HC Deb 02 June 1964 vol 695 cc906-7
26. Mr. Brockway

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will extend his policy regarding the approval of compulsory purchase orders for residential accommodation to include cases where colour discrimination is exercised by landlords in contracts for the sale or lease of houses or flats.

Mr. Corfield

The powers of compulsory purchase under Part V of the Housing Act, 1957, are concerned with the provision of housing accommodation and not with questions of colour discrimination which of course we greatly deplore.

Mr. Brockway

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the case—particulars of which I have for warded to him—of a property company in London which not only forbids property being sublet to a coloured person but even to the employer of a coloured person? If he cannot introduce legislation on this matter, will he at least use his influence among his colleagues on the Government Front Bench, and on the back benches opposite, who are shareholders or directors of this company, to try to end this practice of gross discrimination?

Mr. Corfield

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman realises the great difficulty of formulating legislative provisions which would be enforceable in a matter of this sort. I can assure him that I and my colleagues—including the ones he has in mind—very much deplore this practice.

Mr. Fletcher

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the Islington Borough Council takes a very serious view of this matter and regards it as one which can be dealt with only by legislation of a national character? Will the Minister therefore reconsider the reasons why it is not possible to introduce legislation on the lines suggested by my hon. Friend?

Mr. Corfield

The hon. Gentleman will be well aware that this matter has been considered on a number of occasions and I have no reason to believe that it would be easier to draft provisions now than in the past. I will continue to keep the matter under review, but I cannot hold out any hope that this is a matter which should, or could, be dealt with by legislation.

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