HC Deb 02 April 1963 vol 675 cc227-8
17. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware that 30.5 per cent. of London dwellings have no bath, and 36.6 per cent. have no hot-water tap; and what action he is taking, within the limits of his responsibility, to remedy this state of affairs.

Sir K. Joseph

The figures quoted by the hon. Member relate not to dwellings but to households, 22.8 per cent. of which consist of single persons. Nevertheless, I recognise that a serious problem remains to be solved. In part this will be achieved by the measures for new housing outlined in the recent White Paper on London. As regards existing housing, I have been urging local authorities to step up the rate of improvement by intensive publicity and initiating schemes of area improvement. In addition, I am considering what further steps might be taken to get more improvements carried out with the aid of grant.

Mr. Lipton

Does not this horrible state of affairs show up in all its grimness the failure of Tory housing policies since 1951? Does the right hon. Gentleman really think that in the short time left to him as Minister of Housing and Local Government he is going to effect any real improvement in this shocking state of affairs?

Sir K. Joseph

Improvement is going on the whole time, and since 1951 the shortage of accommodation for Londoners has been slashed by the Tory Government and greatly improved conditions for Londoners are available today, though we have a great deal further to go.