HC Deb 13 December 1962 vol 669 cc553-4
27. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what response he has received from local authorities to his circular of 2nd August, 1962, asking them to induce landlords to install baths, hot water and inside lavatories in houses requiring them.

Sir K. Joseph

My circular had a much wider purpose than the hon. Member suggests. In any case, local authorities were asked to let me know their reactions by the end of the year, and many replies have yet to come in.

Mr. Allaun

Is the Minister aware that some hon. Members feel that this circular, while it is belated and incomplete, is a good one, which indicates a welcome reversal of Government policy? Since replies have to be in by the end of the month, what steps is the right hon. Gentleman going to take to see that it is implemented? Is he aware that his Ministry is refusing grants to councils to cover the extra cost where the provision of baths requires the installation of bigger sewers to accommodate the extra water?

Sir K. Joseph

I have told the House that I am reviewing the whole matter of improvement grants, and I shall be reporting on this to the House in a few months. Meanwhile, I will study with care the reports as they come in to me.

Mr. Woodburn

Would the right hon. Gentleman pursue this matter with vigour, as it will make a fine contribution in providing work for the foundry trade in two areas of the country where that is vitally needed?

Sir K. Joseph

The scheme has many blessings.

Mr. Jeger

Is the Minister aware that much of the old property which needs modernising belongs to the British Transport Commission? Will he have a word with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport in order to ensure that more capital development is afforded to the B.T.C.?

Sir K. Joseph

I understand that arrangements of this sort are being made.