spirit.