HC Deb 03 May 1962 vol 658 cc1195-6
24. Mr. Spriggs

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what proposals he has received from local government authorities and other associated bodies for amending legislation intended to speed up housing and rehousing for those people on waiting lists throughout the country.

Mr. Rippon

My right hon. Friend cannot trace receipt of any recent proposals of this kind.

Mr. Spriggs

I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman will accept a proposal from me? If he would cut the interest rates charged to local authorities for housing and other local government work, the housing shortage would rapidly be over.

Mr. Rippon

I do not accept that proposition.

Mr. A. Lewis

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his reply is somewhat misleading? The County Borough of West Ham submitted to him a proposal that councils should have the right to convert houses for those on their waiting lists and should get a housing subsidy for it. It asked the Minister whether he would consider introducing such a scheme as a means of helping to remove people's names from the waiting lists. Will not he look again at this proposal to see whether a housing subsidy can be given to local authorities to take over and convert and modernise some of these houses?

Mr. Rippon

If we have overlooked that proposal which is regarded as a means of speeding up housing, my right hon. Friend will no doubt bear it in mind. I cannot hold out much hope of amending legislation of that character.