§ [2ND ALLOTTED DAY]
§ Order read for resuming adjourned debate on Amendment proposed [4th April], on Consideration of the Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee.)
Which Amendment was, In page 10, line 39, after "submit" to insert:
after consultation with the local authority in whose area they intend to build.
§ Question again proposed, That those words be there inserted in the Bill.
§ 3.48 p.m.
§ Mr. E. G. Willis (Edinburgh, East)
I have no desire to occupy the time of the House by speaking any more to this Amendment, but I should like to ask the Under-Secretary of State whether he has given any further consideration to it since last night in the light of the discussion which took place and whether he is prepared to say that he is now inclined to regard it more favourably than he did last night.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith)
Naturally, I thought the matter over very carefully in the light of what the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) said, but I came to the conclusion that there was nothing that I could add to what I said yesterday.
I still do not see why a statutory obligation to consult the local authority should be imposed on a housing association any more than on any other body which is providing houses to let at economic rents. Consultation will, in fact, take place as a matter of common sense and in order to obtain planning permission. But to require statutory consultation is an entirely different matter, and although I have thought this over very carefully in the light of what has been said I must adhere to my original decision.
§ Question put, That those words be there inserted in the Bill:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 157, Noes 198.653
|Division No. 153.]||AYES||[3.50 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Ledger, Ron|
|Albu, Austen||Forman, J. C.||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Lipton, Marcus|
|Awbery, Stan||Galpern, Sir Myer||Loughlin, Charles|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||George, LadyMegan Lloyd (Crmrthn)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Beaney, Alan||Ginsburg, David||McCann, John|
|Benson, Sir George||Gourlay, Harry||MacColl, James|
|Blackburn, F.||Greenwood, Anthony||McInnes, James|
|Blyton, William||Grey, Charles||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Mackie, John (Enfield, East)|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)||Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.||McLeavy, Frank|
|Bowles, Frank||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)|
|Boyden, James||Hannan, William||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Harper, Joseph||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Hayman, F. H.||Manuel, Archie|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Healey, Denis||Marsh, Richard|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (RwlyRegis)||Milne, Edward|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Herbison, Miss Margaret||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Monslow, Walter|
|Callaghan, James||Holt, Arthur||Moody, A. S.|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Houghton, Douglas||Moyle, Arthur|
|Cliffe, Michael||Hoy, James H.||Oliver, G. H.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Oram, A. E.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Cronin, John||Hunter, A. E.||Owen, Will|
|Crosland, Anthony||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Paget, R. T.|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Paton, John|
|Darling, George||Janner, Sir Barnett||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Jeger, George||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Peart, Frederick|
|Deer, George||Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Pentland, Norman|
|Dempsey, James||Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Popplewell, Ernest|
|Dodds, Norman||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Probert, Arthur|
|Driberg, Tom||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Randall, Harry|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John||Kelley, Richard||Rankin, John|
|Evans, Albert||Kenyon, Clifford||Redhead, E. C.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Reld, William|
|Fletcher, Eric||King, Dr. Horace||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)||Lawson, George||Rhodes, H.|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Stonehouse, John||Whitlock, William|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Storey, Sir Samuel||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Robertson, John (Paisley)||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)||Willey, Frederick|
|Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Swain, Thomas||Williams, LI. (Abertillery)|
|Ross, William||Swingler, Stephen||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)||Timmons, John||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Small, William||Tomney, Frank|
|Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Wainwright, Edwin||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Snow, Julian||Warbey, William||Mr. Sydney Irving and|
|Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Weitzman, David||Mr. Ifor Davies.|
|Steele, Thomas||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Aitken, W. T.||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Arbuthnot, John||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Page, John (Harrow, West)|
|Barber, Anthony||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Panned, Norman (Kirkdale)|
|Barlow, Sir John||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Barter, John||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Peel, John|
|Batsford, Brian||Hendry, Forbes||Percival, Ian|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Hiley, Joseph||Pilkington, Sir Richard|
|Bell, Ronald||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)||Pitt, Miss Edith|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Pott, Percivall|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch|
|Biffen, John||Hirst, Geoffrey||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Hocking, Philip N.||Pym, Francis|
|Bishop, F. P.||Holland, Philip||Ramsden, James|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Hollingworth, John||Rawlinson, Peter|
|Boume-Arton, A.||Hopkins, Alan||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Box, Donald||Hornby, R. P.||Rees, Hugh|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J.||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.||Renton, David|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hughes-Young, Michael||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Braine, Bernard||Hulbert, Sir Norman||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Brewis, John||Hurd, Sir Anthony||Robinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R. (B'pool, S.)|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Brooman-White, R.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Jackson, John||Russell, Ronald|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||James, David||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Buck, Antony||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Sharples, Richard|
