§ 3. Mr. Spriggs
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how many people are on council housing waiting lists in county boroughs, boroughs, and urban districts, respectively, in the north-west of England.
§ The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Sir Keith Joseph)
I do not have this information, and it would serve no useful purpose to collect and aggregate the totals of the individual lists, since these are compiled by the local authorities on bases which differ with particular local circumstances and requirements.
§ Mr. Spriggs
Is it not most astounding that after all the time that has elapsed since the publication of this Question or the Order Paper the Minister has found fit to tell the House that he has not got this information? Is not this a shocking indictment of the Minister and of the failure of his duty to the House of Commons? There are hundreds of thousands of people living in diremisery—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."]—I am asking the Minister for these figures. I am appealing to the Minister to get this information now and I ask him to provide some incentives to local authorities to build more houses and to make money available through Government services at cheap interest rates so that houses can be built for the people instead of propaganda.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The need is acknowledged; the pace of housing building is accelerating, but I am asked to find waiting list details for 150 housing authorities none of which is comparable on the bases they use, and I think that it would be a waste of time of my Department and of the local authorities concerned.