§ Mr. Lipton
Did not the Government promise that, as a result of their housing policies, more private builders would build more houses to let? Was not that pretty well the carrot that was dangled before the House on more than one occasion? Is not the reason why the 203 Government do not wish to collect these statistics the fact that they would show that in holding out that promise, the Government were guilty of a gigantic and cruel hoax at the expense of the people who desperately need houses?
The Rent Act had many objectives, including the conversion of large houses into flats, the improvement of property and better maintenance and repair. Those objectives have been achieved. It is a little odd that this complaint of too little housing to rent should come from a party which has done its best to discourage it by promising to repeal the Rent Act should it ever get back to power.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Since Government policy relies more and more on private building and discourages council building, ought not the Minister to be willing to obtain some sort of information as to the extent to which private building is meeting the need for accommodation to let?
Every house, whether built by a local authority or a private builder, makes a contribution to the housing accommodation of the country.
§ Mr. A. Evans
Will not the right hon. Gentleman inform himself where the houses are being built in relation to the needs of the various localities? Is it not essential for his Department to have this information?
It is not essential for us to impose upon anyone the burden of gathering these additional statistics.
§ Mr. Lipton
In view of the continued unsatisfactory nature of the right hon. Gentleman's replies, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter, too, on the Adjournment.