HC Deb 25 February 1958 vol 583 c191
31. Mrs. Mann

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what extent he has investigated the number of vacant houses available for renting in Scotland; and how many have been available during the past six months.

Mr. Maclay

The letting of houses is a matter for the owners, and I have no means of ascertaining the number of vacant houses available for renting during any particular period.

Mrs. Mann

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that statement is an entire contradiction of what he said on 17th December, when he stated there were numbers of houses to let, and said: If one watches the newspapers carefully, one sees that there are…"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th December, 1957; Vol. 580, c. 191.] We are now told that he has no means of ascertaining the figure. Which of the two statements are we to believe?

Mr. Maclay

I should have thought that the hon. Lady would see clearly the difference between ascertaining an accurate number and keeping a watch on the newspapers published and seeing the flow of houses to let.