HC Deb 21 April 1964 vol 693 cc1066-7
11. Mr. Duffy

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs why he has not collected statistics of the numbers of back-to-back and back-to-earth houses, houses sharing outdoor lavatories and twilight houses in the Colne Valley Constituency; and, in view of the desirability of obtaining such information in order to assess the housing needs of the area, if he will take steps to discover these figures.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. F. V. Corfield)

Local authorities have a statutory duty to assess the housing needs of their district and it is their responsibility to collect the information they require for this purpose.

Mr. Duffy

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the inherited nineteenth century industrialism weighs very heavily on areas like the Colne Valley constituency and that in referring to such areas I have in mind all the old industrial districts of Britain where there is a real need? Is he aware that the need does not always correspond to the expressed demand? Will not he agree that the Department must conduct factual investigations of this kind in order to establish real need?

Mr. Corfield

With respect to the hon. Member, I do not agree with him. The important thing, surely, is to have the assessment of the total number of houses requiring to be replaced because they are unfit. The reason why particular houses are unfit is, in my submission, of very much less importance.