HC Deb 21 March 1962 vol 656 cc388-9
37. Mr. Steele

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will give a general direction to the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board to postpone implementing their decision to increase rents by 66 per cent. until the trade union officials have had an opportunity to discuss the effects of this increase with the Board.

Mr. Brooman-White

No, Sir, my right hon. Friend has no power to give a direction in the sense suggested.

Mr. Steele

Is the Under-Secretary aware that these are tied houses? They are in very remote areas and the people concerned have extra transport costs? Most of the Hydro-Electric Board's workers are manual workers earning about £9 10s. to £13 a week. This new rent scheme, which is being introduced at the behest of the Secretary of State for Scotland, is raising these rents to the equivalent of the new gross annual value and it is obviously being done on the decision of the Secretary of State for Scotland. Surely he can give directions to the Board that the Board might consult the trade unions to find out what will be the effect of all this?

Mr. Brooman-White

The position is that, so far as the houses are owned by the Board, this is entirely an administrative matter for the Board. Concerning the houses owned by the Hydro-Electric Housing Society, my right hon. Friend can only intervene if there is disagreement between the Society and the local authorities. I have no knowledge of any such disagreement so far.

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