HC Deb 14 July 1964 vol 698 cc1016-7
28. Mrs. Butler

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs in view of the extent of homelessness in London, if the Milner Holland Committee intends to make an interim report on this aspect of its inquiries before the House rises for the Summer Recess.

Sir K. Joseph

No, Sir. I understand that the Committee does not feel that it could make a useful report until it has received and considered all the evidence which it has called for.

Mrs. Butler

Is the Minister aware that the situation of the homeless in London is getting steadily worse? There are now 1,200 homeless families, and there are expected to be 10 times that number if the drift to the South-East continues. Since the new London boroughs will have to take over responsibility in this matter, and are making their plans already, is there any way in which this report can be brought forward so that the new London boroughs can have the evidence and advice of the Milner Holland Committee on which to base their plans?

Sir K. Joseph

I believe that the Committee regards homelessness as a very important, but only one, strand in the complex problem it is considering. The Committee is working as hard and as fast as it can, and the report will therefore emerge as quickly as is practicable.

Mr. A. Lewis

Will the Minister say what he means by the report emerging as quickly as is practicable? Does he think that it will be in his hands probably before the date of the General Election, and could we have it so that we can discuss it during the election? Will the right hon. Gentleman try to expedite the report?

Sir K. Joseph

No, Sir. I have asked for the report as soon as possible. I am told that there is a strong probability of its being available by the end of the year, if all goes well.