|Bullard, Denys||Jennings, J. C.||Shaw, M.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Burden, F. A.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Smithers, Peter|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Kershaw, Anthony||Stodart, J. A.|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Kimball, Marcus||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Collard, Richard||Lagden, Godfrey||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Cooke, Robert||Leavey, J. A.||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Lindsay, Sir Martin||Tapsell, Peter|
|Costain, A. P.||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Temple, John M.|
|Coulson, Michael||Litchfield, Capt. John||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford||Longbottom, Charles||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Critchley, Julian||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Cunningham, Knox||McLaren, Martin||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|de Ferrantl, Basil||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Turner, Colin|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Doughty, Charles||Maddan, Martin||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Maginnis, John E.||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Duncan, Sir James||Maitland, Sir John||Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Manningnam-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Elliott, R. W. (Nwcastle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Marshall, Douglas||Walder, David|
|Emery, Peter||Marten, Neil||Walker, Peter|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Finlay, Graeme||Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Freeth, Denzil||Mills, Stratton||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Gammans, Lady||Montgomery, Fergus||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Gilmour, Sir John||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Wise, A. R.|
|Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Morrison, John||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Goodhart, Philip||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Woollam, John|
|Goodhew, Victor||Nabarro, Gerald||Worsley, Marcus|
|Gower, Raymond||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey|
|Green, Alan||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Orr, Capt. L, P. S.||Mr. Whitelaw and Mr. Noble|
§ Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)
I beg to move, in page 10, line 43, to leave out from "except" to second "the" in line 44 and to insert:when the sale of the housing accommodation is to further co-operative ownership or to meet the needs of a redevelopment scheme".It may be convenient, Sir, to take with this Amendment that to Clause 18 page 16, line 16, to leave out from "except" to end of line 18 and to insert:when the sale of the housing accommodation is to further co-operative ownership or to meet the needs of a redevelopment scheme".
§ Miss Herbison
In Committee, we moved Amendments which would have prevented either a housing association or the Scottish Special Housing Association from selling any of its houses built under the provisions of Clause 11 or Clause 18. After discussion of those Amendments, we decided not to vote on them because there seemed to be some reason in the case of the Under-Secretary. He said that there were two reasons why it would be impossible to accept the Amendments which would have prevented any sale.
The hon. Gentleman gave the first when dealing with the point of co-operative ownership when he said:I should explain that such houses will not be let in the normal sense of the term since the tenants will be joint owners.We are all in favour of this form of co-operative ownership and we only hope that it will lead to more and more houses being built in Scotland.
Giving his second reason, the hon. Gentleman said:The need for this could arise only exceptionally, but a reserve power is clearly necessary, for example to permit a sale if a property were urgently needed as part of a redevelopment scheme."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 20th March, 1962; c. 880.]We have taken both those things into account and the effect of these two Amendments would be that any association, or the Scottish Special Housing Association, could not sell any of its houses built under the provisions of either Clause 11 or Clause 18 except when the sale of the housing accommodation was to further co-operative ownership, or to meet the needs of a redevelopment scheme.
656 In other words, we have taken the two reasons given by the Under-Secretary, but to ensure that there will not be indiscriminate sale of these houses, since the need for houses for letting is so great in Scotland, the Bill should make it clear that these are the only times when the association should be able to sell their houses.
§ Mr. Galbraith
As the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) has said, the effect of deletingat such times and in such cases as the Secretary of State may approveand substituting the proposed words would be to remove the Secretary of State's discretion to waive the requirement that the houses will be kept available for letting and to provide specifically that the requirement is to be waived only where the houses are to be soldto further co-operative ownership or to meet the needs of a redevelopment scheme.In Committee, we discussed Amendments to remove altogether the Secretary of State's discretion to waive the requirement about keeping the houses available for letting. An Amendment was discussed at the Committee's nineteenth sitting and it was withdrawn in the light of the Government's explanation—although the hon. Lady indicated that she would probably come back to the point on Report, as she has, because she did not trust the Government and was averse to accepting any assurance that the discretion to waive the requirement would be confined to the cases I mentioned. It is a great pity that she should not be more trusting, as I have had occasion to say to her many times before.
The explanation in Committee for the inclusion of this discretionary power was twofold. First, I said that it was required to allow the Secretary of State to approve houses provided by a housing association on a co-operative basis, and, secondly, to cover the odd case where housing associations might have to dispose of a house in connection with, for example, a redevelopment scheme. The hon. Lady has seized on those two explanations and sought to cover them in these Amendments and so to limit the Secretary of State's discretion.
