HC Deb 24 June 1965 vol 714 cc1920-1
10. Mr. Alan Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the number of houses which will be built in Wales this year; and how this figures compares with the average annual output in the last 10 years.

Mr. Finch

On the basis of the number of houses completed during the first five months of this year, it is estimated that about 20,000 will be completed this year. This compares with 18,969 last year, and an average annual number of completions over the last ten years of 13,184.

Mr. Williams

Is my hon. Friend aware that hon. Members on this side of the House very much welcome the increase, which is equal to 60 per cent. over the average record of the previous Administration? Does he realise that the Tories in Wales so neglected housing that over the ten years from 1954 the loss of housing production in Wales was the equivalent of a complete standstill in the building industry in Wales for one year and ten months?

Mr. Finch

I appreciate what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I do not accept the figures produced by the hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Alan Williams). Will the hon. Gentleman give us an assurance that plans for housing in Wales will not be held up by the present unfortunate shortage of cement which is prevalent in other areas in the border counties?

Mr. Finch

I can assure the hon. Member that we shall do all we can. I cannot prophesy what the position will be next year, but as I understand it, it is proceeding satisfactorily at the moment.

Mr. Probert

In relation to the construction of houses by local authorities, will my hon. Friend convey to his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State the importance of the retention of housing concessionary subsidies in respect of any future proposals for changes in subsidies?

Mr. Finch

I shall certainly draw attention to that aspect of the matter.