HC Deb 04 March 1958 vol 583 cc958-9
35. Mr. T. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that it is becoming virtually impossible for local authorities to add to the pool of houses available for letting by reason of the practice of landlords of offering for sale for owner-occupation houses and flats as they are vacated by tenants rehoused in new council houses; and if he will take steps to secure an increase in the number of houses available for letting.

Mr. Maclay

I have no reason to think that the number of rented houses being sold is other than small in comparison with the number of new houses added each year to the letting pool. One of the objects of the Rent Act is to increase the number of houses available for letting by freeing new tenancies from control.

Mr. Fraser

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the figures he gave last night were a gross distortion of the facts, and will he ask the local authorities of some of the industrial areas such as Glasgow and Hamilton, which is my own town council, and other local authorities with tenement houses in their areas, to tell him how many of them, or of individual homes within tenements, have been sold for owner-occupation in the last five years?

Mr. Maclay

I made it clear that the figures I gave last night were a sample, and sampling is a recognised method of trying to get at reasonable figures. I will certainly consider whether I can usefully ask for the type of information requested in the second part of the supplementary question.