HC Deb 08 December 1959 vol 615 cc205-7
14. Mr. Oswald

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to urge the Corporation of the City of Edinburgh to proceed with comprehensive slum clearances.

Mr. Maclay

As I explained to the lion. Member in reply to his Question on this subject on 1st December, the Corporation has before it a number of major slum clearance and redevelopment schemes on which much preliminary work has been carried out: I am sure it is aware of the urgency of this work and I do not think any urging on my part is called for.

Mr. Oswald

Does the Secretary of State not realise that since he replied to me, two other tenement buildings in Edinburgh have had to be evacuated as a consequence of the buildings being in such a state of disrepair that they were falling down? As the custodian of housing in Scotland, will not the right Icon. Gentleman issue a directive immediately to the lackadaisical Edinburgh Corporation asking it to go speedily ahead with the demolition of all this slum property?

Mr. Maclay

To my full knowledge. the Edinburgh Corporation is actively engaged in this work. I have, of course, been in consultation with the Corporation and I know that it is going on with the work very fast.

Mr. T. Fraser

Does not the Secretary of State realise from the number of slum buildings now falling down in Scotland that it is obvious to anyone that insufficient work is being undertaken to replace these slum buildings with new houses? Is it not disgraceful that this should be the position when we have something like 10,000 building trade workers unemployed in Scotland? Will the right hon. Gentleman press the local authorities to use the unemployed building labour to replace the slums?

Mr. Maclay

There is a later Question dealing with slum property all over Scotland, on which, if I may, I will deal with this matter.

37. Mr. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many schemes of slum clearance have been submitted to him by local authorities; how many he has approved; and what is the number of houses involved.

Mr. Maclay

I have received proposals for slum clearance in the period 1959 to 1961 from 171 local authorities, and 1 have already approved 156 of these. 31,330 houses are involved in the proposals received and 28,150 in those approved.

Mr. Hoy

Could the right hon. Gentleman say what proportion this may be of the total number of houses likely to be involved?

Mr. Maclay

That would involve rather complicated figures. Outside Glasgow, on the basis of the proposals already approved, some authorities would deal with all their unfit houses within five years, but the majority would take from five to ten years.