HC Deb 23 March 1965 vol 709 cc315-6
40. Mr. W. Clark

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will now give details of Her Majesty"s Government"s proposals for helping intending owner-occupiers to enjoy lower mortgage interest rates.

Mr. Crossman

I have nothing to add at present to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker) and other hon. Members on 2nd February.

Mr. Clark

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is high time that the Labour Party"s pre-election pledges were kept? Is he aware that there are many would-be owner-occupiers who are desperately disappointed with the Government in view of what they said during the election because they have not taken the action necessary to reduce mortgage rates —in fact, the very reverse?

Mr. Crossman

I think that that kind of question is getting otiose even with the electorate. They know perfectly well that it is quite ridiculous to demand that a five-year programme should be carried out in five months. The fact that the hon. Gentleman goes after me delights me, because it means that he is keeping the issue alive so that when we announce our proposals they will give pleasure to those who see them.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is the Minister aware that this is not just a case of failure to carry out an election pledge within five months? It is the fact that mortgage rates are now higher than they were, despite the promise of himself and his right hon. Friends that they should be lower. Can he at least say whether, when at last he moves in this matter, he will apply the lower rates to those who take up mortgages now and therefore not discourage people from home ownership?

Mr. Crossman

I shall say nothing to anticipate the legislation or the pleasure of those who may receive the benefit of it.

Mr. Speaker

Questions to the Prime Minister.

Mr. Marlowe

On a point of order. Before we come to the Prime Minister"s Questions, may I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker? Is it possible for us so to fill up the Order Paper that 3.15 p.m. never comes?

Mr. Speaker

That would appear to be hypothetical and not calculated to ensure progress now.