HC Deb 22 November 1960 vol 630 cc950-1
9. Mr. Manuel

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many local authorities were not building any houses at the latest convenient date; if he will indicate the number of houses being built by the remaining local authorities; and if he will state the relation between that number and the number he estimates is needed throughout Scotland.

Mr. Maclay

One hundred and two local authorities had no houses under construction at the end of September while 23,698 houses were then being built by the remaining 129 authorities, and 4,060 houses were being built by the Scottish Special Housing Association and the New Town Development Corporations. Because of social changes and the progressive deterioration of older houses it would be extremely difficult to express Scotland's housing needs in terms of a total number of houses at any given date.

Mr. Manuel

Is the right hon. Gentle man aware that that was a roundabout if tactful Answer, from his point of view? Will he agree that local authorities and the Scottish Special Housing Association are building far fewer houses and that hundreds of thousands of houses are still needed in Scotland because of deterioration, grossly overcrowded conditions, and people living in sub-let tenancies? Will he try to equate his mind to the size of the problem instead of jollying along with the puny figures now being produced?

Mr. Maclay

If the hon. Member talks of puny figures, let us look into history and compare what we have done with what the party opposite has done.