However, the Amendments do not meet the point. I do not think that hon. 657 Members opposite have quite appreciated the full meaning of the reasons which I gave in Committee; I do not blame them for that. I tried then to explain that houses which are provided on some sort of Scandinavian joint ownership system will not be let in the normal sense of the term, since the tenants will be the joint owners of the houses. But, the house will not be sold either, because the tenant will not own the house which he occupies. When the Amendment talks of a sale to further co-operative ownership, it does not really make sense, because the essence of co-operative ownership is that there is no individual ownership, so that the houses are not sold by the association to individual tenants.
There are all sorts of variations in the Scandinavian system of joint ownership. Some of them come close to owner occupation while others come close to normal tenancy, but the point is that there is neither normal tenancy nor owner occupation. This is a concept which is new to this country and for which there is no accurate and accepted description which could be embodied in a Statute. No doubt, in due course a definition will come to be accepted which could be written into a future Bill, but at the moment we do not know of any words which would precisely define this system for the purposes of legislation. We are, therefore, forced to adopt the admittedly rather oblique way of referring to the arrangement which is adopted in the Bill.
The exceptional case where a house provided under Clause 11 does have to be sold is not fully covered by the simple reference in the Amendment to redevelopment. Redevelopment is only an example of the type of case which may occur, but it is only one of many. There might be other exceptional circumstances where a house provided under Clause 11 had to be sold, and we must leave it possible for the houses to be sold when there are perfectly genuine reasons for doing so. I can give the hon. Lady another example if she wishes. The construction of the approach roads to the new Forth Road Bridge might well cause a house to be demolished and, therefore, disposed of.
I quite see that the hon. Members opposite wish to ensure that these houses will normally be let or occupied on a 658 joint ownership basis and will not be built for sale. I can assure them that that will be so, but it is impractical to try to state it in the Statute. After all, there is a residual power to sell their houses which is available to local authorities, with the approval of the Secretary of State; this is embodied in Section 74 of the 1950 Act in general terms precisely because it is impossible in a Statute to cater for every contingency which might arise.
My right hon. Friend has been described by the hon. Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) as being omnipotent, but he does not also claim to be omniscient and he cannot guarantee to envisage every circumstance which might arise during the life of a local authority or housing association house. I am very well aware that hon. Members opposite do not trust the Secretary of State. It is a most regrettable state of affairs, but I recognise it as a fact of life. On the other hand, they will have to trust him here.
§ Mr. Willis
It is not a question of trusting the Secretary of State. We are legislating for many years ahead—one Clause goes more than ten years ahead—and it is, therefore, a matter not of trusting the present Secretary of State, but of powers being vested in Ministers of whom we know nothing.
§ Mr. Galbraith
It is a question of trusting the Office, but on this occasion hon. Members opposite will have to trust who ever happens to be the Secretary of State.
I have tried to show that at present it is not possible in precise terms in a Statute to provide for the kind of situation which I have described and that there is no alternative to leaving my right hon. Friend the discretion which he has in the Bill as it stands. Therefore, although I understand what the hon. Lady is getting at, and although there is no intention that these houses should be built and then sold, nevertheless, I regret that I cannot accept her Amendment.
§ Miss Herbison
We have been given the same two reasons as we were given previously. The Under-Secretary of State says that he cannot find a definition, but that at some time in the future it may be possible to find one. I simply 659 do not accept that. Surely, Ministers—and if not Ministers, the officials in their Department—could find a definition to cover the cases of which the Minister has spoken. I do not accept that it is impossible for those whose job is to work out the wording for legislation to find a definition.
§ Mr. Galbraith
The point which, perhaps, the hon. Lady has not grasped is that we have no experience of the practice in this country. Until we have experience, we cannot describe it. It is no good trying to describe something which exists in another country. We must have experience of it.
§ Miss Herbison
I do not accept that argument. What does the Secretary of State mean in Clauses 11 and 18? Surely, he must have an idea about these houses, whether there is to be co-operative ownership or almost a normal letting or whether there would be pairt-ownership. In many instances, there would finally be full ownership of the houses.
The hon. Gentleman said that he would give another example about redevelopment and he mentioned the Forth Road Bridge and its approaches. Would not that be classified as redevelopment? Of course it would. The Under-Secretary has made no better case than he made upstairs in Committee. On that occasion, we accepted his case because we felt that his two reasons were sensible, but we do not accept today that he cannot incorporate our Amendments in the Bill.
