HC Deb 23 June 1958 vol 590 cc11-2
19. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Paymaster-General whether, in the interests of stabilising the cost of living, he will issue a general direction to the National Coal Board not to increase the rents of any of its houses in view of the fact that great numbers of them are over 100 years old.

Sir I. Horobin

No, Sir.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the hon. Gentleman say exactly what contribution an increase in the rent of houses over 100 years old will make to the fight against inflation? Can he state any reason at all why rents of such houses, which, on the National Coal Board's own admission, cannot be made really fit to live in—and this in the middle of the twentieth century—should be put up at all?

Sir I. Horobin

The Coal Board is losing £3 million a year on its houses and does not see any particular reason why it should pay its tenants, on average, 7s. 6d. a week each for living in them. Regarding the age of the houses, unfortunately, when they get older, like this place, or No. 10, Downing Street, they cost more to keep up.