HC Deb 02 June 1964 vol 695 cc908-9
29. Mr. J. Wells

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what sums of money his Department has paid to the Mutual Households Association Limited; on what dates this was done; and what conditions were involved.

Mr. Corfield

From the financial year 1958–59 to date grants of £2,880 towards the cost of providing board and lodging in four of the Association's properties have been paid annually to local authorities to be passed on to the Association under arrangements made by the authorities with the Association and approved by my right hon. Friend. These arrangements incorporate a number of conditions, including conditions that the Association shall provide the apartments in respect of which the grants are made, and that they shall be let or kept available for letting.

Mr. Wells

Is my hon. Friend aware that this Association has recently served notice on one of my constituents in most unjustifiable circumstances? Will my hon. Friend look into the recent new rules of management set out by this body, and will he investigate its affairs generally in so far as he can?

Mr. Corfield

I am aware of the case which my hon. Friend has in mind and his concern is shared by my right hon. Friend and myself. Nevertheless, matters of complaint regarding associations of this type are for the Registrar of Friendly Societies, who has not as yet heard both sides of the case, and I think that it would be wrong to prejudge the issue.

Mr. MacColl

Does the hon. Gentleman remember that when we were discussing these kind of matters in the debates on the housing legislation which is being dealt with by the House, the Minister expressed great confidence that the existing provisions were strong enough to prevent this kind of thing from happening? Is he aware that if it does happen, it will greatly weaken the appeal to tenants of housing associations generally?

Mr. Corfield

The hon. Gentleman has forgotten that under the proposed new legislation the Housing Corporation will have greater powers of mortgage than have ordinary local authorities under the existing arrangements.