We return to the question of trust. The hon. Gentleman has referred to legislation about local authorities. We on this side trust the local authorities, as hon. Members opposite do not. Time and time again, the Tory Government have been trying to get local authorities to sell the houses which they felt must be kept for letting. Because we know the history of the Government, we would not be at all surprised if they took the first opportunity to sell the houses. My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) suggested that it was perhaps the Office which we did not trust It is neither the Secretary of State nor the Office that we do not trust. It is the Tories everywhere that 660 I mistrust in these matters. For that reason, we shall vote on the Amendment.
§ Mr. Forbes Hendry (Aberdeenshire, West)
I wish to reinforce my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary in resisting the Amendment and to adduce another reason.
My hon. Friend spoke about the experimental nature of the Clause—
§ Mr. Hendry
The Amendment relates not only to the co-operative provision of houses, but the provision of houses by co-partnership and in many other ways. It would be intolerable for a responsible Government to have their hands tied in an experiment of this nature.
As an hon. Member opposite has said, we are legislating for a long time ahead. The Clause gives the Secretary of State power to make advances for a period of sixty years, which is a long time, very nearly the total life of the houses. They, like other houses, will in time become dilapidated and at the end of sixty years the interest of the Secretary of State as mortgage holder on the houses will vanish. No one knows at this stage what will happen after sixty years. It may be that with the development of building standards and all the rest, these houses must then be abolished. By the Amendment, however, the Secretary of State would find his hands tied to keep the houses available for letting when the proper course might be to demolish them.
I had an interesting experience in private practice recently of houses that were built inadvertently by a local authority which had taken reasonable precautions. The houses suddenly became derelict owing to mineral damages of great age which were not recorded. Almost overnight, these modern houses became seriously damaged and had to be demolished, at great loss to the local authority.
If the Amendment were carried, the Secretary of State, whether a Tory, a Socialist, or of any other colour, would find his hands tied and would, by Statute, have to maintain the houses for 661 letting in perpetuity. The Amendment is carelessly drawn, no thought has been given to its possible implication, and I recommend the House to reject it.
§ Dr. J. Dickson Mabon (Greenock)
As a Labour and Co-operative Member, I welcome the Amendment. I was surprised that in the initial stages the Government were anxious to bring in provisions of this kind. The Under-Secretary has given a very thin answer. If it is genuine, it adds up to the fact that there is a technical difficulty in defining something which is difficult to express in Scottish legal phraseology.
If that is the position, as Scandinavia has had about thirty years experience of these matters with all the legal consequences arising therefrom, it surely cannot be beyond the wit of the Scottish Office and its accomplished technicians and draftsmen to provide proper phraseology to sit the Amendment.
§ Dr. Mabon
My hon. Friend is entitled to disagree, but I have some regard for the competence of the draftsmen in the Scottish Office to be able to do this. If what my hon. Friend says is true, surely there are others in the kingdom who can provide us with assistance from the English Departments, although I find that difficult to believe.
§ Mr. Archie Manuel (Central Ayrshire)
I agree with what my hon. Friend says about the length of experience of these matters in Scandinavia. Surely, the instances quoted by the Under-Secretary must have arisen in those countries, whose legislation covers the situation. Why cannot we use similar words here? It is simply a matter of translation.
§ Dr. Mabon
That is exactly the point, which my hon. Friend has expressed much better than I have done. If Norway, Sweden and Denmark have this legal practice, and particularly Sweden, it is not unreasonable to suggest that we should be able to borrow it.
The Under-Secretary tries to have the argument both ways. He told my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) that the word "sale" is not valid in this context, but he insists upon "let" in this context. 662 How is that so? How can an owner let unto himself? That is the meaning of the existing words.
The hon. Gentleman either has not expressed properly the difficulties facing the draftsmen, or, as I am now inclined to believe, the Government do not believe that this experiment will work and are determined to build the houses under the pretence that they are for co-operative housing—not co-partner ship housing, which is an entirely different concept. I am surprised that the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, West (Mr. Hendry), with his knowledge, does not understand co-partnership as a scheme—
§ Mr. Hendry rose—
§ Mr. Hendry
Has he read the White Paper on Housing, and found out exactly what the Secretary of State has in mind in this case?
§ Mr. Hendry
I know that we are working under a Guillotine, but has the hon. Member read the White Paper and found out what the Secretary of State is trying to do in this case?
§ Dr. Mabon
Of course. I welcomed it in our earlier proceedings. The Under-Secretary has quoted me on at least one occasion in respect of this matter. We have talked of this many times, including in our discussions of the English Bill.
Summing up, I say that the Under-Secretary ought to accept the Amendment. If he does not, I suggest that he should be willing to undertake that in another place the Government will seek to amend it to bring it into line with the desires that he says he believes in. If he will not give that undertaking, I hope that my hon. Friends will join with me in voting for the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.