HC Deb 01 December 1959 vol 614 cc1000-1
41. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what causes he attributes the decline in the number of houses built in Scotland this year; and what are his plans for building houses to reduce more speedily the numbers on the housing waiting lists.

Mr. Galbraith

Compared with last year there has been no fall in the total number of houses started. The smaller number of completions this year reflects in the main the necessarily slower rate of progress in redevelopment areas, on which more local authorities are now concentrating. There is no indication of any slackening of effect by those authorities that are still faced with pressing needs. They are free to build the houses they require.

Mr. Hughes

Surely, the Minister realises that one reason for the loss of Tory votes and seats in Scotland was the extreme dissatisfaction with housing progress. Cannot he now say that he is prepared to restore the housing subsidy or to do something to bring down the rate of interest and encourage the local authorities to build more houses?

Mr. Galbraith

The local authorities have adequate encouragement to deal with the situation as it is.