HC Deb 08 May 1962 vol 659 c208
28. Mr. Fernyhough

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will give an estimate of the number of new houses and flats built for sale, which were completed six months ago or over, and still remain unsold and untenanted.

Mr. Rippon

My right hon. Friend has no material on which to base an estimate.

Mr. Fernyhough

Surely, the hon. Gentleman's right hon. Friend could have asked the local authorities for this information? Is not this a challenge to the Government, inasmuch as there must be thousands of houses and flats which have been built but which remain unsold and unoccupied, and, at the same time, hundreds of thousands of people living in indescribable and indefensible conditions? Why does he not do something about it, so that the needs of the people are married to the labour force and the materials that are available?

Mr. Rippon

I do not think it would be reasonable to ask local authorities to walk round their towns and cities collecting statistics of that kind. Generally, one finds there is a high demand for new houses and flats built for owner-occupation.