§ 9. Mr. Brockway
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will introduce legislation to secure from local authorities details of evictions under the Rent Act and from other causes.
To do this would not help local authorities to deal with their housing problems: it would simply add to their burden of work which is already heavy enough.
§ Mr. Brockway
When will the right hon. Gentleman wake up from the complacency of his colleagues on the Government Front Bench? Is he aware that we are sure that if there were an epidemic, he would stir the Ministry of Health to action? Is not this a social epidemic just as serious? Is the Minister quite heartless about the homeless in London and about the families which are being evicted in Slough, with children going to institutions and their parents separated and grubbing where they can? Is not the Minister aware of the scandal that this represents?
Four of them were obtained by the local authority. Let us face the real issue, which is that of housing in Slough. I recognise that there are difficulties. In the last ten years, 5,000 new houses have been built but the popula 202 tion in the meantime has risen by 16,000. Next year, Slough will get approved the houses that it is able to build. That is the way to tackle the problem and not by turning this into a political issue.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Is the Minister aware that this has always been a political issue and that his predecessor made no bones about it? If information about the working of the Rent Act would not help the local authorities, might it not at least help the Ministry towards a wiser policy?